Yesterday, I stopped by the Starbucks on Gervais for some afternoon coffee. There are sometimes closer places to get coffee, but I’ll go out of my way to go to this one. In this case, I even walked several blocks in coat and tie in the 83-degree sunshine, which caused me to make a note to myself to tell Mayor Bob that there are portions of our city streets that could use more shade trees.
Where was I? Oh, yes. The reason I go there for coffee even if it’s slightly out of my way is that I always run into somebody I haven’t seen in a while, and frequently learn something interesting. In this case, I ran into Dick Harpootlian (shown above at the Stephen Colbert event back in October 2007). Dick, as you will recall, was last seen in the company of Dwight Drake filing the lawsuit for that high school girl about the stimulus. You know, the suit that was thrown out, but with wording that sort of provided a road map for how to make sure South Carolina gets the stimulus money in spite of He Who Must Not Be Named (I say that because some of y’all say I write critical things about him too often).
Anyway, Dick says that he had a hand in the resolution that the Senate passed Wednesday. Dick says merely passing the budget that spends the stimulus money wasn’t enough. He said this resolution was needed to actually request the money, going around the governor, thereby putting the governor in the position of having to sue to get his way, instead of the other way around.
Dick said he called his old buddy Jake Knotts — at which point he paused to let me say, Your old buddy who once threw you over a counter at the solicitor’s office, to which Dick says he merely TRIED to throw him over the counter. Actually, they are friends now, though. Anyway, Jake said Hold on, and put Glenn McConnell on the line. McConnell apparently liked the resolution idea, and then so did Hugh Leatherman, so it was quickly drawn up and passed by both Houses. The speed and ease with which that happened is sort of remarkable in itself.
Anyway, I nodded sagaciously through all this, but the fact is, I was thinking, “What resolution?” I had not heard or read about it. If it was in the paper, I missed it. I did find this reference to it at thestate.com:
SC Legislature approves stimulus resolution
The Associated Press
COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina legislators have approved a resolution that might help them deal with legal challenges that could arise in forcing Gov. Mark Sanford to request $700 million in federal stimulus cash.
The House adopted the measure on a voice vote with no debate Thursday. The Senate had approved the measure Wednesday after sending Sanford a $5.6 billion budget that requires him to request the money.
The resolution says the Legislature accepts the money under provisions in the $787 billion federal stimulus legislation.
Legislators say the measure would help them defend taking the money if a lawsuit is filed.
I don’t know whether this development will prove significant as this unfolds or not, but I thought I’d mention it.