If you haven’t already read our list of this year’s seven most ridiculous stories in South Carolina politics, do it now! Then vote in the poll on our Facebook page to tell us which story you think should be number 1.
Now on to the headlines:
Forums to focus on S.C. waiver for education law -Meetings held in January will gather community feedback on the state’s proposed waiver request that would neutralize certain requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind law, according to the Post & Courier’s Diette Courégé. State Superintendent of Education Mick Zais released on Dec. 16 the state’s proposal, which would give schools letter grades for their performance; reward high-performing schools with up to $10,000; and provide more in-depth ratings on classroom teachers’ effectiveness.
Prosecutors seek $1.6 million for domestic-violence cases - The South Carolina Commission on Prosecution Coordination is asking for an extra $1.6 million in taxpayer money to pay for criminal domestic-violence prosecutions across the state, according to The State’s Adam Beam. The money would be divided up evenly among the state’s 16 judicial circuits — $100,000 for each solicitor — to pay the salaries for prosecutors to handle the cases, mostly in magistrate’s court.
GOP presidential candidates count on good ‘ground game’ to win voters - With less than a month before South Carolina’s first-in-the-South primary, the presidential candidates are jumpstarting their Palmetto State organizations, opening offices, hiring workers and reaching out to potential backers, according to The State’s Gina Smith. The number of paid staffers and offices does not equate to better standings in the S.C. polls.
Huntsman seeks GOP nomination his way - Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman touts himself as the only candidate with foreign-policy experience, according to McClatchy Newspapers’ Lesley Clark. But he’s struggled to break into double digits in polls, and he acknowledges that his decision to cut short his second term as governor and go to China for a Democratic president is a non-starter for “a certain percentage” of hard-core, anti-Obama conservatives.
Opinion: SC GOP primary losing clout - The Republican presidential primary, which has long hinged on personal, diner-booth politics in early voting states, may now require less of those states and their watering holes, according to the Greenville News’ Ben Szobody. New Republican Party rules, combined with the rise of laser-aimed campaigning, multitudinous debates and partisan media may have made it less urgent for presidential hopefuls to campaign here, Republican observers say — a debatable and touchy subject now playing out in Iowa as well.
Opinion: Recapping Nikki Haley’s self-serving and deceitful first year in office - Haley became governor on Jan. 12, 2011, nearly a year ago, writes College of Charleston professor Chris Lamb. According to a recent Winthrop University poll, only about 35 percent of South Carolinians approve of the job she is doing. To give her the benefit of the doubt, let’s examine her first year in office according to the issues she laid out for voters while campaigning for governor.