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ISSUE 9.50
Dec. 10, 2010

RECENT ISSUES:
12/04 | 11/27 | 11/20 | 11/13

Index

News :
Slow boat to change
Legislative Agenda :
Few meetings on tap
Radar Screen :
Don't be vulnerable
Palmetto Politics :
Sic atur ad astra
Commentary :
Book on student entrepreneurs inspires
Spotlight :
The Felkel Group
Feedback :
Remembering Cathy Harvin
Scorecard :
From Greenies to weenies
Stegelin :
Target
Megaphone :
Dancing by a star
Tally Sheet :
More bills prefiled
Encyclopedia :
Secession (Part 2 of 3)

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NUMBER OF THE WEEK

$77,000,000

That’s how big the state Department of Corrections’ rolling deficit has become, now that it has asked for permission this week to run a $7.5 million deficit on the current fiscal year’s budget, according to state Department of Corrections spokesman Josh Gelinas.

MEGAPHONE

Dancing by a star

“A lot of people at times would push against certain things based on their fear that my political star was climbing. If they did that, it would help me get to wherever it was they thought I was going. What became abundantly clear was the supposed stars on the rainbow weren’t there, and I think we were able to debate the issue at hand. I was less the issue, and the issue was more the issue.”

-- Gov. Mark Sanford, reflecting on how his extramarital affair impacted his leadership after the affair went public. More.

Morning in America

“Having said that, it’s still morning in America.”

-- State Board of Economic Advisors chairman John Rainey, telling an Anderson audience that their children and grandchildren likely won’t enjoy the same quality of life they had. Rainey was delivering a speech about the state’s economic future and the forecasted troubles in the coming legislative session balancing state government’s budget.  More.

TALLY SHEET

More bills prefiled

In the House

Members of the S.C. House got their first chance Wednesday to prefile legislation for the 2011 session. They’ll have another chance during the coming Wednesday to get more legislation in early. Key among the 183 bills filed this week were these:

Education. H. 3002 (Cooper) is a placeholder bill that signals a major priority of the House’s 2011 session will be reviewing how state education is financed.

Photo I.D. H. 3003 (Clemmons) seeks to change election laws to require a photo identification at the polls, with several provisions.

Accountability. H. 3004 (Ballentine) seeks the “Spending Accountability Act of 2011) to require roll call votes on certain legislation.

Board members. H. 3005 (Ballentine) would prohibit members or candidates of state boards and commissions from donating to members of the General Assembly, with several provisions.

Term limits. H. 3007 (Ballentine) and H. 3050 (Clemmons) seek term limits for members of the General Assembly.

Ballot initiative. H. 3008 (Ballentine) seeks a constitutional amendment to allow for initiative or ballot petition in state government. H. 3009 (Ballentine) seeks a similar measure for municipalities.

School flexibility. H. 3013 (Cooper) calls for more flexibility for school districts regarding funding, specifically several statues and regulations.

No smoking. H. 3015 (Hosey), H. 3022 (McEachern), H. 3033 (Rutherford) and H. 3109 (Skelton) call for no smoking in restaurants, bars, lounges and other areas statewide.

Regents. H. 3025 (G.M. Smith) and H. 3036 (H.B. Brown) call for a state College Board of Regents, with several provisions, including getting rid of parts of the state Commission on Higher Education and state Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education.

Abortion. H. 3026 (Nanney) calls for a 24-hour waiting period for abortions after an ultrasound is performed.

School design. H. 3039 (Umphlett) calls for requirements for new schools to meet specified design requirements imposed by the state, with several provisions.

DNR. H. 3049 (Clemmons) calls for the state Department of Natural Resources to become a cabinet-level agency.

Book credit (voucher alternative). H. 3064 (Merrill) would allow an income tax credit of $100 per private or home-schooled student for books and supplies.

Restructuring. H. 3066 (G.R. Smith) calls for major government restructuring that would create a Department of Administration that would absorb the Budget and Control Board and other groups.

Constitutional offices. H. 3069 (Young) calls for a constitutional amendment to make the state agriculture commissioner an appointed, rather than an elected office. H. 3070 (Young) calls for the state superintendent to be appointed. H. 3071 (Young) calls for the secretary of state to be appointed. H. 3072 (Young) calls for the state treasurer to be appointed. H. 3073 (Young) calls for the adjutant general to be appointed. H. 3184 (Young) calls for the comptroller general to be appointed.

Shorter sessions. H. 3080 (Horne) and H. 3091 (Young) calls for the legislature to meet in much shorter sessions (different times per bill). H. 3176 (Nanney) calls for a constitutional amendment on the matter.

DHEC. H. 3094 (Clemmons) appears to seek to make the Department of Health and Environmental Control a cabinet-level agency.

No texting. H. 3115 (Gilliard) would prohibit text messaging while someone is operating a motor vehicle, with several provisions. H. 3119 (McEachern) and H. 3160 (Sellers) are similar. 

Mopeds. H. 3123 (J.M. Neal) relates to mopeds and how they are used. According to news reports, it would change definitions so that it wouldn’t be part of state DUI laws. H. 3163 (Tallon) is similar.

Sexting. H. 3130 (Brady) calls for the creation of the offense of “sexting.”

Illegal immigration. H. 3148 (Pitts) would significantly change immigration laws in the state.

Top of the ticket. H. 3152 (Young) calls for a constitutional amendment to allow joint election of the governor and lieutenant governor.

In the Senate
Senators, who prefiled more than 200 bills last week, added 42 more this week. Among those of major interest are:

No smoking. S. 219 (Jackson) would prohibit smoking in certain places.

No texting. S. 225 (Knotts) calls for no texting while driving, with several provisions.

Term limits. S. 236 (Cleary) calls for term limits for members of the General Assembly.

Restructuring. S. 238 (L. Martin) calls for major restructuring to create a Department of Administration that absorbs many functions of other agencies.

Abortion. S. 245 (Bright) calls for the “Life Beginning At Conception Act.”

School funding. S. 247 (Bright) calls for a constitutional amendment to develop a funding system for higher educational on a uniform, per-pupil basis.

ENCYCLOPEDIA

Secession (Part 2 of 3)

Continued from previous issue
 
During the 1848–1852 sectional crisis over creating new slave and free states, another secessionist movement began in South Carolina. Once again Calhoun eloquently called for southern unity and threatened secession to ward off the threat posed by northern states to slave society. Calhoun’s famous March 4, 1850, speech in Congress has been regarded as a major defense of the right of secession to protect the interests of a political minority. With Calhoun’s death later that year, the mantle of sectionalist leadership passed to Rhett and Hammond. They attempted to arouse other slave states to the northern threat to their way of life. Once again they failed, as moderate Unionists in the state and in the South, such as James L. Orr and Benjamin F. Perry, succeeded in quelling the secession fervor. Hammond, tempering his rhetoric, attended a southern convention in 1850 held in Nashville, Tennessee. There he asked the other slave states to unite with South Carolina to resist what he called northern aggression against their “peculiar institution.” But the Nashville convention failed to unite either other slave states or all South Carolinians.

South Carolina’s secession movement appeared dormant in the late 1850s, although some state leaders continued to talk to allies in other slave states about the necessity of secession. The fledgling Republican Party, founded in 1854, was anathema to virtually all white Carolinians. Early in 1860 the moderate South Carolinian Christopher G. Memminger traveled to Virginia to persuade its legislature of the Republican danger to the interests of all of the slave states. Though Memminger seemingly failed in his task, his speech before the Virginia legislature stands alongside Calhoun’s as an eloquent statement of the right of secession. Printed in pamphlet form and circulated throughout South Carolina and the other slave states, Memminger’s justification of secession called for the unity of all slave states. When the national Democratic convention, held in Charleston in April 1860, failed to nominate a presidential candidate, Memminger and others held out hope for a southern Democratic candidate who would unite the slave states. It was not to be. With the Democrats hopelessly divided, it appeared almost certain that the Republican candidate, Abraham Lincoln, would be elected president in November.

In September a group calling itself the “1860 Association” came into being. It represented South Carolinians of all political persuasions, but the bulk of its membership came from longtime cooperationists—men who believed in secession if the other southern states would follow suit. The 1860 Association, foreseeing Lincoln’s election, determined that secession was the only way for white Carolinians to preserve their way of life. The group was also determined that they, and not radicals such as Rhett, would lead the state out of the Union and into a new nation.

To be continued ...

-- Excerpted from the entry by Jon L. Wakelyn. To read more about this or 2,000 other entries about South Carolina, check out The South Carolina Encyclopedia by USC Press. (Information used by permission.)


PALMETTO PRIORITIES

Palmetto Priorities Statehouse Report encourages state leaders to develop and implement Palmetto Priorities involving several issues to make the state better a better place. Click the link to learn more about our suggestions for bipartisan policy objectives.

Here is a summary of our Palmetto Priorities:

CORRECTIONS: Reduce the prison population by 25 percent by 2020.

EDUCATION: Cut the state's dropout rate in half by 2020.

ELECTIONS: Increase voter registration to 75 percent by 2015.

ENVIRONMENT: Adopt a state energy policy that requires energy producers to generate 20 percent of energy from renewable sources by 2020.

ETHICS: Overhaul state ethics laws.

HEALTH CARE: Ensure affordable and accessible health care.

JOBS: Develop a Cabinet-level post to add, retain 10,000 small business jobs per year.

POLITICS: Have a vigorous two- or multi-party political system of governance.

ROADS: Strengthen all bridges and upgrade state roads by 2015.

SAFETY: Cut the state's violent crime rate by one-third by 2016.

TAX REFORM: Remove outdated special interest sales tax exemptions as part of an overall reform of the state's tax structure to be completed by 2014.

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News

Slow boat to change

State struggles to keep ports relevant, competitive


DEC. 10, 2010 – It could be argued the only marketable natural resource South Carolina has left is its deepwater harbor in Charleston.


Indigo grew better elsewhere; rice, too. Tobacco and textiles had their days, but were beaten back by lawsuits and cheaper labor markets overseas, respectively.

But deep water has a special cache in the shipping industry.  If a port can offer a 50-foot freshwater depth, then massive post-Panamax ships laden with 8,000-10,000 container units, can dock and unload.  And that port can become a big-time player in international commerce.    

Charleston’s harbor has 47 feet at high tide, plenty enough for the big ships, which already call on the port, according to state Sen. Larry Grooms (R-Bonneau), chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee.

Saltwater is more buoyant than freshwater, so the extra 3 feet aren’t necessarily needed with good timing, he said.

Yet, Charleston is not a major international player in the shipping industry  It’s ranked, for example, number 72 in container traffic, according to a 2008 ranking by the American Association of Port Authorities.

Meanwhile, it has seen its national rankings list over the past decade. But the United States, it can be argued, is no longer a major player, either, where only a handful of native facilities make cameos on lists of top international ports as the Asian tigers of commerce awoke.

Making ports more relevant

Efforts have been taken -- and more efforts are on the horizon -- to make the Palmetto State’s main port relevant and competitive in a tough shipping market where other ports, like Virginia’s, already have the advantage, according to Grooms.

Any advantage would be welcome, as shipping can help fuel the state’s economic recovery and future, according to sources contacted for this story.

The legislature has already cleared the way for permitting bigger ships.
•    The Cooper River bridges were replaced in Charleston to make way for the bigger ships and expansion of a revitalized former naval base a few miles upriver in North Charleston.

•    A compact has been drawn up between the ports authorities between South Carolina and Georgia to build a super port in Jasper County along the Savannah River.
Obstacles continue

But for every advantage, there seems to have been an equal obstacle.
•    Fights have broken out between state and federal officials over paying for a study to dredge the Cooper River further to make it fully post-Panamax accessible.

•    The international recession has meant that demand for goods have dropped, pushing back the Jasper port to 2020, according to state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, the Democrat who represents that part of Jasper County.

•    A new facility slated for North Charleston has hit snags as the local community doesn’t relish more truck traffic to and through its revitalizing neighborhoods. Furthermore, rail lines, the lifeblood for moving shipped items to the I-95 corridor, the gateway to the East Coast, are embroiled in a war over who gets to use what rails to and from the proposed facility.

•    Even Gov. Mark Sanford, once a potential candidate for the presidency, has been blamed for some of the loss of momentum at the state’s ports due to his attempts to reshape the board of the S.C. Ports Authority (SPA), through shuffling his at-will appointments, according to Grooms.
Growth and the future

Jim Newsome, now in his second year as head of the SPA, recently detailed some of the major efforts that have already been made, such as increasing volume by 16 percent and 10 straight months of growth at the ports.  In a speech to shipping professionals, Newsome also outlined efforts to help the cruise industry find a more comfy berth at existing and to-be-expanded Charleston facilities.  SPA spokesman Byron Miller said Newsome wouldn’t be available to comment to the press until the week of Dec. 20.

Newsome has called on local, state and federal leaders to move forward with dredging the Charleston harbor an additional 5 feet to become more attractive to international shipping lines, some of which the state wooed heavily to keep from abandoning facilities and services here.  

The price tag? As much as $300 million.

A lagging state, nation and international economy makes that relatively sum princely, as, according to both Pinckney and Grooms, many East coast ports currently have capacity for shipping, which would need to be filled before the call for new facilities, like in either Jasper or North Charleston, becomes louder.

Crystal ball: Port expansion, both physically and economically, will likely be a priority in Gov.-elect Nikki Haley’s administration. Evidence? By naming BMW executive Robert “Bobby” Hitt as her candidate to become the next state Secretary of Commerce, Haley has tabbed a business professional who works for a major Upstate manufacturing concern that is intimately tied to an international shipping facility in Charleston. Something’s going to happen.  It’s just when and how much – and whether it will be enough or in time.
 
Bill Davis, editor of Statehouse Report, can be reached at:  editor@statehousereport.com.
Legislative Agenda

Few meetings on tap

With the election over, Thanksgiving week in the rear-view and Christmas on the horizon, there are scant meetings this upcoming week in Columbia.

Several education funding meetings will take place, highlighted by the House full Education Oversight Committee convening Monday at 1 p.m. in 433 Blatt. Despite a short agenda, the most amount of attention likely to be spent on coming budget recommendations. More.

Radar Screen

Don't be vulnerable

The announcement this week that the agency that doles out the state’s welfare checks will soon cut needy parents’ checks by 20 percent may presage cuts to come in next year’s legislative session.  Medicaid looks to get cut, as well as funding for the agency that helps out families with members with disabilities.

Palmetto Politics

Sic atur ad astra

(Thus you shall go to the stars)

S.C. Rep. Cathy Harvin, 56, the House Democrat for Clarendon and part of Williamsburg counties, passed away this week after fighting a serious illness. Harvin will be remembered for carrying on the work started by her husband, Charles “Alex” Harvin, whose seat she won after his death. 

Conservatives and liberals alike praised Harvin for her commitment to public education and public health issues. Harvin, who joined the Black Caucus, had been the House deputy minority leader since 2007. More.

Inaugural site launches

The state has launched a Web site for Gov.-elect Nikki Haley’s Jan. 12 inauguration, the state’s 95th.

Events so far will include a Jan. 11 “Family Fun Night, a 9 a.m. Jan. 12 prayer service and the inauguration at 11 a.m. on the Statehouse grounds. An inaugural, black-tie-optional gala will be 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Colonial Life Arena. Tickets: $250 per couple.

Haley’s cabinet assembling

Gov.-elect Nikki Haley announced her first two members of her cabinet.

First was BMW communications executive  Robert “Bobby” Hitt as the next Commerce Secretary. The second was Catherine Templeton as the next head of the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

Both candidates, who will need to be confirmed by the Senate when the next legislative session convenes, have pertinent experience with their fields. Hitt’s current employer, BMW, is one of the largest and most influential companies in the state, and is dependent on sectors of the economy ranging from shipping to manufacturing. Templeton, a lawyer, has experience fighting unions, and will likely have to continue the fight to keep the new Boeing expansion in North Charleston union-free.

Commentary

Book on student entrepreneurs inspires

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher

DEC. 10, 2010 – A 13-year-old Orangeburg baker. A biofuels dealer in Beaufort who is 17. A young day spa owner in Marion. A Hamer teen who owns a cookie company.

If you’re looking for an inspirational holiday gift filled with South Carolina stories, look no further than a short tome compiled by former state Rep. Jimmy Bailey of Charleston.

“The Spirit of Outreach” is a collection of 20 stories about students who have started their own small businesses across the state through the YEScarolina program run by Bailey. 

YEScarolina, formally known as Youth Entrepreneurship South Carolina, has trained more than 500 teachers across the Palmetto State to work with students to launch business ideas. Without the program, Bailey explains, the industriousness of many of the students may never have been tapped.

Bailey
Bailey
“This is the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done,” said Bailey, a one-time Democrat and Republican in the state legislature more than a decade ago. In the 64-page book that was created to help inspire more students, Bailey wrote:

“Many of the hundreds that YEScarolina has helped come from humble homes – and early struggles engender a fortitude that spells business success. Such souls are creative. They are accustomed to stress. They are unafraid of failure. … Over and over, they urge their peers to forge ahead and demand more from life.”

In Charleston, Damien Brown has been making and selling roses from palmetto fronds since he was 7. At 13, he got involved with YEScarolina. A year later, he was taking business classes at the College of Charleston. Now 16, he ships his roses across the world. His advice: “Stay in school and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t succeed.”

Orangeburg 13-year-old Rachael Brown has turned her love of baking into a part-time cookie business. She sees baking, which she started at age 5, as a way to keep her grandmother’s spirit alive. “What I would tell somebody else who wanted to do this is get lots of recipes and let lots of people taste your baking,” she wrote in the book. “The more people taste, the more customers you can have.”

Karen Mok, now 18 of North Charleston, became South Carolina’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year after getting involved with YEScarolina. A greeting card writer and designer, she wrote that the program changed her life. “My advice is simple: Don’t hold anything back. This is your chance to turn your vision or dream into a reality. Give it your all. Don’t be afraid if you’ve never done anything like this before. You will find your experiences more rewarding and memorable.”

The book, now headed to its second printing of 2,500, is funded, in part, by the Mark Elliott Motley Foundation, started in 2002 after the tragic death of Motley due to medical complications. Motley’s father, prominent trial attorney Ron Motley of Charleston, wrote in the foreword of “The Spirit of Outreach” that the foundation was proud to help YEScarolina improve the lives of youths. 

“As it nurtures entrepreneurs, YEScarolina exemplifies my son’s desire to help others. He yearned to better the world for those to whom life had dealt difficulties,” Ron Motley wrote. “My son’s gift was compassion, and the foundation that now bears his name seeks out organizations that likewise show, through their caring for and giving to young people, that they are worthy of our financial support. 

“Such is the spirit of YEScarolina as it reaches out and lifts of the youth of South Carolina by teaching them how to prosper in difficult times, even when life has dealt them challenges that can seem insurmountable.”

In a time when state government, communities and many families may seem or feel like they are imploding because of the sputtering economy, it’s good to know the spirit of entrepreneurship, creativity and giving are alive and well for young South Carolinians today.

Andy Brack, publisher of Statehouse Report, can be reached at: brack@statehousereport.com.   You can buy "The Spirit of Outreach" for $9.99 through the YEScarolina Web site.

Spotlight

The Felkel Group

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Feedback

Remembering Cathy Harvin

To Statehouse Report:

The passing of Cathy Harvin, Democratic Representative from Clarendon County, is the loss of one of only a few women in the S. C. Legislature and so much more.

Mrs. Harvin who replaced her deceased husband Alex in the S. C. House of Representatives in 2006 previous to that was a member of the Commission on Higher Ed and served on the Board of Trustees of Coastal Carolina University. She suffered from breast cancer for a number of years and after a brief period of remission that disease finally prevailed. Her bravery was only matched by her love for Mary Franklin her daughter who graduated last year from the College of Charleston and survives her.

Cathy was an exemplary representative and a committed advocate for Higher Education is this state. Her death comes as the state resources for many good efforts have dwindled. Her frustration at this development was evident in her voting and her conversations with her many admirers.

This state can ill afford to lose our Cathy Harvin.

-- Dan Ravenel, Charleston, S.C.

Send us a letter.  Letters are published weekly. We reserve the right to edit for length and clarity. We generally publish all comments about South Carolina politics or policy issues, unless they are libelous or unnecessarily inflammatory. One submission is allowed per month. Submission of a comment grants permission to us to reprint. Comments are limited to 250 words or less.
Scorecard

From Greenies to weenies

Greenies. South Carolina will have a new electric-car charging stations operational.  More.

Economy. South Carolina’s economy, according to USC economists, will improve, but sssslllooowwwwlllyyy …
More.

Education. It’s great news that this state is near the top in sending high school graduates to colleges; but what about the our terrible high school drop-out rates?  More.

Sanford. Cheating on your wife made you a better, more effective, and more successful governor? Really, Mark? Classy.  More.

Welfare. Some of the state’s poorest parents will see their state welfare benefits drop by as much as 20 percent, as the state deals with budget deficits.  More.

Teachers. Scads of federal assistance, $143 million, for keeping teachers employed in this state has fallen afoul of an ideological fight between Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.). A pointless political fight that costs teachers jobs --  isn’t that Sanford’s job? Hey-oooo!  More.

Homeless. It’s cold outside, where too many residents still call “home.”

Stegelin

Target


Also from Stegelin: 12/3 | 11/26 | 11/19 | 11/12
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Statehouse Report

Editor and Publisher: Andy Brack
Senior Editor: Bill Davis
Contributing Photographer: Michael Kaynard

Phone: 843.670.3996

© 2002 - 2018 , Statehouse Report LLC. Statehouse Report is published every Friday by Statehouse Report LLC, PO Box 22261, Charleston, SC 29413.
Excerpts from The South Carolina Encyclopedia are published with permission and copyrighted 2006 by the Humanities Council SC. Excerpts were edited by Walter Edgar and published by the University of South Carolina Press. Statehouse Report has partnered with USC Press to provide readers with this interesting weekly historical excerpt about the state. Republication is not allowed. For additional information about Statehouse Report, including information on underwriting, go to http://www.statehousereport.com/.