Smoky Mountains Sunrise

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Right Leadership for South Carolina's Future

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

2 Chronicles 7:14

We have not weighed in on the most recent political scandal to hit South Carolina. We do not know the facts and may never know enough about the story to determine who is telling the truth. But this scandal, like others in recent years, affirms our belief that private lives do matter when choosing political leadership. A political leader who does not honor the vows one has taken before God and man to one's spouse, is no more likely to honor promises made to the electorate.

Character counts, and "the fruit of loyal nature and of noble mind" flows through the whole person, in their official, public responsibilities and in their private and family life. At the same time, the corruption, lack of accountability, arrogance, and self-interest we see in our state and national leadership is a reflection of our society, our moral condition as a state and nation.

Our society speaks much about "rights," but every right comes with responsibilities and obligations. Our first responsibility as adopted sons and daughters of God is to ensure that we first renew our own hearts. Alexander Solzhenitsyn stated that "the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either - but right through every human heart."

If we are to restore our state and nation to that "shining city on a hill," we must first be the citizens we want our neighbors to be. When we have done that, our state and nation will truly reflect the ideals of our founders.

With these thoughts in mind, we believe that in the following races there are leaders who reflect the best of us, and will ensure that our state honors God's laws, will defend its sovereign rights under the U. S. Constitution, and will provide only those services needed from government in an honest, transparent, economical and accountable way. They are leaders who recognize that they are the people's servants and not their masters.

For Governor: Henry McMaster

For Lieutenant Governor: Bill Connor

For Attorney General: Alan Wilson

For Superintendent of Education: Mick Zais


kkollwitz said...

Wilson's stylin' with that AK.

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth Moffly vs. Mick Zais
SC Superintendent of Education candidates

I listened with interest Tuesday, May 25th, in Florence to Mick Zais’ recount of his exploits over the years. While impressive, it occurs that they are irrelevant to the task at hand. The position of Superintendent of Education deals exclusively with SC public education of K – 12 children.

Mr. Zais’ history has been in the military, where one leads by command; at the college level, where the student has already demonstrated motivation; and in the private sector, where admission is, by definition, selective. Certainly not in the hoi poloi of K-12!

Further, he offers only his resume. I failed to hear his plan to improve SC education. His pitch is that if you are hiring a football coach you would want to hire a successful one. True. But, given that analogy, why hire a swimming coach to coach football?

By contrast, Elizabeth Moffly’s entire experience in education has been in K-12. She is a first-hand student of the subject, its problems and issues.

Moreover, she offers a very specific, detailed and practical 4-plank initiative to improve our children’s educational experience and slow the terrible high school drop-out rate. It can be seen at her web site, For those interested in improving the schooling of South Carolina youth, it is well worth reading and absorbing.

Ms. Moffly’s passion is intensely focused on the quality of K-12 education. Additionally, she does not view the position as a staging area for a run for Governor or any other political position.

I encourage you to reconsider your endorsement for Zais, and instead vote for Elizabeth Moffly for Superintendent of Education in the Republican primary on June 8th.

John Holmgren

Daniel J. Cassidy said...

Thank you, Mr. Holmgren, I appreciate your taking time to share your thoughts on the candidates for Superintendent of Education.

I believe that the greatest impetus to improving public schools and strengthening accountability to parents for results, would be to give parents in the worst schools the opportunity to walk away from them. When dollars follow the child to schools chosen by parents, schools will be motivated to end the culture of failure. Currently, failure often leads to even more money.

Several months ago I sent an E-mail to Mrs. Moffly asking if she supported tuition tax credits or vouchers. I could not get a straight answer from her. I asked again, "yes or no" whether she supports real school choice. I got another evasive response.

Massive amounts of money and decades of tinkering with the system have left us with schools that are mediocre at best, and from which approximately half of South Carolina students fail to graduate.

Based on Mrs. Moffly's refusal to say whether or not she supports tuition tax credits and vouchers, I assume she wants to do more tinkering with the command and control system. It will not work, and I will not support a candidate who can't or won't answer a basic question about her policy positions.

Anonymous said...

Depending on what the State Ethics commission says about The Garnet Spy's ethics violation allegations - - you may want to rethink your endorsement of Mick Zais for Superintendent of Education. Has anyone vetted the credentials?
Ginna C W W

Ellen said...

Daniel, I like this post very much. Like you, I believe that a candidate's character and conduct in private life do matter in choosing who to vote for. So I am in a difficult situation in regards to the Governor's race.

Over the past week or two with all that has happened in that race...well for one Henry McMaster has gone from being my fourth place choice to my second place. I cannot now see myself casting a ballot for either Barrett or Bauer based on how they have allowed their campaigns to be conducted.

That brings me to Nikki Haley. She has been my first choice for Governor for a while now. Like I said, I believe character and a candidate's personal life do matter. But at this point I have Haley's repeated statements that the allegations from these men against her are not true, and that she has been 100% faithful throughout her marriage. And I have seen no evidence to suggest otherwise.

I guess I'm wondering, since you blogged on the issue of character and personal lives above--is it these allegations that soured you on Haley, or are you just attracted to McMaster for other reasons? For me, if it was true what a blogger and a lobbyist are alleging about Haley...well, then I probably would't vote for her. But at this point, I think it would be incredibly unfair of me to allow these allegations to change my vote since she vehemently denies them and asserts her faithfulness.

I hope I expressed myself well. I am just trying to figure out who to vote for and thought you might share some additional insight.

Daniel J. Cassidy said...

Dear Ellen,

Thank you for your question. I appreciate your comments and the opportunity to explain the considerations that went into my choices.

I had decided to support Henry McMaster before any allegations arose about Nikki Haley. She was and remains my second choice in the race. If anything, I was tempted to support Mrs. Haley BECAUSE of the opposition to her from the worst elements and staunchest defenders of South Carolina's political status quo. I doubt the truth of the allegations, but I have no doubt that they are motivated by a desire to derail her very successful campaign.

Obviously, my choices were also not influenced by the polls, and there could be runoffs in all four races in which I endorsed a candidate.

I believe that Henry McMaster is best prepared by experience, temperament and ability to lead South Carolina and bring about the Constitutional changes that South Carolina government needs. We need a state government run by a Governor and an appointed cabinet with far more authority and power to implement needed change, and which is accountable to the electorate for results. Currently, we have a state run by a cabal of legislative leaders without any transparency or accountability whatsoever.

Like Governor Sanford, Mrs. Haley stands for all the right reforms; but like Governor Sanford, I fear that she would face implacable resistance from legislative leaders and would be unable to work with the General Assembly to implement those reforms and get anything done.

I believe that Henry McMaster recognizes the systemic problems we face and is better prepared to work with legislators and rally public opinion to bring about needed change.

If a runoff gives us a choice between Nikki Haley and Henry McMaster, South Carolinians will have two superb candidates from which to choose.

Anonymous said...


Please contact me at to discuss Brent Nelsen's candidacy for Superintendent of Education.