Sunday, February 23, 2014


Today, "Grits, Eggs, and Politics" has decided to throw caution to the wind, deviate from convention, and speak without reservation concerning a current political situation.  Hazarding the utter shock this will bring to the readers, we will forge ahead.

Some old sayings are as valid today as in the day they were coined:

"If you don't know anything and you stand there with your mouth shut, people may think you are a fool; if you don't know anything and you open your mouth, they will know it for a fact".

For many years, the Supervisor of Berkeley County enjoyed a rather unique position of power. He had managed to coalesce a voting block on County Council that assured the success of his dubious policies. He, in effect, had transformed the "Strong Council" form of government into a "Strong Supervisor" form by using the tried and true "what's in it for me?" method.


1. A $2.4 MILLION, Hwy. 311 water line serving a grand total of SEVEN HOUSEHOLDS that ran to the front door of one of his Council support votes.
2. A new courthouse and senior citizen's center that devoured MILLIONS in tax dollars and the only justification was, "We deserved something as nice as other facilities in the county". Another vote secured.
3. See, all that talk about me not being bright is pure rubbish; I'm the Chairman of the Finance Committee. Vote # 3.
4. Where am I?  What am I doing here? Vote # 4.

For years, during the Supervisor's unilateral control, concerned taxpayers who kept apprised of the workings of their local government and regularly attended the County Council meetings, sat helplessly and watched vote after vote on crucial issues of taxing and spending.  Each of these votes concluded in the same manner. The four Conservatives on Council would vote in the interest of the taxpayer and the Supervisor's four would vote as instructed. Each time, the Supervisor would vote to break "THE TIE" and his will would prevail. This procedure became a standing joke in the Council chamber.  After each 4/4 vote was recorded, members of the gallery could be heard saying things like, "Gee, I wonder how the Supervisor will vote?" or "Golly, I wonder how this vote will come out?". For years, BC suffered under this abuse of power.

There are very few things in the world today on which one can absolutely depend.  One of these certainties is the M O of the present Berkeley County administration during an election cycle.  As exemplified by past behavior, when the power or control of the Supervisor is threatened in any way, certain results can be expected.

Two years ago, during the last election cycle, the voters of BC realized the only path back to the "Strong Council" form of government was to break the tie vote. It is always a forgone conclusion that Districts 7 and 8 have been so gerrymandered that successfully challenging those Council seats is an impossibility so opposition to the administration focused its attention on the other two seats.  The various members of Council come up for reelection every two years on a rotating basis. Last election cycle, the vulnerable seat that supported the Supervisor was the seat held by Mr. Call.  A viable opposition candidate was found and the effort began.

It is an established fact that the Supervisor is very talented when it comes to choosing individuals to "carry his water". In the case of the Council of that time, he selected people who desired something for themselves without regard to what was beneficial to the taxpayers.  When it came to selecting "outside" supporters, he chose those who were uninformed, not encumbered by the rules of social convention, and quite frankly, those sorely lacking in intellectual integrity. Immediately upon challenge, supporters of the Supervisor began a "scorched earth" campaign against not only the opposition candidate but the taxpayers and Council members who opposed the Supervisor's dubious policies.  The attacks waged by these people were personal, vicious, and relentless.

In the case of the last election, the efforts of the Supervisor failed miserable.  A fifth Conservative was elected to Council; one of the Supervisor's 4 votes, Mr. Call, was unseated; and the Supervisor lost his unilateral control of BC government and unencumbered access to its accompanying revenue. Since that time, armed with a 5/3 majority, the Conservatives on Council have succeeded in correcting several of the misdeeds perpetrated upon the taxpayers by the Supervisor. To name but a few:

9% of the 29% LOST money that the Supervisor stole from the taxpayers has been returned.  In this year's budget, more of these funds are to be returned.

A replacement program for dilapidated law enforcement vehicles and EMS trucks has been established.

Plans are in the works to reestablish the government satellite office closed by the Supervisor.

The Supervisor has been restrained from committing large sums of money without consent of Council.

The Supervisor has not reacted favorably to these changes. Let's just tell it like it is, he is livid and he wants his unilateral control back. He enjoyed his ability to take $10 MILLION from the fund balance of the BCW&SA when the law plainly states these funds are to be used exclusively for the operation of the Authority.  He reveled at his ability to ignore accepted procedure, use in-house appraisals, and have the County purchase an overpriced $1.6 MILLION SWAMP.  He took great joy in totally dismantling the intended concept of Cypress Gardens.  All the while,  tens of MILLIONS of dollars drifted in and out of Berkeley County government and, try as they may, not one of the Conservative Council members could gain access to the details of any of these transactions.

Three years ago, one of these Councilmen requested a print out of the County revenue and expenditures.  He's still waiting on that information. For that matter, all of Council and the taxpayers are still waiting for a hard copy of last year's budget.  As long as the only document available is the "nebulous" one that is on line, nothing is etched in stone. Not even the hard copy required by law to be available at the Clerk of Council's office exists.

So, here we are beginning another election cycle.  Two of the Conservative members of Council are up for reelection and the Supervisor is up to his old tricks, again.  For those of us who pay close attention to these things, there is an obvious difference between last cycle and this.  Almost to the last person, those who supported the Supervisor last time, have faded from the picture. Obviously, the majority of those folks must have turned out to be rather astute and, finally, saw the Supervisor for who and what he really is, because they no longer number among his minions.

But, fear not, the Supervisor has uncovered a whole new crop of unwitting accomplices. With few exceptions, these critics have proven themselves to be totally uninformed as to the actions (and the ramifications of these actions) of this Supervisor. They have proven themselves to be susceptible to undue influence.  And, they have proven themselves to be extremely politically naive and gullible. These folks have swallowed the propaganda hook, line, and sinker. We realize we are dating ourselves, but many of the statements of these critics puts us in the mind of the Mayor's race between Aunt Bea and Howard on Mayberry.

Aunt Bea, "If the people want a new bridge over Carleson Creek, they shall HAVE a new bridge over Carlson Creek".

Howard, " The existing bridge over Carlson Creek is sound and is adequate to accommodate the number of cars that use it on a daily basis. The solution to the traffic congestion in that area is to install a traffic signal at the approach to the bridge. This plan will save the taxpayers $500,000."

No one questioned Aunt Bea's sincerity, but her lack of knowledge, expertise, and qualifications was obvious. The same analysis applies to those who condemn the actions of the existing Conservative members of County Council.  We would suggest these critics ask themselves a few questions and make every effort to answer them honestly:

1. If I am so concerned with the condition of County government, where have I been for the 5 years prior to 2013 when all those 4/4 votes were taking place?
2. During the interim between elections, why have I NOT attended the Council meetings?
3. Where was I when the 4 Conservative members of Council were being denied a voice, one of the 4 being my representative?
4. Why have I not educated myself so I am able to intelligently debate the issues instead of expecting someone else to corroborate their contentions by doing all my research for me?
5. Why did I wait until the start of the election cycle to become so concerned and speak up?
6. Why am I so willing to accept at face value the rantings of so few when large numbers of people, intimately involved in the situation, are telling me a different story?
7. Exactly who approached me to "get involved" and challenge my Conservative Council member?

There is one universal answer to all these questions. Most of the critics are simply being unwittingly used by a tool of the Supervisor in his attempt to regain unilateral power. If these individuals are naive enough to buy the ration of bull they are being fed, they would be easy pickings for the Supervisor to add them to his coalition.  And, he knows it.  Now, isn't that sad?

Monday, February 17, 2014


Not a “Reckless” budget, but a “Reckless” Supervisor

I believe a few things need to be mentioned about the Supervisor’s pay-to-listen address about the County.  First, he said the he has produced seven years of balanced budgets, when in-fact he failed to say that the State requires all county budget’s to be in balance.  Second, for seven years the Supervisor has failed to fund public safety, like the Sheriff’s Department and EMS.  This was corrected by the conservative members of Council.  If our safety is “reckless” then the Supervisor needs to answer for it.  Third, since he took office in 2007 we have had several “reckless” decisions that need to be uncovered.

1.    The citizens of Berkeley County passed a 1 cent local option sales tax, which 100% of the sales tax would always be deducted from our property tax bill.  Mr. Davis was the deciding vote with two Democrats and two RINO Council members to take 29% of the annual revenue raised each year, giving the citizens a tax increase.  Our conservative Council returned 9% to the people, while the liberal Supervisor said nothing.

2.    The Supervisor also forgot to mention that in 2010, he and other liberal members of Council wanted to purchase the 696-acre Carolina Nurseries property on Hwy 52 for 16-million dollars, turning Berkeley County residents into land speculators.  If the Supervisor had true conservative values, he would have spoken up.  Again, conservative members of Council spoke for the people.

3.    In 2011, the Supervisor with other liberal members of Council approved the purchase of property at the fairgrounds for the proposed Dan Davis Health Campus and it is not needed.  Here again, the Supervisor is spending the money of the people without regard to their needs.  Now that is reckless.

4.    The Supervisor has done nothing to keep Daniel Island residents from wanting to move out of the County.  He so cares about these residents, that he has had one meeting in which he sent a letter on a Monday for a Wednesday gathering about the County.  Daniel Island residents are part of the Berkeley County family and the Supervisor has had no other meetings on the island for residents.  Now that is reckless.

5.    The Supervisor decided not to pursue American Lafrance for the past six years to collect the $650,000 they owe the people of Berkeley County. If he didn’t know, he should have.  Now that is reckless.

6.    Charging $35 per person to hear the State of the County Address.  He obviously believes you have to be a member of the club to hear the State of the People’s County. Now that is reckless and priceless.

The examples go on and on.  Reckless is calling yourself a Republican and siding with the liberal members of Council 95% of the time, which makes us think that he is a LIBERAL!

Jerry Beckley
Conservative Republican for Berkeley County Supervisor

Sunday, February 9, 2014


The Speaker of the House has changed his mind about cooperating with the President by introducing a Comprehensive Immigration Bill this year. The Speaker said, "I can't introduce this legislation until I know I can trust the President to enforce the law as it is written and passed."

How many applicable responses can we list?

"The Twelfth of Never"

"When Pigs Fly"

The President explained this week how ObamaCare could be made to work better:
I am working full time, even more than 40 hours, in order to afford health care insurance.  After subtracting these costs, I am left with X amount of disposable income.  I can quit that job and take another route.  I could get a part time job making much less money and qualify for subsidized health care insurance paid for by the taxpayer.  Without the expense of health care insurance, I end up with the same amount of disposable income. I work fewer hours, leaving more leisure time, and I still have health care insurance.

The one important question the President left unanswered was "If everyone follows this path, where will we get the funds for all the subsidies?  Looks to us like he is making every effort to prove Margaret Thatcher correct.

Friday, February 7, 2014


Unfortunately, we are all aware that the day of the citizen legislator and statesman is long gone.  In this day and age, the political landscape is mostly inhabited by the career politician.  In this shady world, there are few rules that cannot be broken.  Included in the short list are:

"If it protects your power base, DO IT".
"If it decimates your opposition, DO IT".
"If it benefits you, DO IT".
"If it secures reelection, DO IT".
"If you can use your power to silence rebellious constituents, DO IT".

Although these rules equally apply to both parties, we will concentrate this post exclusively on the Republican party.

During the "Reagan Era", the GOP generally spoke with one voice.  In 1994, this unified "CONSERVATIVE" voice gave this country The Contract With America.    Nothing in the Contract said anything about wanting bigger government, higher taxes, increasing the nanny state, or limiting liberty.  There was no hint of setting a middle of the road course. There was no suggestion that the GOP incorporate Liberal policies into the GOP proposal.  Quite the opposite was true. The Contract was clearly comprised of "Conservative Values".  The "CONSERVATIVE" Contract With America rallied the majority of Americans and brought them out to the polls. Ultimately, this proposal gave the Party total control of Congress. Lesson learned?  Not so much.

The basic political process is really quite simple.  Establish your values.  State your values.  Stick to your values.  If this effort strikes a positive cord with the voters, your effort is a success.  If it doesn't, you lose.  Any rational person would have concluded that the "Contract With America" strategy was a winner. But, as the GOP is wont to do, they snatched defeat right out of the jaws of victory when Speaker Gingrich decided he was going to "share governing with the Democrats". He decided it was a good idea to appoint a sufficient number of Liberals to the key committees as to give them power enough to obstruct. The end result of the Speaker's magnanimous gesture to the Democrats was the loss of control of Congress and avoiding jail time by the skin of his teeth.

On the off chance that anyone has missed the point, here are the choices established by this little bit of history:



The damage done by this fiasco didn't go away within an election cycle.  The GOP is suffering from the ramifications of these mistakes even unto today.  When the Speaker opened the door for the Democrats to act, they took full advantage.  As a result, the Democrats are still using and benefitting from many of the talking points they established during that time. Yet another long term detrimental effect on the GOP from the Speaker's mis-steps is that the GOP "Establishment" still walks in utter terror of some Democrat calling them one of the "death terms":  Homophobe, Racist, Bigot, or Greedy.  Today's "Establishment" Republican would go to any length to avoid a Democrat saying about them, "You are against the children"; "You are for dirty water and dirty air"; "You hate the poor"; "You hate minorities"; or, worst of all, "You want to throw grandma off the cliff".

As a result of this self-imposed phobia, the GOP "Establishment" has taken a track that increases the distance between them and the grassroots Republican. The "Establishment" Republican politician tends to follow and vote for policy trends that will be beneficial to them, even if it means joining forces with the Democrats. They are willing to "sell their souls" to avoid jeopardizing the security of their seat. On the other hand, the grassroots Republican voter expects their elected Representative and Senator to vote according to the Constitution and the GOP Platform no matter what the political cost.

This was the Genesis of the present schism in the Republican Party and gave birth to the Tea Party. At first blush, most in the "Establishment" wing of the GOP didn't tend to take the Tea Party very seriously. After all, it was just a bunch of folks with walkers, baby strollers, and "Don't Tread On Me" flags. But, after a couple of elections that saw Tea Party candidates actually win, the situation took on a different complexion. The Republicans had gained control of the US House of Representatives but a sizable number of this majority were Tea Party Republicans.  At last count the number is around 40. These Conservative voices began to have an influence on the actions of the House, not always with the approval of the "Establishment" branch of the Party.

Meanwhile, in the Senate, there is a quite different story.  The Democrats hold solid control. Even though several Tea Party candidates have won seats, they remain a minority within a minority.  The fact that they don't hold any real power to change the course of things hasn't seemed to deter these few Conservatives.  Senators like Cruz and Lee have put the "Establishment" Republicans into fits with their criticism of the status quo.  These actions have brought about two results.  The grassroots (Tea Party) Republicans have rallied to the support of these few Senators and the "Establishment" Republicans have attacked both these Senators and the Tea Party viciously.

Finally, we are going to come to the point of this post.

The damage done to the American people and the damage yet to be done as a result of ObamaCare has imposed political devastation on the Democrats.  If the polls are to be believed, a large number of them will lose their seats in both the House and the Senate in the 2014 midterm elections.  Normally, such a prospect would bring universal celebration among Republicans of all ilk. But, that is not the case. Even before the champaign cork had popped, many "Establishment" Republicans looked around and found that their poll numbers were as low as their imperiled Democrat colleagues. It appeared the Conservative grassroots from their individual states had really been paying attention to how their votes were cast.  AND, they didn't approve.

Over the past year in SC, as 7 Republican Party Executive Committees voted to censure Senator Lindsey Graham for casting votes that were contrary to the GOP Platform, Senator Graham ignored them.  His only visible reaction was to belittle and denigrate the members of the Tea Party. It seemed to matter little to him that the great majority of these Executive Committees is comprised of Tea Party members.

Seemingly impervious "Establishment" Republicans such as John McCain, AZ and Mitch McConnell, KY were shocked when they realized they had to face a primary challenge in the 2014 election cycle. Then came the almost unbelievable news, Lindsey Graham, SC was being challenged by no less than 4 candidates in the SC primary.  When the news broke, the Graham camp scoffed at the suggestion that Graham's seat could possibly be in any jeopardy.  "The whole situation was laughable."  "There wasn't a chance in a million." "The Senator was not concerned in the least." Then the polls started coming in.

One reliable poll painted an ominous picture for Senator Graham.  Even though he polled 28 points ahead of his closest challenger, when the numbers were added up, he didn't garner enough votes to avoid a run-off.  Political observers realize this amounts to an "anybody BUT Graham" vote. And, worst of all, this same poll gave the Senator a 49% disapproval vote. Again, political observers know a disapproval vote of 40% or above indicates a disastrous prognostication for any campaign.

These numbers came out after the Greenville County Executive Committee passed their censure resolution against Senator Graham.  Consequently, those pesky little censure resolutions from the various Executive Committees became VERY important to the Senator, so important that he found it necessary to have his operatives call the members of the Berkeley County Executive Committee to lobby against their proposed censure resolution that is on the agenda for their meeting later this month.

So, how did the Senator react to this situation?  What actions do you think he took to mitigate the damage done?  Did he hold a press conference to take questions and explain the reasons for his controversial votes?  Did he arrange to attend some of the Executive Committee meetings to face his constituents?  Did he, at least, send out some emails to establish a reconnection with the voters of SC?  No, he didn't.  He flexed his political muscles by gathering a group of paid operatives and political allies and sending them to the Horry County Executive Committee meeting held this week. The thuggery that ensued prevented the Committee from voting on the censure resolution that was on their agenda.

Anyone who regularly reads this blog knows we often voice our opinions on various subjects. It is rare that we drastically change our position on an issue.  Today, however, that is the case. Originally, we were of the opinion that censuring Senator Graham was not the way to go because a lot of people equate the word "censure" with the word "indict" which denotes some sort of criminal activity.  We were leaning more toward a "vote of no confidence" resolution. But, after observing the pure thuggery exercised toward the Executive Committee in Horry County, we have changed our mind. Now, we will settle for nothing less than a CENSURE RESOLUTION from the Berkeley County Republican Party Executive Committee.

Finally, we have one last thought on this subject.  It has come to our attention that this same group has plans to attend our Berkeley County Executive Committee meeting on the 17th of this month.  Since we, also, have a censure resolution on our agenda, we would hope they do not attempt an instant replay of their conduct in Horry.   Berkeley County has dealt with and defeated the Dark Side in the past so we know how to handle it, again.  When you're at the bottom of a hole, stop digging.
We have three words of advice for Senator Graham:

Thursday, February 6, 2014


Back in the mid 90s, in many areas, a candidate couldn't get elected dog catcher if he/she had a “D” behind their name. So, for entirely political reasons, a lot of Democrats jumped the fence and changed parties. There was great jubilation among a lot of Republicans. At last, the Dems had seen the error of their ways. Well, it didn't take long before the reality of this conversion came to light. It became obvious that when the majority of these converts jumped the fence, they brought their Liberal philosophy with them. The ensuing erosion of principles began to blur the lines between the two parties. 

That's when the term “RINO” was coined by actual Conservative Republicans. Not all RINOs were “fence jumpers”. Some elected officials started out professing to be Conservative Republicans and voted as such. Along the way, however, due to political expediency, they changed their philosophy and, more importantly, their votes. Many of the "establishment" Republicans must be included in this category. Career politicians almost unanimously fall into this trap. In our opinion, that's what happened with Senator Graham. In his early career in the House, he voted our values but, when he got to the Senate, his behavior changed, for whatever motivation. 

The term “RINO” took a foothold on the political landscape and began to have an effect on elections, resulting in the Liberals and the RINOs waging war on the term. Consequently, the term “RINO” has evolved to the point of being a derogatory slur, comparable to a racial slur,  to be avoided in polite conversation and anyone who uses it is deemed a Radical. 

“We can't call this person a RINO, even if he is, because that's divisive”. “We can't criticize any person who has an “R” behind his or her name, even if he deserves criticism, because 'it's bad for the party'” . “We must include and not take the chance of offending the “middle of the road”, “we don't stand for anything” voters if we are to have a chance of winning any more elections.”

Well, let us ask you a question, ”If we claim to all belong to a party with an established conservative platform that espouses certain solid core values but if, for political reasons or simply a lack of courage, we choose to stand silently by and allow certain elected officials who happen to have an "R" behind his name to violate these core values, why have the party at all”. Why differentiate ourselves as “Republican” (Conservative) if our Platform (core values) means so little? Why bother?

Now, we're going point out a few facts to further anger some of you. We have not heard one of you say you support Senator Graham's controversial votes and positions.  Granted, in his early years in the House, we all supported his votes and actions. But over the last several years, his military issues votes are the only ones we universally support. When he came down on the wrong side of 2nd amendment issues, (not supporting the Republican filibuster against gun control) we all opposed him. When he came down on the wrong side of Right To Life issues, (voting with Dems to confirm Kagan, Sotomyer) we all opposed him. When he came down on the wrong side of Big Government and Higher Taxes, (joining John McCain and Dems to support Cap & Trade) we all opposed him. So, when we add in the Benghazi issue, we end up with 20% of his votes we support and 80% that don't represent our core values. Isn't that kind of the reverse of the Reagan Rule?

In conclusion, we are in no way in favor of the censure resolution that has been submitted. It's clumsily worded; it's overkill; and it gives the impression of being a vindictive, politically motivated campaign smear tactic. But we are in favor of creating a document that states, simply and emphatically, that we disapprove of and disavow Senator Graham's positions and votes concerning the major issues we have listed. Concerning this issue, it is not only our right to do this but our responsibility as representatives of the voters in the various precincts in BC to speak out publicly in support of our core values if we want to maintain any intellectual integrity or to accurately portray ourselves as a Conservative Republican organization. On numerous issues, Senator Graham, for political expediency, has chosen to abandon the core values of the Republican Party Platform. If we take a page from his book and fail to meet our responsibilities for the same reasons, we will be as remiss as he. Wouldn't that be the appropriate time to censure ourselves? Our choice is as simple as that.