State of South Carolina secondary Archives: on Government Reform


Jaime Harrison: Overturn Citizens United, end decade of Dark Money

Q: Require political campaigns to disclose their largest funders?

Jaime Harrison: Yes. "I'm proud to be working to overturn [Citizens United]. It's time we put an end to this decade of Dark Money."

Lindsey Graham: No recent stand found. Co-sponsored 2006 legislation prohibiting senators raising funds until 18 months before elections.

Source: CampusElect survey of 2020 South Carolina Senate race Sep 30, 2020

Amy Klobuchar: Voter restrictions hit with surgical precision on minorities

I would make sure that people have the ability to vote, because to make all the changes that we have been talking about, all of the candidates you've heard have been talking about you can't do it without the ability to vote. I'm going to be in North Carolina and there a court actually said that the bill they put forward, was discrimination with surgical precision against African-Americans. It is things like gerrymandering; it is things like making it hard for people to register to vote.
Source: CNN Town Hall on eve of 2020 South Carolina primary Feb 26, 2020

Kevin Bryant: Reforms should include eliminating current ethics loopholes

According to Bryant, his reform package would include the elimination of existing ethics loopholes while also allowing "for the prosecution of a pattern of behavior that is criminal in nature." Basically, Bryant wants prosecutors to be able to charge anyone suspected of violating multiple state ethics or lobbying laws with racketeering. "It's ultimate effect is to make coordination of crimes its own offense and a felony," Bryant said.
Source: FITSnews.com on 2018 South Carolina Gubernatorial race Apr 16, 2018

Catherine Templeton: Fight corruption & waste & good ol' boy system in Columbia

Former state health department director Catherine Templeton will run for governor of South Carolina in 2018. The anti-union attorney who was on the short list for Labor Secretary in President Donald Trump's cabinet, Templeton made her plans official in a statement to The Post and Courier:

"I have never run for office, and I won't run for the next one, but I can't unsee what I saw in Columbia," Templeton said. "The corruption, waste, self interest, and good ol boy system is alive and well. It's ridiculous. Doing the right thing, is not that hard if you are in it for the right reasons.

"Right now is the time to send someone with practical experience running a business, making a home, and reforming government to call balls and strikes and do the math in Columbia," she continued. "We can't wait another decade to get started."

Source: Post and Courier on 2018 South Carolina governor race Apr 4, 2017

Thomas Dixon: Voting rights need to be protected from attack

Voting rights need to be protected from attack. Voting is a constitutional right that has been too easily denied to too many Americans. Congress needs to step in to make sure states are not curtailing voting rights, or making it hard for particular subsets of society to vote.
Source: 2016 South Carolina Senate campaign website DixonForSC.com Aug 8, 2016

Donald Trump: I wouldn't nominate my sister to Supreme Court

Senator Ted CRUZ: Last year, when talking about Supreme Court nominees, Donald said his sister--a judge who was put on the Court of Appeals by Bill Clinton--he said his sister would make a phenomenal Supreme Court Justice. His sister is a radical pro-abortion judge. She struck down New Jersey's ban on partial-birth abortion as irrational. That's an extreme position.

Q: Have you suggested your sister as a Supreme Court justice?

TRUMP: I have not.

Q: You said she would be great...

TRUMP: She's very smart.

Q: But you'd have to rule that out because she was your sister?

TRUMP: My sister is a brilliant woman. She was appointed by Ronald Reagan. He said appointed by Bill Clinton. She was elevated by Clinton to the Court of Appeals, a very high position, right under the Supreme Court. The reason she was elevated, she was an outstanding intellect and an outstanding judge. I don't even know what her views are on abortion. She is certainly not a radical anything; that's not her thing

Source: 2016 CNN GOP Town Hall in South Carolina Feb 18, 2016

Ben Carson: Supreme Court was not partisan, but it has become so

Q: If you were president now with 11 months left in your term, would you nominate someone to fill Justice Scalia's seat?

CARSON: I probably would take the opportunity to nominate someone. It doesn't necessarily mean that person is going to be confirmed but why not do it? But here is the real problem: the Supreme Court was originally intended to consist of people who loved America, and who fully understood our constitution, and who were there to make sure that America preserved its constitutional traditions. It was not supposed to be a partisan group. It has become very partisan, so as a result everything that is done surrounding it: the picks; the confirmation hearings; deciding on whether to actually make the vote--all of it has become partisan in reaction to what is happening. Does it mean that we're forever gone? No, I think it means [we should] start figuring out how in the world do we once again get back to a reasonable judicial system. We do not have that now.

Source: 2016 CNN GOP Town Hall in South Carolina Feb 17, 2016

Ben Carson: Appointing a justice before election would be divisive

We need to start thinking about the divisiveness that is going on in our country. I looked at some of the remarks that people made after finding out that Justice Scalia had died, and they were truly nasty. That we have managed to get to that position is truly a shame. We should be thinking about how we could create some healing in this land. Right now, we're not going to get healing with President Obama and I agree that we should not allow a judge to be appointed during his time.
Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina Feb 13, 2016

Ben Carson: We have 645 federal agencies--that's way, way too many

We've got government regulators, and all they're doing is running around looking for people to fine. And, we've got 645 different federal agencies, and sub-agencies. Way too many, and they don't have anything else to do. What we really need to do is start trimming the regulatory agencies rather than going after the people who are trying to increase the economic viability of our society. If you want to get rid of poverty, get rid of all the regulations.
Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina Feb 13, 2016

Donald Trump: Delay, delay, delay on Supreme Court appointment

Q: The death of Justice Antonin Scalia leaves a vacancy on the Supreme Court. You've said that the President shouldn't nominate anyone in the rest of his term to replace Justice Scalia. If you were President, and had a chance with 11 months left to go in your term, wouldn't it be an abdication not to name a conservative justice with the rest of your term?

TRUMP: If I were President now I would certainly want to try and nominate a justice. Frankly, I'm absolutely sure that President Obama will try and do it. I hope that our Senate is going to be able to do something about it.

Q: So, just to be clear on this, you're OK with the President nominating somebody?

TRUMP: think he's going to do it whether or I'm OK with it or not. I think it's up to [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell, and everybody else to stop it. It's called delay, delay, delay.

Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina Feb 13, 2016

Donald Trump: I would build consensus, not use Executive Orders

Q: You promised that if Ford were to move a factory to Mexico, you would stop it or threaten them with a 35 percent tax or tariff on every car sold. Based on your understanding of the presidency, where do you derive that power?

TRUMP: I would build consensus with Congress. I don't like the idea of using executive orders like our president. I would build consensus, but consensus means hard work. You have to get them into the Oval Office and get them all together, and you have to make deals.

Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina Feb 13, 2016

Jeb Bush: I'm an Article II guy: Presidency over Supreme Court

Q: Would you have a litmus test for a Supreme Court justice?

BUSH: Not on specific issues. I'll nominate people that have a proven record in the judiciary. The next president needs to appoint someone with a proven conservative record. The president has every right to nominate Supreme Court justices. I'm an Article II guy in the Constitution. We're running for the president of the United States. We want a strong executive. But in return for that, there should be a consensus orientation on that nomination, and there's no doubt that Barack Obama will not have a consensus pick.

[Note: Article II of the U.S. Constitution outlines the powers of the presidency, including nominating Supreme Court justices for confirmation by the U.S. Senate]

Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina Feb 13, 2016

John Kasich: Country too partisan to appoint justice before election

The country is divided right now. I wish the president would think about not nominating somebody. We're going to have an election for President very soon, and the people will understand what is at stake in that election. I believe the President should not move forward, and I think that we ought to let the next President of the United States decide.
Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina Feb 13, 2016

Marco Rubio: No to a simple majority to confirm a Supreme Court justice

Q: You were once in favor of dropping the threshold majority -- you were never in favor of that?

A: No, I've never [been in favor]. Today, appellate judges can now be appointed by a simple majority, but not Supreme Court justices. I think today you see the wisdom of why we don't that want to change. Because if that were the case and we were not in charge of the Senate, Harry Reid and Barack Obama would ram down our throat a liberal justice.

Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina Feb 13, 2016

Marco Rubio: I will reverse US decline, both at home and abroad

People live paycheck to paycheck. Our culture's in trouble. Around the world, America's reputation is in decline. Our allies don't trust us, our adversaries don't fear us. These are difficult times, but 2016 can be a turning point. If you elect me, we are going to re-embrace free enterprise so that everyone can go as far as their talent and their work will take them.
Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina Feb 13, 2016

Ted Cruz: 80-year history of no Supreme Court changes in election year

We have 80 years of precedent of not confirming Supreme Court justices in an election year. We are one justice away from a Supreme Court that will strike down every restriction on abortion adopted by the states. We are one justice away from a Supreme Court that will reverse one of Justice Scalia's decisions that upheld the right to bear arms. The Senate needs to say, "We're not going to give up the Supreme Court for a generation by allowing Barack Obama to make one more liberal appointee."
Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina Feb 13, 2016

Tim Scott: Photo ID for voting

Question topic: People should be able to vote without photo identification.

Scott: Disagree

Source: Faith2Action iVoterGuide on 2014 South Carolina Senate race Sep 30, 2014

Lee Bright: Photo ID for voting

Question topic: People should be able to vote without photo identification.

Bright: Disagree

Source: Faith2Action iVoterGuide on 2014 South Carolina Senate race Jul 2, 2014

Rick Wade: Washington is broken

Rick Wade, a former U.S. Commerce Department adviser and Cabinet officer under then-Gov. Jim Hodges, will seek the Democratic nomination next year for the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Tim Scott.

"The people of South Carolina understand that Washington is broken," the Democratic Lancaster native said in a statement released Friday night. "If we are going to solve the big problems we face and get things done, our representatives must be accountable to their constituents."

Source: Greenville News AdWatch on 2014 South Carolina Senate race Dec 15, 2013

Nancy Mace: Term limits of 12 years for Senate; 6 years for House

U.S. Senate candidate Nancy Mace signed a pledge in favor of term limits. The pledge states: "I, Nancy Mace, pledge that as a member of Congress I will cosponsor and vote for the U.S. Term Limits Amendment of three (3) House terms and two (2) Senate terms and no longer limit."

"Term limits would not only cap the number of years a specific person would serve in Congress, it would limit the power of lobbyists, corporations, and other special interests that invest millions of dollars in the status quo," said Mace.

Mace went on to say, "Today, countless Americans have lost faith in our government. Establishment politicians cannot be trusted. I believe we can fix the mess in Washington, but we need the right tools to make it happen. Term limits are a great place to start, but we also need bold leadership to make it happen."

If elected, Mace plans to serve no more than two terms in the U.S. Senate.

Source: 2014 South Carolina Senate campaign website, NancyMace.org Nov 5, 2013

Nancy Mace: Term limits are the only way to stop the ruling elitists

Mace focused on political changes in Washington:

"I believe the real fight is between the political class and the working class: the ruling elites are entrenched on one side, and the American people are taking the punches on the other. Well, it's time the American people fight back; it is my firm belief that most Americans are tired of out of control government and the double talk that comes from the career politicians who have put us in this fiscal tailspin with no clue of how to correct course," writes Mace in her new press release titled "Term Limits Are the Only Way to Stop the Ruling Elitists.

"For 59 years, two men have occupied the senate seat now held by South Carolina's senior Senator Lindsey Graham. In fact, the end of his current term will mark 20 years in Washington for Senator Graham. Of course, 20 years of "service" isn't enough for Lindsey Graham, as he has already announced his intention to stay in the beltway for at least six more years."

Source: The Global Dispatch on 2014 South Carolina Senate race Nov 5, 2013

Nikki Haley: Require photo ID, and inspection of ID, in order to vote

Excerpts fromH3003 legislative records:

Status:Bill passed Senate, 26-16-0; passed House 71-36-17; signed by Governor, May 18, 2011.

Source: South Carolina legislature voting records:H3003 May 18, 2011

Lee Bright: Require photo ID, and inspection of ID, in order to vote

Excerpts fromH3003 legislative records:

Status:Bill passed Senate, 26-16-0; passed House 71-36-17; signed by Governor, May 18, 2011. (Sen. Lee Bright voted YEA).

Source: South Carolina legislature voting records:H3003 May 11, 2011

James Emerson Smith: Voted NO on requiring photo ID in order to vote

Excerpts fromH3003 legislative records:

Status:Bill passed Senate, 26-16-0; passed House 71-36-17; signed by Governor, May 18, 2011. (Rep. James Emerson Smith voted NAY).

Source: South Carolina legislature voting records:H3003 Jan 26, 2011

Mark Sanford: End unlimited and undisclosed campaign donations

We now have on-line transparency to allow a taxpayer to see more directly how their money is spent in state government. We found a way to begin on-line disclosure so that citizens could better see where money was coming from and going to in campaigns.

We passed campaign finance reform. It had been vetoed twice during the previous administration, and its passage ended the Wild West practice that allowed unlimited and undisclosed amounts to go to a political party or caucus.

Source: South Carolina 2010 State of the State Address Jan 20, 2010

Mark Sanford: Change rules of governorship and state officers

We are the only state in the country that does not allow its Governor to administer the laws administered by the other 49 Governors. You would not be giving this power to me, I'm gone in 11 months--but for the sake of good government please give this power to whoever follows me. Please give them the tools by which they may succeed or fail, and then hold them accountable.

Two, put the Governor and Lt. Governor together as a team. To me it makes no sense to have a governor elected by the people, and yet have his Lieutenant Governor, who in our state could be of opposite political persuasion and party.

Finally, can we let the people of South Carolina decide on whether a host of constitutional officers should be appointed rather than elected. We are for instance the only state in the country where the Adjutant General is elected. We are not asking that any of you take a position for or against change in any of these changes, just that you let the people of South Carolina decide.

Source: South Carolina 2010 State of the State Address Jan 20, 2010

Kevin Bryant: No limits on campaign donations nor campaign spending

Q: Do you support limiting the following types of contributions to state legislative candidates: Individual contributions?

A: No.

Q: PAC contributions?

A: No.

Q: Corporate contributions?

A: No.

Q: Political Parties' contributions?

A: No.

Q: Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information??

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support imposing spending limits on state-level political campaigns??

A: No.

Source: South Carolina Congressional 2008 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2008

Ron Paul: Close departments of Energy, Education & Homeland Security

Q: [To Gov. Thompson] Tell me three federal programs you consider wasteful and would eliminate.

THOMPSON: There are several programs that need to be cut in Washington, several of those in my former department. I would first make every agency come in with a budget at 95% of last year’s budget and one at 100%. And you will be able to use that exercise in order to reduce budgets all across the line.

Q: I didn’t hear three programs. Can you tell me one?

THOMPSON: The first one I would eliminate is a program in the Department of Health and Human Services in CDC that deals with the stockpile. The stockpile does a great job, but there are some inefficiencies there.

Q: [To Paul] Can you do better than that?

PAUL: I’d start with the departments--the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security. There’s a lot of things that we can cut, but we can’t cut anything until we change our philosophy about what government should do.

Source: [X-ref Thompson] 2007 Republican Debate in South Carolina May 15, 2007

Rudy Giuliani: Gets credit for killing the line-item veto

Q: You get the credit for killing the line-item veto. You fought & won when it pinched New York. So how do you exercise fiscal discipline?

A: As the Club for Growth pointed out in the report they did on me, I ran one of the most fiscally conservative governments in the last 30 years. Spending actually decreased in comparison to the increase in population and inflation. Spending in NYC decreased more than just about any other state, considerably less than the federal government, while I was the mayor.

Source: 2007 Republican Debate in South Carolina May 15, 2007

Tommy Thompson: Eliminate CDC stockpiles; they’re wasteful & inefficient

Q: [To Gov. Thompson] Tell me three federal programs you consider wasteful and would eliminate.

THOMPSON: There are several programs that need to be cut in Washington, several of those in my former department. I would first make every agency come in with a budget at 95% of last year’s budget and one at 100%. And you will be able to use that exercise in order to reduce budgets all across the line.

Q: I didn’t hear three programs. Can you tell me one?

THOMPSON: The first one I would eliminate is a program in the Department of Health and Human Services in CDC that deals with the stockpile. The stockpile does a great job, but there are some inefficiencies there.

Q: [To Paul] Can you do better than that?

PAUL: I’d start with the departments--the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security. There’s a lot of things that we can cut, but we can’t cut anything until we change our philosophy about what government should do.

Source: 2007 Republican Debate in South Carolina May 15, 2007

Tommy Thompson: FactCheck: Only improve CDC stockpiles; don’t eliminate them

When pressed to name a single program he would eliminate to rein in federal spending, Thompson offered the CDC stockpile program. A Thompson aide told us later that Thompson was referring to the Strategic National Stockpile program, through which large quantities of medicine and medical supplies are stored for an emergency like 9/11 or Hurricane Katrina. And it turns out, Thompson wouldn’t really eliminate it. The aide said Thompson meant to say he would manage it more efficiently.
Source: FactCheck on 2007 Republican Debate in South Carolina May 15, 2007

Barack Obama: First bill ever passed was campaign finance reform

Q: You’ve promised in your campaign a new kind of politics, but just this week the Chicago Sun-Times reported on questionable ties you have with a donor who was charged last year for demanding kickbacks on Illinois business deals. Aren’t you practicing the very same kind of politics that many of the others on this stage have engaged in?

A: We have thousands of donors. This donor engaged in some unethical behavior and I have denounced it. But I have a track record of bringing people around this new kind of politics, since I was in the state legislature. The first bill I ever passed was campaign finance reform legislation--the first in a generation in Illinois. Now, in the US Senate we were able to work to strengthen the lobbying ethics reform bill, despite the resistance of some of my colleagues in both parties. And, in terms of how we’ve been running this campaign, we have seen that I have not taken money from federal registered lobbyists. We are not taking money from PACs.

Source: 2007 South Carolina Democratic primary debate, on MSNBC Apr 26, 2007

Barack Obama: FactCheck: no lobbyist money, yes from lobbyist spouses

Obama said, “I have not taken money from federal registered lobbyists. We’re not taking money from PACs.” It’s true that Obama hasn’t accepted any money from political action committees. And a campaign spokesman said that the campaign has returned $50,566 from 49 donors whom it had identified as lobbyists.

Nevertheless, Obama accepts money from lobbyists’ spouses and other family members, their partners at the law firms where they work if the partners aren’t registered to lobby, senior executives at companies that hire lobbyists, and state-level lobbyists. Among his top fundraisers are at least a few who were registered lobbyists as recently as last year. The campaign says it is making a “best effort” to stay away from tainted money. “It isn’t a perfect solution to the problem and it isn’t even a perfect symbol,” a spokesman said.

Source: FactCheck on 2007 South Carolina Democratic debate Apr 26, 2007

Bill Richardson: Delayed call for Gonzales to resign until failed testimony

Q: You were one of the last people on this stage to call for the resignation of Attorney General Gonzales. When asked why you were taking so long to make up your mind about this, you replied, “It’s because he’s Hispanic. I’m honest.” Is that the right way to make personnel decisions?

A: That’s how I felt. Now, what I said, too, was that I wanted to await Alberto Gonzales’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. He hadn’t had a chance to fully explain 1) why he’d politicized the Justice Department; 2) why he indiscriminately fired US attorneys; and 3) why he did not act as the lawyer for the American people rather than as the lawyer to the White House. Did it affect me that he was Hispanic? Yeah, it did, and I said so. I think the American people want candor. They don’t want blow-dried candidates with perfection. I did call for his resignation. Maybe I was last, but I wanted to give him a chance to explain his position. He didn’t do it, and I called for his resignation.

Source: 2007 South Carolina Democratic primary debate, on MSNBC Apr 26, 2007

Chris Dodd: Supports public campaign finance, despite personal history

Q: You may be the most Washington of all the people on this stage: son of a US senator, in the Senate for two decades yourself, a committee chair, and you’ve been rather unabashed about accepting money from lobbyists. How then do you make the case with people that you will reform Washington ways?

A: I am very proud to come from a family that served in public service. Public service is something we take great pride in my family. I’ve been a long advocate of public financing of campaigns. I believe this is one of the great threats to our country; that not enough people are qualified and want to seek public office. Put aside the presidency, talking even about congressional seats or local seats, it’s becoming prohibitive. Certainly, until the law changes, you have to do what you can to raise the resources.

Source: 2007 South Carolina Democratic primary debate, on MSNBC Apr 26, 2007

Dennis Kucinich: Impeach VP Cheney for taking US into Iraq War based on lies

Q: Is anyone on this stage willing to enter into Congressman Kucinich’s effort to impeach Vice President Cheney? [none are willing]. That being the response, Congressman, is this a proper use of public congressional time and energy?

A: This is a pocke copy of the Constitution, which I carry with me, because I took an oath to defend the Constitution. This country was taken into war based on lies about weapons of mass destruction and Al Qaida’s role with respect to Iraq, which there wasn’t one at the time we went in. I want to state that Mr. Cheney must be held accountable. He is already ginning up a cause for war against Iran. Now, we have to stand for this Constitution. We have to protect & defend this Constitution. And this vice president violated this Constitution. So I think that while my friends on this stage may not be ready to take this stand, the American people should know that there’s at least one person running for president who wants to reconnect America with its highest principles.

Source: 2007 South Carolina Democratic primary debate, on MSNBC Apr 26, 2007

  • The above quotations are from State of South Carolina Politicians: secondary Archives.
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2020 Presidential contenders on Government Reform:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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