Andy Brack

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
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
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
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
BRACK:  New statue of Hollings captures his spirit, leadership, energy

BRACK: New statue of Hollings captures his spirit, leadership, energy

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | Sculptor Rick Weaver captured the body language of Fritz Hollings just right in a new statue unveiled Monday in Charleston as former colleagues heaped praises on the retired senator, now 95.

Three things stand out in the bronze figure – the warm, but determined, look on Hollings’ face; how his left hand is grasping a rolled-up document; and, most notably, an outstretched right hand, a familiar gesture to many of the senator’s former staffers and friends.

by · 04/21/2017 · Andy Brack, Commentary
BRACK:  Consolidate small school districts for the right reasons

BRACK: Consolidate small school districts for the right reasons

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | If you wonder why some counties have three, five or even seven school districts, you can probably turn to two culprits: High school football games and nepotism.

Schools knit together many poor, rural communities. People take great pride in their local teams and the next closest school district – particularly one in the same county – may be the biggest rival, making it hard for many to envision embracing a gridiron enemy in any proposed merger of school districts into one county district.

by · 04/14/2017 · Andy Brack, Commentary
Gov. Henry McMaster making remarks at the March dedication of a new inland port in Dillon, S.C.

BRACK: It’s time for McMaster to share his policy vision with S.C.

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | Henry McMaster has wanted to be governor for about as long as I can remember. He ran and lost a couple of times. So when he became lieutenant governor, he seemed to be a shoe-in for the 2018 nomination. Then, his predecessor resigned for a federal job, making McMaster’s dream come true.

After wanting the golden governorship for so long, you’d think it almost automatic that he’d set a blazing path of things he’s wanted to do all of these years.

by · 04/07/2017 · Andy Brack, Commentary
A campaign flyer from the S.C. Political Collection at USC.

BRACK: Remembering Pug Ravenel and what could have been

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | The recent death of Charlestonian Pug Ravenel has friends fondly remembering the good he did, but lamenting what could have been.

Ravenel, who died March 25 at age 79 after battling cancer, burst onto the South Carolina political scene in 1974 as the country was dealing with the stench of Watergate. A successful investment banker with Ivy League credentials, Ravenel embodied a fresh Palmetto State version of Camelot – a young reformer with an attractive family running a new kind of campaign to unite South Carolina.

by · 03/31/2017 · Andy Brack, Commentary