Little-noticed stimulus development


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

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.

19 thoughts on “Little-noticed stimulus development

  1. Karen McLeod

    Yes, but can they override You Know Who’s veto? If not, this is just political show put on by a lot of gutless wonders. It is past time to put this govenor in a small box until his term is over, because to do otherwise will destroy SC. This govenor is not republican, not democrat, maybe libertarian, but mostly fanatic ideologue.

  2. Brad Warthen

    Actually, that’s part of the calculation at every move. Apparently, there was originally some reluctance to do this resolution because they were unsure of the votes, while they felt confident about being able to override on the budget. But at some point, they must have become convinced that they can hold the line either way.

  3. Doug Ross

    The only people destroying South Carolina are the same people who have been in office since before Sanford became Governor.

    They are the ones who use phony scare tactics to push their agenda and line their own pockets.

    Nothing that has happened in regards to the economy of South Carolina can be blamed on Sanford. He’s tried repeatedly to rein in the spending. What you see is the Leatherman/Harrell economy in full effect. More of the same and worse will be coming.

  4. Marge Lebowski

    Karen speaks for me here, but I will add that there are few people that I both fear and admire as much as Dick Harpootlian. I trust him more than I could throw him over a counter, which is a hell of a lot more than I can say about Sanford.

  5. Lee Muller

    “fanatical ideologue” means someone operates on a set of firm, coherent principles, unlike legislators who are only in it for the power and personal wealth of graft.

  6. Bill C.

    You know… the first thing I would do if I were unemployed is cut out $7.00 cups of coffee from Starbucks. Just some free financial advice. Think Folgers.

  7. Lee Muller

    We had 4 years of boom in a row under Bush, generating a $4.2 billion surplus of state revenue. The legislature blew all that, an now is trying to raise taxes to keep spending at its elevated levels.

    Obama’s so-called “economic team”, who have never run a business or made a correct prediction, are assuming a 4% growth rate for 2009. It was -1.2% when Obama took office, and is -6.2% now. They are smoking dope.

  8. Bill C.

    Lee, didn’t Sanford warn the state departments and legislature that during the boom periods we needed to not spend everything and establish rainy day fund accounts? If I recall correctly, the legislature overturned those ideas and increased spending with one-time money. Now they’re screaming because we don’t have the money to continue those one-time money funded programs, and are screaming that we aren’t taking federal money to establish yet more one-time money programs.

    There’s an old saying that when you’re in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging.

    Nope, not smoking dope… snorting cocaine is the drug of choice for our current president (no capitol P on purpose).

  9. bud

    There’s an old saying that when you’re in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging.
    Bill C.

    Exactly. The voters figured that out and voted the hole digging republicans out of office. And the stock market is soaring. Happy days are indeed here again! Facts are facts. Under Bush the number of jobs created was less than under any president since Hoover; wealth creation was stagnant and everyone, rich and poor alike, lost. Thousands died in both terror attacks and misguided wars. The GOP has now become a laughing stock with it’s ridiculous attempts to focus the attention on Nancy Peloci who had nothing to do with the treasonous torchure policies or to rename the Democratic party the “Democrat Socialist” party. Keep it up GOP leaders, especially you Oxymoron Rush, your slide into oblivion will only continue. Then again, they are really good at digging holes. Perhaps they can find some oil.

  10. Lee Muller

    Yes, Bill, Governor Sanford tried to use the $4.2 billion surplus revenue generated by the boom years under Bush, to pay off debts and fund the bankrupt retirement system.

    Instead, the legislature raised the “spending limits” so the surplus would not show up as a surplus. They increased the “budget” by 40%.

    Now the party is over and South Carolina has a hangover, along with the drunken sailors in the legislature.

  11. Lee Muller

    47 members of Congress, 46 of them Democrats, are also members of some major international socialist or communist organization.

    Barack Obama was raised as a communist, and his only meager work experience is for a socialist agitation group, ACORN.

  12. Brad Warthen

    FYI, a “Tall” coffee at Starbucks is $1.80, not $7.

    And yes, I do think about whether I should spend the money. But since I DO run into people there, and sometimes we end up talking about something that could lead to employment, or at least to income, I think it’s a worthwhile investment.

    I’ve also maintained — although I’m not sure how much longer I can do this — my memberships at both the Capital City Club and Rotary. Why? Because it made me get up, get dressed and go out and see people and be seen (and therefore not forgotten by the world) on a regular basis. It keeps me in circulation, rather than just sitting at home in my PJs surfing the Net.

  13. Bill C.

    bud says:
    May 19, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    There’s an old saying that when you’re in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging.
    Bill C.

    Exactly. The voters figured that out and voted the hole digging republicans out of office. And the stock market is soaring. Happy days are indeed here again!
    What stock market are you watching? “soaring”??? How about “limping” after that big Obama crash it took right after the election.

  14. Lee Muller

    Within 2 weeks of Obama’s nomination, over $4.5 TRILLION in cash was withdrawn from banks and money market accounts. Before the election, over $14.5 trillion had been withdrawn from the stock market.

    The unemployment rate was 5% in July 2008.
    Unemployment was 7.3% by election.
    Unemployment was 8.1% by inauguration.

    Unemployment today is 15.7%, including all those who have dropped off the unemployment rolls without finding work.

    The banking crisis was a deliberate bank robbery by the Democrats, because
    1. The war in Iraq was 99% won, and no longer an issue.

    2. The racist Democrat housing programs had collapsed due to fraud at FNMA and FMAC. 60 per cent of the board members signed on to run Obama’s campaign or advise him, including Rahm Emanuel. They needed a smokescreen to cover up their fraud.

    3. Democrats always use economic fear mongering as the other side of their promises of handouts. They needed to create panic and blame it on Bush, because they were running against Bush, not McCain.

  15. Lee Muller

    If you want to see Obama’s disdain for charity, just look at his brother George, living in a mud hut in Kenya on $8.00 a month, with no help from his fellow Kenyan from Chicago.

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