Friday, November 16, 2007
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Heed warnings of 2006: Republicans must regain fiscal credibility
Rep. Michael D. Thompson
Thursday, November 8, 2007
In his 2003 book, “Breach of Trust,” U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn writes, “Power is like morphine. It dulls the senses, impairs judgment, and leads politicians to make choices that damage their own character and the machinery of Democracy.”
Sadly, when it comes to spending your tax dollars, our national leaders have been on a steady “morphine drip” in recent years.
In Washington, D.C., Republicans grew the national debt by $3 trillion from 2000-2006, losing any shred of fiscal conservative credibility in addition to their control of Congress. According to a poll taken shortly after the 2006 elections, 40 percent of Americans said they believed Republicans were the party of “big government.” I find that number surprising only because it wasn’t higher.
In South Carolina, we face similar issues.
At the heart of these troubling developments is a fundamentally flawed process. I believe changing this process is the first step in restoring Republican credibility both in Washington and Columbia.
To his credit, our own Sen. Jim DeMint is leading the way in Washington to change what he calls the “culture of how we spend America’s money.” Earlier this year Sen. DeMint offered a bill that would force legislators to put their names on spending requests that have been historically slipped into massive budget bills at the last minute. Sen. DeMint calls these million-dollar pork projects “earmarks.”
I call them budget busters, which is why this year I am pre-filing legislation in Columbia to bring this type of secret spending out in the open at the state level.
Not only will my bill require individual legislators to put their names on specific spending requests, it will require the sub-committee and committee chairmen who approve these requests to attach their names to the individual spending items as well.
Additionally, unlike our current system, no spending item would be approved without the opportunity for a full and open debate in both chambers. Simply put, if a state legislator wants money for a pet project, he or she would be required to stand up in front of the legislature and justify the expenditure on its merits.
My bill would also eliminate the so-called “competitive grants” program. Created with the intent of fostering economic development, this $46 million program has instead become a legislative slush fund for projects that have very little to do with economic development in our state. This is why I supported the governor when he vetoed the millions of dollars for this program.
Here is my concern: Given a projected half-billion-dollar shortfall next fiscal year, can we adequately support the core services of government if we are wasting millions of taxpayer dollars behind closed doors?
Republicans have a simple choice when we reconvene in January. We can either heed the warnings of the 2006 Congressional elections and insist on reforms to tighten up our spending practices, or face extinction as this state’s majority party.
Michael D. Thompson represents Anderson County’s District 9 in the South Carolina House of Representatives.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
November 7, 2007
G. O’Neal Hamilton, Chairman
South Carolina of Public Service Commission
101 Executive Center Dr., Suite 100
Columbia, SC 29210
Re: Docket 2007-286-WS
Dear Public Service Commissioners:
Thank you very much for having a public hearing in Anderson concerning the rate increase proposal by the Utilities Services of South Carolina. I have a number of constituents with documents verifying less than average water pressure, low quality customer service and water quality issues.
There is also a comparison of neighboring water companies charging rates already less than those of the USSC. I am sure the USSC will give you several reasons to justify these rate increases. For whatever these reasons may be, I would think the neighboring water companies have similar circumstances yet the neighboring customers seem to get fairer treatment. Simply put, these customers should not be subject to funding the mismanagement practices of USSC. It is not their problem. I would like to encourage the members of the Public Services Commission to take great efforts to examine the issues raised by my constituents.
I am a retail pharmacist. In my profession, an unsatisfied customer can simply choose to shop at a different drug store in town. Utilities customers do not have an option, therefore we ask you, the Public Service Commission, to intervene and protect these working families. They simply cannot afford an unfair price increase for an essential need such as water.
With warmest personal regards, I remain
Kevin L. Bryant
South Carolina Senate District 3
From the Aiken Standard: Senate race too close to call
By HALEY HUGHES Staff writer
It appears the fat lady has not yet sung for Senate District 25 — one candidate's camp is declaring itself the outright winner and the other camp is not conceding and may request a recount with a 187-vote margin standing between them.
Republican candidate Shane Massey of Edgefield County has 50.7 percent of the votes while Democratic candidate Rep. Bill Clyburn of Aiken County has 49.3 percent. Clyburn carried Aiken and Saluda counties while Massey carried Edgefield and McCormick counties.
Under state law, a candidate must receive 50 percent plus one vote to win an election definitively.
In the entire district, Massey garnered 7,125 votes and Clyburn 6,938 votes.
"Based on the numbers, it appears I have won," Massey said. "We knew from the beginning it was going to be a competitive race and it has been. The numbers demonstrate that people in District 25 want a change."
Conflicting reports surfaced Tuesday night on who would fill the seat vacated by former Sen. Tommy Moore earlier this year. Even the South Carolina Republican Party released a statement congratulating Massey on his win though the results were clouded in uncertainty.
Aiken County Registration and Elections Commission Chairman Stuart Bedenbaugh could not be reached for comment.
Clyburn's camp was not ready to accept either defeat or victory Tuesday.
"We are not going to concede," said Phil Bailey, campaign spokesperson. "The numbers strongly suggest going to an automatic recount."
State law requires automatic recounts when the difference between the number of votes is less than 1 percent. In the absence of an automatic recount, one may be generated if a petition is filed.
Massey stated his calculations clearly showed the margin was more than 1 percent of the total votes cast.
Clyburn said people were divided on whether Massey's margin equaled 50 percent plus one vote.
"(The numbers are) so close we don't know," he said, adding his campaign would take a fresh look at the numbers this morning and decide on how to proceed after gaining input from the Clyburn family. "Our best appears not good enough, but we'll see what the numbers bring."
Massey, 32, is a partner at Nance, McCants & Massey law firm in Aiken and has had no previous political experience. Clyburn, 66, has had 27 years of political experience and is currently serving as state House Representative for District 82.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
When Mitt Romney took office, Massachusetts had a $2 billion dollar budget, now there are $500 million in trust funds. This astronomical feat was done by reducing waste in government and growing the economy with tax cuts. Spending only grew about 3%. Gov. Romney explained to me some specific savings in their Medicaid Prescription plan, efforts I’ve been working on myself.
Let’s be honest, the mother’s milk of politics is money. You can have the best message in the world, but you’ve got to convey that message to the voters. If you are reading this post, you are (like me) a political junkie that will do your own research. Unfortunately the masses do not investigate. The Romney team is a well oiled machine; better organized than any other campaign I’ve ever seen.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
I found some interesting statistics the other day. Below is a list of deaths per year in our Military. My heart goes out to all of the families that gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Thanks to the poster for revealing a pasting error. The figures come from page 10.
You may initially feel confused when you look at these figures --especially when you see that in 1980, during the term of President Jimmy Carter, there were 2,392 US military fatalities. What this clearly indicates is that our media and our liberal politicians pick and choose and tend to present only those facts that support their agenda driven reporting. Another fact our left media and politicians like to slant is that these brave men and women losing their lives are minorities. Wrong again - Iraqi Freedom Fatalities over March 2003-June 2007 appear similar to our population breakdown. Regardless of how we crunch these numbers, we must remember that these figures represent the life of a son or daughter that gave up our their life for our freedom. (from page 22):
American Indian or Alaska Native...........259......1.00%
Hispanic or Latino.......................1,682......6.51%
Multiple races, pending, or unknown......2,377......9.20%
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander........146......0.57%
These statistics are published by DOD
Friday, October 19, 2007
As you probably know, the state took in 1.5 billion extra bucks this year. We missed the perfect opportunity to be responsible with the extra cash, yet the beast of unquenchable thirst for gratuitous spending won the fight and government was fattened again. Since Sen. Glenn McConnell recognizes the need for constitutional restraint, I’ve been appointed to a subcommittee that will tackle his bill. We’ll meet on October 24 at 1pm in Gressette 105. I understand we’ll take these meetings around the state to listen to the frustrated taxpayers.
McConnell writes in an op-ed:
…There will always be more needs than revenue no matter what the economic times and the amount of available new funds. Government must, therefore, temper its conduct to spend so that, over the highs and lows in revenue forecasts, the necessary revenue will be there to fund essential needs without pressure for new taxes. When government is flush with money, the spending goes up to fund many new initiatives — some good, some questionable, and some not good. In other words, projects get funded not so much out of merit but merely because the money was available. Some one-time expenditures also occur the same way.
In the face of a bountiful taxpayer buffet, government cannot control its appetite so its stomach must be stapled. At stake is the need to at least control the rate of growth in the recurring base. Thusly, I have introduced a constitutional amendment to cap the rate of spending of state government. Government would be limited to growth at an amount that would not exceed the rate of population growth plus the growth in personal income. Basically, government should not grow any bigger than it needs to be or any faster than people's ability to pay for it…to read the full article
BTW, the above picture is not my belly, not yet.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
If atheists think they are bright while the rest of us are stupid, their opinion will probably alienate the public more than their views on God.
Atheists are coming out of the closet. Today, some 5 million Americans claim to be atheists. Throw in agnostics and you have 20 million. Five books making the case for atheism have become bestsellers. The 9/11 attacks have sparked a backlash against "fundamentalism" of every sort, painting conservative Christians with the same brush as Islamofascists. Atheists would seem to be poised for growth, but they have a public-relations problem.
A University of Minnesota poll last year found that atheists were America's most distrusted group. According to a recent Newsweek poll, 62 percent of Americans would refuse to vote for an atheist running for president.
As a result, atheists allege a whole host of slights, hostility, and civil-rights violations. And so many atheists are trying to do what homosexuals did when they pulled off one of the biggest public-relations coups in history, in part by rebranding themselves as "gay." Atheists are calling themselves "brights."
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Monday, October 08, 2007
Friday, October 05, 2007
It is an unprecedented move that would first require approval by the S.C. Legislature, then 33 other states would have to sign on, and 38 would be needed to approve a constitutional amendment.
"I don't know where else to go," McConnell, R-Charleston, said Thursday. "It's really an act of frustration. The state is bearing the burden because of the power failure in Washington.
"The constitutional amendment would say that if Congress continues to refuse to act, then states would have the ability to act in order to protect themselves and their pocketbooks."
Read to full article: Post & Courier
Speaking during a recent news conference at the National Press Club, a past economic advisor to former California Governor Pete Wilson says the five million illegal aliens living in California are having a devastating fiscal impact on the state. Dr. Philip Romero, a professor of business administration at the University of Oregon, found that for every dollar an illegal alien in California pays in taxes, they are absorbing $8 to $12 in taxpayer-funded services.
"When you multiply that per immigrant number by the number of illegal immigrants -- which as I said has tripled at least in the last dozen years -- you get numbers on the order $10 to $40 billion costs to state taxpayers," stated Romero. "To put that in [a] national perspective, if you did that same estimate at the national level, you'd probably be talking between $100 and $150 billion."
According to Romero, the current federal deficit is "on the same order of magnitude."
The economist also estimates that one out of every seven Californians is an illegal alien with an average skill level of only three years of education. He says this "underground" population consumes about 20 percent of the entire state budget.
"So as a result, through three main programs -- through healthcare for the indigent, Medicaid; through education; and through the criminal justice system -- [state taxpayers] are paying very substantially more for the services provided to those immigrants than the taxes the immigrants pay," he explains.
Romero is one of four contributors to a new report titled, "The Illegal Population Explosion." The report estimates that between 20 and 38 million illegal aliens are currently residing in the U.S.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
The South Carolina Department of Transportation plans to replace a bridge over 18 mile creek on SC 140 (Central Road)/S-93 (Nettles Road). The bidding process began in September with construction to follow in early 2008.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Congratulations to Shane Massey in his resounding win in Aiken for SC Senate in the Republican Primary. Now let's not count our chickens before they hatch, he's got to win the General election, but I wonder if he'll join us in the William Wallace Caucus? The "Shake up Columbia" message may get disemboweled on the Senate Floor, which would qualify.
to read the article in the Aiken Standard
Sunday, September 30, 2007
My good friend, Pete Landis, owner of the Corner Bagel Shop (corner of Boulevard & Greenville) placed a “Bryant” window sticker on his van 4 years ago. Knowing Pete to be a conservative, I’m sure he wanted to allow the sticker to complete its full lifetime until replacement. These are the types of supporters I have; hard working, frugal businesspeople. Folks that hate to see wasteful spending of any kind. A Christian family man, Pete's an elder in our church and a real asset to our community. I really appreciate Pete’s support, but I think he needs an upgrade. Anyone else that wants free window sticker replacement, please give me a call. I do onsite service!!
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
This experience was reminiscent of my physics class back in ‘89 with the late Mr. Phaille (the name fits).
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Monday, September 17, 2007
Got this e-mail recently from a pastor expressing his support in praying for me.
Dear Senator Bryant, As one of your constituents from the Powdersville area, I pray for you on a regular basis. However, today, God impressed me to let you know that someone was praying for you particularly. I am able to keep up with you on a personal basis through Dr. Steve Ellis who is a part of the church here at GCC where I pastor. We are proud of the effort you invest in our state and community. Thank you for serving us well. In the church, I know that it is very easy to get distracted by good things, as well as the challenges of the day. I pray that God will help you to focus on the best things where He could use you to have the most effective Kingdom impact. May He protect your family and guard your mind. May your grow in favor in His sight and the sight of men. May He give you discernment and courage to stay on the wall for a His great purpose (Nehemiah 6:3).
Art Fulks Pastor - Greenville Community Church
Sunday, September 16, 2007
The SC Department of Corrections evidently has a problem with inmates publicly exposing themselves in manners not appropriate. There is a court challenge to the 2 year old policy that punishes these offenders by making them wear pink jump suits. Naturally, a few nuts are clamoring to defend these inmates. I don't get it. Seems like to me the inmate has a choice. Follow the rules and choose your color.
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
I had the pleasure of greeting the students at Riverside Middle School Wednesday morning in Pendleton. I was impressed immediately by the atmosphere of discipline and commitment towards learning. We all know even the best behaved middle school students are full of energy and harnessing this energy towards learning is no small task. Principle Kevin Black and staff apparently have found the necessary innovation to create an impressive learning environment. I'll be back in October to speak to the students as they recognize Constitution Day. I'd better do my homework because I'm sure these students will be ready with some tough questions.
Friday, August 31, 2007
I'm pleased to get a 99 on a recent scorecard by the SC Glub for Growth. Below is link to the SC Senate Scorecard. Since I didn't get a 100, kinda makes you wonder which vote was Josh and the gang wrong on?
SC Senate Scorecard
SC House of Representatives
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Friday night (8/31) is the annual Midnight Flight. There's a one mile run (9 pm), a 5K (10pm), and a 10k (11pm) We'll have a group of supporters running (or crawling) in the 5k race. If you'd like a Bryant for Senate t-shirt and want to join's us, let me know.
Friday, August 24, 2007
There's a lot of buzz going around about changing the Anderson County Government from an appointed administrator to a supervisor elected county-wide. While I'm not sure how I stand on this issue, I did find out the proper method in which the form of a local government can be changed. Section 4-9-10(c) explains how a county can switch forms of government. A referendum must be held to change forms of government. A referendum may be called by the governing body or by a petition of 10% of the electorate. If the referendum is called by petition, the petition must be certified by the county board of registration within sixty days after it is delivered to the board and, if certified, shall be filed with the governing body which shall provide for a referendum not more than ninety days thereafter. Referendums are conducted by the county election commissioner and may be held in a general election or in a special election as determined by the governing body. After a referendum has been held and whether or not a change in the form results therefrom, no additional referendums shall be held for a period of four years. I understand the Anderson County Taxpayers Association is gathering signatures to call for this referendum. I'm not aware of our County Council discussing this issue. Your thoughts?
Thursday, August 23, 2007
I heard this information on the Neill Boortz show the other day and just had to find out for myself. It appears the commies ruling over East Hampton New York are requiring residents to get permission to clear vegetation. This smacks the rights of property kind of hard don't you think? To look for yourself click here
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Treasurer - Upon the unfortunate news of our treasurer’s drug charge, Ken Wingate was appointed to serve during the suspension. After the resignation of our treasurer, the General Assembly elected Converse Chellis to this position.
It has been a busy session working on new legislation. Our regular session is in recess so you are safe until January. It is great to be home for a few months!
Worker’s Compensation Reform (passed) – We all respect the need to support an injured employee, but reform will result in lower rates for employers; leading to more jobs in the Palmetto State. The General Assembly passed meaningful reform and Gov. Sanford has signed the bill into law.
Ultrasound Requirement (In conference) – My bill has passed the SC House (H. 3355) and the Senate (S. 84). I’ve always supported pro-life legislation, but this bill is different. The choice is still intact, but we are requiring the abortionist to offer ultrasound images before the mother can receive an abortion. Statistics show as high as 85% of mothers receiving an ultrasound choose life. The House & Senate differences will be worked out in a Conference Committee before being sent to the Governor. Hopefully, his pen will see this bill next session.
Department of Transportation Reform (passed) – This bill has had an up and down ride; gone from a full cabinet agency to no real reform at all. At one point, the bill was amended to nothing more than “rearranging the deck chairs on a sinking Titanic.” However, this bill was greatly improved in a conference committee and signed into law.
Education Open Enrollment (vetoed) – I supported Jim Rex’s plan of open enrollment, yet Gov. Sanford vetoed this bill because he did not believe the legislation offered enough educational options. This veto was sustained in the House. Perhaps, we will revisit this concept next year and have an opportunity to provide more choices for our children.
Budget, Spending, Tax Relief – With more than 1 & ½ billion new dollars coming in Columbia, I can’t imagine not sending YOU some of your money back. We’ve eliminated the sales tax on groceries and eliminated the lower income tax bracket. I usually support tax cuts, but elimination is much better, don’t you think? Unfortunately, the budget was still laden with pork barrel earmarks. Although I voted to sustain most of the Governor’s 243 line item vetoes, most were over ridden.
OPEB - Did you know our school teacher’s and highway patrol’s retirement benefits are in jeopardy? OPEB stands for other post employment benefits. These benefits are mandated by statute, yet have a $9 billion deficit. This year only a piddle ($50 million) was set aside for this future liability. This will be my focus next year. The earlier we can close this gap, the less tax dollars we’ll spend in the future.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
The blog from the back bench will be on vacation until August 26th (my 18th anniversary). I've been catching up on family time, directing games at Camp Hope, and starting some door to door. In the meantime, you may want to view our feature video from camp. Each year I spend a week at Camp Hope, a Christian Camp in Dahlonega entertaining over 120 teenagers (not much different from the General Assembly). This year's theme was "The Battle of Loch Pony", a Scottish theme.
I'll be back online shortly, so see you soon!
Monday, July 02, 2007
Monday, June 25, 2007
Below is a message from Joe Brenner, president of the Lake Hartwell Association:
I am pleased to announce that Kroeger Marine has generously volunteered their equipment and personnel for one day each month to help clean our shoreline of discarded flotation (icebergs) and other major debris. They plan to provide this service at various areas around the lake, so that eventually all areas get covered.
The initial clean up effort will be held next Friday, June 29. The designated area will be from South Union Boat Ramp, up Eastanollee Creek and down to the Chickasaw Point area.
As you know, LHA worked with the Corps on a couple of "iceberg" clean up efforts last year. LHA was primarily represented by Board and Programs Committee members in an attempt to best determine efficient clean up methods. The use of a powered barge was by far most effective. For these upcoming events, Kroeger will provide their personnel plus both a fixed and a powered
This is an opportunity for LHA members to participate in cleaning up areas near their homes or property. The Corps will also be providing personnel and a couple of boats. If you wish to participate, please meet at the South Union Boat Ramp at 9 AM. The clean up will take place until about 1 PM, but everyone is free to put in whatever time they can. It works best with two or three people per boat, so please work with friends and neighbors to assemble boat crews. Bring life jackets, water and snacks, and rope. Kroeger or the Corps should be able to provide hooks for attaching to flotation blocks.
LHA plans to provide member announcements as dates and locations are determined for each area clean up. We do not intend to plan or organize the events, as Kroeger and the Corps seem to have this well in hand. For more information or for directions, please call the Corps at 1-888-893-0678.
Please take the opportunity to help clean up your area of the lake. It's certainly great to see one of our area businesses "give back" in such a positive way. And it would be nice to get a few pictures for the LHA newsletter, so if you get some, please email them to us at email@example.com.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Thursday 06.21.07 we passed monumental department of transportation reform and workers compensation reforms. The appropriations bill also passed without my vote. Below are 7 of the numerous reasons:
1- Unprecedented level of spending. The budget this year spent over $1.4 billion in new money.
2- Fails to properly fund the OPEB (Other Post Employee Benefits) trust fund. This fund is $9 billion out of balance, we put a pidly $50 million toward this liability.
3-Fails to fund statewide construction or repair.
4- Fails to reform the legislative slush fund known as the competitive grants program,
5- Fails to give meaningful tax relief. The elimination of the lower bracket does nothing for the overwhelming number of taxpayers who bear nearly the entire burden, the working men and women of South Carolina.
6- Includes a one-year elimination of the remaining “blue laws”. It was not subjected to the necessary legislative scrutiny and debate for a matter of this magnitude.
7- Contains more than $300 million in local projects.
There were some good things in this budget like 100 more troops & a 3% pay raise for teachers. My no vote doesn't mean I'm against these, it says let's go back and write it right.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Know your state lawmakers
By Yvonne Wenger (Contact)
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Campsen's key issues: Coastal insurance, DOT, immigration
Campsen, 48, has served District 43, which includes parts of Berkeley and Charleston counties, in the Senate since 2005 and in the House from 1997 to 2002.
The Republican from the Isle of Palms is a member of the following Senate committees: Agriculture and Natural Resources; Fish, Game and Forestry; Invitations; Judi?ciary; Rules; and Transportation.
Campsen, an attorney, is also a busi?nessman. He graduated from Fur?man University and the University of South Carolina. He has his cap?tain’s license and is vice president of Fort Sumter Tours Inc. He also works as a commercial real estate broker.
Campsen served as Gov. Mark Sanford’s senior policy adviser from 2002 to 2003. He is a deacon and teacher at East Cooper Baptist Church. He and his wife, Lalla Lee, have two sons, George and Boyce.
Q: What is your top priority this year?
A: My legislative priorities this year have been reform in the areas of coastal homeowners' property insurance, illegal immigration and the Department of Transportation.
Q: What is the most common complaint your constituents call about? What can you do to alleviate their concerns?
A: Complaints received from constituents help fashion my legislative priorities, so they are largely the same issues. People are concerned about property taxes, property insurance, illegal immigration and DOT reform.
Last year I served on the Senate Property Tax Reform Committee and we were able to reduce property taxes on primary residences by 40 to 50 percent, effective this year.
I am the Senate sponsor of the Omnibus Coastal Property Insurance Reform Act. Governor Sanford signed the companion House bill into law June 11. It should provide much-needed relief for the property insurance crisis ravaging the coast.
I served on subcommittees that fashioned DOT and illegal immigration reform bills, and co-sponsored these proposals. DOT reform is in conference committee and may still become law this year. Immigration reform has been stalled until next year.
Q: What are your political ambitions?
A: I draw inspiration from great statesmen in history. The intellect of Edmund Burke, principle of William Wilberforce and leadership of Teddy Roosevelt are worthy of emulation. A common theme among these statesmen is a sense of calling to advance great ideas and accomplish great things, not simply to hold office.
A prime example is William Wilberforce, who served in the British House of Commons from 1780 to 1825. Motivated by his religious convictions, Wilberforce waged a 20-year battle to abolish the slave trade and reform culture in the British Empire. When Wilberforce considered resigning in frustration halfway through his abolition battle, John Newton — a former slave-ship captain converted to Christian preacher, and author of the hymn, "Amazing Grace" — persuaded him to continue the fight.
Politically, Wilberforce paid dearly for his statesmanship. He was ridiculed for his convictions, almost defeated, and sacrificed an opportunity to become prime minister. Yet he received an even greater crown by changing the course of history. A contemporary prime minister said of him, "Millions unborn will bless his memory."
My ambition in the political realm is to prove myself a statesman by following the example of men like Wilberforce. This is accomplished by remaining true to the values and principles that sustain our state and nation, regardless of the short term political consequences.
Q: How do you spend your Saturday nights?
A: I spend most Saturdays engaged in outdoor activities with my family. During hunting season we usually hunt on Saturday. In spring and summer we saltwater fish, inshore and offshore.
My boys and I love to surf as well. We opt for surfing above other outdoor activities when the surf is up, and compete in Eastern Surfing Association contests several weekends each year.
Saturday nights are generally spent engaged in or returning from these outdoor activities.
Q: What's the most creative way you could propose to generate new revenue for the state?
A: The best way to generate new revenue for the state is to keep tax rates and regulatory compliance costs low. This fuels economic expansion, producing higher tax revenue.
However, I can't characterize this concept as creative. It was expressed by philosophers as early as the 14th century, and clearly articulated by renowned economist John Maynard Keynes. University of Chicago economist Arthur Laffer popularized it in 1974 by allegedly scratching it out on the back of a napkin while advising Washington policy makers. Ever since it has been referred to as the Laffer Curve, and formed the basis of Ronald Reagan's fiscal policies.
Q: What is the least effective government agency and how can it be made more effective?
A: The need for reform at DOT has certainly been accentuated lately. Yet I would not label it "least effective." Its problems flow from its structure, not its people, and we are addressing its structure.
If I had to pick the least effective entity in state government, it would be the General Assembly. But this is by design. South Carolina's constitution embodies the balance of powers doctrine, which diffuses political power among the three branches of government (executive, legislative and judicial), and between the two chambers of the legislative branch (House and Senate).
This doctrine is one of John Adams' great gifts to the American people, for he was the primary intellectual force behind embodying the doctrine in the U.S. and state constitutions.
This structure makes our General Assembly inherently inefficient. However, it prevents consolidation of power and assures legislation is advanced only when a degree of consensus is obtained.
Reach Yvonne Wenger at 803-799-9051 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
The local liberals reference me in the same newsletter they've praised uber-liberal Howard Dean and and quoted dishonorable Bill Clinton. In this context, I may consider the mentioning of me as a compliment.
Here is the article: ACDP SEEKS CANDIDATES If you are interested in holding political office, do not wait for the ACDP to come pleading with you to run. Step forward and tell Stuart Sprague that you want to be a candidate. There are numerous offices waiting to be filled in the 2008 election. Now is the time to start campaigning. The party has several ways to help candidates run a successful campaign. Among the races coming up are all County Council officers except District 2 where Gracie Floyd will be the candidate. South Carolina House Districts 6, 7 and 9 are open. Charles Griffin has declared his candidacy for District 8. We really need an aggressive candidate to run for State Senator against Kevin Bryant. No one has declared for Congressional District 3 for the U.S. House of Representatives.
If you'd like to read the newsletter click here.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Friday, June 08, 2007
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Even though the conference committee has not finished their work, currently the taxpayer gets a little relief. $90 million brings the sales tax on groceries to 1% and a piddly $86 million going to eliminating the first income tax bracket. The $176 million out of the $7.5 billion is 2.3 %.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
A BILL TO AMEND CHAPTER 5, TITLE 56, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING ARTICLE 50 TO REQUIRE THAT A RETAILER OF ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLES MUST ATTACH A WARNING TO EACH ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLE SOLD, TO PROVIDE THAT AN OWNER OF AN ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLE MAY NOT KNOWINGLY ALLOW A CHILD UNDER THE AGE OF SIXTEEN TO OPERATE THE ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLE WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM THE CHILD'S PARENT OR LEGAL GUARDIAN.to read full text click here
Monday, June 04, 2007
We're going to start our door to door this summer so we thought we'd update our flip card. This is a draft with more changes to come. I have a mental condition called "tweakitis". I can't stop tinkering with this stuff. The newest draft changes the background on side 2 and corrects the spelling of enrollment. What do ya'll think so far?
Sunday, June 03, 2007
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
H. 3124 is Jim Rex's plan for open enrollment. I agree with the concept, but have a problem with the notion that this is being referred to as a school choice plan. Today, we considered an amendment to expand the options of children in a failing school. this amendment would offer a voucher to the child that meets the following criteria. 1-the child is below the 200% poverty level 2-the child is currently enrolled in a failing school & 3-the child has been denied access to seat in a passing school. Unfortunately, the amendment failed. The bill's current status is this: A child trapped in a failing school may be granted access to a passing public school. This is an infinitesimal baby step in the right direction. Unfortunately, children will have to wait for meaningful school choice.
Here is a misleading portion of the bill:
(B) In establishing these programs, it is the objective of the General Assembly to make the South Carolina public school system the most choice-driven public school system in the nation by increasing student participation in and student access to public school educational opportunities both within and outside of their resident school district, regardless of where they may live or their socioeconomic status. It is therefore the intent of the General Assembly that this chapter be construed broadly to maximize parental choice options and student access to public school educational opportunities that are now not available to their children.
click for the full text of H. 3124
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Friday, May 25, 2007
Thursday, May 24, 2007
1-increases limit of 2,000 to 10,000
This increase will be automatically adjusted to inflation, so we won't need to revisit the limit in future years. I support this increase yet I don't see a need for a limit at all. Why does government need to tell a pawnbroker how much he can loan? Last time I checked it is the shop's money and they are taking the risk.
2-gives pawnbrokers ability to loan on titled items
Currently, a pawn shop can loan money on any item unless it is a titled item. This bill would allow the shop to loan money on titled items as well. I would think it would be fair to allow the pawning on anything the shop can impound whether it is titled or not. I support this portion of the bill.
3-requires finger printing & back ground checks
Big bro will get a background check on owners and all employees. Someone that has been convicted of a felon is not allowed to work in a pawn shop. An employer would not be allowed to give someone a second chance. This bill gives you another example the safety squad mentality in the legislature. Protecting you from yourself. Now, don't you feel better?
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Monday, May 21, 2007
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Being a pharmacist, I witness daily the health problems caused by smoking. Smoking costs the taxpayers millions of dollars a year and I feel that this extra cost is unfair the non-smoking taxpayer. For this reason I would support the 45 cent increase IF matched with tax relief elsewhere. Currently, the bill is a net tax increase.
I must stand with my conviction, however, of not supporting a tax increase, especially with all the dollars in the kitty. Without matching tax reductions, the cigarette tax will not get my support.
Friday, May 18, 2007
Thursday, May 17, 2007
George and Boyce will surf in both shortboard and longboard divisions for their age groups. George has also qualified to compete for the overall Mid-Atlantic Championship crown against all-comers in the Open Shortboard division. George and Boyce’s father, Chip Campsen, will surf as well in the shortboard division for his age group.
Last year Boyce advanced through the Mid-Atlantic Championship to the East Coast Championship at Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. He finished in the top 15 for his age group in shortboard competition, with surf conditions generated by Tropical Storm Helene exceeding 10’.
the Senate version:
-requires physician to describe the ultrasound procedure and inform the patient she has the right to view it
-at her request, the patient is allowed to view the ultrasound images
-if the ultrasound is chosen, the physician is required to give her a medical description of the images which must include the dimensions of the child and presence of external members and internal organs
-the patient must be given a list of healthcare providers that offer free ultrasounds (mostly crisis care centers)
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
A compromize was reached today on the DOT reform bill:
-appointed by the Governor with advice & consent of the Senate
-Serves at-will to the Governor
Department of Transportation Board
-7 (congressional & 1 at large)
-Elected by congressional district legislative delegation on proportional voting
-hires chief highway engineer & internal auditor
-all members must be from different counties
-creates STIP (state transportation improvement plan) with public input
-4 year staggered terms
Joint Transportation Review Committee
-Screen Board appointees - must state either qualified or unqualified within 30 days
-Annual review of activities of the Board and the Department
-Review Methodology of STIP
Chief Highway Engineer
-hired by the Department of Transportation Board
-may be removed for cause
-must sign off on expenditures $10 million or less