Texas Gov. Perry in Summerville Tuesday

The Dorchester County GOP scored a coup when it landed a visit from Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is coming back to South Carolina to test the presidential waters.

Perry will be at the party's Big Bang BBQ on Tuesday at Miler Country Club in Summerville. Gov. Nikki Haley will be there too.

The main event starts at 7 p.m., with a VIP event at 6 p.m. Tickets are $50 and $100, respectively. Dress is Lowcountry casual.

Dorchester County Party Chairman Jordan Bryngelson said the party reached out to friendly sources in Texas and said "we'd like to have him."

"We told him the road to the White House runs through South Carolina," Bryngelson said. He expects about 300 people.

This isn't Perry's first trip to Summerville. He walked the streets and stepped into some of the businesses downtown when he first ran in the state's GOP presidential primary two years ago.

Tickets are available at the door, or email Dorchestercountygopsc@gmail.com

Democrat poll says GOP is corrupt

At the request of the S.C. Democratic Party, the left-leaning Public Policy Polling firm conducted a survey of 700 voters last week that declared the race for governor between Democrat Vincent Sheheen and Republican Nikki Haley is neck-and-neck.

Based on their numbers, the race stands at 39 percent to 36 percent in Haley's favor among voters who have made up their minds already.

One factor in the numbers is that the poll skewed away from the Republican-rich Upstate, giving more weight to voters who live in Midlands and Lowcountry area codes, where the Democratic base is.

Another question that caught our eye asked voters if they thought the near-total control of the state by the GOP has led to elected representatives becoming more corrupt.

The question grouped recently indicted Lexington County Sheriff James Metts, Haley, and House Speaker Bobby Harrell, collectively, as examples of Republicans who have made ethics headlines.

According to the poll, 41 percent of those surveyed "strongly agree" with the statement the slant has led to Republicans being given too much power and its elected representatives becoming increasingly corrupt, while 22 percent "strongly disagree."

Charleston Chamber joins pro-Bank fight

The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce last week joined the national effort urging Congress to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) before its charter lapses at the end of September.

The bank provides loans and loan guarantees when other financing is not available. Opponents say the offering is no more than corporate welfare.

"The benefits that the Export-Import Bank provides for businesses in South Carolina are vital for maintaining competitiveness and expanding opportunities for growth," Bryan Derreberry, president and CEO of the Charleston Metro Chamber, said. "For these companies, especially small businesses, to be able to compete globally, they need Ex-Im's help to reach foreign markets and customers."

The bank was particularly disliked by some of the tea party candidates in the recent GOP U.S. Senate primary, including Lee Bright and Richard Cash.

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., plans to vote in favor of keeping the bank alive, his office said. U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., also will support the effort to reform and reauthorize the bank, his spokesman said.

U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., supports re-authorization of the bank, as does U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C. Both cited how the bank helps companies such as Boeing.

Secretary of State race takes a twist

Charleston businesswoman and S.C. Secretary of State candidate Ginny Deerin is taking a unique strategy for a Democrat: vowing to be more fiscally conservative than her GOP opponent.

Deerin already has criticized Republican incumbent Mark Hammond for driving a state car 184 miles round trip between his home in Spartanburg and his office in Columbia. Hammond has said many voters like the fact that he does not live in the capital city, and he uses the car to travel across the state as part of his job.

Last week, Deerin traveled to Greenville to criticize Hammond for holding eight workshops across the state for notary publics. She said the state could save about $33,000 if they were replaced by an online course.

"It's time we fashion services for citizens to live in the world they live in today - not the world they lived in yesterday," she said. "And that's why my highest priority is to cut the budget by cutting waste, if elected Secretary of State."

Hammond said the seminars were started by his predecessor and remain very popular. He said the notary manual has been on the state's website for 10 years, but he has refrained from doing a training video because of pending legislation that would change the rules. Gov. Nikki Haley signed a bill to do that just a few days ago.

As for the $33,000 savings, Hammond said most of the seminars are held in public buildings at no cost. "I don't know where she's coming with that number. I almost feel like she's making it up."