Post Tagged with: "Luke Rankin"

Money for I-77, Where is Money for I-73?

June 18, 2020 8:15 PM
Money for I-77, Where is Money for I-73?

President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday June 18th about $34.6 million appropriated from the federal government for a new interchange on I-77 in Rock Hill.

Where is an appropriation for I-73?

Trump’s tweet again highlights the inability of our elected representatives, many of whom were reelected at last week’s primary, to get any funding for their supposed number one agenda item.

Tom Rice, Alan Clemmons, Heather Crawford, Luke Rankin, Russell Fry, Dennis Disabato, Cam Crawford, Gary Loftus, Johnny Vaught, Bill Howard, Tyler Servant, Brenda Bethune – aren’t you all embarrassed and ashamed of your continuing inability to secure any funding for I-73?

Over the past year, each and every one of you has spoken of the importance of I-73 to the local economy and to the safety of our citizens.

All this announcement does is demonstrate your political impotence, both individually and collectively, to deliver funding from any source other than Horry County for the project you list among your top priorities!

Five of the above, Clemmons, both Crawfords, Disabato and Loftus were victors in recent primaries, guaranteeing their reelection in November. Two others, Rice and Fry, had no primary opponent and will have a virtual walkover in November. Four, Vaught, Howard, Servant and Bethune, will face reelection over the next two years. The lone remaining incumbent, Rankin, faces a runoff election next week.

Whether it be money for I-73, flood mitigation, other infrastructure projects or other needs to help the citizens of Horry County, the ‘Dirty Dozen’ incumbents mentioned above can’t deliver.

Even the development industry, which spent tons of money helping the reelection of these people has to be let down at this announcement. After all, I-73 would net immediate revenue for some of those and it would open up considerable land in the western part of the county for development, even though much of it probably shouldn’t be developed due to flooding and infrastructure considerations.

Despite their continuing demonstrated inability to accomplish anything positive for the area, the voters chose to send those up for reelection last week back into office.

This announcement is just another example of why that was a bad idea.

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The Incumbent Campaign of Misinformation and Desperation

June 7, 2020 11:21 AM
The Incumbent Campaign of Misinformation and Desperation

Misinformation and desperation are seeping into incumbent campaigns as we move toward primary voting Tuesday.

We have seen the SCGOP ignore campaign finance and ethics regulations to send numerous mailers supporting the reelection of Alan Clemmons and Heather Crawford.

Why would the SCGOP feel the need to insert itself into the contests between Republican candidates?

Obviously the party leaders in Columbia are afraid of losing two representatives who will do exactly what they are told to do.

Doing what they are told to do in Columbia doesn’t help the constituents Clemmons and Crawford are supposed to serve in Horry County. That’s why the panic.

In the past several days Clemmons and Luke Rankin have posted individual pictures of themselves with President Trump. Those were photo ops taken when the president was in Horry County during the Hurricane Florence flooding.

Both reportedly talked up the Interstate 73 project to the president during that trip. If Clemmons and Rankin are as close to President Trump as they would like you to believe, where are the federal dollars to build the interstate?

In similar fashion, one of the SCGOP mailers for Crawford and Clemmons touted an endorsement of them by the governor. Again, if they are so close to the governor and the legislative leaders in Columbia, for that matter, where are the state dollars to build I-73?

Clemmons has consistently stated I-73 is his number one priority as a legislator. Yet, year after year, no money comes from the state for the project.

Meanwhile Clemmons represents a declining Myrtle Beach that he appears to ignore as the number of empty commercial buildings in the city continues to rise every year.

One of the SCGOP mailers for Crawford attempted to present her as ‘working hard’ to solve the flooding problems in her district. She has done nothing other than clean out some ditches to help the citizens devastated by repeated flooding events since 2016 nor to mitigate future flooding. Again, no state grants have been forthcoming to help these needed initiatives.

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The Effectiveness of Political Endorsements

June 5, 2016 6:17 AM
The Effectiveness of Political Endorsements

Political endorsements captured the headlines last week even though the benefit they provide a candidate is very questionable.

Gov. Nikki Haley was in the Pee Dee and on the Grand Strand to promote three SC Senate candidates. Maybe it’s more accurate to say she was in the area to campaign against incumbent legislators she doesn’t like.

Haley came to the local area to attack incumbent senators Luke Rankin (District 33) and Hugh Leatherman (District 31) and promote challengers in those primary contests, Scott Pyle and Richard Skipper, respectively.

Haley’s endorsements in those two races are probably the equivalent of whistling in the wind. After all, Haley endorsed Marco Rubio all the way to distant also ran in the SC presidential primary while Donald Trump was sweeping all of South Carolina’s delegates.

Haley’s third local endorsement, candidate Reese Boyd over Rep. Stephen Goldfinch for the open Senate District 34 seat, may help a little more because Boyd is the better candidate and Goldfinch, while an incumbent House member, is unpopular in some important precincts in District 34.

Haley’s attempt to defeat incumbent legislators who don’t vote the way she wishes is sadly reminiscent of FDR in the 1938 off year Congressional elections. FDR targeted and campaigned against eight southern Democratic incumbent senators and house members who did not support most of his New Deal programs.

Only one of the targeted eight was defeated in the primaries and the Democrats lost six Senate seats and 71 House seats to Republicans in the general election. FDR’s popularity with the voters didn’t translate to candidates he endorsed or otherwise supported.

Political endorsements mean even less in a county or city race where the candidates and endorsers are better known to voters. The endorsement by ‘so and so’ state legislator for ‘such and such’ local candidate means virtually nothing to the voters.

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Ignoring the Nikki Haley Influence

May 19, 2016 7:39 AM
Ignoring the Nikki Haley Influence

Now that the SC General Assembly has overwhelmingly voted to override the veto of the Farm Aid Bill by Gov. Nikki Haley, Time Magazine may want to rethink how influential Haley really is.

Time recently named Haley one of Time’s 100 Most Influential Leaders.

After losing votes of 39-3 in the SC Senate and 112-2 in the SC House, you have to seriously question if Haley is one of the 100 most influential people in Columbia. I would say no.

Haley’s veto of the Farm Aid Bill was always a loser.

There are over 25,000 farms in the state that cultivate over five million acres of land. When the October 2015 rains wiped out many crops, it was obvious many had suffered catastrophic loss.

It is estimated over $400 million of crops were destroyed by the resultant flooding.

But, aiding suffering farmers is not something that draws national headlines. Therefore, it is of no interest to Haley.

Haley had no problem declaring the “1000 year flood” and requesting federal aid for those affected by the storm.

She was merely unwilling to give some aid on the state level, aid that many farmers in South Carolina need, but does not put Haley’s name in national headlines.

While ignoring the plight of farmers around the state, Haley was more interested in the “A Great Day SC” PAC that is raising money to target state lawmakers Haley doesn’t like.

Included in the list of Haley hit targets is Horry County’s Luke Rankin.

Haley blames Rankin for the failure of the SC Senate to pass an Ethics Reform Bill.
Whether that characterization is fair or not, I would submit that Haley was the beneficiary several years ago of the same ethics laws that she now wants to change.

Hypocrisy, thy name is Nikki.

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Large Crowd Comes Out for Jonathan Hyman Campaign Kickoff

April 8, 2016 5:01 AM
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(Pictured above Rep. Jeff Johnson (left) and Jonathan Hyman (right).

Over two hundred people attended Jonathan Hyman’s campaign kickoff event at Arnold Johnson’s shed on Hwy 701 South. Hyman is running for Horry County Treasurer.

Johnson said the event drew a larger crowd than others he has hosted and the crowd was at least as large as the one that showed up for Tom Rice’s campaign kickoff for chairman of Horry County Council in 2010.

“I have no doubt Jonathan will do a good job as Treasurer,” said Johnson. “I remember when (former Treasurer) Johnny C. Allen hired him. Johnny always had good things to say about Jonathan.”

This was the kind of event that former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Tip O’Neill alluded to when he said all politics are local. Families from the community came out to support Hyman with the adults enjoying good food and fellowship and the children playing ball outside.

The event was not short of political officeholders and candidates either. S.C. Senate Luke Rankin and S.C. Rep. Jeff Johnson were in attendance.

Rankin said the first thing he thinks of when he hears Hyman’s name is humility, competence and temperament.

“Jonathan is well groomed for this position,” said Rankin. “There will be no surprises. He knows how to carry out the duties of Treasurer.”

Johnson said he wished Hyman well in his campaign for election.

“He is a great guy,” Johnson said. “I go to church with him and know what type of person he is and what a wonderful family he has.”

Former Treasurer Johnny C. Allen said, “I hired him 16 years ago because I knew he was a good, smart kid. I am happy he asked me to endorse him, which I am pleased to do. Jonathan will be an asset to Horry County as its next Treasurer.”

Current Treasurer Roddy Dickinson said it was time for him to retire and pass on the office.

“I have no regrets and I’m looking forward to be able to do other things in life,” said Dickinson. “I am happy to endorse Jonathan for Treasurer. Jonathan works well with people and will make a great Treasurer. He has respect and understanding for others and that is very important in dealing with the public.”

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S.C. Senate Effectively Kills Ethics Reform

February 16, 2015 9:00 AM
S.C. Senate Effectively Kills Ethics Reform

Ethics reform took a big hit in the S.C. Senate last week when senators voted to essentially keep ethics investigations in-house.

A bill (S.1) that would have allowed investigations of ethics complaints against members of the S.C. General Assembly to be investigated by a reconstituted S.C. Ethics Commission failed to get enough support to move forward.

Sen. Luke Rankin, Chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee, offered an amendment that would have established a panel consisting of a majority of legislators and a few members of the public (for window dressing) instead of the independent panel advocated in the bill’s original language.

After a long debate, senators voted down the ethics reform bill authored by Sen. Larry Martin, R-Pickens. In a touch of irony, Martin voted against his much changed bill in the final vote.

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Sheheen Pushing Ethics Reform

November 14, 2013 8:00 AM
Sheheen Pushing Ethics Reform

Sen. Vincent Sheheen got in the middle of the ethics reform debate in South Carolina with a letter to Sen. Luke Rankin, chairman of the S.C. Senate Ethics Committee.

In his letter, Sheheen, a Democrat who is expected to oppose Gov. Nikki Haley next fall in a rematch of the 2010 gubernatorial election, advocates stopping “constant abuses in order to clean up our state government.”

Specifically Sheheen advocates barring the use of the state airplane, state cars or any other state vehicles from being for political purposes including carrying political staff to events or for conducting fundraising activities.

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Flow Control Debate to Senate Committee

March 20, 2013 8:07 PM
Flow Control Debate to Senate Committee

The debate on whether the Horry County Solid Waste Authority should be allowed to continue a flow control monopoly over garbage generated in the county will move to the S.C. Senate Medical Affairs Committee March 21st.

Legislation called the ‘Business Freedom to Choose Act’ has already passed the S.C. House in this new legislative session. It is now up to the Senate to see if it will join the House in making a government established monopoly illegal.

The SWA will have Executive Director Danny Knight and Government Affairs Director Mike Bessant in attendance at the committee meeting to speak for maintaining the monopoly.

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Hembree, Rankin, Williams and Flow Control

March 7, 2013 9:13 AM
Hembree, Rankin, Williams and Flow Control

Three state senators trying to block legislation that would make monopoly flow control of solid waste disposal illegal throughout South Carolina stated their case recently in an opinion piece to local media.

Greg Hembree (R-28), Luke Rankin (R-33) and Kent Williams (D-30) authored bi-partisan opposition to the Business Freedom to Choose Act that has already passed the S.C. House and is under consideration in the S.C. Senate.

Prior to the bill (H3290) being filed for the current legislative session, it was known that it would face opposition from these three senators and, quite possibly, only from these three senators.

Their stated reasons for opposition are a combination of obfuscation, bogeymen and cherry picking of facts to attempt to form a reasoned argument.

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SC House Passes Flow Control Ban

February 11, 2013 9:06 AM
SC House Passes Flow Control Ban

The S.C. House ended the month of January by passing third reading on the Business Freedom to Choose Act (H3290), which would make Horry County’s solid waste flow control ordinance illegal.

The fate of the county’s monopoly on solid waste disposal for all solid waste generated in the county now rests with the S.C. Senate.

According to information we are hearing, Sen. Luke Rankin and Sen. Greg Hembree will fight passage of the bill in the Senate, which would act to the detriment of the citizens they represent.

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