Sunday, February 28, 2010


At the County Council meeting last Monday, a taxpayer asked Supervisor Dan Davis to justify his pay raise when county employees had realized a reduction in take home pay. Mr. Davis told this lady that he had not had a pay raise and that she should come to his office the next day to discuss the matter.

GE&P was certain documents sent to BC from the Election Commission, in preparation for the upcoming Republican Primary, stated the salary for the position of Supervisor had increased from $113, 650.54 in 2006 to $131,448.18 in 2010. We pondered whether or not the Election Commission had possibly made an error.

We decided to go directly to the horse's mouth for our answer. You can do the same.

Google SC Ethics Commission
Click on "Public Reporting"
Click on "Individual Financial Reports"
Click on "Statement of Economic Interests Reports"
Select filing year 2007
Type in "Davis"
Select the proper Davis and click on his name
From the banner above his name, click on Income and benefits
You will see the salary for that year
Then, hit the "Back" button to the page for the date and change it to '08 and then '09

These financial reports are submitted by Mr. Davis himself. The financial report dated '08 was submitted in the first quarter of that year and covers the previous year, '07. The report dated '09 is for the calendar year '08. If this pay increase was reported for the entire '08 calendar year, and it was, that would mean this pay increase had to be included in the budget for fiscal year '07/'08, a mere 6 months after Mr. Davis took office.

Coincidentally, during that same time period, Chip Boling, Deputy Supervisor, got a $9,000 pay increase and Nicole Ewing, County Attorney received a $14,000 pay hike. GE&P has searched the budget for that year and, to date, we can find no provision to pay for these increases. The only provisions that could account for these increases would fall under COLA and/or Merit raises. The amounts noted would constitute the sort of Cost of Living increase we would all like to see or one grunge of a Merit raise. Wouldn't it satisfy the curiosity of a lot of folks if we knew exactly where this money for these pay increases, uh..excuse us, not REALLY pay increases, came from?

Friday, February 26, 2010


The following article by Raw Story is a prime example why Congress should keep its nose out of military matters.

An Illinois House Democrat is planning to introduce a bill that would ban private security contractors, including Blackwater, from US military and intelligence operations.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) has circulated a letter among her colleagues asking them to co-sponsor the Stop Outsourcing Security (SOS) Act, which would "responsibly phase out the use of private security contractors for functions that should be reserved for US military forces and government personnel," the letter states.

In the letter, obtained by investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill, Schakowsky suggests that the recent controversies surrounding security contractor Blackwater were among her motivations for proposing the legislation.

"As illustrated by the recent dismissal of the case against the Blackwater guards accused of killing 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad’s Nisour Square in 2007, prosecution of private security contractors who commit severe abuses remains exceedingly difficult," Schakowsky wrote.

When a federal judge dismissed the charges against five Blackwater guards late last year, on the argument that the State Department had promised them immunity for the testimony that was the backbone of the prosecution's case, Schakowsky told the LA Times, "A question I've been asking for a long time is, 'Can these private military contractors actually get away with murder?' This indicates that the answer is yes."

Following news reports last November that the US military is using Blackwater in targeted killings inside Pakistan, Schakowsky wrote on her congressional Web site that "what appears to be a deep relationship between Blackwater and the CIA should cause all Americans to take pause. It is extremely dangerous for the US to become dependent on private contractors for military or intelligence operations.”

As Scahill noted in his report, Schakowsky has tried this before. In 2007, she introduced a bill to ban security contractors from the military, garnering the support of only two senators: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and then-Sen. Hillary Clinton. "Ironically, Clinton — now Secretary of State — is currently the US official responsible for most of Blackwater’s contracts," Scahill wrote.

Source: Raw Story


It comes as no big surprise that the Democrats have decided to go full steam ahead with their healthcare bill. The President entered the summit with the understanding that the Senate bill was the platform for the "negotiations".

The Republicans tried in vane to point out the flaws in the basic premise that a government take over of the healthcare system was a very bad idea. They provided numerous examples of the negative affects such a move would bring. These arguments seemed to fall on deaf ears.

The President and the Democrats are making a serious mistake. They have assumed that the majority of American voters are really stupid and can't figure things out for themselves. If we might be so bold as to speak for these American voters, we have this to say.



It has started already. How many of you received this recorded call:

"Hello, we are conducting a political survey. We would like to ask you three questions.

First question: Do you think Obama is doing a good job in Washington or do you think Obama is doing a terrible job in Washington?

If you think he is doing a good job, press 1. If you think he is doing a terrible job, press 2."

We pressed a resounding 2.

"The second question concerns the race for BC Supervisor. There are three candidates running, Minnie Blackwell, Gene Woods, and Dan Davis. If the election was held today, which of these three would you vote for? Minnie Blackwell, press 1, Gene Woods, press 2, or Dan Davis, press 3. If you are undecided, press 0."

We paused a moment to reflect on the fact that the name of the fourth candidate, (and we might add most popular) SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER TERRY HARDESTY was not included in the list. Due to our hesitation, the message began to repeat.

We decided to see if our suspicions were correct so we chose 0. Sure enough, the called was immediately terminated. We didn't get to find out what the third question was.

Just in case you don't know how this works, allow us to explain. In the race for Supervisor, there are, in reality, only two viable candidates. When a candidate (incumbent or not) suspects an opponent is running ahead in popularity, a poll is conducted but the name of the suspected leader is omitted. Then, when the results come in, the candidate who conducted the poll makes a big deal of the results. Listen closely and watch the P&C and you'll learn the creator of this poll.

We have heard that Mr. Rod Shealy will manage Mr. Davis' campaign again this time. If this turns out to be true, we can expect all kinds of interesting developments. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Anyone who has kept up with Berkeley County politics knows just how ordinary our campaigns are. We have had boring campaigns and we have had dirty campaigns. Candidates have misrepresented themselves to the voters. Candidates have told outright lies about their opponents. We have had popular candidates lose and we have had literal "nobodies" come out of nowhere and win. Everyone remembers the Rozier/Moody race where flyers containing the most outrageously scandalous stories mysteriously appeared in mailboxes all over the county. And, who will ever forget the race for Clerk of Court where Cindy Widner had been campaigning for almost a year and was polling even with the incumbent, only to have Charlie Young jump into the race at the last possible moment as a spoiler. We all saw how that turned out.

So, all in all, our campaigns are fairly normal, awash with lies, dirty tricks, back stabbing, and ankle biting.

In comparison, the race for Supervisor this year, has a strange twist. The race started almost a year ago with the first challenger, School Board member Terry Hardesty, declaring his intention to run and organizing a formal campaign. Soon thereafter, the Mayor of Hanahan, Minnie Blackwell threw her hat into the ring. About a month or so ago, Gene Woods, another flea market guy announced his candidacy. All this time, the incumbent, Dan Davis had not formally stated whether he would run again or not. To date, Mr. Davis has not made an "in the newspaper" announcement of his intentions.

Here's where things get a little weird. Some weeks back, Rep. Henry Brown, (District I) announced he would not be running for reelection to the House. He said, after so many years of public service, he needed to retire and spend more time on his farm. Then, last Saturday, he announced he would be running for Supervisor of Berkeley County.

Prior to this announcement, an informal poll showed one would need a pair of ID calipers to measure Mr. Davis' approval numbers. Increased taxes, increased water fees, dubious water projects, etc. have eroded much of his support. Mrs. Blackwell's numbers appeared comparably dismal. When Mr. Woods name was mentioned, the first reaction was, "For Pete's sake, not another flea market guy". If this polling proves to be accurate, this would leave only one viable candidate.

To political observers, this move on the part of Brown makes little sense, on the surface. Henry Brown and Dan Davis were good old boy buddies. The men who allegedly recruited Henry to run, literally despise Dan Davis and want him out. Then comes the wild card to confuse the issue further. Both Dan Davis and Henry Brown listed Rod Shealy as campaign advisor during their last campaigns.

Combining all this information, we are left with a couple of viable possibilities. Either the threat of Henry entering the race is being used to scare off the challengers or Henry will actually file and then the other shoe will drop. From what we know, our vote goes to the other shoe.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Supervisor Dan Davis has made some really amazing statements lately. In a Post and Courier article, 2/13/10, and during the state of the county address at a Chamber of Commerce function, Mr. Davis bragged that his leadership was responsible for the first balanced county budget in 15 years. Oh, really?

According to the official county website, Mr. Davis may have misspoken, or worse, misrepresented, twisted, perverted, falsified, and distorted the facts, resulting in misinforming the taxpayers. In order to protect the reader from brain explosion due to TMI, we have restricted the following chart to the last 5 years.

For those two people who don't understand a spread sheet, we provide the following info:


We direct your attention to the table below. You will notice the numbers listed in the "Difference" column for 2005 and 2006 are not in brackets. That means there was a surplus. As you go on down the line to the year Mr. Davis took over, you will notice the entries in the "Difference" column appear in brackets each year. That means he ran a deficit FOR EACH YEAR HE HAS BEEN IN OFFICE. Remember, this information is not provided by GE&P. It comes directly from the county web site's records.

Equally important is the issue of the fund balance. Ideally, in order for the county to be considered financially sound, the fund balance should be at or near 15%. The records clearly show the fund balance taking a nose dive after Mr. Davis took office.

Now, we do have to consider one possibility to justify Mr. Davis' contention. Maybe he went to a school of economics that teaches the following theory: IF YOU DON'T SPEND ALL THE REVENUE YOU TAKE IN, YOUR BUDGET IS NOT BALANCED.

Fiscal Year Ending InGeneral Fund Actual RevenueGeneral FundActual ExpensesDifferenceUnrestricted Gen Fund BalanceFund Balance as a % of Expenses

200539,686,832.0039,444,609.00242,223.00 5,663,617.0014.36%

200644,927,110.0043,433,338.001,493,772.00 7,289,721.0016.78%
Davis takes office mid fiscal year.200747,772,383.0048,989,162.00(1,216,779.00)4,707,489.009.61%



BCW&SA is a whole "nother can of worms". Later.

Fiscal YearWater & Sewer Operating RevenueW&S Operating ExpensesW&S Operating IncomeUnrestricted Assets (W&S Fund Balance)






Saturday, February 20, 2010


GE&P has scores of friends who work for Berkeley County government. Over the last couple of years, we have observed the wringing of hands and the gnashing of teeth as these folks suffer under their pay cuts coming in the form of unpaid furlough days. These employees understood their sacrifice was necessary because of the budget crunch the county was experiencing.

Well, GE&P has stumbled upon some very interesting facts.

Before the primaries, the election commission sends out documents to each county listing the salaries for all elected positions and the amount of the filing fees for each. Filing fees are 4% of the yearly salary.

According to these documents, in 2006, when Supervisor Dan Davis paid his filing fee, the salary for that position was listed as being $113,650.54. Today, these documents list the yearly salary of the BC Supervisor as being $131,448.18. If our calculator is correct, that's a pay increase of $17,797.64 in just three years.

We understand from county employees that all cost of living and merit raises are frozen and have been for a while. We are still checking with the members of County Council to find out if and when this raise was approved. We have yet to find one who has any knowledge of this subject.

GE&P has a question: If the county is in such dire financial straights that it's having to force county employees to take unpaid furlough days, how did Mr. Davis manage to end up with a $17,797.64 pay raise? Just asking.


President Obama spent an inordinate amount of time last year apologizing to the world for the United States. He apologized here and he apologized there. He apologized during every foreign trip. He apologized for imaginary or perceived infractions. He definitely ran this practice into the ground and broke it off.

Several months ago, the Dalai Lama was scheduled to visit the White House. This man is an internationally known and respected religious leader. Strictly for political reasons, (negotiations with China) the Dalai Lama's visit was postponed. This action alone was a severe violation of protocol.

At this moment, a photo of this international leader leaving the White House by a side door amidst piles of garbage is winging its way around the globe. What a disgrace. Now that the president has put this country into a position where an apology is warranted, we wonder how long we'll have to wait for that statement.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Ann Coulter has hypothesized that "Liberalism is a mental disorder". She continues to receive a great deal of criticism for this statement. But, it seems that major Democrats themselves are proving that Ms. Coulter just may be on to something.

On Fox News this morning, GE&P listened to an interview with the Chairman of the DNC, Gov. Tim Kaine. The Chairman started his comments with the obligatory, "Everything bad that's happened is George Bush's fault". The Chairman was asked whether or not the recent elections in NJ, VA, and Mass, combined with the town hall meetings last summer and the Tea Party activities, were a cause for concern for the Democrats in the 2010 elections. His answer was amazing. He said he had been in the political arena for 17 years and he, along with the President, had learned that one should not "panic when a couple of things don't go your way".

He went on to explain how well the stimulus was working. When challenged with the unemployment numbers, the Chairman noted all the jobs that "would have been lost" had it not been for this legislation. He seemed comfortable with the fact that there is no way to know what these numbers actually are but he knows they are accurately stated. He did mention, again, that the deplorable state of the economy was George Bush's fault.

The Chairman assured everyone that the DNC had a plan for the mid-terms and their confidence of success was based on the rescue and improvement of the economy over the last year.

NEWS ALERT: We have a statement from the owners of the White Star Line. "We 're not going to panic just because a couple of things didn't go our way. We plan to base our future advertisements on our past successes".

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Back in 1994, the Republican Party rode to success on the tidal wave of public opinion that big government, along with its tax and spend policies, was taking America in the wrong direction. As a result of that election, the Republicans took control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

During the campaign, the Republicans introduced the "CONTRACT WITH AMERICA". This document promised to return Washington to Constitution governance. This idea rang true with the American voters and the Republican Party was swept to victory.

During the first weeks of the new and improved leadership, all went well as many of the provisions of "THE CONTRACT" were introduced, voted upon, and implemented. Then, for a reason GE&P has never fathomed, the new Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, had an epiphany. He decided that the manner in which the Republicans were governing had the appearance of being too harsh. He decided the only dignified and fair thing to do was to "reach out" to the former Democrat leadership and "share power". He decided he would make a stab at co-governing. He arranged it so Democrats would share power on committees. In other words, in the opinion of GE&P, he abdicated.

Well, we all know how this effort turned out. As soon as the Democrats had the opportunity, they saw to it that all conservative initiatives were vilified and soundly defeated. Does anyone remember the mantra "Republicans want Social Security to whither on the vine"? That was the end of THE CONTRACT WITH AMERICA. It, then, became known as the contract "ON" America. Newt was forced out of office and the whole initiative went down the drain.

In order to easily define insanity, one needs only to observe someone who repeats a failed exercise, and each time, truly expects a positive outcome. Unfortunately, many American voters suffer from this malady. It has been proven again and again that Progressivism flatly does not work. But, the American voter, the eternal optimist, or the fool, looks around seeing that there are problems and concludes, "We just have to give it one more shot. Surely, it will work this time." This reasoning, or should we say this insanity, gave us Obamanomics.

Historically, Progressives have tried to bring about their goals by incrementalism. That has worked pretty well for them over the decades. You know, "Well, after all, it's just a penny increase in the sales tax so you'll never even notice." Or, "We're just going to see to it that 'the children' have health insurance." Or, "Social Security will be on an entirely voluntary basis and will never exceed 1%". This pattern worked pretty well until 2009. President Obama has turned out to be a very impatient sort of Progressive. He wants the entire plan to happen yesterday so he has overreached. It has only taken the American voters a year to conclude that, under the Obama Administration, the US is heading down hill like a pig on roller skates.

The first hint that the Obama plan was going awry was the rise of protests at congressional members' town hall meetings last summer. On the heels of this came the birth of the tea parties. This unrest and strong opposition to the Obama administration's policies and the Democrat controlled Congress manifested itself in the elections in VA and NJ, where the Republicans swept both contests. The coup de grace was the election of Scott Brown to fill the seat vacated by the death of Sen. Kennedy in Mass. Even to the normally brain dead Progressives, this last event was your basic attention getter.

Seeing the handwriting on the walls as a result of these defeats, the Obama administration is, now, making noises about being bipartisan. Suddenly, the past behavior of the Democrats is not supposed to be remembered. The Republicans are supposed to forget all the doors that have been slammed in their faces for the past year. Being totally out of touch with reality and, I might add delusional, President Obama is expecting Democrats and Republicans alike to all sit around the campfire and join in on a rousing chorus of Kum by ya. I have THIS to say about THAT.

If the Republicans believe that this president has truly changed his mind about his goals for this country, the insanity has leapt to the other side of the aisle. A majority of the American voters have made their wishes abundantly clear. They want no part of the Obama health care plan. They want no part of the Obama redistribution of wealth plan. They want no part of the Obama Tax and Trade bill. They want no part of the Pelosi/Reid heavy handed way of running the House and Senate. The majority of voters have had enough of this whole ruling bunch. The voters have shown some indications that they have confidence that a change of leadership will be in their best interest. The voters appear to be willing to give the Republicans yet another chance but they are watching to see how the GOP reacts to the Obama offer of bipartisan meetings. Republicans need to read history. When Democrats talk about taking a bipartisan approach they really mean "DO THINGS THE DEMOCRAT WAY". If the Republicans, once again, fall into this trap of "go along to get along", they can kiss goodbye their chances of success in the 2010 elections.

And, the most important issue of all, if they fail, so goes the last best chance to preserve our great republic.