Thursday, December 30, 2010

SC governor's low wage policy: keep unions out of the State

South Carolina Gov.-elect Nikki Haley says her new Cabinet pick to run the state's labor agency will lead efforts to fight unions, particularly at Boeing's new North Charleston plant.

Does a low wage anti-union policy bring prosperity? So far South Carolina's aggressive anti-labor stance has left it far behind states where organized labor is stronger. It won't work in Jim Demint and Nikki Haley's South Carolina and it won't work anywhere else in the country.

Associated Press

South Carolina Gov.-elect Nikki Haley says her new Cabinet pick to run the state's labor agency will lead efforts to fight unions, particularly at Boeing's new North Charleston plant.

Haley said Wednesday the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation will play a big role in keeping unions out of the Boeing Co. plant that assembles the company's new 787 Dreamliner. Haley notes director nominee Catherine Templeton, a lawyer who has specialized in union fights, has fought United Auto Worker organizing attempts.

Read the rest of the AP article from the Seattle Times

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Columbia, SC: state capitol sees increase in violent crime

This video documents a police "clean up" of violent street crime in South Carolina's capitol. Yet violence continues to plague the city despite the crackdown. Could it be that chronic poverty and poor education that plague the State spawn new generations of criminals and leave the police and FBI picking up the mess without any long term solution to the problem?

Jim Demint's South Carolina leads the nation in violent crime according to FBI statistics and the State Capitol, Columbia sets the example for the rest of the State.

Read the report from Columbia's Free Times

Also read our report:

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Allendale Co., SC 10th poorest county in the nation: US census

Hear Allendale, SC Mayor Ronnie Jackson discuss the need for stimulus money to help alleviate depression era unemployment levels in his county. Will South Carolina Senators Demint and Graham listen to his plea?

Allendale County, South Carolina is the 10th poorest county in the United States according to the latest census report.

The median income for a household in the county was $20,898, and the median income for a family was $27,348. 34.5 percent of Allendale Co. lived below the poverty line, including 48.1 percent of those under age 18 and 26.00 percent of those residents age 65 or over.

Even by the standards of South Carolina, the fifth poorest state in the U.S.A. where the median income is only $41,548, Allendale stands out in its almost complete absence of economic activity. In fact, there are no functioning businesses to be found on the road into the City of Allendale itself. (income data: US Census)

Perhaps because it has been consistently neglected by the conservative elites that have been running South Carolina for centuries, Allendale County, SC has consistently voted for the Democratic candidate since 1976.

As shocking as these facts are, Jim Demint's Republican senate colleague, Mitch McConnell's Kentucky is home to four of the five poorest counties in the United States. Does the vision of these two conservative Senate leaders for the rest of the country include more Allendale Counties?


Monday, December 20, 2010

Jim Demint scoffs at climate change while erosion eats away at South Carolina's beaches and tourism industry

In response to last winters record snowfalls in Washington, DC Senator Jim Demint tweeted:
It's going to keep snowing in DC until Al Gore cries "uncle"
In June 2010 Jim Demint wrote on his blog:
Remember what Obama said the night he secured the Democratic presidential nomination: “This [is] the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.” Only a liberal would believe that tinkering with the levers of government could ever accomplish such planetary change.
Senator Demint refuses to acknowledge that climate change caused by human activity is a direct threat to the environment even when unusually rapid patterns of erosion damage South Carolina's precious beaches. Scientists believe the threat to the beaches is due to hurricanes which have increased in severity in recent years due to global warming and to rising ocean tides.

Unusually vicious hurricanes like Hurricane Katrina that destroyed New Orleans are more likely to occur due to man made climate change. Yet it seems that Sen. Jim Demint would rather see South Carolina vulnerable to this kind of destruction than do anything about it.

Senator Demint scoffs at scientific evidence even when it damages his home state. The State of South Carolina and the federal government will now have to invest millions to build up (renourish) South Carolina shorelines, an essential component of the tourism industry which has been recognized as one of the only bright spots on the State's economy. And the question that looms large: will the funds be there? The loss of critical federal stimulus money has meant South Carolina has had to cut back on boosting tourism in the State. Read about it in the Daily Me.

Because chronic poverty and unemployment plague the State, the importance of tourism to South Carolina can't be overemphasized.Currently tourism (2006 figures) contributes $10.9 billion a year to Gross State Product and employs approximately 216,000 people." Source:

Learn more about how erosion threatens the South Carolina shore from

Read about a recent study that proves sea surface temperatures are a direct cause of increased hurricane activity and severity in the Atlantic Ocean.

Monday, December 13, 2010

South Carolina plans to cut medicaid plan, adult dental, and hospice care

South Carolina continues to place the burden of low taxes on the backs of the elderly and disabled. Is this what their Senator, Jim Demint has in mind for the rest of the country? Read about it below.

SC Medicaid plan: End adult dental, hospice care - CNBC

South Carolinians speak out about how medicaid saves lives, removes the awful choice between food and medicines and boosts the State's health and economy.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Jim Demint's SC cutting welfare payments to state's poorest

As Senator Jim Demint rallys the right to cut social spending, South Carolina prepares to make matters worse in a State that has one of the highest poverty and unemployment rates in the country. South Carolina is also the nation's number one state for violent crime.

Compounding the misery in Senator Demint's South Carolina

72,000 South Carolinians are scheduled to lose their unemployment benefits this month. Inevitably those people will end up on reduced public assistance. In addition to compounding their misery this move will undoubtedly help to prolong a recession that is the longest and deepest since the Great Depression.

Read about it below:

SC cutting welfare payments to state's poorest - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Jim Demint thinks unemployment insurance is just paying people to stay home

While extending tax cuts to millionaires and big corporations without paying for them is a given for Jim Demint, extending unemployment insurance is just "paying people to stay home".

Clyburn, DeMint clash over South Carolina schools money

South Carolina Rep Jim Clyburn sticks up for South Carolina schools while Senator Demint turns his back

Demint turned his back on South Carolina's unemployed. Now he turns his back on the State's students and teachers. If South Carolina doesn't step up and do something about education, the State risks poverty for generations to come. Thankfully Jim Clyburn is there to fight back.  Read the article below for the details.

Clyburn, DeMint clash over South Carolina schools money | McClatchy

Then come back and read this:

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Demint to filibuster bill to extend unemployment benefits to 72,000 South Carolinians

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) signaled on Tuesday his intention to vote against a likely cloture motion in the Senate on a tax cut deal struck by the White House and Republicans (brokered by Sen. Mitch McConnell) this week.

Defining his stance on the issue on conservative Hugh Hewitt's radio program, the Republican senator and Tea Party favorite also said he would oppose the proposal should it garner enough support to overcome a filibuster.

Click here to read the rest of the story from the Huffington Post.

And when you've read it, take a look at Senator Al Franken's impassioned opposition to trading tax cuts for the rich for extending unemployment compensation.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Merry Christmas from Jim Demint: 72,000 + South Carolinians lose unemployment benefits while Demint fights for tax cuts for the rich

Senator Jim Demint, an ardent opponent of extending benefits to the unemployed is busy fighting for tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of Americans while over 72,000 South Carolina residents will lose their unemployment benefits beginning this December.

With over a quarter of a million South Carolina residents unemployed, nearly 12% of the States workforce this feels like a mighty big betrayal.

Here's the report from from Anderson, South Carolina

Watch Senator Jim Demint hide behind procedure to help block extending unemployment benefits.

South Carolina schools' badly needed federal millions at risk according to Myrtle Beach press

Our comments are in BOLD and did not appear in the original Sun News article

From Sun News, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

- McClatchy Newspapers
Friday, Dec. 03, 2010

South Carolina's congressional delegation is running out of time to change a federal law excluding the state from $143 million in additional education money before the body adjourns and new leadership takes over the U.S. House.

S.C. education officials estimate the additional round of stimulus money, approved in August, would preserve 2,600 education jobs. S.C. schools have eliminated 4,000 jobs since state revenues began to decline in 2008, outgoing state Superintendent of Education Jim Rex said.

South Carolina failed to qualify for the aid because of $110 million in higher education cuts over the past three years, according to the S.C. Education Department. States must maintain a certain level of education funding to qualify for stimulus money.

If South Carolina's political elite funded education to federal standards in the first place there would be no need for the change to federal law. Their stubborn defense of a backward educational system only lowers the standards for the rest of the US.

In August, state education officials hoped for a congressional fix. It hasn't happened yet, and U.S. Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, the third most powerful member of the House, said the House has agreed to change the requirements, but that the Senate does not support the change.

"Consequently, we are at a stalemate unless the Senate lifts its objection," Clyburn said in a statement.

But neither body has approved the change, and Congress will adjourn by the end of the month. Republicans, who have widely opposed stimulus spending, will assume control of the House from Democrats in January.

Rex said he has asked U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint to change the requirements. DeMint aides said the fix that would procure the money was stalled in the Senate by broader disputes among appropriators over how to fund the rest of the 2011 fiscal year with legislation that can pass Congress in its lame-duck session.

Perhaps Demint should spend the lame duck session getting help for South Carolina schools rather than holding up legislation to preserve tax cuts for the rich.

DeMint tried to reach Rex on Thursday to discuss the problems and planned to speak with him today, the senator's aides said. Efforts to reach Graham were unsuccessful.

"I think most people in South Carolina don't really care about all the details," Rex said. "They just want the congressional delegation to figure out way to get that $143 million.

"All members of our congressional delegation talk about the importance of jobs and job retention. By South Carolina standards, this would be the equivalent of a significant employer coming or leaving. ... It's very important to our economy and our attempts to recover in this state."

Actions speak louder than words.

State leaders said the federal delegation has not contacted them about efforts to secure South Carolina's share of the additional stimulus money.

Gov. Mark Sanford was willing to forgo $350 million in federal stimulus in 2009, taking lawmakers to court for including the money in the state budget. The S.C. Supreme Court ruled Sanford had to accept the funds.

Sanford's office said they have not spoken with federal officials and opposed the initial stimulus because the federal government could dictate state spending - a requirement to qualify for the most recent federal money. Whether S.C. eventually qualifies for the money or not, state taxpayers are on the hook for repaying stimulus aid.

S.C. House Majority Leader Kenny Bingham, R-Lexington, and the new chairman of the House education budget subcommittee, said the money has given school districts and state agencies two years to prepare for a projected $800 million in cuts for the budget year beginning July 1. Bingham said it was unclear how much lawmakers might have to cut K-12 education, the largest portion of $5.1 billion general fund budget.

And while some disagreed with Sanford's opposition in 2009, House Ways and Means Chairman Dan Cooper, R-Anderson, said this year's election results show many will lose no sleep if the federal money heads elsewhere.

Are these guys for real? More cuts to education means South Carolinians will be less eligible for future jobs and will mean less investment by companies requiring an educated work force.Read this:
"That's kind of the message I've heard on the campaign trail," Cooper said. "I haven't planned on using" the additional stimulus money.

Read more:

And another article also from The State:

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Investor's journal agrees: Demint's South Carolina is 6th worst run state in the USA

24/7 Wall St. says tourism is one of the bright spots in South Carolina's economic development strategy, yet erosion threatens the State's coastal areas the focus of much of that development. Nonetheless, Senator Demint continues to scorn scientific evidence that climate change is responsible for much of the damage.

While the State of South Carolina promotes tourism (and the low wage service jobs that industry requires) the online journal for equity investors, 24/7 Wall St. has completed "one of the most comprehensive studies of state financial management ever performed by the mainstream media."

Their study ranked South Carolina 44 out of the 50 states, (tied with Mississippi). 24/7 Wall St. claims their study is "based on evaluation principles used in the award-winning Best Run States In America ratings published by the Financial World Magazine during the 1990s."

Here's what they say about the economic disaster that is Jim Demint's South Carolina.

Tied for 44th (best run states). South Carolina
Debt per Capita: $8,013 (34th)
Unemployment Rate: 11% (45th)
Home Price Change (’06 – ’09): 12.3% (10th)
Median Household Income: $42,442 (42nd)

South Carolina has done an admirable job at marketing itself as a tourist destination, and has the 10th best improvement in property values from 2006 to 2009. In terms of the economy, however, the Palmetto State is in the bottom ten in median household income, high school completion, and poverty rates. The state has the worst violent crime rate in the country- 731 per 100,000.

Basic business assumptions behind South Carolina's poor evaluation

The study assumes: "Well-run states have a great deal in common with well-run corporations. Books are kept balanced. Investment is prudent. Debt is sustainable. Innovation is prized. Workers are well-chosen and well-trained. Executives are picked based on merit and not “politics.”

Austerity policies = bad management: prosperity for the few, poverty for many in South Carolina

South Carolina's experiment in right-to-work, low wages, high debt, low taxes, poor education and a lousy social safety net mean prosperity for the very few at the expense of the many. Is this bleak third world reality the future we want for America?

Want to see which State 24/7 Wall St. rated last: It's Mitch McConnell's Kentucky. See for yourself:

For more information, please read the full article at:

Demint's hostility to unions linked to low wages in South Carolina

Demint opposed union rights of TSA employees so vigorously that he delayed the appointment of a new TSA chief for months.

Why would fighting unions be more important to Demint than airport security? Perhaps its because Demint's South Carolina has the third lowest rate of union representation in the country according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Low union representation means substantially lower wages for workers according to the BLS:

The anti-union climate in the the State has meant Demint's constituents have also suffered with the ninth lowest median household income according to the US Census.

An anti-union climate, low wages, high unemployment, widespread poverty and all the ills that result. Do we really want Demint's South Carolina to be a model for the Nation? Or should we support South Carolinians to improve their standard of living along with the rest of us?