"It does not take a majority to prevail...but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men."
Westminster, South Carolina (PRWEB) June 13, 2012
Two SC Supreme Court rulings (2012-04-20-01 and 2012-211937 respectively) have led to the mass decertification of challengers to the Republican and Democratic incumbents in South Carolina. As reported in TheState.com, “The justices noted that although their Tuesday ruling only mentioned Florence County specifically, the court's previous ruling on the paperwork issue applied to all counties…The incumbents had an umbrella of protection here that the challengers did not have, Harvell said…It's a crying shame that the candidates and both political parties relied on instructions given to them by state government, and good citizens still ended being kicked off the ballots over a technicality, Moore said…As of Tuesday, officials planned to close nearly 300 of the state's more than 2,000 polling places on the day of the primary because candidates on ballots there now have no opposition, so voters have no choices to make.” Hatch reminds the readers that of the roughly 1700 polling places to be open Tuesday, voters will not be allowed to vote for most of the challengers.
The ruling applies to all federal, state, and county offices where incumbents are up for reelection. According to FOXCarolina, “On Wednesday, Oconee County Republicans canceled their primary after officials said the ruling left no qualified candidates for the ballot…Nearly 200 candidates were dropped from ballots last month after justices ruled that financial and candidacy paperwork must be turned in together.” Why all the confusion? The Anderson Independent Mail says, “A spokesman for (Gov.) Haley on Friday called the removal of the candidates ‘an absolute sham, and incumbent protectionism at its worst.’” Curtis Hatch agrees wholeheartedly. The Independent Mail also reported, “State GOP Chairman Chad Connelly sent out a video Thursday night in which he complained about receiving conflicting information from state officials on how candidates were supposed to file their paperwork…Dick Harpootlian, chairman of South Carolina’s Democrats, said Friday that the root of the problem lies not in the state’s court system but in the GOP-controlled legislature, which passed a law requiring electronic filing for some paperwork but not for others.”
The SC State Ethics Commission and the SC State Elections Commission have conflicting statutes that deal with filing the SEI, State Economic Interest form. (See the Connelly video above) Each candidate is required to file electronically a SEI with the State Ethics Commission identifying any financial dealings the candidate may have with state or local governments. Most of the filings showed only the candidate's name, contact information, and signature since the majority of the candidates had no reportable financial interests. In addition, a paper copy of the SEI is required to be sent to the Republican and Democratic parties. The paper copy is the requirement causing the confusion. Most candidates did their electronic filings on time.
Hatch's novel "When the gods go Astray" warns of the results of such actions.
Curtis Hatch, Author of “When the gods go Astray,” is the primary writer for Golden Corner Enterprises LLC, Westminster, SC. James R. Simpson, Jr. is the Owner and President. The company can be reached at GoldCoEnt(at)aol(dot)com, or the contact page of http://www.CurtisHatch.com.