The South Carolina Green Party endorses the Rally For A Moral Budget 1:00 PM, Saturday, March 12 at the South Carolina State House.
The rally is not accepting formal sponsorships by any political party. This nonpartisan event, drawing together South Carolina religious organizations, labor unions, public workers and civic organizations will demonstrate our support for a SC budget that preserves and protects the interests of the people.
Speakers will present the moral arguments for resisting cuts, as well as highlighting proposals to reform the state government, tax structure, and budget process.
It is especially important to share information and meet when desperate cuts are being planned as though there were no alternatives. The South Carolina legislature cannot be permitted to balance the budget through regressive taxation while favoring non-essential programs like school vouchers.
The cuts proposed by both the SC state and US federal government will severely impact the poor and middle class. Salary cuts and layoffs of public workers will surely further depress the SC economy.
Workers in Wisconsin are threatened with the loss of labor rights. We in South Carolina, who do not enjoy the right to organize freely, should demonstrate for genuine labor rights in this state, and the preservation and extension of such rights around the country..
We enthusiastically encourage everyone who can to attend the rally at 1:00 PM, Saturday, March 12 at the South Carolina State House. Please contact the South Carolina Progressive Coalition and help popularize and distribute information about the rally around the state.
Flyer and info for the rally:
Join the emergency call for a moral budget in South Carolina. Our political leaders claim there is no alternative to further cuts to critical state services. We believe there is an immediate and fair alternative through tax reforms.
A growing number of religious, community and business groups are calling on politicians to reform the state’s antiquated tax structure.
- Sales and service tax exemptions left nearly $4 billion out of the state budget last year.
- 60% of South Carolinians paid no state income tax last year.
- Facing an $800 million shortfall to maintain bare-bones state services, increasing tax revenue is a moral imperative.
Church World Service • SC AFL-CIO • SC Alliance for Retired Americans • SC Christian Action Council • SC Education Association • SC Employees Association • SC NAACP • SC Progressive Network • SC School Boards Association • Ties That Bind
To become a sponsor, or for materials to organize in your community, contact the SC Progressive Network at firstname.lastname@example.org, 803-808-3384.
- Download a rally flyer to send to friends, or to post at your workplace, church or business.
- RSVP on Facebook, and invite your online friends.
- Read “The Budget As A Moral Document” here.
- Read the SC Christian Action Council’s statement on the budget here.
- Download the SC Taxation Realignment Commission Report.
- Check out Reduce Our Awful Tax Rates (ROAR SC).
– 30 –
The South Carolina Democratic Party did not pay any attention to challenging Lindsey Graham in this year’s US Senate election. Apparently the cost of running a winning campaign combined with the enormous fundraising advantage Graham enjoys as an incumbent ruled out a serious contest in the state’s other national election this year.
This is fundamentally unserious, it indicates the extreme unhealthy state of the two major parties and democracy in general. When more than 90% of incumbents are returned to office, the position of challenger to a sitting U.S. Senator becomes essentially worthless. The role was not sought by a mainstream state Democrat like Inez Tannenbaum. Instead two outsiders entered the primary, probably only interested in the contest as a political platform for future organizing. One candidate was backed by the SC AFL-CIO, the other by a collection of political outsiders who ought not have been competitive.
When choosing between two underfunded candidates with similar sounding names, voters in the Democratic primary nearly split the vote. It seems unlikely that the majority of voters knew who they were voting for, given the virtual media blackout on the Senate race.
Robert M. “Bob” Conley won the SC Democratic primary on June 10, 2008. At the time SCDP chairman Don Fowler said, “That’s the Democratic Party. We welcome anybody.” The writer of the AP article proved more prescient than Fowler:
“Democrats didn’t put much effort into recruiting a big-name candidate to take on Republican U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham in November. Now, it’s possible their chosen politician will be tough for many in the party to support.”
Tough to support is an understatement. Conley was a member of the Horry County GOP Committee until he won the Democratic Primary. That in itself would not rule him out from being a DP candidate, but Conley is seriously out of step with the majority of DP voters.
Conley is endorsed by neoconfederates, and he is proud enough of the support to include youtube videos of these endorsements on his campaign website. Neoconfederates position themselves as small government isolationists. Support for the CSA as a social model is implicitly a position of apology for slavery and a carefully rebranded exposition of white nationalist extremism.
Whatever else his campaign may run on (and its taken on an isolationist foreign policy and a return to the gold standard), the association of Conley with the neoconfederates completely alienates the African-American South Carolinians who are a majority in the SCDP and without whom no Democratic victory is possible. Unquestionably, the majority of Conley’s voter’s were African-American citizens who would never have supported a Confederate apologist had they known who he was.
Democrats had the opportunity to run Michael Cone on the Working Families Party line, as he had previously been endorsed by that ballot-qualified party.
The South Carolina Working Families Party has declined to forward its nomination of Mr. Cone to the SC Electoral Commission, so Cone will not appear on the ballot. The SC WFP hasn’t updated its webpage to reflect the fact that none of its nominees won the DP primaries. Nor did they forward the nomination of Eugene Platt, who had been endorsed by the Green Party, and who is being opposed by the SCDP.
Conley’s support runs the gamut from neoconfederates to the fundamentalist religious right. He has been endorsed by the southern secessionists such the Southron Liberation News Service, Charleston radio host and local columnist the “Southern Avenger”, and by the Constitution Party’s presidential nominee, Pastor Chuck Baldwin.
The decision to roll over after the selection of Conley was hardly justified. Less than 1,500 votes separated Cone and Conley and a recount was necessary to determine the final result. By his own account, Conley raised and spent only $30,000 to the end of June. Cone raised less money but spent about as much, leaving his campaign with $9,500 debt. Conley apparently won the race based on chance rather than any substantive factors. Cone has removed his campaign website, but on the google cache of his Issues page, he defines himself as a Populist and endorses national health care. Cones’ issues page is otherwise light on specifics, something he may have been thinking of when he told AP reporter Jim Davenport that he wished he’d paid more attention to his opponent.
Cone could have campaigned on national health care, if nothing else, and might even have taken a reconciliation stand on immigration and distinguished himself from the exclusionary panic of Conley and the unworkable compromise of Graham. The failure to run even a token campaign against Graham on the WFP line is an acknowlegement that no candidate would have offered much an alternative to the Republican and a contempt for the political process.
No one doubts that Graham will win the election. He’s raised more than $10,000,000. The DP’s decision to throw the Senate election in SC concedes the political space of state’s other national election to apologists for slavery. The party would have formulated any kind of challenge to Graham, given is lackluster effort in the primary. It has turned the field of civil liberties and anti-war vote over the the right wing. The only possible reason for not contesting the election of two anti-immigrant, anti-health care candidacies would be because the SCDP would rather trust to the ignorance of the polity than contest the election.
Graham will be 90 years old in 2045. The SCDP is apparently willing for Graham to hit Strom Thurmond’s seniority before they spend the money necessary to seriously contest the election. Alternatively, they might admit that the political system is sick and needs serious reform to overcome the powers of incumbency – not likely considering how they sought to block third party candidacies while rolling over on the hijacking of their ballot line by right wing extremists.
== Further Reading ==
See Baldwin’s endorsement on Hunter’s radio show here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnK8pw2yyMg
Google Search for State Working Families Parties showing identical templates and language: http://www.google.com/search?q=Working+Families+Party+South+Carolina&rls=com.microsoft:*:IE-SearchBox&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7DKUS
SC Working Families Party: http://scwfp.org/endorsements.php
Individual donations to the Robert M. Conley campaign to June 23, 2008: http://query.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/can_ind/S8SC00126 (mostly from outside the state of SC)
Committee donations to Robert M. Conley campaign to June 27, 2008: http://query.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/com_rcvd/C00448845/ (single $5000 donation from the National Committee For An Effective Congress, a DP clearinghouse for funds. The donation belies the Wikipedia assertion that the NCEC “backs candidates who support freedom of choice, separation of church and state, gun control, equal rights, and environmental protection”. Conley opposes “abortion, same-sex marriage, gun control, and amnesty for illegal immigrants…“. The NCEC uncritically backs the DP: http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/summary.php?ID=D000000146&Name=National+Cmte+for+an+Effective+Congress.