Sanford vs. Floyd column


The difference between Sanford and Floyd

By Brad Warthen
Editorial Page Editor
ONE DAY last week, I was trying to explain the politics of our state to a visitor from the West Coast. That’s not quite the proverbial visitor from Mars, but it was the best I could do in real life.
    Anyway, I couched Gov. Mark Sanford’s appeal to voters in terms of white South Carolinians’ fierce aversion to anyone telling them what to do — especially the “government,” which many continue to see as an entity outside themselves, rather than something that serves their collective will. That’s the psychological (as opposed to the economic) reason why ours was the first state to secede from the Union. Our mamas and daddies can tell us what to do, but no outsider better try.
    Hence the allure of a doctrinaire libertarian such as the governor, who continues to lead Sen. Tommy Moore in the polls. All the governor has to do is say he’d keep the government from taking your money away from you, and he’s got us — or enough of us to win. Few stop to think: “Wait — the government is us. We elect it, and it only spends money on what we demand.”
    But here’s what’s wrong with my neat explanation: The governor is pushing a radical idea that most South Carolinians don’t want: public money going to private schools. And why is that on the agenda at all? Because rich folks from New York City and other foreign parts, folks who don’t give a rip about what happens to South Carolina one way or the other, think it would be neat to force that experiment on our state and see what happens.
    It’s not just about the governor, of course. These same rich Yankee ideologues are trying to buy up part of the Legislature, and intimidate the rest of it, in order to advance their plan to use our state as their lab rabbit.
    The ancestors of many Sanford supporters donned gray and butternut and started shooting to keep Northerners from telling them how to do things. But this doesn’t seem to bother many of their descendants.
    So maybe it’s not about populist, anti-government rhetoric after all. If it were, the governor would post his biggest victory margin in Lexington County, but after his loss there to Oscar Lovelace in the GOP primary, he’ll be doing well to squeak by in my home county. I’m seeing a lot of “Republicans for Tommy Moore” signs on my way to and from work each day.
    If it were purely about the ideology, Karen Floyd would also be leading by a big margin. She, after all, would be the governor’s go-to person on privatizing education if she becomes state superintendent of education. But while I’m sure she gets a boost from having an “R” after her name, I hear that she doesn’t enjoy the lead that Mr. Sanford apparently does.
    Mrs. Floyd doesn’t have a clue about how to run schools — public or private. I really don’t think she’s even thought about it much — at least not very deeply. Her comments regarding what she would do in office are short on specifics and long on PR-speak. On the main issue that caused the governor to endorse her before the primary race even started, she is evasive to a stunning degree. If I were a voter who actually favored the governor’s voucher/tax credit plan, I wouldn’t vote for her purely because she does everything she can get away with to avoid saying she’s for it.
    And if you’re not a supporter of that idea, then this is a no-brainer: Jim Rex proposes actual reforms, and demonstrates with every word that he knows enough about the system to succeed in making changes that need to be made. Mrs. Floyd, based upon her performance on the campaign trail (since her resume features no educational experience, that’s all we have to go by) would sow confusion and accomplish nothing.
    Mr. Sanford, with all his faults, is better qualified to be governor than Mrs. Floyd is to be a teaching assistant, much less superintendent of education. I think voters can see that. Can’t they?


42 thoughts on “Sanford vs. Floyd column

  1. Randy Ewart

    Let the Anti-State; Brad is biased, is for the status quo and hates ideas for positive change comments commence.
    Add some substance to those reactionary posts. Specifically, address these points.
    1. Lex pointed out he keeps his daugher out of public schools because of the discipline. How does Floyd address this besides the laughable idea of a camera in every classroom? She claims to have talked to “thousands of teachers” so apparently teachers don’t mind unruly students who disrupt class…or Floyd has de-prioritized this. I suggest it’s the latter.
    2. She suggests using a big city plan for our poor rural schools – Diverse Educator model. A plan that was used for less than 4 years in Philadelphia will work in Allendale.
    3. What justification does she have that our middle and elementary schools are at the “bottom”? She only cites SAT and drop out rate, which reflect social issues as well as educational.
    The voucher proponents have NOT addressed these questions aside from replies that belittle me as “for the status quo” and “these couldn’t do worse than public schools”.
    Substance please.

  2. Dave

    Brad, What do you have to say about the big Yankee money coming from the American Federation of Teachers and the NEA, both big teacher unions with a real motivation to stop any reforms of public schools? You are strangely silent on that side of the ledger. And are we really back to the civil war, North vs South, grey vs. blue, themes again? Your anti-Sanford and anti-Floyd rants are actually getting comical and more hysterical.

  3. Randy Ewart

    Dave, once again you reply by attacking in lieu of addressing specific points. Do you favor a rich New Yorker trying to sway our election? A significant proportion of her campaign comes from ONE SOURCE.
    Also, please cite a link showing how much money the NEA is pumping into the Rex campaign. You don’t have to count the $100 Floyd’s mother-in-law sent Rex.

  4. chrisw

    Your written comments are those of a $350.00 a week partisan hack, working sporadically on political campaigns and pushing a political ideology with all of his meager but enthusiastic intellect.
    To read this blog over the last couple of months has shattered my thoughts about the leadership of the “free press” and their ability to impart information accurate to the public.

  5. Randy Ewart

    Chrisw, whether you agree with Brad or not, he justifies his positions with facts. I have yet to see this from you.
    Aside from being swayed by Floyd after talking to her for 5 minutes, how have you justified a vote for her?
    Also, you are ok with all this outside partisan money being poured into a SC election? I bet you’ll claim Rex gets the same. Cite a source if you do.

  6. chris

    Reading comprehension is obviously a problem for you. Please re-read my comments and tell me where your reply is in anyway connected to what I have written.
    I am not interested in your petty and obnoxious comments, and your constant babbling about data and facts. Your mischaracterization of virtually every posting is tiresome.
    My comments were to Brad, with reference to his partisan writings.
    If you are representative of the educational establishment in SC…I think I will write in Howard Rich …and we have far more trouble that I ever could have imagined.

  7. Mark Whittington

    Now there is irony for you. The anti-government, neo-liberal ideology promulgated by folks like Sanford and Floyd has turned SC into a de-facto vassal state. I wince while listening to Sanford taking credit for “changing Columbia”. He’s changed Columbia and SC all right-he’s turned the state into a banana republic. Perhaps a better analogy would be the pimp/prostitute arrangement. I don’t like the idea of being prostituted out to the highest, sleaziest bidders on the planet for the sake of giving these carpetbaggers a good time. Many of our state legislators have come to realize whom they’re dealing with here. It’s not a matter of having a strong state government vs. the federal government-these people (Sanford and Floyd) hate the idea of government (including state government) and the common good altogether. How does a Southern man deal with this? Metaphorically speaking, it’s time to find a stiff cane. You can find your cane at the ballot box come Tuesday.

  8. mark g

    I think the Floyd-Rex race has been vastly over complicated.
    It’s really a simple matter of style vs. substance.
    No objective person could argue that Floyd has the experience to handle this position. Rex is probably over qualififed. It’s really that simple.
    This is a case study on politics in SC– are voters going to vote for the less qualified but well-funded and photogenic Floyd; or the well-qualified but less charismatic Rex?
    I think in the end, there will be just enough voters who realize this job is too important to leave to a neophyte– Rex will win in a photo finish.

  9. Dave

    The chatter about outside money is laughable. Back in the 04 Senatorial race, Brad raged on and on about Club For Growth money coming into the state for DeMint. Now it’s Howard Rich and his money. What about Bill Gates money, isnt anyone going to whine about that? And do we ever hear a word about George Soros and funding being spent in SC. No, you won’t, because liberal causes are funded with those dollars.

    As far as Floyd not having enough professional credentials, that is also a joke. If a person has strong leadership skills and good principles, and knows how to delegate, they will find a path to success. Funny how the State loved Oscar Lovelace in the spring primaries, but what did he know about running the state of SC government?

  10. Randy Ewart

    I am not interested in …your constant babbling about data and facts. – Chrisw
    No Chris, we wouldn’t want to muddy the waters with facts.
    You post strong unsubstantiated criticism (no data or facts within sight)toward Brad, then you take issue when the criticism is directed toward you.
    You used the same unsubstantiated parroting in criticizing schools and I take issue with that.
    Similarly, Dave replies to specific issues with scripted retorts attacking others. Dave, it’s a simple question. Do you support a wealthy New Yorker trying to affect the outcome of a SC race? Do you have specific evidence of Rex accepting large amounts of out of state money at the same level as Floyd, or is this a non-issue because it favors your partisanship?

  11. Lee

    You tell us, Randy – why are so many graduates of our public middle schools unable to make it through high school?

  12. Ken

    I see that Warthen’s promoting our public education is only so much hot air. He sends his children to private school and yet thinks that concerned parents be forced to keep sending thier children to the faling school system. I take this to tell me that Brad thinks his children are to good to attend the public school system that he is promoting. Liberals are always telling us what to do and they never do the things they try forcing on us themselves. Brad believes that we in SC don’t have enough sense to make our own decesions. He thinks we must read his Editorals and follow his great wisdom. He has never met a govt program or tax increase that he doesn’t like and t5hat everyone should be made to comply with what he and his liberal know-it alls tell us to do. After having read some of the peoples comments and listen to others as they speak I believe that there are a large number who believe and follow what these self-appointed rulers tell them to do. No wonder they continue to get by with it for many cannot or won’t think for themselves. Tell me Brad how many in Clyburns Congressional District actually demand that he spend $90 million dollas (TAX DOLLARS) for a bridge betwee two towns each with a populatios of some 750 people. Have you ran a survey or like Spratt answered its Clyburns district and we are friends so what ever he wants we should give it to him. Voters should give both of the men a new job by removing them from Congress. Ken Laws

  13. Doug

    I think you should seriously consider the impact your writing for this blog has had on your editorial writing. In my opinion, today’s editorial was barely worthy of a blog entry. Long on rhetoric and short on intellect.
    Trying to appeal to potential voters by using loaded language about New Yorkers, Yankees, and the Civil War was plain awful.
    Luckily, the type of people who might be swayed by inflammatory prose like that probably are very unlikely to be reading your editorial (they’re more likely checking out which used pickups are for sale or what the results of yesterday’s NASCAR race were).
    I’m sure Kathleen Feldstein, one of the board of directors of McClatchey Company which owns The State paper, would love to hear your views on Yankees sometime. She’s only got a PhD from M.I.T., so you may have to talk slowly for her to grasp your brilliance.
    Seriously, you may want to consider whether writing on a blog is making you a better editor.

  14. Herb Brasher

    Well, Brad, the Warthen-bashing begins, as was inevitable. I saw the redneck attack ad on WIS TV last night, with that nasty word liberal pinned to the State newspaper. Oh, how you have led us all astray!
    Well, for my part, I just want to say that I think that, in you and Cindi, and I’d certainly include Warren Bolton as well; (probably others, but I these are the ones I primarily read) we have three of the best journalists that we could possibly have in South Carolina. I think I can recognize a good journalist, too, since my brother is one, though I am obviously biased in my opinion.
    I think I speak for many in appreciation for the fact that you try to give us an objective view of the candidates and issues that affect our state. In some ways, to use a biblical word, you have an almost “prophetic” role, and perhaps you can find a little bit of comfort in the fact that a lot of them were not liked for what they had to say.
    I would like to use the term “public” in a wider sense of being there for the general good of the populace (as opposed to just being on the state payroll), and so I would just like to take my hat off to three of the finest public servants, and their staff, that I have ever seen.

  15. LexWolf

    “Well, for my part, I just want to say that I think that, in you and Cindi, and I’d certainly include Warren Bolton as well; (probably others, but I these are the ones I primarily read) we have three of the best journalists that we could possibly have in South Carolina.”
    Heh. And that’s clearly the soft bigotry of low expectations in action!

  16. Doug

    The State is going to look pretty silly come Tuesday.
    Brad claims that Floyd does not have the same lead that Sanford does. Wonder if he’ll reveal his “source” for that “fact” after Tuesday? And if Floyd’s percentage exceeds or matches Sanfords, then it will be interesting to see how Brad can spin that one without insulting the voters of the “representative government” he loves so much.
    By Wednesday morning, Brad and the rest of the editorial staff will have as much relevance as the “loony libertarians” they despise so much. We’ll have to read more of Cyndi Ross Scoppe’s brilliant analysis of property taxes. “Duh, so what if your income only went up 5% in five years? Your house is worth more, so you should pay 20% more taxes for the same services you’ve been getting all along” I still wonder whether she’s ever balanced a checkbook.

  17. Randy Ewart

    By Wednesday morning, Brad and the rest of the editorial staff will have as much relevance as the “loony libertarians” they despise so much. – Doug
    You’ll stop reading them eh? And talk about the pot calling the kettle black, your criticism of his “inflamatory prose” is laughable coming from you.
    Heh. And that’s clearly the soft bigotry of low expectations in action! – Lexie
    As opposed to the explicit bigotry of extremist ideology?
    his liberal know-it alls tell us to do. – Ken
    Ken, nice selective reading of his posts. BTW Ken, if Floyd and Rich had their way, Brad would prosper by having money given to him to send his kids to private school (as would Lexie). But he’s against a bill that would give him all that money? Hmmm…
    I see a dearth of substantive posting and an over abundance of demogoguery. At some point someone said “hey guys, let’s find a blog where we can blame others and take pot shots at public figures, including educators”.
    Hate mongers, how about supporting these claims. Explain how he’s “liberal”. Disprove his assertion that money coming from New York is bad by showing how it’s a good thing.

  18. Doug

    In case you haven’t noticed, I am not the editor of the largest newspaper in the state.
    My impression has been that Brad’s editorial writing has suffered because of his writing on the blog.
    Just like you have appointed yourself hall monitor for Brad’s blog, Brad has developed a blog persona that appears to have seeped into his real job.

  19. Herb Brasher

    Doug obviously didn’t read my bit about prophets not being liked. Truth is not established by the number of people who vote for or against a certain premise. Ethical decisions, contrary to Lee’s position, should not be made on the basis of whether or not they may be “significant,” but whether they conform to what is right and true.
    The State newspaper will not be proved on Tuesday to be silly, or anything else, for that matter. However, it well may be that, in a few years time, the decisions that voters make on Tuesday(whether they participate or not) may prove to have been silly, or even very bad. True leadership endeavors to help us understand what is down the road before we get there.

  20. Randy Ewart

    Doug, people post comments knowing others will respond and critique them. If you and others will post hate mongering posts, don’t be surprised that others will take issue with them.
    You guys take shots at easy targets like Brad and educators while hiding behind your computers anonymously (except Doug Ross). I take issue with this.

  21. Lee

    Herb, I never said anything about ethical decisions being based on their significance.
    Maybe you have contracted Randy’s ailment of creating straw men because you cannot challenge what I actually do write.
    And Randy – tell us why are so many graduates of our public middle schools unable to make it through high school?

  22. LexWolf

    “if Floyd’s percentage exceeds or matches Sanfords, then it will be interesting to see how Brad can spin that one without insulting the voters of the “representative government” he loves so much.”
    Why should they bother to spin it? They have been insulting the voters for years!
    And Randy, tell us why you are sending your own kid to private school while you’re doing everything you can to keep kids on the dysfunctional plantation that provides you with the salary to pay your kid’s private school tutition?

  23. Herb Brasher

    Lee, you certainly did write on another post that Foley’s action was not significant, in response to someone else who asked if it were right or wrong. You betray your ethical foundations by your presuppositions. I do read your posts, and I also read between the lines.

  24. Nancy Padgett

    The candidacies of both Sanford and Floyd seem to me to point out the problem with campaigns being funded by out-of-state moneys. How can someone from the midwest understand what it means to have a governor who can’t work with the legislature? How can someone from New York understand how poor our school districts are and how private schools could have a negative impact on moneys spent for all the children? And how can anyone ask teachers to work under a woman who has had no experience in the classroom?

  25. Herb Brasher

    Lex, how do Floyd’s percentages prove anything right, wrong, or indifferent? I keep repeating it: the veracity or goodness of any decision is not determined by the number of people who vote for or against it. Christ was crucified by people who voted overwhelmingly against Him. That proves nothing about the rightness of the decision.
    You can win all the elections you want. You can gloat all you want. That in itself proves absolutely nothing about whether the policies involved are true, right, or just.

  26. Lee

    Well, we KNOW the failed policies of the Democrats, moderaters, liberals and socialists don’t help humanity.
    We KNOW that the free market provided more progress in the last 200 years than in the previous 10,000. It even is able to do that despite carrying the dead wood of socialism on its back, while wading through ankle-biters.

  27. Lee

    Herb, I wrote that Foley’s actions were not significant compared to the homosexual brothel run out of Barney Frank’s house, the rape and other sexual assaults committed by Bill Clinton, and the killing of Mary Jo Kopechne by Ted Kennedy…
    …much less the real issues of this election – our 20-year war with Islamofascism, hordes of illegal aliens, selling out of our jobs by greedy politicians and transient CEOs, and a corrupt level of government waste that is strangling our economy.

  28. Randy Ewart

    And Randy, tell us why you are sending your own kid to private school while you’re doing everything you can to keep kids on the dysfunctional plantation that provides you with the salary to pay your kid’s private school tutition? – Lexie
    First, we are interested in a Catholic based education for our boy. I’ve already explained this to you. Your warped reasoning suggests we don’t have that right?
    Second, “doing everything I can”? I’ve already posted repeatedly that I support choice for the low socio-economic students. I don’t support using our state as a guinea pig for out of state lobbyists to take money away from public schools to give to you more money so your daughter doesn’t “have to put up with idiots in the public schools” while at her $12/year private school (which vouchers wouldn’t cover any way).
    Third, you can’t even explain why we need your scheme for middle and elementary schools nor how they would work. You tried, but repeatedly contradicted yourself and even admitted the private schools would answer to the government. Can you show a shred of data of the low performance of the lower schools? No, you can’t – not even from your biased sources. Can you show where state wide choice has worked? No you can’t (you actually suggest teacher unions stopped the rest of the nation from getting this).
    I’ve posted data and suggestions. You propose blind ideology. Not even the REPUBLICAN legislature has drank that koolaid.

  29. Lee

    Public school teachers are twice as likely to send their own children to private school.
    Why isn’t $8,000 per pupil (actually $10,260 average) enough to pay higher teacher salaries and attract even better teachers to replace some of the ones we have now? Out of the $150,000 to $200,000 per classroom, where is all that money going?

  30. LexWolf

    “Public school teachers are twice as likely to send their own children to private school.”
    That really is the most devastating argument against the current system. I don’t eat at a restaurant where the cook doesn’t eat his own food. When public school teachers, who clearly are in an excellent position to assess the relative merits of public and private schools, send their own kids to private schools at twice the rate of other parents then clearly theirs is a “restaurant” where I don’t want to eat. Randy is one of those cooks who doesn’t eat his own food yet he wants to force the rest of us to do so.

  31. Randy Ewart

    “force the rest of us”? LOL, Lexie, you push this scheme which would put thousands of public school dollars into your own pocket. I have repeatedly stated I am for choice for low socio-economic students, not residents of the ivory tower.
    You also ignore facts that contradict your ideology, but hold fast to any dubious data that justifies it. Case in point, you talk up the NAEP scores in which SC is below average. When it’s pointed out SC is above the median on most of these SAME tests, you claim you can’t find this data when you already admitted you saw it.
    Also, Lee’s statistics which you champion are for which part of South Carolina?

  32. Lee

    Randy, are you dishonestly pretending to have not read the articles several of us have posted about how much public school teachers send their children to private schools?
    Shame on you. Stop pretending to be ignorant of the facts, just because you have no answer to them

  33. moe

    you know, maybe we ought to rethink this whole education issue. I mean look what happened across the nation where many sweeping changes took place. Yet, in good old SC, we reelect one of the worst governors in the nation, will probably reelect an even worse lieutenant governor and some people say they flipped a coin to decide who to vote for for ed. superintendent. Yes, we get what we deserve.

  34. moe

    no, there are lots of people that are poor, uneducated (I would use the word dumb/stupid, but that would not be nice) and are proud to be from SC and that is why we vote the way we vote. What a snow job.

  35. Lee

    An uneducated, low-income voter pulling the lever to keep the system that put him there – that’s stupid. That’s what the Democrats like.

  36. moe

    no again, that’s what the Republicans count on, people that are scared off by “terrorist threats” and ” tax increases”, that’s all many people hear. Politics of fear. Where is the irony in Republicans seeking change and yet wanting to call themselves conservatives, when it is supposedly “Liberals” that seek change. The hypocrisy of it all

  37. Lee

    You don’t think there are any terrorist threats to America?
    You don’t think the Democrats are saying they intend to restore the tax increases of Clinton which brough us 3 recessions?

  38. Dominic diva futura animali sesso video hard con animali nudiste e esibizioniste biglietti da stampare prima comunione dieta rosanna lambertucci decatlon articolo sportivi dragonball serie platino vagine pelose donne vecchie


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *