South Carolina State Sen. Jake Knotts of “raghead” fame has declared himself a proud “redneck” and called his Republican colleagues “hypocrites” for not admitting they wouldn’t be pushing for him to resign if he had called only President Barack Obama “raghead.”  “They make much worse racial and religious statements in private company, some that would even make me or you blush,” Knotts said in a speech from the well of the Senate.

The Lexington County Republican Party voted last week to censure Knotts and asked for his resignation after Knotts referred to both President Obama and State Rep. Nikki Haley, a Republican candidate for governor also from Lexington, as ragheads in a Podcast interview.  Haley is Indian-American.

Giving some perspective to consider, Knotts told his fellow senators, “If all of us rednecks leave the Republican Party, the party is going to have one hell of a void.”

Meanwhile, Nikki Haley’s opponent in next Tuesday’s runoff, U.S. Rep. Gresham Barrett, made some odd assertions of his own.  According to the Augusta Chronicle, Barrett told an Aiken, South Carolina audience, “I voted against the stimulus package. She (Haley) voted for it not once but twice.”  This is odd because, unlike Barrett, Haley is not a member of Congress and therefore couldn’t have voted on the stimulus package at all.  Barrett also has drawn criticism for claims that he is retired from the Army, generally considered having served 20 years of military service.  According to Barrett’s own bio, he resigned his captain’s commission after four years in the Army to run the family furniture business, reports The Garnet Spy website.

Maintaining his vigilance on political sex, Will Folks at FITSnews.com reports that “the two surviving Republican candidates for Lt. Governor – Florence County Councilman Ken Ard and Orangeburg attorney Bill Connor – are both being hit [by] extramarital affair allegations as they enter the final week of their respective campaigns.”

Folks, who claims he had an “inappropriate physical relationship” with Haley, also is circulating speculation that Haley could become Sarah Palin’s running mate in a 2012 presidential bid.

On the Democratic side of South Carolina’s very bizarre primary season, State Rep. Ken Kennedy, a Williamsburg Democrat, has called on state Democratic Party Chairwoman Carol Fowler to resign over her handling of the U.S. Senate race in which political unknown Alvin Greene won the June 8 Democratic primary.  Kennedy said he has known Greene and his family for years and that they don’t deserve the harsh media attention they’re getting.  “They are a good, middle-class black family,” Kennedy told The State.

¡Ay, caramba! Tim James, who made English-only driver’s license tests a cornerstone of his campaign, was gaining nada in a recount of the vote that put him in third place and out of the Republican run-off.   In fact, the son of former governor Fob James, was losing ground in some counties in the recount, expected to be completed Friday.  In Shelby, St. Clair, Madison and Cal­houn counties, James, who fell just 167 votes short of making the run-off, lost 17 votes.  In Madison County, James picked up 14 votes in the recount, which he funded with $200,000 of his own money, but the second-place finisher Robert Bentley also picked up 14 votes.  In Baldwin County, the recount found a total of 84 additional votes, with Bent­ley picking up 22 of them and James 13.

Not in Kansas anymore? Palm Beach Post columnist Frank Cerabino reports that Republican Wink Hartman, the front-runner for an open congressional seat in south-central Kansas who opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants, is getting a tax break  by claiming that the waterfront Florida home he and his wife own in Highland Beach is their primary residence. Cerabino writes that Hartman has a valid Florida driver license, is still listed as a Florida voter, and has a Florida polo league named after him.  Cerabino suggests Hartman “use the tornado defense.”

Ranger, Granger, whatever: At the swearing-in ceremony for newly elected U.S. Rep. Tom Graves of Georgia, reports the Chattanooga Times Free Press, fellow Georgia U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston told the audience, “Tom comes from Granger, Georgia. You may not know Granger, Georgia., population 91. But it’s a little bit down the road from Redbud, Georgia, which isn’t incorporated, and not too far from Fairmount, Georgia. The three of them collectively are near nothing at all.”  Graves is from Ranger, Georgia.  Kingston later apologized “to the good folks of Ranger.”

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Ron Taylor

Ron Taylor

Ron Taylor was born and raised in Georgia and worked more than 40 years at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a reporter and editor and as an online producer for ajc.com and AccessAtlanta. He served for a time as the newspaper's regional editor, overseeing coverage of the South. He is co-author, with Dr. Leonard Ray Teel, of Into the Newsroom:  An Introduction to Journalism and has conducted workshops in the Middle East on feature writing.