Immigration reform is dead, Sanford says

U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford was having dinner Tuesday night with several other members of Congress when word came down that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was about to lose his primary race in Virginia in what became this year's biggest upset.

"There was absolute shell-shock," he said.

But the biggest takeaway, Sanford said, is that any chance of addressing immigration reform any time soon is doomed after the party leadership had wanted to get something going this year.

"I think immigration reform is dead," said Sanford, R-Charleston, who added that pro-reform Cantor's loss at the hands of angry tea party voters has got other vulnerable members of Congress thinking "'I don't want to be the next guy shot.'"

Sanford's other takeaway of the Virginia result?

"It's a reminder of how important it is that you stay in touch with folks at home," Sanford said.

Neglecting them?

"That can be lethal in the world of politics," said Sanford, who spent Friday morning talking with voters at the Wal-Mart in Mount Pleasant.

Ravenel for Senate not a sure thing

Former state Treasurer Thomas Ravenel issued a statement last week lambasting incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham as well as Republicans and Democrats in general.

"Real help is on the way," his note teased, adding "a real choice is coming."

While Ravenel has hinted at running against Graham in November as an independent, or petition, candidate, he still has a long way to go to get on the ballot.

Ravenel needs to amass the signatures of 10,000 registered South Carolina voters by July 15 to get his name placed in contention. That means if he were to start today, the former Republican treasurer who quit his job in the middle of a cocaine scandal would have to average securing about 333 signatures per day to stay current.

In Ravenel's favor is that Graham won the GOP nomination Tuesday without a runoff, giving him two additional weeks to collect the names he needs.

And just because someone signs his petition, it would not mean they are required to vote for Ravenel in November; it's supporting putting his name in the fray.

Haley's $75,000 Panthers veto

One of Gov. Nikki Haley's 76 vetoes last week targeted a $75,000 allocation that would have gone toward supporting the Carolina Panthers training camp at Wofford College in Spartanburg.

Wofford advocates apparently wanted the money to help with local needs surrounding the set up. But Haley said taxpayer money wasn't a priority toward helping out a pro sports team.

"The National Football League is an enormously successful multi-billion dollar organization and we're proud to host the Panthers' training camp in Spartanburg," Haley's veto message said. "But it's hard to imagine they need $75,000 from South Carolina taxpayers."

Biden and Sheheen

Vice President Joe Biden made a last-minute appearance last week at a fundraiser for South Carolina Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Vincent Sheheen in Washington,

Also attending was Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, Politico reported. The Biden and O'Malley attendance is a clear sign that both potential 2016 presidential candidates see value in making friends on South Carolina ahead of the fast approaching White House primary season.

South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn was there as well.

Meanwhile, Republicans seized on the gathering, painting Biden, the Obama administration and Sheheen all together with one brush as what they described as supporters of anti-S.C. policies covering healthcare, energy and labor unions.

"Vince Sheheen wants to import the failed, big-government policies of Barack Obama to South Carolina," charged GOP Chairman Matt Moore.

Republicans e-mess up

Last week was not a good one for Republicans using e-mail and Twitter.

Consider: Gov. Nikki Haley took multiple jabs from both in- and out-of-state critics following a Twitter announcement in which she hailed the passage of an education reform package in the Statehouse.

Haley, who has been more than adept at interacting with her 132,000 Facebook fans, posted on Twitter that "South Carolina made history this year by passing education reform. We will no longer educate children ..."

The tweet was immediately seized upon (and screen-grabbed) by an unforgiving Twittersphere and national media commentators who gleefully bypassed the governor's original message of promoting education reform.

How did this happen? It's the curse of Twitter.

The governor, or a member of her staff, posted photos of her education event on Instagram, along with an explanation that was much longer than the 140 characters allowed on Twitter.

So when she shared it on Twitter, the explanation was cut off at absolutely the most inappropriate place, to make room for the Instagram link.

GOP goof #2

The other e-mess came on the night of Tuesday's primary when the Republican Governors Association issued a statement praising Haley "on the outcome of the South Carolina gubernatorial primary election."

Trouble was, there was no primary for the governor's race on Tuesday, for either party.

GOP leaders used the errant announcement solely to take a jab at Democratic Party nominee Vincent Sheheen.