My dilemma next Tuesday

First, I’ll go ahead and complain the way I always do, and as always, no one will sympathize with me, but here goes: I think it’s wrong that I have to choose one or the other to vote in next Tuesday — the Democratic or Republican primary.

Go ahead, laugh. Everyone does. Why, don’t I understand how the world works? Yes, I do, and the way the world works is fouled up. Yep, I know there are all sorts of reasons why people aren’t allowed to vote in both. But they are all bad reasons. All of them involve placing the needs and interests of parties ahead of the legitimate rights and interests of voters. There is NO WAY you can defend a system that requires me to be disenfranchised, if I live in Richland County Council District 1 for instance, by either not getting a voice in who my solicitor is (only Democrats are running) or who my county councilman will be (the choices are both Republican).

OK, got that out of my system…

Now, I have to decide which ballot to ask for Tuesday, and this is the toughest choice I’ve faced in some time.

As I wrote earlier today, I think it’s imperative that we get the right governor going forward, and I’ve reached the conclusion that none of the Republicans is going to be the right governor. Since I consider the selection of our next governor to be far and away the most important decision that South Carolinians will make this year, that argues for asking for a Democratic ballot — which would be kind of an unusual move for me. Living as I do in Lexington County, about the only way I get a choice in elections is to vote in the Republican primary, so I generally do. But this time, the only way I get to vote POSITIVELY for someone I actually want to be my governor (as opposed to voting against the worst of two or more evils), is to take a Democratic ballot.

But look at what I give up if I do that:

  • The chance to vote against Jim DeMint. He’s going to be re-elected anyway, but I’d like it to be over my protest. Yeah, I’ll get to protest in November, but it would be more satisfying to do so twice.
  • The chance to vote against Joe Wilson, who embarrassed us all — not with his “You Lie” outburst (anyone can momentarily lose control) but with his decision to capitalize on it. His GOP opponent, Phil Black, is a nice guy. I enjoyed meeting him last time around. But he doesn’t have a prayer.
  • If I vote Democratic, I get no choice on lieutenant governor; it’s Ashley Cooper (the guy with the ultimate SC name) or nothing. But if you care who your lieutenant governor is (debatable) and you acknowledge that it will probably be a Republican, you certainly ought to state a preference among the five candidates running. And yes, there IS a difference between, say, Ken Ard and Eleanor Kitzman.
  • You get no say in who your Treasurer is. And again, I think it makes a difference. Converse Chellis seems to have done a decent job, from what I’ve heard. And this Curtis Loftis is running one of those anti-everything Tea Party style campaigns that I find so off-putting.
  • For attorney general, Democrats get no choice. Republicans have three to choose between, and again, one is likely to win.
  • In my SC House District, there are five candidates seeking the Republican nomination — and unlike with the GOP gubernatorial field, this is not a contest among extremists. We actually have several guys competing to see who can sound the most reasonable, and I think at least one of them should be rewarded for that. But I have to take a Republican ballot to have a say.
  • Voicing my preference for county council. There are two Republicans running in my district, and no Democrat.

Whereas, if I do take a Democratic ballot, I get to vote for governor, and between Vic Rawl and someone named Alvin Greene for US Senate, and… that’s it.

Add to that the fact that there is MUCH greater potential for critical runoffs in the Republican primary, with all those candidates — and if you vote Democratic the first time around, you are barred by law from having a say in those runoffs.

Not that I’ve made up my mind yet, but I have a feeling that Democratic turnout isn’t going to be at 2008 presidential levels. Don’t you think?

17 thoughts on “My dilemma next Tuesday

  1. Michael P.

    Look on the bright side, if you ask for the Democrat ballot in Lexington at least the line will be shorter.

  2. pam Smith

    Converse Chellis is attacking Loftis on personal grounds (with falsehoods I might add) and you consider that the same as Loftis sinping about a tax payer SUV? Damn, where is your value system.

  3. Kathryn Fenner

    I have great sympathy for you, Brad. I am in RichCo 1. I want to vote for Leighton Lord, John Meadors and Vincent Sheheen. No can do. Not fair.

  4. Teresa

    Bolchoz is a the choice for Attorney General– really knows his stuff.

    And you don’t like Loftis’s campaign but you’re willing to overlook Converse Chellis falsely accusing Curtis Loftis of assaulting his wife? Weird. But to each his own, I guess.

  5. Brad

    I don’t know anything about any accusations by Chellis regarding Loftis. Everything I’ve seen from Chellis has been positive, about his record.

    On the other hand, the very first thing I saw from Loftis was a barely coherent rant filled with right-wing and Tea Party cliches and ridiculous observations about Chellis. Kind of made me think this was a guy who had no positive reasons for me to vote for him. I was going to post something about that mailing but misplaced it. His subsequent stuff has been less objectionable — merely smarmy, smirky, self-righteous and generally off-putting, more in the standard “I’m a bidnessman, I have a bidness; vote for me, and that other fella is a career politician” mold that I’ve heard so many thousands of times that it drives me to distraction.

  6. Kathryn Fenner

    Y’know, so many people do run on the “business” model, yet it seems that when they actually get into office, for the most part (Sanford is an exception–you can say that again), they find it doesn’t work that way. They adapt. So the next round of candidates says, “No, I’m going to run government like a business,” gets into office and….

    Which is not to say that sub-national governments don’t need to know how much money they have and balance the books, and so on. It’s just a whole lot more complex than that. For one thing, there are limits to how much that can be accomplished by becoming more efficient. There will always be some frictional inefficiencies. Also, unlike a small business, you don’t control who you have to work with. You will never invent the next iPod and suddenly get rich, nor will you be driven out of business. A great new marketing iniative may increase some revenues (tourism and new-jobs-based tax receipts), but not like it might for some business.

    “Columbia Fire Department–When it absolutely, positively has to go out right away!”

    “I-26: The pause that refreshes”

    “South Carolina Department of Social Services: I’m lovin’ it”

    “The Office of the Lieutenant Governor: We love to fly and it shows”

  7. Pat

    RE: Chellis/Loftis BTW I haven’t decided on this office. I was just curious about a tv ad I saw and wondered how it was addressed so I went to the Loftis campaign web site.
    “… I want to take a moment and provide you with the facts in the event someone asks you about these false allegations.Like you, I’m tired of career politicians who have a loose affiliation with the truth when election season rolls around. In this instance, what Converse Chellis doesn’t tell speaks volumes about him and the type of campaign he is running….More than 20 years ago I was physically attacked by my estranged wife and her boyfriend. In an act of self-defense, I fought off my attackers, and then quickly withdrew from the situation. The police never investigated this situation and simply acted on a sworn document signed by the perpetrators. A judge found me not guilty of the allegations. The case was expunged and all records were supposedly destroyed in accordance with state law. See S.C. Code of Laws § 17-1-40. Somehow, through some “backroom dealings”, the Chellis campaign has obtained these documents and has attempted to falsely portray the incident by only telling half of the story. This shameful attempt to ruin my reputation and cause emotional harm to my family is exactly why I am running for office…we simply must not have deceitful individuals like Converse Chellis in positions of trust.
    Contrary to the ad’s claim, I do not have a criminal record. My clean SLED criminal background form is now posted on my website, along with my concealed carry permit (which requires a clear background check). Additionally, I am bonded to handle large sums of money and I have passed strenuous governmental background checks in this and other countries.”

  8. Ralph Hightower


    Stop it with your convincing arguments! You’re swaying me to vote in the Republican primary.

    A vote against DeMint & Wilson and doing it twice is very convincing!

    I wish there was a Democrat choice for Treasurer. Treasurer Chellis and DOR head “Lost $60,000,000”. Their heads should roll!

    For AG, McMaster surprised me by being non-partisan, as former state party chairman. We don’t need Joe’s son running SC’s AG Office!

    I do have principles of not voting for any gubernatorial candidate that promises to “Reform Washington”, which includes Henry, Andre, Gresham, and Nikki. My mind was set against Nikki since she is “Sanford in a Skirt”. It doesn’t matter if she has the same “Bill Clinton” problem that SC Guv’not Mark Sanford has, “Problem with Zipper”.

    Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!

    Stop making sense!


  9. Laurin Manning

    Brad, I have some direct mail pieces (that went to my parents – not me) from Converse Chellis that are far from positive.

  10. Karen McLeod

    The problem is: against whom do you vote in the Republican primary. It’s not a choice between bad and worse; its a choice between “plain awful” and “Oh gawd, no”!

  11. Doug Ross


    If you can read this article about Chellis and still vote for him, I’d love to hear why.

    Chellis has a deputy making $117K per year of taxpayer dollars whose job is solely to act as a campaign director. He lied to the press, invented phony visits to justify travelling with Chellis (who remained silent when questioned by the reporter).

    A vote for Chellis is a vote for ripping off taxpayers.

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