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Columns

  • Column: Our state’s FOI law a powerful muscle, needs constant flexing

    Through South Carolina’s Freedom of Information Act, diligent journalists and others have discovered much revealing information about the actions of state and local government in our state.

  • Column: Journalism under attack just as we need it most

    When has the work of journalists been more important?
    Was it 50 years ago, when America’s inner cities were burning and the Pentagon was hiding the scope and nature of the war in Vietnam?
    Or 100 years ago, when the administration of President Woodrow Wilson was muzzling newspapers and churning out propaganda in support of the nation’s involvement in what would become known as World War I?

  • Commentary: Graham reacts to Florence, Manafort plea, Mueller probe

    Editor’s note: Sen. Graham appeared on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” last Sunday. Host John Dickerson interviewed him about the still-unfolding Hurricane Florence, the special counsel’s investigation and North Korea. Here are excerpts.

    John Dickerson: South Carolina is seeing significant rain and flooding. Senator, how’s the state doing?

  • Column: Creating community through conversation

    On April 26, more than 80 members of the Lancaster community came together to take part in the Community Conversation on Civility in Public Life.
    Sponsored by the J. Marion Sims Foundation’s Community Engagement Corps and USC Lancaster, this gathering was part of the National Week of Conversation, a nationwide effort to cultivate meaningful and respectful dialogue on our nation’s greatest challenges. Across the nation, 131 communities across 35 states took part in their own conversations on civility.

  • Column: 3 S.C. members of Congress helped defeat newsprint tariff

    Only three of our state’s senators and congressmen actively worked to remove the tariff on newsprint, which threatened serious damage to the newspaper industry.
    Rep. Ralph Norman led the way. He sponsored the PRINT Act, testified before the International Trade Commission, and he was among several representatives who wrote a group letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in December.
    Rep. Mark Sanford also participated in the group letter that was sent to Ross.
    Sen. Lindsey Graham sponsored the PRINT Act and signed a joint Senate letter.

  • Column: Many counties miss out on spending from gas-tax hike

    In the first year of a controversial law hiking the state’s gasoline tax and other fees, the S.C. Department of Transportation spent no proceeds in 20 of South Carolina’s 46 counties, newly released records show.
    Overall, only about $7 million, or 2.2 percent, of $312.6 million in total revenues collected from July 1, 2017, through June 30 was spent on “external” projects, according to agency records.

  • Candidate's Column: School board needs new philosophy

    My name is Chris Campbell and I am running for the Lancaster County school board’s District 7 seat to represent Indian Land.
    I’ve lived here in Indian Land almost 10 years. I have two children who have attended ILES and ILMS, and now I have one at ILHS. I know many of you from the community and many from coaching and volunteer work in this community.
    We have seen a lot of growth in Lancaster County, by way of Indian Land, in the last 10 years, but I don’t think we have been quite prepared for the growth.

  • Column: S.C. agencies have amassed $484M in budget surpluses

    As S.C. lawmakers plan to push a massive borrowing bill next year, they likely won’t publicly talk about the fat reserves that some state agencies have accumulated – including their own chambers.
    State agencies collectively carried over $484.5 million in general funds into the fiscal year that started July 1, according to S.C. Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom’s year-end report on fiscal 2017-18.

  • Column: Who is running the country as Trump creates endless havoc?

    After the latest turmoil in Washington regarding Michael Cohen, Paul Manafort and others close to our president, I think now is definitely the time for change in our federal government.
    Soon, I believe, the evidence will emerge proving President Trump to be a liar, a womanizer, a bully, and a person who colluded with the Russians in order to become president. Mr. Trump wants to be the center of everyone’s attention and likes to have everything done his way. If not, he tends to create havoc.

  • Candidate's Column: 2 big things I would fix in tax code

    There are so many things wrong with our tax code, and most politicians try to capitalize on this by making broad generalizations and promises that they can’t possibly deliver. I’m not going to do that.
    Instead, today I’d like to talk about two things you might not realize about our current tax code and how, together, we can change them.