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.