Sheheen celebrates passage of restructuring bill

Vincent Sheheen’s Senate office put this release out today:

Sen. Sheheen’s Leadership Delivers Greater Accountability for South Carolinians
After nearly a decade of work, legislature approves Sen. Sheheen’s bipartisan plan to overhaul state government
Today, the House and the Senate both passed the conference report on S.22, Sen. Sheheen’s government restructuring plan. Sen. Sheheen first introduced this bill in 2007. Sen. Sheheen released this statement:
“For nearly a decade, we’ve worked across the aisle to build a bipartisan coalition around my bill to overhaul state government and increase accountability. Today, South Carolinians have results.
“The conference report passed today requires the legislature to hold regular oversight hearings of state agencies to stop the major failures and cover-ups we’ve seen at the Department of Revenue after the hacking, at DHEC after the tuberculosis outbreak at a public school, and at DSS with the alarming rise of child deaths. This overhaul streamlines day-to-day management in the administration to help reduce costs and, most importantly, stops agencies from running up deficits and then asking taxpayers to pick up the bill.
“South Carolinians have had to wait long enough for the accountability they deserve from Governor Haley and her administration. I urge the Governor to sign my bill immediately.”

He’s blowing his own horn here, but he deserves to do so. This was his idea, and he’s worked hard to advance it for years.

That bit at the end about the governor, however, was unnecessary and will look pretty silly when she signs it and celebrates it as her own — and more people will hear her than will understand that this was Sheheen’s reform.

Politics is unfair that way.

17 thoughts on “Sheheen celebrates passage of restructuring bill

  1. Doug Ross

    When will we see the news release celebrating his vote to allow guns in restaurants and bars? He’s been on the down low on that bone tossed to the Republicans.

    Or how about doing something meaningful like trying again to remove the Confederate flag from the State House grounds?

  2. bud

    I just hope the press does it’s job and actually does a REAL evaluation of the impact of this legislation. All too often when the press pushes for something and it turns out badly they are reluctant to report the facts. The press should at least try to present both sides before a piece of legislation is passed then do it’s damn job. Sadly, given The State’s cheerleading on this issue, we’ll never really know how it affects the citizens of the state. They just have too much vested in it’s success to be objectively critical.

    1. Doug Ross


      Don’t expect anything and then you can be pleasantly surprised if anything positive happens. This is one of those “historic” bills that you won’t be able to measure if it is successful or not. And they’ll be back to debating a new restructuring sometime in the next decade.

    2. Brad Warthen Post author

      To Bud, a “real” evaluation means you decide it was a bad idea.

      And in the nicest way possible, let me say that I resent the imputation that the newspaper would not see a problem arising from something that it advocated. That’s an accusation of intellectual dishonesty. That’s a grossly unfair thing to fling at me, and the same is true of my two associate editors who still work at the paper.

      To Bud, if you don’t do a 180 and agree with him that something was a bad idea, you’re prejudiced, and incapable of seeing things clearly. I question that assumption.

      1. Silence

        Somewhere along the line, during the last 4 years, Nikki Haley has started to govern, and her latest restructuring triumph is just further evidence of her maturation and seasoning as a stateswoman. Good things are happening in South Carolina on her watch, negative media reports and hacking incidents aside. There’s this restrucuturing, for instance. I had a pleasant, quick and efficient experience at the DMV last year, so there’s that. The State Museum is growing, which is a plus. Lake Murray is at full pool. The sun is shining outside, and this latest round of snowstorms seems to have given us a miss. All to Haley’s credit.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          You had me going until the weather thing (although I was suspicious from the word “triumph”). Very funny.

          Because up until then, you were saying things others will say in all seriousness.

          I remember Sanford getting credit for improved experiences at DMV — arising from reforms started in the previous administration. I wouldn’t be shocked if Nikki got credit for it, too…

          1. Silence

            Of course, what we REALLY need is tax reform. Lose the state income tax, and you’ll really have something positive going on.

          2. Brad Warthen Post author

            We need tax reform — comprehensive tax reform. Chuck what we have, and start over.

            But we most assuredly do not need to do away with the income tax. A better (as in, more progressive) income tax should play a more or less co-equal role in funding our government, alongside a much fairer property tax (eliminate the free ride that homeowners now have on funding school operations, and stop overburdening commercial property), and a completely revamped sales tax (stop exempting such a huge swath of economic activity, and maybe then you can lower the rate).

      2. Brad Warthen Post author

        We have the added problem here that both Bud and Doug are concrete thinkers. They’ll want numbers to provide “proof” that doing away with a constitutional abomination such as having the chairs of legislative committees wielding executive power (and having the executive part of the board diluted three ways) is “working” in a measurable way.

        You can’t measure things like that, either for or against. Some of us are comfortable drawing conclusions on the basis of things that cannot be measured, and some of us are not.

        During my long tenure as a manager in large organizations, I truly came to hate the God of Measurability. Take annual reviews and performance assessments, please. We would get these mandates that would insist that we set measurable goals. So goals would be crafted to meet that requirement. You’d have a goal to participate in producing three multi-installment projects for the front page, because that was measurable, rather than having a real goal that would make you a better journalist of greater value to the paper and its readers, such as getting out and covering your damn’ beat for a change…

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          OK, I exaggerate a bit.

          That wasn’t so much a problem on the regular annual evaluations for most employees. It was a huge problem on MBOs for us managers.

          Those were big on nonsensical goals such as “serve on an interdepartmental committee” instead of things that had to do with doing a better job as an editor.

          In fact, when I first got MBOs, in Wichita, I was told by the managing editor that my goals should have little to do with the job I did getting the paper out. He said MBOs should all be extra-credit-type things that weren’t related to what I was paid to do. He actually said that it was possible to get a 100-percent score on MBO goals while neglecting the actual job to the extent that you got fired.

          Really, he said that.

          Most of the greatest absurdities I ever encountered in the corporate world arose from the H.R. arena.

          But I’m digressing again here…

        2. Doug Ross

          How do you know something is improved if you can’t measure it? The proponents of the government restructuring keep talking about accountability. What is the benefit of accountability if you can’t tell when it’s happening?

          Silence is absolutely correct – tax reform would be much more beneficial (and measurable in many ways) than shuffling committees and org charts. Most of us commoners don’t care who reports to whom – we want to see stuff done right, quickly, and economically.

          1. Kathryn Fenner

            Same way I can tell that today is colder than yesterday, without a thermometer, or that I can play the piano considerably better since I have been studying with Phillip. I probably still hit as many wrong notes, though. Everything is not quantifiable! Even things that are, can be seen to be improved without a weatherman…..

          2. Juan Caruso

            “How do you know something is improved if you can’t measure it?”

            Exactly, Doug, and critical thinkers appreciate the corollary found as a plank in neither Democratich nor Republichan platforms:

            “Measurement is a critical part of testing and implementing changes; measures tell a team whether the changes they are making actually lead to improvement. Measurement for improvement should not be confused with measurement for research.”


          3. Doug Ross


            I would imagine there would be plenty of measurements to gauge your piano playing improvement. Correct notes played in a piece, number of pieces committed to memory, complexity of the pieces played, how much someone would pay to hear you play… Is Phillip better than you? How do you know?

            As for the temperature, you aren’t making any qualitative judgment. If it is colder today than yesterday, does that mean anything? It just is. Now if you were promoting a vacation spot, you’d collect data on average monthly temperatures, rainy days, etc.

            If you want to suggest a new process is better than the existing process, there has to be a way to determine if that statement is true.

          4. Brad Warthen Post author

            We’re really getting down to basic things here.

            There is left and right. There is Democrat and Republican. There is the believer, and the atheist. There is the tremendous gulf that sometimes opens between the way black and white Americans perceive a thing (say, the O.J. Simpson trial).

            But is there any bigger cognitive divide, any greater contrast in belief systems, than that between people who think the only things that matter are those that can be quantified, and those who see that as an extremely limited way of perceiving the world?

            Doug asks, “How do you know something is improved if you can’t measure it?” And he’s serious. And he thinks all logic and understanding and wisdom are entirely on his side in asserting that. And many folks who would be classified as an S on a Myers Briggs scale would agree, emphatically.

            And yet to me, it’s practically nonsensical. Sure, there are things with which measurement is essential. If I look at a beaker of liquid water — neither icing over nor bubbling and steaming away, I don’t know what its temperature is, although I know it’s between 32 F and 212 F, without a thermometer. (Of course, unless I’m going to bathe in it, or develop film with it — an anachronistic activity in which I no longer engage — I don’t much care.)

            With most things that matter, the things that tend to interest me, if one does not know without measuring, what has one spent one’s time on Earth doing?

          5. Kathryn Fenner

            No one with a clue would pay me to play; I have memorized nothing; the pieces I play are no more complex than before (I was playing fairly difficult stuff) and I still hit plenty of wrong notes. I just sound better.

            Last night I heard Professor Charles Fugo play a Mozart sonata I studied with Phillip. He played it slower than I did and muffed a few notes. Nonetheless, it was vastly superior to anything I could have imagined! The subtle lengthening of certain notes, the deft phrasing, the restrained, yet interesting dynamics….professional pianists in the audience were dazzled.

            Phillip is better than me not because people will pay to hear him play. He just flat out sounds better!

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