About $18 million in donations found its way into campaign coffers in South Carolina during the 2016 election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP). Even more millions were spent on advertising to influence voters.
South Carolinians deserve to know where that money comes from.
That’s the basis of a state Senate bill that would require greater transparency from “dark money” organizations. It deserves serious consideration.
Certain nonprofit groups can accept unlimited donations without legally having to disclose the sources of those donations, unlike political action committees (PACs), which must disclose their donors.…
It makes sense that those who want to spend significant amounts of money influencing an election ought to be required to be more open about it. Not doing so leaves the door wide open for a variety of potential conflicts of interest and unethical influences.
The S.C. House and Senate bar their members from forming or accepting donations from so-called leadership PACs, a relatively recent step taken to avoid even the appearance of ethics missteps. Since it seems dark money groups would not technically fall under that ban, it might be wise for lawmakers to extend it to include other politically active nonprofits as well.
Transparency is crucial if South Carolinians are to make informed decisions about their political leaders. It’s also critical to ensuring an ethical government. And where big political spending is concerned, more sunshine is always a good thing.
Post & Courier
Road funding plan
The state House quit kicking the can down the road and got down to the business of addressing our state’s roads issue, offering a bill that would pump $600 million annually into fixing state roads, highways and bridges. Because the matter has languished for far too many years, the House proposal includes multiple prongs aimed at raising the necessary revenue, and that might well cause some angst among lawmakers. But they can blame themselves because they put it off and put it off. It’s like car maintenance. You can either regularly change the oil and spend a little at a time or you can wait until the engine seizes up and pay a whole lot more.…
Even if you set aside the expensive problems our roads create for the average resident, such as more frequent tire replacement and alignments, our roads are paving the way for existing industries to exit our state and for new industry to take a different exit and head to a different state.
Yes, the condition of our state’s roads can have a substantial negative impact on economic development. The problem needs to be addressed. This year. And finally, so it seems, we are on the road to doing just that.
The painful memories can and have produced debate about what “really happened” during the sequence of events known by the title of a book, “The Orangeburg Massacre.”
The result too often over the years has been a community divided annually by racial wounds, a community that more appropriately should always look at Feb. 8, 1968, for what it was: a tragedy from which lessons must be learned for a racially diverse community to build upon the strength of its cultural differences.
Seeing the need to help Orangeburg put 1968 into perspective, more than 250 Orangeburg residents of varying ages and different races came together in 1999 for a public statement titled, “Orangeburg, let us heal ourselves.” It … asked that remembrance “be kept to the dignity for which it is intended — a solemn observance of that tragic night in 1968.”
“It should not be marred by creating a day of racial hatred in Orangeburg by those of either race who try to rewrite the chronicle of events of that unforgettable incident,” the statement said.
The statement stands as an Orangeburg commitment to remember a tragedy without annually opening new wounds. It is a pledge to learn from the events and a vow never to repeat them. It is unity where there was division.