Post Tagged with: "Nikki Haley"

Reactions to Michael Slager Mistrial Ruling Show No Respect for Rule of Law

December 11, 2016 5:20 AM
Reactions to Michael Slager Mistrial Ruling Show No Respect for Rule of Law

The reaction to the mistrial ruling in the Michael Slager murder case in Charleston last week demonstrates how little understanding and respect many public officials and citizens have for the rule of law and our criminal justice system.

A sampling of the more outrageous statements includes the following:

I also understand that justice is not always delivered by a single jury, in a single courtroom, on a single day. Justice is often a journey. And the journey to justice in the Michael Slager case is far from over…Soon, Mr. Slager will face new trials at the federal and state levels. New juries will be given an opportunity to render a verdict on his actions. Until then, we will continue to pray for our community, for justice, for the family and friends of Walter Scott, and for all those whose lives have been touched by this terrible tragedy.” – Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg

“It is my understanding that there will be, as quickly as possible, a new trial where the Scott family and all of South Carolina will hopefully receive the closure that a verdict brings. Justice is not always immediate, but we must all have faith that it will be served – I certainly do.” – SC Governor Nikki Haley

Haley and Tecklenburg confuse justice with a guilty verdict for Slager.

The chairmen of the state’s two major political parties also got it wrong:

“I am disappointed that justice for Walter Scott and his family has been delayed, but with a new trial coming, I am confident that justice will not be denied. … This is a test for our justice system, a test that the nation must not fail.” – Jaime Harrison, chairman of the S.C. Democratic Party

“An absolute travesty and abdication of justice.” – Matt Moore, chairman of the S.C. Republican Party

Innocent until proven guilty plays no part in the thinking of the above quoted four.

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Economic Incentives and the Kingman Airline Services Deal

July 16, 2016 5:35 AM
Economic Incentives and the Kingman Airline Services Deal

The recent announcement by Horry County officials that Kingman Airline Services will be expanding its business to Myrtle Beach International Airport is one in which enthusiasm must be tempered.

The announcement was accompanied by sparkling pronouncements from such dignitaries as Gov. Nikki Haley, Horry County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus, Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes and the like.

Local media was quick to pick up on this announcement to shout ‘180 jobs coming to Horry County’ without the qualifying ‘we hope’ that this type of deal requires.

We’ve heard this type of fanfare before – do you hear AvCraft and PTR Industries among others? I do.

It’s only four short years since we heard the last “It’s a great day in Horry County” when the last AvCraft deal was announced by many of these same players.

The initial reaction I heard from several callers who contacted me was, “Is this AvCraft 2.0?”

On the surface it sounds a lot like it. A small Arizona company plans to open an aviation maintenance and repair facility (MRO) at Myrtle Beach International.

It promises to provide 180 new jobs to the area over a five year period. For that promise, Horry County and the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base Redevelopment Authority is providing a total of $250,000 in incentives (read cash payments).

According to sources familiar with the deal, the payment of the $250,000 will be phased over the five year period of the agreement and will depend on Kingman meeting targeted employment levels along the way.

Kingman will be leasing one of the former AvCraft hangars from Horry County Department of Airports. I do not know the rental amount. However, I have been assured by several county officials familiar with the discussions that the rent will be in line with market value and more than AvCraft paid.

In addition, Horry County will be spending an estimated $100,000 to repair the fire suppression system in the hangar and to repair the hangar doors.

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Final AvCraft Chapter?

June 16, 2016 6:16 AM
Final AvCraft Chapter?

The Horry County Transportation Committee voted earlier this week to write off $113,687 in unpaid rent from AvCraft Technical Services that the county will never collect anyway.

AvCraft filed for bankruptcy in March 2015 after an 11 year history of failing to make good on its promises to Horry County.

This should be the final chapter in the saga of local and state politicians, especially Horry County Council, looking at AvCraft through rose colored glasses in the name of economic development.

Since arriving to much hoopla in 2004, AvCraft was consistent in only two areas – it consistently failed to meet job goal promises and it consistently requested and received rent reductions on the three hangars at Myrtle Beach International it rented from the Horry County Department of Airports.

After eight years of failing to meet goals, Horry County Council tried one last time in January 2012 to help AvCraft save itself with the recommendation of the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation.

One of the main items in that agreement was a $1.25 million reduction in rent on the county hangars over a five year period. This came after three earlier rent reductions, agreed to by the county, failed to make AvCraft profitable.

The following four comments made after the 2012 incentive package was approved demonstrate how far from reality politicians and their economic development arms exist from reality:

“I am thankful for the company’s commitment to Horry County and proud of our economic development team for this terrific announcement.” – Rep. Tom Rice.

“It’s another great day in South Carolina, and we are going to celebrate AvCraft’s decision to expand and create 150 new jobs in Horry County.” – Gov. Nikki Haley.

“AvCraft is a tremendous asset to our community, and this project is just the beginning for aviation-related businesses locating and expanding in the Myrtle Beach region.” – Doug Wendel, MBREDC board chairman at the time.

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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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Potential Buyer Looking at PTR Industries

April 28, 2016 7:16 AM
Potential Buyer Looking at PTR Industries

(Above Gov. Nikki Haley with a special edition assault rifle presented to her by PTR Industries}

A firm from New York state is reportedly looking at the possibility of buying PTR Industries, a deal that could save the company’s operations at Horry County’s Cool Springs Business Park.

PTR Industries was recruited to relocate from Connecticut to Horry County in 2013 by the Myrtle Beach Regional Development Corporation. This was touted as a major coup by MBREDC as Horry County was a successful bidder over several other states in landing PTR Industries.

A package that included an approximately $1 million upgrade of a county spec building at Cool Springs Business Park and incentive based job creation credits was put together by MBREDC and the SC Department of Commerce for PTR Industries.

The company brought approximately 21 workers with it from Connecticut and promised to create an additional 145 jobs in Horry County within three years.

PTR Industries commenced operations in Horry County in January 2014 and hired approximately 28 additional employees in the first months of its operations.

However, it quickly fell behind in its rent payments to Horry County for the Cool Springs Business Park building that is its headquarters and manufacturing location. One week after a Grand Opening celebration, in July 2014, that included appearances by Gov. Nikki Haley and local Congressman Tom Rice, PTR Industries laid off some workers and instituted a 10% across the board pay cut to those remaining.

Since then, PTR Industries has struggled. According to several sources, Horry County Council restructured its rent deal with PTR Industries last fall in order to help the company become current.

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Mia McLeod Requests Better Protection for Clinics

December 1, 2015 4:42 AM
Mia McLeod Requests Better Protection for Clinics

Rep. Mia McLeod calls on Gov. Haley to increase security at women’s health centers in South Carolina

Columbia, SC – On Monday, State Representative Mia McLeod called on Governor Haley to increase security at women’s health centers in South Carolina following the deadly shooting of three people at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Rep. McLeod (D-Richland) said Governor Haley’s personal politics should take a backseat to the safety and wellbeing of health professionals and patients at South Carolina clinics.

“It doesn’t matter whether you’re pro-life or pro-choice, our focus right now should be to make sure what happened in Colorado Springs doesn’t happen in Columbia or Charleston,” said Rep. Mia McLeod. “The anti-Planned Parenthood rhetoric has been more prevalent in South Carolina than anywhere else in the country, and Governor Haley would be wise to tone down her own rhetoric and instead beef up security at our clinics. The safety and wellbeing of patients and those who work at women’s health centers in our state should be our top priority.”

Rep. McLeod said Governor Haley should take seriously the FBI’s warning in September that attacks on women’s health centers were likely.

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PTR Industries – No More AvCraft’s

June 26, 2015 5:00 AM
PTR Industries – No More AvCraft’s

As PTR Industries struggles to become current with Horry County and other vendors, it is important Horry County Council remembers the lessons of AvCraft.

Having covered the AvCraft debacle from beginning to end, the issues with PTR Industries sound eerily familiar.

It will be one year ago next week that Gov. Nikki Haley and Rep. Tommy Rice visited PTR Industries to celebrate the one year anniversary of the announcement that the company planned to relocate to Horry County. Te dignitaries received special edition rifles to commemorate the occasion.

One week later, PTR Industries laid off workers.

In early July 2014, PTR Industries presented a check to Horry County during an executive session of Horry County Council that, reportedly, brought the company to within 45 days of being current on its rent at the county building it occupies at the Cool Springs Business Park.

One year later, it is being reported in local media that PTR Industries hasn’t paid rent to the county since March 23, 2015. In other words, we are back to at least 90 days in arrears.

Additionally, PTR Industries is in arrears to other vendors and, according to information from sources familiar with the company, is required to bring cashier’s checks, as often as weekly, to utility providers in order to keep the lights on.

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Community Forum on Off-shore Drilling

June 18, 2015 9:00 AM
Community Forum on Off-shore Drilling

A community forum on off-shore drilling will be held at the North Myrtle Beach Historical Museum June 23, 2015 beginning at 5 p.m.

The forum is being presented by a local grassroots volunteer organization formed in response to the Obama administration’s proposal to open the mid- and south-Atlantic waters to seismic testing and deep water drilling for off-shore oil & gas by the petroleum industry.

Called Stop Off-shore Drilling in the Atlantic – Prevent Oil Pollution, or by the acronym SODAPOP, this grassroots organization will have Peg Howell, a former petroleum engineer with experience working on oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea, as the featured speaker June 23rd.

South Carolina has been one of the states pushing for oil and gas exploration in the Atlantic despite the state’s reliance on tourism on the Grand Strand and Hilton Head.

Only Rep. Mark Sanford opposes off-shore gas and oil exploration among our federal legislators and Gov. Nikki Haley joins the group listening more to the oil industry lobbyists than environmentalists.

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SC General Assembly Compromise Roads Bill

May 13, 2015 7:00 AM
SC General Assembly Compromise Roads Bill

The SC General Assembly turned its attention back to passing a road funding bill this year, but the devil is in the details.

The bill, which began as H. 3579, was set for special order yesterday after a compromise was reached in the SC Senate to move it to priority status for debate.

Much changed since its original version, the bill contains the three elements Gov. Nikki Haley said was needed to avoid a veto – sort of.

The current plan raises the state gas tax by 12 cents per gallon and allows it to be adjusted for inflation in future years. Increases in license and registration fees and raising the sales tax cap on car sales are also included bringing the estimated rise in revenue to approximately $800 million per year.

The bill proposes a decrease of 1% in the state income tax spread over five years. However, the reduction in tax rates would be suspended in any year the projected growth in state revenue is less than 4%.

If the rate is lowered over five years, the estimated tax cut is $700 million.

From 2003-2013, South Carolina’s annual average growth rate was less than 2%, making the possibility of income tax reductions less than certain.

Finally, the bill makes some changes in how the SC Department of Transportation commission is appointed.

While the bill would probably allow for some improvement in funding road maintenance and repairs, it now appears to be more political nonsense than a real effort at fixing the state’s roads.

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