A new Winthrop Poll is out today, and it’s a doozy. Among the findings, which you can read about in Palmetto Public Record’s article from this morning: Most South Carolinians think the U.S. is headed in the wrong direction, but about half think the economy is getting better. Also, three out of four South Carolinians believe climate change is both occurring and at least partially caused by man — but half of respondents don’t think we should do anything about it.
Now on to the headlines:
Bipartisan Dept. of Administration bill draws bipartisan opposition – A group of Democratic and Republican senators sponsoring a bill to restructure the state’s government found opposition on all sides Tuesday, as the debate over replacing the Budget & Control Board with an executive Department of Administration entered its fifth week, Palmetto Public Record reported yesterday. Senators say a cabinet-level agency will offer greater transparency and accountability, and on Tuesday passed a measure to abolish the Budget & Control Board. The Senate will meet again on Wednesday to work out the rest of the restructuring plan.
The good news behind SC’s rising number of traffic deaths – There’s nothing good about any number of traffic fatalities on South Carolina roads, especially when Department of Public Safety officials say that rate is rising, Palmetto Public Record reported yesterday. But DPS officials have said the number of highway deaths is somewhat of an economic indicator, so an increase means the economy is starting to get better.
Treasurer: SLED investigation ‘just a roadblock’ – State Treasurer Curtis Loftis said Tuesday that SLED agents have not asked to interview him concerning an alleged “pay-to-play” scheme at the state’s $24 billion retirement fund — a sign, he says, that their investigation is not directed at him, according to The State’s Adam Beam. The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating allegations by two unnamed financial-management firms that they were promised a lucrative contract to manage a portion of the state’s retirement fund if they would pay a fee to Mallory Factor, a friend who helped Loftis transition into the treasurer’s office after winning election in 2010.
S.C. sues to save Voter ID – The U.S. Justice Department was wrong to block South Carolina from requiring voters to show government-issued photo identification to vote, the state’s top prosecutor argued in a lawsuit filed Tuesday, according to the Associated Press’ Meg Kinnard. Enforcement of the new law “will not disenfranchise any potential South Carolina voter,” Attorney General Alan Wilson argued in the suit against U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
Gov wants state parks to be self-supporting – Gov. Nikki Haley wants South Carolina’s state parks to generate enough revenue to cover operating expenses by the end of 2013, something no other state park system in the country has managed on a consistent basis, according to The State’s Joey Holleman. Yet Duane Parrish, director of the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, and state parks director Phil Gaines are confident it can be done.
One more thing: Today is the 44th anniversary of the Orangeburg Massacre, when nine Highway Patrol troopers fired into an unarmed crowd protesting segregation at a local bowling alley. Three men were killed and eight were injured, and activist Cleveland Sellers was imprisoned for “inciting” the protest — for which he was later pardoned. You can watch Tom Brokaw’s segment on the massacre from his History special “1968,” featuring Sellers and his son, SC Rep. Bakari Sellers, by clicking here. Skip to about 12 minutes into the clip.