Legislative interviews begin today

Late last week, I forwarded this release to Cindi:

March 28, 2008
Contact:          Kerry Abel


Carson Announces for SC House
A New Generation for District 77

COLUMBIA, SC – Local attorney DJ Carson announced today his candidacy in the June 10th Democratic primary for SC House seat 77.
    "I grew up right here in this community," Carson said. "This is my home, and it deservesCarsondj
fresh, energetic leadership that looks beyond the daunting circumstances of what is and into the possibilities of what could be."
    Though this is Carson’s first run for public office, he is no stranger to politics. He spent 2000 as a grassroots organizer for the Democratic Party’s Coordinated Campaign and has also served as an aide to Rep. J. Todd Rutherford.
     Combined with his work as a Richland County Prosecutor, these experiences have given Carson a unique perspective on some of the most challenging issues facing us today.
     "I see how much drugs, guns, and gang violence costs this community every day and I’m ready to take that fight to the next level," Carson said. "I’ve been in the trenches and now I’m ready to lead the charge."
     "The time for excuses has past. The time for change has come. The future is now!"

Cindi responded thusly:

And we get to meet
him on Wednesday, at noon.

Ohmigosh, and here it is Wednesday at 11:21. And so it begins. I haven’t counted yet myself, but Warren said he counted up the candidates running in Midlands legislative and county primaries, and we will have 52 interviews between now and June. He also noted that we will have far more interviews for primaries than we will for general elections in the fall. Such is the domination of reapportionment by incumbents and political parties.

And Mr. Carson, who will be competing with Joe McEachern & Benjamin Byrd for an open seat currently held by Rep. John Scott (who is seeking a Senate seat), will be the first.

5 thoughts on “Legislative interviews begin today

  1. Doug Ross

    Hopefully The State will not use “experience” as one of the deciding factors for endorsements.
    Anyone who has been in office longer than a decade should be replaced.
    Incumbents should be held to a much higher standard than newcomers. If they can’t demonstrate specific things they have done to improve the quality of life for all residents of South Carolina, then it’s time to go.

  2. Brad Warthen

    Doug, I know you like term limits, but even you should see the statement, “Anyone who has been in office longer than a decade should be replaced” as absurd.
    With some rare individuals, the society would be better off if they served their entire adult lives in public office. With other people, we’d be better off if they hadn’t served for five minutes. Every individual candidate is likely to fall somewhere between those extremes, and sometimes ON the extremes. Ultimately, it’s not how long you’re in office; it’s what you do in the office.
    I’m sorry to break it to you, but experience is useful in pretty much any human endeavor. But it’s just one of many factors you consider.
    For instance, we endorsed the green Daniel Rickenmann for Columbia city council four years ago over the vastly more experienced Jim Papadea because we were unhappy with what he had done with that experience.
    This year, we endorsed the challenger to Mr. Rickenmann because we still think a lot of change is needed in the city, and haven’t been happy with the extent to which he has delivered on that.
    Between those two, in 2006, I encouraged Kevin Fisher to run against Bob Coble because I thought the mayor should have to defend himself against a more formidable challenge than Joe Azar could provide. But in the end, we were unconvinced that what Mr. Fisher had to offer would be better than what we already had with the mayor (who’s got his flaws, but has virtues as well).
    You’re right that each incumbent should have something to show for his time in office. But each challenger also bears the burden of convincing us that he will do BETTER.
    “Experience,” of course, can refer to a lot more than time served in office. For instance, with a candidate such as Mr. Carson above, you ask yourself whether someone so young has enough experience of life to be prepared to deal with the complexities of public policy. Perhaps we’ll decide that his law degree prepares him particularly to shape laws, or perhaps we’ll say a law degree is fine, but he’s only been in the solicitor’s office since August 2007, so how much does he know about the law’s practical application?
    One of his opponents is an EXPERIENCED (that word again) county councilman. But serving on Richland County council can reflect badly upon you just as it can sometimes reflect well. It depends on the individual, and what the individual DID in the course of gaining that experience…
    In any case, you should be happy that in this race, there is no incumbent.

  3. Doug Ross

    So how many years did you feel it would take for Lindsey Graham to come up to speed as a Senator? Has he reached that point yet or does he need another term of seasoning to understand the complexities of the job?
    Experience doesn’t matter a bit. Results matter. There is no way you could ever convince me that Strom Thurmond’s should have been in office for his last two terms. Did The State endorse him for either of those?

  4. Doug Ross

    Let me follow on with one thing — experience doesn’t matter if you continue to do the same thing over and over again.
    Experience that involves positive change, learning from mistakes, and continuous growth is worthwhile. But show me the politicians who do that.

  5. Doug Ross

    If you could wave a magic wand and remove as many current SC House and Senate members from office, what percentage would remain?
    You have more knowledge of them individually than I do. I can only judge them on the basis of the results I have seen over the past two decades.


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