2018

BRACK:  Looking beyond corruption at Statehouse

BRACK:  Looking beyond corruption at Statehouse

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher  |  The S.C. General Assembly is far different than 27 years ago when Operation Lost Trust blew open the cozy culture of the Statehouse with federal charges against 28 legislators and lobbyists in a cash-for-votes sting.

People went to jail.  Some avoided it.  Ethics rules were changed to become some of the toughest in the nation as it became virtually impossible for people to buy a cup of coffee legally for a friend in the legislature.  

But time moved on and institutions adapted.  Unknown dark money rose to fuel ever-increasing partisan, nasty campaigns.   In recent years, shenanigans have shown up in political campaign accounts, leading to the departure of a lieutenant governor and House speaker.  Currently, others hang in the balance in an ongoing Statehouse scandal that may be broadening, according to sources.

by · 10/13/2017 · 2018, Andy Brack, Commentary
NEWS: Noble joins gov’s race; 3 Dems, 4 GOPers now running

NEWS: Noble joins gov’s race; 3 Dems, 4 GOPers now running

Noble to attack culture of corruption at Statehouse

Staff reports (updated, 10 a.m.)  |   Charleston businessman Phil Noble is the latest Democrat to join the race to be elected governor in 2018.  He announced his candidacy this morning in Charleston. 

Last week, state Rep. James Smith, D-Richland, joined the race.  Previously, self-described “dark horse” Democratic candidate Philip Cheney of Anderson has announced he was running.

Republicans running for the seat held by the GOP since 2003 include incumbent Henry McMaster, Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant of Anderson, former Lt. Gov. Yancey McGill of Kingstree and former state agency head Catherine Templeton of Mount Pleasant.

by · 10/11/2017 · 2018, News
NEWS BRIEFS: Looking for more teachers; Dems for governor?

NEWS BRIEFS: Looking for more teachers; Dems for governor?

Educators urge state action on teacher shortage

The numbers are stark: nearly 6,500 teachers do not return to their positions annually, while South Carolina education programs graduate 1,700 annually. On top of that, enrollment in S.C. teacher training programs is declining on average by 4 percent per year. …

Also inside:

Dems starting to queue up for governor?

It’s pretty much an open secret that state Rep. James Smith, D-Richland, will be a Democratic candidate for governor vying to challenge whoever wins the GOP nomination in a crowded field. …

by · 09/21/2017 · 2018, News, News briefs
MY TURN: Voters can go “nuclear” to stop rewarding incompetence

MY TURN: Voters can go “nuclear” to stop rewarding incompetence

By Jim Rex, special to Statehouse Report  |  As residents of South Carolina wait patiently for the [Solicitor] David Pascoe corruption investigation of South Carolina legislators and others to reach what will almost assuredly be a repugnant and embarrassing conclusion for our state and its citizens,  we have been reminded that a culture deficient in accountability for its elected and appointed representatives will inevitably find multiple ways to set aside the interests of the many to satisfy the wishes of the few.

The nuclear plants’ fiasco in Fairfield County has proven, yet again, that too many of our elected and appointed representatives are not willing to take on powerful corporations when they take advantage of consumers and taxpayers.

BRACK: People are #waitingfor2018, thanks to health care mess

BRACK: People are #waitingfor2018, thanks to health care mess

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | If you think Obamacare is a disaster, get ready for whatever it is that the Congressional Republicans passed to fix the Affordable Care Act as the political cluster that could be the mother of all nightmares

Why? Because instead of making something that’s a policy and political mess less messy, it’s going to be even messier, particularly after the U.S. Senate gets it.

“Don’t know what’s in it; waiting to see if it’s a boy or a girl,” U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., joked before the House vote. “But any bill that has been posted less than 24 hours — going to be debated three or four hours, not scored — needs to be viewed with suspicion.”

by · 05/05/2017 · 2018, Andy Brack, Commentary
TOP FIVE:   From gas tax and 2018 race to free tuition, more

TOP FIVE: From gas tax and 2018 race to free tuition, more

Staff reports | Our weekly Top Five feature, absent for a few weeks, is back with gusto. It offers big stories or views from the past week with policy and legislative implications. Read more about:

1. GOP senators thwart efforts to talk about gas tax next week.
2. GOP candidates may challenge McMaster in 2018
3. Senate Dems propose free tuition for tech colleges
4. Beasley appointed to head U.N. food program
5. How to stop the opioid epidemic

by · 03/31/2017 · 2018, News, Top Five
BRACK:  Time to start thinking deeply about state’s 2018 leadership

BRACK: Time to start thinking deeply about state’s 2018 leadership

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | News that President-elect Donald Trump is considering S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley and Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster for prominent roles in his administration highlights how we need to start thinking now about who we want to lead South Carolina in the future.

With the 2016 elections over, Haley is considered a lame duck as her second term as governor ends in two years. As a rising minority star in the Republican party, it’s natural that Trump’s team would look for a big role for Haley, who met Thursday with Trump for what was called “a good discussion,” by a spokesman. “She is very encouraged about the coming administration and the new direction it will bring to Washington.”

by · 11/18/2016 · 2018, Andy Brack, Commentary
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7/17, full issue: 2018 governor’s race, gag order, reimagining S.C.

In this issue, Statehouse Report looks at the 2018 potential gubernatorial field. Columnist Andy Brack endorses a gag order on phone calls and photos from the bloody Emanuel 9 crime scene. And former state Superintendent Jim Rex talks about reimagining South Carolina. More on the new Promise Zone, the state’s fiscal health, a scorecard and letters.

by · 07/17/2015 · 2018, Full Issue