Just by way of completing a loop…
Remember my column of Jan. 25, in which I wrote, in part:
that Manufacturers Alliance chief Lewis Gossett was sending us an op-ed
clarifying his position after The State’s Sammy Fretwell had reported
that he and S.C. Chamber of Commerce president Otis Rawl were
supporting legislative efforts to put DHEC in the governor’s Cabinet.
Not having received that op-ed (and we still hadn’t received it a week
later, when this page was composed), I just wrote around the business
leaders, and focused on another Fretwell story that reported that the chairman of the DHEC board, Bo Aughtry, was supportive of the Cabinet idea.
“It is worthy of serious consideration because I believe it would take
some of the political influence out of decisions that really should not
be political,” he had told Sammy.
That ran something like 10 days after I'd heard that we were going to get that "clarifying" op-ed.
Well, it ran on Monday, in case you missed it. Here's a link.
By way of full disclosure, I want to tell you that it didn't take Mr. Gossett quite as long as it looks to get back to us. Cindi (who handles local op-eds these days) says in answer to my asking her today that she received it on Feb. 5. It was the right length for a Monday slot (it was short, and we usually run a short op-ed on Mondays), and she wasn't able to get it edited to her satisfaction in time to run it on Monday, Feb. 9 (content for that page had to be ready on the morning of Feb. 6). So it ran on the following Monday, Feb. 16.
Just so you know.
Anyway, Mr. Gossett had three main points in his piece:
- First, he wanted to complain that in their stories about DHEC Sammy and John down in the newsroom had reported only part of what he had said on the subject. (Of course, anyone can say that at any time unless we just publish transcripts of interviews, but you get what he means — that in his opinion, important points were left out.)
- Then, he wanted to say that while "I generally prefer the Cabinet form of government if any restructuring is necessary," he doesn't think it's necessary in this case.
- Finally, he wanted to say that DHEC is really as tough on manufacturers as it needs to be.
Actually, you know what? Never mind my summary of what he said (even though summarizing what people say is kinda what I do professionally); he might claim I left out the important parts. Just go read it.
You might also want to read the Bo Aughtry piece ALSO saying his support of restructuring was not accurately represented. And then you might fully understand what I said at the outset of my Jan. 25 column:
IN CASE you were wondering, or knew and had forgotten, this is the way
the political culture pushes back against change in South Carolina: Not
with a bang, but with an “Aw, never mind.”
Remember last week’s column,
in which I offered, as a rare sign of hope, the gathering consensus
that the state Department of Health and Environmental Control should be
made more accountable by placing it directly under the elected chief
executive? Well, ever since then, there’s been some backtracking.