Speaker Bobby Harrel commands the House with an Iron Fist - can the Autocrat survive his own egotism and lust for power? - Photo from The State.
Lexington Representatives Nikki Haley and Nathan Ballentine led the Charge of the South Carolina Lite Brigade against
Transparency in government is a hallmark of democracy, and the lack of transparency is a hallmark of South Carolina's lack of respect for notions of democracy, increasing irrelevancy and continuous clinging to delusions of past grandeur. It's even more indicative of the corruption and inefficiencies that pervade not only the halls of the State House but also is prevalent throughout the state agencies and political subdivisions.
What's sad is that this issue has become yet another weapon in the internecine civil war that is the South Carolina Republican Party. One would think that with the leaders of the transparency movement being Republicans that it would automatically indicate that their opposition was a democrat. That could be no further from the truth than what it already is. In this instance, Haley, Ballentine and their supporters who generally hail from the Whig (libertarian) wing of the Republican Party [we should note we're not a fan of their cheerleading mascott the current Governor Mark Sanford and a lot of the policies they espouse] have as allies the Democrat ultra-minority - and have found no better friend than potential gubernatorial candidate James Smith and the perennial target of Republican (and Whig) ire, Gilda Cobb-Hunter.
[aside: Wouldn't it be interesting to see the Whigs and the democrats try and coalesce like the Canadian opposition parties did against Steven Harper's government? After all people elect Representatives, not political parties. Much like the Canadian coalition, it's doubtful that it would govern well - but would send an important message to the current detente leadership. Speaker Harrell though is an autocrat and though he couldn't shut down the General Assembly like Mr. Harper has done to the Canadian Parliament - he has managed to scare the piss out of most of his opposition both inside his own party and from without]
It's the genteel planter class -the Charleston elites like