Whom does Barwick think he’s running against? Silly me, I thought it was Thomas McElveen

And here I thought the Democratic ticket (what is this problem that Republicans have discerning the difference between a noun and an adjective?) was Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

I was also thinking that Tony Barwick was running against Thomas McElveen for the Sumter-based seat being vacated by Sen. Phil Leventis. I had no idea his opponent was the POTUS.

But then I got this release:

Thomas McElveen doesn’t publicize that he’s a Democrat. You can barely even find the word “Democrat” on his website. He certainly doesn’t put it on his signs or mailers.
That’s because Thomas McElveen doesn’t want to be labeled as a Barack Obama liberal, but that’s exactly what he is!  He’s a tried-and- true, liberal Democrat who supports Barack Obama and his failed policies.
Don’t let an Obama ally in the State Senate. Stand with us today by donating $5. Your money will go directly to our party building efforts in Sumter, Richland, Lee and Kershaw counties.

And then this one:

Barack Obama promised Hope and Change.
What did we get?
Gas prices have doubled.
Unemployment has doubled.
National debt has increased by $5 Trillion.
Thomas McElveen is a tried-and-true Barack Obama liberal.  Don’t let another Obama ally in the State Senate.  Donate $5 now and help with our party building efforts in Sumter, Lee, Richland and Kershaw counties.
Please consider a $5 donation now and let’s STOP Thomas McElveen, another liberal Barack Obama ally.

I haven’t seen such nonsense since Nikki Haley got elected (barely) by saying “Obama! Obama! Obama!” and avoiding mention of either Vincent Sheheen or anything having to do with South Carolina.

Looks like Barwick has no actual arguments to present as to why he would be a better senator to represent District 35 — which by the way is located in South Carolina, not the District of Columbia — than McElveen.

Perhaps, in fairness to him, he had little to do with these releases — they look to me like the work of Donehue Direct, which is headed by Wesley Donehue, who also works for the Senate Republican Caucus (which is my actual customer on that Courson ad at right, rather than the Courson campaign). But they come to me under the headline, “A new message from Tony Barwick,” so until we hear otherwise…

44 thoughts on “Whom does Barwick think he’s running against? Silly me, I thought it was Thomas McElveen

  1. Wesley Donehue

    Consider this hearing otherwise. That page clearly says its from the SC Senate Republican Caucus.

    Supporting and campaigning for someone who is ruining our nation is absolutely 100% an issue. It goes to show the political compass of an individual. Thomas McElveen supports the policies of President Obama and his administration. And in the last few years, those impacting SC directly include stopping our Voter Id law, stopping parts of our immigration law and trying to stop Boeing from moving to Charleston.

    Please, tell me how those aren’t issues a State Senator should care about when:

    1. The Senate passed the Voter ID law.
    2. The Senate passed the immigration law.
    3. The Senate passed incentives to bring in Boeing.

    As for the “a new message from Tony Barwick” I have changed that setting to stop any additional confusion. Thank you for pointing it out.

  2. Brad

    Sorry, Wesley. I missed that.

    Thanks for pointing that out, and explaining your rationale.

    I actually thought I had seen “SC Senate Republican Caucus” back when the first of those messages came in, but when I went looking for it this morning, I didn’t find it. Should have looked harder.

  3. bud

    What do you expect from the GOP. They have candidates who talk about “legitimate rape”, “not being a witch” and having their mistress get an abortion even though he supports pro-life issues 100% of the time. Now we have this from Peter King (R-NY):

    KING: I’m going to use my words very carefully. I think the president’s conduct and his behavior on this issue has been shameful. And — first of all, as far as it being an act of terror, the president was almost four minutes into his statement on September 12th before he mentioned an act of terror.

    Oh the humanity! Four whole minutes. Geez can these idiots even string together a coherent collection of words that makes any damn sense at all?

  4. bud

    Supporting and campaigning for someone who is ruining our nation is absolutely 100% an issue.
    -Wesley Donehue

    What a condescending piece of crap. Seriously to simply state as FACT something that is an opinion and in my opinion a falsehood. Wesley you… should be ashamed of yourselves with all this nonsense. Why can’t you just talk about issues? And stay away from the term Democrat Party. It just shows what an ignorant bunch the GOP has become.

  5. Wesley Donehue

    Bud – cool. Let’s do it.

    Let’s start with immigration. Let’s talk about how its the federal government’s job to stop illegal immigrants. Instead, the state’s are left to handle it. When we do, the Obama administration gives guns to illegals and then stops us from handling the problem ourselves.

    Want to talk jobs? Let’s talk about how the man Thomas McElveen helped elect tried to stop Boeing from coming to our state.

    Where do you want to start, Bud?

  6. Wesley Donehue

    Andy – I dont see your letter. I did, however, see this one about the team Thomas McElveen helped elect:

    After watching the first presidential debate and the first vice-presidential debate of the 2012 campaign, I am absolutely ashamed that our country has come to be represented in the world by these two buffoons.

  7. Mark Stewart

    Because these things amuse me professionally – I would note that the Obama campaign signs used as the back drop for this “Democrat Ticket” say Obama ’08.

    I hate to get some kid in trouble who put this together in 15 minutes with apparently no thought as to what was being used, but it’s like just shovel the crap out the door as fast as possible – it’s all just lies anyways.

  8. Brad

    Well, I suppose the point being made there, based on Wesley’s comments, was that when Obama was elected, McElveen supported him.

  9. bud

    Yes Wesley lets have an issues-related discussion. Indeed as you point out jobs are the key to the election. No doubt about it. And what counts in a state race is how we compare to the nation as a whole. Unfortunatelly not very well at all.

    The national unemployment rate is a still-too-high 7.8% but gradually falling. The lackluster performance is due in large part to the nature of the recession being one of financial collapse combined with a GOP led congress that has essentially tied the president’s hands over the last 2 years. Still some progress has been made.

    Some states are doing better than others. Sadly SC is not one of those doing better. The Boeing plant will indeed provide a few jobs. But it is just one company seeking a low-wage haven to cut it’s costs. The overall picture for this very red state is that unemployment remains well above the national average and wages far below. Doesn’t that suggest a failure on the part of the Republicans who control all levels of government? Doesn’t it suggest the promises of GOP candidates are not kept? Doesn’t it call out for a change in the status quo? Why don’t we give progressive policies a chance in this state? Surely we couldn’t drop any lower on the ladder of quality of life among the states of this nation.

  10. Mark Stewart

    Right, but McElveen wasn’t on the ’08 ticket. He is running this year.

    Since I have now spent way to much time contemplating this image, another thought occurred:

    So I should steer clear of commenting that by using a photo of Obama in a white shirt, against a light blue sky and shot upward they have made him look as dark skinned as possible? They could have gone with a smirking photo or any one of those quirky facial expressions Obama can be caught in to make the President look as goofy as McElveen, but they went with this commanding photo.

    And of course I am wrong about all that; the message is in the substance after all.

  11. Bart

    “So I should steer clear of commenting that by using a photo of Obama in a white shirt, against a light blue sky and shot upward they have made him look as dark skinned as possible?”….Mark

    Maybe you should have steered clear of making the comment. From where I sit and look at my monitor, a 42”, 1080P Full HD with all of the bells and whistles, Obama looks like he has always looked. A man born of a mixed racial marriage, very light skinned, not much darker than the white guy’s picture beside his, and the usual upward gaze that seems to be the favorite of the Obama administration. The dark part of the photo is, gasp!, shadows. If the intent was to make him look darker which is the clear implication of your comment, in other words, racist, there are as you say, too many other photos that could have been used.

  12. Brad

    Here, by the way, is a more conventional release, from the Barwick campaign itself, which came in today:

    Sumter, SC – October 18, 2012 – Sumter County businessman Tony Barwick received endorsements today from two top conservative Republicans, U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney and S.C. State Senator Tom Davis.

    “As the candidate with a clear plan for job creation, fighting corruption, and controlling the spending in the Statehouse, I am proud to receive the endorsements of Congressman Mulvaney and Senator Davis,” said Barwick.

    Congressman Mulvaney added, “Tony’s experience as a farmer and successful business owner is important to the people of District 35. It’s time we send someone to Columbia who will fight to bring jobs closer to home and that someone is Tony Barwick.”

    “The Senate needs reformers like Tony, not another Democrat to block and filibuster free-market principles. I need an ally for jobs and economic freedom. That ally is Tony Barwick,” stated Senator Davis.


  13. bud

    When I first saw the photo I thought it was a great depiction of POTUS. If the choice of photo was designed to paint Obama in a negative light it failed.

  14. Brad

    Meanwhile, this just in from the McElveen campaign (via Phil Bailey, Wesley’s opposite number over at the Senate Democrats):

    Local Sheriffs Endorse Thomas McElveen for State Senate

    Sumter, SC – Local sheriffs have their fingers on the pulse of their communities. In the race for the open Senate District 35 seat, Sheriff Anthony Dennis (Sumter County), Sheriff Leon Lott (Richland County) and Sheriff Daniel Simon (Lee County) agree that Thomas McElveen is the right man for the job.

    Thomas understands the needs of law enforcement and what it takes to keep our communities safe. After law school, Thomas prosecuted cases for the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office and worked closely with local law enforcement officials.

    McElveen stated: “I am proud to have the endorsements of these brave public servants. Our law enforcement officers and first responders are the heroes who run toward the danger to keep our families and communities safe. We owe it to them to make sure they are equipped to do their jobs.”

    Sheriff Anthony Dennis – Sumter County
    “Thomas would be an asset to the citizens of Sumter County. Public Service is waiting on Thomas McElveen.”

    Sheriff Leon Lott – Richland County
    “We need a senator that’s got integrity and character… someone you can trust. Thomas McElveen is the man that we need in Senate District 35.”

    Sheriff Daniel Simon – Lee County
    “Thomas McElveen will be forthright in bringing ethics reform to this state. Thomas McElveen is my choice for Senate District 35.”

    Please click on the image below for the full video.

  15. Brad

    Here’s the message Phil sent me in forwarding me that release:

    “FYI. Look, a candidate touting endorsements from people who have a real understanding of the issues facing their communities.

    Something for Phil and Wesley to discuss on the next episode of “Pub Politics”…

  16. Mark Stewart

    I may have read more into it than was intended to be there (maybe), but I stand behind my comment; that’s the thing about using one’s own name.

  17. Doug Ross

    “I haven’t seen such nonsense since Nikki Haley got elected (barely) by saying “Obama! Obama! Obama!” and avoiding mention of either Vincent Sheheen or anything having to do with South Carolina.”

    Too bad Sheheen did the same thing – talking only about Haley and Mark Sanford instead of offering anything of substance. His campaign slogan was essentially “I’m not her!”

  18. Brad

    … which of course was an EXTREMELY relevant and pertinent piece of information, unlike all the “Obama!” nonsense.

    And a lot of voters apparently agreed, since she got fewer votes than any other statewide Republican.

  19. Doug Ross

    Apparently then the only qualification for running for Governor on the Democratic ticket is not being Nikki Haley. When she’s not there next time (I’m betting she won’t run), what will Sheheen’s platform be? “I’m not “?

    He was a weak candidate who couldn’t beat a deeply flawed candidate. Moral “victories” regarding vote counts are what losers hang onto. And he’s had a couple years since then to establish himself as the head of the party…. yet he toils in anonymity. Not much of a leader there.

  20. Michael Rodgers


    Ruining our nation? Ruining our entire nation, beginning somehow with South Carolina, and beginning here by doing what, specifically?

    Seriously, what, specifically, is it that South Carolina is not getting that South Carolina wants? And how, specifically, is President Obama to blame for denying that thing to South Carolina?

    And, finally, how is whatever that thing is so important that the denial of that thing to South Carolina is currently, or some time in the next four years, ruining (ruining!) South Carolina and the United States of America?

    Your top 3 things are voter ID (which has not been denied, but approved), immigration reform (which divides Graham and DeMint, among others), and Boeing (which caused the trouble by CEO bluster, and the case was then dismissed).

    To use such an extreme word as ruin and to support that usage by listing such minor things is … inappropriate.

  21. Kathryn Fenner

    Nikki Haley was Mark Sanford’s protégée until he became toxic, and he was the Republican GOVERNOR then in office. Apples to apples.

  22. Brad

    Michael was searching for a word, and came up with “inappropriate” — which does service in a pinch.

    But let me recommend what Mr. Darcy would say: insupportable.

  23. bud

    Apparently then the only qualification for running for Governor on the Democratic ticket is not being Nikki Haley.

    Not the only qualification but a good start. She needs to go. She’s been a disaster for the state and given her many out-of-town trips, some to Europe, I would suggest her real interest is in national politics. We need someone focused on South Carolina, not bashing the Democratic president at every opportunity that comes along. Given her ACTUAL track record for creating jobs the “not Haley” candidate would be a great improvement.

  24. Doug Ross


    When you have applied for jobs, did you talk about what was wrong with the last person or the other interviewees or did you talk about what you could do?

    Sheheen never made a credible case for what he would do as governor. As a voter, I already knew what Sanford had done and what Haley had done. I learned nothing about Sheheen during the campaign other then he was a lawyer and had a politcally well connected family.

  25. Doug Ross


    I hear Alvin Greene is available. At least he has some name recognition in the state.

    For the record, I think Haley is competing with David Beasley for worst governor in my 20+ years here.

  26. Kathryn Fenner

    But the argument was that Sheheen did the same thing with Sanford that the state GOP does with Obama. The difference is that Sanford was Governor of the state, not President of the nation.

    How about Cindi’s right-on piece about the huge waste of money the voter ID bill was?

  27. Mark Stewart

    Doug is right that Sheheen didn’t really tell a compelling story about his own fitness for office. And yet it didn’t take a rock to understand that he was far more qualified than Haley. Plus, what exactly does the Governor of SC do???

    What is more disappointing is that Sheheen hasn’t tried to elevate his statewidw profile since the election. I know it’s harder to do post-election, but it would seem worth the effort.

  28. Ralph Hightower

    Regarding the excerpt from the campaign propaganda, “gas prices have doubled”.

    According to GasBuddy’s chart for the past 8 years, the USA national average peaked at $4.12/gal somewhere between 5/21/2008 and 8/30/2008. Since then gas prices have not had a peak as great as $4.12.


    The medical diagnosis that Republicans suffer from:
    Republican Amnesia

  29. Doug Ross


    Exactly. I would have loved to have Sheheen go through the exercise of analyzing the last budget and then tellingus what HE would have vetoed.

  30. Nick Nielsen

    Doug, you say you were unable to learn anything about Vincent Sheheen and his plans as governor. I find that surprising, because Sheheen’s campaign website was well laid out and what he wanted to achieve as governor was clearly stated. What I think might have made the difference for you was that Sheheen was running for governor, while Haley was running against Washington.

    That might have been the difference.

  31. Scout

    Doug Ross says:
    October 18, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    “He was a weak candidate who couldn’t beat a deeply flawed candidate. Moral “victories” regarding vote counts are what losers hang onto. And he’s had a couple years since then to establish himself as the head of the party…. yet he toils in anonymity. Not much of a leader there.”

    Doug, I am really perplexed by your apparent inability to hear certain information. Sheheen did talk about what he would do. I heard it. Maybe it doesn’t register if you don’t agree with what you hear or something, but it doesn’t mean nothing was said.

  32. Doug Ross


    His ads were about Haley and Sanford or generic shots of him taking his sons to school, or huntin’, or prayin’.

    I went to his website to look for details. It was all boilerplate generic pap. “Better schools” “More jobs” blah blah blah.

    He had LESS charisma than Sanford – which is pretty tough to do. He’s not a leader, he’s a lawyer.

  33. Scout

    Ads are not everything. So you admit his webpage said something other than “I’m not Haley” – you just weren’t impressed by it. Fair enough, but please acknowledge “better schools”, etc. is different than “I’m not Haley.”

    I listened to him talk here on the segment Brad did with him and during the debates and any other forum that presented itself. I heard an intelligent person who understood the underpinnings and layers of how things work and had ideas to make them work better.

    There are different styles of leadership. Sounds to me like he doesn’t fit your preconceived notion of what a leader should look like, but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t/wouldn’t be an effective leader, given the chance.

    Nobody has less charisma than Sanford. Seriously.

  34. Doug Ross

    Haley won. Somehow she beat out all the old school Republicans. A win is a win. I don’t like her but it’s hard to ignore the fact that she won a race she never should have won.

  35. `Kathryn Braun Fenner

    Why should she never have won a race in a state and election where every other statewide GOP candidate swept in?

Comments are closed.