Governor Lashed out at Lawmakers, Asked for Help
Matt Moore, Chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party, who was reelected with only token opposition, boasted that more Republicans were elected in the last election cycle than ever before. This was labeled the party’s greatest accomplishment.
Several other party leaders trumpeted this achievement. Officially, all is well in the South Carolina Republican Party.
Only last minute challengers and their supporters held opposing views. Mark Powell candidate for chairman and Michelle Wiles, candidate for First Vice Chair were Conservatives before the standards were lowered and everyone with an R following their name can qualify to wear the Conservative label.
South Carolina’s open primary system and “Big Tent” Republican advocacy has tragically rendered the Republican brand virtually meaningless to those outside the Party organization.
Governor Nikki Haley created some doubt about the allusion promoted by Chairman Moore and others that recruiting people, calling them Republicans and electing them to public office makes for effective government. The Governor, in a rare mood, lashed out at members of the Legislature who according to her wanted to double their pay and raise taxes. The Governor listed the attempt to raise lawmaker pay, and attempt to secure a $50 million bond issue for public projects and the proposed gas tax to fund roads, as the contested issues between her and the lawmakers. She said that these proposals violate Republican principles and asked for help from the delegates. With presidential candidates coming through the state, “How do we hold our heads up when all year I have been fighting with my own Republicans,” Haley told the convention delegates.
She only listed six members of the House who in her view voted right. A larger number of senators made her approved list. A few of the House Members who did not make the list were delegates and present in the convention hall were furious. Some thought they had supported the Governor on virtually every issue.
With the advent of the Tea Party movement, that has no national leader and is not a political party, but millions of individual small government constitutionalists, the National Republican Party, the RNC, has panicked and taken control of the state Party and the state party is directing the county party. To the degree possible, Tea Party affiliated Republicans have been purged from Republican Party positions of influence.
The dramatic change in the Greenville County Delegation resulted in incumbent Chairman Matt Moore receiving more than 50 percent of the delegation vote and state senator Katrina Shealy receiving more than 50 percent of the Greenville County delegation vote for first vice chairman against Pickens County conservative candidate Michelle Wiles, who has Tea Party backing at the grassroots level.