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Columns

  • Column: McMaster, Trump and saving the planet (and state)

    On Saturday morning, June 3, the newspaper landed with its usual thud on my front porch. As I bent over to pick it up, I saw the headline, “McMaster backs Trump’s exit from climate accord.”
    Instantly, I remembered the words from a radio interview the day before with English businessman Richard Branson (Virgin Airlines and Records et. al) about President Donald Trump’s action. He said, “When the leaders won’t lead, the people will have to just get on with saving the planet; we have no choice.”

  • Column: Study shows why state’s pension fund is so troubled

    Legislators finalized a budget deal this week that was thought to have patched up the underfunded public employees’ pension plan. While it goes some way to addressing funding, it doesn’t do much to address the fund’s investing and spending.

  • Column: Why I’m not voting for Ralph Norman

    Hm! U.S. House District 5 Republican candidate Ralph Norman is endorsed by the Koch brothers’ Club for Growth super PAC. He voted against relief aid to South Carolina farmers who had major crop damage during the 2015 floods and against an infrastructure bill that would improve South Carolina roads and transportation.
    And the police officers – are you kidding me? He voted against workers’ compensation if they suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • Column: To leapfrog progress for S.C., focus on innovation/digital

    For hundreds of years, we in Western society have thought about things with a linear and incremental mindset. Progress – in society, commerce, science, engineering, etc. – was believed to be something that happens sequentially, usually slowly, with one step leading to another. This mindset is embedded in how we think about things and express ourselves – “steady as she goes… one step at a time… the tortoise wins the race.”

  • Column: Parnell would work to counter the divisiveness in Washington

    Congress today is hyper-partisan, divisive, shallow, parochial, corrupted by money, driven by special interest, dominated by career politicians, poisoned by personal attacks, disrespectful of the voters, focused on the short term and rigidly ideological.
    I believe Archie Parnell should be in Congress because he is none of these things.
    Most people in South Carolina have never heard of him. He gained a bit of name recognition once he decided to run for Congress in the 5th District special election, which is June 20.

  • Column: Where do District 5 candidates stand on House health-care bill?

    During this fast-paced special election in South Carolina’s Upstate, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with civic and business leaders, AARP members, health-care providers and the political candidates to talk about why the 5th Congressional District race is so important to folks 50 years of age and older.

  • Column: Lawmakers have no excuse for lengthy budget delays

    The legislative session and the special extended session have ended, and we still don’t have a state budget.
    Currently the budget sits in a conference committee, where lawmakers seem to be agonizing over the differences between the House’s $27.41 billion spending plan and the Senate’s $27.42 billion spending plan. There are a few minor differences in how the money is spent, but lawmakers aren’t saying what particular policy area is responsible for the holdup.
    So what are they blaming?

  • Column: S.C. activist reaches out to the world

    From time to time in this space, I like to introduce you to people in South Carolina who are making a difference. The following is a column from Jennifer Jones-Wood, writing about her work in South Carolina to help young girls around the world.

    Today, 130 million girls do not have access to education. Please let that sink in.
    If you were to count from 1 to 130,000,000 without stopping, it would take approximately eight years. Now that I have your attention, let me tell you about The ONE Campaign.

  • Column: Legislative session ends with progress on safer highways

    The busy legislative session is wrapping up. We’ve gotten a lot done but still have to meet once more in general session to pass a budget, consider gubernatorial vetoes and complete other end-of-year tasks.
    Once that work is done, I will provide you a comprehensive report about the highlights of the session, as well as issues that are of special importance to District 45 residents.

  • Column: So happy we ended up at ILMS

    An open letter to Indian Land Middle School administration and teachers:
    After 12 years in Charlotte, my family finally decided to move “south of the border” last year. Our main priority was finding a home that would position our girls for the perfect middle and future high schools.