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Columns

  • Column: Why does state disguise who’s really in charge?

    When it comes to debt, the state of South Carolina is swimming in billions of it.
    Yet an important report on the state’s finances, issued by Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom and considered a key document by credit rating agencies in evaluating state debt, paints a misleading picture of South Carolina’s government structure and authority over state agencies.

  • Column: Officials move toward selling Santee Cooper

    Last week the S.C. House made historic progress toward protecting South Carolina ratepayers and taxpayers. With Senate and House joint resolutions, consensus is building to sell the state-owned utility Santee Cooper.
    The House authorized the Public Service Authority Evaluation and Recommendation Committee to analyze bids to purchase the utility.
    A special legislative committee, comprised of four House members, four Senate members and the governor, started researching the potential sale of Santee Cooper eight months ago.

  • Column: Honeycutt’s decision shows changing times in our county

    The recent decision of county council member Larry Honeycutt to leave the Democratic Party is another sign of the changing times here in Lancaster County.
    He followed the example of Cotton Cole, a former council member who left the Democratic Party in 2010, complaining about its leftward drift.
    At the time of Cole’s departure, there was just one Republican on county council. Now after Honeycutt’s decision, there is just one Democrat left on county council.

  • Column: Democrats’ shift puts party in right place moving ahead

    I recently received an email from a lifelong Democrat, county council member Larry Honeycutt. He expressed extreme dissatisfaction with the current state of political affairs and stated he could no longer identify as a Democrat due to what he perceived as a shift “to the left.”
    While I share his concern for the political dysfunction of the last eight years, I have to question where he is placing the blame.

  • Commentary: Deal could give Panthers large tax breaks while creating no jobs

    Two weeks ago, S.C. lawmakers introduced legislation in both the House and the Senate to extend tax favors to the Carolina Panthers in an attempt to lure the NFL team to relocate its practice facility and headquarters (not its stadium) to South Carolina.
    Both bills were being fast-tracked through committee this past week.
    The identical bills contain three incentives.
    First, the legislation would amend the jobs tax credit law to make the Panthers eligible to receive the credit.

  • Editor's column: Mayors don’t get to control which stories reporters write

    Eddie Moore, who until recently had always struck me as an even-keeled sort of guy, asked a TLN reporter to step outside before the Heath Springs Town Council meeting March 14.
    “I don’t want to have any more negative press about Heath Springs in The Lancaster News,” he told her calmly. “Mayor Taylor didn’t like that, and I don’t either.”

  • Column: More details from House’s budget plan

    As a follow-up to my March 8 column on the state budget, I’d like to share other noteworthy previsions in the House budget. These go along with the largest teacher pay raise since 1984, taking S.C. schoolteachers above the Southeastern average, and delivering a tax rebate to give the state’s taxpayers some of their money back from the budget surplus.
    One of the core responsibilities of the House of Representatives is to pass a state budget, which is exactly what was done this past week as the state’s budget moved through the House.

  • Column: AmeriCorps program helping our students with ‘near-peer’ advisers

    Let me tell you about an exciting initiative that I’m privileged to be a part of at my alma mater, Lancaster High School.
    It’s an AmeriCorps program. Created as part of the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993, AmeriCorps helps individuals give back to their communities in service positions across the United States.

  • Column: Spring arrives, and we bustle to clear away winter’s daze

    Spring comes – like a beautiful woman making promises – and we follow. Aroused by her loveliness, we hastily try to make our premises more suitable for her visit.
    We wash the greyness of winter off the windows, inviting her warmth into our homes. The dusty bookshelves, the soiled carpet, the cluttered closets, the unkempt lawns – all must be cleaned for our bright young guest. We feel rejuvenated by her fragrance, her newness, her vitality. Even the winter flab, which has been obscured beneath bulky sweaters, will be trimmed in her honor.

  • Column: Becoming a county delegate to the state GOP convention

    One of the most important benefits of the Republican Party in Lancaster County is with our county’s delegate slots for the upcoming S.C. Republican Party Convention.
    The size of our county’s delegate block is a great reflection of our county’s growing importance in South Carolina elections and a wonderful reward to the voters of the county for supporting Republican candidates in record numbers.