Letters to the Editor 1-13-16

Duncan’s obstruction

Dear Editor,

Congressman Jeff Duncan’s recent email to supporters regarding passage of the Omnibus spending bill makes it abundantly clear that Duncan continues to be more interested in obstructing the operation of our government and cheap political grandstanding than in taking part in the governance of our country.

Duncan referred to the recently-passed bill as “tyranny, incompetence and corruption.” No, Congressman, the bill is one of the few recent examples of the coming together of people with very different political views to produce compromise legislation that accomplishes the purpose for which they (and you) were sent to Washington — running our country. And no, the bill does not, as you said, “completely ignore the concerns of the American people.” The current dysfunction in Washington is consistently at or near the top of the people’s concerns in the polls. This bill is a rare bipartisan effort to effectively conduct the country‘s affairs.

There is no evidence that, as Duncan says, “The White House is creating a national disaster through its refugee and visa program.” We are a nation of immigrants. The White House’s proposal that we accept 10,000 refugees (one for every 32,000 Americans) is little enough as this country’s part in dealing with the worst refugee crisis since World War II.

It is ironic that Duncan complains about the amount of spending by a Republican-controlled Senate. Maybe he has forgotten that each of the last three Republican administrations has set new records for deficit spending.

A “missed opportunity,” Congressman? The real missed opportunity was when your district failed to elect as their Representative someone who would regard their job in Washington to be the effective governance of our country, rather than cheap political grandstanding, obstructionism and misguided ideology.

John Landers


A good year

Dear Editor,

As the new year begins, a backward glance is reasonable, but a plan for the future is critical. Recollection of the past is wise, I agree, but our responsibility for the future is more important.

My first year on the Pickens County School Board has been rewarding. Many longstanding issues were resolved. Teacher and staff pay issues were addressed, and facilities and technology upgraded. The dark cloud over AdvancED accreditation has passed. Taxes were not raised, and student performance is among the best in the state. The board worked aggressively to meet the needs of our most precious resource and America’s future — our children — while being mindful of the taxpayer as well. Regardless of what a few unkind people say about board members, we made tremendous progress last year after almost a decade of anxiety and conflict on the board.

It’s unfortunate that some call board members hateful names, attack our character and make false accusations to discredit us when we oppose tax hikes. But that’s fine — politics is not for the fainthearted. I can deal with a little spitefulness, because most days really were good. And based on the progress I’ve seen this first year on the board, I predict a very bright future for Pickens County and will disregard pessimists who say otherwise. So as the new year begins, I’m thankful for the opportunities. In an age when Washington and Columbia fail to produce results, it’s an honor to serve on a board that gets things done.

So much for 2015. It’s done. Time to move on.

We have work to do this year and beyond, and I’ll get right to the point — our school district has too much stuff. We own more than 50 buildings, 3,314,641 square feet of floor space, 1,200 acres of land, more than 5000 heating and air conditioning units and more than 70 acres of roofing. These facilities must be maintained to preserve the taxpayer investment and provide safe and comfortable learning environments. Facilities do not have to be extravagant, but must be safe and comfortable.

Space here won’t allow every detail, but elementary schools are an example. We have space for more than 11,000 students in our 16 elementary schools, but we only have about 7,500 students. It’s like having 10 milk cows but only milking six; you still have to feed and take care of all 10, but four aren’t producing. Good managers wouldn’t allow that to continue. That is where we are with school facilities; we’re maintaining too much unnecessary property.

So why the excess space? I don’t know all the reasons, but previous boards obviously made bad decisions years ago, because our student population isn’t really growing that much. Some will say facilities can’t be combined due to location, but that’s generally not the case. Many are within a few miles of another and could easily be combined to increase educational opportunities at reduced costs.  A successful future depends on good planning, and we urgently need a long-range plan based on what we know today. It won’t be perfect because there’s no crystal ball, but better than no long-range plan at all, which is basically how the district has operated for years. I look forward to helping plan a future providing the best education possible for our children while being considerate of the taxpayer as well.

Phillip Bowers

Trustee, School District of Pickens County

Chairman, Pickens County Republican Party

Are you angry enough yet?

Dear Editor,

Have our S.C. Republican leaders ever read, “The Platform of the S.C. Republican Party?” which can be found here:

If so, the majority aren’t following it. “they” should be following it as it has everything “they” need to know about what we the people who elected them want them to do while in Columbia!

Franklin Graham has resigned from the Republican Party? Why is that?

Donald Trump is supported by the majority of the voters to be our next Republican president. Why is that?

We the people are angry with career politicians who say one thing to get elected and betray us when they go to Columbia.

Our grievances against S.C. legislators and our governor:

They are allowing our state tax dollars to flow to Planned Parenthood so they can sell baby parts and murder babies in the womb. But if it were animal control officers selling baby dog parts and aborting baby dogs, I bet they would defund them.

They removed our heritage the Confederate Flag from the grounds of the capitol in Columbia in the name of political correctness and now the national GOP has rewarded Nikki Haley for advancing Obama’s agenda of destroying Southern history.

They are not immediately defunding state funds to the influx of Muslim refugees which places S.C. lives in jeopardy and violates their oath to protect us from all enemies. Rep. Neal Collins doesn’t believe in transparency as he has deleted his pro-Muslim statements on his Facebook. I guess he is following Hillary Clinton’s lead in deleting emails.

They investigate each other on ethics issues and have backroom deals with Democrats and lobbyist that betray our values and beliefs.

They have done very little to fix transparency with DOT or fix pot holes in our roads; however they give certain Senators’ counties plenty of funds to repair their roads.

They ignore their own passed legislation repealing Common Core and allow 90 percent mirrored standards, which are still child abusive and indoctrinate children in liberal thinking.

They ignore parents’ wishes for more school choice and the ability to opt their children out of data collecting stress producing tests. And continue to allow the federal government to have control over states’ rights to direct education.

They do very little to strengthen our property rights and leave us open to Socialism.

They are under-funding our schools which force our counties to over collect and raise taxes.

They are allowing illegal immigrants and probable terrorist refugees to receive our hard earned tax dollars to buy homes, cars and food at our expense and take our American born children’s jobs.

They do very little to help veterans and senior citizens receive a cost of living increase while illegals and refugees get freebies with our tax dollars

They are allowing open primaries where Democrats can pick our leaders.

They do very little to protect our religious freedoms which forces our clergy to perform homosexual marriages and business owners to sell flowers and cakes to celebrate an abomination against God’s law.

They do very little to protect our second, fourth, and 10th amendment.

They do nothing about limiting legislator and judge term limits.

They haven’t fixed the problems with the flawed judicial system which promotes cronyism and nepotism. We need elected judges who are held accountable to we the people for the wrongful decisions on cases.

Let’s show them how angry we the people are and tell them what Donald Trump would say, “You’re fired!”

Their betrayal to Southern Christian conservative pride, values and beliefs is overthrowing states’ rights and freedom in America. They are no better than our enemies who seek to destroy American from within. Vote them out 2016!

Johnnelle Raines