Archive for April 2007

slim jim on fat budgets

April 30, 2007

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint has made combating earmarks his signature issue, drawing national attention for his efforts to end lawmakers’ often anonymous funding for pet projects.

Now, the Greenville Republican is taking the radical step of pledging not to seek any earmarks — even those that would benefit South Carolina — in the fiscal 2008 appropriations bills.

“I’m not requesting earmarks,” DeMint said in an interview. “We try to help our state pursue applications for merit-based (federal) grants, which is the way I think money should be distributed.” read The State’s article


pork & barrell budget recieves 3rd reading

April 27, 2007

Members voting AGAINST 3rd Reading of H. 3620 appropriations bill: Bryant, Campsen, Courson, Grooms, Hawkins, McConnell, Ryberg, Thomas, Verdin

pick-pocket legislature

April 26, 2007

$7.875 BILLION of YOUR money was spent in 2 days with only $90 million returned in tax relief. Folks, we tried to return your money in many ways, but the Senate simply insisted on pilfering your money and spending it. Get out some tin snips and cut a penny into 8 pieces. You are getting 1/8 of a penny per dollar in tax relief. Are you nauseated? So am I. We offered several amendments that were subsequently tabled by the liberal, tax & spend Senate:
$320 million (exempt the 1st $5k from being taxable)
$.1 billion in projected, yet uncertified tax credit
$.1 billion in projected, yet uncertified to roads
$.95 million from green bean museum to autistic & medically fragile children
$101.0 million earmarks to tax credits
We had several votes, but 9 of us stood together to simply allow you to keep in your wallet what is rightfully yours. Outstanding, unwavering members of the senate that consistently stood for YOU, the taxpayer are: Senator Lewis Vaughn (R-Greenville), Senator Danny Verdin (R-Laurens), Senator Greg Ryberg (R-Aiken), Senator Glenn McConnell (R-Charleston), Senator John Hawkins (R-Spartanburg), Senator Larry Grooms (R-Berkeley), Senator John Courson (R-Richland), Senator Chip Campsen (R-Charleston)

hogs at the trough

April 24, 2007

This was not a good day for the taxpayer, of the votes cast:
Elimination of competitive grants lost 31-9
Elimination of National Green Bean museum lost 28-14
$320 million in tax relief tabled on voice vote
$81 million in tax relief lost 25-17
Total elimination of sales tax this year lost 24-18

This video is a perfect example of Tuesday’s (4/24) deliberations on the budget. Click here to see complete list
A short list of earmarks: $950,000 National Green Bean Museum in Lake City, $200,000 Randolph Cemetery in Columbia, $550,000 Johnsonville Library in Florence, $500,000 Weldon Auditorium in Clarendon, $500,000 Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg, $500,000 York Museum, $225,000 Abbeville Courthouse renovation, $100,000 Spartanburg Humane Society, $800,000 Anderson parks, $300,000 Horry parks, $500,000 Reedy River project, $990,000 Greenwood sewer line, $500,000 Camp Spearhead, $950,000 City of Easley, $3,900,000 Florence County Museum.

dungeon rapist found not guilty

April 24, 2007

With all of the evidence how can this be?

mark on spending: almost as good as the pigs

April 24, 2007


Columbia, S.C. – April 23, 2007 – Governor Mark Sanford today unveiled a new spending clock, aimed at displaying just how fast the state budget is spending new tax dollars coming into Columbia this year.

This week, the Senate will begin debate on its budget, which as of right now contemplates spending nearly all of the $1.3 billion in new money coming into Columbia this year, while only providing $54 million in tax relief to hard-working South Carolinians. By contrast, the governor’s spending plan called for $205 million in income tax relief, while the House’s spending plan called for more than $80 million in tax relief.

That rate of spending growth translates into roughly $33 per second – more than $2.8 million spent per day. The governor said the spending clock is an important illustration of just how fast that money is being spent, particularly in light of how little tax relief the Senate Finance Committee’s budget would provide.

“This clock provides a fairly startling reminder of just how fast an average South Carolinian’s hard-earned dollars are being spent in Columbia,” Gov. Sanford said. “Our state’s budget is poised for yet another year of double-digit growth after growing by more than 25 percent over the past two years. That’s a rate of growth that far exceeds the growth in the average South Carolinian’s paycheck, that far exceeds the growth in the national economy, and that’s unsustainable by any measure. As the Senate begins its budget debate this week, I’d ask that conservative Senators make their voices heard about the need for more in the way of tax relief and less in the way of government spending, so that we can return more of these dollars to hard-working people of this state.”

Currently, the Senate budget would return only about three percent of new dollars to South Carolinians in the form of tax relief. The budget also only puts $205 million toward state’s $9 billion unfunded retiree healthcare liability, compared to the $439 million recommended by Gov. Sanford toward that debt. In addition, the Senate Finance Committee’s budget contains $242 million in annualizations – the use of one-time money for ongoing expenses – compared to $73 million in the governor’s budget plan.

The spending clock will continue to be displayed outside the Governor’s Office throughout the budget process.

green bean museum makes the news!

April 21, 2007 news bulletin
Columbia, SC – Legume Air, Inc., Porkyard Resorts International, and the State of South Carolina have announced a partnership for the Southeast’s newest tourist attraction, the Green Bean Museum in Lake City. At a joint press conference with Legume Air and Porkyard Resorts spoke Sen. Kevin Bryant (R-Anderson) “My constituents are ecstatic. The phone has been ringing off the hook demanding tax increases to earmark these kinds of projects. One constituent from Powdersville suggested we consider a Pork & Bean Museum to compliment the Green Bean Museum.” Bryant later added: “Next year, I’ll be pursuing funding for a similar project in my district, ‘The Duck Strut’”. “This yearly festival will feature the ducks of Cater’s Lake and hot air balloon festivities. The project will be supplemented with local impact fees and an increase in grocery taxes. Also, they appreciate the surprise effects of good-ole-boy back-room deals.”

“This incredible tourist attraction has caused us to put off all plans to focus on the expected demand for direct flights to Lake City. We initially have 2 daily direct flights from JFK, LAX & Seattle-Tacoma to Lake City,” said Henri Mariana, Legume Air Expansion Vice President.

Porkyard Resorts International representative, Butch Carlisle was just as optimistic. “Our partnership with Legume Air will be the highlight vacation package of 2008. Our new Porkyard Resort will begin with 4 presidential suites, 25 executive suites, and 257 standard rooms. Our next step is to request a line item in next year’s budget for resort expansion.” Carlisle added: We were overwhelmed the good people of South Carolina are progressive minded enough to fund the Green Bean Museum. The taxpayers of South Carolina don’t seem to mind at all. This year, they are turning down any refunds of the expected nearly $1.5 billion. They’d rather see the money spent by their trusted General Assembly’s shadow earmarks and slush funds on wonderful projects like the Green Bean Museum.”

David McIntosh of