Lexington GOP Knottso Smart
By Paul Gable
The most foolish thing I have seen in this year’s election cycle so far is a resolution “regarding” Sen. Jake Knotts proposed by the leadership of the Lexington County Republican Party.
The resolution proposes to censure Knotts and kick him out of the Republican Party. Why? Essentially, for being smarter than his opponents.
Included in its whereases are statements that Knotts: “orchestrated a lawsuit that took advantage of a deeply flawed and contradictory law concerning the filing of a “Statement of Economic Interests,” and “selfishly abused the law in order to eliminate his opposition from the ballot for the June 12, 2012 GOP primary.”
It is well known that Sen. Knotts and Gov. Nikki Haley don’t have much use for each other. Haley’s BFF Katrina Shealy filed to run against Knotts in the Republican primary for his Senate seat.
However, Shealy did not file her paperwork properly and was eventually kicked off the ballot along with nearly 300 other would be candidates statewide.
Knotts is credited by some with orchestrating the original lawsuit decided by the Supreme Court on May 2, 2012. Shealy was one of five candidates named in that suit as having filed improperly.
After the court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, Shealy was gone from the ballot, right?
Not quite so fast said Shealy and her alter ego Haley. Shealy petitioned the state Republican Executive Committee to certify her for the ballot anyway. After hearing an impassioned speech by Haley about how the law was flawed and a way had to be found to allow all the decertified candidates back on the ballot, the committee voted to certify Shealy.
That effort was not successful when the S.C. Election Commission refused to ignore a ruling of the Supreme Court and allow Shealy back on the ballot.
But, here’s the best part. The law that is so flawed whose amendment eliminated so many candidates, according to Haley and the Lexington County Republican Party, had Haley as a primary sponsor.
That’s right, Haley sponsored the amendment to the law that led to the elimination of her buddy Shealy’s candidacy. In effect, Haley condemned her own legislation when it was used against her.
In addition, the amendment to the law was passed in May 2010 and signed into law by Gov. Mark Sanford.
The amendment was minor in that it required, for the first time, the electronic filing of the Statement of Economic Interests by candidates. That’s it! The section of the law that required the SEI to be filed at the same time and with the same official as the Statement of Intention of Candidacy has been part of state law since 1992!
Because Haley and Shealy couldn’t follow a 20 year-old law with a 2 year-old amendment, they want to throw Knotts out of the Republican Party and have him resign his Senate seat.
Get real people. If anybody should get out of politics, Haley should take that lead and she can drag state party chairman Chad Connelly and state party executive director Matt Moore with her.
That triumvirate has done nothing but make the party look bad throughout the spring filing and election season. They have acted as if they are above the law when, in fact, they don’t even know what it is.
She, Is criminal just Like her pimp husband!
Knotts has been around long enough to know the ends and outs of politics as well as have enough clot behind him. Getting rid of him w ill not be that easy. Only enough people to vote against him.
Good editorial Mr. Gable, time has come and passed for Mr. Isom to consider a different line of work and as for the SCGOP, you said it best.
June 20, 2012
The author takes liberty with facts.
Yes, this is a 20 year-old law which was amended two years ago. The author fails to mention that this is the first time candidates filed under provision of the amended law.
The author would have us believe that the 200 plus candidates who were kept off the ballot are incompetent boobs who could not follow directions. The truth is that the law as amended is a ‘flawed law’ that no candidate filing for the first time could in fact be in compliance with the law.
The law as amended states the candidate will file a paper copy of the SEI (Statement of Intention of Candidacy). There is no such thing as a paper form SEI – candidates who succeeded in getting on the ballot did a screen print of the filing as a make-shift alternative to filing a non-existent form required by an amended and dysfunctional law!
For the author to place blame on Nikki Hayley as sponsor of a 20 year-old bill that is amended after she is no longer in the legislature is preposterous! To indict this year’s filers as incompetents is an insult!
Whether by design or by happenstance, the shortcomings of the amended law made it possible for Jake Knotts to maneuver a tawdry action to keep Katrina Shealy off the ballot. Other candidates were swept up by the Knotts tactics.
An electorate already disillusioned with government at all levels was further sickened by this display of raw power in the political arena and many opted to stay home rather than participate in a political process they have come to abhor.
People who cherish our American freedoms should be concerned that low voter participation in the primary may very well carry over to this fall’s elections.