Jimmy Bales, S.C. House District 80

Thursday, 10 a.m.
Rep. Jimmy Bales last had opposition six years ago, at which time we wrote:

We worried two years ago that Democratic Rep. Jimmy Bales would bring County Council-style politics to the House, which already had more than enough partisanship. Fortunately, our concerns seem to have been overblown. Rep. Bales has been a responsible House member. He has demonstrated an open-mindedness, willingness to buck party leadership and willingness to research issues for himself.

After our meeting with him Thursday morning, I would observe much the same. To be more specific, here are views he expressed on a number of issues:

  • "We have too many school districts." So how about consolidating some? "Politically, it’s almost impossible." He thinks the only way would be to create a BRAC-style commission so that "we could only veto it." He says one of the problems is that many of the districts aren’t competent to run schools. "We can’t argue with a straight face that the local people can handle it." In some areas, districts are "not doing a good job — probably because they don’t know how to do it. They’d like to, but…"
  • He favors non-partisan elections for county offices. When we suggested that maybe we didn’t need to be electing so many county officials — such as auditors, he said, "I’d like to have the county-manager form" of government.
  • Of the House itself, he said "It’s a little too partisan. We act like children."
  • School "choice?" PPIC is "too extreme." He likes Republican Bill Cotty‘s idea of having the state go in and form charter schools in failing districts. "I don’t think a charter school is extreme." As for Mr. Cotty’s current political fortunes, "He’s in the fight of his life."
  • Cigarette tax. "We need to go to the dollar," he said. "I’m for taxing alcohol, too." On the subject of other politicians getting contributions from the "tobacco people," he added, "They haven’t sent me any money and I don’t think they’re going to." He chuckles at that, then turns serious: "Tobacco has caused so much suffering. And I grew up growing tobacco" in Virginia. "That’s why I’ve got this accent."
  • As a former farmer, he went his own way on the chicken farms bill, which forbade counties to pass more restrictive rules on factory farms than those required by he state. "Now I voted for it," because as one who knows about all the regulations a farmer has to contend with, he looked at the DHEC regs and thought they were sufficient to protect the environment.

I’ll close with a little anecdote he told about party-line voting. "Politics is about love; it’s all about emotion." As a result, plenty of folks aren’t careful enough when they enter the booth.

"At my church, people tell me ‘I vote for you,’ but I know they don’t." He says he knows that because they also say they hit the button for the straight Republican ticket. But some go ahead and push the button for him as well, not understanding that they’ve just canceled their ability to choose an individual Democrat. "People just don’t — older people particularly… they don’t understand it."

"I say, ‘Thank you.’ What else can I say?"


11 thoughts on “Jimmy Bales, S.C. House District 80

  1. bill

    I HATE voting for county officials.The State does a good job of letting me know who I’m voting for but it’s really just an eeny meeny
    miny mo situation.Definitely like the idea of a dollar tax on the butts and an increase on alchohol.Let’s tax anything we possibly can
    without the libertarian/anti-tax people going wild.It’s odd that we have the second highest
    alchohol tax in the country but nobody’s complaining,but that will probably change once you start talking about raising it.

  2. Lee

    Jimmy Bales has always been a tax-and-spend advocate, with no restraint. He was like that decades ago with local school board spending.

  3. Lee

    Jimmy Bales has always been a tax-and-spend advocate, with no restraint. He was like that decades ago with local school board spending, until the voters got tired of it. So he laid low until he could get a new crop of voters to put him in another office.

  4. Doug Ross

    I consider myself a Libertarian and I have no problem with raising the taxes on cigarettes, alcohol, and gasoline if they are used to offset the unfair property tax system we have in place now. There is no reasonable justification for correlating the property taxes paid with the services recieved. Two houses, side by side, may pay different amounts simply because one has an additional bedroom or bathroom. That is pure bureaucratic nonsense.

  5. Lee

    The Mansard roofline was created in response to property taxes in France. Houses and shops were taxed by the number of stories. Attics did not count, so the builder Mansard came up with a new roofline containing a finished attic.
    What the tax eaters don’t realize is how much business they are driving out of their reach, whether it is out of California, out of South Carolina, or out of the USA.

  6. LexWolf

    Doug Ross,
    If there is no correlation between the property tax and services received, then there is also no correlation between the income tax and services received. Just because John Smith makes 5 times as much as Joe Blow and pays 10 or 20 times as much in income tax doesn’t mean he receives 5, 10 or 20 times the services. If anything, usually the opposite is true.
    Cigarettes and alcohol are high-value items in relation to their value. As such, they are exceptionally prone to smuggling and actual revenue will not come anywhere near projected revenue from a tax increase. Just ask NYC and some of the high-tax states up north – some actually receive less revenue from their tobacco taxes now than they did before they jacked up the tax rates.

  7. Brad Warthen

    I just learned something from Lee, and it relates to my own life. My house has a Mansard roof! Unfortunately, I don’t think they fool the tax assessors anymore — not based on my assessment.
    Of course, I’ll hardly be paying any property taxes once that plan the lawmakers passed at the last possible second goes into effect…

  8. LexWolf

    “Of course, I’ll hardly be paying any property taxes once that plan the lawmakers passed at the last possible second goes into effect…”
    Yeah right! After the previous property tax “cut” our property tax almost doubled this year compared to last year, and our sales tax went up by 1% as well. Some “cut” that was.

  9. Lee

    Superintendent of Education Candidate Excluded From SC NAACP-sponsored Debate
    Today, select candidates for Superintendent of Education will debate, in West Columbia, but Tim Moultrie will not be among them. After several attempts to reach Dwight James of the SC NAACP, Tim Moultrie, Libertarian candidate for Superintendent of Education, was told that he would not be invited to participate.
    “I find it extraordinarily disheartening to find that the NAACP, an organization that claims to represent the silenced voice, is actively engaging in silencing choices for their members,” stated Moultrie. “Additionally, my campaign is the only campaign that is proposing a realistic method to give real school choice to everyone, rather than merely giving choice to the rich or offering an empty choice of another government school, and I am the only candidate who has proposed a solution to ending the inequity in current student funding.”
    Being a legitimate, active candidate, Tim Moultrie plans to attend the event, with the hope that the NAACP will decide to stand behind its message of equality, diversity and non-discrimination and allow Mr. Moultrie to participate.
    For more information on Tim Moultrie, visit http://www.SuperEd.org.

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