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Spartan

State of the State 2008

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Did anyone catch the State of the State tonight?

I caught most of it. Governor Sanford identified many key issues that he would like to see addressed this year, and the last issue he brought up is one that most of us here on Urban Planet should care deeply about. He says that we should work towards preserving our beautiful state by providing local governments with more options to manage growth, and get the people who are moving to our state to pay for their grown (read: development impact fees). He also mentioned updating the annexation laws. He will appoint a Land Use Task Force (or committee of some sort... I missed the name of it) to look at these issues and make recommendations for key changes.

Other key issues

  • School district consolidation

  • Update 1895 Constitution to give more power to Executive

  • Eliminate Budget & Control Board

  • Fund schools to retain SC students for college and workforce

  • State wide flat tax

  • No tax breaks for businesses like Bass Pro SHops and Cabela's (unfair to small businesses)

Obviously there were many other issues too. Feel free to bring them up. I suspect that none of this will get accomplished, as Gov Sanford has talked about some of this before and yet he still has to bring it up every year.

The response from Sen. Leatherman says that his constituents think the governor has enough power to get things done, and generally talked crap about what the governor wants to accomplish. I personally think thats a load of crap myself. Leatherman is the best example of the good ol' boy system at work in South Carolina.

Thoughts?

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I really wish Sanford did have the power to get things done. If Leatherman or McConnell wanted to get some of these things done, they have the power to get them done much faster than any governor.

How many of his "constituents" did Leatherman talk to? People who probably know little to nothing as to how the political structure is officially set up in SC. It really does sicken me to see the state as a whole suffer just to preserve power, position, and prestige for a select few.

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Agreed. I believe that he may have talked to constituents, but it was probably the minimum amount you can converse with and make it a plural statement. I don't know anyone who thinks the SC governor has enough power to get anything done, and on top of that I dont know anyone who thinks that the General Assembly is doing a good job.

In fact, other that the ports deal with Georgia, I cant think of anything that the state house has done that was productive this year.

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Here is the article from The State. It doesn't really elaborate on much, but it does provide a link to the video, and some specifics on the Governor's theme of "Pillars of Change."

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The Post & Courier has the full text of the speech. Its definitely worth a skim. Read through point #5 if you read nothing else. Thats where he talks about changing the annexation policy and taking a serious look at how the state handles growth.

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The Post & Courier has the full text of the speech. Its definitely worth a skim. Read through point #5 if you read nothing else. Thats where he talks about changing the annexation policy and taking a serious look at how the state handles growth.

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^ Sadly true. The legislature falls all over itself to dump on any plan backed by Sanford.

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Vic, you said it. It's a shame that the merits of the position can't even be considered simply because of who's articulating the position.

Back to the address itself, Sanford talked about our archaic governmental structure in his first point, and did a good job at it:

We can't compete in today's world with the government structure now in place. It leaks money and lacks accountability.

The 1895 Constitution that set today's governmental structure was built around the fear that a black man would be elected governor of South Carolina, and any structure built on this foundation is an insane model from which to run your government in the 21st century...

With the 1895 Constitution, Ben Tillman was very frank in his intentions: "We of the South," he said on the floor of the U.S. Senate, "have never recognized the right of the negro to govern white men, and never will..."

Leaving aside for a moment the cost and inefficiency of the government model that went with this thinking, all of this is code for a larger operating paradigm that allows a small group of people to control or disproportionately influence the rest of us.

This is the plantation model of "we know what's best for y'all" and the complete opposite of what Friedman argues in the vital urgency of freeing people and empowering individuals to imagine and act quickly on their imagination.

I believe the Tillman model has held South Carolina back for more than a century, that it is wrong, and that our government should not be operating from this framework given the way it brings too little in accountability, too little in transparency and too much in cost.

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