Just Like The Guy With Question Marks on His Suite Says
If you're a huge Confederacy buff, there seems to be only one logical place for you. Congress. The best part of being in Congress is you can make sure the government provides money for your hobby. For instance, look at the current $97 million project to raise the Civil War submarine the Hunley.
Glenn McConnell, president pro tem of the state Senate, is the Hunley's biggest booster. He also has been the driving force behind the spiraling price tag for the preservation and promotion of the Confederate sub.
McConnell has pieced together the money, keeping the project out of the public arena and away from State House debate.
And he has personally authorized much of the spending of the project's public money in an arrangement the state's comptroller general says is obviously outside the framework the state has provided for disbursement of public funds.
Its a classic case study in hidden government, said John Crangle, head of the citizens watchdog group Common Cause.
Its a stealth strategy, Crangle said. The whole scheme involves rivers of underground money flowing to the Hunley from many sources, and the obvious intent is to not let people know.
If you're curious how to describe someone who initially says a project will cost $5 - $10 million then get's taxpayers on the hook for many times that, here's how the paper does it: "The 58-year-old McConnell, a libertarian who often criticizes government spending." Nice.
This must have been what that Lesko guy with question marks on his suite must have been talking about on those commercials where he promised to tell you how to get the government to pay your bills, payr for your invention, or pay you to write your book or whatever else you needed money for. It seems McConnell is big on the Confederacy and The War of Northern Aggression.
McConnell several years ago largely gave up his law practice. He spends much of his time and energy now on the Hunley project. He has continued to help run his Confederate memorabilia shop in North Charleston, which describes itself on its Web site as the nation's largest Civil War store.