Friday, October 31, 2014

WIS News 10: Greenwood massacre suspect made a career of being a criminal thug

WIS investigates Bryan Sweatt's past, a year after the county's worst massacre fueled over a domestic dispute

BREEZEWOOD — The man who triggered Greenwood County's worst massacre after beginning a domestic dispute with his former girlfriend was a career criminal after an extensive investigation by a Columbia NBC affiliate.

Raycom's WIS News 10 unearthed the long history of arrests for Bryan Sweatt, who began his run-ins with law enforcement in 2004 at the age of 18.  Sargent John Long of the Greenwood County Sheriff's Department told WIS that he personally arrested Mr. Sweatt numerous times himself.

He was a jailbird in the months leading up to the sextuple murder-suicide, being arrested 13 times in less than 24 months, with the 13th arrest being for a burglary 33 months ago while the victim was pregnant, a charge that he was slated to go to trial for on 12 months and two days ago, when the slayings happened.

Because he was never convicted of burglary, the only crime he was arrested for of which is a felony in South Carolina, sheriff's officers said that the firearm he used to commit the mayhem was legally purchased and owned.

His ex reported him at least thrice to Greenwood County Sheriff's Department officers in the 16 months before she was targeted by him and gunned down.  The third and final report happened in the very residence where the rampage occurred about a week later, where the victim and her family's lifeless bodies were found lain in a path of destruction.

The victim's aunt told WIS bluntly: “He never had a job that I knew of.  I'm sure he promised her the moon.  I believe with all my heart she had no idea the extent of his criminal activity.”

Mr. Sweatt was gonna face 20 years, plus the time he was on probation, in prison had he been convicted of the burglary.  He would have also never gotten custody of the child he and the victim shared, and he would have been barred from being hired to work at private sector jobs, voting and possessing a firearm in any state with strict gun laws.

WIS News 10
WIS News 10 (2)

Nunn is the choice in the US Senate race in Georgia

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Voters who can vote now were mortified as children at the scandalous and disgusting campaign that was run by Saxby Chambliss in 2002 when he ran as a challenger against the then-incumbent, Max Cleland.  To refresh your memory, here you go – the ad that ran on WJBF-DT that year:


David Perdue believes in that kind of disgusting campaigning, and it is no surprise that he adopted the Saxby Chambliss style of politics in his campaign against Michelle Nunn because his poll numbers are sagging and he trails Ms. Nunn and Georgia is about to snap at the GOP (although Nathan Deal is likely to be re-elected).

While Mr. Perdue is busy boasting about his business credentials and attacking Ms. Nunn for her lack thereof, it should be noted that he was the Peach State's king of outsourcing.  As the CEO of Dollar General, he outsourced millions of jobs overseas and was sued for wage theft.  He was ordered to pay just a paltry $18,750,000.00 in damages to the women he underpaid, and nearly paid the judgment all off by pocketing the cash from the jobs he outsourced (he got north of $17,000,000.00 for shipping jobs to communist China and other foreign places).

As if that is not enough, Perdue has the endorsements of prominent anti-choice groups like the Americans United for ‘Life’, the National Right to Life Committee and the Susan B. Anthony List – even as the state of Georgia has a higher maternal mortality rate than the Eurasia nation that bears the same name.  In fact, the maternal death rate in the Peach State is the worst in America.

"Being pro-life and believing in the sanctity of marriage are my deeply held personal convictions," said Mr. Perdue on his website.  "I will not waver in defending them if I have the privilege of serving you in the U.S Senate."

Aiken Area Progressive is recommending that voters in the state elect Michelle Nunn to the US Senate, because she will never put government in a woman's vagina.  Furthermore, she will make sure to only confirm pro-choice jurists, and she will listen to Georgians, not the Koch Brothers.

Aiken Area Progressive recommends voting ‘no’ on all ballot questions

I'm sure by now all of you have heard about the sales tax increases on the ballot in Aiken and Barnwell counties.

What you heard a lot less of, however, is how voting on the two statewide amendments would affect the people.

We'll get to those, first.

One of the questions that are on the ballot would allow for non-profits to hold raffles.

Must Section 7, Article XVII of the Constitution of this State be amended so as to provide that a raffle is not a lottery prohibited by this section, if the raffle is conducted by a nonprofit organization for charitable, religious, fraternal, educational, or other eleemosynary purposes, and the general law defines the type of organization authorized to operate and conduct the raffles, provides standards for the operation and conduct of the raffles, provides for the use of proceeds for charitable, religious, fraternal, educational, or other eleemosynary purposes, provides penalties for violations, and provides for other laws necessary to ensure the proper functioning, honesty, and integrity of the raffles, but in the absence of any general law, then the raffle remains a prohibited lottery?

The language itself may look innocuous, but if you look at the past history of state politics, especially just this past spring when Columbia threw a hissy fit over events at USC Upstate and the College of Charleston,  Say Section VII, Article XVII passes and is amended to allow raffles: how do I know that legislators won't try to declare certain raffles, such as those held by Planned Parenthood or LGBT groups, as lotteries and have members of such groups holding a raffle arrested and/or prosecuted?  We've seen how they behave when it is something they don't like first-hand.  By allowing this, we can only believe that the conservative politicians' thuggish behavior will only get worse.  It's better to have no raffles at all than to have raffles and then have conservative bureaucrats butt in and interfere with legal raffles that are primarily educational.  That is why Aiken Area Progressive recommends voters statewide to not just vote no, but hell no, on Amendment One!

The second statewide question is about the Adjunct General's position.  And given that Nikki Haley still has a fighting chance of being re-elected (that is how agonizingly close this election is), the absolute last thing we need is to give her a chance to appoint another political crony to a position that requires experience, should four more years happen on Tuesday.  Sure, the only one on the ballot this year is a Republican by the name of Bob Livingston and that position is one of many on some counties' ballots that have no opposition (thanks to prison gerrymandering).  Both major political parties in the state endorsed yes votes, but Aiken Area Progressive cannot, in good conscience, do the same.  Aiken Area Progressive recommends voters statewide to vote no on Amendment Two.

There is a third question that can be found only on select ballots, such as those in the two aforementioned counties.  Yes, the sales tax question.

You've seen the signs from Blackville to Monetta.  Signs that say ‘vote yes’ for (insert whatever local or state project need here) and ‘vote no’.  Our highways are in bad shape, Nikki Haley is lying through her teeth about having the money to fix our highways, and the yellow bus fleet is still so old, that the children riding the buses to the Salley Head Start have noted that their parents rode on those same buses in the 1980s as young children.

However, with that said, I can think of several ways to get the money to fix our highways, replace the fleet of buses and have money for the schools: the first of those requires the removal of Nikki Haley from the Governor's Mansion.  Another way is by increasing the income taxes.  A third way is by taxing 100% of any tax haven from the state that is found in the Cayman Islands.  A fourth way is by repealing Act 388, which got rid of property taxes in 2006.  Four ways to raise the money that is needed without raising the sales taxes.

That is why Aiken Area Progressive recommends voters in Aiken and Barnwell counties to vote no on the 1¢ sales tax increase proposal.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

SCSD: Railroad Heritage Alliance prez admits to sexually assaulting child

President of railroading company booked

Update at 20:38: The suspect is the president of the Railroad Heritage Alliance, not the Carolina Railroad Association.  We apologize for the error.

SPARTANBURG — The president of the Railroad Alliance was arrested for child sexual assault.

The victim, a nine-year-old girl, came forward to Spartanburg County Sheriff's Department officers after the suspect offered her money for him to assault her again.  She repeatedly declined the offer, even after he increased his ‘offer’ several times.

Lester Collins, the president of the Railroad Heritage Alliance, was arrested by the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Department and charged with aggravated criminal sexual conduct with a minor under the age of eleven – a charge that officers said was warranted after he confessed to his attempt to engage the girl in sex work, which is illegal in Canada and the United States.

WHNS 21 Fox Carolina

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sixth-grade pupil with Down syndrome shows the most spirit on cheer squad

Monroe-area girl inspires others to overcome illness

MONROE, N.C. — October is not just Intimate Partner Violence Awareness Month.

This month is also Down Syndrome Awareness Month.

The Sun Valley Middle School Spartans cheerleaders just wrapped up their season.  One of the girls that was on the squad was eleven-year-old Gigi Cunningham.

Ms. Cunningham is a sixth-grade pupil at the school.  She handles the Down Syndrome she was born with an attitude that inspires other women and girls who have that illness.

"At first I think they didn't know what to do.  I think everybody felt like they needed to take care of her," said sixth grade Sun Valley Cheerleading coach Jessica Latimer.  "We treat her just like everyone else.  She doesn't get away with anything and that's the request of her parents."

Ms. Cunningham says she see no mountain that is too big to climb, no task too impossible to conquer.

"She wants to do what typical kids are doing, whether it's in the classroom or cheerleading," said parents Stacey and Bruce Cunningham. "She just wants to learn it and she will keep going until she gets it.


Federal Trade Commission slams American Telephone and Telegraph with another lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO — The federal government has filed yet another lawsuit against a mobile carrier, as Washington seeks to end the deceptive practices that American Telephone and Telegraph (T), Sprint (S), T-Mobile (TMUS), Verizon Wireless (VZ) and others have been engaging in for years and years.

On Tuesday, the Federal Trade Commission started a new round of lawsuits against mobile carriers that throttled customers with unlimited data.

The FTC wants everyone to know that unlimited means unlimited, no ifs, ands or buts.  What that means is that if a carrier offers you unlimited data, they shouldn't be able to throttle you if you exceed a certain amount of usage.  In other words, if a carrier offers unlimited data, it must come without any strings attached.

That is why the FTC filed the first of what is sure to be a flurry of lawsuits against the Big Four and other smaller carriers like Tracfone (which owns Net10 and StraightTalk) on Tuesday against AT&T.  The FTC said that while AT&T's marketing emphasizes unlimited data, Big Orange came nowhere close to delivering on the promise.

Big Orange's throttling of unlimited customers began three years ago, when it and Verizon Wireless had just finished making its 3G and 4G data live, the FTC said in its lawsuit.  Throttling is the intentional slowing of service on mobile web or Internet by a mobile carrier or internet service provider.  AT&T had reduced the speed all users who exceeded 2 gigabytes of data to 2G/GPRS/EDGE on their mobile devices, leading to charges of ‘bait and switch’ by critics.

Not surprisingly, AT&T sees nothing wrong with what they did.

"The FTC's allegations are baseless and have nothing to do with the substance of our network management program. It's baffling as to why the FTC would choose to take this action against a company that, like all major wireless providers, manages its network resources to provide the best possible service to all customers, and does it in a way that is fully transparent and consistent with the law and our contracts. 
"We have been completely transparent with customers since the very beginning. We informed all unlimited data-plan customers via bill notices and a national press release that resulted in nearly 2,000 news stories, well before the program was implemented. In addition, this program has affected only about 3% of our customers, and before any customer is affected, they are also notified by text message."

Whoa.  Nothing that AT&T wrote in that screed actually responded to the charges that they are facing in the lawsuit, leading insiders to believe that they are guilty of what the FTC is suing them for.

If AT&T (and others) were fully transparent and consistent in their contracts, they would say something like “unlimited for ‘x’ GB of data” or “‘x’ GB of unlimited data”.  They didn't do this last year when I was looking for a Windows Phone or a way to unlock the Microsoft Lumia 822 that I did not know at the time was unlocked.  It was only after someone reported it to the FTC did AT&T start being honest about that unlimited data thing.

If AT&T can't be honest about that, it makes me wonder what else Big Orange – and the rest of the mobile phone carriers for that matter – are hiding.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Nikki Haley supports allowing convicted domestic violence offenders to own firearms

COLUMBIA — It is no secret that Nikki Haley has gotten desperate to shore up her pathetic poll numbers, even now that Tom Ervin has dropped out of the gubernatorial race, leaving four candidates in the final slow roll to the finish.

It is no secret that Haley has been a habitual liar and a criminal throughout her entire Stalinist reign of terror over South Carolina.

The recently departed conservative Independent rightfully lashed the crooked liar from Bamberg (pictured above, middle) for her explicit support of domestic violence offenders having firearms during the final debate.

"I'm calling the governor out on her miserable record in addressing the crisis of domestic violence in South Carolina," he told The Greenville News.  "She has demonstrated a failure of leadership in refusing to not only answer the question during the debate but in ignoring the victims of domestic violence even though we are near the top of the nation, ranked second in the deaths of women stemming from criminal domestic violence."

In fact, under Haley's tenure, South Carolina has ranked in the top 2 for domestic violence in each of her four years.

Domestic violence advocates also battered the out-of-touch career politician.

Becky Callaham, executive director of Safe Harbor, a Greenville-based non-profit that provides shelter and counseling for victims of domestic violence, also was critical of Haley's response on Monday.

"To say that domestic violence is just a generational and a cultural problem is an over-simplification, and it shows Governor Haley's lack of understanding about this significant and pervasive problem," she said.

"Governor Haley's comment is similar to the antiquated myth that 'domestic violence is just a family issue,' Callaham said. "Yes, domestic violence is generational, and it is 'cultural' only that it is woven into our culture of South Carolina because of opinions like this.

"Domestic violence is also a criminal problem because it is against the law," she said, "and to put it bluntly, it is leaving dead people in its wake in South Carolina more than any other state in the nation."

Haley can try to explain it away all she wants, but as the video of the final debate on YouTube shows, Haley explicitly supports allowing domestic violence offenders to own firearms.  That is the truth, and it is the latest truth about Haley that people need to know before casting their ballots.

Ga., N.C. to host mattress carry events to raise awareness about sexual violence

National Day of Action is Wednesday

CHARLOTTE — Educational institutions in some of the bigger cities nationwide will hold events to raise awareness about sexual violence.

The events are unofficially known as Carry That Weight Together, aptly named after Columbia (N.Y.) University performing arts major Emma Sulkowicz (pictured, above) began carrying the mattress she was raped on all around her campus for her long-term project to protest the fact that her rapist still has not been removed from campus.  Projects like this are required to graduate from the arts classes.

Ms. Sulkowicz is one of 23 co-eds who are plaintiffs in a Title IX lawsuit against the school.

Carry That Weight events are happening in several schools around the Tri-State:

Georgia – Agnes Scott College, DecaturEmory University, Druid Hills; and Kennesaw State

North Carolina – Chapel Hill HS; Appalachian State University, Boone; Duke, Durham; UNC, Chapel Hill; UNC Charlotte

There are no events in South Carolina.

Carrying The Weight Together

Monday, October 27, 2014

Votes on Amendment 1 (abortion amendment) change from ‘no’ to ‘yes’ in Tenn. – touch screen voting machines must be totally banned in the US

COLUMBIA, Tenn. — By now, you know that Aiken Area Progressive is one of the most vociferous supporters of a total federal ban on voting machines.  Stories like those that have come out this past week are the reasons why.

On the first day of early voting in several states, the machines were flipping votes.  In Texas, the votes were flipping from my celebrity girlfriend, Wendy Davis, to her opponent, Greg Abbott.  In Illinois, the same thing were happening there, except votes for GOP candidates were flipping to Democrats.

And now, we can add Tennessee to the list of states with these fraudulent voting machines flipping votes, especially when it comes to Amendment One, an amendment that would totally ban all abortions and all forms of birth control without any exceptions whatsoever if the measure is approved by voters.

Bernie Ellis, of Santa Fe, Tenn., said he voted "no" on Amendment One Thursday, the first day of early voting in the state.  Before he submitted his ballot, he noticed a problem.

"Sometime between when I cast my vote and when I got to the review page, the machine had changed my vote to a 'yes,'" Mr. Ellis.

Beverley Turner, of Columbia, experienced the same issue last Friday when she tried voting "no" on the same position.

Both Mr. Ellis and Ms. Turner voted at the same place: Maury County Election Commission.

"If this could happen in Maury County, I just want people to be aware and careful and look at what you're voting for," said Ms. Turner.

Mr. Ellis helped to successfully force paper ballots in 2008 after voters approved of a ballot measure.  That law was short-lived, however.

After taking control, the GOP required every one of the 95 counties in the state to use the touch screen voting machines in 2011.  The problems started during the 2012 Democratic primaries for state offices.  To no one's surprise, conservatives have been very quiet about this blatant voter fraud.

And the sad part about that is that nothing can be done once the ballot is submitted, which is exactly the way conservatives want it so they can tamper with the voting machines.

This is yet another indictment against computerized voting machines.  These machines should be bricked, totally banned for US elections, and people or businesses that are in possession of such machines should be prosecuted for gross voter fraud and jailed for natural life.

Brad Blog
Brad Blog (2)

Large numbers of women, men harassed online

Pew: ‘Sexist/racist/offensive’ name is the most common form of internet harassment

If you a feminist woman living in Williston and/or Aiken or Barnwell counties, chances are, you have been a victim of harassment online.

A full two-fifths of all Americans have been harassed online.  Women were slightly more likely than men to experience harassment, and the harassment are mostly linked to speaking out against sexism.

Women were far more likely than men to experience the kind of doxing and threats of violence (including rape and death) that Melissa Brewer, Angie Jackson, Heather Parker, Adria Richards, Chrissy Teigen and Brianna Wu have faced in recent years.  This is known as long-term or severe harassment.  Most of the violent threats against women have been associated with them speaking out against: a) misogynistic anti-choice laws, b) lax gun laws that have led to more dead women from domestic violence in states like S.C., and/or c) GamerGate's refusal to sincerely condemn the sexist harassment of women gamers and nerds from the group's most outspoken and loudest supporters.

Eighteen out of every 25 internet users have experienced someone else receive harassment online (including yours truly, which saw a lot of women writers, including some former and current writers of the Frisky, be on the receiving end of online harassment), and (no surprise) social media is the most common form of harassment online, as have been shown as of late with extreme MRAs from Australia doxing and harassing women on Facebook and Twitter after the women filed rape reports.

Also, not surprisingly, in most cases, users were targeted by someone they don't even remotely know.  The survey found over half of respondents did not even remotely know the person harassing them.  In some cases, multiple victims of harassment said that they were harassed by the same person or group of people.

"It was striking to see how different varieties of harassment impacted different groups on different platforms, and the range of reactions online harassment elicited," said Maeve Duggan, main author of the Pew report, in a statement.

The most common form experienced by users is being called an offensive name (27%) or having someone try to "purposefully embarrass them" (22%). As for the more serious forms of harassment, the survey found 8% of overall users – including each of the aforementioned women except Ms. Parker – have been physically threatened, while another 8% – including all of the aforementioned women – say they've been stalked.

WLTX News 19

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Mother pleads innocent to raping sleeping male neighbor

Woman charged in 16-month-old rape case

SEATTLE — Last week, a woman had a court appearance on second-degree rape charges.

Chantae Gilman, 26, pled innocent to raping a 31-year-old man.

She was remanded to jail, where she will remain until trial.

Sixteen months ago, the victim was sleeping heavily when he awoke to find Ms. Gilman on top, raping him.

When interviewed by the King County Police Department, Ms. Gilman said that she did not remember being on top of the victim, let alone raping him.

The King County PD said that initial deoxyribonucleic acid samples place Ms. Gilman's DNA on the victim's dick.

Ms. Gilman has four kids and is expecting a fifth.

KCPQ-TV Q 13 Fox

Fifteen gubernatorial seats could be in different parties' hands on November 4

There are signs that the wrath against Congress is coming down hard on the governors, too.

Thirty-six mansions are up for grabs in the gubernatorial election that happens on November 4.  Two other elections happened last year: in New Jersey and Virginia.  Three other states will hold their elections on November 3, 2015 – Kentucky being among them, guaranteeing that the special interests like ALEC and the citizen activists like those on Twitter will be busy every year up until 2100, when there will not be an election since it is not a leap year.

There could be as many as 15 governor's seats that could change parties when November 5 comes around.  (The fifteenth of those, Neil Abercrombie, was vanquished in a Democratic primary.)  Here is a look at the governor's races in order by state name:

Arizona: Jan Brewer is term-limited and that spells big trouble for the GOP.  The Democrats have all of the enthusiasm here, especially since the GOP has been largely forced to distance themselves from SB 1070.

Arkansas: The second of the three races where there is an open seat.  Like Brewer, Mike Beebe is term-limited.  This has provided the GOP Tea Party its best opportunity in this campaign to snag a gubernatorial seat away from the Democrats.

Florida: Rick Scott is one of the nine extremely vulnerable GOP governors (and one of the eleven extremely vulnerable overall) up for re-election on November 4.  He is the sixth-least popular of the 31 gubernatorial incumbents still in the running.  This is one of the many opportunities Dems have to take seats away from the GOP.

Georgia: Nathan Deal is another of the seven GOP incumbents who are extremely vulnerable.  A scandal involving the Public Service Commission has caused some GOP voters in Bulloch and Columbia counties switch to Jason Carter's campaign.

Hawaii: This past summer, Neil Abercrombie (D) became the first sitting governor in this cycle to lose his seat.  However, that was in a primary which saw liberals revolt against him, and he also made history with that loss: he is the first-ever sitting governor in the state's 45-year history to lose a re-election bid, and also the first-ever to lose in a primary.  State Senator David Ige takes Abercrombie's place on the Democratic ticket, and this is one of two multi-candidate gubernatorial races that could end up having a party that otherwise would have been coasting to re-election instead turn the seat over to the opposition.

Illinois: Pat Quinn is one of the two extremely vulnerable Democrats on the ballot in this cycle, and one of the eleven extremely vulnerable incumbents overall.  The GOP has all of the enthusiasm in this state and for a state that hasn't voted GOP since Bush-Quayle's 427-110 landslide in 1988, there is no excuse for why the Democrats are faltering here.

Kansas: Sam Brownback is the least popular governor of those up for re-election this year and it is not hard to see why: much like the Bush tax cut handouts did to the national economy from 2007-2009, the tax cut handouts Brownback gave to his political cronies have completely destroyed the Kansas economy.  The state's unemployment rates have soared, teachers are leaving the Sunflower State for better places, women doctors from all practices – as well as all of the well-qualified OB-GYNs – have also fled the state due to the Kansas government putting themselves where they do not belong.  Oh, and the job creation rate in Kansas is, far and away, the worst in the nation.  Brownback is the most vulnerable incumbent in this election and Democrats should be ashamed of themselves if they can't strip it away from Brownback's slimy hands.

Maine: In 15 months, Paul LePage used up any goodwill he got from the Maine voters when he decided it would be a good idea to oppose President Obama for political reasons, and when he tried to enact anti-choice laws.  One of LePage's most loyal supporters is Lance Harvell, who most infamously said this on International Women's Day 2012, “Why should my 20-year-old son have to get a mandate for insurance that would require him to have a pap smear!?”

Massachusetts: No Deval Patrick, no problem for the Democrats, right?  Not so fast.  Martha Coakley is running the same campaign for governor as she did in her loss to Scott Brown in 2010 for what was then a temporary US Senate seat to fill-in after Ted Kennedy died.  And predictably, the results are the same – a dead heat that could result in the Democrats losing a Northeast gubernatorial race.

Michigan: The GOP had the gall to say that Jennifer Granholm ruled the state with an iron fist when it is Rick Snyder, the second-least popular governor up for re-election this year, that has been doing that by running Michigan like a communist dictator.  This race is rated as "Likely Democratic" for many reasons, including: silencing pro-choice women, ignoring the will of the people when it comes to the Emergency Manager, and ignoring the massive majority when it came to pushing "right-to-work" laws that are so unpopular, over 75% of the state's voters would repeal the right-to-work law if they were allowed to vote on it.  Oh, and voters are taking the Michigan Right to Life's utter contempt for the people of the Wolverine State out on Snyder as well.

Pennsylvania: Like Snyder, Tom Corbett is also pretty much a goner, and his politicization of the Kermit Gosnell case to advance a law that purposely closes down legitimate abortion clinics is the main reason why this race has been moved to "solid Democrat".  Also, his party's gloating about suppressing legitimate voters with a photo-required voter ID law, has pretty much provided the fuel that liberals, who remember everything, to rid the Keystone State of one of its worst governors in history.

Rhode Island: Lincoln Chafee lost as a GOP Senator in 2006.  Eight years later, he could make history if he does not buckle down within the next nine days: Chafee, now a Democrat, could be the first-ever politician to lose re-election bids as a member of both major parties.  And much like Hawaii, Illinois and Massachusetts, this would be inexcusable if the Dems lose this seat to a conservative Republican.

South Carolina: Nikki Haley is so arrogant, she is the third most hated incumbent of the 31 making it to November 4.  Like Snyder, she has run South Carolina like Hugo Chavez ran Venezuela, and that is the truth.  In fact, she is so disliked, there are three other candidates besides DINO Vincent Sheheen running against her: United Citizens Party candidate Morgan Bruce Reeves, who is the African-American running in this campaign; Steve French, the conservative Libertarian candidate who boasts about his business credentials and (rightfully) attacks Haley for her anti-business record; and Tom Ervin, the Independent Republican who already has more committed voters in heavily conservative Aiken County than Haley.  And while polls show Haley leading, remember, polls also showed Vic Rawl leading a Senate race in 2010 and we know what happened there.  Not to mention that, just like with Sen. Lindsey Graham, there are (more than) just enough conservatives who hate Haley's guts that it could swing the race and the GOP lose an otherwise safe seat that they should have ran away with.

Texas: With Rick Perry pulling a Deval Patrick, this is yet another great opportunity for the Democrats to remove the seat from GOP control.  Unlike Massachusetts Dems, however, the GOP does have somewhat of an excuse should my girlfriend, Wendy Davis, pull off the win against Greg Abbott – after all, the demographics are changing in Texas and the reds are eroding.  The GOP are losing voters while Dems are gaining.
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