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FITSNews Exclusive – Sanford To Veto Presidential Election Bill May 31, 2007

Posted by fitsnews in 2008 Presidential Primaries, SC Politics.

Sanford State of the State1


FITSNews – May 31, 2007 – Gov. Mark Sanford will veto a bill allocating state resources for South Carolina’s “First in the South” 2008 presidential primaries, sources tell FITSNews. The bill, S. 99, provides approximately $2 million for the S.C. Election Commission to run both the Republican and Democratic presidential primaries in accordance with federal HAVA (Help America Vote Act) standards.

Sanford spokesman Joel Sawyer indicated yesterday that the governor was “undecided” on the bill, which is pending ratification and has yet to land on his desk.

Proponents of the legislation insist that having the Election Commission run the primaries ensures fairness and minimizes the threat of lawsuits from losing campaigns. Opponents of the bill, including several Republicans, say it gives the typically cash-strapped Democratic Party in South Carolina an unfair advantage in that it could reallocate scarce resources which would otherwise have to be spent putting on the primary.



1. Rob W. - May 31, 2007

That should be interesting…

2. GKP - May 31, 2007

Good…tell me again why we taxpayers should be paying for parties to pay for primaries. These are private affairs, not general elections.

Also, the GOP really does need to learn how to deal with the underfunded Dems. As Ray Kroc famously noted: when the competition is drowning, don’t throw them a rope, put a hose in their mouths.

But maybe this is just indicative of today’s GOP: we are fiscally conservative, unless there is something in it for us.

3. The Shot - May 31, 2007

Good! He should veto it. It’s against everything the GOP stands for. It jeopardizes SC’s primary status. And it gives the Dems a needed bump.

Our thoughts coming soon. http://www.adailychaser.com.

4. Give Me FITS - May 31, 2007

Hey, a great photo. The lamp (that’s the Senate, isn’t it?) would make a great text bubble.

Some suggested verbiage:

“These people are all idiots”
“Bring me the head of Will Folks on a silver platter.”
“I’m not wearing matching pants.”

5. Anonymous - May 31, 2007

Anonymous sources again? Unnamed Senate staffer? Or just more monsters eating dust bunnies under will’s bed?

6. The Trawlerman - May 31, 2007

GKP — Kroc never said that. Granted, Mark Knopfler sings about him saying it, but still…

7. GKP - May 31, 2007

For what it’s worth, I am pretty sure it was Kroc. Wikipedia agrees (but then again it also said Sinbad was dead…but that was just his career.) I had a college professor with a McDonald’s poster with that quote on it.

A Google search on Knopfler just turns up “Miserable Duet Album with Emmylou Harris.”

8. when - May 31, 2007

will, when will you be getting the governors laptop under the FOI request you said you filed? And when will you tell more about the mysterious Strom problem you said someone in the midlands is hiding?

9. The Trawlerman - May 31, 2007

I stand corrected!

10. The Trawlerman - May 31, 2007


But here’s the Knopfler song about Kroc … it rocks.

11. rickybobby - May 31, 2007

Every state in the union pays for the primaries. (Even Utah, where the parties can set their own date). Both parties will go into debt after the primary paying legal fees to defend against John Cox, Ron Paul, Mike Gravel, and any other nut jobs who sue the parties.

BTW, it has been fully anticipated that Sanford will veto this and it is not a surprise. There are likely the votes to override this veto

12. tammy - May 31, 2007

Who cares what Sanford does with the bill. It won’t stop the change that is coming to SC. 🙂

13. yep - June 1, 2007

It would be interesting to see how much time has been spent on overriding Sanford’s vetos and equate that in terms of operation costs of the legislature.

14. RINO Buster - June 1, 2007

OK Tammy…what change is that?

15. Newspaper Hack - June 1, 2007

I don’t really see how the state running the primaries is supposed to be such a boon to the Democrats. After all, the state government’s been so fucking amazing at everything else it does.

16. Sunny - June 1, 2007

The Shot is wrong. The bill in no way jeapardizes the status of the first in the south primary. Chairman Dawson has worked way to hard for that to let it slip away.

What the bill does is guarantee that the parties can open all the precincts and staff them with capable, fully trained employees, not simply party volunteers. Got a blind voter? HAVA says you can’t have someone read them the ballot, but that you have to have another mechanism that would allow the voter to vote unassisted. Cha-ching. $$$

If you think Florida 2000 was a show, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Wait until the losers of the primary–and I’m not talking about the lower tiered candidates but the losers in the top eschelons of both parties–bring out their high powered and now time tested attorneys to rip the primary to shreds.

If you were any part of the Senate race in 2004 here in SC, then you would have seen the hundreds of DC lawyers here ready for a challenge of a state run election. Fortunately that didn’t happen, but its a sure bet with a 2008 primary that will be party run. Hundreds of lawyers at polling places across the state…I think you get the picture.

Guys, we don’t need that kind of negative limelight on SC.

And if your argument is about fiscal conservatism, the amount of money that these early primaries will bring in to the SC economy MORE than pays for the amount the state would outlay in order to assure a fair and non-challenged primary process.

To address a final point, all those folks who claim “we” can pay for our primary, but the Dems can’t. The only mechanism the Democrats have to raise money is for a primary. Once that reason to give to them is taken away, so is their fundraising ability. Unlike the SC Democrats, the SCGOP enjoys a healthy small donor base which will allow us to continue to enjoy a sizable cash advantage. This is in no way a crutch to them..it is quite the opposite.

Finally, walk a mile in my shoes…how many of you have cut a check to the State GOP with enough zeros to help cover the costs? Want us to pay for it? Show me your money! 🙂

17. Joshua Gross - June 1, 2007

Count me among the opponents of the bill, though I understand the thought behind it. I even spoke against it at the recent State Rep Convention, for those who were there and wondering why some balding guy was ranting at the front of the room during discussion on resolutions. I believe I used the phrase “I don’t want my tax dollars going to pay for Hillary’s primary.” Or something like that…

One other thought – the other reason this has trouble is that it discriminates against people who choose to be neither Republicans nor Democrats (whether third party or simply independent) by using tax dollars for only the two major parties. If we had partisan registration we could pay for a single unified primary (as is done in other states) without that problem, but until we get that, the parties should continue to handle this themselves. Just guessing, but I would think that S.99 would have to overcome legal challenges from some combination of the Green/Libertarian/Constitution/Peace and Freedom parties…

As for the veto and this thread… I think this veto lacks the left like Henry’s Hammer, but the bill might still go down like lead…

18. GKP - June 1, 2007


I fail to see the Florida connection…why spend all that time and energy suing over what you will presume to be a challengable primary when practically the whole country will be having its primaries a week later? In fact, you could argue that whining and crying about losing in SC — and filing a lawsuit about it — would cast a candidate in a bad light for the next round of primaries. In 2000, Gore had nothing to lose (his reputation and soul having long before been bartered away); that would not be the case if Rudy decides to challenge.

Also, you and the GOP make one basic assumption: that the state can run an election that is less likely to lead to lawsuits than if run by the parties. I’m not talking about running a better election — I might be willing to concede that — but it is another thing entirely to think that just because the state runs it we will have an issue-free election.

All things considered, I still don’t see the justification for spending my tax dollars on this.

19. GKP - June 1, 2007

One more thing:

The argument about justifying paying for this with public funds because the primaries generate tax revenues is EXACTLY the trap that the party has fallen into the last few years on the budget: “fiscal conservatism” no longer means controlling the growth of government, it just means spending what you can afford.

Of course, using that definition, everyone in the government MUST be fiscally conservative, as balanced budgets are constitutionally mandated.

A perfect example of losing control of our brand.

20. yep - June 1, 2007

Everyone wants to get the attention of those candidates subscribing to the “horserace.” South Carolina, as the first primary red state, has a grand opportunity to pick the next republican candidate but what really could it do for the democrats on a national scale. Do any blue state voters really care about South Carolina?

21. The Trawlerman - June 1, 2007

First GKP and now Joshua with the reference to a Knopfler song.


22. Newspaper Hack - June 1, 2007


Conversely, do red state voters care about Rhode Island? Dems have no shot at carrying SC’s bevy of six electoral votes, so there’s no incentive beyond the primary for national Dems spending any money in South Carolina.

The SC primary matters in the primary race because of the large number of black voters, who could account for half the primary voters.

23. Henry Mac - June 1, 2007

Let’s see, which political party recently was several hundred thousand dollars in debt and was sued by the Federal Election Committee?? Oh, yea, SC GOP, under leadership of our current AG. Dems won’t have any trouble raising cash, legally.

24. Sunny - June 1, 2007

There will be whining about losing here regardless of who votes the next week. Campaigns don’t have “compliance committees” for nothing.

If the state parties run the elections, the balloting is likely to be paper. With the State running them, voting is likely to be with electronic voting machines. I’d think the challenges to electronic ballots would be inherently less than with paper ballots. That’s just one example tipping the scales to state-run…

And regarding your “fiscal conservatism” statement, I agree that republicans lately have grown government irresponsibly and not lived within our means. In the case at hand, we’re the last state in the union to have parties pay for these primaries…doesn’t that tell you something? While there are surely instances where standing alone is a good thing, I’m not convinced this is one of them.

25. Gop - June 1, 2007

There was a time when the Republican Party would have fought the notion that government should do something for us that we can do for ourselves. But that was when the party was in its accent to power.

Now we have the power, and all of the petty, self interested party hacks and politicians that go along with it. And the near future will show we are descending from our previous position of power.

The national election in 2006 was a lesson in what small minded, glory seeking, greedy people can do to a party. Those same types here in SC will ride this party to the same place…then scamper away with their money and government jobs and celebrity while the citizens are left to pay the price.

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