On a day when the state’s largest newspaper leads with a second-day story about Vincent Sheheen answering questions that he shouldn’t be asked, about GOP inside-the-Beltway shouting points (the headline, “Sheheen takes on the issues,” was baldly out of sync with the story, since those are NOT “the issues”), it was shockingly refreshing to see another medium report on the gubernatorial candidates talking about an ACTUAL gubernatorial issue — South Carolina’s economy.
Here’s an excerpt from the end of the Columbia Regional Business Report story:
[Nikki Haley] said South Carolina could build upon being a right-to-work state by being a “no corporate income tax” state.
[Vincent] Sheheen said South Carolina has one of the lowest corporate income tax rates in the nation.
“That proposal specifically will help very few businesses in South Carolina because the vast majority of businesses in South Carolina pay no corporate income tax,” he said. “If we are going to keep doing the same things we’ve been doing over the past eight years, we all as citizens of South Carolina better get used to very high unemployment rates.”
Sheheen spoke of a government that doesn’t divide, but unites. South Carolina needs to increase funding to its higher education system, invest in alternative energy initiatives and expand the port system, he said.
“If we are going to brag about our port, we have to be committed to improving our port,” Sheheen said. He supports a designated earmark in the federal budget for dredging at the ports. “That’s how we dredge ports in this country. I’m willing to go to bat for this state to get our port expanded.”
Haley spoke of reforming the property tax system, supporting school choice and enacting term limits for legislators. She also vowed to make government more transparent.
“You’ve got attorneys that turn around and serve on these committees that affect workers’ comp, work the system all the way, but when they get to the floor, they recuse themselves,” Haley said. “It’s not that they recuse themselves on the floor; they shouldn’t be able to serve on those committees. That’s a direct conflict of interest.”
Reading that, the scales fell from my eyes. I now understand — I think. I had been confused that Ms. Transparency was so reluctant to BE transparent when given the chance. But she never meant her. When she says, “Transparency,” she means, “Legislators who are lawyers should be transparent. In fact, they should shut up and not participate, because being a lawyer is a conflict, in ways that being paid $40,000 for nothing but one’s influence is not.”
At least, that’s what I gather from that passage. In Nikki’s defense, it’s highly likely that if I heard that quote in context I’d get a different impression. I’m sure Nikki has a more nuanced explanation of exactly what she means when she touts transparency. And I remain eager to hear it. Perhaps I will, and perhaps I’ll learn more about the candidates’ stances on economic development and education and the state budget and law and order and environmental protection and other relevant issues — if we can stop talking about abortion and immigration and … what was the other one? Oh, yeah , the federal health care bill that was a big national issue last year. (All of which is a long way of saying, “Talking about our feelings about Obama.”)