The Buzz

August 12, 2014

SC politics: Third-party candidate suggests tax to pay for debates

Morgan Bruce Reeves, the United Citizens candidate for S.C. governor, said Tuesday he wants to levy a $5 tax on S.C. residents to pay for debates that include all candidates.

The Buzz

A blog from The State's political team of Cassie Cope, Jamie Self and Andy Shain. Email tips to thebuzz@thestate.com.

Third-party candidate suggests a tax to pay for debates

Morgan Bruce Reeves, the United Citizens candidate for S.C. governor, said Tuesday he wants to levy a $5 tax on S.C. residents to pay for debates that include all candidates.

Reeves, who received less than 2 percent of the vote in the 2010 governor’s race, has said he and other third-party and independent candidates have been left out of debates, which can set qualifications – such as poll performance or fundraising – for non-major party candidates.

“We the people own the State House,” Reeves said, adding the Governor’s Mansion also does not belong to Republicans or Democrats.

Reeves said the tax, which he proposed allowing voters to decide through a referendum, would pay for debates in Charleston, Columbia and Greenville.

Reeves also said he supports the legalization of marijuana to create jobs.

Labor Party candidate Harold Geddings III, who is running for the 2nd District U.S. House seat held by Republican Joe Wilson, also called for fairness in debates.

Geddings, who has a handlebar mustache, said third-party candidates “are the hipsters in American politics.”

Teachers group endorses Democrat Hutto in race against Graham

Democratic state Sen. Brad Hutto has picked up an endorsement from a national education group in his long-shot bid to unseat incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham in November.

Hutto, an Orangeburg attorney and state senator since 1996, got the nod from the National Education Association’s political action committee, the Fund for Children and Public Education, according to a Tuesday news release.

“If elected, Brad will put students and educators ahead of partisan politics because he understands that the road to economic prosperity and security starts in the Palmetto State’s public schools,” NEA president Dennis Van Roekel said. “He will staunchly advocate for South Carolina families and, if elected, he will work hard to make the economy work for all of us.”

Also challenging Graham are petition candidate Thomas Ravenel, a Charleston developer, and Libertarian Victor Kocher of Columbia.

Hutto “understands the important role education plays in preparing students for the jobs of tomorrow so that Americans can compete in the 21st century global marketplace,” said Bernadette Hampton, president of the S.C. Education Association, a professional association for S.C. public school employees. “If elected, he will move South Carolina forward and get Washington working again.”

Cassie Cope and Jamie Self contributed

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