The Song Remains the Same

Looks like The Song Remains The Same after an eventful weekend at the national and the state level.

First, what was Obama thinking? Seriously? I’ll write more over on Andy Brack’s blog (SCElectionWatch) but it’s one thing to bypass a “sure thing” with Hillary. It’s another to thumb your nose at her by texting your VP selection at 3 am. Yes, that’s right. 3:00 a.m. Anyone remember this ad ? You can’t tell me 3am was co-incidence. Just when the Democrats appeared poised to take over the White House, they appear to blow it.

Then the following morning the House Republicans met in Charleston to discuss the upcoming agenda for next session. I was very pleased the Speaker asked to be on my proposal for campaign disclosure reforms (all but assures passage due to his political presence) but I was equally shocked when another common-sense idea (roll-call voting) appeared to blow up like it was some school-choice proposal.

Representative Nikki Haley (R – Lexington) and Senator Glenn McConnell (R- Charleston) plan to file companion bills next session. As anyone in politics knows by now, what McConnell wants – McConnell gets. So why the darts thrown at Haley this weekend? She’s one of the most influential members in the House and is an asset on the Labor, Commerce, and Industry committee. She’s also one of three running for LCI Chairman. Surely, the opposition to this bill has nothing to do with that race does it?

You’ve probably read about roll-call legislation recently; and while the old-guard opposition is rising now, a version of the legislation was actually filed last year and no one raised an eye-brow. Probably because we were approaching the end of a two-year session but still…this idea didn’t just pop up.

What triggered the need last year? Nathansnews readers remember . A little four letter word – COLA. As in “Cost-of-Living Adjustment” in retirement pay for elected officials (along with state retiree and law enforcement).

The opposition’s using the same old playbook used to opposes any new idea or any change in how things have “always been done”. Why change a “good thing?” is basically what we heard.

Sure, the current system allows for any House member to ask for a roll call (and get it) with only a handful of colleagues agreeing to it. Seems simple but….thinking back to last year, we couldn’t get a roll-call fast enough before a voice vote on that back-door pay raise was sliding through.

You see, in order to keep from things like that happening, let’s be sure everyone goes on record. Everyone of us needs to be able to say: I voted “Yes” or I voted “No”. Wouldn’t it be good to know how your representative of Senator voted? That is important to you isn’t it?

Hey, I’m honest enough to admit many of us didn’t know every detail that was in that bill. Opponents tried the “shame on you (for not knowing)” approach last year…as if only a a handful of us didn’t know all the details. Trust me. It happens OFTEN in Columbia especially with very detailed legislation. Trust me, it wasn’t an accident that this wasn’t brought up to everyone either. Here’s the bill. Maybe many of us were wrong to assume the bill matched the recommendations of the State Treasurer and his Task Force? (note: Those recommendations did not include elected officials. Only the other state retirees/law enforcement).

Oh well, the push will continue for this common-sense idea. The opponents cries of “it costs $55 every time” or “it’s one more day spent on the budget” or “you can do it anyway” don’t outweigh the pros to why this is needed. I’m not buying it and the citizens of our state won’t either.

This legislation would save far more tax-dollars than it would cost. This legislation also would provide another layer of sunshine to what goes on in Columbia. Now what’s wrong with both of those? Oh, we’d finally catch up to Mississippi and Tennessee. Maybe the song would change then.