As you’ll recall, I made the point back during the election that the truly credible advocate for government reform who was running for governor — and the one with the best chance of cracking the Legislature’s resistance — was Vincent Sheheen?
Well, I did.
Undaunted by his loss, Vincent is still trying to change the system from within. I just got this release:
Sheheen Unveils Agenda For Change
Camden, SC – South Carolina state Senator Vincent Sheheen today released the legislation he pre-filed for the 2011 Legislative Session.
Sheheen issued the following statement:
“Today, I am pre-filing a legislative agenda that if enacted would fundamentally and dramatically reform the way South Carolina’s Government operates. If adopted, this Agenda for Change would bring responsibility to spending, restructure the governor’s responsibilities and powers, modernize the legislature’s operations, and crack down on waste, fraud and abuse within our government.”
“As a member of the minority party, my obligation and goal is to put forward and challenge the powers that be with ideas that would fundamentally reform what has become a broken government. My hope is that this year, the leaders of our state will embrace the true change that is so desperately needed in our long suffering state.”
Sheheen’s Agenda For Change:
1. Establishes a Department of Administration:
TO AMEND SECTION 1‑30‑10 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO THE AGENCIES OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF STATE GOVERNMENT, BY ADDING THE DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION; AND BY ADDING SECTION 1‑30‑125 TO ESTABLISH THE DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION AS AN AGENCY OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF STATE GOVERNMENT TO BE HEADED BY A DIRECTOR APPOINTED BY THE GOVERNOR UPON THE ADVICE AND CONSENT OF THE SENATE, AND TO TRANSFER TO THIS NEWLY CREATED DEPARTMENT CERTAIN OFFICES AND DIVISIONS OF THE STATE BUDGET AND CONTROL BOARD, THE OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR, AND OTHER AGENCIES, AND TO PROVIDE FOR TRANSITIONAL AND OTHER PROVISIONS NECESSARY TO ACCOMPLISH THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE DEPARTMENT.
2. Programmatic Budgeting
TO AMEND THE 1976 CODE BY ADDING SECTION 11‑11‑87 TO REQUIRE THE GOVERNOR’S ANNUAL STATE BUDGET RECOMMENDATION AND THE REPORTS OF THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS AND THE SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE ON THE ANNUAL GENERAL APPROPRIATIONS ACT TO BE IN A PROGRAMMATIC FORMAT BY PROVIDING A NARRATIVE DESCRIPTION OF EACH SEPARATE PROGRAM ADMINISTERED BY A STATE AGENCY AND PROVIDING THE ELEMENTS THAT MUST BE INCLUDED IN THE NARRATIVE; AND TO REQUIRE THE BUDGET RECOMMENDATION FOR AN AGENCY TO INCLUDE AN OVERALL BUDGET RECOMMENDATION BY BUDGET CATEGORY AND A SIMILAR RECOMMENDATION FOR EACH SEPARATE PROGRAM ADMINISTERED BY THE AGENCY AND THE SPECIFIC SOURCE OF FUNDS APPROPRIATED FOR THE AGENCY.
3. Legislative Oversight / Accountability
TO AMEND SECTION 1‑30‑10 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO THE DEPARTMENTS OF STATE GOVERNMENT, TO MAKE TECHNICAL CORRECTIONS AND TO REQUIRE CERTAIN REPORTS FROM THE VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS; TO AMEND SECTION 8‑27‑10, RELATING TO THE DEFINITION OF REPORT FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE EMPLOYMENT PROTECTION FOR REPORTS OF VIOLATIONS OF STATE OR FEDERAL LAW OR REGULATION, BY PROVIDING THAT A REPORT MAY BE A WRITTEN OR ORAL ALLEGATION OR TESTIMONY TO A LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE; TO AMEND CHAPTER 27 OF TITLE 8, RELATING TO EMPLOYMENT PROTECTION FOR REPORTS OF VIOLATIONS OF STATE OR FEDERAL LAW OR REGULATION, BY ADDING SECTION 8‑27‑60 TO PROVIDE THAT A SUMMARY OF THE PROVISIONS CONTAINED IN CHAPTER 27 ARE POSTED ON THE INTERNET WEBSITE OF EACH PUBLIC BODY SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THAT CHAPTER; AND BY ADDING CHAPTER 2 TO TITLE 2, RELATING TO LEGISLATIVE OVERSIGHT OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS, TO PROVIDE THAT THE STANDING COMMITTEES OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY HAVE A DUTY TO REVIEW AND STUDY THE OPERATIONS OF THE STATE AGENCIES WITHIN THE COMMITTEE’S JURISDICTION, TO ESTABLISH COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT JURISDICTION, TO PROVIDE FOR THE PROCESS BY WHICH A COMMITTEE MAY INITIATE AN OVERSIGHT STUDY OR INVESTIGATION, TO PROVIDE FOR THE MANNER IN WHICH AN INVESTIGATING COMMITTEE MAY ACQUIRE EVIDENCE OR INFORMATION RELATED TO THE STUDY OR INVESTIGATION, TO PROVIDE FOR PROGRAM EVALUATION REPORTS, THE MANNER IN WHICH THEY ARE REQUESTED, AND THE CONTENTS OF THE REPORTS, TO PROVIDE THAT ALL TESTIMONY GIVEN TO AN INVESTIGATING COMMITTEE MUST BE GIVEN UNDER OATH, TO PROVIDE THAT WITNESSES TESTIFYING IN FRONT OF AN INVESTIGATING COMMITTEE MAY BE REPRESENTED BY COUNSEL, AND TO PROVIDE THAT WITNESSES ARE GIVEN THE BENEFIT OF ANY PRIVILEGE WHICH HE COULD HAVE CLAIMED IN COURT AS A PARTY TO A CIVIL ACTION.
4. Establishes Inspector General
TO AMEND SECTION 1‑3‑240 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO REMOVAL OF OFFICERS BY THE GOVERNOR, TO PROVIDE THAT THE STATE INSPECTOR GENERAL MAY BE REMOVED BY THE GOVERNOR FOR MALFEASANCE, MISFEASANCE, INCOMPETENCY, ABSENTEEISM, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, MISCONDUCT, PERSISTENT NEGLECT OF DUTY IN OFFICE, OR INCAPACITY; AND TO AMEND TITLE 1 BY ADDING CHAPTER 6 TO CREATE THE OFFICE OF THE STATE INSPECTOR GENERAL, TO PROVIDE THAT THE STATE INSPECTOR GENERAL IS APPOINTED BY THE GOVERNOR WITH THE ADVICE AND CONSENT OF THE SENATE, TO AUTHORIZE THE STATE INSPECTOR GENERAL TO ADDRESS FAUD, WASTE ABUSE, AND WRONGDOING WITHIN THE SOUTH CAROLINA EXECUTIVE GOVERNMENT AGENCIES, AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE POWERS, DUTIES, AND FUNCTIONS OF THE OFFICE.
5. Prohibits state funded lobbyists
TO AMEND THE 1976 CODE BY ADDING SECTION 2‑17‑55 TO PROHIBIT THE USE OF PUBLIC FUNDS TO EMPLOY OR CONTRACT WITH A PERSON WHOSE ACTIVITIES INCLUDE THOSE RELATED TO LOBBYING AND TO PROVIDE EXCEPTIONS.
6. Requires Legislative Budgets to get cut like other agencies
TO AMEND CHAPTER 7, TITLE 2 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO LEGISLATIVE ENACTMENTS, BY ADDING SECTION 2‑7‑67 TO PROVIDE THAT THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS BILL MUST REDUCE APPROPRIATIONS TO THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES IN AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THE AVERAGE REDUCTION IN APPROPRIATIONS MADE FOR THE DEPARTMENTS, INSTITUTIONS, BOARDS, OR COMMISSIONS INCLUDED IN THE ACT.
You know what would be cool — I mean, really cool? If Nikki Haley would grab hold of this and swear to work shoulder-to-shoulder with Vincent on it. And do it NOW while legislators are still hoping to have a better relationship with her than they did with Sanford. (This would not sway Glenn McConnell, but who knows? If Nikki and Vincent were both pushing it, they might line up enough support to embolden senators to … dare I say it… defy Glenn’s will…)
I’d praise her and everything.
Nice try, but in reality it won’t make it out of committee.
Maybe he could try screaming NO! And YOU LIE! Seems to work for the Implacable Opposition.
It is obvious to me whom we should have elected for governor.
“Sheheen Unveils Agenda For Change”
Give me a break. Someone needs to tell Vincent that he is not the Governor-elect.
I’ve heard more than a few politicos recently say the guy is very bitter about losing to who he thought was a lightweight…and a woman.
This release and the phrasing of it is striking people as kind of…petty, like what a sore loser does to try to get an extra five seconds of attention.
I agree 100%. The best thing Haley could do right now would be to get behind this bill. That would be a “put up or shut up” moment for the people like McConnell, Harrell, and Leatherman (i.e. the Holy Trinity of Political Malfeasance).
If I recall correctly, the bill did not shift the Superintendent of Education to be under the Governor’s control. That would be a mistake – it’s one of the most critical areas that must be addressed in order to move South Carolina forward. My guess is that the fear of a voucher supporting Governor played into that decision.
It may not be pertinent, but this includes more oversite by the Legislature of the Governor’s Office and responsibilities. They already run everything in the State so how is this helpful?
Jim, the Legislature doesn’t really provide checks or oversight in any systematic, effective way. They twitch; they react.
The thing about the Legislative State is that the Legislature in SC today is pretty ineffective. The ability of the Legislature to run things, for good or ill, has been seriously eroded over recent decades by such things as single-member districts, Home Rule (even the lame, useless sort of home rule we have, which is mostly in name only), and the fact that a modern state government simply can’t be run by a legislature. Lawmakers just continue to refuse to let anyone ELSE have any effective power to get anything done. That’s why I called the huge project I led analyzing all of this back in 1991 “Power Failure” — all power structures in this state are pretty ineffective. We lack the mechanisms for applying the public will toward effective action.
The part of Vincent’s proposal empowering the Legislature to be more effective accomplishes two things: One, it’s a sweetener — look, lawmakers, there’s something in this for YOU, too. He’s saying it’s not just about more power for that OTHER branch. But the fact is that the role he proposes for lawmakers is actually a proper role for them in a true, healthy, three-branch system of government.
I know Vincent and have seen him recently. He is far from bitter about the loss. I don’t know who told you that, must have been a speculation gone viral, because he isn’t upset at about it.
Maybe one of the “politicos” was actually the bitter one.
Yeah… that’s a bit hard to imagine: Vincent Sheheen, bitter.
He’d have to be a whole other person.
You know, there were times during the campaign when I wished he were the sort of person who would get bitter if he lost, because it would have meant he had an extreme intensity in trying to win. I wanted him to want it more than I wanted it for him. I wanted him to see winning as a must, and losing as the end of the world.
But then, he wouldn’t have been Vincent. And also wouldn’t have been the good guy who DESERVED to win.
But that remains a frustration for me after all years observing politics: The best people, the people a sensible person would want in office, never seem to want it as much as the really awful people. The worst candidates have tremendous intensity.
This is particularly true of SC, where there is a maddening diffidence among the best, most thoughtful people who truly want the best for our state. They’re always getting run right off the field by the truly appalling people with the worst ideas, because they NEVER quit, and apply themselves to winning without reservation.
Brad’s comment on December 20 at 12:18 pm states the truth quite eloquently. And isn’t it painfully sad that his comment is true for most political offices. Of course, if more voters actually paid attention to elections and candidates for more than 15 minutes a year, the results might be a little better.