Andy Brack

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivering a speech.

BRACK:  How South Carolina influenced King

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher  |  With the Martin Luther King holiday still fresh in our minds, it’s a good time to look at how South Carolina influenced King – and how he influenced the Palmetto State.

Many people don’t realize South Carolina provided sanctuary for King and his supporters.  He used Penn Center on St. Helena Island as a retreat to think and compose.  While state officials in many parts of the South interfered with King, his South Carolina base for reflection helped usher in the civil rights movement.

by · 01/16/2018 · 0 comments · Andy Brack, Views
BRACK:  Cartoonist Ariail loves doodling, drawing about S.C. politics

BRACK:  Cartoonist Ariail loves doodling, drawing about S.C. politics

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher  |  Award-winning South Carolina political cartoonist Robert Ariail has been having a jolly old time lampooning politicians for more than three decades.

As state legislators prepare to get back into the policy swing of things next week, we thought you might enjoy learning more about Ariail’s craft of illustrating an editorial comment, often with a little humor added for good measure.

Q:  Describe what makes a good political cartoon?

ARIAIL:  I think a good political cartoon should be topical and easily understood while imparting a valid message or opinion using good drawing style and, when possible, humor.

by · 01/08/2018 · 0 comments · Andy Brack, Views
BRACK:  Preserve, conserve S.C.’s beauty by getting involved

BRACK:  Preserve, conserve S.C.’s beauty by getting involved

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher  |  The beauty and majesty of South Carolina’s natural assets from the mountains to the sea are a part of what makes the state great.  But unless people, including state legislators, take ongoing steps to keep what makes South Carolina special, then we risk losing what we’ve got.

To ensure the state’s natural attractions remain viable, you should get involved at local and state levels to conserve and preserve what’s makes South Carolina great.

Locally, you can pay attention to what’s happening in city and county council proceedings to check development and to make sure local governments abide by smart growth strategies.  You can write letters to the editor, attend meetings, run for office when you see a wrong or just speak up when talking with friends and neighbors.

by · 01/01/2018 · 0 comments · Andy Brack, Views
BRACK:  #FakeNews is a fake phenomenon

BRACK:  #FakeNews is a fake phenomenon

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher  |   There is no such thing as #FakeNews.

There is, however, a cynical, national political strategy called #FakeNews.  It is a continuing attempt by President Trump and his cronies to promote public disbelief in information that these politicos don’t like or that makes them look bad.

The whole “#FakeNews” phenomenon is nothing more than a public relations ultra-spin to kill the messenger AND the message.

Before you shout #FakeNews or #RealNews, please realize neither exists.  Either something is news or it is not.  That which is not news either doesn’t measure up as something that’s new, factual and interesting.  Or it is something titillating that is simply made up, a fiction.

The job of a reporter is to provide new information based on facts (hence, “news”) with which you might not be familiar so you can keep informed.  Facts are bits of verifiable information.  For example, Clemson will play in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1.  That’s a verifiable fact.  But it’s also a fact that a Clemson coach hopes the team will win.  Sure, that’s an opinion of the coach, but it’s a fact that it is his opinion. 

by · 12/18/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Andy Brack, Views
BRACK: State should provide flexibility with local tourism taxes

BRACK: State should provide flexibility with local tourism taxes

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher  |   South Carolina’s legislators need to provide more flexibility to city and county governments in how they can use some of the tax money they collect as the state works to take away more of their revenue.

For years, local governments have received state subsidies to comply with requirements that cities and counties provide some state-mandated services, such as maintaining ditches along state roads or providing offices for courts and some agencies.  By law, the state is supposed to pay 4.5 percent of the previous year’s general fund to help counties with the cost of these required state services.  But since 2010, the state has been shorting local governments with the gap now at just under $100 million a year.

by · 12/11/2017 · 1 comment · Andy Brack, Views
Pamela Evette, flanked by Gov. Henry McMaster.  Source:  McMaster campaign video.

BRACK:  Time will tell if governor’s running mate gamble pays off

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher  |  Gov. Henry McMaster made a strategic political decision this week.  Whether it’s good or bad remains to be seen, but it certainly surprised the establishment in Columbia.

McMaster announced a political neophyte, Ohio native Pamela Evette – a Travelers Rest business executive who moved to South Carolina in 2005 – would be his running mate in next year’s gubernatorial race.

That is, if he wins the GOP party nomination.  Three other political animals – Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant of Anderson, former Lt. Gov. Yancey McGill of Kingstree and former agency head Catherine Templeton of Mount Pleasant (who also has never held elected office) – want to be the Republican standard bearer at the top of the 2018 ticket.

by · 12/04/2017 · 1 comment · Andy Brack, Views
The S.C. Supreme Court building in Columbia, S.C.

BRACK: High court lets legislature off the education hook

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher  |  Shame on a majority of the legislatively-elected S.C. Supreme Court for letting the General Assembly off the hook on funding poor, rural schools.  State leaders haven’t yet spent enough money or done enough work to upgrade these neglected schools so that they’re on par with urban and suburban public schools.

On Nov. 17, the court ruled 3-2 to dismiss the 24-year-old Abbeville v. State of South Carolina school equity funding lawsuit.  The order, however, is premature because state legislators only started moving these schools toward parity after a 2014 order by the court.  Now without the court’s oversight, there’s no pressure on the General Assembly to make good on its promises.

With gazillions of dollars of state funding needs, do you really trust legislators not to continue a legacy of inattention in the so-called “Corridor of Shame” area where a multitude of challenges persist?

by · 11/27/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Andy Brack, Views
BRACK: Let’s be thankful for one of our own, Septima Clark

BRACK: Let’s be thankful for one of our own, Septima Clark

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher  |  All South Carolinians – white, black, brown, newcomer and native – can stand to learn more about a real homegrown patriot, the late Septima Poinsette Clark.

The mere mention of her name today invokes reverence in the black community.  But white Southerners seem to forget that she was so respected for her work in the civil rights movement that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. asked her to accompany him to Oslo, Norway, in 1964 when he accepted the Nobel Peace prize.

“In a sort of casual way, he would say, ‘Anything I can’t answer, ask Mrs. Clark,’”  she recalled in a 1986 memoir.

From 1916 when she was 18 until she was fired 40 years later with 41 others in Charleston County for being a member of the NAACP, Clark was a teacher, first on John’s Island and then in Charleston, McClellanville, North Carolina, Columbia and again in Charleston.

by · 11/20/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Andy Brack, Views
BRACK: Push back on dumbing down of American citizenship

BRACK: Push back on dumbing down of American citizenship

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher  |  If you periodically read commentaries like this one about public policy, you are probably considered a pretty good citizen – somebody who cares about how our society operates and is governed.  You probably vote, fret about tax rates, get roused by bureaucratic incompetence and care about issues of public importance.

But what about people across our state and nation who don’t read much, pay little attention to what’s going on in neighborhoods and towns – people who tune out, not tune in?   What about other people, liberals and conservatives, who have perverted American principles for their own ends to make America less than what it has been?

by · 11/13/2017 · 2 comments · Andy Brack, Views
View from atop the lighthouse -- a great reward for those who climb a wooden, 77-step circular staircase.

COMMENTARY, Brack: Visit to Sapelo Island is familiar, special

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher  |  A weekend visit to Sapelo Island, one of Georgia’s sea islands proved it to be special, a place only accessible by ferry or boat.  But Sapelo is also familiar – a coastal haven that feels much like Bull’s Island in the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge near Awendaw.

Like Bull’s Island, Sapelo island is protected from development.  Almost all of the 16,500-acre island, other than a 440-acre Geechee community called Hogg Hammock, is owned by the state of Georgia.  Much of it is used by University of Georgia researchers to study the coastal ecosystem of the barrier island.

by · 11/06/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Andy Brack, Photo Essay, Photos, Views