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Long promises to be 'open, honest, accessible'

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By Deborah Long

Running for the S.C. House District 45 seat has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. When I was encouraged to run for office by my family and friends I wasn’t quite sure what I had gotten myself into at first. What I did know was that our community needed a representative who shared their values and could be their voice in Columbia.

On the campaign trail, I have asked many questions. And because I know that I don’t know it all, I’ve learned a lot from listening. One question I thought particularly good was, “What is the first piece of legislation you plan to introduce once elected?” I was torn.

There are so many things our government needs to do to work more efficiently and serve the people better – such as reducing regulations on small businesses, fixing our broken workman’s compensation system, returning more money to our hard working families and finding ways to improve our education system.

While it was hard for me to narrow down my answer to that question, it came down to two different issues.

First, I believe strongly in introducing and fighting for legislation that will make government more transparent and will give citizens the ability to know what is in a bill and exactly where their legislators stand.

I would also like to see legislation that will provide a proper avenue for honoring our South Carolina heroes, who have made the ultimate sacrifice while fighting for our freedom.

Trust and accountability in our elected officials is at an all time low. I want to change that.

Too often a good piece of legislation is introduced that would be beneficial to our state but after being introduced it is sent to committee where irrelevant amendments are tacked on that damage the original good intent of the bill.

Legislators are then forced into choosing whether to vote for a good bill with a bad amendment or to vote against a bad amendment attached to a good bill.

Politicians use this tactic, commonly called bob-tailing, to promote and protect their interests, not the interest of the people. That’s why I want to make sure that when a good piece of legislation is introduced, no amendments can be added that will torpedo it into not receiving a fair vote and that any amendment that may be added must be germane to the original bill.

I also believe that any legislation that spends taxpayer dollars should receive a recorded vote. That way the people will know for sure where their elected leaders stand.

While on the campaign trail, it has been brought to my attention that South Carolina is one of the few states that does not have a license plate that honors our South Carolina heroes.

We all too often take our freedom for granted. Men and women from across our state leave their families and risk their lives so the rest of us can live a comfortable, free life here in America.

There is really no way to ever thank them enough but I believe that we should find ways to honor them.

I would like to make sure that we have a license plate to display on their vehicles, like other states, that would be available to the families of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. This small step would help us all to remember how we came to enjoy the freedoms we have.

I hope that in giving you my thoughts on these two ideas gives you insight as to the kind of person I am.

I give you my word that I will always be open and honest with you about where I stand on the issues.

I will be accessible to you and listen to what you have to say.

I will do my very best to justify your support and serve your best interest in Columbia.