This report points out the difference between the Liberal view and that of the Conservative.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Sunday, March 27, 2011
For a couple of years now, many Conservative Republicans in Berkeley County have accused Supervisor Dan Davis of being either an outright Liberal Democrat or, at least, a "Republican In Name Only", (RINO). As far as GE&P is concerned, these tags equate to "six of one and half dozen of another". Mr. Davis has denied these accusations and has repeatedly, even as late as the 2010 Primary and General Election, described himself as a "Conservative Republican".
The controversy between Mr. Davis and the Conservative base reached a crescendo during the biannual reorganization of County Council in January, 2011. During these meetings, Mr. Davis and two of the supposed Republicans on Council, Jack Schurlknight and Bob Call, joined forces with the two Liberal Democrats, Pinckney and Steve Davis, to revamp Council Rules, taking all power and influence away from the four true Conservative Councilmen, Fish, Callanan, Farley, and Cathy Davis.
Since this alliance with the Democrats was solidified, Mr. Davis has managed to pass ALL of his proposals. The vote on Council ALWAYS come out 4/4, with Supervisor Davis breaking the tie in his favor.
As many of you know, the BCGOP is in the process of the biannual precinct reorganization. If you would, please allow us to outline the process.
Each precinct in the County has a meeting to elect it's representative to the County Executive Committee, it's Precinct President, and other precinct officers. They, also, elect their delegates to the County GOP Convention. These meetings represent the grass roots' organization of the Party. Any and all Republicans who live in the precinct are welcome to attend and participate in these precinct meetings.
To assist each Precinct organizer, GOP Party Headquarters provides a packet of information. In this packet, there are instructions as to how to conduct the meeting, forms to denote attendees and new members, and a list of contact numbers for known Republican voters in the Precinct. In the past, this list was divided into TWO segments. One list contained the names of EVERYONE who voted in the latest GOP Primary and one contained the names of consistent Republican voters. This "Strong Republican" list was most useful when organizing the Precinct meetings but compiling this list is very time consuming as one must research back several Primary cycles. This year, for whatever reason, Party Headquarters decided to ease its workload and only provide the complete list of those who voted in each precinct in the latest GOP Primary.
In the last few weeks, GE&P has received numerous phone calls and emails from GOP Precinct organizers complaining about their call lists. These folks were telling us that a large number of names on their lists have turned out to be Democrats. As a result, GE&P investigated these lists. Sure enough, these 2010 lists contain some rather revealing statistics. Would anyone believe the majority of names on these GOP primary voter lists are those of known DEMOCRATS?
How can this be? Why would so many Democrats cross over and vote in the GOP Primary in 2010?
Golly Gee, let's see if we can figure out this conundrum. We know we can if we all put our heads together and follow the dots. Let's start with the things we all agree are indisputable fact.
1. The two openly Liberal Democrats on County Council are members of Supervisor Davis' coalition.
2. One openly Liberal Democrat on Council, Pinckney, has received a $2.4 MILLION, 8 mile water line to his front door that services less than 10 households and a $1.1 MILLION water line that services only his constituents in another part of his District.
3. The other openly Liberal Democrat on Council, Steve Davis, has happily told anyone who will listen that he has been promised a $3.5 MILLION courthouse and Senior Center in his District.
4. These two openly Liberal Democrats on Council consistently vote WITH Supervisor Davis.
5. Voter turnout for Primary elections are historically low, usually between 15% and 20%.
6. Being as SC has "Open Primary" instead of "Registered Party" Primary elections, anyone may vote in anyone's Primary. When a large number of Democrats decide to vote in the GOP Primary, the election can be tainted. The same fact applies when the situation is reversed.
The following exchange contains the gist of many of the Precinct Organizers' contact calls:
GOP Organizer: "Hello, this is (name of organizer). I'm calling for the BCGOP to remind you of the Precinct reorganization meeting on 3/29.
Contact: "I don't know why you are calling me. I am a Democrat."
GOP Organizer: If you are a Democrat, why did you vote in the GOP Primary in 2010?"
Contact: "I was told to go out and vote for Dan Davis."
Now that we have these facts established, let's discuss the implications of this unholy coalition. Many folks wondered, many out loud, why these two Liberal Democrats, Pinckney and Steve Davis, would join forces with three self proclaimed Conservatives, Schurlknight, Call, and Dan Davis. (All five in this coalition state they are merely trying to achieve bipartisan cooperation on Council.) But, what has been the end result?
Even though Supervisor Davis claims to be a "Conservative", his actions tell a different story. He took 29% of the property tax relief provided by the LOST from the taxpayers which resulted in higher property tax bills. He raised the water and sewer rates by 30%. By choosing NOT to reduce the millage comparably, almost everyone's property tax bills went up after reassessment. He (some contend illegally) took $10 MILLION from the Fund Balance of BCW&SA. He took MILLIONS of dollars from the BC School District by co-opting the FILOT funds from Mt. Holly Industrial Park. At the same time, Supervisor Davis has gone on a spending spree that would put Obama to shame.
All of these actions were achieved with the cooperation of the 2 Liberal Democrats, Pinckney and Davis and the 2 RINOs, Schurlknight and Call. We know what's in it for Pinckney and Steve Davis. What the benefit is for Schurlknight and Call remains to be reveled.
Supervisor Davis claims to be a Conservative Republican. But, he was elected with organized Democrat support and his power is dependent on "compensated" Democrat support on County Council. Lead by Supervisor Davis, our County government is following a "Liberal Tax and Spend" agenda. Our 4 Conservative Republican members of County Council have been silenced.
Dan Davis, Jack Schurlknight, and Bob Call are Conservative Republicans?
YOU CONNECT THE DOTS.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Over the years GE&P has learned a few TRUTHS OF THE AGES:
1. A Conservative can never convince a Liberal to be fiscally responsible.
2. If a man will lie, he will steal.
3. You cannot do anything to cure stupid.
4. You can never, never trust a dishonest person.
5. Murphy's Law is alive and well.
In one way or the other, each of these TRUTHS apply to this post.
GE&P attended the County Council meeting last Monday night. The result was a bit anticlimactic as we knew the outcome before it happened. Even so, these results warrant a few comments. We will begin with the Transparency issue.
A few weeks ago, the Transparency Subcommittee held a meeting. The Davis administration had made it clear for months that they did not want the transparency issue addressed. It is not to the advantage of Mr. Davis to have the entire County watching the Council meetings and having knowledge of the process of their "new and improved" government. This could be very problematic to many of Mr. Davis' endeavors. The majority of BC citizens do not take the time out of their busy lives to attend the Council meetings but they WOULD turn on the TV and watch if they had the chance.
Getting back to the Transparency meeting, the press received a complaint that the meeting was not noticed properly. The complainant, who can be traced directly to the BC administration, created quite a stir and attempted to put the blame for the oversight upon the shoulders of the subcommittee chairman. In fact, the Chairman of the Finance Committee, Jack Schrulknight, was present at this meeting and knew ahead of time that the meeting had not been noticed to the public. He did not complain at the time nor did he attempt to stop the meeting. Also, the County's legal council was present at the meeting and made no issue about the lack of notice.
At Monday's Council meeting, Mr. Schurlknight refused to allow the subcommittee chairman to make her report, siting the lack of notice of her meeting. It is notable that the original subcommittee meeting was held over three weeks prior to Monday's meeting. If Mr. Schurlknight intended to disallow the recommendations of the subcommittee, why didn't he inform the Chairman? Easy answer; Mr. Schurlknight was following instructions to kick the can on down the road. If he didn't get the report, the administration wouldn't have to take any action on the issue. That means the public will be denied access to Council meetings on the public airways for at least another month. You can bet this issue will not be addressed until AFTER the battle for the 2011/2012 budget.
History: At the January reorganization of Council meeting, the Supervisor, shall we say "orchestrated" a new system. By forming a coalition with the Democrats on Council, he managed to achieve a support majority. How did he do this? He used a tactic at which Mr. Davis excels; he convinced these Liberals that they were being cheated out of their "fair share of the pie". The "race card" was utilized with the desired effect.
He bought Pinckney's vote with a $2.4 Million water line that serves less than 10 people. No red flags here. After all, as Mr. Pinckney is fond of saying, there has to be "equity" when it comes to County services. Never once has he mentioned or even recognized a little thing known as "economic feasibility". He bought Steve Davis' vote with the promise of a $3.5 Million courthouse for St. Stephen. Predictable. Mr. Steve Davis has said to GE&P and others, on more than one occasion, if Goose Creek and Moncks Corner have nice courthouses, so should St. Stephen.
After securing the Democrat vote, he proceeded to address the "stupid" vote. He won Mr. Schurlknight's vote by making him feel relevant and important with an appointment to Finance Committee Chairman. That's a tight fit. As to Mr. Call's conversion, Mr. Davis found a cheap date here, for obvious reasons. With these 4 securely in his pocket, Mr. Davis proceeded to change Council rules. He removed the 4 Conservatives from the Committees that control spending and he was free to do as he pleased. Had this meeting been televised and even 10% of the population viewing, GE&P contends there would have been an uprising in protest.
Now we will proceed to the issue of the purchase of the fairgrounds property.
At the 2/14/11 Committee meetings, the subject of this purchase was discussed. The supervisor wanted to purchase this 16 acres at a cost to BC of $1.6 Million. The proposed Dan Davis Health and Human Services Campus would be located on this site. Being as the new Campus only requires about 7 acres, Mr. Davis stated he would "sell the remainder of the land at some later date". Being as the fairgrounds property has been sitting there for decades without an offer to purchase, we can assume resale will be eminent.
Mr. Fish pointed out that the appraisal used in this transaction was that of the sellers and that the County had accepted the asking price without any negotiation. Mr. Fish pointed out that another tract was available at a much cheaper price. This Conservative Councilman pointed out that the state of the economy would not support such excessive spending at this time. Mr. Davis assured Mr. Fish that he "would check into these concerns" before the next Council meeting. Even with these concerns being voiced, the Committee voted to go ahead with the purchase. (Remember, this Committee is stacked with Dan Davis' supporters and the 4 Conservatives have no voice.)
Fast forward to Monday night. The issue of the fairgrounds property purchase came up, again. Mr. Callanan and Mr. Fish brought up the same issues that were brought up at the Committee meetings two weeks prior. Over strong opposition from the Conservative Councilmen, the sellers appraisal was deemed acceptable and the administration found no problem with agreeing to the sellers asking price with no negotiation. Even though, at the previous meeting, the Supervisor promised to check into the alternative, less expensive site, no mention of this investigation was voiced.
Mr. Davis did support his preference for the fairgrounds site because "the majority of the clients needing these services resided in Moncks Corner and, therefore, this site would be more convenient". He said he needed a site that was "on the public bus line". There are problems with these statements. First, if you base the question on population, the town of Moncks Corner is not centrally located in the County. Second, the public bus line runs right past the alternate site.
Let us review the facts:
The SELLERS appraisal was used.
The ASKING PRICE was ACCEPTED WITHOUT NEGOTIATION.
A LESS EXPENSIVE PROPERTY was DISCOUNTED.
SUPPORTING ISSUES for the location were ERRONEOUS.
If GE&P was not totally convinced ( which we most certainly are) that our Supervisor is a man of proven, incontrovertible integrity with an impeccably reputation for honesty and truthfulness, quite candidly, we might suspect this deal of being shady. Under other circumstances, we might suspect that, somehow, money could be transferred under the table and that someone, other than the taxpayers, will be benefitting from this transaction. Thank the Lord we're not dealing with this other scenario.
Mr. Fish and Mr. Callanan argued to no avail that the taxpayers of BC should be given back the 29% of their property tax relief from the LOST. They contended, considering the state of the economy, these funds could be better utilized by the taxpayer than committed to unnecessary spending. Judging from the round of applause when these statements were made, the audience at the meeting soundly agreed.
This is where the anticlimactic part comes in. When the final vote was taken, it was predictably 4/4, with Dan Davis providing the tie-breaker. The motion was passed and the taxpayers of BC found themselves, ultimately, in $23 Million worth of debt for the new Dan Davis Health and Human Services Campus. But, there is a redeeming side to all of this. When this facility is completed, the clientele of these state and federal agencies will have a bright, new, and shiny location at which to go and collect your tax dollars.
A man by the name of Alesis de Tocqueville wrote an interesting book back in the late 1700s. In it he commented that this pristine new form of government would endure UNTIL "one citizen learned that he, by his vote, could transfer money from another's pocket to his own." Prophetic, wasn't he?