"Carroll Campbell created a monster he can't control," is the take of a Beasley insider about the governor's growing independence.
Campbellites Bob McAllister and Warren Tompkins are being edged out of the power loop by Beasley's gatekeeper, Howell Clyborne.
"Clyborne is catering to the Christian right and laying the groundwork for his own political ambition," our source observed. "He wants to be governor."
While Clyborne schemes of ways to climb to higher office, the governor's staff is passing out Beasley for President bumper stickers. Maybe to avoid seeming overly ambitious, there is no year on them.
This past summer, when word got to Campbell that Bob Dole and Beasley were having a private session in Charleston, Campbell reportedly became incensed, barging into the meeting and demanding to know what was going on.
As Beasley's star rises in the fundamentalists heavens, Dole has grown noticeably cooler towards Campbell.
In fact, Beasley's pandering to the Christian Coalition threatens to divide the Republican Party.
"David doesn't have anybody around him smart enough or humble enough to turn the situation around from internal warfare," is one insiders take.
When the only African American on the governor's staff resigned in a public display of disgust after eight months of being ignored, Clyborne hired a Greenville neighbor to fill the position. Janeen Green is considered a "safe Negro" who will be content to sit quietly, draw her salary and not embarrass the boss.
The way the governor handled the execution of Sylvester Adams provided further evidence of Beasley's tenuous grasp of the issues. Beasley apparently didn't even read the legal briefs before deciding Adams had gotten a fair deal and deserved to die. Instead of reading them himself, staff attorney Angela Tutko read the papers and provided the governor a three-page summary he used to make his decision.
"They're not as shallow and insincere as I was afraid they were," our source confided, "they're worse. The governor has surrounded himself with real sleazy people."
GOD'S OWN YARDSTICK
While Gov. Beasley professes tolerance for all religious beliefs, he is going to court to keep Charleston atheist Herb Silverman from becoming a notary public.
Silverman's application was first denied by Carroll Campbell in 1992. The former governor approved more than 33,000 notaries, and found Silverman to be the only unqualified applicant.
On Aug. 2, Circuit Judge Thomas Hughston determined that "no religious test may be applied in considering this application," and ruled that Silverman was qualified to be a notary.
To the surprise of unbelievers statewide, on Sept. 21 Gov. Beasley appealed the ruling that would allow Silverman to wield the seal. The case now goes to the state Supreme Court.
Why the Feds needed to job out their dirty linen remains a mystery. The laundry at the Bomb Plant has shut down for environmental and financial reasons, and the job of decontaminating hot pants has been privatized.
Interstate Nuclear Services won the bid and wants to build a facility in Aiken County. The locals are upset, concerned that the atomic laundry that created environmental problems at the Bomb Plant should be moved into the community. When DHEC was quizzed about INS's record (the company runs a radioactive laundry in Columbia) it was revealed that inspection records at state-licensed nuclear facilities are confidential.
Although the records of all other DHEC-regulated facilities are public, the state Atomic Energy Act makes the records of atomic laundries confidential.
Who we are keeping these strategic secrets from isn't clear. Perhaps the Bosnian Serbs or the Haitian refugees would be empowered by the knowledge of how much radioactivity is washed out of hot laundry.
Rep. Charles Sharpe (R-Aiken), who never met a hazardous facility he wouldn't live next to, believes the nuclear laundry can find a welcome home if it chooses to relocate in New Ellenton. The little town is dead broke and located slam up against the Bomb Plant. They're used to being dosed.
When Sen. Maggie Glover got busted for speeding and driving under suspension, she complained the cops were picking on her because she was a black elected official.
The cops cut Maggie some slack by ignoring the fact that she locked herself in the car and refused to come out and be arrested. What Maggie won't recognize is that she has become one of the good ol boys she rails against. (Otherwise she would have spent the night in jail.) Maggie's faux paux brings to mind the time in 1993 when Annette Young (R-Dorchester) was stopped for driving under the influence. A cop drove her home after she blew a bad balloon. Her indiscretion was forgiven. Young was recently elected Republican House majority leader. Who says Republicans are moralistic prudes?
After five years in court, 45 days in hearings and an untold amount of citizen skepticism, final briefs in the ThermalKEM licensing hearing were filed last month.
ThermalKEM, a hazardous waste incinerator in Rock Hill, has operated since the early 1980s on an interim permit. The citizens group opposed to the permit filed a 150-page brief to argue that the plant not be licensed. The company filed a 100-page document to support their case for acquiring a license.
DHEC, that watchdog of our environment, filed seven pages that supported granting ThermalKEM's license. After years of hearings and over six weeks of direct testimony, a seven-page brief would get a private lawyer fired.
In August, Jim White, a conservative Christian candidate, was elected by the local legislative delegation to fill a vacancy on the State Board of Education.
White was forced to resign after citizens filed suit, pointing out that it was time for a Charleston resident to fill the rotating slot between them and Berkeley County.
The push to replace White with Jeffrey Deal, another religious right candidate, was rebuffed with aggressive lobbying by progressives supporting a moderate Republican.
When Carol Ward, a normal Republican, won the seat, Beasley was quick to comfort fundamentalists. The governor promised White the next at-large seat - the only one of 17 appointed by the governor on the Board of Education - when it comes open in December 1996.
Former governor Carroll Campbell and Gov. David Beasley sent an invitation Sept. 27 to Republican faithful to join the Re-elect Thurmond Finance Committee.
The letter's first sentence, "In November of next year we will re-elect a living legend..." evidences the governors' faith in Thurmond's vitality and re-electability. The governors are getting in line and covering their political butts. While scenarios to replace the senator are well-rehearsed, it's bad form to speak publicly about life-after-Strom. Legend has it that Beasley got Campbell's support only after agreeing to a deal that included appointing Campbell to Strom's seat in the event of the senior senator's death.
Since the senator refuses to die or even retire, the governors have no public option but to support him. Privately, Campbell is floating the balloon of stepping in for Thurmond if his initial polls are down.
Sec. of State Jim Miles has had his senatorial balloons up for some time, but it's doubtful that he would go head-to-head with Campbell.
Die, retire or lose, Campbell waits to inherit the damn-near unbeatable Thurmond machine and, possibly, the Senate seat.
This month's Sleazeball is once again the state agency charged with protecting our environment. Its brief attention to the threats to our air and water are a matter of record. Name the state agency that keeps secrets from the people it is supposed to protect and win a trial subscription to POINT.
Last month's Sleazeball was the multinational corporation trying to sell out before being indicted for environmental crimes ThermalKEM.
Errata: Last month's column gored the godfather of the Mountain Bridge Wilderness, Greenville lawyer Tom Wyche, for "developing several hundred acres of prime mountain real estate.."
Wyche wrote to let us know that the parcel in question contained 535 acres, but 485 acres have been turned over to the Nature Conservancy. Only 50 acres of the parcel are being developed.