Oconee County Democratic Party

OctoberNovember 2014December


Letter to the Editor: Republicans -- the party of spend, spend, spend

In Seneca Journal, November 25


Thank you for publishing the Associated Press article Nov. 21 “House intel panel debunks Benghazi theories.” That’s right: Benghazi — no wrongdoing! Sen. Graham, you owe South Carolinians an apology for wasting our money and time. Two years and seven investigations: all for politics. For your career. Nothing else.

The Republican-led House Intelligence Committee released report results on Friday afternoon — practically in secret — which found:

CIA and military acted properly.

No wrongdoing by President Obama or appointees.

No intelligence failure.

No delay in CIA response.

No missed opportunity for military rescue.

No government office (not Rice, not Clinton) acted in bad faith.

No government office (not Rice, not Clinton) intentionally misled the American people.

Again — from the Republican-led committee. Not my words.

Sen. Graham, you owe the American people, President Obama, ambassador Rice and secretary Clinton apologies for wasting two years and damaging honest people’s careers.

Sen. Graham, you also owe your constituents, in S.C. and the U.S., an invoice detailing the cost of two years of Benghazi investigations in the House and Senate — seven investigations! How much money (How many government employees worked? What was their payroll? How much paper Xeroxed? How much electricity used in Congress?) did Congress spend on political games?

Republicans, please stop wasting and spending our money. We need higher wages, healthcare and better quality of life. Please focus on serious issues and not your political futures. Please serve the people.

Paulette Keffas-Chassin, Seneca

NOV. 22 Breakfast: Focus on Affordable Health Care

Our regular monthly breakfasts will resume at 9 am, Saturday, November 22 with our featured speaker Dr. Peter Sparks, Clemson Free Clinic.  He will be speaking about the Affordable Care Act ... and other things.  Dr. Sparks is always informative ... and entertaining. Please come with questions for him!  Location: Our HQ -- 121 N. Townville St., Seneca.  

Also, let's talk about expanded usage of our OCDP headquarters.  It's a great space and location ... and newly painted by Bruce Marshall and Paulette Keffas-Chassin.   Please bring a breakfast goody to share, too


Bruce showing off one of his many talents!

STATEHOUSE REPORT editorial: GOP needs to make its election sweep count


By Andy Brack, editor and publisher

NOV. 7, 2014 -- The big story of the week found Republicans regaining control of the U.S. Senate because voters across America are just plain mad. 

In South Carolina, they’re so mad that they voted to return every single Republican incumbent on the ballot to Columbia to continue to run state government. Yes, the state GOP benefited from voter anger -- even though Republicans have been running the legislature and governor’s office for the last 12 years. 

With all of the problems across South Carolina, it’s pretty remarkable that mad voters wanted to keep Republicans in control, despite a thin record for a dozen years. The coattails of anger must run pretty deep.

So as a state, we’re going to start off next year in pretty much the same fix we’ve had since 2003. We’re going to start out with folks in charge who know how to win elections, but have a hard time putting pen to paper to actually govern.

Republican leaders need to recognize that balloons come in more colors than red, as one Facebook wag noted. Governing means state Republicans need to get out of a self-serving campaign mode and do what they are elected to do -- the hard work to make government work better for all people in the Palmetto State, not just Republicans in South Carolina.

This shouldn’t be a novel concept, but it seems that those in power in Columbia still don’t understand what it means to make the state run effectively, efficiently and fairly.

Governing means actually doing something to fix our state’s crumbling road infrastructure, not just talking about what might happen. It does not mean promising to come up with a plan after an election (thanks Gov. Nikki Haley) or borrowing a little bit when the bill that is due for fixing roads is upwards of $40 billion.

Governing means funding public education as required by the law, not steering a half billion dollars a year away from students by fiddling with formulas, as has been done for the last six years. Governing means coming up with innovative education solutions, not refusing federal money or accepting the low court-defined requirement of the state’s role to provide only a “minimally adequate” education. Folks, if we don’t have educated workers, how in the world do you think we can continue to compete in the global economy? It’s in our self-interest to put more into public education, not less. 

Governing means implementing real and comprehensive tax reform, not forming another study committee to write a report that will gather dust on a shelf. Governing is not crafting a public law to shift the tax burden away from the rich to the middle class and businesses. If next year’s legislators really want to accomplish anything for the greater good of the people of the state, they will make the tax code fairer to all starting with broadening the tax base, lowering rates, eliminating a boatload of sales tax exemptions, restructuring income tax brackets and revamping the failing policy of lowering property taxes for a few by raising sales taxes on all.

Governing means passing real ethics reform, not succumbing to cynicism and failing to do whatever it takes to clean up South Carolina’s culture of backroom deals, buckets of soft money and opaque cronyism.

Governing means making sure people are healthier, not posturing and grandstanding over federal help to expand Medicaid to 200,000 of the state’s poorest. Republican governors from all over the country have accepted federal Obamacare money and, despite what many closed ears want to hear, the program is dropping the percentage of uninsured people like gangbusters and keeping down health costs.

Regardless of political party, governing means taking responsibility for what happens and working to make things better. It’s time for Columbia’s politicians to stop all of the blather and nonsense and actually do something ... for a change.

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