Commentary

BRACK: Navigating news in a time of scandal and hyperbole

BRACK: Navigating news in a time of scandal and hyperbole

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | With scandal swirling throughout Washington and more indictments stemming from a corruption probe in Columbia, it is becoming harder to keep up with what’s really happening in government and politics.

Part of the problem is the Internet, which overturned the news apple cart by diversifying and segmenting sources of news into so many streams that it can be difficult to figure out which are credible. There are traditional media – newspapers, magazines, radio and television – which operate under an old model of hiring professionals to report news as they see it and digest information critically to make it understandable. These media are under threat because of loss of revenues to personalized rivers of social media and Internet sites brought to people through computers in their homes and smartphones in their pockets.

by · 05/19/2017 · Andy Brack, Commentary
WELBORN: Working to bolster state’s local food production

WELBORN: Working to bolster state’s local food production

By Katie Welborn, special to Statehouse Report | We choose who succeeds by how we spend our money. Every time we purchase food products from other states and countries, we’re not purchasing them from agricultural entrepreneurs here at home.

Did you know that only 10 percent of the food that we eat in-state is actually farmed here? In South Carolina, we have a huge gap between farmers who are producing food to sell at retail prices at farmers markets, roadside stands and off of their front porches and farmers who are able to sell at wholesale prices to and through mainline food distributors to hospitals, schools, restaurants and grocery stores.

BRACK: The legislature takes a wild ride in 2017

BRACK: The legislature takes a wild ride in 2017

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | The General Assembly’s 2017 legislative session is sure to be remembered for a long time as a wild ride.

Two things stand out. First, who in the world would have thought the Republican-led legislature would have given millions of dollars in tax relief to working people in South Carolina in a bill to hike taxes to fix roads? Most of the time, tax breaks go to the rich.

Second, who would have thought that the state’s new governor, Henry McMaster, would stay so much in the background during the legislative session?

by · 05/12/2017 · Andy Brack, Commentary
Allen

ALLEN: Legislators say we spend too much, but they’re spending!

By Elisabeth Allen, special to Statehouse Report | Statehouse politicians love to wax eloquent about the dangers of spending too much money on non-essential services – right before spending too much money on non-essential services.

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 · Andy Brack, Commentary
FEEDBACK:  Thanks for the EITC report

FEEDBACK: Thanks for the EITC report

Hayes Mizell, Columbia, S.C.: Thank you so much for your hopeful article on the possibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit in South Carolina. I have not seen this information in any other news source. Good for you.

by · 05/05/2017 · Commentary, Feedback
FEEDBACK:  My three cents on guns

FEEDBACK: My three cents on guns

George Graf: I am not a pro- or anti-gun guy. My issue is the continual felons who are arrested and one of their charges always seems to be the possession of a firearm.

I would like to see a mammoth penalty for those who have made the firearm available to the felon. Seems many girlfriends and family members are the providers. If they get harsh penalties, maybe they will cease the practice coupled with anonymous protection.

by · 04/28/2017 · Commentary, Feedback
BRACK: A pat on the back to Grooms, Sheheen for practical roads bill

BRACK: A pat on the back to Grooms, Sheheen for practical roads bill

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | Larry Grooms and Vincent Sheheen pored over spreadsheets for weeks looking for a solution that hornswoggled their state Senate colleagues for three years: A practical way to raise the state’s gas tax to fix roads.

By Wednesday, an idea by Republican Grooms – allowing state drivers to get rebates of their portion of the 12-cents-per-gallon hike in the gas user fee – blended with tax cut priorities by Sheheen, a Democrat, to cobble together a piece of winning legislation. While Sheheen brought a solid bloc of the minority Democrats to the table, Senate President Pro Tem Hugh Leatherman, R-Florence, and Grooms delivered a group of moderate Republicans who stuck together, vote after vote, to thwart filibuster threats and get the bill passed.

by · 04/28/2017 · Andy Brack, Commentary