SC politics: Sheheen ad rips Haley over child deaths

May 28, 2014 

Sheheen ad rips Haley for child deaths

Democratic state Sen. Vincent Sheheen has released his first TV ad in his rematch against Gov. Nikki Haley.

Sheheen’s ad, which began airing Wednesday, highlights the embattled Department of Social Services. It features Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott criticizing Haley’s administration as not protecting vulnerable children. Lott is also a Democrat.

While Lott says in the ad Sheheen won’t play politics with children’s lives, Haley spokesman Rob Godfrey says that’s exactly what he’s doing with the ad.

A Senate panel is studying potential problems at the agency. Sheheen is among several senators calling for the ousting of Social Services director Lillian Koller. Haley has repeatedly backed her.

Haley’s campaign has released two ads touting her administration’s jobs record.

The Republican Governors Association has released five ads so far attacking Sheheen.

Speaker pro tempore endorses Childs in superintendent’s race

S.C. House Speaker Pro Tempore Jay Lucas, R-Darlington, has endorsed Meka Childs in the race for the GOP nomination for state schools superintendent. Childs is a former teacher, senior education policy adviser to then-Gov. Mark Sanford and deputy superintendent of education, under current Superintendent Mick Zais, who is not seeking re-election but has endorsed Childs.

“With Common Core on the verge of being removed in South Carolina, we will need a new superintendent with the educational background, experience and determination to ensure our new standards reflect the will of parents, teachers, taxpayers and businesses in the Palmetto State,” said Lucas. “I know that with Meka Childs as our next state superintendent of education, the right person will be leading the Department of Education and the re-write of South Carolina’s educational standards.”

Scott rolls out his first re-election ads

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-Charleston, has only token opposition in the Republican primary to complete the last two years of former Sen. Jim DeMint’s term, but that has not stopped him from launching a pair of ads ahead of the June 10 primary.

Scott, who was appointed last year to the seat open after DeMint resigned to head the Heritage Foundation conservative think tank, is spending $463,326 on the ads over the next two weeks, his campaign said.

The former congressman will face Randall Young of Greenville in the primary. Efforts to reach Young since he filed for the race have been unsuccessful. The GOP nominee will face one of three Democrats in the November election.

Columbia native named to Court of Appeals

Judge Stephanie McDonald, who has been a Circuit Court judge in Charleston County since 2011, has won a seat on the South Carolina Court of Appeals.

The state Legislature elected McDonald, who was unopposed, Wednesday to Seat 7 for a six-year term.

While an attorney, McDonald, 45, represented the city of Charleston during the Sofa Super Store fire that killed nine city firefighters.

While a Circuit Court judge in 2012, McDonald approved a moratorium on electronic monitoring of criminal defendants out on bail.

“It became apparent that there were multiple bail bond and monitoring companies making no effort to monitor defendants released with house arrest and monitoring as a conditions of their bond,” McDonald stated in her application to the Judicial Merit Selection Commission.

McDonald was born in Columbia and she received her law degree from the University of South Carolina.

Four reappointed to ETV Commission

Four members on the S.C. Educational Television Commission have been reappointed by Gov. Nikki Haley.

Brent F. Nelsen, at-large chairman, was reappointed for a six-year term through June 2020. Elise Bidwell of the 2nd District in Congress; Karen J. Martin of the 4th District; and Nicole H. Holland of the 6th District also were reappointed to serve until 2020.

“We’re pleased with the news of these reappointments. The commission’s leadership has been instrumental in moving ETV and ETV Radio forward into the future,” said ETV chief executive and president Linda O’Bryon.

Solar bill goes to governor

A compromise solar energy bill is going to Gov. Nikki Haley for consideration after the state Senate took final action Wednesday on the once hotly disputed legislation.

The Senate voted 42-0 to sign off on minor amendments to the bill added in the House, which has approved the legislation. The bill is projected to lead to the expansion of solar energy in South Carolina, a state once reluctant to embrace the alternative energy form because of opposition from power companies.

Utilities, conservation groups and pro-solar organizations reached a compromise this past winter that allows utilities to recover some costs for expanding solar. Utilities would have to increase the percentage of solar they use by 2021 under the legislation.

4 reappointed to ETV Commission

Gullah Geechee panel selects executive director

The commission working to preserve the culture of Sea Island slave descendants in four Southeastern states has an executive director.

J. Herman Blake of Johns Island will serve as acting executive director without pay while the panel puts into effect a management plan for the corridor running along the coast from southeastern North Carolina to northeastern Florida.

The plan was more than a dozen years in the making and received final approval from the U.S. Department of the Interior last year.

The commission has moved its offices from Charleston to nearby Johns Island.

Althea Sumpter of Atlanta is the new commission chairwoman, replacing Ron Daise of St. Helena Island. The culture is known as Gullah in the Carolinas and Geechee in Georgia and Florida.

The Associated Press, Staff Reports, Andrew Shain, Sammy Fretwell

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