Post Tagged with: "Henry McMaster"

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
MY TURN, Kinard: Reconsider proposed changes to state pension plan

MY TURN, Kinard: Reconsider proposed changes to state pension plan

Open letter to S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster:

I hope this letter finds you well after our Labor Day holiday. I find it disheartening, on the day after a holiday designed to commemorate and honor American workers, that I must write to you about a choice you are making that will greatly harm and jeopardize the livelihoods of workers in South Carolina that you now govern. You are taking a stance against your own public employees by seeking to remove their pensions and retirement plans because of actions over which they had no control.

I find it not only heartless but also ill-conceived to wish to alter the benefits of current and future public workers in our state and would ask that you reconsider this position before it does irreparable damage to our state, its economy and the lives of our workforce.

NEWS: S.C. better prepared to weather big storms, experts say

NEWS: S.C. better prepared to weather big storms, experts say

By Lindsay Street, Statehouse correspondent  |  Four people died and more than a quarter million residences lost power in South Carolina earlier this week as sea levels rose and high winds bellowed in Tropical Storm Irma. The storm’s glancing blow packed a big punch, leaving the state reeling from its fourth natural disaster in four years.

But experts say there is a silver lining to this and previous storms: South Carolina is getting good at dealing with disasters.

“If you look at our state compared to other coastal states, we’re doing a fabulous job,” said Susan Cutter, director of University of South Carolina’s Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute. “We are becoming quite a hurricane-savvy population. …

by · 09/15/2017 · News
Worker clean up sand on an Edisto Island street that was washed ashore by Hurricane Irma. (SCDOT photo.)

BRACK: Be better prepared for storms with new disaster fund

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher  |   Maybe it’s time to start being more proactive fiscally with the natural disasters that seem to be more frequent in the Palmetto State.

Regardless of the cause — Mother Nature, climate change or the wrath of God — the flooding in the Midlands and Pee Dee in 2015, Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and Hurricane Irma this year have been expensive propositions.

While state and local officials already get specialized training ahead of disasters to be prepared, state government doesn’t budget for storm costs in advance.  Instead, it pays the bill long after the storm or disaster has passed.

by · 09/15/2017 · Andy Brack, Commentary
Gov. Henry McMaster, center, presides at an emergency management press conference.

NEWS BRIEFS: On governmental redundancy; VW settlement monies

Staff reports  |  Hurricane briefings by Gov. Henry McMaster featured a slight difference in language that you might have picked up on.

McMaster’s predecessor, Nikki Haley, called for an evacuation of coastal areas around Beaufort and Charleston in October 2016 when Hurricane Matthew was on the way.  The word “mandatory” was not part of the lingo.  In fact when later questioned about whether the evacuation was mandatory or voluntary, she said, “An evacuation is an evacuation.”

The definition of “evacuation” is “the removal of persons or things from an endangered area.” 

Also in News Briefs: Learn about money from a settlement with Volkswagen.

by · 09/14/2017 · News, News briefs
BRIEFS:  Merrill resigns seat; Leatherman seeks special session

BRIEFS:  Merrill resigns seat; Leatherman seeks special session

Suspended GOP S.C. Rep. Jim Merrill of Daniel Island resigned from his legislative seat late Thursday before a Friday hearing related to a string of corruption charges he faces, according to published reports. …

Also: S.C. Sen. Pro Tem Hugh Leatherman threw down a gauntlet this week and called on his colleagues to avert “horror of horrors” by releasing state money to replace hundreds of aging school buses prone to catching on fire.

by · 09/01/2017 · News, News briefs, Politics
Abortion rights supporters protested outside the Statehouse this week to urge Gov. Nikki Haley to veto a ban on almost all abortions after 19 weeks.  She didn’t.  More below in this weeks’ news analysis.  (Photo provided.)

NEWS BRIEFS:  Abortion politics; Dissecting a meltdown; Pressure play

Gov. Henry McMaster on Friday morning issued an executive order halting any local or state funds that go toward the state’s three abortion providers. He is also seeking to exclude the clinics from the state’s Medicaid provider network. Also inside:
* The latest on the debacle over two nuclear plants.
* A councilman wants a House seat.

by · 08/25/2017 · News, News briefs