The Republican Party of Lexington County on Monday night became the third South Carolina GOP county party to censure Sen. Lindsey Graham. On Tuesday, Graham dismissed the move as the "misplaced priorities" of narrow interests within the larger Republican Party, said a report in The State
The resolution -- which criticized Graham for his support of the bank-bailout plan and climate-change legislation, and accused him of demonstrating contempt toward Republicans who support freedom -- passed by a 13-7 vote and was itself controversial. Four party members abstained from voting; county party Chairman Rich Bolen called it an "ambush." Four former Lexington County Republican Party chairs said the censure should have been debated more thoroughly.
Graham said in The State that while there are fringe elements in both parties, going into the 2010 midterm elections, Republicans should be focused on growing the party, registering new voters and stopping an "out-of-control Obama agenda."
The resolution's sponsor, Talbert Black, said: "The grass-roots Republican people of South Carolina don't like the way he is representing the state."
The grumbling about Graham is not likely to die down soon in conservative South Carolina. On Tuesday, the senator renewed his call for federal controls on greenhouse-gas pollution. At a climate-change conference in Columbia, S.C., Graham said that Congress must act to control greenhouse gases before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency adopts its own regulations, according to The State
Graham was criticized for co-authoring an October 2009 op-ed in The New York Times
with Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) that said, in part: "Our partnership represents a fresh attempt to find consensus that adheres to our core principles and leads to both a climate change solution and energy independence."
At a November book-signing in Columbia
, Fox News Channel's Glenn Beck got supportive laughs when he took a swipe at Graham.
The Greenville County Republican Party censured Graham for his support of immigration reform two years ago, and in November the Charleston County GOP voted to censure him for his support of climate-change legislation.