In another bizarre event in my home state of South Carolina, former state Sen. Glenn McConnell, an avid civil war enthusiast, has ascended to lieutenant governor of the state after the indictment and conviction of the current Republican holding that office.
Former Lt. Gov. Ken Ard pleaded guilty Friday to criminal charges of spending campaign funds on personal expenses and fabricating donations. That money went for things like iPads, clothes, football tickets and family vacations, the indictment said.
By state law, this left McConnell, as President Pro Tempore of the state senate, to become the state's new second in command.
McConnell is a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Secession Camp #4. The Sons of Confederate Veterans were charged in 1906 by Lt. General Stephen Dill Lee, Commander General of the United Confederate Veterans, with "the vindication of the cause for which we fought."
In 2000, when the Confederate flag was brought down from atop the dome of the State House, McConnell successfully advocated flying another Confederate flag from a flagpole in the front of the Statehouse, on the grounds, near the Confederate Soldier Monument.
He rejected the suggestion that the Confederate flag be placed in a glass case by saying, "Encasement represents entombment," and by saying that he wanted "no part in symbolically burying the Confederate banner." The resulting bill that was passed in 2000 was called a compromise.
McConnell vigorously fights attempts to take down the currently-flying Confederate flag, and he declares such attempts as having the goal of carrying out a "cultural genocide." He has been featured as a guest on The Political Cesspool, a radio show that promotes the Confederacy.
McConnell, a Confederate heritage defender who has owned a Civil War memorabilia business, reportedly gets a kick out of reenacting battles and is known for firing his personal cannon, dubbed "Big Ray." Only in South Carolina!