Politics & Government

Capital report: DeMint in Honduras

U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint returned Saturday from his controversial fact-finding mission.

DeMint led a delegation that met with Honduran President Roberto Micheletti, members of the Honduran Supreme Court, leading candidates for the upcoming Nov. 29 elections, election officials and Honduran business and civic leaders.

"We had a very productive trip, and we will have more to say next week after we have briefed our colleagues in the House and Senate," DeMint said. "But for now, I can say that we saw a government working hard to follow the rule of law, uphold its constitution, and to protect democracy for the people of Honduras.

"We are very encouraged by what we saw, and we hope to be able to work with our administration to support the upcoming elections."

The DeMint trip caused a spark last week after U.S. Sen. John Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat, attempted to block DeMint's trip.

Honduras has been in chaos since the Honduran military deposed its former president after a supreme court ruling ordering his removal. The now-exiled president had attempted to change the country's constitution in part to eliminate presidential term limits.

DeMint has long objected to the Obama administration's response to the crisis, arguing the United States should not promote the former government's return to power.

No Republicans at NAACP convention

The NAACP's upcoming 68th annual state conference will focus on educating, inspiring and empowering the civil rights community, South Carolina chapter President Lonnie Randolph said Friday.

The conference will be held in Charlotte because of the organization's long-standing economic boycott of South Carolina over the Confederate battle flag's position in front of the State House. It will run from Thursday to Oct. 11 and feature a job fair with about 20 businesses and a forum for the state's Democratic gubernatorial candidates.

Randolph said his branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People invited all the Republican candidates, but most said they couldn't attend because of other commitments. Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, a Republican, has not confirmed if he will participate because of pre-scheduled events.

GOP candidate Sen. Larry Grooms of Bonneau said Friday that he hadn't been invited and has already filled up his schedule.

All the Democratic candidates will participate, except Charleston attorney Mullins McLeod, who has not yet said whether he will attend because he may have a scheduling conflict.

Randolph said the Republicans' lack of attendance is consistent with a past track record, despite a statement several years ago that the party wanted to reach out to minority voters.

GOP spokesman Joel Sawyer said the party can't speak for the individual candidates, but it does not agree that attending an out-of-state event, and acknowledging the ongoing boycott, is the best way to reach out to voters.

"We have been reaching out to African-American voters in the state," Sawyer said. "Minority involvement in the Republican Party is increasing every day."

- The (Charleston) Post and Courier


"We just believe the No. 1 job of the governor is to be a positive representative of the state so that we can give people a reason to come to South Carolina and locate their businesses here." - House Minority Leader Harry Ott, D-Calhoun

This week

- Wednesday 10:30 a.m., Port Oversight Commission, Blatt Building Room 105 Thursday 2 p.m. Sentencing Reform Commission Work Group, Blatt Building Room 105

- Friday 10 a.m. Sentencing Reform Commission Work Group 1, Blatt Building Room 105