These folks have the right idea about which senator to target. Now, if only I knew who they were…

good gummint

As I said on my previous post (although I might as well have been pounding my head against a wall as far as Doug is concerned), if you want to make things better in the S.C. Senate via the ballot box, try to get rid of the worst senators, not the best ones.

This group, the “sc good government committee,” have the right idea. They’re going after the worst of the worst, Lee Bright.

Here’s their latest release about that, and here’s a link to their new radio ad. And here’s what it says, in case you’re too lazy to click on a link:

If you live here in the Upstate or drive I-85, you know what it’s like to dodge potholes and hit the brakes – and you’re always behind that ONE guy who just won’t get out of the way. It’s a lot like being in the state senate with Lee Bright. For eight years, while our roads crumble and bridges collapse, Lee Bright has just talked and talked spewing more hot air than a busted radiator. Did you know he’s introduced 116 bills and only ONE has ever been signed into law? He spends time on bills to give South Carolina its own currency, then votes down common sense legislation that fixes our roads and bridges without raising taxes. Just a few weeks ago, Bright voted to bankrupt South Carolina farmers, TWICE. He’s trying to hold up roads solutions, voting against our farmers and doing nothing to get more jobs to the Upstate. We need a Senator to lead the way, not get in the way. On June 14, tell Lee Bright to get out of the way. We need a Senator who can actually get things done.

Those are not necessarily the points I would make, but hey, they’ve got the right idea: Bright needs to go.

There’s just one problem, and I’ve mentioned it here before:

One of the first, most basic requirements of “good government” is transparency. (Especially in South Carolina, where we have so little of it.) But I can’t seem to find out who the “good government committee” is (although I suspect their publicist is a big fan of e.e. cummings.) I go to the About page, and there’s not a name to be found.

I’ll say it again: Want good government? Set a good example: Disclose.

19 thoughts on “These folks have the right idea about which senator to target. Now, if only I knew who they were…

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      I wouldn’t.

      Fair is actually a conscientious lawmaker, with little in common with a guy like Bright.

      A lot of my liberal friends don’t like him because he is that thing you seldom see among all these bomb-throwers who call themselves conservatives — an actual, traditional conservative.

      But he’s a guy who gets good things done. Ask my friends over at the Center for Fathers and Families — he’s a valued ally to people trying to address the problem of father absence in South Carolina…

      1. Mark Stewart

        This one’s an iffy call. He may have many redeeming qualities, but he also has a penchant for letting his religious temperament trump his legislative responsibilities.

    2. Brad Warthen Post author

      Whereas by contrast, if Lee Bright has a redeeming quality (and he probably does; most people do), I haven’t run across it yet.

  1. Karen Pearson

    Sorry Brad, but he spends way to much time trying to criminalize anything that doesn’t conform to his beliefs. I don’t go there.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      So oppose him. I don’t think I’ll join you, but that’s what a Legislature is all about — people representing different viewpoints.

      Which is another reason why it’s important to know who a group like this is.

      If you launch an effort from a statewide perspective based in the judgment that a certain person shouldn’t be in the Legislature — regardless what his constituents think — you particularly owe it to people to be up-front about who you are.

      You’ve got a right to work against a candidate in whose district you don’t live, but be transparent about it.

      As wary as I am of Nikki Haley (or Mark Sanford before her) using statewide political leverage to attack a particular representative in his district, at least it’s transparent when a governor does it openly…

      1. Harry HJarris

        Not so transparent when you consider the shadow advocacy groups she brings along with her providing considerable money from unknown sources and worming around campaign finance laws. Add that to the deceptiveness of many of the pronouncements made from her rather large pulpit. She’s the queen of the straw-man attack, and seldom gets rebutted.

    2. Harry HJarris

      Not only that, but he gets appointments to governing boards where he has way much more opinion than knowledge like education oversight. He skews the conversation away from sound reasoning and toward the biases of his theological/idealogical constituencies.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Thanks for weighing in, Sunny!

      I knew there was a connection to the Chamber — I mentioned it the first time I wrote about the group. But that’s all I know.

      The question remains, WHO makes up the membership of the “committee?” Who stands behind their positions? It it Ted Pitts? Is it the Chamber board, or a subcommittee of the board?

      Calling it “Committee” suggests that there are members.

      The reason I think y’all should elaborate on the WHO is because even when the target is someone as odious as Bright, I get a little leery when powerful statewide entities (the governor, the Chamber) go after individual lawmakers in their districts. A legislature is supposed to be made up of different kinds of people. So, for instance, when a governor decides (as Mark Sanford and now Nikki Haley have done) to remake the body in his or her image, it worries me.

      But at least you know who’s doing it — the governor.

      Of course, there are cases when someone is so harmful to the whole state — as Bright is — that the Chamber has the right and even obligation to do something about it.

      But given the potential for abuse, I feel a little better when that’s done as transparently as possible. One of the first things you expect when you click on the word “about” is to find out WHO is behind the site.

      At the least, this site should do that…

      1. Sunny

        There is an actual Good Government Committee, with members who vet candidates and approve spending and contributions.

        I’m not sure why there isn’t a link to the Chamber from the Good Government site (like there is from the Chamber’s to the Committee)…it may have something to do with the non-profit clause of the code that governs the Chamber. Good question that I don’t know the answer to!

        You can always see who supports the Committee, though, on the state ethics website. We disclose all our donor info, despite not being required to…

          1. Lynn Teague

            Probably just because our “committee” definition was thrown out in court as too vague and it is one of the many things about ethics that the legislature hasn’t fixed.

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