Thursday, September 6, 2007

Local Right-wing lowlifes on parade

Left: Thomas Ravenel, state of South Carolina photo

Idaho's Senator Larry Craig appears to be part of a trend. Locally, the right-wingers are distinguishing themselves in the same special way: exposing themselves as hypocrites. Will Senator Graham be next?

Wade Cleveland, family-values Republican and president of the local Greenville County Council from 1989-2000 (where he was a flunky for the extremely wealthy in the Augusta road district of Greenville), has just been arrested on several counts of child porn. He has been an attorney for the school district for 22 years. Our local "newspaper"--the Greenville News ((spits)) has not mentioned, not one time, that Wade is a Republican, in their story. From WYFF:

Deputies told WYFF that Cleveland is charged with 13 counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of third degree sexual exploitation of a minor.

The school district said that child pornography was discovered during maintenance on a work computer that was issued to Cleveland. Investigators said the pictures of child pornography had been stored on the hard drive for the last several years.
The press was barred from the hearing, a sterling example of what Rosie (see comments in last thread) has aptly called "bubbaism"--oh yes, indeed. Apparently, kiddie porn is also on his home computer. (Yes, innocent until proven guilty, blah blah blah.) Joe Dill, rabid homophobe and County Council comrade of Cleveland's, appeared on local TV last night claiming to be "confused" by this turn of events. I'll bet.

Meanwhile, millionaire South Carolina Treasurer-elect Thomas Ravenel, another "family values" Republican hypocrite, is being sentenced today on cocaine charges, down in Columbia. As Corey Hutchins comments in Columbia City Paper:
We can’t really blame Thomas Ravenel for thinking he could get away with slinging around coke, running for state treasurer, subsequently winning, and then thinking we would never find out about it. Because people like Thomas Ravenel— and Paris Hilton— just don’t think the way most people do. What Ravenel allegedly did is an embarrassment to the state, an embarrassment to his family, the state Republican Party and again—again— an embarrassment to the entire system in which South Carolina’s political sphere operates. And it is tragically, pathetically, indicative of a hypocritical political culture that this state’s government has been cultivating since it was created.

If Ravenel was involved in drugs those around him knew about it just like those around Strom Thurmond knew he was banging on the side. And no one said a word. (At this point a hat tip is in order to the law enforcement officials who kept their investigation quiet during Ravenel’s campaign for treasurer. It would have been pegged as “political,” of course, to leak information to the press or to his opposition.)
Hutchins further describes the culture surrounding entitled punks like Ravenel:
And as is the classical tradition in elitist culture to think oneself so high above the law when they have so much money and the prettiest face that “it just doesn’t matter,” to Ravenel’s friends and the people around him who knew about it— those with high titles included— shame on them.

Ravenel is a multi-millionaire who comes from the wealthy and powerful Ravenel clan of the Lowcountry. Bright, attractive, and a successful 40-something businessman in his non-criminal life, Thomas Ravenel did not need to be distributing cocaine. He has millions of dollars. But people like Thomas Ravenel don’t think like most people.

He tooled around with buddy Andre Bauer, a similarly irresponsible politician who is elected each time regardless. He hired former Sanford spokesman Will Folks who left the governor’s office in obloquy. Thomas Ravenel was a bright young man. But so was Patrick Bateman. And, if he was throwing coke around, hoovering it up, and running for the office on perhaps the cockiest campaign in recent memory it’s not just he who owes the South Carolina electorate an apology but everyone who knew about it and thought, tragically, pathetically, that it just didn’t matter.

Personally, I suppose I should have spoken up when I saw Ravenel at a social function and actually said aloud that he looked like he’d just snorted about eight lines of blow.
Similarly, Ravenel once showed up late at night at a local eatery, where one of the cooks (my friend) recognized him. "He was messed up," the cook told me.

Along these same lines, my Lindsey Graham post has had about 100 hits since I first wrote it, which is pretty amazing for a small-time blog.

As an anonymous commenter on that thread said: waiting for the other shoe to drop. Stay tuned, sports fans.


Bryce said...

great post, D.
can't believe that about cleveland! everybody is still in shock. you can't get any quotes from repubs.

Anonymous said...

It is completely out of bounds to suggest that Andre Bauer has anything to do with drugs. He knew Thomas only through campaigns, and were not close friends.
Bauer is a health nut. He goes to the gym twice a day. He lives on nuts and veggies, etc, and rarely even drinks. In Charleston, he rides his bike to and from appointments. Anyone suggesting otherwise does not know the Lt. Governor…and is only engaging in vulgar speculation.
Partisanship ends when character assassination begins.

Daisy said...

Anonymous, have you heard of these incidents? Or are YOU Andre Bauer?

PS: any 'regular' person would have been jailed for these incidents:

(Columbia-AP) March 28, 2006 - Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer has been stopped at least twice for speeding in the past four months, but did not get a ticket.

WIS obtained a copy of Bauer's driving record. It show's that since 1997, the lieutenant governor has had two accidents, four tickets and one suspended license for failure to pay a ticket.

That does not include the warning he got in late December for speeding in Laurens County, or the time he was stopped and still not ticketed for going more than 100 miles an hour down I-77 in Chester County.

On the day after Christmas on Interstate 385 in Laurens County, a highway patrol officer pulls up on a 2006 BMW. The patrolman has clocked the car at about 77 in a 65 mile-an-hour zone. Behind the wheel is Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer. Looking for his registration, Bauer warns the officer he might have a gun in the glovebox, and he wants to know if he's being videotaped.

Bauer's explanation for going too fast? "Just running late as usual."

The trooper recognizes the lieutenant governor and Bauer gets a warning but no ticket.

Two months later, on February 25 in Chester County, two troopers target a state-issued Crown Victoria blasting down I-77 at over 100 miles an hour. As the troopers try to catch up, someone on their police radio calls to let them know the driver of the car is "SC-2," code for the lieutenant governor.

It is Bauer himself, using a two-way radio in his car. [Read transcript.]

When the car finally stops, one trooper pulls alongside, sees that it's Bauer, and waves him on. No ticket is issued, not even a warning.

Public safety director Jim Schweitzer says, "What we're telling our troopers is that we treat everyone, no matter their status, fairly and equitably."

The lieutenant governor has had at least one other run-in with law enforcement. In 2003, a police officer stopped Bauer for speeding and running red lights in downtown Columbia. Bauer was going 60 miles-an-hour in a 35 miles-per-hour zone. The officer briefly held Bauer at gunpoint.

Bauer said he was late for a Senate session and later, apologized, "I understand that as lieutenant governor, the citizens of South Carolina have elected me to a position of great trust. With that great trust comes responsibility, including holding myself to a higher standard of conduct which includes safe driving."

News source

Why is he so damn paranoid, anyway? ;)

Rosie said...

You are doing a great job with this blog, Daisy.

You know, I'm from I appreciate getting to see some of the buzz from the old home state. Our home state never lacks for "colorful" politics.

belledame222 said...

Since when does being a "health nut" preclude taking drugs?

"...and she and her friends spend all night putting cocaine up their nose and -that's- all right, but for lord's sake don't put any sugar in your tea!"

(or something like that)

--French & Saunders

DaisyDeadhead said...

Story update: Wade Cleveland's law license was revoked.