Letters to the Editor

Alumni asks what are we not being told about USC president-elect Caslen, McMaster

Robert Caslen discusses his plan for The University of South Carolina during his first press conference at the University of South Carolina Law School. 7/22/19
Robert Caslen discusses his plan for The University of South Carolina during his first press conference at the University of South Carolina Law School. 7/22/19 tglantz@thestate.com

As a four-year veteran of the United States Air Force and the holder of an advanced degree from USC, I only know what I’ve read in The State about the ongoing flap regarding the selection of Gen. Caslen to be the next president of the university.

The faculty and students have raised some valid concerns about this appointment, and the less than unanimous vote of the board is even more of a red flag. What we are left with is this question: Why is Henry McMaster so hell-bent on making this one man the president of USC?

Frank Dougherty


Trump shares same views as Calhoun

For anyone who can compare Donald Trump with John C. Calhoun, the race baiting is too real to imagine.

John Calhoun was a racist in his views about slavery and state’s rights.

He also stocked the fear of racism on African Americans who were freed.

Donald Trump shares much of the same views on racism because he admires John C. Calhoun and the dark legacy of racism and its ties to slavery, and that was not right.

John Huerta


Trump’s comment was not based on race

Eugene Robinson’s column “America must reject Trump’s racism at the ballot box” (7/21/19) can best be described as 10 paragraphs full of totally “useless” information.

The fact that Reps. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez “hate America, and everything America stands for” was conveniently left out.

Also, the conditions at the border that Robinson describes are identical to when Obama was in office.

It’s interesting that President Trump was never accused of being a racist until he decided to run against Hillary Clinton. And for the record, when our president invites all those who constantly criticize and belittle our country and what our great country stands for to simply “leave,” it has nothing to do with skin color.

Doug Lawhead


Richland council’s additional PR staff would be wasteful, inappropriate

I retired in 2016 from a career in marketing, advertising and PR, starting in 1959 and culminating in founding and running a 40-year-old marketing company.

The report in The State indicating interest by Richland County Council in hiring a PR consultant appears to be an effort to transfer individual campaign responsibilities of council members to a publicly funded organization. If council has a PR problem, and they do, it can be more appropriately blamed on the lack of supervision by council members resulting in an ongoing fiasco at the elections commission and the recent turmoil in the county administrator office.

Councilwoman Newton is quoted as needing assistance with “communications and marketing” and “setting up a constituent newsletter.” What public purpose is served by marketing individual council members?

Councilwoman McBride bemoans the workload of her office. Was she unaware of the involvement when she chose to seek office? If she is unable to meet the requirements of her position, she has an obligation to resign in favor of someone more capable of performing the job.

The county has a six-member PR staff. That implies that management is the problem, nothing more. A $50,000 budget is ridiculous on its face. A modest billing rate of $100 an hour would result in less than one hour per week for each council member, hardly enough time to provide any meaningful input on “communication and marketing.”

To be brutally blunt, the proposal is stupid, wasteful and inappropriate and should be dismissed out of hand.

Hal VonNessen


The State publishes a cross section of the letters we receive from South Carolinians in order to provide a forum for our community and also to allow our community to get a good look at itself, for good or bad. The letters represent the views of the letter writers, not necessarily of The State.