Thursday, December 20, 2012


Just when you start to think the news reporting can't get any more fictitious, you are proven WRONG. Sometimes, it's a real challenge to be aware of the truth and have to endure reading this garbage in our local papers.  Where do we start?

1.  DD via Jack Schurlknight, not "Council",  proposed the bonuses.
2.  DD knew he did not qualify for the bonus from the 2011 discussions of the same matter.
3.  Councilman Callanan initially pointed out DD's disqualification.
4.  Considering the facts, it MUST be "about the money".

"Council" did NOT come up with the idea of giving this "Christmas bonus", either this year or last year.  The bright idea was presented by the mouth of Jack Schurlknight, Chairman of the Finance Committee, no doubt directed by our esteemed Supervisor.  It would appear DD couldn't resist dipping into the taxpayers' pockets just one more time before he loses exclusive control of the money pot in January.

Either DD is suffering from some kind of memory disorder or he thinks the taxpayers are.  Last December, when the "bonus" issue was raised, he learned that, by law, he did not qualify to receive any such bonuses.  There was a huge discussion of this issue reported in the newspaper.  Only after it became a political issue, did he announce that, if he should receive any bonus, he would donate it to charity.

The P&C reported today that the Berkeley County attorney was the one who brought up the subject of DD not being allowed to accept any bonuses.  This statement is factually incorrect.  The truth is that, both last year and this, Councilman Callanan reminded everyone that SC law forbids DD from receiving any bonuses.  Again this year, the attorney "checked" the law to verify Mr. Callanan's contention. Again this year, she found it to be true.  (Maybe we could suggest she make a note for next December.)

One elected official is quoted as saying the issue of bonuses "is not about the money".  Yea, right.

Some people think it's always a great idea to give our loyal county workers and officials a raise or a bonus.  Well, it would be if we didn't have to factor in the issue of the big picture.  The fact is that we are facing a potential economic disaster, not just locally but nationally.  WHEN, not IF the bottom falls out, these same people supporting the extra spending will be left standing there with a surprised look on their faces.

Since the last reassessment five years ago, real property values have DECREASED by as much as 30%.  Property assessments for tax purposes are supposed to reflect  market values.  We have seen this happen countless times in the past.  When market values of property go up, so do property taxes.  To a sane mind, it would naturally follow that property taxes SHOULD decrease in a depressed market.  BUT, we have it on good authority that the Assessor's office has been given instructions that this eventuality is not to happen.  That 30% of revenue is to be retained at all cost.  Undoubtedly, that goal will be achieved.

So, in the 2014 tax cycle, here stands the taxpayer facing the same high County property tax bill he faced in each of the last five years.  In addition to this burden, we know the School District is imposing a new backbreaking tax bite to support its spendthrift bond issue. Thus, we see insult piled on top of injury. None of these bandits have given any consideration as to where the beleaguered taxpayer is supposed to get all this extra money. Simply put, we have a formula for disaster.  Has anyone ever heard about 1929? The economy collapsed; folks lost their jobs; these same folks had no money with which to pay property taxes; and, consequently, countless people lost their homes. Considering the economic atmosphere of today, this history has a distinct possibility, if not probability, of repeating itself.

The County employees and the elected officials receive their paychecks with money paid by the taxpayers of BC.  The majority of these folks have tunnel vision and can only see today.  All they think about is, Oh Goodie, we're getting a Christmas bonus.  If the employees of today could see beyond the end of their noses, they would be more concerned that BC government is MILLIONS of dollars in arrears in payments to the state retirement fund.  This effects not only their retirement money but also their medical insurance.  If that fund goes broke, where will the present and future retirees be then?

If the economic ship hits the sand, who will think the $2.4 MILLION waterline to serve less than 10 families, the purchase of the $1.6 MILLION swampland..excuse me, Fairground, the MILLIONS of DOLLARS spent on Economic Development that's not developing, or all these gifts from Santa were a good idea?  Oh, wait a minute, being as DD's leadership is responsible for all this spending and debt, if push comes to shove, we all know he will step up to the plate and donate  to the support of the County all that he has accrued over the last 6 years, to assure you that your homes will be safe.  And, least we forget, pigs can fly.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


      From bondage to spiritual faith;
      From spiritual faith to great courage;
      From courage to liberty;
      From liberty to abundance;
      From abundance to complacency;
     From complacency to apathy;
      From apathy to dependence;
      From dependency back into bondage.”


Betty Davis said it best, "Fasten your seat belts; you are in for a bumpy ride."

After his election in 2008, Barack Obama warned everyone by saying, "Tomorrow we will begin the basic transformation of America."  He was honest enough to tell everyone what was coming.  The majority did not pay attention.  We can all see the results of his first term.

Last night, he warned us, again.  He said, "We are the American family and we will rise or FALL together."  Being as, concerning this issue, the man was telling the truth, don't be surprised at the results of the next four years.  Pack your bag; we're on the road to Babylon.  How long the enslavement endures depends entirely upon the grace of God.

In our humble opinion de Tocqueville (1805) should be required reading for all potential voters:

Alexis de TocquevilleAlexis de Tocqueville > Quotes

“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.”
― Alexis de Tocqueville

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years.”
― Alexis de Tocqueville

“America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
― Alexis de Tocqueville

“Americans are so enamored of equality, they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.”
― Alexis de Tocqueville

“When the taste for physical gratifications among them has grown more rapidly than their education . . . the time will come when men are carried away and lose all self-restraint . . . . It is not necessary to do violence to such a people in order to strip them of the rights they enjoy; they themselves willingly loosen their hold. . . . they neglect their chief business which is to remain their own masters.”
― Alexis de TocquevilleDemocracy in America Volume 2

“Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom, socialism restricts it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man; socialism makes each man a mere agent, a mere number. Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.”
― Alexis de Tocqueville

“There are many men of principle in both parties in America, but there is no party of principle.”
― Alexis de Tocqueville

Enough said.

Friday, November 2, 2012


Having lived the nightmare that is the major hurricane, our heart breaks for all the people assaulted by Sandy. We know what it is like to suffer through the fear during the darkness of the storm.  We know the shock of walking outside the morning after to view the unbelievably total devastation.  We have endured the aftermath; no power, roads blocked, houses damaged or destroyed, and life disrupted.  These experiences are truly life-changing. BUT, there are lessons that many folks up north are learning the hard way.  Folks down south learned these lessons long ago.

First and foremost: When the authorities issue a mandatory evacuation for the coastal and low elevation areas, GET THE HELL OUT.  Go to higher ground.  Go inland. No possessions are worth the loss of your life.

Next in importance:  Don't depend on anyone else to see to your needs.  Prepare for your own survival.  

  • 1.  If you must evacuate, pack a bag.  If the storm is severe, chances are you will need clothing for several days.  You will need your medication.  If your home is in an area in danger of destruction, take along your important papers. (deed, insurance papers, etc.)

  • 2.  If your home is in a relatively safe non-evacuation area and you intend to ride out the storm there, assemble provisions. (a generator, food that doesn't require cooking, cash, water, ice, gasoline for the generator, and anything else you, personally, require for survival. It is, also, a good idea to fill the gas tanks of all your cars)

  • 3.  Understand that the government is NOT going to be all things to all people in a major disaster.  In the moments and days post hurricane, the cavalry is NOT right over the hill, waiting to ride to your rescue.  After Hugo, many folks in our area were without power for a MONTH.  We had to fend for ourselves and look out for one another.  No government agency was anywhere to be seen.
Relatively few people died in Hugo.  Without exception, those who did die were doing things they were told NOT to do; riding out the storm on a boat, staying in a trailer, going outside during the storm, or staying in evacuation zones. 

In this latest disaster, we, once again, see that human beings refuse to learn from history.  Granted, the northeast doesn't experience a large volume of tropical storms BUT these occurrences are NOT unprecedented. AND, the weather officials issued a plethora of warnings, advisories, and instructions during a full week before the storm actually hit.  Now, predictably, the same folks who ignored these warnings, advisories, and instructions are in a tizzy because their needs are not being met.  Unfortunately, we know from experience that this situation is bound to get worse before it gets better.  Our prayers go out to all.


Sunday, October 7, 2012


During heated campaigns, candidates make all kinds of assertions.  Some of these comments are true.  Some are not.  It is incumbent upon the candidate to be savvy enough to know the difference between a comment ( if untrue) he can get away with and one that will come back to bite him.

A candidate can say, "My opponent is a liar."  Nothing usually happens.  A candidate can say, "Since my opponent called me a RINO, I have received overwhelming support."  Nothing usually happens.  BUT, when a candidate gets very specific with questionable assertions, he may create a problem for himself. This kind of comment MAY have unintended consequences.  Case in point:

In the County Council District 3 race, the newly organized group called 'The RINO Hunters' got actively  involved.  The group's stated mission is to educate the public as to which candidate in the various races is deemed a "true Conservatives" and which is not.  They initiated their local efforts during the District 3 race. The group concluded the challenger was the "true Conservative".  But, because of past affiliation with the more Liberal party and his recent voting record which sided with the Liberal Democrats on Council, the group labeled the professed "Republican" incumbent, Bob Call, as a RINO (Republican In Name Only).

When the press asked Mr. Call what effect the RINO signs was having on his campaign, the gist of his reply was,  'I'm not worried about the RINO signs.  As a matter of fact, "since they went up, I have received five thousand dollars in campaign contributions"'.  This is one of those potentially problematic situations referred to earlier.

All candidates in all races are obliged by law to file financial reports to the Ethics Commission on an established schedule, declaring all contributions and expenditures of their campaigns.  Mr. Call did not declare this supposed 5 thousand dollars in donations on any of his financial statements to the Ethics Commission.  This fact leaves this incumbent in a conundrum.  Was his statement to the press untrue or was his financial statement to the Ethics Commission untrue?  Logic dictates it has to be one or the other.

It seems the Ethics Commission agrees.  There is a hearing scheduled in November to get to the bottom of this situation.  It will be very interesting to hear Mr. Call's explanation.


Mr. Call may have problems on yet another front.  There are rumblings that not all of those responsible for oversight of legal proceedings are entirely satisfied that protocol was followed concerning Mr. Call's court challenge after he lost the election.  Since this issue is still being officially investigated, we will save that story for a later date.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


It is common knowledge that DD has a vested interest in keeping Bob Call on County Council.  DD did his best to assure Call would win the Republican Primary.  He called in every favor to secure donations to the Call campaign.  When the voters of District 3 soundly rejected Call, DD's shock was palpable.  Being as Call had bungled the election so badly, it was time for DD to take things into his own hands.  It was time to sue; sue anybody, anywhere, any time.

Call (DD) sued the SCGOP, the BCGOP, the SC Election Commission, the BC Voter Registration (aka Election Commission), the BCRP Chairman, and the winner of the District 3 GOP Primary, Ken Gunn.

GE&P has spoken to scores of people directly connected to this situation.  The information we have received is shocking and as flabbergasting as it could get.  Since we have received this disturbing information from multiple sources, we have some questions for DD:

Did DD actually approach one Election Commission, personally, about getting the winner of the Republican Primary decertified, only to be told it was none of his business?

Did DD usurp the authority of the BC Election Commission by having someone in his administration hire an attorney for that defendant?

Who gave the instructions to the BC Election Commission's attorney and what were those instructions?

When, at the hearing (which looked like a lawyers' convention), a Motion To Dismiss was introduced by the attorney for the SC Election Commission, did one attorney for the defense really argue AGAINST it?  Anybody want to venture a guess as to which one?

And, last but certainly not least:

Why is DD so desperate?  Why is this tie vote so imperative?  What grizzly specter is lurking in the wings, awaiting its cue?  Looks like January 2013 will tell the tale.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Here's a little bit of news that will make Berkeley County taxpayers happy.  Last weekend, the SC Association of Counties held its Annual Conference.   The event is held at the Hilton on Hilton Head Island, not exactly your basic Motel 6.  Being as so many people attend, each person gets a discount rate of (minimum) $120.00 a day.  The conference lasts 3 days.  Members of the various County Councils and Supervisors etc., including Berkeley, usually attend.  The taxpayers foot this bill.  Added to this, each official is given per diem for their meals. This additional expense is covered by the taxpayers.

While attending this conference, these officials may take classes on various subjects having to do with county government.  These classes are not free and this expense is, also, paid for by the taxpayers.

One of the biggest general complaints about this function is that many of these officials don't attend any classes or forums but opt to play golf the whole weekend. That's another story.

The issue we will address today is the fact that Berkeley County Councilman, Call attended this latest conference. Having lost the primary to Mr. Gunn, Mr. Call will not be a seated Councilman in 4 months.  Why would the Supervisor approve spending the taxpayers' money for this lame duck Councilman to attend this event?

Monday, August 13, 2012


When Ken Gunn blew Bob Call out of the water in the District 3 primary election, the Conservatives were ecstatic, and rightfully so.  DD, not so much.  Gunn's win meant that the Conservatives will have a majority on BC Council come January.  During this primary campaign many issues were discussed, including:




It goes without saying, any discussion of these issues did not make DD smile.  DD made every effort to see to it that Call was successful in the election.  Judging from the list of donors to Call's campaign, which we intend to publish, DD must have called in every marker in his little black book.  Fortunately for the Conservative effort, DD failed.

Come January, DD will have no choice but to open all the records.  No longer will 4 Councilmen be denied access to records and information or, have their requests postponed indefinitely.   No longer will DD have the power  to squirrel away MILLION of dollars in excess tax revenue.  No longer will DD have a guaranteed voting majority for whatever he proposes. And, worst of all, a forensic audit is a foregone conclusion.

With these inevitabilities staring him in the face, it looks like DD is beginning to panic.  Call has filed suit against Ken Gunn, the BCRP, and the State GOP, the BC election Commission, and BCRP Chairman, Tim Callanan.  His suit claims that Gunn was not a legitimate candidate in the primary and that Chairman Callanan misrepresented the facts surrounding the GOP filing process.  Of course, Call wants Gunn's name taken off the ballot in November and replaced with his name. ( I wonder if there's any truth to the rumors that DD tried to use his influence to get this job done himself and was told by the Election Commission that it wasn't any of his business and to go away?)

It seems that Call can't seem to take the high road on anything, even this dirty trick. Before anyone was served, he notified the Berkeley Independent that HE had filed suit.  However, anyone familiar with this mess knows exactly who is behind it.

What's the big problem, Dan? What could the new majority find out about what you have been up to in the last 5 years?  What could they find out about your "projects"?  What could they find out about the MILLIONS you spent on "consultants"?  And, the biggest  question, what could a NEW AUDITOR discover about where all the money came from and where it went?

As GE&P has said before, we are not clairvoyant; we can simply see into the future.  We predict that DD has pushed the envelope a bit too far on this one and, according to evidence that has yet to be made public,  his actions will definitely come back to bite him.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Once again, the Post & Courier can't see the forest for the trees.   In this case, we are referring to the TTC Nursing school situation.

In a recent editorial, our intrepid daily placed the blame for Berkeley County failing to provide promised funding for the nursing school firmly at the feet of a divided County Council.  According to the editorial, the big argument stems from the question, "From what source will BC draw the promised funding?"  The writer supports his point by stressing that BC Council is divided into two schools of thought.

Being as we always like to be as helpful as possible, we would like to offer a story research suggestion, followed by the actual facts of this situation:

  • RULE ONE: When you decide to research a BC story idea,  be aware that you can't believe a word DD says. Consult someone who doesn't have a dog in the fight.
  • County Council IS, INDEED, divided but not in the manner implied.  Berkeley County Council now consists of 4 Conservatives, 2 Liberals and 2 Republicans In Name Only. (RINO)  The latter 4 Councilmen vote exactly as DD dictates. (The only exceptions to this process is when one or the other of the 2 Liberals want a freebee with which DD disagrees or they claim some sort of perceived discrimination.)  Otherwise, when you see the vote of these 4, you are looking at the wishes of DD.
  • Examine the time-line of this controversy.  You will notice the first "commitment" was made PRIOR to DD's re-election bid and DD led the charge.  He, also, made certain there was no formal Resolution adopted.  Even though the minutes clearly reflect a statement by Legal Council that BC has a firm "commitment" to this pledge, now that DD no longer needs the votes, he claims there was NO formal "COMMITMENT".  A blind man on a galloping horse could see what's going on here.
Originally, due to the state of the economy, GE&P disagreed with BC's participation in this project.  BUT, after the commitment was made, we should stick to it.  In the end, a man is only as good as his word.  The same applies to a County government and its leadership.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

In order to comply with the requirements of the Berkeley Independent, we post the following link:

County checking properties for reassessment
Published Monday, July 23, 2012 4:53 PM
By Dan Brown
Berkeley Independent

Berkeley County Tax Assessor Wilson Baggett wants to reassure county residents who may have spotted county employees in their neighborhoods and around their homes recently.
There is nothing out of the ordinary going on, he said, just representatives from his department surveying all county property in preparation for the upcoming tax reassessment.
“Real Property Services appraisers are reviewing all properties in Berkeley County for the 2014 reassessment program,” Baggett said. “State laws require each county to reassess every five years.”
Berkeley County last reassessed in 2009.
“To assure our records are accurate, appraisers from Berkeley County will be visiting all properties over the next 12 to 15 months,” he said.
Baggett added that the goal of his office is to prepare an accurate appraisal.
“It’s important for county taxpayers to know that accuracy of the appraisal is what we’re after,” he said. “Our records are five years old and it’s important in terms of coming to an accurate appraisal that we visually inspect each property.”
County appraisers will be properly identified by wearing a county ID badge with photo that is visible on their clothing. They will be driving a county car with a visible county seal.
“In performing a thorough review of your property, the appraiser may need to measure the exterior of your home or buildings located on the property and take photos,”
Baggett said. He added that his appraisers are some of the nicest people he knows.
“They are polite and willing to help,” he said. “We had one appraiser during the recent heat wave stop and help an individual overcome by the heat, even giving up her own bottle of water to make sure this person was okay.”
Baggett apologized for any inconvenience these appraisals may cause and appreciates residents understanding.    END  OF ARTICLE

Golly, that sounds all warm and fuzzy, doesn't it?  Well, before you let the fox into your henhouse, it might be to your benefit to know the rest of the story.  This upcoming reassessment is a very unique situation, so please be patient and we will try to make it as clear as possible.

Before posting this blog, we have done extensive research.  We have looked at the process involved in former reassessments in Berkeley County, spoken at length to county employees with first hand knowledge of this process and, more importantly, consulted with professional sources about the activity of the real estate market over the last 5 years.  We have learned some very interesting facts.

Everyone knows that assessed value for property tax purposes is supposed to be derived from the benchmark of market value.  When the market value of your property increases, your tax liability on the property goes up at reassessment.  If the increased market value is excessive, the County is restricted from increasing taxes more than the percentage (15%) allowed by State Law. However, the County can increase property taxes up to that point.  As we have all seen over the years, our property taxes have tended to only increase.  

When the state legislature removed school support from our primary residence property taxes, our tax bills went down markedly.   However, since that time, these lower tax bills have steadily, for a long list of "reasons", crept ever upward.  As the real estate market bubble expanded, property values increased and higher property tax bills inevitably followed. County governments, such as Berkeley, delighted in the increased revenue and, of course, found places to spend the extra funds. We have all suffered under this scenario. 

Well, now it seems the worm has turned.  Over the last several years, the real estate market has experienced a reversal of fortune.  According to official sources, both national and local, the value of real property has been depressed by an average of 30% during this time period.  Since there is no prescribed limit on the DECREASE of assessed value, as there is for any increase, this situation could be extremely problematic for the revenue flows of any government entity, such as Berkeley County. Our County government has made no provisions for a down-turn, instead, spending our money like the proverbial drunken sailor. (No disrespect intended to the drunken sailors in the crowd)   

Since Berkeley County depends heavily on the collection of property taxes to fund not only vital County services but a myriad of pet projects, any decline in the amount of revenue would be viewed as potentially disastrous. Let us revise that:  Without any revisions in the spending habits of our County government, any decline in revenue WILL BE disastrous.  

Now that our County government has pulled it's proverbial head from the sand and realized the inevitability of the situation, what do think their first move would be?  We can answer that without any reservations. THEY DECIDED TO TAKE THE CROOKED WAY OUT.  Judging from our research, this seems to be a rough outline of their plan:

We have not been able to find any prior example of the Assessor's office EVER undertaking the project of physically measuring and photographing EVERY property in the County for a single reassessment.  Historically, assessments have been based on benchmark values (some that go back 40 years or more) and on the ongoing yearly changes in the real estate market.  When improvements and/or additions are made to the property, these changes are reflected in the assessed value and, in turn, in the tax bills.  Over the next year and a half, the assessor's office says it will measure each and every one of the 100,000 buildings in the County in order to verify value for reassessment purposes.  And, from our research, we understand that all employees are aware that under measuring a house by only an inch is justification for termination.

It is almost incomprehensible but there is a multitude of taxpayers who don't ever question a property tax bill.  They receive the bill, grumble a bit, and simply write the check.  In 2014, after reassessment, Berkeley County government is hoping against hope that this remains the case.  Otherwise, they stand to lose 30 % of OUR money.  Since the decline in the real estate market is a fact, if taxpayers react in their customary manner, Berkeley County will get away with stealing millions from the property owners of the County.

This is a good juncture to list the reason why Berkeley County government claims to need ALL of this 30%.  To hear the Supervisor tell it, any reduction in the revenue stream would break the back of County government.  If such a reduction should happen, the results would be: 
  • The citizens could no longer have any police protection. 
  • The citizens could have no fire protection.
  • Even the most necessary County services could disappear.
  • Public water and sewer could stop flowing.
  • County employees could be terminated in droves. 
  • Consequently,  the world could stop turning.
But, when you educate yourself to the real facts, a quite different picture comes into focus.  No one would argue that police, fire and other services are needed.  In fact, we would go so far as to say some of these services are underfunded as it is BUT operation of these services is NOT our problem.  If it becomes necessary to operate the County with less revenue, might we suggest that Mr. Davis consider the following:

  • Stop building waterlines that cost $2.4 MILLION and serve less than 10 households.
  • Stop buying swampland for the Dan Davis Health and Human Services Campus that costs $1.6 MILLION for the land alone. The buildings would add another $20 MILLION.
  • Stop playing musical chairs with the government offices in Moncks Corner.
  • Stop building roads to increase the value of land the County plans to buy at inflated prices.
  • Stop building new libraries in towns where even the Mayor says it's a waste of money.
  • Stop operating waterlines where MILLIONS of gallons of drinking water have to be dumped to keep the water drinkable.
  • Stop spending MILLIONS of dollars on consultants for everything under the sun.  If you don't know how to do the job you were elected to do, QUIT.
  • Stop squirreling away MILLIONS of dollars in the budgets of the various departments "in case you might need it".
  • Stop hiring people you don't need, to head programs you can't define, funded with money you don't have, namely, SWMP.
  • Stop spending money on your Economic Development schemes as if we are in the middle of an economic boom.  WE'RE NOT.
  • Stop growing government.

This upcoming situation, with the reduction of revenue from property taxes, is a golden opportunity for our County government to rein in the wasteful spending and shrink the size of our County government.  This January, there will be 5 Conservative members on County Council. We will expect these 5 to address this issue and act accordingly.  Stop trying to convince the taxpayers that our money is being spent wisely when the waste is as obvious as the nose on your face.  Address the vital needs of the County and stop outspending your revenue stream.  Just for a change, handle the taxpayers' money as frugally as you do your own family budgets. 

This October we will receive our property tax bills for 2013.  Next October we will receive the first bill post reassessment.  Grits, Eggs, and Politics would encourage all property owners to examine these bills carefully.  Compare the 2013 bill to the one you got in 2012.  AND, especially compare the 2014 bill to the 2013 bill.  If the 2014 bill is not considerably less than the 2013 bill, APPEAL.  We will post the simple instructions for a successful appeal on a later blog.  

Saturday, June 30, 2012


The tax payers in Berkeley County District 7 and District 8 and some of the tax payers in Districts 3, 5 and 6 should take note.
The budget was approved on June 29 but as surely as the sun came up this morning one of the next items on the BC agenda will be the revision of the Storm Water Management Ordinance establishing a fee on the backs of the taxpayers in the unincorporated areas of this county. These taxpayers can thank the Council Representatives from Districts 7 and 8, and while you are thanking them include the Council Representatives from Districts 3 and 6.
Last September the supervisor placed a $36.00 Storm Water fee on the tax bills without Council’s knowledge and certainly without their approval, and the tax bills had been printed for mailing. This fee would have brought in $1.4 million dollars to fund the Department and the permit requirements, he said. When council was made aware of this addition to the tax bills, the supervisor “was prepared” he said, to lower the amount to $12.00 per taxpayer in the unincorporated areas. The fee was denied and at that time Council Representatives from Districts 7 and 8 voted against the fee.
The supervisor continues to say the Storm Water Department is unfunded and this year’s budget doubles the amount of the 2011-2012 budget. Does that mean he shall double the amount of the fee he proposed last year. He has the time to accomplish the fee scheme; ordinances require three months (three readings) for adoption. The tax bills are typically mailed in October. Just wait Berkeley County, the fee is coming.

Perhaps the real question may be, how many times can one be surprised and/or shocked at the actions taken by persons elected by the voters/tax payers in this county to represent us???

Friday, June 29, 2012


After attending the reorganization of Council meeting in 2011, we thought we had witnessed the most egregiously corrupt and dishonest activity possible for this administration.  WE WERE WRONG.

We attended the Special County Council meeting this morning and the activities we witnessed are almost beyond belief. If we weren't already aware of the depth of the corruption in our County government, we would think this episode was simply a nightmare.  Unfortunately, it was all too true.

This saga began at last Monday night's Council meeting.  Purely by mistake, Steve Davis, one of DD's coalition, lost his mind, did the right thing, and voted in the taxpayers' favor by rejecting the 2012/2013 budget.  Being as this mis-step left the ball in DD's court, we fully expected ramifications for this Councilman.  Maybe he was reminded that his new courthouse was not yet built or that his other perks for supporting DD's agenda were yet unrealized.  Whatever the provocation,  Mr. Davis became aware  he had pooped and stepped backwards in it so he decided he wanted to change his vote.

The administration saw the benefit in this change of heart but they realized the mechanics of rectifying this situation would be problematic.  Standing squarely in the path of fixing this unforeseen miscue were those pesky little things called RULES.  Easy solution: LIE.

First, there is a Rule that states: "The motion to reconsider allows county council to debate whether or not to overturn a decision made at the meeting that is in progress or at the immediately preceding meeting; provided, however, that third reading to an Ordinance may be reconsidered only at the same meeting in which the third reading was adopted.  Most intelligent people translate this phrase in the spirit in which it is meant and realize it should be interpreted as meaning "if FINAL ACTION was taken on an Ordinance".  But, BC's esteemed legal council latched onto the word "adopted" and ruled that, because the Ordinance was, in fact, not passed, this Rule didn't apply.  This argument, undeniably, was a stretch. Coincidentally, one of the authors of these Rules vehemently disagrees with the legal council's opinion as to the context of this Rule.

BUT, the next Rule leaves absolutely no wiggle room.  "If and when any one member of County Council objects to any item which is brought up for discussion and which has not been placed on or specifically identified on the official agenda, then that item will not be discussed at that meeting."  DD and the rest of his band of merry men knew very well that they intended to introduce a "Motion to Reconsider" when they scheduled this meeting but the Agenda did not reflect that intention.  The only item on today's agenda was "2012-2013 Budget".  There was no mention of the "Continuing Resolution" or the "Motion to Reconsider".  These people knew they were going to perpetrate this fraud before they started the meeting.  They assumed the vague, generalized agenda item would provide them cover for any and all activity.  That has not turned out to be the case.

There is a distinct possibility that this corrupt government has pushed the envelope to the breaking point this time.  Even people with very limited knowledge of the workings of government can understand what has happened.  Even these political novices are outraged. Our phones have been ringing off the hook.  We are amazed and heartened at just how rapidly the word is spreading.  It will be interesting to see how this shakes out.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


If all we know about this year's failed Berkeley County budget was explained in today's Post and Courier article, wouldn't our life be simple?  Unfortunately, that is not a fact.  We continue to marvel at the ability of our local news media to repeatedly miss the point.  In today's article, the reporter seemed to think the inability of Berkeley County government to meet its obligation to Trident Tech was the only reason this budget failed. Well, with all due respect, there were many other unresolved issues that contributed to this debacle.

  • One Councilman took offense at the fact that this administration wanted to more than double the funding for the Storm Water Management Program without any legitimate justification. One Councilman was thinking far enough ahead to know, if the increase in the SWMP was allowed to stand, in short order, a FEE would surely be imposed on the taxpayers of the unincorporated areas.
  • Another Councilman didn't like the idea that over a MILLION DOLLARS was in one department's budget as a "place holder". Another $200,000 was in another department's budget "in case we need it".
  • A number of Councilmen took offense that over TWO MILLION DOLLARS of appropriations was scattered throughout the departments, quoting no justification at all. 
  • Some Councilmen disagreed with the fact that, in this budget, the Fund Balance exceeded its optimal 15% by over 9 % because the Supervisor "has plans for that money".
  • Being as there were so many MILLIONS of dollars just floating around this budget, several Councilmen wanted the 29% of the confiscated property tax relief returned to the taxpayers.
Long and short of it, the FY 2012/2013 proposed budget for Berkeley County government was a disgrace.  MILLIONS of TAXPAYER DOLLARS were hidden in every crack and cranny throughout the document. Justifications for expenditures were laughable.  

This administration attempted to pull a fast one with this proposed budget. First, they provided Council members with a disk version instead of a hard copy.  When one tried to access the information on this disk, the documents appeared sideways on the screen.  Since the version provided no means of rotating the documents, one would have had to recline in order to read them. But, no one anticipated the fact that one nosey taxpayer would foot the bill to obtain a printed copy for analysis. 

Then, the administration orchestrated a dog and pony show in lieu of real "budget work shops".  This theatrical event presented only information that was favorable to the administration and denied information to Council members that would have generated the opportunity to ask specific questions about questionable issues. The "questionable issues" were conveniently avoided.  Then came the "readings".  During the discussion periods, damning information began to be exposed. It was painful to watch and listen as each morsel of "truth" was slowly extracted from reluctant members of the administration.

Finally, at Third Reading, an accurate picture of this administration's intent came into focus and the majority of the  members of County Council were not favorably impressed.  "NO", we do not want to continue to inflate the Fund Balance.  "NO", we do not want to increase the budget for the SWMP with no justification.  "NO", we do not want to demand that our constituents pay a new FEE in a few months. "NO", we do not agree with padding the budgets of all the County departments.  "NO", we refuse to violate our commitment to Trident Tech. "NO", we refuse to buy this pig in a poke.
We would like to thank the brave members of County Council who exercised their legal duty to the taxpayers of Berkeley County and voted "NO" to this monstrosity.  

NOTE:  Our special raspberry awards go to Mr. Call, Mr. Schurlknight, and Mr. Pinckney for voting FOR this document. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


We started to just put an "update" on the previous post but decided the issue was too HUGE for that.  But, fear not, this post will be short and sweet.  Although the main issue is quite serious, the facts are painfully simple.  Ken Gunn handily won the election yesterday.  He unseated incumbent County Councilman, Bob Call.  In effect, this development completely dismantles Supervisor Davis' system of "One Man Rule" in Berkeley County. Come January, there will be 5 Conservative votes on Council which will put an end to Mr. Davis' coalition.  The days of shady deals, useless purchases, and wasteful spending will come to an end.  This will, definitely, be a good thing for the taxpayers of Berkeley County.

BUT, (as usual) it will NOT be a good thing for the people who have fought so hard to protect and maintain Mr. Davis' corrupt administration. Now that the taxpayers have recognized and corrected an integral part of the problem, these enablers will eventually be culled out and fall by the wayside of Berkeley County history.  We would strongly suggest that the offenders NOT be allowed to jump the fence AGAIN in an attempt to maintain their power and positions.

The saddest part of this drama is that the Mayor of Goose Creek has willingly sacrificed his integrity and reputation to this lost cause.  Unlike the other players in this debacle who had very little in these areas to lose in the first place, the Mayor had a lot to lose and did.  But, as most politicians are want to do, this morning the Mayor is probably assuring himself that this "little controversy" will blow over shortly.  People will forget. He most assuredly thinks, if he just keeps his head down, lets a little time pass, and then makes the first move toward "making nice" with the new controlling element in January, all will be well for him.

(Another) "BUT", that is one more thing that is NOT going to happen.  We will see to that. We would like to assure the Mayor that we fully intend to educate ourselves on ALL dealings between Goose Creek and the County.  We WILL know all the "whys" and "wherefores".  We WILL watch for ANY inconsistencies. And, we WILL make public any questionable dealing from here on in. Mr. Mayor, we want you to take comfort in the fact that you have achieved a prominent position on our SOB (sweet old bob) list and we are sure you're savvy enough to recognize what the eventual outcome of this will be.

If we could be allowed to give one morsel of advice (and warning) to the Mayor of Goose Creek, it would be simple:  TAKE A LESSON FROM YESTERDAY'S ELECTION AND REALIZE  THE VOTERS REALLY DO HAVE THE LAST WORD.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Could it be possible that the City of Goose Creek really does have two mayors?  We all know about Mayor Heitzler,  who is supposedly a man of his word;  who is supposed to be a straight shooter;  who has the reputation of looking people in the eye and telling them only the truth.  This mayor was and is well known and, up until now, thought of only in the highest regard.  But, for many citizens in the area, the atmosphere surrounding this mayor has changed and soured over the last few days.   Some of these people question, "Is he, indeed, a man of his word?"  They wonder, "Is he really a straight shooter?"  And, most of all, they ponder, "Will this man look some of us straight in the face and tell us the most egregious lies?"

GE&P has a theory, of course.  We think that Mayor Heitzler could possible have an "Evil Twin" that he doesn't even know about.  This "Evil Twin" has managed to keep himself secreted away until just lately and this "Evil Twin" has gone on a rampage of very reprehensible activities aimed at tarnishing the reputation of the real mayor.

First, the "Evil Twin" attended the Berkeley County Republican Breakfast Club meeting on June 2, 2012, masquerading as Mayor Heitzler.  (Where the real mayor was during this time is unknown.)  The "Evil Twin" proceeded to give a very impressive speech outlining the successes achieved by the City of Goose Creek over the last year.  After this speech, the "Evil Twin" mingled with the crowd.  The "Evil Twin" engaged in conversations with many of the candidates and elected officials who were in attendance.

After the meeting, the "Evil Twin" tarried outside the meeting hall, continuing to participate in conversations about local races and local elected officials.  This was when the "Evil Twin" engaged in some activities that might eventually cause the real mayor some difficulty.  The "Evil Twin" even cozied up to the challenger in the County Council District 3 race.  The "Evil Twin" explained to all in the group that, since Goose Creek operates on a non-partisin system,  he could not actively support the challenger in this race but, he promised not to do anything to harm the challenger either.  Did that "Evil Twin" really make all those derogatory remarks about the incumbent in that race?  Did he really refer to Dan Davis as a "little dictator"?  You'll have to ask the seven people in that group, including yours truly, who were listening to the "Evil Twin".

Then, just last week, the "Evil Twin" struck, again, on another issue.  The RINO Hunters Club put up only ONE "issue" sign in Goose Creek.  That sign criticized Councilman Call's voting record because he supported the closing of the BC Satellite office .  The group had put up small RINO signs beside every Bob Call sign in the city. Within hours, their ONE large sign had been removed.   The Code Enforcement Officer explained that it was against Goose Creek Sign Ordinance to erect any political signs within any Right Of Way within the City of Goose Creek. Be aware, there was a Call political sign of the same dimensions within feet of the sign in question.  After the argument about the positioning of the sign fizzled because of the presence of the Call sign, the next explanation from the Code Enforcement Officer from Goose Creek was that the anti-Call sign did not qualify as a "political sign".  He explained, in order for a sign to be considered a "political sign", it had to say "Elect Whomever to Whatever Office".   (such as "Call for County Council", maybe?)  According to this officer, if someone put up a sign that said, "Bob Call Voted Himself a Raise, Twice", he would not consider that sign a "political" sign and would order that it should be removed. (Are we getting the picture?)

Originally, the Code Enforcement Officer said HE HAD TAKEN THE SIGN DOWN HIMSELF.  By the end of this exchange, he said he didn't know what had happened to the sign and that, "if anyone was interested, they should contact the Goose Creek Police".  When an attempt was made to point out the discrepancy in his statements, he hung up the phone.  As all would agree, it was time to contact the head man for some justice.  Rats, this call was intercepted by none other than the "Evil Twin".

Before the situation could be properly outlined, the "Evil Twin" interrupted by saying that it was illegal to place any signs within any Right of Way within the City of Goose Creek.  When it was pointed out that many of Bob Call's signs were located within the Rights of Way all over town, the "Evil Twin" said, "Well, maybe Mr. Call has permission to have his signs there."  The "Evil Twin" was asked, "How could Mr. Call go about receiving permission to violate the law?"  Then the "Evil Twin" said, "He could get permission from the owner of the land adjacent to the Right of Way."  (Are you as confused as we are?)  He went on to insist that, even in the County, anyone wanting to erect a political sign along the road has to get SIGNED permission from the owner of the land adjacent to the Right of Way in question.  (By the way, the Code Enforcement Officials from Berkeley County strongly disagree with his statement and insist there is no such requirement.)

When asked why ONE differing sign was targeted by Goose Creek when Bob Call has signs all over town that violate the Ordinance, the "Evil Twin" said the City only removes signs when complaints are received.  When an attempt was made to issue formal complaints about all the violating Call signs, the "Evil Twin" became obviously irritated.  He said, if there is any proof that Mr. Call did not have permission from the adjacent land owners to erect his signs, he would consider removing them.  (So the "Evil Twin" thinks it's OK for someone to break the law as long as they have permission from whomever?)The "Evil Twin" displayed absolutely no professionalism and stated he did not have any more time to devote to this issue and hung up the phone.

The handling of this sign issue was very confusing at first, but, as with most things, time answers all questions.  Our answer came on Friday when we learned that a letter was being circulated, supposedly signed by Mayor Heitzler.  This letter was an open endorsement of none other than Bob Call.  But, don't be fooled.  It is possible that this letter was really forged by the "Evil Twin" with the diabolical  intent to convince the public (falsely, of course) that the real mayor is a two faced, back stabbing, double dealing, bald faced liar.

Now before anyone gets the wrong idea about our point, we firmly believe that anyone should be free to endorse the candidate of their choice; just don't lie about it.  Could it be the "Evil Twin" has actually struck, again?  There is no way that we believe anyone would even consider that a duly elected official would use the power of their office to illegally interfere with an election.  Right?  Right.  Neither do we believe that the real mayor would even consider perpetrating such an obvious fraud on the members of the BCRPBC.  He's far too smart to think he could, in the long run, get away with such a double dealing trick.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012


As chairman of the Goose Creek 9-12 project, I have been trying to invite all candidates, (Republican and Democrat) up for election in Berkeley County, to our June 7 meeting. We have offered them 2 minutes at the start of the meeting to tell us who they are and why we should vote for them. I tell them there will be no time for Q & A, and they are free to either leave after they speak or to stay for the entire meeting. I also make it absolutely clear all candidates will be treated with the utmost respect.

Last week I attempted to invite Berkeley County District # 3 Councilman, Mr. Robert O. Call Jr. to our meeting as he is up for re-election. I used his email address posted on the County web page. The invitation came back. He is the only candidate I was not able to contact. I arrived early for the County Council meeting on May 29 for the purpose of inviting Mr. Call personally. He did not show up until a couple minutes after the meeting was called to order. Thinking he may be in a hurry to leave after the meeting before I had a chance to speak with him, I scribbled out an invitation during council's executive session.

After the meeting adjourned I ask a member of the Clerk's office to make me a copy of my hand written invitation for my records. I then approached Mr. Call and attempted to invite him to our meeting. He would not even let me finish speaking and turned his back when I tried to hand him the invitation, refusing to take it. Councilman Jack Schurlknight was standing near Mr. Call and ask me if we ran our meetings like the Berkeley County GOP Breakfast Club. Not fully understanding what he was asking, I told him we used Roberts Rules of Order. I ask Mr. Call once more if he would take the invitation and read it. He refused. At that point, I placed it on his seat at council and left the room.

Before I left the building, I realized what Councilman Schurlknight had really meant by his question. I found him leaving the assembly room and attempted to answer his question. I tried to tell him about all candidates being treated with the utmost respect. He completely and intentionally ignored me, nearly running into me as he barged past .

Neither Mr. Call nor Mr. Schurlknight serve in my district but they are accountable ( or at least they should be) to all the Berkeley County citizens. What gives them the right to be rude and disrespectful to me . Although I disagree with them on most issues, I have never treated them with such disrespect. I am especially upset with Mr. Schurlknight. He injected himself into a conservation that had nothing to do with him and was, then, very rude to me.

I can only imagine how Mr. Call expects to win reelection! He refuses invitations to speak to the citizens of Berkeley County at public forums. He even denies citizens the opportunity to speak with him at County Council meetings. As a "Republican Reformer", one would think he would at least occasionally attend a GOP event. He must be very confident of his reelection probabilities. His signs say "a name you can trust". Well, I suppose we will have to "Trust" Mr. Call because he has certainly shown he is not interested in meeting with or even speaking to us. What exactly is a " Republican Reformer" anyway, Mr. Call ? Guess we are expected to reelect you first and then we will find out ?!

Jeff Reuer, Chairman, Goose Creek 9-12 Project


Sometimes, the reasoning used by government makes a lot of us want to scream.  In this latest situation, we are referring to the article in today's P&C concerning Mt. Pleasant's Storm Water Management Program "Fees".

Last year Supervisor Davis tried, unsuccessfully, to impose a new "Fee" (tax increase) on the taxpayers of Berkeley County to fund our Storm Water Management Program.  A handful of taxpayers prevented the imposition of this proposed tax increase by attacking, on several fronts, the Administration's interpretation of the program's requirements . For the second year in a row, this small group of Berkeley County taxpayers is contesting the need for the large increases in our Storm Water Management spending proposed in next year's budget.    These watchdogs insist that this program and its accompanying mandates can be met, as it has been in former years, with limited spending and, consequently,  that spending increases are unnecessary.  They have insisted that this program is, very simply put, a cash cow for our spendthrift government. Today's article in the P&C seems to validate that contention.

In the article, Mt. Pleasant officials now suggest that regular road maintenance could be better funded by doubling their existing Storm Water Management "Fees". We would suppose we are forced to give them credit for finally telling the truth and admitting they are using the proceeds of the "Fee" for other purposes than first intended but, that fact doesn't forgive them for insisting the "Fee", when first established,  was absolutely needed to meet the requirements of the Storm Water Management Program.

This appears to be one of those "Hey, Mr. Obvious" moments.  The Berkeley County watchdog group has been screaming for two years now that this Storm Water Management Program provides greedy governments with the perfect opportunity to impose new taxes under the guise of funding new federal government mandates.   In fact, the SWMP is the perfect vehicle for a corrupt government to extort monies from the taxpayers.  

The wording of this mandate (SWMP Permit) is extremely nebulous. Much of the list of requirements is open to interpretation.  There are countless phrases such as, "may choose to", "can", "may wish to", "if possible", "at a later time", etc.  A corrupt government could attach almost any of their existing activities to this mandate.  Berkeley County officials have admitted that the activities connected to fulfilling many of the requirements of the existing SWMP Permit have historically been performed by the employees of various departments of Berkeley County government. The cost of performing these activities has simply been transferred over to the SWMP budget.  If this volume of man-hours has been transferred to another budget, (SWMP) wouldn't it be reasonable to expect the budgets of the departments in question to have decreased?  Not on your life.  That would not allow this scam to work.

Forgive us if we are repetitive but these facts bare repeating.  Our corrupt government wants to transfer the costs for work usually done by various departments to a NEW BUDGET with NEW FUNDING.  That frees up a large portion of the general funding of various departments.  This budgeted funding can now be applied to NEW SPENDING.  This shell game and new taxation is justified by the contention that the government entity is under Federal Mandate.  This contention is the foundation of this fraud. The corrupt government gets to "interpret" the degree of the requirements of the Permit and the amount of funding needed.

The taxpayers of Mt. Pleasant made the mistake of allowing the imposition of these "Fees" in the first  place.  Now, they have created a monster.  The funds are there and, as usual, government officials are going to find a way to spend the money.  In this case, being as the "Fee" platform has been established, government officials are free to increase this "FEE" (tax) as they please.  Also, the taxpayers seem to have little or no control over where these funds are spent.

The taxpayers of Berkeley County haven't fallen into this pit YET.  We still have the opportunity to nip this scam in the bud.  The taxpayers of Charleston County and Dorchester County aren't so fortunate.  At this stage of the game, it would almost take an act of God to extricate them from their Storm Water Management Program taxing nightmare.  As taxpayers have learned from past experience, it is much easier to prevent a new tax than to disallow one after it is in place.

Since the last 3 1/2 years have proven that this "Hope(y) Change(y)" thing is not working, isn't it time for the taxpayers of Berkeley County to put an end to the Liberal mindset that seems to have polluted our County government?  We have a great suggestion as to where we can start.  First, we are speaking to the taxpayers who live in Council District 3.  In case you haven't heard, there is an election being held next Tuesday, June 12th.  You have the unique opportunity to save the entire County by electing a TRUE CONSERVATIVE, KEN GUNN to County Council. Secondly, to the other folks in the County, if you know anyone in District 3, give them a call and remind them to vote on Tuesday.  While you are at it, ask them to vote against the incumbent and for the CONSERVATIVE, KEN GUNN.

District 3,  Incumbent Councilman, Bob Call has voted to:

  • continue to take 29% of your property tax relief, increasing your property tax bill almost 20%.
  • close the Goose Creek Satellite Office forcing you to foot the bill to drive to Moncks Corner to conduct your government business. Closing this office saved the County $50,000 BUT when you multiply the 27,000 annual visits to this office by the number of miles from this office, to and from Moncks Corner and, then, by $.59 a mile travel cost, you come up with almost $500,000 in additional cost to the citizens.  Does this sound like a fair exchange to you?
  • buy the fairgrounds property in Moncks Corner ($1.6 MILLION) to build the $20 MILLION "Dan Davis Health and Human Services Campus".  Since this purchase, due to changes of authority, parts of this complex will not be built by Berkeley County. Being as this parcel was for sale for over 15 years with no buyer and is more acreage than was needed for the original expanded project, the taxpayers are now left with quite a white elephant. 
  • give himself a raise.
  • have the Berkeley County taxpayers provide him with an I-Pad.
  • deprive the School System of their fair share of FILOT revenue prescribed by law.
  • impose a SWMP "FEE" on taxpayers living in the unincorporated areas of Berkeley County. This "FEE" would eventually trickle down to Goose Creek and the other incorporated areas.
  • purchase the Carolina Nursery property on speculation. 
  • arrange County Council Rules so as to deprive the 4 Conservatives on Council the ability to participate in any aspect of County government. This arrangement totally disenfranchised  the 4 Conservatives and placed County Council under the control of the Liberals.
We have decided that this list could go on into perpetuity so, suffice it to say that Bob Call, over the last two years, has voted with the Democrats to support every aspect of the Supervisor's Liberal agenda. It is a fact that Mr. Call ran as a Democrat the first time he ran for County Council.  He lost that race.  When he realized he could not get elected in District 3 if he ran as a Democrat, he changed the "D" behind his name to an "R".  The big problem for the taxpayers is that he brought his Liberal Democrat philosophy across the isle with him. 

We encourage all Berkeley County taxpayers to wake up, get informed, and vote for the true Conservative in every election.  If we don't stop the Liberal Agenda pretty soon, it will be too late, not only for our County but for our Country.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Well, it seems County Councilman Bob Call has gotten himself into yet another pickle.  AND, he has done so by simply opening his mouth and doing what he does best.

In case you missed it, there was a BC Budget Workshop held on Tuesday, May 22, 2012.  County Councilman Call participated.  During a recess, Mr. Call engaged in conversation with some attendees.  One lady in this group of three mentioned that she had seen the "RINO" signs that had been erected next to all of Mr. Call's campaign signs.  Mr. Call chuckled and explained that, originally, he was very upset about the signs but, "Voters were so mad about these attacks that he raised $5000 in campaign contributions on the previous day, Monday, alone." Now, he said he was rather happy about the signs.

In Brian Hick's column in the Post & Courier dated May 23, 2012,  Mr. Call was quoted repeating his May 22nd assertion verbatim.

Here's where we get to the "pickle" part.  SC Election Law states that ALL candidates whose names appear on the ballot of any election must file a "pre-election" report with the Ethics Commission.  This report must list ALL financial activity of the campaign to date.  This report MUST be filed no more than 20 days, and no less than 15 days BEFORE the day of said election.  Yesterday was the deadline to file this report prior to the Republican Primary to be held on June 12, 2012.  Mr. Call IS on the ballot.

Would anyone care to venture a guess as to whether Mr. Call has filed this report?  Did Mr. Call tell the truth about the $5000?  Is this election important enough to DD for him to dig Mr. Call out of this self-imposed hole?  Will the SC Ethics Commission break with tradition and actually impose a fine on Mr. Call?  When Mr. Call reads this post, will his report suddenly appear online?  Will the supposed $5000 in donations be included on his report?  Will Lassie get Timmy out of the well?  Tune in for our next exciting episode.

UPDATE:  Question 1:  Mr. Call did NOT file by the deadline.  Question 2:  Judging from his tardy report to Ethics, he didn't receive any contributions on Monday, May 21, 2012.  Question 3: Considering the fact that most of Mr. Call's major "donors" work for the company heavily invested in the Supervisor's pet project, YES.  Question 4:  Somehow, for Mr. Call, the Ethics Commission has granted a 5 day grace period.  Too bad they didn't choose to grant that dispensation for a number of Conservatives who were fined for the exact same thing in the recent past. Question 5:  It only took him 5 hours after this post to file.  Question 6:  NO.  Question 7:  Of course!!!

Friday, May 18, 2012


GE&P has had a very interesting week.  We have been in contact with an upstate lawyer who has been doing a bit of research on the voting machines used in SC.  Some of the information he has garnered is quite disturbing.  We will attempt to consolidate the information we have gathered into language that is easy to understand for you and us both.

Our SC voting machines are the exact make and model that several other states have discontinued using because they lack a high degree of security.  According to numerous articles by noted experts in the field, there is no way to assure that this model machine, which does not have a printed back-up system, always provides accurate tallies of votes.  These experts' main concern is with the programming of the cartridges that control the actions of the voting machines.  Allow us to give you a bit more information on these cartridges.

These cartridges contain the information that tells the voting machine what to do.  These instructions are programmed into the cartridges in one of two ways.  The State Election Commission can (1) opt to send the cartridges back to the manufacturer with the information necessary for programming or (2) hire local contractors to program the cartridges on site.  The SC Election Commission has opted for the second choice because it is less expensive.  Option (1) is very secure and there has never been a case of fraudulent programming when this method has been used.  On the other hand, in states where these machines were formally used, there have been cases of fraudulent programming when independent contractors were utilized.  From the evidence provided to me, this election fraud was very easy, though expensive,  to accomplish.

The cartridges should be programmed as follows:

  • If a person votes for candidate A, the machine records one vote for candidate A.
  • Likewise, if a person votes for Candidate B, the machine records one vote for candidate B.
Historically, if there is election fraud involved with these machines, some interested party contacts one of the private contractors who were hired to program the cartridges and pays this person to use a different program.  From one account we read of what actually happened in one of these other states, the machines were given instructions by the fraudulently programmed cartridges as follows:
  • Assume the fix is in to get candidate B elected.
  • If a person votes for candidate A, the machine records the first such vote properly for candidate A.
  • When the second person votes for candidate A, the machine records that vote as cast for candidate B.
  • When the third person votes for candidate A, the machine records that vote  properly for Candidate A.
  • Every vote for Candidate B is recorded properly.
  • It would be easy to figure out how this election would turn out.
Supporters of these machines contend such tampering is impossible as the machines are tested for accuracy the day before the election and the day after the election.  The fact of the matter is that, being as a time-clock is added to the programming of each cartridge to assure they will only record votes between the hours that the polls are open,  it would not be impossible for these cartridges to, also, be programmed to tell the machines to do one thing the days before and after election day and something entirely different ON election day. This is the reason these other states got rid of these machines because this is exactly what happened to them.

To make election fraud even harder to detect or prove when these machines are being used, there is no paper print out of the individual votes generated.  The only audit possible (for the machines) is to look at the paper strip that contains the tallies and that is useless if you are trying to verify that each vote has been recorded properly.

You may be thinking of an easy solution to this potential problem; if you suspect election fraud, why not simply have the local Election Commission hire a programming specialist and have him/her review the programming on the cartridge for accuracy?  Well, you see, that's impossible.  The access codes to the cartridges, necessary to review the programming, are considered "proprietary information" of the manufacturer and, therefore, not available to anyone except the fellow doing the original programming. ( the same fellow who could potentially be bribed to fraudulently program the thing to start with)

Before you get so disillusioned that you decide to stay home on election day, these other states found a solution to remedy this kind of election theft.  The way they eventually proved election fraud consisted of a lot of hard work but it definitely provided them with positive results that led to the replacement of their voting machines.  

Any private citizen has the right to obtain a list of every person who cast a vote in any election.  This list does not indicate for whom each person voted, BUT, that does not prevent anyone from asking each voter that question.  Also, simple forms can be generated to serve as affidavits to verify the vote of each person who participates in this audit.  

A group of concerned citizens in these other states we have referred to, did just that.  After a questionable election result, they joined forces and audited several precincts at random.  They obtained the voter list and they questioned each voter on the list.  Surprisingly, in one case, they received amazing cooperation (89%) when they explained that they suspected election fraud.  Each affidavit was signed by the voter and notarized on the spot.  This process took only about a week as the effort had a huge number of volunteers.  When the process was finished, the recorded votes on the affidavits did not reflect the tally from the voting machines and all he!! broke lose.  The rest is history.  Should it become necessary, BC can do the same thing.  

Berkeley County has a primary election coming up on June 12.  One of the races in this election will take place in a very small District consisting of only a small number of voting precincts.  WOULDN'T THAT BE A SIMPLE AUDIT, THAT IS, IF IT SHOULD BECOME NECESSARY?

Monday, May 14, 2012


To GE&P, as a political observer, one of the most exasperating practices of the Left would have to be  inconsistency of word verses deed.  A politician is free to say they are for or against anything under the sun but, when their voting record is in direct conflict with their words, we are obliged to ask at least a few questions.

Today, we will glean our examples of political duplicity from statements made by one of the candidates vying for the County Council District 3 seat, incumbent, Bob Call.  We will site statements made by Mr. Call in both a P&C article dated 5/14/12 and in one of his recent campaign mailings.  Then, we will note his actual voting record on each issue.


The first statement with which we take issue comes from Mr. Call's latest mail-out.  Mr. Call claims that he "works with like-minded conservatives on Council" and describes himself as a "Conservative Republican".  It is quite true that Mr. Call works with and votes with like-minded members of Council but that number certainly does NOT include the 4 Conservatives on Council. The present make-up of Council has two voting blocks; (1) the Conservatives, Mr. Fish, Mr. Callanan, Mr. Farley, and Mrs. Davis, and (2) the Supervisor's coalition, consisting of Mr. Pinckney, Mr. Steve Davis, Mr. Schurlknight, and Mr. Call.   Without exception, on every controversial issue, Mr. Call votes with the Supervisor's coalition and against the Conservatives.  Mr. Call NEVER joins the 4 Conservatives in support of any issue.

These voting blocks were first evident during the reorganization of Council in January, 2011 when Mr. Call led the charge to change Council Rules and consistently voted with the Democrats to strip away any and all power from the Conservative Republicans.  It is only necessary for you to attend one Council meeting to understand the results of Mr. Call's efforts.  This coalition is so well known that it was discussed in the 5/14/12 P&C article. We suppose no one should be surprised that Mr. Call consistently sides with the Democrats because it is a fact that the first time he ran for this County Council seat, he ran as a Democrat and lost.


At every opportunity, Mr. Call brags that he has been instrumental in establishing the "first balanced budget in Berkeley County in over 12.......15.........16 years", according to which number makes him the most comfortable on that particular occasion.  Well, the fact is that Berkeley County government is  required, by law, to have a balanced budget.  This law has always been observed.  Mr. Call and the Davis administration have done no more toward achieving a balanced budget than was done in the 16 years of the former administration.


After making this false claim about the budget in his campaign mail-out, Mr. Call goes on to tout the vastly improved condition of Berkeley County's financial situation since he got involved.  Let's look at that situation a bit closer.  After the Davis administration was in control for only two short years, the credit rating of Berkeley County dropped like a rock due to the fact that Mr. Davis squandered the lion's share of the Fund Balance he inherited from the previous administration.  It has taken years for this rating to begin to creep back upwards.

In order to accomplish this upswing, Mr. Davis, ultimately with the assistance of Mr. Call:

  • Has illegally taken $10 MILLION from the Fund Balance of BCW&SA and transferred a portion of it to rebuild the depleted Fund Balance. 
  • They have had to "appropriate" the $3 MILLION annual FILOT funds from Mount Holly that were, originally, earmarked to repay a Santee Cooper loan.  After the repayment was complete, these funds were supposed to be divided with the School System.  Mr. Call, by his supporting votes,  has helped the Supervisor deprive the School System of any portion of these funds.  
  • With Mr. Call's support, this administration continues to confiscate 29% of the property tax relief that was intended to relieve the tax burden on Berkeley County property owners. Mr. Call stated in his campaign letter that "By law, twenty-nine percent of those funds are to be used at the discretion of the county".  If you read the text, you will see that it really says "MAY BE USED". The choice to take this 29% or to let it remain to the benefit of the taxpayers is entirely that of the Supervisor and his supporters on County Council of which Mr. Call is one. 
  • After reassessment, the county usually reduces millage in accordance with the increase in assessed property values.  Last reassessment, the Supervisor, with the support of his voting block which includes Mr. Call, decided to decrease millage by only one mill.  This resulted in higher property tax bills for most.

It is necessary to remind folks that this property tax relief comes as a result of a Local Option Sales Tax or LOST.  There were two failed attempts to pass this LOST. Only after County Council signed a pledge to apply the full 100% of the revenue collected to property tax relief did the measure pass on the third attempt.  When present Council members who voted to take the tax relief away were criticized for going back on the pledge of Council, several members of Mr. Davis' coalition, including Mr. Call,  said they didn't feel bound by the pledge since they were not on Council at the time.

The first time any consideration was given to taking the 29% was in the fall of 2007.  At that time, Supervisor Davis suggested using the funds to pay for improvements to the detention center.  When the funds were actually taken, Mr. Davis used the excuse that Berkeley County had to have matching funds in order that we would not lose a state grant connected with the Jedburg project.  Most members of Council supported this action because the Supervisor promised he would only take the money for one year.  Years later, it was stated that the funds from the 29% were being used as a guarantee against funds we were getting from the State Infrastructure Bank.  Now, according to Mr. Call, these funds are being used to establish a Capital Improvement Fund so the County can purchase equipment instead of leasing it.  If you'll recall, this is the same kind of equipment that was involved in the 2010 deal in which BC purchased 2008 equipment at 2010 prices and no one ever found out where the money that reflected the difference in price went. 


In his campaign mail-out, Mr. Call stresses that Berkeley County and future employers need well educated people to man their workforces. He lists the innovations toward this end by the Berkeley County School System as if he had anything to do with it.  Mr. Call, however, does not mention the fact that he often cast the deciding vote to deprive the School System of their fair share of operating revenue from the Mount Holly FILOT.  Also, Mr. Call doesn't mention that he voted for the new Multi-County Parks FILOT distribution formula which decreases the share of funds allotted to the schools. Even using the old formula, the Supervisor, with the support of Mr. Call, shorted the School System over $8 MILLION over the last three years.  


It is difficult to take seriously any of Mr. Call's statements, whether in the P&C article of 5/14/12 or in his mail-out, pertaining to Economic Development or to believe that Mr. Call has the vaguest clue as to how to accomplish the same.  His own vague statements raise red flags. While trying to defend his accomplishments he touts:

  • "complex, integrated system of suppliers and transportation we have built". 
  • The Boeing Dreamliner assembly plant...located just one mile outside our county's borders
  • "Green Energy Programs" ...will become revenue producers and could eventually attract related industries.  (Since their inception, these programs have, in fact, drained tax revenue. )
Concern over Mr. Call's disingenuous statements is exacerbated when you consider other statements he has made on the record;

  • Mr. Call thinks it's a good idea for Berkeley County government to operate at a profit.
  • Mr. Call thinks you, the taxpayer, should buy him an Ipad.
  • Mr. Call is pro-choice.
  • Mr. Call made racist remarks in a P&C article.
We fully anticipate that Mr. Call will describe this blog as a smear piece, however, every statement made by GE&P is supported by official documentation.  Check the record before you pull the lever.