S.C. Politics Today: Joe Riley endorses Sheheen for governor

January 14, 2010 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"I stand before you as a Christian who has sins. The governor has asked for forgiveness. ... The final judge isn't in this chamber."

- Rep. Harry Ott, D-Calhoun, on Wednesday's House censure of Gov. Mark Sanford. The House admonished Sanford for his actions surrounding his June disappearance in which he misled his staff on his whereabouts.

SCHMOOZING

Where and when lawmakers can eat and drink for free today - and who's buying

8-10 a.m. Breakfast, Room 112 Blatt Building by the S.C. Broadcasters Association

CAMPAIGN TRAIL

Joe Riley endorses Sheheen for governor

Joe Riley, Charleston's mayor since 1975, wants Sen. Vincent Sheheen, D-Kershaw, to be South Carolina's next governor.

Wednesday, Riley, an influential staple in the state's Democratic Party, announced his support for the Camden attorney.

"Vincent Sheheen is the kind of dynamic leader we need to get our state back on the right track," Riley said. "He understands the issues that matter in Charleston and all across South Carolina and knows how to bring people together, regardless of political party, to solve problems and move our state forward. From creating jobs, improving our public schools, protecting our natural environment and reforming our tax code, Vincent Sheheen is the leader South Carolina needs now."

Sheheen is battling state Superintendent of Education Jim Rex, Columbia attorney Dwight Drake, Charleston Sen. Robert Ford and Charleston attorney Mullins McLeod for the Democratic nomination.

- Gina Smith

KETNER NOT RUNNING FOR CONGRESS

Linda Ketner said Wednesday she won't try again to run for the 1st Congressional District seat that she came close to winning in November 2008.

Ketner, a Charleston businesswoman and philanthropist, previously said she would not run again, but she told supporters she would reconsider after U.S. Rep. Henry Brown, a Republican from Hanahan, said he was retiring.

Nine days after Brown's announcement, Ketner ruled it out again. "Personally and professionally, 2010 is not the time for me to mount a campaign," she said in an e-mail to friends and supporters.

At least three Republicans are eyeing the race, including Charleston County Councilman Paul Thurmond and state Reps. Chip Limehouse of Charleston and Thad Viers of Myrtle Beach.

Three Republicans already have announced plans to run, including Carroll "Tumpy" Campbell of Charleston, Katherine Jenerette of North Myrtle Beach and Ryan Buckhannon of Isle of Palms.

On the Democratic side, the field includes Robert Burton of Mount Pleasant, Robert Dobbs of Georgetown and Dick Withington of Horry County.

- The (Charleston) Post and Courier

CAPITOL CONNECTION

Sanford votes against wind turbine project

At Wednesday's meeting of the five-member Budget and Control Board, Gov. Mark Sanford voted to oppose a Clemson University wind turbine research project. The project would cost $7 million this year but would receive federal stimulus grants for portions of the project.

Sanford questioned the lack of private sector investment, the upfront cost in a tight budget year and whether the state would eventually foot the cost after the grants ran out.

Clemson officials believed the project would pay for itself after the first few years. The board approved the project 4-1.

- John O'Connor

ANTI-HEALTH CARE REFORM FAILS IN SENATE

The Senate failed Wednesday to pass a resolution that Republicans said would reaffirm South Carolina's sovereignty from the federal government by opposing national health care.

Lawmakers wrangled for hours over passage of the legislation, which Democrats say will carry no weight in Washington, D.C., and Republicans contend will begin turning a tide against federal intervention into the state's autonomy.

"They know this is a flimflam," said Sen. Brad Hutto, D-Orangeburg, who opposes the measure that uses the Ninth and 10th Amendments to establish state policy that purports to relieve South Carolinians from participating in health care reforms under discussion in the nation's capital.

"States are the last line of defense against federal intervention," said Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort, who supports the concurrent resolution.

The Senate legislation makes it state policy that no law shall:

- Interfere with a person's right to be treated by the health care provider of his or her choice

- Restrict a person's freedom to choose a private health care system or plan

- Interfere with a person's right to pay directly for lawful medical service

- Impose a tax, penalty or fine for choosing any provider, declining health care coverage, or participating in any system

- Roddie Burris

ONLINE

- For fresh political and legislative news, visit

- To read the full text of bills, click on "Find a bill" under the General Assembly category.

- Also, find out how much state employees earn by clicking on "S.C. salary data" and searching the online list.

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