Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Just in case you've been on a trip to the moon for the last two years, you need to be aware of some incredible news. County Councilman Dennis Fish is a thorn in the side of Supervisor Dan Davis. You see, Mr. Davis wants to have a free hand to play fast and loose with BC taxpayers' money and Mr. Fish doesn't think this is a good idea. Mr. Fish asks Mr. Davis silly questions such as, "What are you going to spend all this money on?" or "Do we really need to spend this money at this time?" or "Why are you spending more when you could be spending less?" Mr. Fish constantly digs into Mr. Davis' projects and expenditures to be sure we, the taxpayers, are getting our money's worth. When Mr. Fish sees a waste of money, he points it out. The fact that Mr. Fish is perpetually looking over Mr. Davis' shoulder when it comes to matters of county finance, has become extremely problematic for the Supervisor.

Now, Mr. Fish has come up with a really unreasonable idea. It concerns the first Local Option Sales Tax. Back when the taxpayers of BC approved by referendum this one cent tax, it was with the understanding and pledge of County Council that the entire 100% of the proceeds would be applied to property tax relief. In the '08/'09 budget, due to excessive spending by Supervisor Davis in other areas, there were no funds left for the new I-26 interchange. Had BC not come up with this money, ( $500,000 a year for 20 years) BC would have lost over $100 million in matching funds. Council was forced to use 29% of this LOST funds( the maximum allowed to be used by the County for purposes other than property tax relief) to prevent the loss of the matching funds. This was the first time in the lifetime of this LOST that any portion had been used for anything except property tax relief. However, stealing the 29% in the '08/'09 budget felt so good to Supervisor Davis that he decided to take it again in the '09/'10 budget.

Now that the '10/'11 budget is being prepared, Mr. Davis instinctively included taking the 29%, again. Now, we get back to Mr. Fish's unreasonable idea. Mr. Fish wants to honor the solemn pledge of County Council and return the 29% of the property tax relief to the taxpayers. At even the suggestion of such a thing Mr. Davis went postal. Mr. Davis listed all the things on which he had planned to spend the money. Mr. Davis made it clear that, no matter what, he planned to take the 29% of the property relief from the taxpayers in this year's budget.

Mr. Fish's following and support on this issue began to grow. Most taxpayers realized there was no longer an emergency situation that demanded the taking of their money and they wanted their property tax relief back. This eventuality would put a huge crimp and revenue shortfall in Mr. Davis' budget proposal.

It has long been common knowledge that Mr. Fish takes a dim view of the capabilities and intellect of Mr. Schurlknight. ( We're trying to be tactful here ) Also, Mr. Fish, being a staunch Conservative, resents the fact that Mr. Schurlknight supported and voted for a Democrat for Vice-Chairman of County Council and casts his votes with the Democrats on nearly every important issue. Usually these issues involve wasting taxpayer's money. Historically, Mr. Fish and Mr. Schurlknight exchange unpleasant words over these issues. (This is where the plot was hatched.)

At a February Council meeting, true to form, Mr. Fish and Mr. Schurlknight had heated words over the issue of the Accommodations Tax Board. Mr. Fish wanted some new people on the Board who would actually have oversight meetings and he wanted to know where all the money is being spent. Mr. Schurlknight wanted to keep the same Board members and have no audit or accountability for the money. Being as there are hundreds of thousands of dollar involved, Mr. Fish pressed the issue. (This is where the plot developed.) Mr. Schurlknight insists Mr. Fish threatened him during this exchange. Mr. Fish insists he did not. GE&P has listened to an electronically enhanced copy of the original sound disk of this exchange and there was no discernible threat. When one listens to the non electronically enhanced version, all one can hear is a mix of garbled voices all talking at once. With the enhanced version, the words spoken are nonsensical. There is no way an honest person could state otherwise.

When the minutes of this February meeting were transcribed by the office of the Clerk of Council, there was no mention in the document of any threat made by Mr. Fish. Several members of County Council and numerous members of the administration who have seen the document uphold this fact. Up until Monday night's Council meeting, there was no factual evidence that Mr. Davis was involved in this attempt to discredit Mr. Fish. But, as is his habit, Mr. Davis overplayed his hand. Mr. Davis announced that, in his opinion, the transcription of the minutes in question was not accurate and he intended to hire the services of another entity, such as a court stenographer, to perform the transcription process again. This act places Supervisor Davis smack dab in the middle of this smear campaign to discredit Mr. Fish.

Just for fun, let's follow the little bouncing ball. Mr. Fish became a problem for Mr. Davis. Mr. Fish was making it very uncomfortable for Mr. Davis' efforts to run the County like a one man show. Mr. Davis actively displayed resentment at Mr. Fish's attempts at oversight. In order for Mr. Davis to achieve his goals, Mr. Fish's efforts needed to be curtailed. What better way to accomplish this goal than to totally discredit Mr. Fish? What better way to discredit Mr. Fish than to accuse him of some egregious act such as threatening another Councilman? If Mr. Fish is discredited and rendered ineffective, who would benefit the most? And, most importantly, who is the one calling for another examination of the records after they have already been professionally transcribed, disproving all wrong doing on Mr. Fish's part?

Now, this is what we would call true transparency. Thank you, Mr. Davis for finally showing us the whole picture.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Big news in the P&C this morning. It seems Carolina Nursery is in danger of closing, with the loss of 325 jobs. GE&P is curious to know how many of these jobs are now held by legal American citizens.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


GE&P has confirmed that Sam's Club Distribution Center has, indeed, closed with a loss to Berkeley County of 35 jobs.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010



1,525 New Jobs in 2009Dan Davis

I'm very pleased to report the most recent economic development numbers as given to me by the South Carolina Department of Commerce. These numbers prove that despite the challenging economy, Berkeley County is very blessed and continues to grow!

  • 2009 Total Capital Investments: $145,290,000
  • 2009 Total Number of NEW Jobs Created As A Result of Capital Investments: 1,525


(Source: South Carolina Department of Commerce, March 2010)

"I would like to extend a special THANK YOU to all of the companies who have put their faith in our County and our people. And, I want to commend our economic development team for their tireless efforts. Thanks to their hard work, we also have a number of additional companies considering either expanding or making Berkeley County their future home.

Folks, our country still faces tough economic times. I promise to continue working toward bringing additional jobs and resources to our County. As always, my door is open to you. We will weather this economic storm together." Supervisor's Blog

Now, let's hear from GE&P.

Lord have mercy, our economic troubles are well on the way to being over, according to Mr. Davis. Have you ever seen such a rosy picture? Well, let's dig into this announcement a little deeper.

AMERICAN LAFRANCE LLC: According to a company's press release dated 4/29/09, an eventual increase of 216 jobs is correct. HOWEVER, these new jobs won't be realized until between THREE TO FIVE YEARS from now. Not one of these jobs was realized during 2009. And, just one more little inconsequential, inconvenient fact, this company came to BC under the previous administration.

AMERICAN SYNTHETICS LP: According to a company's press release dated 2/12/09, 250 jobs is correct BUT there were only 50 new jobs added in 2009 with the additional 200 jobs to be added over the NEXT FIVE YEARS.

BIRNEY FOODS: According to an updated March 2010 company press release, these folks are still installing equipment. According to the SC Department of Commerce, Birney did not fill 50 jobs in 2009 and there is no indication in the press update when these jobs might be filled.

DC MACHINE, LLC: According to the company's press release dated 1/14/10, 25 (not 16) jobs will be available starting in the 2nd quarter of 2010, not 2009.

GILDAN ACTIVEWEAR: According to the company's press release dated 2/10/10, the number of 250 new jobs is correct BUT hiring will start in 2010, not 2009. Also, Gildan moved into the vacated Mikasa building that held an existing Fee-in-Lieu-of-tax agreement. Since these FILOT agreements are transferrable, BC Economic Development, had little to nothing to do with this deal. As a side bar, BC lost Mikasa and 175 jobs in May of 2007 under Mr. Davis' watch.

HORIZON SCIENTIFIC: To date, we have been able to find no information on these 20 jobs.

MANKIEWCZ GEBR. & CO.: According to the company's press release dated 8/12/09, the capital investment involved is $2M, not $3.5M. Also, there are 25, not 20, jobs involved. BUT, these jobs will be realized over the next five years, not in 2009.

MOULTON LOGISTICS MANAGEMENT: According to the company's press release dated 3/11/10, the number of jobs involved with Moulton is 500. BUT, these jobs will only be realized over the next five years. There are two other small facts we all need to keep in mind. (1) Moulton moved into the Masisa building where there was an existing FILOT agreement. Therefore, BCED was not involved. (2) Moulton moved from 5801 N Rhett in Hanahan to Clements Ferry Road. The last time we checked, both of these addresses were in BC. How can these jobs be counted twice AND as new jobs?

TBC CORPORATION: According to the company's press release dated 10/12/09, this facility plans to open in late 2010. They project to create 120 jobs over the next three years, not in 2009.

TRUMPF MEDICAL SYSTEMS: According to the company's press release dated 4/2/09, Trumpf plans to create 29 jobs over the next three years, not in 2009.

WELDED TUBE BERKELEY: According to the company's press release dated 6/25/09, they projected creating 20 to 30 jobs within the next nine months. There is no information available as to whether or not this came to pass. Welded Tube located in BC in 2004, under the previous administration.

WONDERLIC INC.: To date, we have been able to find no information on these 25 jobs.

In order for us to get a full understanding of the job situation in BC, we have to look at the whole picture. Since Mr. Davis took office here is a list of our losses:

GATES: (consolidated elsewhere) lost 260 jobs

MIKASA: (consolidated elsewhere) lost 175 jobs

MCNAUGHTON JONES APPAREL: (consolidated elsewhere) lost 300 jobs

MASISA: (consolidated elsewhere) lost 42 jobs

ENTERPRISE RENT-A-CAR: (consolidated elsewhere) lost 250 jobs

Also, we have heard that Sam's Club Distribution Center closed down but we were unable to verify.

Before we go one step further with this analysis, we have to make an inevitable eventuality clear. When the facts listed above become public and Mr. Davis is confronted with his, shall we say, embellishments upon the truth, his misstatements will not be his fault. Being as the SC Department of Commerce was his source of information, he cannot be held accountable for the accuracy of any of his statements. The fact that we were able to get accurate information with relative ease is of no consequence. Now that we have that out of the way, we can continue.

Projections of possible future job growth in BC is very good news indeed. It is comforting to look down the road and see good things possibly coming our way. BUT, these projections are just that and do nothing to solve our immediate employment problems. Our unemployment numbers hover around 12%. These numbers reflect real people with real financial problems. Can you imagine the unemployed man or woman who heard this news and charged down to one of the companies only to find that, in fact, the jobs they sought would not even be available for three to five years? For Mr. Davis to spin these yarns about all these new phantom jobs he created in 2009 is nothing short of despicable.

As a word smith, a spin doctor, and a prevaricator of the facts, Mr. Davis possesses unequaled talent. As to being the successful leader of the largest county government in SC, not so much.

Have your say - e-mail your thoughts on the Supervisors' blog

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


GE&P is so pleased that the Federal Government is planning to dictate how much salt we are going to be allowed to have in our food. Our only question: How do you make a pickle without salt? How about our all time favorite winter snack, boiled peanuts? Have you ever tried a french fry without salt? We think we'll pass on this healthy hint and stash some contraband salt in our toilet tank.

A new national poll came out today. It seems that 47% of the American people now have a favorable opinion of the IRS. Is it just a coincidence that today 47% of the American people pay NO income taxes? Could there possibly be a connection here?

Great news from Europe. The EU has determined that leisure time and vacations are a human right. Over there, as in America, the productive citizens are already providing food, shelter, housing, and medical care for all their bums. Now, they are going to be expected to provide the bums with free vacation trips. We can hardly wait for this program to be initiated here in the good old USA.

Are we the only ones who believe this world is going 'round the bend?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Fr. Leo Crogan, one of the spiritual advisors for students at Bishop England High School many years ago, was a very wise man. In one of his presentations, he spoke of the ramifications of spreading gossip and false rumors. He asked, "If you take a feather pillow to the top of a tower on a windy day, open the case and dump out the contents, could you go back to the ground and gather up each and every feather?" This simple question painted a vivid mental picture of spreading gossip. It was obvious this exercise would be a futile effort. Correcting false rumors would be as impossible as would gathering the feathers.

Over the last few weeks, County Councilman and BC Republican Party Chairman, Tim Callanan has been the victim of the most scurrilous gossip and unfounded accusations. Fellow Councilman, Bob Call went so far as to level a formal complaint against Mr. Callanan with the BC Sheriff's Department. Mr. Callanan was forced to endure the inconvenience and embarrassment of an interview with the FBI on the subject. Mr. Callanan had to pocket the expense of retaining an attorney. Most egregious of all, Mr. Callanan had to stand by and watch as his good name was slandered on Face Book.

This organized campaign to discredit Mr. Callanan ended with yet another whisper. The Sheriff determined all the charges to be without merit. The FBI found all the charges to be without merit. As all Mr. Callanan's friends and supporters knew from the start, Mr. Callanan was totally innocent of any wrong doing. But, now the damage is done. This honest and respected man has been falsely accused.

Monday night at the County Council meeting, the day before an article on this issue came out on the front page of The Berkeley Independent, Mr. Call approached Mr. Callanan with a lame request that they work together to stop all the controversy. GE&P has a few more questions.

Mr. Call, don't you think this initiative is too little, too late?

Mr. Call, do you plan to request that the Sheriff's office and the FBI issue a formal statement that your charges were false and vindictive?

Mr. Call, will you insist that Mr. Bailey pass out a flyer at the next BC Republican Breakfast announcing that Mr. Callanan wasn't guilty of any infraction toward you?

Mr. Call, will you insist that Mr. Bailey recant his negative statements about Mr. Callanan on his FB page?

Mr. Call, will you go back to the Berkeley Independent and correct the statements contained in your interview? Will you insist they place another story on the front page that your charges were unfounded?


Thursday, April 8, 2010



This race has been in a constant state of flux for months. The field has changed many times. Finally, the race has shaken out with three candidates running, Minnie Blackwell, Henry Brown, and the incumbent, Dan Davis. Unlike the last Supervisor's race, a majority of Berkeley County citizens are involved, interested, and taking sides in this one. The Blackwell camp insists Brown should stick with his original plan to retire but their bottom line is, "Anyone but Davis". The Brown camp politely touts Brown's experience and genuine concern for the County but is prepared to take off the gloves on the issues. The Davis camp is sticking to form and spreading as many lies as possible to divert attention from the Davis record. We haven't gotten to the "flyers in the mailbox" phase yet but GE&P firmly believes, considering Mr. Davis' track record, this will be one of the dirtiest campaigns we have seen lately.


Ms. Blackwell is the current Mayor of Hanahan. We would be safe to say she is no friend of the present Supervisor, Dan Davis. These two have had their issues for many years. Ms. Blackwell wants Mr. Davis out of office. On this issue, we agree with her completely.

Ms. Blackwell is very passionate in her campaign style. She is energetic and enthusiastic. But, being as Hanahan has an administrator form of government, Ms. Blackwell does not have the hands on experience necessary for the position of Supervisor in a county the size of Berkeley. We have seen what happens when a person is elected Supervisor but does not possess the necessary expertise. For this reason, we cannot support Ms. Blackwell's efforts.


Analyzing Mr. Davis' record as Supervisor and listing his shortcomings is somewhat akin to trying to decide where to start the cleanup the morning after Hugo. There is so much to chose from. We will attempt to be brief but, if you are a regular reader, you know how well that will turn out. For brevity's sake, we will confine our analysis to only the false statements made by Mr. Davis at the Republican Breakfast on April 3, 2010.

FIRST LIE: On countless occasions (including the breakfast)and three times in the Berkeley Independent, Mr. Davis has said he is responsible for "the first balanced budget in BC in 18 years". To believe this, we would have to set aside the statute that requires a balanced budget. Also, we would have to disregard the county records that contain the budget books and yearly audits. Anyone who is interested can consult these records and learn the truth. These records contain the yearly amount (fiscal year) of revenue collected, the amount of expenditures, and the difference between the two. When this amount is in the positive, as it was before Mr. Davis took office, the budget is balanced and you have a surplus. When this number is in the negative (in brackets) you have a deficit and the budget is not balanced. Unlike the budgets prior to 2007, Mr. Davis' numbers have been in the negative every year since he took office. He has not balanced his budget once. Our statements are not a matter of opinion. They are statements reflecting official records.

SECOND LIE: Mr. Davis has said "he has increased the Fund Balance which was dangerously low when he took office". This statement is very interesting. The fact is, when Mr. Davis took office, the Fund Balance was at 16.78% or $7,289,721. After he was in office for one year, the Fund Balance fell to 9.61% or $4,707,489. By the second year, the Fund Balance fell further to 7.46% or $3,780,604. By the third year, the Fund Balance went back up to 9.28% or $4,737,383. Since the Fund Balance needs to be at least 15% to be considered healthy, how could Mr. Davis make his statement? It was 16.78% when he took office and is at 9.28% now. Technically, he added a small amount back from his all time low but isn't that a bit like taking $90 from your $100 savings account, then adding back $10 and bragging that you have added to your savings? Mr. Davis seems to take great pride in distorting the truth by playing with words.

THIRD LIE: Mr. Davis has said he saved the county a pile of money by paying off the debt to Santee Cooper and that of Cypress Gardens. When Mr. Davis took office there was an agreement between BC and Santee Cooper that BC would make an annual payment to Santee Cooper on their $5 million loan with money in the form of fee in lieu of taxes received from Google. This Google money amounted to approximately $1.2 million annually. This arrangement would have satisfied the loan in less than 5 years without affecting the remainder of the budget. Instead of following this plan, Mr. Davis borrowed $10 million, interest free, from BC Water and Sanitation to pay off Santee Cooper and the debt of Cypress Gardens. BC still owes the money, just to someone else. No accounting has ever been made as to where the Google money is now being spent. As to the Cypress Gardens issue , that deal is exactly like taking money out of one of your pockets and putting it into the other as BC owns the Gardens. No one seems to know where that $4 million went either. It's all smoke and mirrors.

FOURTH LIE: At the April Republican Breakfast, Mr. Davis painted on his cute face and laughed about his run- in with council on the "rebranding " issue. Mr. Davis said the entire issue "was a big misunderstanding". The fact is that Mr. Davis came to Council with a proposal to change the logo for the BC Water and Sanitation Authority. This proposal meant changing to new letterheads, business cards, branch office signs, water tower signs, and the huge sign on the new W&S building. Council decided this change would be a waste of tax payers' money in difficult economic times and rejected the proposal. Mr. Davis ignored the decision of Council and went on and did it anyway. Council took umbrage at Mr. Davis usurping its authority and called him on his actions. At that point, Mr. Davis defended his actions by contending it would cost too much money to change everything back. Council was forced into a compromise and Mr. Davis got part of what he originally wanted. There was no misunderstanding. The BC Council is the controlling legal authority of BC government and Mr. Davis willfully violated the will of Council. Mr. Davis' conduct concerning this issue was blatant and not funny in the least.

FIFTH LIE: Get out your calculator. As candidates began filing in the 2010 Republican Primary, salary figures for the various elected offices became public. It was learned that the salary for the office of Supervisor had gone from $110,000 in 2006 to $131,000 in 2010. This revelation raised a lot of eyebrows. Everyone wanted to know how the Supervisor could have gotten a $21,000 raise over the past three years when all County employees had taken a pay cut in the form of unpaid furlough days. Fear not, Mr. Davis has a simple explanation. He contends that "his starting salary was $119,000 and he received two 5% mandated COLA and Merit raises" bringing his salary to $131,000. He says "he had no control" over his pay raises.

First, lets look at the starting salary. If you look at the records of the Election Commission, you will clearly see the filing fee for the 2006 primary was based upon the Supervisor's salary of $110,000. This fact is supported by Mr. Davis' Statement of Economic Disclosure to the Ethics Commission in 2007 and, again, in 2008, where he reported his County income as being $110,000. When one is trying to support the unsupportable, a paper trail known as official documents can become very problematic. Everyone can go on the various web sites and read the facts presented here. If Mr. Davis' latest contention is in fact true, then the Election Commission, the Ethics Commission, and Mr. Davis' contemporary filings have to all be wrong. This strains reason.

Now, let's address the 1999 Resolution that, according to Mr. Davis, forced him to take a 5% COLA/Merit raise in 2007. The 1999 Resolution was very simple. It stated that, if County employees get a COLA and/or Merit raise, elected officials would get the same raise. Equally, if elected officials get a COLA and/or Merit raise, County employees would get the same raise. That's it. Coincidentally, check the minutes of the November 2007 Council meetings and you will find there were no COLA or Merit raises in the 2007/2008 budget. That's why Council passed a Resolution in December 2007 for a one time, one extra week's pay to county employees. There were no COLA/ Merit raises in the 2008/2009 budget either. Along with the no COLA/Merit raises, in the 2009/2010 budget, the unpaid furloughs were added. So, how did Mr. Davis get a COLA/Merit raise in 2008?

According to the official record, (including Mr. Davis' own filings) Mr. Davis' salary in 2007 was $110,000. According to the official record, there were no COLA/Merit raises since 2007. Still, Mr. Davis' present salary is $131,000. Where is the media on this issue?

SIXTH LIE: An April 2010 breakfast attendee asked Mr. Davis why he had not attended the breakfast in over three and a half years. Mr. Davis explained that he was caring for his aged parents and just didn't have the time to attend. Another attendee voiced the opinion that it didn't seem unreasonable for the Supervisor to take just a couple of hours every few months to come to the breakfast and bring the tax payers up to date on County business.

We were present at the last breakfast the Supervisor attended prior to April 2010. It was in July of 2006, right after the Primary run-off. The majority of the attendees of the breakfast that day were livid with Mr. Davis over one of his campaign flyers that had been mailed out two weeks before the run-off. Mr. Davis' flyer asserted that his opponent, Mr. Rozier, had taken five thousand dollars ($5,000) of BC tax payers' money to purchase a box at the football field at Clemson. A full two weeks before the flyer was mailed out, the Post & Courier had printed an in-depth article refuting this assertion. The P&C article had statements by Clemson officials explaining the legitimate purpose of the $5,000 check from BC to Clemson. For the P&C story, Mr. Rozier had provided his cancelled, personal check that reflected his payment for the football box. Numerous people at this breakfast reproached Mr. Davis for sending out his flyer containing what was known to be false accusations. Mr. Davis made no apologies for his action but this was his last visit to the breakfast until April 2010.

Since our fingers are getting tired and we know your eyes are getting tired, we will save issues like the reduction in the economic development status of BC by the State, the threat of downgrading BC's credit rating, water lines to no where as political payoffs, and other issues, until another time. Suffice it to say, GE&P does NOT support the reelection of Supervisor Davis.

HENRY BROWN: Mr. Brown's resume is diverse and impressive. He began his career working for the Piggle Wiggle Corp. He remained with them for 27 years. These years in the private sector provided him with a view of life from the working man's perspective that he has never forgotten. Stemming from a desire to contribute to the betterment of his community, Mr. Brown decided to seek public office. Mr. Brown stood for and was elected to the City Council of Hanahan. In 1985, thinking that he had more to contribute, he was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives and remained there until 2000. During this time at the State level, Mr. Brown demonstrated his business sense and fiscal conservatism by leading the effort to secure the biggest property tax relief in the State's history and, after the establishment of the Infrastructure Bank Board, securing the new Arthur Ravenel Bridge. Examples of Mr. Brown's conservative thinking and actions are to be found in his record. To innumerate them all here would look too much like a laundry list. Suffice it to say, Mr. Brown worked very hard and successfully for the people of SC and of Berkeley County.

Mr. Brown was elected to the US Congress in 2000. During his tenure, Mr. Brown secured millions of dollars for highway projects in BC. He secured money for new technology for BC law enforcement. He protected our defense industries and prevented SPAWAR from being closed. In the latter part of the Bush administration, Mr. Brown voted for the first half of the TARP, having received assurances that there would be strict oversight of the disbursements of the funds. As time passed and it became evident that the promised oversight was non-existent, Mr. Brown withdrew his support. Mr. Brown actively opposed the second half of TARP, the GM bailout, the Stimulus Bill, and the Healthcare Bill.

During Mr. Brown's years of public service he has learned how to deal successfully with a myriad issues. He is comfortable negotiating with top executives and has the business experience to handle the most complicated of issues. Even though Mr. Brown's years of experience and fields of expertise are of the utmost importance as qualifications for the office of Berkeley County Supervisor, there are other elements to Mr. Brown's makeup that are of far more import to us. Mr. Brown has the reputation of being an unwavering fiscal Conservative. He, also, is known for his honesty and integrity. After our experiences over the last three and one half years, it would be a relief to hear our Supervisor say, "Good Morning" and not feel the necessity of looking out the window to see if the sun is shining.

For all these reasons, especially the honesty element, GE&P wholeheartedly, and with great enthusiasm supports Mr. Brown's bid for the office of BC Supervisor.

Sunday, April 4, 2010



Now here's a race chuck full of fun and surprises. We will attempt to stay on task but there is so much associated intrigue to this one that we may, at times, veer off the mark. First, the incumbent.

Jack Schurlknight is the present Chairman of the Finance Committee. This turn of events was one result of the 2009 reorganization of Council. This position was Jack's gift for his cooperation in Supervisor Davis' take over of county government. To say that Jack is over his head would be a gross understatement. Jack's expertise with matters of finance is somewhat equivalent to a blue jay's knowledge of scripture. I digress. Some history will make the picture a bit more clear.

Between 2007, when Mr. Davis became Supervisor, and 2009, there were many battles between Council and Mr. Davis. More times than not, Mr. Davis didn't get his way. Mr. Davis seemed obsessed with the desire to destroy anything "Rosier". (And, from the things he was trying to do, that seemed to include BC.) During these first two years, Council was composed of 6 Republicans and 2 Democrats. After reorganization, there was a very different split. Afterwards, there were 4 Republicans, 2 Democrats, and 2 RINOs. This split the vote 4 to 4 with Mr. Davis having the deciding vote. Consequently, Mr. Davis didn't have to worry anymore about Council's opposition.

It was obvious how Mr. Davis secured Mr. Pinckney's (D) support. Mr. Davis gave him a $2.24 million water line to his front door. Mr. Steve Davis followed Mr. Pinckney's lead simply because he is a loyal Democrat. Mr. Schurlknight was given the impression that he was relevant by being elected Chairman of the Finance Committee. As far as we have been able to learn, Mr. Call didn't receive anything but, after all, he wouldn't have even been aware of any slight.

If this was the whole picture, it would be bad enough but it gets worse. Mr. Davis' plan worked like a charm. With the purchased cooperation of the two Democrats and the two RINOs, Mr. Pinckney, a very liberal Democrat, was elected Vice- Chairman of County Council. Supervisor Davis cast the deciding vote to make this happen. From that time to this, the vote on almost every important issue has been split 4/4, with Mr. Davis casting the deciding vote.

Mr. Schurlknight has come up with every excuse in the book why he always votes with the Democrats. Personally, we aren't buying any of it. And, from the 'talk around town', neither are the other voters. If you don't believe it, just try mentioning Mr. Schurlknight's name at Howards or The Round Table. Here's where the other twist comes in. Let's add this up. Supervisor Davis needs to maintain his 4/4 split in the vote on Council. Now that Mr. Schurlknight has sold his political soul to the Democrats, he has lost most of his district's Conservative support. It is common knowledge that District 6 will have a new representative after this election. Armed with this knowledge, Supervisor Davis is hedging his bet and has gone elsewhere for his necessary 4th vote.

We could almost feel sympathy for Mr. Schurlknight's position except for the fact that he sold out the Republican Party. We have had enough of the Democrats AND the RINOs. It's time for the Conservatives to take back our government, starting at the County level. Mr. Schurlknight, we do hope you are comfortable under that bus.

Mr. Terry Hardesty is challenging for the 6th District Council seat. Mr. Hardesty is a seated member of the Berkeley County School Board. He is a Navy and Vietnam veteran. Mr. Hardesty is an independent businessman, working as both a real estate agent and an agent for a national insurance firm.

In years past, the BC School District leadership operated in such a manner that the taxpayers were saddled with an inordinate tax burden to support their reckless spending. Mr. Hardesty and others ran for the School Board because of a desire to correct these problems. He realized that the existing process was not working as it should and that throwing more money at a problem would not result in a solution. Mr. Hardesty's common sense and business sense told him there had to be a better way.

After being elected, Mr. Hardesty, along with fellow board member, Jimmy Hinson, spearheaded the successful effort to secure the hiring of a fiscally conservative School Superintendent. Also, Mr. Hardesty has always supported positions that were in the best interest of the students AND the taxpayers. Despite cuts of millions of dollars in State funds over the last two years, the school district has managed to maintain a healthy fund balance and keep school taxes at the lowest possible levels. Mr. Hardesty has supported the efforts of the new Superintendent to streamline the district office thereby lowering costs.

Mr. Hardesty is a true Conservative in every sense of the word. He supports fiscal as well as personal responsibility. He would be a welcome addition to the BC Council. And, we have secured Mr. Hardesty's solemn vow that he would never, ever, ever vote for a Democrat for the position of Vice-Chairman of County Council.

Based on Mr. Hardesty's business experience, his Conservative values, and, most of all, because of his reputation of integrity and good character, (we should include intelligence proved by the fact that he married up) we wholeheartedly support his efforts in this race.

We only have two concrete facts about the third candidate in this race, Mr. Steve Evans. He paid his filing fee with a money order (?) and he spent his time in the filing office expounding upon the fact that he is such good friends with Supervisor Davis. Sorry, again, Jack.



We enthusiastically support our only truly conservative SC Senator, Jim DeMint.


We support AG Henry McMaster.


We have chosen to support Ken Ard.


We maintain our long time support of Converse Chellis.


We have chosen to support Alan Wilson because Joe will take him to the woodshed if he doesn't do a good job and keep his word.


We maintain our support of Richard Eckstrom


After listening closely to all the candidates, we have made a last minute change and chosen to support Gary Burgess.


We would be comfortable voting for either of the three candidates running for this seat. They are all conservative, thoughtful, and enthusiastic candidates. But, because we are very concerned with the education issue in SC, we have chosen to support Mr. Jimmy Hinson. Mr. Hinson has been on the BC School Board for almost 4 years. During this time, Mr. Hinson has supported the effort to replace the School leadership with a fiscally conservative, common sense Superintendent. This effort was successful. Also, Mr. Hinson has supported efforts to control financial burdens on the taxpayers. Mr. Hinson has a hands on background in the trenches of education and can bring a better understanding of the true problems and their solutions to Columbia.



Saturday, April 3, 2010



In this race the voters have three choices, Johnny Hill, Bill Salisbury, and Sharon Shuler.

Johnny Hill is a very nice man but we don't think he has the expertise or experience to hit the ground running in this position. He has experience in handling the deceased but there is so much more required of the job.

Bill Salisbury has experience working in the Coroner's office and could, probably, do a satisfactory job, but, like Mr. Hill, he is not the most qualified candidate.

That brings us to the third candidate, Sharon Shuler. Ms. Shuler worked for the Russell Funeral Chapel in Moncks Corner from 1983 to 2007. She is a licensed funeral director and embalmer. During her tenure with Russell, one of her responsibilities was interacting with the bereaved families. Ms. Shuler's compassion and empathy for these families was demonstrative. In 2007, she went to work for the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department. She is now a certified law enforcement officer. She works in the Forensics Division as a crime scene investigator. Collectively, these qualifications gives Ms. Shuler the expertise to professionally perform the varied responsibilities of Coroner.
Ms. Shuler will bring her genuine compassion, along with her knowledge of law enforcement and forensics to this position. The combination of compassion and expertise makes Ms. Shuler the only logical choice for this office.


Mrs. Cathy Davis is the incumbent. She is one of the four truly conservative Republican members of Council. All can count on the fact that Mrs. Davis will cast her vote in the best interest of the taxpayer. Her record is there for all to see.
Mrs. Davis' quiet demeanor is somewhat deceiving. One might be led to believe that she is not engaged but don't believe it for a moment. Mrs. Davis is one of the most well informed and well researched members of Council. She is on top of all the issues involving the well being of the citizens of BC. This is the very reason she has a challenger. Supervisor Davis knows she will vote to block any proposal detrimental to BC and the taxpayers. Mrs. Davis has proven herself to be a capable, dignified member of the Council and deserving of the confidence of the voters.

The only information we have been able to glean about the challenging candidate, Mr. Randy W. McGinnis, is that, after losing his challenge to Mrs. Davis in the last election, he resigned his position on the planning commission.


Mr. Dennis Fish has served on County Council for almost 8 years. 6 of these years he served as the chairman of the Finance Committee. Since Mr. Fish is a licensed accounting practitioner, analyzing budgets is within his field of expertise. As a true conservative, Mr. Fish favors a zero based budget. This is one of the issues on which he and Supervisor Davis disagree. Mr. Davis, for whatever reason, favors a trend budget. (A process where one averages the previous 5 years' budgets to set the new budget) This process is not the most fiscally conservative approach.
Another issue on which Mr. Fish and the Supervisor conflicted was the taking of 29% of the property tax relief from the BC taxpayers. The Supervisor painted Council into a corner on this issue. Council was faced with two unacceptable choices: They had to either vote to take the 29% as matching funds or lose other essential funding for the Jedburg Project. Thanks to Supervisor Davis' leadership there was no other source of funds for this expenditure. Council voted to take the 29% for one year only with the understanding they would not do it again. This issue promises to bring about more conflict in the next few weeks as Supervisor Davis has included taking the 29% AGAIN in the 2010/2011 budget. Mr. Fish has vowed to fight this and assure that the BC taxpayers don't get robbed again.
Mr. Fish has been excoriated by Supervisor Davis because of Mr. Fish's efforts to protect the taxpayers. Mr. Fish's name has been sullied by unfounded rumors and innuendo. Personally, we find it difficult to believe that Mr. Fish has been able to hold his tongue as much as he has. (There will be more information on this issue in our analysis of the Supervisor's race)
Mr. Fish has been and is an asset to County Council and has earned the respect of the voters and has earned reelection.

After scores of interviews, we have only managed to establish one irrefutable fact about Mr. Fish's challenger, Mr. Tony Young. He is known to be a very good friend of Supervisor Davis.

More analysis tomorrow.

Thursday, April 1, 2010



Judge Keith W. Kornahrens, the incumbent, is running unopposed. The judge has done a good job and we've heard no criticism of his performance.


Cindy Forte is, also, the incumbent and running unopposed.


Wayne Dewitt, the incumbent, is running unopposed. The Sheriff has done a very good job in this office. There have been many improvements in the department during his tenure. We have always thought the Sheriff and his department deserves a lot more recognition than they get. The greatest threat most elected officials face is a paper cut. This department regularly deals with folks with guns.


This primary, incumbent Mary Brown is running unopposed so no controversy here.


For the first time in a lot of years, we have a Republican running for the 7th District Council seat. Mr. Bill Fennell will be challenging long time Democrat Councilman, Caldwell Pinckney, in the November election. Mr. Pinckney has alienated many of his Democrat supporters with his involvement in the water lines to nowhere in the Cross area. This campaign will be worth watching. We will make one prediction. Before this campaign gets started good, someone will accuse Mr. Pinckney's dissenters of being a bunch of racists. It's coming so get ready.

Work and meetings beckon so we will continue shortly.