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No Rest for the Storm Weary, SC Election Roundup, PASS, Dems Take Platt to Court

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"Two Washington outsiders. One conservative mission."

An announcement from Washington "outsider" Sen. Jim DeMint. The Republican Congressman, who is celebrating a decade in Washington, is hosting former House Speaker Newt Gingrich for a DeMint 2010 reelection fund-raiser. Gingrich served 20 years in Washington — including several years at the heart of the Washington establishment. "Outsider" must be the new "green."

No Rest for the Storm Weary

Tourists brave enough to visit Charleston over the weekend at the same time as Hanna found the storm wasn't near as dire as many worried. But many of the historic homes and buildings were left boarded up through the weekend.

Officials were left guessing right up to the last minute about the storm. The storm eventually made landfall near the North Carolina/South Carolina border. Most public offices and schools were closed Friday, but the most Hanna offered locals was a little wind and a lot of rain.

National media spent the few days prior to the storm finding the perfect place to endanger celebrity meteorologists, while the county's emergency headquarters gassed up for the first real threat to the Lowcountry in several years.

"It's so important that we prepare each and every time," says Charleston Mayor Joe Riley.

Officials also suggested that anxious worriers go ahead and head out of town if they had somewhere to go.

"Don't put yourself through the trauma (of staying through the storm)," said North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey. —Greg Hambrick

South Carolina Election Roundup

The two major political stories in the past few weeks have been the party conventions (even yours, Ron Paul). Last week, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) was one of the first Democrats to voice concern over Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, telling South Carolina ETV, "I just think that it is very risky for McCain to do this, but it may be all he has left."

In other news, a quick look at Pollster.com had South Carolina listed as a light-red state. It appears that the state's "not-in-play" status has left few legitimate polls to gauge the election. Of the polls out there, several show a much tighter race than anyone expects in the Palmetto State.

And, a look at Barack Obama's Social Security proposal that would increase the money paid by those making more than $250,000 has shown an unlikely ally. "The change ... is similar to the rate increases floated by John McCain's close adviser Sen. Lindsey Graham and that McCain has previously said he 'could' support," according to the Obama website.

Get daily election updates at www.news.ccblogs.com. —Greg Hambrick

1 in 3

Those are the odds that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin would become president due to Sen. John McCain's early demise in the next eight years, if elected. The numbers are based on the average life expectancy of men McCain's age, 72, and do not account for his personal health or the fact that his alive-and-well mother could be a Rockette. A man McCain's age has a 15 percent chance of not making it out of his first term. He's also six times more likely not to finish the first four years than Barack Obama. Source: Politico

$150

That's the fine a 29-year-old man now faces in Riviera Beach, Fla., for having his pants hanging two inches below his waist, exposing his boxer shorts. The town of Riviera passed an ordinance earlier this year to impose the fine for first offenders. If it happens again, the man could face jail time. Source: The Palm Beach Post

Palmetto Assessment of State Standards

PASS is the new name for the state's universal test that is replacing the Palmetto Achievement and Challenge Test next year, as determined by an online poll. The tepid "assessment" beat out other potential names that included words like achievement, readiness, success, and progress.

Dems Take Platt to Court

The Charleston County Democratic Party is taking Eugene Platt to court to keep him off of the November ballot in the House District 115 race. Platt lost the Democratic primary in June, but is hoping to be placed on the ticket as the Green Party candidate. The Dems, who expect another close race in their attempt to unseat Republican Rep. Wallace Scarborough, say that Platt signed a pledge stating he wouldn't run in the general election if he lost. Platt argues that pledge only accounts for a write-in or petition campaign, and doesn't prevent him from running as the candidate for another party.

Platt is also expected to face another court battle, challenging the State Election Commission's refusal to put him on the ballot due to a law that prevents losing primary candidates from seeking a second chance in the general election. ­—Greg Hambrick

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