More on today’s column

Here’s how today’s column originally started out. I didn’t think the anecdote worked:

    Week before last, the Associated Press moved a story
by its own Jim Davenport that started out like this:
    “Gov. Mark Sanford’s re-election bid entered a new phase Wednesday as it began offering detailed criticism of Democrat Tommy Moore’s record and ethics, including alleging his actions contributed to the Operation Lost Trust vote-selling scandal that left one in 10 legislators indicted more than a decade ago.”
    Alarm bells went off for me when I read that Sen. Moore’s culpability for Lost Trust had to do with “his connections to a capital gains tax break that Republican then-Gov. Carroll Campbell wanted in 1988,” and that “allegations floated around afterward that people had paid to get the tax break tucked into the state budget so it would retroactively put money back into their pockets.”
    That was bogus on a number of levels, because I was here at the time, supervising The State’s political writers. First, Lost Trust centered around bribes related to parimutuel betting. Second, the capital gains issue was taken up by the feds only after my reporters uncovered it (after our story ran, I was questioned by two FBI agents wanting to know where that came from). Third, this was not the same capital gains tax break that Gov. Campbell was pushing.

I quit trying to write this at this point, and so I never got to the transition in which I explained that knowing Tom Davis, I knew there was a misunderstanding somewhere.

I had called Tom as soon as I had read this, and that led to a couple of conversations with him, and the result was the rest of the column. Bottom line: I don’t think either Tom or Jim Davenport meant to say that Lost Trust was about the cap gains thing; both knew better. It just sort of came across that way in that story. If I had continued in the above vein, the next paragraph would have explained that. Which means I was going to waste several paragraphs raising a concern that I was then going to dismiss. I don’t have that kind of space to throw away.

Oh, and by the way, that "capital gains tax break that Republican then-Gov. Carroll Campbell wanted in 1988" was a different piece of legislation from the one that involved the bribe. There was a lot of confusion about that by the time we broke the story, and Senate Democrats (with Tommy Moore helping lead the way) tried to make hay about that in hearings. Hence the reference in Cindi’s column Friday to "an unsuccessful attempt to tar former Gov. Carroll Campbell." So that was another thing I’d have to walk the reader through.

I eventually decided that talking about Tom was the better way to start the piece. I got to my point quicker.

And what was the point? Well, I never stated it this clearly, and looking back I probably should have, but the choice in this election is quite similar to the one that Columbia city voters had earlier this year. Remember how I wrote that Kevin Fisher and Bob Coble offered a choice between someone who presented himself as being right, and someone whose self image was of being effective?

This is like that on a larger scale. Now, it’s Sanford who insists on being right, and Moore who insists on getting things done. It’s hard to choose between the two, I think. I’ve always had trouble with it, anyway. Of course, what I want, and what South Carolina needs, is a leader who can give us both.

But it’s been a while since anyone like that has even offered for office.

37 thoughts on “More on today’s column

  1. Dave

    I don’t see Moore as a pol who truly wants to accomplish great things for the good of the state. They all say that but it appears this guy wants to accomplish great things for special interests where there are a few bucks to be found. That kind of thinking leads to a spend spend spend mindset and that is exactly what this state does not need. The big spenders on the Dem side and the Republicrats on the GOP side are the pols who have thwarted the state restructuring proposed by the governor. Moore is clearly one of the legislators who bottlenecks what is in the best interests of the people of this state.

  2. The Cackalacky Candidate

    A Tale of Two Carolinas
    (A Poem for the Season)
    You, who opine of Mark Sanford
    By means of wordy prose, to assail
    In our poorly educated state
    Where fully half our children, poorly read and unlearned
    Your words are for naught
    Words seldom heeded
    Words alone will fail
    Better an image
    A blatant vision
    To show the divergent paths of neighbor states’ fortunes
    You must, if to prevail
    A Tale of Two Carolinas
    Indeed does the picture tell the tale
    (Your choice of formats.)

  3. Dave

    NC/SC Facts as of 2005
    NC SC
    Spend/Pupil $6562 $7040
    Teacher Pay $42,411 $40,362
    # Districts 117 87
    Charter Sch. 99 26
    Notice that NC has well over twice the population of SC but only about 20% more districts. SC is spending its money on administrators, not teachers. SC spends more per student and has worse results. That is not Sanford’s fault, but the fault of a poor structure where the Ed. Secty. is independent of the governor’s office.

  4. SaludaBudda

    Heavy fighting continues deeper in Lebanon – 7/24/2006 08:21 AM EDT

    Mr. Editor, what part of the nation is Lebanon?

  5. Nathan

    Okay, so maybe this is a little off-topic, but it just points out why Gov. Sanford is so frustrated with this Legislature and the way this state is run right now. The State reported today that schools are complaining that the money they were given for 4K preschool isn’t enough, so they aren’t going to have space. These are the same schools who are getting more money because they sued the state. Now, further, The State points out that a study done by SC shows that there are about 2,000 at risk kids who need 4-K. So, they are pumping $23 million into the program. In case you don’t want to do the math, that is more than $11,000 per kid. My youngest daughter goes to pre-school. I can assure that we don’t pay anything remotely close to $11,000. In fact, we pay less than 25% of that. This is just another example of the education beauracracy throwing away your tax dollars while being aided and abetted by the Legislature. At least Sanford wants change. That is more than I can say for “Moore-taxes” Tommy Moore.

  6. Doug

    The actual amount that will be provided to private pre-schools will be $3077 per student plus $185 for transportation plus up to $10,000 per school for supplies.
    The idea, I guess, is that rather than fix the elementary schools, we should start them on the path to poverty and government dependence earlier. I mean if we don’t allow poor four year old kids to learn to play with blocks and sing “The Wheels on The Bus”, how else will they be prepared to make french fries and ride the bus later on in life?
    Wondering if Brad supports this program which “steals” money from publis education???

  7. Tim

    I’m pleased to say that Sanford got his trolls out in full force this weekend to start making blog comments.
    Brad, you give Davis way too much credit. Go read his op-ed piece in the Herald and then tell me how he doesn’t mean to imply that Lost Trust was about the cap gains tax.

  8. Dave

    Cackalacky – where did that name originate from? I once traveled about 100 miles listening to a truck driver rambling about he was from Cackalacky. Explain.

  9. The Cackalacky Candidate

    What else would you call a “Candidate” from Carolina?
    (It just shows how very sad our political system has become in the Palmetto State. What passes for political debate nowadays resembles monkeys in a cage throwing monkey pellets at each other.)

  10. SaludaBudda

    Israel hits Hezbollah district in Beirut – 7/25/2006 10:08 AM EDT

    The state must have annexation fever, Beirut isn’t within our nation.

  11. Lee

    Brad sure is laboring mightily to conjur up interest in Tommy Moore as a viable canidate. He is a lifeless and wooden as Kerry and Gore.
    Nathan, don’t expect a response about that $11,000 per pupil for 4K. It is probably news to Brad and Cindi, and they don’t care how much money the state throws away on education, because spending is their only metric.

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