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ISSUE 12.40
Oct. 04, 2013

12/04 | 11/27 | 11/20 | 11/13


News :
Birthplace of barbecue?
Legislative Agenda :
Lottery review, ethics reform on tap
Radar Screen :
Lost in the media mix
Palmetto Politics :
By the numbers
Commentary :
Tired of Congressional stupidity
My Turn :
Money, lobbyists control Washington
Feedback :
May everything be in order
Scorecard :
Increasing clean energy, reducing diversity
Stegelin :
Still valid today
Megaphone :
Shifting the blame
Tally Sheet :
Search for S.C. legislative bills
Encyclopedia :
Clelia Peronneau McGowan

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That’s the number of children who have died in South Carolina who had some involvement with the state Department of Social Services. The General Assembly and State Law Enforcement Division are wondering why. More.


Shifting the blame

"The House of Representatives is doing everything we can to re-open the government.   Indeed — and this unfortunately doesn’t get reported much in the national media — we have sent four different options to the Senate, all of which were immediately rejected (without even debating them)."

-- U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C. More.


Search for S.C. legislative bills

With the legislature adjourned until next year, the next time bills will be introduced is in late November or early December with pre-filing for the 2014.  For now, you can look at bills filed in 2013 to determine what's so far in the hopper for 2014:


Clelia Peronneau McGowan

Clelia Peronneau McGowan was born in Columbia on January 30, 1865, the daughter of William R. Mathewes and Eliza Peronneau. Her family was from Charleston, and they returned there after living for several years after the Civil War at their summer home in Habersham County, Georgia. McGowan attended Miss Kelly's School and then studied for a year in Sweden with Rosalie Roos, a pioneer in the women's rights movement in that country. In 1885 she married William C. McGowan of Abbeville. They had three children before his death in 1898.

After her husband's death, McGowan moved back to Charleston and became increasingly active in civic affairs. She was the president of the League of Women Voters in Charleston, and shortly after ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, Gov. Robert A. Cooper appointed McGowan to the State Board of Education, making her the first woman appointed to public office in South Carolina.

McGowan's commitment to education was reflected in her other activities in public life. She became involved with the Commission on Interracial Cooperation in 1922 and served as chair of the commission's South Carolina chapter through much of the 1920s and 1930s. In this capacity she led efforts to improve schools for African Americans around the state. She also worked to make library facilities available to all South Carolinians.

In 1923, McGowan ran for alderwoman of Ward One of Charleston City Council on the platform "A free library for Charleston." She was elected and served one term in Mayor Thomas P. Stoney's administration as one of the first two women elected to Charleston City Council. On the council McGowan chaired the Committee on Public Charities and was on several other committees devoted to improving health, welfare, and education in Charleston. Long after her term as alderwoman, she continued to serve on the city Housing Authority.

The most lasting monument to McGowan's civic leadership is the Charleston County Library, which grew out of her work with the Commission on Interracial Cooperation. McGowan envisioned a system of libraries in large towns and county seats and small, traveling libraries to serve rural areas. She helped to secure funding for a library in Charleston from the Rosenwald Fund and the Carnegie Corporation. The library was incorporated in 1930 and opened to the public on Jan. 1, 1931.

McGowan served on the library board of directors for twenty-six years. She published a volume of poetry, "Plantation Memories, and Other Poems" (1923), and was a charter member of the Poetry Society of South Carolina. At the age of 90, McGowan retired from her many public commitments. She died in Charleston on Aug. 13, 1956.

-- Excerpted from the entry by Bruce E. Baker. 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 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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Birthplace of barbecue?

State spends $1.2 million promoting dish to boost tourism

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher

OCT. 4, 2013 -- South Carolina is betting on barbecue in a big way.

The state Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism is spending $1.19 million of tax dollars on a broad media campaign to promote South Carolina as the “birthplace of barbecue.” 

Over a 12-week period, the state expects the campaign to produce almost 104 million media impressions -- 63 million impressions through 31 billboards around the state, 26 million through paid digital ads, 2.7 million in magazines and about 12 million through a sports marketing program at stadiums, sports television shows and more. 

The million-dollar campaign also is paying for BFG Communications in Bluffton and its partners to saturate social media with messages about barbecue to attract visitors and share undiscovered places in the Palmetto State. You can also get an online taste of what they’re doing through a new Web site --

SCPRT Director Duane Parrish said the fall campaign’s focus on the state’s rich heritage of barbecue “encourages visitors to explore the hidden gems of South Carolina -- our back roads, small towns, great outdoors and more.” The campaign uses “barbecue as a creative hook, shining a spotlight on this iconic food to which South Carolina has inarguable bragging rights.”

Early indications show the campaign is working, according to PRT spokesman Marion Edmonds. 

“From the public reaction and the participation and endorsement from our industry partners, I think we already sense we have a success underway,” he said.

Is S.C. really the birthplace of barbecue?

Maybe. Or probably, depending on your point of view.

PRT’s source is the S.C. Barbeque Association, which is led by Lake E. High Jr. He’s a longtime Columbia enthusiast of pork barbecue and takes a lot of credit for pushing the state to profile the dish. 

But High will admit that there’s no hard empirical evidence that barbecue was born in South Carolina. But logic -- with a little historic extrapolation -- indicates barbecue must have started here, he said.

High points to Beaufort County’s Santa Elena, which he said was the first colonized settlement in what is now the United States. History shows there had been other settlements by the Spanish and French, but they were short-lived.   Santa Elena, started in the mid 1560s in what is now Parris Island, lasted for two decades.

“Nobody was there in 1565 but the Indians and Spanish,” High said. “There’s no other logical place for it [the birthplace of barbecue].   The Spanish had the pig and the Indians knew how to do it.”

High, who has just come out with a book on the state’s barbecue history, said Indians were familiar with three meat-cooking techniques: Smoking, barbecuing and cooking. The first preserves by smoking over very low heat. In barbecuing, the heat increases and smoke decreases, but it takes awhile. In cooking, the heat is comparatively high to cook meats quickly. 

Some old engravings copied from drawings made in the 1500s provide evidence that the Indians and Spanish barbecued meat in South Carolina, High said.  One of the drawings shows whole animals being roasted over a smoky fire. The key, High said, to barbecue’s birthplace is in the whole animals. If they were merely being smoked, the process is so slow that they would rot from the inside. The engraving, he said, indicates a heat that’s higher than smoking, but low enough to let it barbecue for 12 to 24 hours -- just like good barbecue is made these days.

The state of Virginia, which had the first English settlement in 1607, doesn’t appear to be getting embroiled in whether it or South Carolina was the birthplace of barbecue.

“I don’t care where it originated or when,” a spokesman said. “I’m just glad we have barbecue. It’s the great Southern dish.”

High, who says members of the Barbecue Association are “dancing jigs” they’re so happy with the advertising campaign, added the group would next push for state lawmakers to pass a law making barbecue as the state dish, just as milk is the state beverage. 

Look for bills to be prefiled in December, he said.

Legislative Agenda

Lottery review, ethics reform on tap

Now that the summer is over, more meetings are starting to occur at the Statehouse. On tap:

  • Lottery. The state Education Lottery Oversight committee will meet 10:30 a.m. October 8 in Room 209 of the Gressette Building in Columbia. On tap: a report from Executive Director Paula Harper Bethea. Agenda.

  • Ethics.  The Senate Select Committee on Ethics will meet noon October 8 in Gressette 105 to discuss a 60-page amendment on ethics reform. Agenda.
Radar Screen

Lost in the media mix

The state’s reporters have missed a story when it comes to what’s happening with the Charleston School of Law. Now that the state Commission on Higher Education has removed a restriction that kept the school from talking with public institutions, the media should focus on more than schools talking. Instead, the real questions are more fundamental: 

Is the General Assembly willing to spend millions of taxpayer dollars to buy a private law school to create a second publicly-funded law school? And second, will the tea-partiers go for that? 
If not, all other questions are moot.
Palmetto Politics

By the numbers

The Center for a Better South has published its third "Briefing Book on the South," which includes more than 1,000 data points on each of the 11 states in the South. It’s a helpful resource for putting the state and South in better context for how it functions over a variety of categories.

In a section on South Carolina that outlines data in 39 categories, you learn that the state has the ninth lowest median household income in the nation and the 10th lowest state and local tax burden. You find out that the Palmetto State’s overall poverty rate of 18.3 percent is the nation’s ninth highest, but the child poverty rate of 28 percent is fourth highest.   

Some other stats:

  • 66.3 percent of South Carolinians live in urban areas.
  • The 68.2 percent high school graduation rate is the nation’s fourth lowest.
  • 869,801 people are on food stamps.
  • S.C. is the fourth least green state.
  • The adult diabetes rate of 12 percent is third highest in the country.
  • S.C. is highest in domestic violence and fifth in violent crime overall.

  • Download the report by clicking here.

Pushing to reform discipline

The South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center is pushing to reform the state’s school discipline problems and improve academic performance in part through new recommendations released this week to cut student and teacher dropouts.

The report, “Effective Discipline for Student Success: Reducing Student and Teacher Dropout Rates in South Carolina,” promotes a research-based approach to school discipline that can also work to improve academic performance and school safety.

According to a press release, research has shown that school discipline practices are a major factor in pushing vulnerable children out of school and, often, into the juvenile justice system, a path known as the "school-to-prison pipeline."  South Carolina's school discipline rates consistently rank among the highest in the country.

“We must make a fundamental commitment to keeping all of our students in school - not just those who are easy to teach but especially students who are struggling to succeed," said Amanda Adler, education staff attorney at S.C. Appleseed.  "We know suspensions and expulsions have a negative impact on academic achievement, on students' emotional connections to the school, and on graduation rates - so why do we continue to rely on them?"


Tired of Congressional stupidity

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher

OCT. 4, 2013 -- I’m tired of Congress. 

I’m tired of the bickering, shutdowns, partisan games, red lines, red states, blue states, sequesters, talking heads, Fox TV, MSNBC, CNN and all of the Beltway bandits who must think we’re gullible or just plain dumb because they think we can’t see what’s going on.  I’m tired of John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell and every one of the other 531 people elected to Congress. 

I wish, somewhere in that motley crew, there were leaders who put the interests of the country first. I wish they’d grow up and stop being whiny, runny-nosed Republican brats and Democratic brats that they appear to be whenever they open their mouths. 

I’m tired of them having meetings “back home” where they act like they’re listening to us. They’re not. They’re wearing specially-designed earplugs that keeps them from actually hearing anything we say so they can get back to the Capital to make dumb speeches, point fingers, ask for campaign contributions and look like they’re working. That way, they can get a $174,000 salary and a boatload of perks, such as a great lifetime pension that vests after five years, free airport parking, special gyms, lifetime health insurance, a generous death benefit and more.

If there’s anything that’s happened during the government shutdown, it’s an increased focus on Congress for being increasingly out of touch and, perhaps, increasingly irrelevant.

What’s missing are real members of Congress like those of 50 or 80 years ago. Those members had big policy disagreements. But instead of having hissy fits, they voted on measures and then met cordially at dinners or over cocktails. Nowadays, each side retreats into their own corners for Shakespearean plotting and contrived nastiness. 

Back in 1935, Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt proposed a Social Security insurance program to support older Americans in their golden years. Many Republicans didn’t support it because of its impact on employers, among other things. But in the end after compromise and some changes, 81 GOP House members backed it and 16 Senate Republicans voted for the measure. While the law remained controversial for awhile, members of Congress kept working for the overall good of the country.

A similar thing happened 30 years later with Medicare, muscled through Congress by President Lyndon Johnson. No House members voted for it until it reached the floor, when it got the support of 70 Republicans. 

Both of these measures weren’t hugely popular among Republicans while being considered. But after the vote, members moved on. They didn’t shut down the government because they were mad. 

Politics has always been partisan. But the nastiness we see today got started around the time of Watergate when a president disgraced a nation and when money became the mother’s milk of politics. South Carolina native Lee Atwater got into the mix with his famous Willie Horton ad in 1988. Then came the divisive Supreme Court nomination of Robert Bork, which led to Republicans and Democrats to start delaying judicial nominations for partisan purposes. And later came President Bill Clinton’s budget bill, which raised taxes on the rich and cut them for millions of low-income families. It passed with no GOP votes in 1993 and led to, you got it, a government shutdown.

All of this has to stop.

Can you imagine today how America might be worse off without Social Security and Medicare? Instead of workers paying a little in insurance over the course of their working lives for a benefit they get when they’re older, guess who would be saddled with caring for them in their golden years -- their families. 

What Social Security and Medicare have done is they have relieved some of the burden on young, working families from providing completely for their parents so that the families can invest in their own children. We need to start thinking of Obamacare with such a longer-term view.  

As Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear wrote recently, “The Affordable Care Act was approved by Congress and sanctioned by the Supreme Court. It is the law of the land. Get over it ... and get out of the way.”

Indeed. Members of Congress shouldn’t hold the country hostage in their petty games.

Andy Brack is publisher of Statehouse ReportYou can reach Brack at:



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My Turn

Money, lobbyists control Washington

By former U.S. Sen. Fritz Hollings
Special to Statehouse Report 

OCT. 4, 2013 -- For years I’ve been nagging my friend Joe Biden and the Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Senate how Congress has lost control of the government.   The lobbyists have taken control. Republican and Democrat Senators used to be good friends. They would visit in each other’s homes, “wheeled and dealed”, fixing the votes in the Senate. 

We limited spending in campaigns in 1973. President Nixon signed it into law but the Supreme Court reversed the law and Republican and Democrat Senators started raising money against each other.    Partisanship took hold and was fixed in concrete in 1993, when Congressman Gingrich forbade any Republican votes for the Democrat’s initiative to cut spending $250 billion and raise taxes $250 billion. 

I raised and spent $8.5 million to be elected for the seventh and last time to the U.S. Senate in 1998. That factors out to $27,000 each week, every week for six years. The volume of money needed in campaigns today and the fundraising by Congress morning, noon and night has transferred control of the government to the 12,000 lobbyists on K Street in Washington.  

Lyndon Johnson couldn’t lead the Senate today. Lobbyist’s don’t work through the Speaker or Leader but go directly to the Senator or Congressman. Lobbyist’s “wheel and deal”, fixing the vote long before the roll is called – even tell the Speaker or Leader when to call the roll. Any doubt of lobbyist’s control of government disappeared when Bloomberg BusinessWeek headlines on its cover (9/30-10/6/13)   “John Boehner Doesn’t Run Congress. Meet the Man Who Does” – Jim DeMint the lobbyist for the Heritage Foundation. 

DeMint succeeded me in the U.S. Senate in 2005 and immediately persuaded Senators to stop earmarking or legislating projects. When he learned lobbyists can earmark better than Senators, he resigned his Senate seat to head the Heritage Foundation and today lobbies for the foundation. The inside story tells how DeMint lobbied all summer long against Obamacare and now has persuaded enough Republicans in the House of Representatives to stand fast, causing (almost causing?) a shutdown.   

Congress can retake control of the government by limiting spending in campaigns. I proposed such an amendment to the Constitution: “Congress is empowered to limit or control spending in federal elections”. The Governor’s Conference called and we added the states. There’s no doubt the states would ratify such an amendment in a New York minute. It was voted on five times and received a majority vote but not the 2/3 required for a Joint Resolution. 

Arlen Specter and I tried to get a vote on the amendment my last two years in the Senate (2003, 2004) but Senators don’t want to vote against such an amendment.   Today, Senator Udall from Colorado has introduced a similar amendment with cosponsors but no consideration; no vote. Passage of such a Constitutional Amendment doesn’t limit or control spending.  It only authorizes a later Congress to decide the limit or control with McCain-Feingold, public financing, so much per registered voter, etc. 

Once a later Congress decides on limits, fundraising will be limited, campaigns will be limited, partisanship will be limited and Senators and Congressmen will have time to do their work. Congress will retake control of the government. 

Former U.S. Sen. Fritz Hollings, D-S.C., lives in Isle of Palms, S.C.


May everything be in order

To the editor:

Thanks for an insightful article about Robert’s Rules of Order author, Henry M. Robert.

As we parliamentarians study his rules we feel he is part of the family.  Your article reinforced those feelings. Keep on writing and may everything you do be in order.

-- Shirley J. Brodbeck, RP, Palmetto, Fla.
President, Florida State Association of Parliamentarians

Hadn’t heard this story

To the editor:

Fascinating column on Robert today. Despite seven years of service up here as parliamentarian, I had not read this story. Many thanks.

-- Prof. Mark Tompkins, University of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C.

Economic cleansing of state’s undesirables?

To the editor:

I am going to suggest that the passage of legislation by the S.C. General Assembly under Gov. Nikki Haley represents a return to South Carolina of a technique that has the effect of economically cleansing the state of undesirable elements in the state’s population.

I call this a return because I see it as a revival of the historic events that led to the removal of large elements of South Carolina’s anti-slavery population, mainly a removal of Quakers and other religions that taught that slavery was wicked and in opposition to the teachings of Christianity.

I also see the "black codes" passed into law after the Civil War as a way to "cleanse" the state of newly-freed blacks who did not submit to the form of slavery imposed upon the newly-freed slaves by Southern legislatures which fell to white ideology when the Northern troops left the state and blacks were disenfranchised and terrorized by the Klan and its supporters.

I call this technique “removalism” and its practitioners “removalists” because their desire is to remove from the state persons who are deemed undesirable because they are on welfare or public retirement or who choose not to be controlled by the powerbrokers who control the S.C. General Assembly. It is neither new nor unique and has no political party affiliation.  It is a long and honored why of doing business in South Carolina.

Therefore when you see the governor refusing federal money to assist in aiding health care to the 280,000 persons who could have received federal assistance under Obamacare or see tuition increases for college students or denial of benefits to the sick, poor and elderly in South Carolina, we should ask ourselves: Who does this plan help; who does it hurt; how much does it cost; and who is someone trying to get rid of and why?

-- William Heitsman, Darlington, S.C.

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Increasing clean energy, reducing diversity

Clean energy. A new report shows that clean energy employs 18,000 in South Carolina. Hooray for green. More.

Inland port. The state’s new Upland inland port in Greer should open in the middle of the month. More.

Kimpson. Hats off to plaintiff’s lawyer and Charleston Democrat Marlon Kimpson, who won his third election Tuesday to take the Senate seat formerly occupied by Robert Ford.

Amazon. The company says it will hire 1,000 full-time seasonal employees in Spartanburg to handle holiday demands. Now, it would be great if these could shift to full-time, full-time jobs.. 

Obamacare. Hooray, it’s here, many say. But darn, we don’t have a state exchange and the lines are way too long online. (Maybe that shows more support than people expected -- how ‘bout that, GOP?)

DSS. The Department of Social Services rightly must answer the question: Why have 312 children died since 2009 when they were involved with your department? 312? More.

Shutdown. Earth to Congress: Get to work and quit all of the fiddle-faddle. It’s not being responsible to a million federal workers and millions of Americans who depend on government to be open.

Haley. Governor, so you decreased diversity (again) by replacing the only black member of The Citadel’s board with a white donor? Really? More.


Still valid today

From 2009:

RECENT STEGELIN: 9/27 | 9/20 | 9/13 | 9/6

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