National political party organizations are always looking for creative ways to raise money to cover their expenses. The Republican National Committee has outdone themselves in their new push for contributions. For a $35 contribution you will receive a pair of socks exclusively commissioned by former President George H.W. Bush. 

“I don’t know what your guilty pleasures are in life, but one of mine is socks,” the 89-year old President said in an email to RNC members, asking them to donate to beat back Democrats who are “willing to do, say and spend whatever it takes to expand their hold on power.”

The elder Bush is known for his affection toward wild socks and isn't afraid to lift his trouser leg from time to time to show off his newest pair of colorful footies. Click here to get your very own pair today. All proceeds go toward defeating Democrats in the 2014 midterm elections. 
Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich has weighed in on a down-ballot statewide race in South Carolina. Gingrich, who won the First in the South Presidential Primary in 2012, gives a full-throttled endorsement to Sally Atwater, candidate for State Superintendent of Education. Gingrich isn't the first national GOP figure to weigh in the race. Atwater also took home the backing from President George H. W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush. 

“Sally has over a decade of experience inside the classroom teaching special needs students in South Carolina. She also has years of experience working on education policy and helping intellectually challenged individuals succeed. Above all, Sally is a single parent who has overcome a great deal to raise three wonderful daughters. I know she will make a great Superintendent of Education in South Carolina, ” said Newt Gingrich.

Gingrich added, “Sally is a true conservative leader for South Carolina and like most conservatives Sally is opposed to Common Core. As your next State Superintendent, Sally Atwater will stand up to the bureaucratic regulations and red tape that only stifle classroom improvement and limit educational choices in South Carolina.“

Atwater will face 7 other Republicans in the June 10th primary.
It's no secret that the Wilson clan lives off the government dole. From Congressman Joe "You Lie" Wilson down to Jennifer Miskewicz-Wilson (wife of SC Attorney General Alan Wilson), it's government paycheck after government paycheck. 

According to new information obtained by Attorney General Alan Wilson has even more ethics issues coming his way - this time involving his Statement of Economic Interest filing covering the calendar year 1/1/2009 - 12/31/2009.
Jennifer Miskewicz-Wilson began working at the Lexington Medical Center (LMC) in October of 2008 and according to her own Facebook page remains gainfully employed at LMC to this day. Wilson worked there during the same time period as now Governor Nikki Haley and curiously even worked in the same department. Then a legislator, Haley faced serious questions over her work and compensation at LMC.
Under South Carolina statute LMC is considered a part of the Lexington County Health Services District and is therefore a state entity. This is important to note because state law requires Wilson to list any state income of immediate family members living in the same residence of the individual required to disclose the SEI form. 

Wilson's shady campaign spokesman Richard Quinn told The State on March 26 that the campaign's April report would make Wilson's campaign ethics filings "as error free as possible." The amendment process exists to correct innocent errors. Wilson is now abusing this process to escape prosecution. With an unprecedented 60-plus amendments already filed, we would like to know where the buck stops. Wilson's ethics filings and campaign records are so flawed, there may not even be a way to make them "error free."

In a sign that Wilson is clearly concerned about what these findings could mean for his future political career, he has gone so far as to hire Rep. James Smith, a Richland County Democrat and possible future gubernatorial opponent, to represent his campaign in these matters. 

Wilson's failure to abide by state law is just another example of the ongoing saga detailing his unimaginable and hypocritical ethical shortcomings. Someone must hold Wilson accountable and justice served. We've called for Wilson's resignation and we now call on the South Carolina Legislature to act on these new revelations. H 5072 and H 5073 introduced by Rep. Kris Crawford (R-Florence) would be a great starting point in restoring sanity to the process.
The Republican Governor's Association (RGA) has been the source of tremendous outside support for Governor Nikki Haley (R-SC) in the 2014 election cycle. While Haley has no opposition in the June 10 Primary it hasn't stopped the RGA from dumping resources in South Carolina to drive up Vince Sheheen's negatives. 

The RGA's latest attack surrounds Sheheen's defense of violent criminals. Sheheen repeatedly protected sex offenders - even one who abused a child. The dark ad which outlines several other unsavory "clients" of Sheheen can be seen below. 
We've posted numerous times about the disaster that is U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (L-TX). Cruz is the most polarizing and vitriolic figure in the U.S. Senate behind perhaps Harry Reid - and that’s not a good thing.

Cruz has made few bones about his desire to seek higher office and has traveled the country extensively to raise his profile, speaking predominantly to Tea Party groups and Libertarian crowds. But as 2016 inches closer Cruz has been hitting Republican circles, too. 

Cruz has made several visits to South Carolina over the past 6 months. Just this week he spoke at a fundraiser for a group at The Citadel. It wasn't that long ago we reported Cruz held a secret meeting with ministers and faith leaders in the Palmetto State. It's obvious to any casual observer that Cruz has his eye on the White House.

After his most recent jaunt to the Lowcountry Congressman Tom Rice was asked about a Cruz candidacy in South Carolina by POLITICO. Rice didn't hold back in his remarks saying, "I think Ted Cruz may be a little too extreme." While Congressman Rice may win the prize for "Understatement of the Year" his words are spot on. We brought you this story last year in which 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said Cruz would not get his support and we're pretty sure this latest revelation means Cruz need not be looking for a Rice endorsement anytime soon. Cruz's brand of Libertarianism is a danger to America.

Governor Nikki Haley (R-SC) took to Facebook this week to give an unwarranted slap to one of her top allies in the South Carolina Senate, Senator Katrina Shealy (R-Lexington). The controversy surrounds an embattled Haley appointee, Lillian Koller, Director of the South Carolina Department of Social Services.

Koller was grilled in a Senate hearing on Wednesday over major concerns about child welfare and was asked tough questions about the failures of DSS on her watch. Shortly thereafter Haley took to Facebook to defend her appointee with this post:
In the comment section a citizen made a remark about Koller's personal faith that infuriated Haley. Take a look:
Haley responded to the comment made by Rogers but took it a step further by throwing Senator Katrina Shealy under the bus. See below:
Haley's move can certainly be described as completely unnecessary but it's also curious. Haley's PAC dumped tens of thousands of dollars behind Shealy's contentious candidacy in 2012 and the two have worked closely on many issues. The comment from Haley clearly took Shealy by surprise as well. Shealy had this to say:
But that wasn't the end of the spat. Shealy took to her personal Facebook and explained further:
Whatever the case may be, it would behoove Haley to issue Shealy an apology. A much more diplomatic approach should have been taken on the part of the Haley camp in addressing any issues they might have had with a popular sitting Senator.
Almost 50% of Registered Voters Approve of How Gov. Nikki Haley is Doing Her Job

43% Approve of How U.S. Sen. Tim Scott is Doing His Job, While Only 18% Disapprove

And Nearly 40% Give a Thumbs-Up to U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham With Approval and Disapproval More Closely Divided

Meanwhile, More Than 50% of All Respondents Disapprove of Pres. Barack Obama's Job Performance

And Almost 40% of South Carolina Retirees Say They Don’t Have Enough Money to Live as Comfortably as They Hoped

And Nearly 18% of All Those Polled Have a Parent, Sibling or Spouse with Alzheimer’s or Dementia of Some Kind

ROCK HILL, S.C. - The results of the April 2014 Winthrop Poll of 877 adults living in South Carolina are in. The survey was in the field from April 6-13, 2014. After weights (for sex, age, and race) have been applied, results which use all respondents have a margin of error of approximately +/- 3.3% at the 95% confidence level. Results that use less than the full sample will naturally have a higher margin of error.

Since the last Winthrop Poll of the general population—with breakouts of registered voters—took place in Oct. 2013, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham’s approval rating among all respondents has gone up 3.1%, within the margin of error—(42.8% now, 39.7% in Oct. 2013). Meanwhile, his approval rating among registered voters during the same period ticked up 2.2%--again within the margin of error (39.6% now, 37.4% in Oct 2013.).

And while Graham’s disapproval rating among registered voters is higher than his approval rating with the same group (43.8% disapproval vs. 39.6% approval), Poll Director Scott Huffmon cautioned that the difference between the two is just at the margin of error for the registered voter sample.

At the same time, U.S. Senator Tim Scott, facing his first election for the Senate, received an approval rating among all those polled of 43.1%. Huffmon noted in the context of his disapproval and ‘no opinion’ numbers, the 43.1% figure should not be regarded as being low, since his approval among all respondents is 25.5 percentage points above his disapproval number. Huffmon said that the most interesting factor is that more than one-third of respondents still do not know enough about Sen. Scott to form an opinion even as he prepares for an election.

Other Winthrop Poll findings include:

*President Barack Obama’s job approval remains low among South Carolinians as he posted a 37.8% approval rating in the latest poll— while lower than his approval numbers from the general population poll in October 2013, the almost 3 percentage point drop is within the margin of error.

*Among registered voters surveyed, Gov. Nikki Haley’s approval rating is almost 10 percentage points higher than her disapproval rating (49.3% vs. 39.6%). Among all those surveyed, her approval rating is almost 15 percentage points higher than her disapproval rating (49.8% vs. 35.0%).

*When asked what the most important problem facing the U.S. today is, the economy/economic-financial crisis was the #1 response. Despite the fact that news reports are asking whether another Cold War is imminent based on what’s happening in Russia and Ukraine, only 0.5% identified them as the most important problem facing the U.S.

*Education and jobs/unemployment switched first and second positions in the last six months when it comes to what respondents identified as the most important problem facing South Carolina. While education received the most responses in the current poll (18.5 % now compared with 14.5% in October 2013), in the fall it was jobs or unemployment that was most frequently mentioned (17.5% now compared with 19.6% in Oct. 2013).

*42.3% of all respondents strongly, or somewhat strongly, felt that generations of slavery and discrimination make it difficult for blacks to work their way out of the lower class. However 52.2% of all respondents strongly, or somewhat strongly, do not feel that this is the case.

*62.1% of all those polled felt positive, or somewhat positive, when asked about BMW. The company recently announced that it plans on investing $1 billion to expand its operation in the Upstate, with the expectation that this will bring 800 additional jobs to the state by 2016.

*Boeing also garnered impressive numbers. When asked their feelings towards Boeing, almost 60% said they had either very positive—or somewhat positive--reaction to the company.

*When those polled were asked if they currently had a parent, sibling or spouse suffering from Alzheimer’s, or some other form of dementia, 17.9% said yes. Of those, almost three-quarters reside in South Carolina.

*Twenty states and D.C. now permit the use of marijuana for medical reasons. When South Carolinians were asked if they thought doctors should be allowed to prescribe actual marijuana for medical purposes to treat their patients, 71.6% of all those polled said they should, while registered voters responded yes 66.7% of the time. However, nearly 6 in 10 oppose the legalization of marijuana for personal use.

*Among retirees polled, almost 40% of all respondents said they did not have enough retirement savings or pension, when combined with other retirement income, to live as comfortably as they had hoped.

*Among those polled who have not yet retired, over one-third (33.9%) said they, or their spouse, were not currently putting money into a specific account dedicated to their retirement.

*Over 90% of all respondents said they did not consider themselves to be members of the Tea Party movement. 90.7% of registered voters said the same. (Please see interpretative note under Question T-29 for important context)

This Winthrop Poll, which is partially underwritten by the John C. West Forum at Winthrop, contains a significant number of social questions. For additional information on methodology, see this link: Methodology

The above is a press release from Winthrop University.
During election season the nation tends to leave the down and dirty mudslinging up to South Carolina politicians and challengers but this new ad from Ohio makes the Palmetto State landscape look tame by comparison. The ad was produced by J.D. Winteregg who seeks to unseat powerful U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). 

"Sometimes, when a politician has been in D.C. too long, it goes to his head," the announcer says as clips flash on-screen of John Boehner laughing with President Obama, John Boehner on the golf course with Obama, and John Boehner smiling while giving Obama a glowing "thumbs up" at the State of the Union address.

The ad - titled "When the Moment is Right" - is a spoof of Cialis commercials. Winteregg, a Tea Party candidate with absolutely no chance of defeating Boehner, is a high school teacher. His recent Federal Election Commission filings show he has almost no campaign cash.
April 15 marks what has become known as "Tax Day" across the United States. If you haven't already sent in your required yearly reporting of income you have earned during the fiscal year of 2013 you have until midnight to comply or request an extension.

On Tax Day many pause to reflect about where those dollars are spent by Congress. The White House has put out an interactive tool designed to answer the later question. The results might surprise you. 

South Carolina's shining star in Washington, Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-Spartanburg), takes to his House Committee with harsh words for Lois Lerner. Lerner you may recall is the former IRS employee who repeatedly lied to investigators (including the Inspector General) about what role the IRS played in targeting conservative groups with audits and increased scrutiny. In fact, we now know that Lerner sent confidential tax information from her government email account to her personal email account. We also know she lied about why the IRS targeted conservative groups. On this Tax Day we found it appropriate to remind our readers about those running the IRS and Congressman Gowdy hits the nail on the head.