SC-Governor: Dwight Drake Returns to the Shadows
Democrat Dwight Drake's exit from the South Carolina governor's race means we won't get to watch an intriguing political conversion. Drake spent ...
Democrat Dwight Drake's exit from the South Carolina governor's race means we won't get to watch an intriguing political conversion. Drake spent his career as a South Carolina super-lobbyist, meaning that he understands the issues facing the state and knows the state's political powerbrokers.
But, that also means that for most of his career he'd used that knowledge not to advocate for what he believed, but rather for what his clients believed. The State's Cindi Ross Scoppe mulled over whether that made Drake unsuitable for public office:
Which brings me to the central problem with Mr. Drake: He has done well for himself by convincing the Legislature to do well for his clients - sometimes to the detriment of our state.
Payday lending leaps to mind. Video poker is not far behind. And though he has been less of a roadblock than other cigarette company lobbyists, I can't dismiss his longtime lobbying to protect the interests of one of our nation's top killers.
The crucial point in our conversation came when I asked if there were any instances where South Carolina would have been better off if he had not been so successful. He thought a moment and then said no. "There are some I've been involved in I wish were more successful," he said. "But everything that I have ever advocated I have been comfortable advocating."
Everything that I have ever advocated I have been comfortable advocating.
It was not the answer I expected.
The most sympathetic perspective is that lobbyists are a valuable part of the democratic process. In this view, every interest deserves an advocate, just as every criminal defendant (no matter how heinous) deserves a lawyer.
The more cynical view is that Drake and other lobbyists could put their intellect and energy into working for what they believe to be right, but instead they decided to be mercenaries.
Join the Discussion
After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.
California May Raise Smoking Age to 211 day ago
Illinois Budget Crisis Means Lottery Winners Have to Wait for Payout1 day ago
Governor of Florida Declares Emergency Before Erika Hits1 day ago
University of Texas Will Move Jefferson Davis Statue2 days ago
Michigan Won't Allow Marijuana Treatment for Autism2 days ago
Pot Group Goes to High Court to Change Ohio's Legalization Ballot Language2 days ago
More from Politics
Didn't find what you were looking for? Search our archives, or subscribe to one of our e-newsletters, and we'll bring the news to you!