Allegedly Reneged on Promise to Pay Unfunded Primary Cost

Unless the Legislature and Governor act in January to increase the funds allowed for the presidential  primary set for January 21, 2012, county governments will be stuck with the bill.

Some county officials feel they were misled by Chad Connelly, Chairman of the SCGOP. In fact, Connelly informed the Greenville County Republican Party Executive Committee that he was raising funds to cover the cost not funded by the state and that county officials should not be concerned about being stuck with the bill.

Now he says the court decision prohibits him from keeping that promise.

Four Counties, Beaufort, Chester, Greenville and Spartanburg, asked the Supreme Court to clarify who should pay for the elections. The court said it was a state responsibility, based on a proviso that extended an earlier law to the current election year.

The root of the problem is South Carolina’s unjust election law that prohibits the Republican Party from selecting its own candidate to represent their views in the general election. Any registered voter in South Carolina can legally vote in the South Carolina Republican Presidential Preference Primary.

By using taxpayer funds rather than party funds to pay for and run the primaries, that practice tends to support the current law that everyone can tell Republicans who their candidate to challenge the Democrat incumbent President should be.

It is the job of the SC GOP Executive Committee to exercise oversight over the state chairman. In the meantime, the Greenville County Republican Party is doing what it can to provide volunteers to help minimize the impact on local taxpayers.

It is unlikely that additional funds will be forthcoming from the state, since Governor Haley is opposed to taxpayers funding party primaries. The current funds, although inadequate, were the result of overriding the governor’s veto.

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Mike Scruggs