First the snakebite, now this: CVSC endorses McCulloch

This just isn’t Kirkman Finlay‘s week. First he gets bitten by a snake, now the CVSC backs his opponent:

Conservation Voters of South Carolina Endorses Joe McCulloch for Election to House 75

COLUMBIA, S.C. (July 3, 2014– The Board of Directors of Conservation Voters of South Carolina (CVSC) has announced the endorsement of Joe McCulloch for election to House District 75.10438919_551578684954322_776524793762138046_n

“We were delighted to learn of Joe McCulloch’s decision to run again for elected office. We know he will stand up to polluters and protect South Carolina from the special interests who would turn our state into a dumping ground,” said Ann Timberlake, Executive Director of CVSC.

“I am honored to accept the endorsement of CVSC. They have been an outspoken and effective leader in holding elected officials accountable for their votes on conservation issues,” McCulloch said. “I will continue to be a strong advocate for the protection of our state’s s natural resources. I am proud to stand with CVSC.”

McCulloch will challenge incumbent Kirkman Finlay in a rematch of their 2012 race which was decided by just 308 votes.

Conservation Voters of South Carolina is coming off a primary election season which saw all 13 of its endorsed candidates earn victories.

About Conservation Voters of South Carolina

Conservation Voters of South Carolina is the only nonpartisan, nonprofit statewide organization holding elected leaders directly accountable for a safe, clean and healthy South Carolina.

CVSC on Facebook and Twitter


It will be interesting to see how the CVSC’s won-lost record holds up through the general election. If this is part of a pattern of endorsing Democrats, that 13-0 record seems unlikely to hold up in the fall.

21 thoughts on “First the snakebite, now this: CVSC endorses McCulloch

  1. Silence

    Well, all 10 liberal conservation voters in the district were already voting for McCulloch.

    Kirkman strikes me as being a conservationist in the Teddy Roosevelt mold. A rugged outdoorsy sporting type who appreciates the natural environment as an important natural resource. I could see him camping in Yellowstone, riding horses or shooting a bison or hog. Afterwards, he’d butcher it himself and slow cook up a delicious roast over hot coals from a fire he made himself out of a tree he chopped down. He’s worth a jillion dollars, yet he drives a plain old 4WD Tahoe.

    McCulloch strkes me as a city-slicker who probably doesn’t ever put on a pair of boots, more of a loafers kind of guy. I see him as picking up the phone and ordering delivery of chinese food or tofu. He probably feels uncomfortable if he’s not wearing a tie and suit. Probably drives a late model BMW or Mercedes, when he’s running for office he probably swaps it for a Caddy or Lincoln.

    Just my impression, though.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Whereas I’m the kind of guy you imagine Joe to be — tell me a story like Kirkman’s about getting bitten, and I resolve never to go outdoors again. Why take the chance?

        1. Silence

          Yeah, but I think you 1) drive a Buick and a pickup truck and 2) aren’t running for office. We accept you with all your flaws.

    1. Kathryn Braun Fenner

      Conservation is not about going all TR in your pastimes, it’s about actually trying to preserve nature.

    2. Juan Caruso

      McCulloch strikes me this way:

      And ever since I have been reading, Brad has an had an admitted preference for members of the bar in politics. To an independent like myself, this amounts to no more perhaps tahn a actual bent toward liberal progressiveism, with an plausible explanation of communitarianism.

      Why even bother to disguise your true colors, Brad?

      You are no more nonpartisan than Bud.

      1. Michael Rodgers

        Lawyers deserve respect because of their education, their credentials, their oaths, their service, and their humanity. Lawyers are trained in that very difficult but all important mindset (that everyone can learn — start with To Kill a Mockingbird, which is about, among other things, a lawyer) of being able to put yourself in other people’s shoes, not only the side the lawyer represents but also the other side and still other perspectives.
        Also, politics is about laws which are written by legislators, executed by the executives, and interpreted by judges. It would help the executives and the judges and all of us if the legislators wrote laws that were clear and consistent with other laws and precedent, etc. Certainly lawyers are needed to help legislators, and it sometimes, perhaps often, helps a lot if the legislator is a lawyer.
        Should all legislators be lawyers just as all judges must be? No. We need diverse perspectives in the legislature. We need people from all different professions and from all different life experiences to come together and represent us. Do we currently have too many lawyers in our legislature? Perhaps, perhaps not. Feel free to make that argument and propose some solution if you see a problem (your solution should address the nature of the work (supposedly part time) and the pay (low)).

        1. scout

          Scout likes this 🙂 I think Atticus called it “crawling into their skin” or something similar.

        2. Doug Ross

          Two questions: if the legal profession is so noble and useful, why does it have a reputation similar to that of used car salesmen?

          And, second, if lawyers are so important to the legislative process, how have they managed to screw things up so much? It’s not engineers who have created the political climate, the tax system, or the legalistic deception for the government doing things that aren’t right.

          We need a country run by engineers, teachers, and hospice workers. That would be efficient, progressive, and compassionate.

          1. Kathryn Braun Fenner

            Because some lawyers are crooks, but often times they get blamed for the positions of their clients, or by the losing client, or because people cannot wrap their heads around the notion that everyone deserves a decent defense in our system, and lawyers have a duty to provide it, even if the client is not “nice.”

            1. Doug Ross

              I don’t think the bad reputation is related to clients.. I think it is related to a segment (how large?) of the legal profession that is focused on creating issues to generate income…. for example, the group of lawyers who represented O.J. Simpson. They turned that trial into a farce.

            2. Brad Warthen Post author

              Kathryn, that’s one element of it.

              Another is the whole idea of being an advocate for whoever is paying you. I think that lies at the base of a lot of people’s problems with it.

              (Of course, I work in a field that involves the same thing. Fortunately, in my time at ADCO, I haven’t had to do anything that was inconsistent with my beliefs. Far more common, and problematic for me, is trying to get the creative juices flowing on something that I’m just sort of neutral about. I was terribly spoiled all those years in that I only had to write about, or spend time and energy on, the things that interested me most. It wired my brain to expect that, so it takes an adjustment for me to work creatively on what interests someone else. But that’s not as hard as getting my head into the “the client is always right” mode. I’m used to telling people that they’re wrong, and exactly how and why they’re wrong…)

              Then there’s the matter of the complexity of the law, which laypeople tend to believe is the case because lawyers want you to need lawyers to navigate the law.

              Finally, there’s the fact that the law and justice are not the same thing. Too many people have seen things happen that are legal — perhaps even REQUIRED by law — but which offend their sense of justice. And they blame lawyers for that…

            3. Bryan Caskey

              The law isn’t always justice. I tell clients that on a regular basis.

              Not to compare myself with a Saint of the Catholic Church, but when a client tells me that they want something because “it’s right” I usually paraphrase Sir Thomas More from A Man for All Seasons and tell them “I don’t always know what is right, but I do know what the law says.”

              The complexities of the legal system are also a barrier. But I don’t think it’s the complexities that are the biggest barrier. To me, it’s the lack of emotion the law has (which is a good thing, FYI) For instance, the Hobby Lobby decision which has worked up so many people is really an issue about a definition of a word. The Court didn’t try to balance what they thought was “right” or have “compassion”. But 99% of the criticism of the opinion doesn’t make a legal argument – it makes an emotional argument. (And an emotional argument and .25 at the appellate level will get you a stick of gum. )

              Yes, there are some bad lawyers out there. Yes, they do bad things. But that’s true in every occupation. There are some bad mechanics out there. There are some bad restaurants out there. It’s just that the frivolous cases and bad actors get much more publicity than the lawyers quietly going about the business of practicing law with good ethics and good results. Those stories aren’t interesting. Frankly, 99.9999% of practicing law is quite dull.

              The “hired gun” theory plays into the frivolous lawsuits that we see in the newspapers all the time. For instance, I saw that a guy is suing Benjamin Moore (the paint company) because he thinks some of the names of the paint colors are racist. You’re all rolling your eyes…I know. It’s stupid. But some lawyer out there took that case.

              There’s a benefit to having some lawyers in the legislature. The job is to write laws that will ultimately be tested in courts, so it might be a good idea to have some legal opinions on the law before you get it out there in the public. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have a diverse group of people representing us in the legislature. As for engineers, my guess is that engineers are too darn smart to do something stupid like running for public office. 🙂

            4. Brad Warthen Post author

              This observation by Bryan: “Frankly, 99.9999% of practicing law is quite dull”… shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone.

              But it certainly shocked me when I realized it.

              Over the course of 35 years in newspapers, I formed the impression that the law was an intellectually stimulating profession. Then, I got out into this world, where we have a number of law firms as clients. And I discovered that what Bryan says is true.

              I had formed the erroneous impression because, as a journalist, I was always dealing with lawyers who were handling the most interesting cases of their careers. Kind of skewed my view…

        3. Juan Caruso

          Well, Michael, you have reguritated all of the tenuous advantages of electing lawyers to public office. If Brad’s readers are still unaquainted with any of those so-called virtues, I would be quite surprised.

          However, the voting public as well as too many of Brad’s readers have yet to digest the observable disadvantages of conflicts of interest which the outrageous infestation of elected lawyers has wrought.

          Black’s Law Dictionary describes conflict of interest as being in connection with “public officials and fiduciaries and their relationship to matters of private interest or gain to them” in situations where regard for one duty tends to lead to disregard of another.

          Financial rewards, such as future employment opportunities (lobbyist for K-Street law firms), business referrals (the lawyer-political network), and political influence (e,g. for every 1,000 pages of federal regulations, 116 full-time federal regulatory lawyers (such as Lois Lerner) are hired full-time, immune from firing short felony conviction.

          As of 2014 there were 36,072 GENERAL attorneys in federal employ. To this figure, add 19, 277 REGULATORY lawyers in the executive branch.

          Since President Obama Barack Obama came to office, the Code of Federal Regulations increased by 11,327 pages fromjust Jan. 1, 2009 to Dec. 31, 2011.

          In other words, 1,311 full-time regulatory lawyers are being added to the federal payroll.

          Anyone can see this obvious conflict of interest. Consider also, candidate Sheheen’s income of over $330,000 last year and the fact that lawyer ethics permit public candidates to hide their client relationships from voters.

          60 percent of the U.S, Senate are lawyers and over 40% of House members. !00% of the Supreme Court justices are lawyers (not required by U.S. Constitution) yet we get 5-4 decisions every year.

          Name one K-Street lobbyist on retainer from Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, the Vatican or China?
          Name the fees collected by those firms and the foreign interests being pushed.

          Would anyone want to play the game Monopoly with a profession that wrote the rules and reserves the right to interpret them fairly?

          For more

      2. bud

        Since my name came up I must respond. Juan, I’m a liberal, at least on most issues. I make no apologies for that. On the contrary I’m quite proud to be on the right side of most political issues 🙂 But by Brad’s definition I’m not a partisan. A partisan would be in lock step with the party line 100% of the time. I disagree with POTUS, the standard bearer for the Democrats, fairly often. Two examples: I do not agree with the drone attacks. Nor do I support the NSA surveillance efforts. In fact Edward Snowden is one of my heros. So call me liberal but please do not accuse me of being a mindless partisan. That would just make you wrong.

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