Anyone see a good rundown of what Sanford vetoed?

In the last few days, I’ve run links to a story in The State and another in the Post and Courier giving the 30,000-foot view of Gov. Sanford’s budget line-item vetoes, with all the quotes about political philosophy, descriptions of the state of the political relationship between the governor and lawmakers (somewhat better than in past years, you may be surprised to learn), and rehashes of just how much the governor hates the federal stimulus and is looking forward to saying “I told you so” when the money runs out.

What I have not seen is a good rundown of what he was cutting. And boy, am I missing having Cindi Scoppe working for me. Give her a couple of days of communing with the budget document (which might as well be written in Greek for all the good it does me), and she’d tell me everything I needed to know about it. When it comes to writing about the budget, to paraphrase Blanche Dubois,I have always depended on the kindness of… people who know how to read that stuff.

But a number of things have caused me to wonder in the last couple of days.

For instance:

  • The consternation I picked up on over at ETV studios over the massive cut to their budget. ($5.2 million — that detail was in the P&C report)
  • The call I got from someone yesterday whose girlfriend works at the State Museum, and she was worried because the governor had vetoed the museum’s entire appropriation (which would shut it down if not overridden).
  • An e-mail I got saying the same about the Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum. (I say, is nothin’ sacred?) This appears to be part of the governor’s elimination of the entire appropriation for the Budget and Control Board.

To quote from that last:

Yesterday Governor Sanford vetoed the Board’s entire $25.2 million General Fund appropriation for the Budget and Control Board for next year.  This section of the budget includes the entire General Fund operating budget for the S.C. Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum.  If this veto is not overridden, the museum will have to cease operations.
In his veto message to the General Assembly, the Governor stated that he was taking this action because the “Board has sufficient carry-forward and other funds to maintain its operations in this fiscal year.”  This is not correct.  There are not sufficient funds to make up the $25.2 General Fund cut to the Board, which includes $765,000 for the museum.
This veto represents the greatest threat the museum has faced in our 114 years of existence.  If this veto is not overridden we will no longer be able to preserve South Carolina’s proud military legacy.

Now one can have all sorts of debates as to the relative importance of the museum formerly known simply as the Confederate Relic Room (although I can tell you from having visited that it’s much more now), but what’s bugging me is that, with the vote coming up Tuesday, I just don’t have a clear idea of WHAT all is at stake.

Do any of y’all? And if so, please share.

16 thoughts on “Anyone see a good rundown of what Sanford vetoed?

  1. cynthia Kent

    It’s SCARY. Confederate Relic Room and Museum will close. Saw this in an email to a coworker who has worked closely with Joe Long over there. Archives and History looks like it will go under as well. Legislature is cutting all state aid to libraries across the state, which translates to those located in the poorer funded counties will have a devil of a time keeping their doors open. I’ve heard ETV is taking a 60 % whack in funding. This is scorch and burn policy. Next year, I hear, will be even worse.

  2. Michael P.

    So will Sanford be wrong when he says, “I told you so.”? I’m seeing state agencies and department budgets using the stimulus money as a filler this year, well knowing that it’ll be gone next year. Everybody I talk to says it’s bad this year, but nothing compared to how it’ll be next year. These same departments are cutting little this year as compared to last year. So instead of stepping down, these same agencies and departments are knowingly going to end up flat on their face. I’m seeing RIF’s and layoffs already, I’m also seeing fear in department heads who are trying to find people to cut next year… all while keeping their mid-level six-figure salaries intact. Expect across the board furloughs next year, some states are already furloughing up to 30 days in some departments.

    But I bet the Senate and House will not feel the pinch next year, they’ll just vote an increase to their budgets, like they did this year.

  3. Brad

    A reader just sent me, via e-mail, a link to the governor’s own detailed breakdown of his vetoes. And happily, the reader was too polite to say “duh” to me for not having looked there.

    I appreciate that. And I started to go there, but what I was really looking for was neither the governor’s account of what he did (although that’s a great place to start), nor the cries of pain from those whose budgets will be cut (obviously, even if the cuts are advisable or merely unavoidable, they’re going to be unhappy, right?), but a cool, impartial, comprehensive third-party assessment.

    In other words, I was hoping to get from the MSM what I used to get from it. But I haven’t seen that sort of overview from the State House press corps yet, and was hoping someone else had. My eye does not see everywhere.

  4. martin

    When the economy was bad in 2000-2001, the cabinet agency I was working with started furloughs early and the pain was minimized.
    Mark got elected in 2002 and making his dimwitted appointments based on lord knows what starting in ’03.
    I retired in ’07, but friends at that same cabinet agency have kept me kind of informed. From what they report, the governor’s agency director was much slower reacting to the crash with furloughs while hiring retirees at absurd salaries since she was from off the street, had not a clue about what she was doing to earn the her $130,000+ salary and needed high priced help.
    Remember how Mark rants and raves about TERI and hiring retirees? He does not practice what he preaches with his agencies.
    The agencies need to do some serious cutting at the mid and and upper level state office (mostly) type people or they will not be able to do their jobs. But, gee, it must be hard to cut your own salary. Even when you know you don’t deserve it.

  5. Lynn

    The Archives and History Department preserves the public records of the State of South Carolina, from colonization to the present. The State Museum preserves objects and information that belong to all of the citizens of the state. All of it is irreplaceable. Once lost, it can never be recovered. No “free market” commercial enterprise is going to step in. No one in these state agencies is getting rich. I’m a native South Carolinian with family roots here back to 1670, I have a 30 year history in working in museums elsewhere, and I know how much South Carolina should be thanking the people at these agencies for all they do for salaries that are nationally far substandard. The Archives and History and State Museum staff aren’t gluttons at the public trough, they are true public servants.

    Sanford is a huge problem, there is no question about that. (Actually, the Sanfords, both of them.) However, all of the legislators who owe more allegiance to the Club for Growth than to the citizens of the state are another huge problem. I’m sure Mark and Jenny and Nikki and company are happy, revenues have sunk so low that government will be small enough to drown in the bathtub. And all of us who care about more than preserving our own bottom lines will suffer for it, while they celebrate.

  6. Doug Ross

    If we have one child living in poverty in this state, there is no excuse to spend a dime on “relics”.

    Take donations from people who think that stuff is important. It’s not a vital function of government.

  7. Kathy

    I was looking for a list of the actual veto items and ended up here. Like you, I wanted to see a list—not certain items from anyone’s perspective. I was so hopeful that with Sanford gone our state would have a chance to make some well-considered changes. Instead, it looks like we’ll be getting his clone in a dress. The updated version does appear to know how to speak. Is not having to listen to or read “I would” at the beginning of every other sentence the only improvement we’re going to get?

    Does anyone know what Sanford’s “philosophical” argument is for closing the museums and libraries? His hatred of them seems pathological, but–for him–that’s basically the same as normal.

  8. Herbie

    The cut that alarmed me the most was the cut to a major
    function of the sc arts commission’s grants program. There are so many arts groups and communtities that rely on these grants, and failing to fund them will leave a major abyss in cultural and contemporary arts that play a huge part in attracting businesses and higher income workers
    to this state.

    But maybe this veto is Sanford’s last middle finger to
    the legislature. He doesn’t care about the citizens of
    SC, just his own (failed) Wall Street funded grasp to make a psudo-libertarian statement to preserve his anti-government position.

    But then why would you be a governor if you are anti-government? Too make a lousy 8 year long pathetic statement, I guess. I hear the taxes are lower in Argentina, but I could be wrong.

    To be in the World Cup spirit, as Diego Maridona said, it’s
    the Hand of God that Sanford thinks we weilds with his assinine budget vetoes.

  9. Brad

    Actually, Kathy, he doesn’t just say “I would.” He says, “I would say…”

    Which drove me nuts back in the days when I supported him, before I realized what a disaster he was. I’d listen to him butchering a speech, and want to shout, “If that’s what you WOULD say, then why don’t you go ahead and SAY it?!?!?”

  10. Pat

    @Lynn-You are absolutely correct. BS (before sanford) the state’s unemployment was below the national average. SC Unemployment has crept higher and higher until it is now well above the national average. Sanford and his Libertarian cronies, Jenny included, have spent the last 8 years slandering SC and running off potential employers. They absolutely do want to drown government in the bathtub-and that is a quote from somebody, I just don’t remember who. All the suffering from the people who have lost their jobs, government or otherwise. is just collateral damage in their eyes. Not only do they not want museums, they don’t want public schools, medicare, the SEC, bank regulators, meat inspectors, lead regulation for toys and household products. Well, I could go on and on about how they want government reduced. What they also want is your and my money, retirement and otherwise, property, etc on their ledger and off ours. And Doug, one child living in poverty is not their concern – they simply don’t care. You see, the philosophy is that “self-interest” will balance everything out.

  11. Doug Ross


    And the argument those opposed to funding the arts with tax dollars is that all “they” are interested in is taking money from taxpayers to fund special interests that most citizens would not pay for. Given a choice, I’d rather make the case for feeding the hungry than keeping a museum full of relics open.

  12. Michael P.

    Pat – And the US economic situation has nothing to do with the unemployment status in SC. Sanford must be an awful powerful man if he brought down all of these SC industries all by himself. I’d be interested in hearing which potential employers Sanford ran off. I can see you’re a supporter of big government. How do you suggest big government be supported… increasing tax dollars?

  13. Kathryn Fenner

    “Given a choice, I’d rather make the case for feeding the hungry than keeping a museum full of relics open.

    We really don’t have to make that choice. We ought to be ashamed of ourselves if we cannot do both. Really.

  14. Pat

    Doug, Your point is well taken – If I have $10 and 2 choices – to feed a hungry child or to preserve a relic, I would feed the hungry child. People over things. @Michael, you would be surprised to know that I’ve been a life-long Republican – a rarity at my age in the South. But Republicans were more centrists then. I am most definitely not ultra right or Libertarian. And I don’t think there needs to be a special day to honor Ronald Reagan. My opinion on Sanford and SC economy is that he was not a good ambassador for us (I’m talking about new industry here), and he seems to be too much of a philosopher, lazy, and in over his head. Our government has probably expanded too much in some ways and not as effecient as it could be. But look at what I’ve mentioned has been cut over the years with deregulation – those arms of the government whose responsibility is to protect. That’s why we’ve ended up with the markets where they are and the bail out – somebody wasn’t minding the store. Government exists for our own good – it is a delicate balance between protection and freedom. If you’ve ever raised a teenager, you know that. Two other thoughts on this subject – one is that I have liberty but I voluntarily give up some of my liberty for your own good; two, dirty, Lee Atwater-style politics is sinking the GOP.

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