Monday, May 18, 2009

Craigslist CEO Shopping for an Apology From McMaster

Posted by Greg Hambrick on Mon, May 18, 2009 at 11:53 AM

e484/1242661731-mcmaster_resized.jpgCraigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster spent his whole weekend fuming over S.C. Attorney General Henry McMaster's continued threats of criminal prosecution for adult services found on the website.

Buckmaster had agreed to concessions last week after lengthy negotiations with three other attorneys general, but McMaster (pictured) said it wasn't enough and continued to call on the popular classifieds site to remove all user-generated ads that offered sexual services.

Throughout the weekend, Buckmaster updated a post on a host of other web classified pages that host personal "entertainment" services, including the Post and Courier.

Today, he called on McMaster to apologize for targeting Craigslist, while suggesting that the attorney general shouldn't throw around words like "criminal," particularly in the run-up to a contentious gubernatorial campaign.

"Have you fully considered the implications of your accusations against Craigslist?" Buckmaster wrote. "What's a crime for Craigslistis clearly a crime for any company."

Of course, it's quite possible that all Buckmaster has succeeded in doing is making McMaster's job easier when he does, in fact, go after the state's larger personal ad providers.

Another interesting fact comes from a chart that Buckmaster posted on Sunday showing overall growth in Craigslist postings in South Carolina. What is interesting about the chart is the relatively modest growth in Charleston posts compared to Greenville, Myrtle Beach, and Columbia.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Craigslist Crackdown: Take the prostitutes, but leave "adult gigs"

Posted by Greg Hambrick on Tue, May 5, 2009 at 11:15 AM

3b1b/1241536452-mcmaster_resized.jpgS.C. Attorney General Henry McMaster has given Craigslist 10 days to remove posts on the classified ad site that offer/solicit sex.

We went on Craigslist to see what the fuss is about. The "erotic services" section was pretty lame, but the "adult gigs" section was hilarious!

For example:

1. Apparently, there is a private topless car wash at a local warehouse in some three weeks. They've already got more than 70 reservations, according to the post.

2. Two "very flirtatious" women are needed for a bachelor party golf outing.

3. And somebody wants to pay $100 to take pictures of pretty feet.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

DeMint Assaults Big Business … After Taking Their Money

Posted by Greg Hambrick on Wed, Apr 29, 2009 at 10:42 AM

3738/1241014453-_080326.demint-large_resized.jpgSen. Jim DeMint does not like big business. The picture he paints in today's Washington Times would make you think that the feeling is mutual, but no sir. Nearly $275,000 in first quarter campaign donations from big business political action committees suggest that DeMint has more friends than he's willing to admit.

The column in the Times is in response to the national Chamber of Commerce, which gave DeMint and others low marks for opposing the federal stimulus. DeMint calls the chamber members the "corporate elite" and says that he's not their stooge.

The road back to Republican success is not to reinforce our weakened coalition of corporate interests, but to drop it altogether. Republicans shouldn't be the party of business any more than they should be the party of labor - we're supposed to be the party of freedom.

That's a costly proposition, particularly for DeMint. Tons of big businesses have donated to his reelection campaign, particularly in this first quarter of the year. There were $1,000 contributions from political action committees at AFLAC, Allstate, Bayer, Coke, Chevron, G.E., and McDonald's. Larger contributions included PAC money from Sprint Nextel ($1,500), Campbell Soup ($2,000), R.J. Reynolds ($2,500), and Cisco Systems ($3,000).

DeMint notes in the column that "the Republican Party has been portrayed by liberals (and the media) as a political country club." That same "media" donated some $6,000 to DeMint's reelection campaign in the first quarter, including money from PACs at CBS, the National Association of Broadcasters, the Motion Picture Association, and Time Warner.

And then there's this part of the column:

We should get out of the business of picking winners and losers in the marketplace. We should not care who wins in fair fights between Microsoft and Apple, between CitiGroup and community banks, or between Home Depot and mom-and-pop hardware stores. All we should demand is a fair fight.

Of course DeMint doesn't want to get in the fight between CitiGroup and community banks — he got $1,000 from the Bank of America PAC. And, as for the fight between Home Depot and mom-and-pop hardware stores, well one of those two brawlers put $2,000 in DeMint's campaign coffers and it wasn't mom and pop.

DeMint has always been an interesting study in corporate contribution contradictions. Last year, anti-earmark Demint got more than $200,000 from companies that benefited from Defense Department earmarks in the latest authorization bill. By comparison, fellow anti-earmarker John McCain got $18,000 from the same companies.

While DeMint made more from corporate PACs in the first quarter than liberals like Barbara Boxer, Evan Bayh, and Patrick Leahy, we don't want to make it sound like DeMint gets more money from corporate interests than anyone in the Senate — there are much deeper pockets on both sides of the aisle.

But this urging from DeMint that the GOP shuck the chains of big business rings a little hollow when you look at his balance sheet.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Round-Up: Secular Humanists, Barrett '10, Sanford Stimulus, Stavrinakis Taxes

Posted by Greg Hambrick on Mon, Apr 27, 2009 at 10:45 AM

Charleston and South Carolina From Off:
• Local secular humanists (whom had a high profile billboard on I-26 a few months ago, lead off a New York Times piece on the movement.
• Gubernatorial candidate Gresham Barrett, regardless of the ribbing he took on Tax Day, won the support of a collection of Greenville Republicans in a recent GOP straw poll.
• Gov. Mark Sanford gets a spotlight in Newsweek over his stimulus stalling. Like the rest of us, they see 2012 aspirations.
• State Rep. Leon Stavrinakis is one of the legislators called out from the state Senate floor last week for errors in his tax returns. He says it wasn't his fault and he's not a tax cheat.

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Democratic Gov Candidate Cheat Sheet

Posted by Greg Hambrick on Fri, Apr 24, 2009 at 12:50 PM

Ok. I know I said I was busy, but what better time to put off what was due yesterday.

South Carolina Democrats are heading to Columbia for a big weekend, and a forum today hosted by the SC New Democrats will look at how to win in 2010. As part of the event, they'll be hosting potential candidates for governor and they were nice enough to include a list. No new names, really (hell, most are from Charleston) but we realize we haven't really collected all of them in a post:

Potential candidates who have confirmed their participation are State Senator Vincent Sheheen, State Representative Harry Ott, and Charleston attorney Mullins McLeod. Sen. Robert Ford and Rev. Amos Elliott have also been invited but have not confirmed.

Sheheen recently made an early campaign stop in Charleston to talk about the federal stimulus. McLeod announced his candidacy earlier this week. Ford's been busy pitching his private school tax credit plan. Elliott, who has a West Ashley church, announced his candidacy a few weeks ago. Ott's from Calhoun.

The fun starts at 2:30 PM at The Inn at USC on 1619 Pendleton St. The candidate discussion is at 3:45 p.m.

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Greg Hambrick
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