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Columns

  • Column: Alarming hike in fire fatalities this year in S.C.

    Tragically, in the first three months of this year, South Carolina has lost 40 citizens to fire-related incidents. This nearly doubles the five-year average of 22 fire fatalities during the same three-month period.
    As the newly appointed state fire marshal, my first priority is identifying the contributing factors leading to these deaths and utilizing the resources of South Carolina to keep this number from continuing to rise. We cannot bring back the lives lost, but through state, local, private, and public partnerships we can do a lot to prevent future loss.

  • Column: Wealthier, more connected counties get big road projects

    Billions of dollars flow through South Carolina every year – to contractors and others – for roads and other infrastructure projects.
    The money comes from three pots, essentially: funds sent from the General Assembly through the state Department of Transportation; federal dollars channeled through SCDOT; and money, usually borrowed, spent by the state Transportation Infrastructure Bank, or STIB.

  • Column: Why a tax hike for roads won’t fix the state’s roads

    We’re hearing a lot of scary claims from the S.C. Department of Transportation and from legislative leaders: we have the highest rate of road fatalities in the nation, it will take billions to climb out of the hole our infrastructure system is stuck in, we have to pass some pretty significant tax hikes in order to truly address problems, and so on.
    What are they not telling us? A lot, actually.

  • Column: Both parties twist words, forsake truth

    I have a lot to say against Democrats. They are on the wrong side of any objective truth. They have their own truths that I reject.
    I also have a lot to say about Republicans. They have some of their own truths also. Republicans’ new motto seems to be “Vote for us because we are not as bad as they are.”
    There is no salvation in any political party. America is in a mess today, and it is getting messier each day.

  • Column: When Trump discusses trade, don’t overlook impact on S.C.

    Last month, President Trump visited Charleston’s Boeing plant and proclaimed the “America First” policy that has been one of his constant themes.
    He said he the country will “rely less on imports and more on products made right here in the U.S.A. … This is our mantra: Buy American and hire American.”
    It’s a great slogan, but it conflicts with the complex realities of global trade.

  • Column: Nonprofits should remain subject to FOIA disclosure

    Where does your tax money go? In most instances it supports direct government activities such as schools, police, housing, public health and the like.
    But in many instances your tax money is transferred to nonprofit corporations that have convinced government leaders that they perform a service worthy of public support. Museums, festivals, parks and tourism promoters are common nonprofit recipients of public funds.
    There is a bill, H.3931, pending in the S.C. House, that would exempt nonprofit organizations getting public funds from the Freedom of Information Act.

  • Editor's Column: Parnell’s big moment in the comedy vortex

    Archie Parnell, one of the 14 candidates running for the congressional seat vacated by Mick Mulvaney, got a bit of national publicity last week to help him stand out from the crowd.
    Boy, did he ever!
    Fair warning. If you’re not a fan of crude anatomical humor, do not check this out.
    It happened on comedian Samantha Bee’s political satire show “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee” on TBS. She has an audience of about 2.5 million, not far behind the 3 million or so who watch Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon on the big networks.

  • Column: We need Trump to undo Obama’s horrible policies

    This is my response to the columns by Jeremy Miller and Michael Jedson in Wednesday’s paper, which criticized Dr. Brooks Walker’s support for President Trump.
    I loved Dr. Walker’s letter. It was all true. Trump is trying to save our country. He sees that America is running toward socialist government, and that goes to communist.

  • Column: Democrats obstructionist?

    I am responding to Brooks Walker’s March 17 column “Democrats are redefining the party.”
    Dr. Walker states that the Democrats’ one goal is to “get Trump.” Apparently, Dr. Walker must have forgotten Sen. Mitch McConnell’s statement at the beginning of Obama’s first term that the Republican’s goal was to block any and all legislation initiated by Obama.

  • Column: Sen. Courson’s shocking indictment

    Last Thursday, state Sen. John Courson was indicted by a state grand jury on three ethics charges. He was immediately suspended from the Senate.
    The indictment alleges that the Columbia Republican funneled nearly $250,000 in campaign contributions to the political consulting firm of Richard Quinn and Associates, which then returned almost $133,000 to Courson for his personal use.
    The reaction around the state has been universal shock and disbelief.