Gun Manufacturer Attempts to Hold Horry Hostage
An attempt to bring a second new gun manufacturer to Horry County failed after Ohio-based Ithaca Gun Co. walked away from the negotiating table. In addition to financial incentives offered by the county, Ithaca wanted land rezoned for the owner’s second company, a glass recycling facility, which has a history EPA violations in other states. The Sun News reports that some county officials expressed concern about rezoning land simply to accommodate the demand. Officials are now preparing to move ahead with other plans. At first glance, the failed deal may seem like a lost opportunity for the area; however, government so-called “investments” of taxpayer dollars (who do you think pays for these incentives?) into jobs rarely live up to the foreplay during negotiations. For example, PTR Industries, another gun manufacturer recently lured to Horry County, just laid off eight employees in addition to implementing salary cuts for managers in response to a drop in demand for firearms. One can only wonder how many of the 120 jobs promised by Ithaca would actually pan out over time. Simply put, taxpayer dollars should not be used for baiting businesses. Instead, local leaders should work to improve the overall business climate in Horry County, which impacts every business -- not just those picked as winners and losers by the government.
South Carolina Positions Itself for a Greener Future
Only a year ago, the idea of South Carolina becoming a medical marijuana state seemed about as likely as Alvin Greene being elected president. But then, in early June, Gov. Nikki Haley signed the Medical Cannabis Therapeutic Treatment Research Act into law, thus finally making cannabidiol oil (CBD) -- a life saving, marijuana-based medicine -- available to children who suffer from rare forms of epilepsy. The law also created a government study committee to investigate the feasibility of cultivating, selling, and using medical marijuana in the state. The potential of medical marijuana took another step forward last week when U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford helped defeat a Congressional amendment aimed at blocking Department of Treasury guidelines intended to give legal pot dispensaries access to the federal banking system. Even though both Colorado and Washington officially legalized recreational marijuana, in addition to 21 other states with legalized medical marijuana, the federal government still classifies marijuana as an illegal drug. This means banks that work with legal pot shops expose themselves to federal prosecution. Without access to banks for check and credit card processing, these shops are forced to operate as a cash-only business, making them vulnerable to armed robbery and other financial crimes. According to Sanford, this is a violation of states rights. “Cutting off access to the banking system for businesses in Colorado that are legal strikes me as overreach and leads one to wonder what other businesses the federal government would try to shut down if it could,” Sanford wrote on Facebook. “Should Coca-Cola not have access to banks because New York City banned big sodas?” The next big step for medical marijuana in South Carolina is when the study committee reports its findings in March.
Knocking T-Rav for Ballot Signature Source a Low Blow
Former Mount Pleasant Mayor Cheryll Woods-Flowers is none too pleased with the means by which Thomas Ravenel is likely to have made it onto the November ballot as a challenger to U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-Seneca). According to The Post and Courier’s “Palmetto Post” blog, Woods-Flowers, a friend of Graham’s, ran into a person collecting signatures to put Ravenel on the ballot earlier this month at a Berkely County gas station. Woods-Flowers claims the person was actually a paid vendor from an out-of-state organization contracted by Ravenel to collect signatures to meet the 10,000-signature requirement for independent candidates. "If there was a big groundswell of people that wanted him on the ballot, he would have used someone from South Carolina," claims Woods-Flowers, adding that using such a method of collecting signatures makes a “mockery of the process.” Not surprisingly, Woods-Flowers makes no mention of how signature requirements like that imposed upon independent candidates like Ravenel make a mockery of democratic process. Signature requirements for candidates and political parties to make it onto a ballot are one of the unknown evils of the America electoral process. While Republicans and Democrats enjoy unfettered access to voters, independent and third party candidates often are required to jump through expensive (and sometimes logistically impossible) hurdles just to have a chance to challenge the status quo. It is only one of the ways Republicans and Democrats manipulate the law to kill competition in elections. Collecting petition signatures is a long, grueling process – especially when using inexperienced and untrained campaign volunteers – which is why hiring professional organizations is a common practice to meet these signature thresholds.