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Columns

  • Column: Can-kicking on S.C.’s 3 biggest problems

    The true test of political leadership is making the hard, long-term and right decision instead of the easy, short term and wrong decision.
    Said differently, do our political leaders genuinely work to solve problems or do they just kick the can down the road?
    Unfortunately for our state, kicking the can down the road has been the unofficial sport of the State House crowd for nearly a generation. Can-kicking results from politicians who refuse to look down the road farther than the next election. For too many, making tough decisions is just not in their nature.

  • They’re spending our money on what? Part 1

    Most taxpayers would agree that it’s OK for the governor or other top officials to use state-owned aircraft for high-priority trips. Yet records reveal that South Carolina’s state planes are routinely used by mid-level state personnel and legislators for arguably  non-essential purposes.
    The S.C. Aeronautics Commission posts monthly flight logs and bimonthly flight manifests that list not only who has been using the state aircraft, but where they went, the purpose of their flight, and the total cost, in addition to general flight information.

  • They’re spending our money on what? Part 2

    In a review of state agency expenses, The Nerve found that in fiscal 2015-16 the state spent more than $989,000 on catering and meals.
    This total does not include charges from the S.C. Public Service Authority, the S.C. Education Lottery Commission, the S.C. Jobs-Economic Development Authority, and state-supported colleges and universities. The spending at these agencies is not covered by the Comptroller General’s website.

  • Column: Do we really need checklist for potty visits at preschool?

    My husband owns a small business, and from time to time I’ve heard him say, “You can’t take a pee anymore without a government permission slip.”
    Please excuse the slight vulgarity. I bring it up because, in my line of work, it’s almost literally true.

  • Column: S.C. loses extraordinary leader, public servant

    With his death Saturday at age 96, we reflect on the life of former S.C. Sen. John Drummond, who served our state and our nation well. 
    A native of Ninety Six, John Drummond was born in 1919 to a family of millworkers, like so many other S.C. families of that era. Called to serve our country in World War II, he was a pilot and paratrooper, acquiring the nickname “Ace” due to his flying prowess.

  • Column: Prime example of the S.C. oligarchy

    The term “legislative state” gets thrown around a lot by people trying to describe our state’s power structure. That’s supposed to make our gross imbalance of power seem like a reasonable alternative – a “legislative state,” as opposed to an “executive state,” sounds like a legitimate thing.

  • Column: Democratic policies ruined our inner cities

    This little town of Lancaster does not have big problems yet. Still the citizens need to understand where the source of America’s problems started.
    Maybe the Lets Talk folks will get to the root of the problem and cure the issue before it becomes a big problem here.  
    The beginning of the problem is the lack of God in the lives of citizens, the God of our founders who is our creator. He is the source or our understanding of the truth in our world today. Without God’s laws in our lives, then man’s laws are of no use to us either.

  • Column: Declaration of S.C. barbeque supremacy

    Preamble – When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the culinary bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and preeminent station to which the Laws of BBQ and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to declare South Carolina’s BBQ Supremacy.

  • Column: Ex-lawmakers, staffers earn hefty salaries at S.C. agencies

    Nepotism is a well-known part of S.C. state government.
    Lawmakers routinely appoint their siblings and spouses and friends to university boards and various state commissions, for example. Less well known are the outsized salaries associated with some of those positions.
    Before considering the salaries of lawmakers’ friends and relatives, though, take a look at the salaries of those in charge of core state agencies – law enforcement and the like.

  • Column: S.C. must start expecting more of itself

    Recently, I was talking with a Columbia woman who works with government contracting on the local, state and national level. She has built a multimillion-dollar business, and she runs it with honesty and integrity.
    In talking about her work with S.C. state government, she said something that stopped me dead in my tracks. “State government has become so corrupt on every level,” she said, “and it’s been that way for so long that people just accept it as business as usual – just the way it is.”