Tag: Donald Trump

The Trump Factor in 2022 7th Congressional District Primary

Former President Donald Trump left no doubt over the weekend that he will be a factor in the 2022 off year elections for the U.S House of Representatives and Senate.

Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Sunday, the former president called out the names of all 10 Republican representatives, including the 7th Congressional District’s Tom Rice, and seven Republican senators who voted for his impeachment. “Get rid of them all,” Trump said.

Trump indicated he will oppose all 17 Republicans who voted against him when they come up for reelection and back candidates who subscribe to his “Make America Great Again” agenda.
Incumbency normally works to a candidate’s advantage. However, in the case of Rice and the others who voted to impeach Trump, it will lose its significance.

Horry County School Board Chairman Ken Richardson already has a campaign in place to challenge Rice in the 2022 Republican Primary. He has opened a campaign account, filed with the Federal Election Commission hired campaign staff and is making the rounds of Republican events in the district to introduce his candidacy.

Richardson stated publicly that he would not have voted to impeach the former president when he announced his campaign opening. Political insiders who know Richardson know he was one of the first in the area to support Trump’s candidacy in 2016 and Richardson’s wife traveled the southeast supporting and raising money for Trump’s 2020 reelection bid. Both are firmly in step with the MAGA movement.

Two state legislators, Rep. Russell Fry and Rep. William Bailey have indicated they are studying whether to get into the primary race. Neither has taken a position on Rice’s vote on the impeachment question.

Rice Continues Stuck in Quagmire of Trump Impeachment Vote

Congressman Tom Rice (R-SC7) is sinking deeper into a quagmire of his own making as he attempts to explain his way around his vote to impeach former President Donald Trump.

Since voting to impeach Trump a month ago, Rice has been subjected to a continuous stream of criticism from voters in his Congressional District and suffered censure from the state Republican Executive Committee.

Even supposed allies of Rice such as state representatives Russell Fry and Heather Ammons Crawford, who never missed a photo opportunity with Rice in the past, have failed to offer support of Rice when given the opportunity by local media. Likewise, neither has come out with condemnation of Rice’s vote putting them at odds with most other members of the Republican Party as they attempt to hold firmly to the position of ‘fence sitters.’

Fry is reportedly considering a challenge to Rice in the 2022 Republican Primary for the nomination for the 7th Congressional seat. If he decides to challenge Rice, Fry is going to have to get off that fence.

In the month since his impeachment vote, Rice and his advisers have tried to tamp down criticism of his action. But they don’t seem they understand the local sentiment.

In his statements to media and votes in Congress Rice has flip-flopped on the impeachment question. Rice told local and national media that, in the days following the January 6th Capitol insurrection, the more he learned, the more upset he became with Trump’s actions before and during the insurrection.

However, on January 11th Rice issued a statement to local media outlets saying he did not support impeachment of Trump. On January 12th, Rice voted against two resolutions in the House, one calling for using the 25th Amendment to temporarily suspend Trump from the presidency and the other a procedural resolution to bring the resolution of impeachment to the House floor.

Less than 24 hours after voting against bringing the impeachment resolution to the House for a vote, Rice voted for the resolution to impeach the president. What really caused this 180 degree turn in Rice’s actions?

Richardson Gaining National Attention as Potential Challenger to Rice

Horry County School Board Chairman Ken Richardson hit the national news spotlight recently when the New York Times ran an article mentioning Richardson as a potential challenger to Rice in the upcoming June 2022 Republican Primary for Rice’s SC 7th Congressional District seat.

Richardson said he was surprised at getting a call from the New York Times reporter. “When my phone rang and it was the New York Times on the other end wanting to talk about me challenging Rice for Congress I was very surprised,” said Richardson.

Richardson said his entire focus right now is on getting Horry County students safely back into the classroom five days a week.

Toward that goal, the school district is in the final stages of surrounding each student desk with Plexiglas shields. Richardson said meetings are ongoing with administrators, cafeteria staff and maintenance staff on what additional steps will be required to provide a safe learning environment when the district shifts to full-time, in-school classes.

“My number one priority right now is getting the kids back in school full-time,” Richardson said.

However, making a future run at Rice’s seat is not out of the question for Richardson.

“When the 7th district was first created in 2012, I considered running for the seat then,” Richardson said. “But, I was involved in negotiations to sell my car dealership (Fowler Motors) at the time and I didn’t feel I could give the attention necessary to run a Congressional race at the same time.”

Richardson said he ran for the position of school board chairman because there were things he wanted to accomplish for the students of Horry County, but the thought of running for Congress has never completely left his mind.

In June 2019, Richardson released a statement that Rice needed to do more to help local schools impacted by hurricanes.

The Dirty Tricks Campaign Against Johnny Gardner

We live in a political climate where dirty tricks are used to create rumors to smear those seen as enemies by the rumormongers.

These rumors, lies are what they really are, come in all shapes and sizes, but they have the same thing in common – to discredit the person they are aimed against.

How well they work depends on the gullibility of the audience they are targeted to influence.

Some of the more ridiculous rumors about public figures we have heard include:

Justice Brett Kavanaugh as a young man attended parties where women were routinely gang raped. That one pushed the envelope too far to be believed.

In late 2015 when Donald Trump had established himself as a serious contender for the Republican nomination, a fake story said he told a magazine in 1998 if he ever ran for president it would be as a Republican because “they’re the dumbest group of voters in the country” and that “he could lie and they’d still eat it up.” Rather than hurt him with Republican voters, Trump went on to win the nomination and election.

In the 2000 primary season, John McCain was accused of fathering an illegitimate black child, which was actually a child from Bangladesh that McCain and his wife adopted. This one stuck a bit with South Carolina voters as George Bush came from behind to win the South Carolina primary and go on to be elected president.

Rumors were circulated about Nikki Haley having multiple affairs during the 2010 primary season, which the voters disregarded. In fact, the rumors were so poorly presented that Haley vaulted from fourth place to win the Republican nomination and go on to twice being elected South Carolina Governor.

More recently, Horry County citizens have been presented with a rumor about county council chairman Johnny Gardner. Interestingly, the Columbia website that played a prominent part in publishing a leaked memo about the fictitious plot from county attorney Arrigo Carotti, written in conjunction with administrator Chris Eldridge, was the same website that played a prominent part in the Haley rumors.

Pearl Harbor Day Then and Now

As a Navy veteran, December 7th, what my grandmother called Pearl Harbor Day, has special meaning to me. In recent years, however, its symbolism has taken on new dimensions.

Seventy-four years ago, without first declaring war, the Japanese Imperial fleet attacked the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor causing considerable damage to the Navy’s Pacific Fleet and bringing America into World War II.

A total of 2,402 American servicemen lost their lives that day, four battleships were sunk and 188 aircraft destroyed. President Roosevelt called it “a day that will live in infamy”, actually a phrase first attributed to Hawaiian Queen Lili’uokalani spoken on the day, in 1893, that the American government overthrew the native Hawaiian government.

The attack broke the U.S. out of its isolationist attitude and presaged America’s ascendency to world leadership. Americans united behind the phrase “Remember Pearl Harbor” as the nation embarked upon a nearly four year war to defeat the armed forces of Japan, Germany and their allies.

True, on December 6, 1941, the isolationist members of Congress still held great sway in the halls of that institution as the fighting in Europe was considered best for America to stay out of. One day later, everything changed in Washington, D.C. and across a now united nation.

Seventy-seven years later, none who survived that day remain and the cohesiveness and combined
commitment of that time are not apparent in today’s political environment or society at large. We face great challenges, possibly greater than we faced on December 7, 1941, although economic dangers are not as easy to identify as military dangers from foreign forces.

We should be clear, however, that today’s dangers in the national economy are every bit as grave as the military dangers we faced 74 years ago. The industrial might and national wealth that the U.S. marshaled to support its war effort, and those of its allies, have been lost.

Thoughts for 2017

As we move into 2017, there are some random thoughts I wish to share about what I foresee as potentially newsworthy.

First and foremost for South Carolinians, congratulations to Clemson for making it back to the National Championship game. It took an entire season of play to get the same result for the final game.

The Tigers will again face Alabama in a game many think they can’t win. Something about this season feels more like 1981 than last year did. Clemson to win its second National Championship and move Dabo Swinney into the same breath as Danny Ford.

A new law heralded as tougher on ethics says public officials must disclose the sources of their private, taxable income. Not the amounts, just the sources.

We are watching a corruption investigation on state legislators play out with the recent indictment, on 30 counts, of former House Majority Leader Rep. Jim Merrill. This law would not have changed anything I can see about what Merrill did to allegedly break the law.

The investigation will continue and I believe we will see more indictments of current legislators.

What will be more interesting is to see what organizations get named in the indictments. One of the counts against Merrill alleges money was laundered from the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau to Merrill through his brother’s firm, Pluff Mud Public Affairs, LLC.

A cursory look at the internet showed the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce wrote checks to Pluff Mud Public Affairs, LLC in 2011 totaling just over $60,000. That information comes from the Chamber’s own reporting of its public fund expenses.

Donald Trump Pulls Off Election Surprise

Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States after pulling out the biggest election night surprise since 1948.

Trump clinched his election victory with surprising strength in the “Rust Belt” states, an area where Hillary Clinton and the Democrats miscalculated their strength especially in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.

The presidential result emphasizes the deep dissatisfaction voters feel with Washington and what is called ‘politics as usual.’ Trump’s victory can be credited to his ability to sell himself as an outsider from the political establishment of both parties.

The Trump victory brought immediate uncertainty to financial markets as world stocks began tanking around 9 p.m. on election night and Dow futures dropped 650 points overnight. This is not the reaction of the stock markets that one would expect with a Republican candidate winning the presidency. The markets rebounded later to recover most or all of their losses.

This is not the reaction of the stock markets that one would expect with a Republican candidate winning the presidency.

However, voter rejection of politics as usual only extended as far as the presidential race. Most members of Congress seeking re-election were returned to their seats without a problem, some without an opponent.

So, if you’re expecting big changes in Washington with Trump as president, get ready for a disappointment. Congress still controls the domestic agenda as well as the purse strings.

Donald Trump Campaign Shortchanges American Voters

American voters hoping for change in the politics of Washington, D.C. got shafted by the Donald Trump campaign for president.

These are the voters that carried Trump through the primaries, solidly rejecting one establishment candidate after another to give Trump a first ballot nomination.

These are the voters who believed Trump was a breath of fresh air for the Republican Party ready to remake the party and remake the federal government.

What nobody realized was that Trump wasn’t in the election to head a populist movement and didn’t have any programs or policies to change anything.

Trump was in the election to further boost his own gigantic ego, period.

Trump lives in his own alternate reality – one where he’s the smartest, the most dynamic, the most successful person on earth and one in which he always wins.

And when he doesn’t win, it’s not his fault. It is due to the nefarious deeds of others.

We went through Trump’s version of reality politics when he thought he was going to come up short of the delegates necessary to secure a first ballot nomination from the Republican Party.

Then it was his opponents and party officials who were conspiring to steal the nomination from Trump.

Now, it’s Hillary Clinton, the Democrats, the media and Wall Street, among many, who are conspiring to steal the general election from Trump.

First Presidential Debate Changes Nothing

The first presidential debate is over and I don’t believe anything has changed.

An after the debate poll showed Hillary Clinton the winner over Donald Trump by a 62 – 27 percent margin.

I don’t think that matters. Remember, by all accounts, Romney trounced Obama in their first debate four years ago. And it didn’t matter.

Both candidates played to their base last night. Clinton’s base is going to vote for her and Trump’s base is going to vote for him, no matter what.

I don’t believe either candidate did anything last night to swing undecided voters their way.

Both candidates had their moments.

Trump agreed that Clinton has a lot of experience in government, but called it “bad experience.”

Clinton said, “Donald I know you live in your own reality.”

Both statements are true to the candidates’ respective supporters. Neither can be called a defining moment that could swing an election.

Trump hammers away dissing career politicians. Who does he think he will be dealing with if he gets to the White House?

Clinton touts her experience, but half of the Washington crowd will never agree with her on anything.

Neither answered the question that probably is more important to Americans than any other – “How will you bring back jobs?”

Trump spent his time telling us why jobs left the country. Clinton said she was going to work really hard to get new jobs, but never told us how.

How Far Away from Continental Congress

Two hundred forty years ago the Continental Congress was preparing to declare the American colonies’ independence from Great Britain.

Recently, the Donald Trump campaign for president sent an email to members of the British Parliament soliciting donations to his campaign war chest.

Forget for a moment that it is illegal to solicit or accept contributions from foreign nationals for a presidential campaign. In 1776, the American colonies couldn’t wait to get rid of the British government. Now Trump wants financial donations from Members of Parliament to help get him elected.

I’m sure the Trump campaign emails were just a very foolish mistake by a bunch of neophytes attempting to be professional political consultants.

But, they demonstrate just how far American politics has moved from the serious thinkers who founded the country as part of the Continental Congress to the sound-biters and other intellectual dwarfs who now populate the political scene.

When the Founding Fathers considered ratification of the Declaration of Independence, they waited a month until they could get unanimous approval (actually 12 yes and an abstention by New York) of the document.

Now, our Congress can’t even get unanimous approval on a motion to adjourn.

If any of our current members of Congress were around in 1776, I doubt they would have been allowed to refill inkwells on the delegates’ desks for fear they would screw it up.

The blame for the gridlock of an ineffective government doesn’t stop with our elected officials, however.

Locked into the electronic social networking groups that now pass for most interpersonal relationships, the American people gravitate to those who think most nearly the same as they do.