How they voted on cigarette tax

Trying to catch up with messages and such, I have no time to comment right now on the inexcusable, unconscionable, reprehensible vote to uphold Gov. Mark Sanford’s indefensible veto of the cigarette tax (beyond reminding you of what I’ve said over and over — how the money is spent is secondary, far secondary, to cutting teen smoking by raising the price, and there was NO excuse not to do that). But until I DO have time, here’s how those no-account cusses (and the rest of them) voted:

{BC-SC-XGR-Cigarette Tax-Roll Call,0405}
{Cigarette Tax-Roll Call}
{By The Associated Press}=
   The 54-57 roll call by which the South Carolina House voted to sustain a veto on a 50 cent-a-pack cigarette tax increase. A two-thirds vote was required to override the veto.
   On this vote, a "yes" vote was a vote to override the veto and "no" vote was a vote to sustain the veto.
   Voting "yes" were 40 Democrats and 14 Republicans.
   Voting "no" were 4 Democrats and 53 Republicans.
   Not voting were 7 Democrats and 6 Republicans.

{Democrats Voting Yes}
   Alexander, Florence; Allen, Greenville; Anderson, Georgetown; Anthony, Union; Bales, Eastover; Bowers, Brunson; Branham, Lake City; Brantley, Ridgeland; Breeland, Charleston; G. Brown, Bishopville; R. Brown, Hollywood; Clyburn, Aiken; Cobb-Hunter, Orangeburg; Funderburk, Camden; Govan, Orangeburg; Hart, Columbia; Harvin, Summerton; Hodges, Green Pond; Howard, Columbia; Jefferson, Pineville; Jennings, Bennettsville; Kennedy, Greeleyville; Knight, St. George; Mack, North Charleston; McLeod, Little Mountain; Miller, Pawleys Island; Mitchell, Spartanburg; J.H. Neal, Hopkins; J.M. Neal, Kershaw; Ott, St. Matthews; Parks, Greenwood; Rutherford, Columbia; Scott, Columbia; Sellers, Denmark; F.N. Smith, Greenville; J.E. Smith, Columbia; Stavrinakis, Charleston; Vick, Chesterfield; Weeks, Sumter; Williams, Darlington;

{Republicans Voting Yes}
   Ballentine, Irmo; Cotty, Columbia; Crawford, Florence; Dantzler, Goose Creek; Gullick, Lake Wylie; Hiott, Pickens; Huggins, Columbia; Mahaffey, Lyman; Owens, Pickens; Pinson, Greenwood; Rice, Easley; Scarborough, Charleston; Skelton, Six Mile; Whitmire, Walhalla;

{Democrats Voting No}
   Battle, Nichols; Kirsh, Clover; Moss, Gaffney; Neilson, Darlington;

{Republicans Voting No}
   Bannister, Greenville; Barfield, Conway; Bedingfield, Mauldin; Bingham, West Columbia; Bowen, Anderson; Brady, Columbia; Cato, Travelers Rest; Chalk, Hilton Head Island; Clemmons, Myrtle Beach; Cooper, Piedmont; Daning, Goose Creek; Delleney, Chester; Duncan, Clinton; Edge, North Myrtle Beach; Erickson, Beaufort; Frye, Batesburg-Leesville; Gambrell, Honea Path; Hagood, Mt. Pleasant; Haley, Lexington; Hamilton, Taylors; Hardwick, Surfside Beach; Harrell, Charleston; Harrison, Columbia; Haskins, Greenville; Herbkersman, Bluffton; Kelly, Woodruff; Leach, Greer; Littlejohn, Spartanburg; Loftis, Greenville; Lowe, Florence; Lucas, Hartsville; Merrill, Daniel Island; Mulvaney, Indian Land; Perry, Aiken; E.H. Pitts, Lexington; M.A. Pitts, Laurens; Sandifer, Seneca; Shoopman, Greer; Simrill, Rock Hill; D.C. Smith, North Augusta; G.M. Smith, Sumter; G.R. Smith, Simpsonville; J.R. Smith, Langley; Stewart, Aiken; Talley, Spartanburg; Taylor, Laurens; Thompson, Anderson; Toole, West Columbia; Umphlett, Moncks Corner; Walker, Landrum; White, Anderson; Witherspoon, Conway; Young, Summerville;

{Those Not Voting}
   Democrats: Agnew, Abbeville; Coleman, Winnsboro; Hayes, Hamer; Hosey, Barnwell; Moody-Lawrence, Rock Hill; Phillips, Gaffney; Whipper, North Charleston;
   Republicans: Davenport, Boiling Springs; Hutson, Summerville; Limehouse, Charleston; W.D. Smith, Spartanburg; Spires, Pelion; Viers, Myrtle Beach;

You might think I should praise those who voted to override, but I won’t — anyone, regardless of political philosophy, should do what they did. To vote to sustain the veto was beneath contempt.

26 thoughts on “How they voted on cigarette tax

  1. Susanna

    Gee, what a surprise. My representative voted to uphold the veto. I swear, common sense stops at the Aiken county line.

  2. Richard L. Wolfe

    What a great Governor maybe the greatest in the history of the United States! To place principle over political correctness what a novel idea. I can’t wait for him to run for President and bring some common sense back to the whitehouse.
    Are you sure you don’t want to give me that Contrarian label. Oh, Yea it is against the law for teenagers to smoke!

  3. Lee Muller

    Good job, Sandford.
    Thanks to those who voted against this tax.
    1. It was supposed to expand Medicare, and Medicaid, without providing sustainable funding. That is inexcusable.
    2. The cigarette tax is actually well over $1.00 a pack, when you count the Tobacco Settlement, which raised prices to cover it. SC is only spending 3% of that money on Medicaid, healthcare, and anti-smoking initiatives. The rest is stolen every year for pork projects. That is inexcusable.
    3. There were no tax cuts in the bill to offset this massive tax increase. That is inexcusable.

  4. just saying

    “without providing sustainable funding.”
    Of course the governor wasn’t worried about the issue of sustainability when it came to any offsetting tax…

  5. Lee Muller

    LOL! All you can do is cry about a typing error. Next time, come up with a tax cut to trade off for a tax increase and you might have a chance of passing even a stupid tax like this one. We real reformers are fed up with this shell game by the press and legislature.

  6. just saying

    A reformer is “one who reforms, or effects a reform”. That usually takes compromise and working across the aisle, doesn’t it? Without that its “wannabe reformer.”

  7. Phillip

    Bobby Harrell’s comment (about children for whom the state would be “from Day One telling them that the state was supposed to take care of you”) was absolutely priceless. That one-month-old infant might get his needed medicine, or he might not, but Bobby Harrell will make darn sure that that little baby will, somehow, be consciously absorbing the correct ideology.
    I have an image in my mind of Harrell grabbing medicine out of an infant’s mouth with one hand, while wagging his finger at him with the other, lecturing him on the virtues of the free market.

  8. slugger

    Lee, You are absolutely correct. The State of SC took tobacco settlement money that should have gone to the healthcare system to treat not only the first hand smokers but also the affected by the second hand smoke and put it into pork projects through the Department of Commerce. I will say that some of these projects were good for the counties involved but there were those that got money but the project never came to completion.
    The tobacco settlement money should never have gone to any project other than for what it was intended which was the healthcare of the smokers.
    Governor Sanford was correct in the veto of the tobacco sales tax.

  9. Doug Ross

    I also found The State’s editorial on the tax prior to Sanford’s veto to be quite amusing.
    One excuse that is always given is basically “yeah, but our taxes are not as high as other states” as if that is a goal we should be trying to reach. Then the editorial made the absurd claim that the legislators only hear from lobbyists and a few disgruntled citizens who don’t like taxes. What a crock! When will The State understand that the taxpayers in South Carolina already feel they are not getting adequate value for the tax dollars that are collected now?
    The editorial also tried to use some poll showing 70% of citizens would like to see the cigarette tax raised as proof that the governor should not veto it. However, I bet if you polled those same people and asked how they’d like to see the tax increase spent, the response would probably be 70% in favor of cutting another tax.

  10. p.m.

    Thank you, Gov. Sanford.
    One point relevant to our taxes not being as high as other states’ that The State’s editorial junta fails to acknowledge is that our income, likewise, isn’t as high as most states’. The two should fit together, and, in large part, they do.
    Here’s hoping the legislature ignores Mr. Warthen’s ingenious idea for a $2/gallon gas tax that would shut his newspaper down within a month.

  11. just saying

    “the response would probably be 70% in favor of cutting another tax.”
    Perpetually asking people if they want a tax cuts strikes me as disingenuous, because most of them won’t think they must be paid for by cutting something else… and many of those who do only want to cut services that belong to someone else. Getting the populace to agree on what to cut is the hard thing, which is why politicians never phrase it that way and we end up with massive shortages for unneccesary things (sarcasm) like running the prisons.
    I agree with you in this case that a better poll question could have been used.
    In this case, before the bill was passed by both houses (but after they decided to crank up the rate), I think the correct question the people should be asked “do you want to expand healthcare to the poor or get a per day tax rebate.”

  12. just saying

    “belong to someone else” <- should have said "recieved by someone else" there, too many things at once

  13. Doug Ross

    – Posted this on another thread by mistake
    Do you think if we had term limits on state legislators that this bill would have passed?
    Because it sure looks like just a few powerful longtime members of the State House were able to kill it.
    These are the type of people you think we need more of – experienced politicians able to understand the complexities of the way the State House works. Wouldn’t want some new guy with fresh ideas and no political capital to trade in there doing what is right…

  14. Lee Muller

    Everyone knew the money wasn’t going to be spent on healthcare. That was the Big Lie, peddled by the MSM to the dummies.
    The state has almost $200,000,000 a year now from tobacco taxes and the settlement. They spend about 3% of it on healthcare.

  15. Lee Muller

    Since the state only allocates 5% of the current tobacco taxes to health care and anti-smoking propaganda, we surely don’t need more taxes.
    In fact, it looks like we need to REMOVE 95% of the unneeded taxes on tobacco.

  16. Brad Warthen

    Doug, term limits or no, there would still be a speaker of the House. I’m still trying to figure out what got into Bobby on this one. The rhetoric he’s spouted on this subject doesn’t sound like him.
    Arguments can be made on behalf of term limits. George Will makes a persuasive one — which is that once you divorce candidates from the perpetual campaign, they’ll take their fingers out of the wind and maybe do the right thing regardless of the polls.
    That’s the OPPOSITE of what most term-limits supporters say, of course — the usual reasoning is that term limits would bring elected representatives more in line with the people. But that’s not the problem with our republic. The greater problem is the perpetual campaign.
    Still, although Will points to a REAL problem, in the end I have to stick up for democracy, and trust voters to remove the pols when it’s time for them to go… There’s something really unAmerican in telling voters that, on a technicality, they can’t elect the person they want…

  17. Lee Muller

    Since Washington and most of the Founders opposed career politicians, how are term limits “unAmerican”?
    And how is it the same people who want limits on campaign contributions also want no limits on time in office?
    Journalists enjoy the comfort of dealing with the same politicos year after year. Dealing with new faces and new ideas is such work, as Brad constantly tells his readers.
    Just detach holding office from becoming wealthy:
    * Limit the sessions to 60 days a year.
    * No one can leave office and work as a lobbyist for 5 years.
    * No one can leave an agency and work for any company they regulated.
    * No lawyer in the legislature can represent any client before any board or commission appointed or funded by the legislature.
    * No special subsidies or tax breaks for any business, would remove incentive for businesses to pay bribes to the campaign funds.
    * No teachers on school boards, only parents.
    * Legislative salaries should be no more than the median income of the people they represent, prorated by the day.
    * No retirement and no insurance benefits for holding office. Buy your own, like your constituents, from a real job.

  18. Doug Ross

    > There’s something really unAmerican in
    > telling voters that, on a technicality, they
    >can’t elect the person they want…
    How many terms do you think Sanford could win if he wasn’t term limited? I’m guessing at least another two.
    Too bad we limit the terms of the guys who are most easy to vote out and let the power mongers from little districts build their political capital over the course of decades.

  19. Lee Muller

    Some new national polls which are taken annually, came out yesterday. Only 17% of Americans think government is honest, of reasonable size and useful.
    83% of Americans think government has just become another special interest group with the bureaucrats and politicians looking out for themselves first.

  20. David

    “I have no time to comment right now on the inexcusable, unconscionable, reprehensible vote to uphold Gov. Mark Sanford’s indefensible veto of the cigarette tax”
    It’s easy, all it takes is two simple words… GOOD JOB!
    Taxing only users of tobacco for something that will supposedly help everyone is not fair to smokers and if you don’t believe me pretend for a few weeks that coffee, or soda, or whatever you like to drink suddenly doubled in price for absolutely no reason other than some idiot politicians though it would be a good place to get some money. Then all they have to do is get some other idiots to believe some bull like “it will stop teens from smoking” and more of our rights slip away”. PRICES DO NOT AFFECT TEENS… How many teens to you know personally that earn their own money? They get it from parent’s or bum a smoke from a friend, even take change from their parent’s jar to get enough for a pack. I should know. I started smoking at 16 years old and did all of those things at least once. But back then I didn’t smoke enough for prices to really matter. A pack could last me a week. Kids will do whatever they want regardless of price. Stop expecting government to produce results by punishing the wrong people with taxes when parents should be doing their jobs and teaching their kids not to smoke and actually have enough interest in their lives to actually notice if they start.

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