Archive for June 2007

can you help clean up our lake?

June 25, 2007

Below is a message from Joe Brenner, president of the Lake Hartwell Association:

LHA Members,

I am pleased to announce that Kroeger Marine has generously volunteered their equipment and personnel for one day each month to help clean our shoreline of discarded flotation (icebergs) and other major debris. They plan to provide this service at various areas around the lake, so that eventually all areas get covered.

The initial clean up effort will be held next Friday, June 29. The designated area will be from South Union Boat Ramp, up Eastanollee Creek and down to the Chickasaw Point area.

As you know, LHA worked with the Corps on a couple of “iceberg” clean up efforts last year. LHA was primarily represented by Board and Programs Committee members in an attempt to best determine efficient clean up methods. The use of a powered barge was by far most effective. For these upcoming events, Kroeger will provide their personnel plus both a fixed and a powered
barge.

This is an opportunity for LHA members to participate in cleaning up areas near their homes or property. The Corps will also be providing personnel and a couple of boats. If you wish to participate, please meet at the South Union Boat Ramp at 9 AM. The clean up will take place until about 1 PM, but everyone is free to put in whatever time they can. It works best with two or three people per boat, so please work with friends and neighbors to assemble boat crews. Bring life jackets, water and snacks, and rope. Kroeger or the Corps should be able to provide hooks for attaching to flotation blocks.

LHA plans to provide member announcements as dates and locations are determined for each area clean up. We do not intend to plan or organize the events, as Kroeger and the Corps seem to have this well in hand. For more information or for directions, please call the Corps at 1-888-893-0678.

Please take the opportunity to help clean up your area of the lake. It’s certainly great to see one of our area businesses “give back” in such a positive way. And it would be nice to get a few pictures for the LHA newsletter, so if you get some, please email them to us at feedback2lha@charter.net.

Joe Brenner
President, LHA

June 22, 2007

7 reasons to vote against ’07 budget

June 21, 2007


Thursday 06.21.07 we passed monumental department of transportation reform and workers compensation reforms. The appropriations bill also passed without my vote. Below are 7 of the numerous reasons:

1- Unprecedented level of spending. The budget this year spent over $1.4 billion in new money.
2- Fails to properly fund the OPEB (Other Post Employee Benefits) trust fund. This fund is $9 billion out of balance, we put a pidly $50 million toward this liability.
3-Fails to fund statewide construction or repair.
4- Fails to reform the legislative slush fund known as the competitive grants program,
5- Fails to give meaningful tax relief. The elimination of the lower bracket does nothing for the overwhelming number of taxpayers who bear nearly the entire burden, the working men and women of South Carolina.
6- Includes a one-year elimination of the remaining “blue laws”. It was not subjected to the necessary legislative scrutiny and debate for a matter of this magnitude.
7- Contains more than $300 million in local projects.

There were some good things in this budget like 100 more troops & a 3% pay raise for teachers. My no vote doesn’t mean I’m against these, it says let’s go back and write it right.

Post & Courrier Q&A with Chip Campsen

June 20, 2007


Know your state lawmakers
By Yvonne Wenger (Contact)
Sunday, June 17, 2007

Campsen’s key issues: Coastal insurance, DOT, immigration

Campsen, 48, has served District 43, which includes parts of Berkeley and Charleston counties, in the Senate since 2005 and in the House from 1997 to 2002.

The Republican from the Isle of Palms is a member of the following Senate committees: Agriculture and Natural Resources; Fish, Game and Forestry; Invitations; Judi?ciary; Rules; and Transportation.

Campsen, an attorney, is also a busi?nessman. He graduated from Fur?man University and the University of South Carolina. He has his cap?tain’s license and is vice president of Fort Sumter Tours Inc. He also works as a commercial real estate broker.

Campsen served as Gov. Mark Sanford’s senior policy adviser from 2002 to 2003. He is a deacon and teacher at East Cooper Baptist Church. He and his wife, Lalla Lee, have two sons, George and Boyce.

Q: What is your top priority this year?

A: My legislative priorities this year have been reform in the areas of coastal homeowners’ property insurance, illegal immigration and the Department of Transportation.

Q: What is the most common complaint your constituents call about? What can you do to alleviate their concerns?

A: Complaints received from constituents help fashion my legislative priorities, so they are largely the same issues. People are concerned about property taxes, property insurance, illegal immigration and DOT reform.

Last year I served on the Senate Property Tax Reform Committee and we were able to reduce property taxes on primary residences by 40 to 50 percent, effective this year.

I am the Senate sponsor of the Omnibus Coastal Property Insurance Reform Act. Governor Sanford signed the companion House bill into law June 11. It should provide much-needed relief for the property insurance crisis ravaging the coast.

I served on subcommittees that fashioned DOT and illegal immigration reform bills, and co-sponsored these proposals. DOT reform is in conference committee and may still become law this year. Immigration reform has been stalled until next year.

Q: What are your political ambitions?

A: I draw inspiration from great statesmen in history. The intellect of Edmund Burke, principle of William Wilberforce and leadership of Teddy Roosevelt are worthy of emulation. A common theme among these statesmen is a sense of calling to advance great ideas and accomplish great things, not simply to hold office.

A prime example is William Wilberforce, who served in the British House of Commons from 1780 to 1825. Motivated by his religious convictions, Wilberforce waged a 20-year battle to abolish the slave trade and reform culture in the British Empire. When Wilberforce considered resigning in frustration halfway through his abolition battle, John Newton — a former slave-ship captain converted to Christian preacher, and author of the hymn, “Amazing Grace” — persuaded him to continue the fight.

Politically, Wilberforce paid dearly for his statesmanship. He was ridiculed for his convictions, almost defeated, and sacrificed an opportunity to become prime minister. Yet he received an even greater crown by changing the course of history. A contemporary prime minister said of him, “Millions unborn will bless his memory.”

My ambition in the political realm is to prove myself a statesman by following the example of men like Wilberforce. This is accomplished by remaining true to the values and principles that sustain our state and nation, regardless of the short term political consequences.

Q: How do you spend your Saturday nights?

A: I spend most Saturdays engaged in outdoor activities with my family. During hunting season we usually hunt on Saturday. In spring and summer we saltwater fish, inshore and offshore.

My boys and I love to surf as well. We opt for surfing above other outdoor activities when the surf is up, and compete in Eastern Surfing Association contests several weekends each year.

Saturday nights are generally spent engaged in or returning from these outdoor activities.

Q: What’s the most creative way you could propose to generate new revenue for the state?

A: The best way to generate new revenue for the state is to keep tax rates and regulatory compliance costs low. This fuels economic expansion, producing higher tax revenue.

However, I can’t characterize this concept as creative. It was expressed by philosophers as early as the 14th century, and clearly articulated by renowned economist John Maynard Keynes. University of Chicago economist Arthur Laffer popularized it in 1974 by allegedly scratching it out on the back of a napkin while advising Washington policy makers. Ever since it has been referred to as the Laffer Curve, and formed the basis of Ronald Reagan’s fiscal policies.

Q: What is the least effective government agency and how can it be made more effective?

A: The need for reform at DOT has certainly been accentuated lately. Yet I would not label it “least effective.” Its problems flow from its structure, not its people, and we are addressing its structure.

If I had to pick the least effective entity in state government, it would be the General Assembly. But this is by design. South Carolina’s constitution embodies the balance of powers doctrine, which diffuses political power among the three branches of government (executive, legislative and judicial), and between the two chambers of the legislative branch (House and Senate).

This doctrine is one of John Adams’ great gifts to the American people, for he was the primary intellectual force behind embodying the doctrine in the U.S. and state constitutions.

This structure makes our General Assembly inherently inefficient. However, it prevents consolidation of power and assures legislation is advanced only when a degree of consensus is obtained.

Reach Yvonne Wenger at 803-799-9051 or ywenger@postandcourier.com

Bryant singled out in Democrat Party’s newsletter…why me?

June 19, 2007

I was recently informed that an Anderson Democrat Party’s newsletter singles me out as a target for next year’s election.

The local liberals reference me in the same newsletter they’ve praised uber-liberal Howard Dean and and quoted dishonorable Bill Clinton. In this context, I may consider the mentioning of me as a compliment.

Here is the article: ACDP SEEKS CANDIDATES If you are interested in holding political office, do not wait for the ACDP to come pleading with you to run. Step forward and tell Stuart Sprague that you want to be a candidate. There are numerous offices waiting to be filled in the 2008 election. Now is the time to start campaigning. The party has several ways to help candidates run a successful campaign. Among the races coming up are all County Council officers except District 2 where Gracie Floyd will be the candidate. South Carolina House Districts 6, 7 and 9 are open. Charles Griffin has declared his candidacy for District 8. We really need an aggressive candidate to run for State Senator against Kevin Bryant. No one has declared for Congressional District 3 for the U.S. House of Representatives.

If you’d like to read the newsletter click here.

1978 vote republican 5

June 15, 2007

In 1978 Sen. Glenn McConnell was chairman of the Charleston County Republican Party. This is the 5th of 5 tv commercials produced and, in my opinion, is the best clip!

New Walgreen’s Distribution Center Opens

June 14, 2007

Several hundred gathered Thursday morning at the Grand Opening of Walgreen’s new distribution center in Anderson. This facility now employs over 700 people. Interestingly, over 200 employees will be people with disabilities and special needs. This category shows 95% unemployment. Walgreen’s has done the community a great service by extending a helping hand to our citizens with limited abilities. There are two agencies that play a significant role in this partnership: Anderson County Disabilities and Special Needs Board – This board serves people with cognitive and intellectual disabilities. Vocational Rehabilitation Department – This department serves people with a wide range of disabilities, including physical and mental health conditions.