Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Liberals have become so predictable till they are almost no fun anymore. GE&P has been waiting for this to start and, sure enough, we weren't disappointed. Now, every Liberal who appears on every news show is screaming, "The Tea Party people are a bunch of RACISTS". This revelation must come as quite a shock to folks like, say, Tim Scott.
Take heart Tea Party people and other such constitutional patriots, when Liberals progress to this phase, it means they are beginning to panic. Up until now, Liberals have confined themselves to arguing their position, however flawed. Obviously, this time this tact is not working with the American people, so the Liberals have to pull out their old standby, racism.
At this point in our history, this attempt by Liberals will be a resounding failure because, for the first time, there are large numbers of well known Black leaders voicing their opposition to the Liberal agenda. Also, at most Tea Party events, there is a proportional number of non white attendees. The careless use of the famous "R" word is not having the impact it once did.
In case you didn't know, when Sarah used a "cross hair" symbol on a map to indicate vulnerable Democrat congressmen, Liberals accused her of inciting violence. When she used the term "targeted races" Liberals accused her of inciting violence. After the Conservatives failed to stop Obamacare, Sarah said it was time to "reload". That, according to the Liberals, was inciting violence, too. But, it was perfectly acceptable a few years ago for Liberals to make a movie about the assassination of a seated President, Bush. It was perfectly acceptable to call Sarah, W, and Cheney every derogatory and inflammatory name in the book.
Inside the Liberal mind would be a scary place to be.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
GE&P attended the BC Executive Committee meeting Monday night. There was a lot of activity, some good and some bad. All in all, it was interesting and encouraging.
Before the meeting started, GE&P had some old business to attend to. At the January meeting, The Chairman gave the Treasurer's report as the Treasurer, Judy Hogg had not yet fully recovered from her illness. Toward the end of the report, Mr. Callanan added (for general information) that none of the officers were taking any funds from the Party bank account for any of their personal expenses.
Mr. Wayland Moody interrupted the report (January) to announce that they (he) had never taken any money out for expenses either. The members of the audit committee sat there and shook their heads in amazement. We decided we would straighten out this misstatement at our first opportunity. Mr. Moody did not attend the February meeting so we had to wait until the March meeting.
Monday night we approached Mr. Moody with the bank print out of the canceled checks from his administration. These documents plainly indicated money had been used for expenses such as gas, food, and other travel expenses. We pointed out that, according to the documents, his statement that his administration hadn't used Party money for personal expenses was false. Mr. Moody insisted he said at the January meeting that "he" not "we" had never taken out any expense money. We pressed for clarification. Again, Mr. Moody insisted he said "he" had never used any Party money. Then, we pointed out the checks that he signed, authorizing such expenditures and the check made out to him and signed by him for personal expenses. Mr. Moody offered no further explanation. Mr. Moody declined our offer to allow him to correct his statement made at the January meeting.
A few weeks before the March meeting, the BC State Executive Committeeman, Mac McBride resigned his position. Electing a new person for this position was on the Monday night agenda. When nominations were opened, Mr. Thomas Dubose, Jr., Lebanon Precinct, nominated Mr. Wayland Moody. A point of order was made that Mr. Dubose was ineligible to make a nomination as he was no longer a member of the EC. According to the SCGOP Rules, since Mr. Dubose had missed 3 consecutive meetings a certified letter was sent to him explaining his name had been removed from the roll.
This point of order stopped the nominating process cold. The committee was required to hear Mr. Dubose's appeal in his attempt to keep his seat. Mr. Dubose made a touching statement about his work schedule and his responsibility to support his family. A vote was taken and Mr. Dubose kept his seat.
GE&P has no quarrel with Mr. Dubose concerning his work schedule or his responsibility to support his family. But, we do question why, knowing he can not attend the meetings or contribute his time or energy to the organization, he would insist on maintaining his position.
Why would he not relinquish his seat to someone who wants to and can actively participate? Of the ten (10) meetings held, Mr. Dubose has attended one (1)meeting before Monday night. Both of these meetings had items on the agenda that held special interest for Mr. Moody. When Mr. Moody required his vote, Mr. Dubose found a way to rearrange his schedule so he could attend.
It was common knowledge that several of these "place holder votes" existed on the EC. Almost half of them were eliminated on Monday night. The number of "place holders votes" is shrinking and we would imagine it is becoming increasingly embarrassing for these few folks to show up to "do bidding".
The nominating process continued. Mr. Dubose nominated Mr. Moody. Mr. Terry Hardesty was, also, nominated. The vote was taken and Mr. Hardesty won by a two to one count. Once again, Mr. Moody and his sparse "place holders" lost.
Mr. Jack Stahl created quite a scene when he confronted the Chairman about our tee-shirt fund raiser. Mr. Stahl insisted the Chairman had no authorization for the expenditure. The majority of the membership expressed confusion that Mr. Stahl was unaware of the fund raiser. The project had been discussed and planned for months with the enthusiastic support of the EC.
Upon reflection, the BC Executive Committee is well on the way to being a functional, respectable organization. Admittedly, there are a few fly specks left but, with more sunshine and house cleaning, this too shall pass.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
"Federal investigators reportedly have received more than 730 allegations of waste and fraud in Stimulus Act funding so far. The Washington Times reports as much as 60% of some agencies' oversight budgets will go to policing the $862 BILLION being spent on various projects. The Recovery Act set aside $205 MILLION for auditors to root out fraud. The Inspector General said they have sent 19 cases to the US Attorneys, 3 cases to the IRS, and 2 cases to the FBI so far. The Inspector General at the Housing Department predicts that fraud reports will likely increase as more grant money is received." Fox News
When are the folks going to face the fact that the Federal Government can't run a lemonade stand? Everything the Feds put their hands on, goes south in a flash. Look at AmTrak, Medicare, Medicaid, the Post Office. How much proof do we need?
Some of the Stimulus money went to the cash strapped states to support their "programs" and maintain some essential functions. What's going to happen when January 2011 arrives and this money runs out?
This week, Congress approved another "Jobs Bill". All this did was to extend unemployment benefits. It didn't create one single job. As long as this "free money" is available, many will choose to remain unemployed. From personal experience, we have found the only time we couldn't find a job was when we didn't want one. Maybe we couldn't find the job we wanted but we could always find some kind of work.
Here's a wild idea. Let's rewind to February 2010. Mr. Obama announces that ALL payroll withholding is suspended for 18 months. Capital Gains tax is abolished. All corporate tax is hereby cut to 5% till further notice. Over this timeframe, the Feds would have lost less revenue than the amount they have borrowed and spent on failed "Initiatives". The economy would have taken off like a sky rocket by now but we all know that wouldn't accomplish this president's goal, the redistribution of wealth.
During the Reagan administration, it was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, if taxes are reduced, revenue increases. Even the stupidest taxpayer knows you cannot spend your way out of bankruptcy. If the government would just lighten the tax burden on the folks who create jobs, these companies would hire workers. Instead of realizing that no one gets a job from a guy who lives in a dumpster, this administration keeps funneling money we don't have toward the bottom of the food chain. All this philosophy accomplishes is prolonging the inevitable which, at this point, is the total collapse of our economy.
And then comes Cap and Trade and National Healthcare. Talk about the final nails in the coffin.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
GE&P begs forgiveness for not posting sooner but our Apple must have had a worm in it because it refused to connect to the net. We had to wait for our IT to recover from Friday night in Deep Ellum and fix it. Now, for the update.
First, let us tell you, there was a 'standing room only' crowd in attendance this morning at the Berkeley County Republican Breakfast Club meeting. As usual, the food was great. We, along with the folks behind us in line, were sorely afraid the biscuits would run out before we got served. Thank goodness that didn't happen. The Biscuit Man must have planned ahead.
There were several interesting developments as things got going. We learned that Dale Adcox, who was running for County Council, has decided to withdraw from the race because of his work schedule. Terry Hardesty has withdrawn from the Supervisor's race and thrown his support behind Henry Brown. Mr. Hardesty will now be running for the District 6 Council seat against the incumbent.
Sheriff DeWitt spoke in support of his reelection. As of this posting, the Sheriff doesn't have a challenger in the Republican primary. We have it on good authority his former opponent has switched to the Democrat party.
The presentations and the Q&A period for the candidates for Coroner were very interesting. GE&P will expand on this subject in the near future.
Rep. Henry Brown took the microphone and said a few words. He stated emphatically that, should he be elected Supervisor, he had no intention to hire Dan Davis as part of his administration. This statement prompted a collective sigh of relief from the crowd.
All in all, the breakfast was interesting and informative. GE&P would like to acknowledge the kind words from the readers we met this morning. Thank you.
Finally, GE&P would like to expose the actions of one of the breakfast attendees, an elected official no less. Some homemade candy was brought for the four year old son of this certain elected official. (You know who you are) This elected official was observed eating said candy. Deplorable conduct. Expect a call from the P&C.
Friday, March 5, 2010
For the past few weeks, the Berkeley County political scene can only be described as a major roller coaster event. Initially, informal polls indicated the present Supervisor was in serious jeopardy of being unseated, should he seek reelection. At that point, the Republican Primary for Supervisor was going to be a four way race. Then, word spread that one of the three challengers was having difficulty raising funds, so he was planning to drop out of the race. That would have left the incumbent and two challengers. One of these challengers was conspicuously ahead in the polls.
Discontent with the existing Supervisor had grown to a crescendo over the past year. County employees were incensed upon learning their take home pay had shrunk while, during the same time period, the salaries of elected officials and 'special' employees had markedly increased. The "money people" in the County were unhappy about the lack of economic development. The regular taxpayers were angry about their taxes being raised because of the 29% of the one cent sales tax being removed from their tax relief. Water and sewer customers were angry about the 30% rate increase when so much money was being wasted on political buy offs in the form of unneeded water lines.
The political scene was in a state of flux but that's pretty normal for Berkeley County. Even with all the controversy, the situation was manageable. That was when the major seismic event struck. Rep. Henry Brown sent up a trial balloon that he was going to run for BC Supervisor. That really set the tongues to wagging. Rumors flew. Many, including GE&P, complained that Rep. Brown bringing his considerable war chest to a county race did not create a level playing field. Everyone had a theory as to why this was happening.
One group was certain Henry was just threatening to run to scare off the present Supervisor's challengers. Another group opined that Henry just couldn't give up the center stage even though he was faced with certain defeat should he run for reelection to the House. Still another group was positive a deal had been struck between Henry and the existing Supervisor. According to this third theory, since it was obvious the existing Supervisor was going to lose, Henry would run and, with the certainty of his $750,000 war chest, win. Then Henry would hire the existing Supervisor to a controlling position in the new administration. Everyone had an opinion.
This week, many of these opinionated people approached Henry for assurances that none of these theories were in fact true. Henry assured each in turn that all of these contentions were just conjecture and contained no truth. He stated that he was running because of his love of Berkeley County and his desire to serve. During several of these exchanges, he went into great detail as to his intentions should he be elected. Being as Henry's many years of public service have garnered him a reputation of integrity and good character, his assurances quelled most of the rumors and suspicions.
GE&P operates this site on a "Comment Moderation" system. All comments arrive on the "work" page for review before they are published. The only restriction we have is that comments may not contain any lewd or profane language. Otherwise, every comment, positive or negative to the post, is published as it is received. We do not edit for content.
Also, GE&P had no idea there were so many people in BC named "Anonymous".
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
GE&P, along with every other Republican voter in BC, received a "report" from Supervisor Dan Davis yesterday. After carefully reading this document, it is clear that the only completely truthful statement contained is the fact that "In the three years since taking my oath of office as your Supervisor, Berkeley County has experienced a lot of changes". The remainder of the statements contain enough spin to make W.C. Fields dizzy. It is painfully obvious that Mr. Davis doesn't live within driving distance of "The No Spin Zone".
Our attempt to correct the misstatements contained in this document reminds us somewhat of walking outside the morning after Hugo. There doesn't appear to be a starting place for the cleanup.
When Mr. Davis took office, BC had achieved three credit rating increases over the years and had a fund balance of $7,289,721 or 16.78%. BC was threatened with a credit rating downgrade only after, under Mr. Davis' leadership, the fund balance was reduced to $3,780,604 or 7.46%.
BC government DID forgo cost of living (COLA) and merit raises for all county EMPLOYEES. This freeze did not include elected officials and certain upper level positions. These chosen few experienced huge pay increases. Mr. Davis - $17,797.64, Chip Boling - $9,000, and Nicole Ewing - $14,000 etc.
BC government did owe Santee Cooper $5 million. It was arranged, with the blessing of Santee Cooper, that this debt would be paid over the years with the proceeds realized by the fee in lieu of taxes from Google. Instead, Mr. Davis borrowed millions from Water and Sewer to pay this debt along with other expenditure that have never been made completely clear. This means BC still has the debt. They have just shifted the debt to W&S. We've all heard of borrowing from Peter to pay Paul. This leaves another unanswered question. Where is the money ($1.2 million) from Google now being spent?
Now we come to an issue of great displeasure to the taxpayers of BC. Only on the third attempt to adopt the one cent sales tax did it achieve the approval of the BC taxpayers. This approval pivoted on the promise from County Council that a full 100% of the revenue received would be applied to property tax relief. Mr. Davis decided to steal 29% of our property tax relief realized from the one cent sales tax and add those proceeds to the general fund. Mr. Davis contends State law reads "twenty-nine percent of those funds are to be used at the discretion of the county". In actuality the wording is can be used. Close, but no cigar for Mr. Davis. No matter how well spent the money may be, it still came out of the taxpayers pocket which resulted in a tax increase for all of us.
Mr. Davis' justification for the 30% increase in water and sewer fees boggles the mind. When Mr. Davis took office, there was a W&S fund balance of $24,577,089. That fund balance, at the end of 2009, stood at $15,041,298. Under Mr. Davis' leadership, projects were undertaken like the Cross Water Project. This project alone cost $2.24 million and serves 23 households. That figure amounts to just under $100,000 per tap-in. The break even cost to W&S is just under $4,000. In addition, at one of the four water line termination points in the Cross area, (Hwy. 311) 46,000 gallons of water paid for by the county is dumped into the ditch every 24 hours. This waste does not include the water dumped from the other three termination points at the ends of Ranger Drive, Asazlee Lane on Old Hwy. 6, or Groomstown Road. These dumps amount to literally millions of gallons of wasted water every year. The dollar cost of the water dumped on Hwy. 311 alone is more than twice the amount of revenue collected from the seven customers tapped into the line. Even if you disregard the cost of the dumped water and only consider the revenue generated from the existing customers, it will take over 500 years for this water line to pay for itself.
Don't believe for a moment the Cross water line is the only W&S boondoggle Mr. Davis has overseen since his swearing in. We haven't even addressed the Honey Hill/Shulerville project. We understand from DHEC there are not enough tap-ins to support the proper operation of this line either and dumping has created a man-made drinking water lake at the end of the line. Also, the origin of the funding for the Gants Road/Miracle Academy water project is still veiled in mystery.
With this kind of "leadership", how can a water and sewer rate increase be justified?
Granted, the operation and maintenance of Cypress Gardens cost the county money. Prey tell how much revenue does Hampton Park generate for the city of Charleston? That obvious issue aside, Mr. Davis' condemnation of County Council on this subject left out a few pertinent facts. When Mr. Davis took office, there was a working plan to help improve the Cypress Gardens issue. The Capitol Improvements plan included a sewer line for Cypress Gardens' road. This line was essential to private sector plans to build a hotel across the road from the Gardens. This addition would only have increased tourists' patronage of the Gardens and thereby increased revenue. Mr. Davis unilaterally decided to cancel the sewer line project on Cypress Gardens Road resulting in the cancelation of the planned hotel. In past years, Cypress Gardens was a frequent destination of school field trips and low country tourists. Now that Mr. Davis' plan is in operation, there doesn't seem to be enough money available to even keep the grass cut. Sad.
No one at GE&P claims to be a CPA but we can read a spread sheet. According to the County web site, expenses in 2006 were a bit over $43 million with revenue of almost $45 million. That's running a surplus. In 2009, expenses were a bit over $51 million with revenue of a bit over $50 million. That's running a deficit. As a matter of documented fact, under Mr. Davis' leadership, the County has run a deficit every year he has been in office. We are confounded as to where he derives the conclusion that he has balanced the budget. In addition to running a deficit every year, he has reduced the fund balance from over $7 million (16.78%) to under $5 million. (9.28%) Which head of household in his right mind would brag that he had spent more in a year than he earned while depleting his savings account. More divorces than not are based on such financial leadership.
In his report, Mr. Davis brags about all the economic development in the County since he took office. Mr. Davis lists Boeing. In fact, Mr. Davis had no more to do with the Boing plant than he did with Google or DuPont, for which he was happy to take the credit. If the truth be told, one can count the number of major economic development projects attributable to Mr. Davis on one hand and have fingers left over. This result is directly ascribable to Mr. Davis' decision to fire the most notable and prominent economic development expert, bar none, in the southeastern United States and replace him with a maven from that bastion of economic development, Dillon County. More proof of Mr. Davis' failures in this area is the fact that the SC Department of Commerce has downgraded Berkeley County's economic development standing by a full category. And, Mr. Davis doesn't mention the industries that have left BC since he took office.
And, last but certainly not least, we do believe we heard a report given at County Council that neither the "green energy" program nor the "biofuel'' program was breaking even. FYI: If a business endeavor costs more money than it returns, it's not economically feasible.
When you read his "2010 Report to the Citizens of Berkeley County" do not conclude that Mr. Davis is delusional. He is not. He is simply doing what politicians do in a veiled attempt to obfuscate his failed record. Unfortunately for Mr. Davis, a growing number of BC taxpayers are educating themselves about County government. The resulting "sunshine" makes it increasingly difficult for Mr. Davis to feed the fairy tales contained in his "Report" to the taxpayers. They seem to know immediately they're not drinking free Bubble-Up or eating that rainbow stew.
Monday, March 1, 2010
In January of 2009, Council called for an audit of the Hwy. 311 water line project. Water and Sanitation and the Administration were not pleased. After months of delays and road blocks, the audit was underway. On February 22, 2010, Mr. Larry Finney presented the audit report to Council. (Earlier, at the January Council meeting, an attempt was made to present this report in conjunction with the yearly County audit report which may have minimized its impact. This attempt failed.)
Council originally ordered the audit to get a handful of simple questions answered.
They wanted to know if and when Water and Sanitation had obtained approval from Council for the original Hwy. 311 project.
They wanted to know where the money came from to pay for the Hwy. 311 project.
They wanted to know who at W&S had authorized the Hwy. 311 project.
They wanted to know why the Hwy.311 water line terminated practically at Councilman Pinckney's front door.
They wanted to know who was responsible for submitting to Council the "flawed" documentation on the Hwy. 311 work contract.
After Mr. Finney presented his report, Council didn't appear to be satisfied that their questions had been answered. Even after an extensive Q&A period, questions still existed. During his presentation and in his summery, Mr. Finney kept returning to his contention that W&S was guilty of "poor record keeping and bad communications with Council". GE&P listened very carefully to the entire session and, unless we dozed off, we didn't hear the answers to any of Council's original questions either.
Believe it or not, there is an upside to this. In the future, if you happen to be so unlucky as to get audited by the IRS, this will be the result.
IRS Auditor: Well, Mr. John Doe, it seems you have taken $1.4 million in deductions this year.
Mr. Doe: Yes, I have.
IRS Auditor: Do you have any receipts for these deductions?
Mr. Doe: No, Sir, I don't.
IRS Auditor: Well, Mr. Doe, it would appear that you are guilty of poor record keeping.
Mr. Doe: I agree. What do you suggest I do to solve this problem?
IRS Auditor: I suggest you assess this situation and maybe take some steps to prevent this from happening again in the future.
Mr. Doe: OK, I'll consider that.
IRS Auditor: Good enough. That will be all, Mr. Doe. Watch the mailbox for your refund.