SC GOP Gubernatorial Runoff

June 18, 2010 by  
Filed under Opinion, SC Politics

Who do you support to be South Carolina’s republican nominee for governor?

The runoff is between State Rep. Nikki Haley and Congressman Gresham Barrett and the vote is next Tuesday, June 22nd.  Here’s our two cents, take it for what it is worth.

Nikki Haley

Haley won the initial primary collecting almost 49% of the vote, even after multiple allegations (2) that she had extra-marital affairs.  She received the endorsement of Sara Palin and is the beauty of the SC Tea Party.

I personally have liked Haley for several years.  Especially on her transparency and reform initiatives.  Of course, even some of that has come into question recently.  In particular, The State newspaper is calling her out over contradicting stimulus votes.

My biggest fear with Haley?  I’m afraid she’ll run into the same issues as Mark Sanford had.  That is, not being able to work with the legislature to get the key reform initiatives passed.

Gresham Barrett

Our biggest complaint with Barrett is that he first voted against TARP, then voted for it.  That, and in my opinion, he campaigns to heavily on his Christian credentials.

Most recently, he was questioned by a political activist concerning a “miss-statement” in one of his campaign ads claiming he was retired. The activist confronts Barrett and he agrees that there was a mistake, but the activist was trying to tie this mistake to our friends in Connecticut.  In particular, the activist is referring to Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal who had been lying about his service record, claiming to have been in Vietnam.

My biggest fear with Barrett is he’ll flip flop on key issues.

Who Wins?

So who will win this race and who are you supporting?  Here’s your chance to make the best case for your candidate.

Budget Cuts and Stimulus Monies

December 16, 2009 by  
Filed under SC Politics

In March 2009, 108 of our State Representatives voted to accept the $787 million dollar stimulus package and incorporated these monies into our operating budget for fiscal year 2010.

To this date, the SC Budget Control Board has had to cut a total of 9% (4% in Sept. 09 and 5% in Dec. 09) off of the budget which is approximately $440 million dollars.  My simple math shows me that 55% of the federal monies added to our operating budget has been cut out of the budget.

If we repeat last year with an overall cut of 15%, almost 90% of the federal stimulus monies added into the budget would be cut.

You can argue that this was not the federal monies all you want, but had the state honored Gov. Sanford’s wishes in excluding that money from the budget, for a more conservative budget, one could argue we would not be having the headlines we are seeing today.

According to WSPA, the first 4% reduction actually cut $85 Million from our education programs in the state.  Many of you may remember that our elected officials lobbying for this money said that teachers would lose jobs and schools would close had they not accepted the money.

My only question to our leaders is that if they could not survive without the monies then, how are they going to survive now?

I for one find myself in an ever delicate situation as the Spartanburg Charter School begins revising their budgets for the latest cuts. We are looking to cut an additional $36K or 5% out of our already tight budget.

The Public Charter School District (emphasis on public), which consists of a few brick and mortar schools (including SCS) and several virtual schools receives approximately $3000 per the state budget allocations. The Public Charter School District only receives funding from state sources whereas the traditional public school receives funding from federal and local sources as well.

For comparison sake, the average school district in SC receives approximately $11,000 per pupil before budget cuts and about $10,000 per pupil after the cuts.  Understand that these figures do not include transportation and other services, this is for primary education purposes.

Our leaders are claiming that they wish to reform education and provide public options, I want to ask them these questions:

  • Why are we not providing these kids with the same opportunities as their brethren across town?
  • Why can we not say as a state that every child gets $8,000 and it follows them to any public school they choose to attend?
  • What makes the students in the Fairfield School District ($15,240/pupil) more special than those in the Dillon 3 School District ($7,865/pupil) or the Charter School District for that matter($3000/pupil)?

If we are going to reform education, we must ensure that our students are equally funded.  It will also require our leadership to make hard decisions, including targeted spending reductions to non-essential services instead of broad brush strokes that drains the entire state.

Extra:
SC State Budget Education Provisions

Oh The Irony

August 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Tech

I was playing with some new software on the Mac today, iLife 2009.  It has a new facial recognition feature that allows you to tag a face and it tries to match the characteristics to locate all pictures of that individual.

From time to time, you confirm the pictures as it tries to enhance itself for better identification.

The irony,  I just tagged a photo of Governor Mark Sanford and looked to see how many pictures I found of the governor.

Lo and behold, I found Bill Clinton.

iLife 09 tags Bill Clinton as Mark Sanford

iLife '09 tags Bill Clinton as Mark Sanford

Sanford’s Absence – Not an Issue

July 6, 2009 by  
Filed under SC Politics

Mark Sanford, Governor of South Carolina

Mark Sanford, Governor of South Carolina

Our friends over at the Palmetto Scoop, Sen. Jake Knotts, and other elected officials saw an opportunity to take down Governor Mark Sanford and they went for the kill.

They have had it out for Sanford for some time now and what better way to get rid of the reformer than to tear him apart by claiming the state was screwed in the event of a natural disaster or an emergency like the fires that ravaged Myrtle Beach earlier this year.

Well, apparently our prior leaders had a little bit of common sense and I am extremely disappointed that none of our elected officials picked up on this and put this fire out.

In the SC Constitution, there is a provision that is drawn out for the exact event, had it happened, in the Governor’s absence.  Thanks to Dean Allen, candidate for Adjutant General, for sending us this information.

SECTION 25-1-1840. Authority of Governor to order out National Guard.

In the event of (a) war, insurrection, rebellion, invasion, tumult, riot or a mob, (b) a body of men acting together by force with intent to commit a felony, to offer violence to persons or property or by force and violence to break and resist the laws of this State or of the United States, (c) in case of the imminent danger of the occurrence of any of such events or (d) in the event of public disaster the Governor may order the National Guard of South Carolina or any part thereof into the active service of the State and cause them to perform such duty as he shall deem proper. The Governor may also upon the written request of the mayor of a city or the sheriff of a county within which a large public assemblage is to occur order out the National Guard or any part thereof to preserve order and keep people within bounds at such assemblage. In case the Governor shall be absent from the State or unavailable for any reason, the authority herein bestowed shall pass to the Adjutant General of the State.

And the leaders even went a step further if the Adjutant General was not available either:

SECTION 25-1-1880. Local commanding officer may order out National Guard.

In the event of insurrection, rebellion, invasion, tumult, riot, resistance to law or process or breach of the peace occurring in the vicinity of the station of any organization of the National Guard of South Carolina, the senior commanding officer of that station, whenever the exigencies of the situation are such as to render it impossible first to communicate with the Governor, or Adjutant General, may, upon request in writing by the sheriff of the county involved or an officer acting in his stead stating the facts and the nature of the service desired, order out the organization at that station or such portion thereof as he shall deem necessary and cause it to perform such duty as the circumstances shall require. In any such case such commanding officer shall immediately report what he has done and all of the circumstances of the case to the Governor and it shall be deemed that the action was taken by order of the Governor.

So, I believe it is time for each of the Elected Officials and blogs who tried to score political points to fess up and admit they screwed up.  They need to issue a public apology and let this state move forward.

Case dismissed!

Related Content:
Link to Constitution

Prudence Called for in Time of Crisis

July 3, 2009 by  
Filed under Press Release

PRESS RELEASE
JULY 3, 2009

Today, State Representative Tommy Stringer issued the following statement:

As an elected representative in the South Carolina House, I am please to learn that the SLED review of Gov. Sanford’s finances has not discovered evidence that he misused public funds during his various personal trips.

I have been reluctant to join in the chorus demanding Gov. Sanford’s resignation. Please note that my reluctance should not be taken as an approval of his personal actions.

We should remember that he is the elected head of the executive branch of our state government.  He was elected by the people, not by the Legislature. If he has committed an impeachable offense, then it is a matter for the Legislature to address. If he has not, then it should be his decision to resign based on what he perceives to be in the best interests of the people of South Carolina and for his family.

He has served the state well for six years as Governor and before that in Congress. Some people have not agreed with his stance on various issues. I have been a strong supporter of his desire to reform state government, but I have not agreed with him on every issue either.

His public and personal actions have forced South Carolinians to determine the true meanings of confession, contrition and redemption. We are also forced to determine whether his personal moral failure invalidates the service that he has rendered to the people of South Carolina. These are hard deliberations that should be done in a prudent manner, not in a media generated frenzy.

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