Obama Rebuilds, Isle of Folly, Feisty Captain Sam 

News Blips

"When your pants are down, your pride is down."

City Councilman Wendell Gilliard on his proposal for a ban on baggy pants in Charleston. Source: The Post and Courier

Obama Rebuilds SC Team; McCain Sends Graham to War Zone

With teams already in place in viable states like Georgia and North Carolina, the Obama campaign got around to officially announcing its South Carolina leadership last week as part of the Democrats' 50-state strategy.

Clay Middleton, a staff member for House Minority Whip Jim Clyburn, will be the political director for the campaign in South Carolina. He was a candidate to replace retiring Rep. Floyd Breeland in the Statehouse in June, but lost in a run-off against Charleston City Councilman Wendell Gilliard.

The campaign also announced that operative Trav Robertson would serve as the state director for the campaign.

"Trav and Clay bring the expertise of state and national campaigns, in addition to years of organizing experience," Obama Campaign Manager David Plouffe said in a release. "They will bring an unprecedented general election campaign organization to all corners of South Carolina."

Meanwhile, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) announced last week that he will send Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to Georgia. Graham is expected to ... well, try not to get in the way while proving candidate McCain can lead in a foreign policy crunch.

In other news, Clyburn has been announced as a speaker during the Democratic National Convention in Denver on Wed., Aug. 27. —Greg Hambrick

Isle of Folly

The smoking ban may have failed on Folly Beach, but tempers flared last month over an ordinance to ban alcohol sales from 2-6 a.m. on the island. "When the bars close, it offers an opportunity for folks to say, 'Hey, let's keep partying,'" says Councilmember Tim Goodwin, who authored the legislation. "The people that live here all the time plan ahead." Council votes on that ordinance (which passed 5-2 on its last reading) on Tues., Aug. 26 at 7 p.m. They'll also make a decision on handling vendor licenses on the beach. Goodwin says he'll wait until next month to present another controversial bill establishing time and volume standards for live music at restaurants and bars. —Stratton Lawrence

6 to 1

That's the rate at which overseas troops are contributing to Sen. Barack Obama over Sen. John McCain. Rep. Ron Paul, who has suspended his campaign, has pulled in four times McCain's take. Source: The Center for Responsive Politics


That's how many employees Hard Rock Park laid off last week due to lower-than-expected attendance in its first summer of operation. Source: The (Myrtle Beach) Sun News

"If the Border Patrol Doesn't Get You, the Chicken and Burgers Will — Go Vegan."

PETA's pitch for a billboard on the Mexico-U.S. border to warn illegal immigrants of America's fast food vices.

Source: The Houston Chronicle

Feisty Captain Sam's Inlet

A spit of land in between Kiawah and Seabrook islands made news last week as Rep. Henry Brown offered up a bill to allow federally-subsidized flood insurance on 39 acres of high ground on the fragile barrier island, thus making development economically practical.

The land is adjacent to Beachwalker County Park and is a relatively untouched bird and wildlife habitat. Aside from about 50 homes, the Kiawah Island Development Group also plans to build a 2,783-foot concrete revetment that will prevent the Kiawah River from cutting the spit into an island.

The new development will "increase the overall ecological value of habitats for a diversity of native fauna and flora," according to the legislation. But many of the waterways surrounding Kiawah are already posted with shellfish consumption warnings from DHEC, due to high fecal coliform levels that often accompany development and its subsequent runoff.

The congressman told The Post and Courier last week he thought the bill was a request by Kiawah residents, even though the bill refers specifically to the planned construction and one of the developers, Leonard Long, claimed the development group approached Brown with the bill.

Linda Kettner, Brown's opponent for his District One seat this November, says that the bill would encourage development in an unstable erosion zone and is an abuse of power in favor of special interests. "It seems that Brown is so accustomed to taking money from special interest groups that he does not scrutinize legislation that he sponsors," she says, pointing to more than $80,000 in donations from real estate and development firms to Brown's reelection campaign.

Homes on the sandy spit could quickly face the same erosion problems as Wild Dunes, says Nancy Vinson of the Coastal Conservation League. "I hope now that the congressman understands the impact ... he will withdraw the measure," Vinson says. A public hearing on the bill, H.R. 6389, is scheduled for Sept. 10 in Washington, D.C. — quite the drive for concerned constituents. —Stratton Lawrence

8.73 percent

That's the annual increase in South Carolina's Hispanic population, leading the nation, according to the latest Census estimates. Source: The Charlotte Observer

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