BRACK: Why is the governor picking on GOP legislators?

By Andy Brack | Only one in 10 state legislators apparently is conservative enough for Gov. Nikki Haley, who last week reignited a feud with the General Assembly by singling out just 17 state lawmakers for voting with her on three issues — pay raises, gas taxes and bonded indebtedness. (List at bottom)

We’re not quite sure how Haley is the queen of figuring out who is conservative enough, but you’ve got to wonder a little about her leadership skills after winning a second term if only 17 legislators out of 170 are backing what she thinks is important.

“Her strategy of calling people out is a unique strategy — one I’m not familiar with in terms of what she hopes to gain, other than rankle people whose votes she needs on other things,” one veteran Republican insider said. “It’s clearly a strategy, but to what end?”

by · 05/11/2015 · Comments are Disabled · Andy Brack, Views
BRACK: Promise Zone is shot in arm for S.C.

BRACK: Promise Zone is shot in arm for S.C.

By Andy Brack | Talk about a shot in the arm for the southern rural counties of South Carolina. Witness the just-announced federal Promise Zone designation for a six-county area centering on Allendale County that should pump in millions of dollars of aid over the next 10 years.

But let’s be clear: It’s a hand-up, not a handout for people in the zone area of Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties. There’s a lot of hard work ahead for these counties, nonprofits, government agencies and businesses that are part of the effort to generate more jobs, improve education, reduce crime and get more affordable housing in a region where 28.1 percent of 90,000 residents live in poverty.

by · 05/04/2015 · Comments are Disabled · Andy Brack, Views

Obama nominates Matthew to lead cultural support agency

President Obama on March 10 nominated Charleston native and resident Kathryn “Kit” Matthew to be director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the federal agency that supports the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums to advance lifelong learning and promote cultural and civic engagement.

by · 04/30/2015 · Comments are Disabled · Andy Brack, Views
#BlackLivesMatter: A few memorials lay Wednesday in the field near where Walter Scott was murdered in North Charleston, S.C. Photo by Andy Brack.

BRACK: What was done right and what needs work still

By Andy Brack | North Charleston, the state’s third largest city, has never been an easy place in which to live. With large pockets of poverty and schools that face inner-city conflicts not found in suburbs, daily life — even today — can be a struggle.

Back in the late 1980s as a police reporter, I headed to North Charleston often to find out what was happening. The police culture was insular, tough and tight-lipped. There was a particular way of doing things in North Charleston and often, it seemed, it involved knocking heads.

In 2006 and 2007, a total of 54 people were murdered or killed in North Charleston, which led to the city being named one of the nation’s most dangerous.

by · 04/13/2015 · Comments are Disabled · Andy Brack, Views
A voter waits in a past election to vote.

BRACK: 3 lawyers to challenge Charleston council incumbents

By Andy Brack | Just about all of the focus in Charleston politics of late has been on the November race for mayor as candidates vie to replace longtime incumbent Joe Riley, who is retiring after 40 years. But there are six other races that are important too — half of the seats on city council.

As best as we can tell, three attorneys are challenging three incumbents in city council races around town. Three other incumbents don’t seem to have candidates looming, but with filing not until the end of the summer, they’re not safe yet.

by · 04/06/2015 · Comments are Disabled · 2015 Mayor, Andy Brack, Views
MORRIS: Bridge Run is more than a race

MORRIS: Bridge Run is more than a race

By Kyra Morris | The 30,000 participants and thousands of spectators celebrated the 37th Cooper River Bridge Run on March 28.

Charleston’s local economy gets a direct infusion of nearly $20 million. A 2011 economic impact study stated $18.3 million and that was several years ago in a much more tenuous market environment. To add to the impact the Bridge Run was also the first weekend of spring break and the beginning of Easter week.

by · 04/06/2015 · Comments are Disabled · Money, Views
This gunk-covered bleach bottle washed ashore after the Deepwater Horizon tragedy.  Photo by Andy Brack.

BRACK: Keep your mitts off of our coast

By Andy Brack | State Republicans, often obsessed with spanking Democrats for backing a “nanny state” to take care of the less fortunate, are blind to their own frightening vision, an Anita Bryant free-market dream where just about everything goes, except what you do in the bedroom.

This worldview would find guns everywhere. Developers and big companies would overrule the public’s interest in preserving South Carolina’s special places. Public money would pay for private schools. People would be at their own peril in finding good health care, sending tens of thousands routinely to emergency rooms for primary care. And oil wells — well, they would be just off the horizon of our coast, free to spew gunk whenever humans make errors.

by · 03/30/2015 · Comments are Disabled · Andy Brack, Views
SENIORS: The ABLE Act — a new, special tool

SENIORS: The ABLE Act — a new, special tool

By Catherine LaFond | At the end of 2014, President Obama signed the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (hereinafter “ABLE Act” or “Act”). The law creates a new tool for a person with a disability to save money without losing needs-based public benefits such as SSI or Medicaid. An ABLE account provides the special needs community with another option, in addition to special needs trusts, to consider when creating a plan for persons with a disability.

by · 03/30/2015 · Comments are Disabled · Seniors, Views
BRACK: A vaccine that saves women’s lives

BRACK: A vaccine that saves women’s lives

By Andy Brack | A pat on the back to the S.C. House for passing a bill last week that will save women’s lives. For seven long years, women’s advocates have been working to get the male-centric legislature to approve a bill that would allow the state to educate and vaccinate girls — with parental permission — to protect them against a virus that causes deadly cervical cancer, a disease that kills about 4,100 women in the U.S. annually. Every month, five South Carolina women die from cervical cancer.

by · 03/23/2015 · Comments are Disabled · Andy Brack, Views
Enjoyed column about SOB (Sweet Ol’ Bubba)

Enjoyed column about SOB (Sweet Ol’ Bubba)

Over the decades, I have since met many attorneys who believed firmly that Uncle Bubba wasn’t exactly “sweet,” but that the SOB moniker was indeed appropriate.

by · 03/23/2015 · Comments are Disabled · Feedback, Views