Hodges Needs More Time
September 19, 2002
Last nightís gubernatorial debate between Republican challenger Mark Sanford and Democratic candidate Gov. Jim Hodges perfectly illustrates why we need new leadership in the state executive branch in Columbia. The answers provided by Gov. Hodges to nearly every question on the issues was that he needs more time to implement his ideas to improve South Carolina. Thatís why the voters of this state need to elect him to a second term.
I have one word for that: Puhhhhleeeeeeze!
Last nightís debate made Gov. Hodges look like the fool that everyone knows he is. Looking back over his disastrous four-year tenure as South Carolinaís governor, Hodges was rather forthcoming about quite a few specific areas of his administration that have some unfinished business left. Hodges reiterated over and over that it is imperative that he receive a second term to complete the work he started.
Huh? What has Gov. Hodges been doing the past four years? Twiddling his thumbs hoping these issues would just go away on their own?! How lame of an excuse is THAT to be reelected governor of South Carolina?!
Letís review just a few of the areas Gov. Hodges says he needs more time to devote to in a second term:
- Expanding drug treatment programs
Why hasnít this already been done? If Gov. Hodges feels that this is an important issue, then why has he let down those struggling addicts who depend on these programs to help them get back to normal again?
GOV. HODGES FAILED THE DRUG ADDICTS!
- Expanding homeless shelter programs
Doesnít Gov. Hodges care about the homeless? Why has Gov. Hodges refused to use his power as governor to provide assistance to those people struggling in South Carolina?
GOV. HODGES FAILED THE HOMELESS!
- Expanding health care coverage
Since we are in the midst of a health care crisis in our state, why has Gov. Hodges refused to submit a reasonable plan to assist families suffering without health insurance (My family is one of them!)? Is it just not important to Gov. Hodges since his health insurance is paid for by the state?
GOV. HODGES FAILED PEOPLE WITHOUT ADEQUATE HEALTH INSURANCE!
- Improving the economy
Why does South Carolinaís economy still feel like we are in a recession when the rest of the country has been out of it for months? Why has Gov. Hodges continued to rob the stateís rainy day fund to pay for his pet projects while submitting a budget that is not balanced?
GOV. HODGES FAILED INDIVIDUALS AND BUSINESSES!
- Creating more jobs
Why is South Carolina in such a stalemate attracting new businesses to the state? Is Gov. Hodges waiting on another BMW to come knocking on his door (Note to Gov. Hodges: THEY WONíT COME KNOCKINí IF YOU DONíT GO LOOKINí FOR ĎEM!)? High unemployment plagues our state as a result of the failure of Gov. Hodges to create more jobs in South Carolina.
GOV. HODGES FAILED THE UNEMPLOYED!
- Providing more money for education
The so-called education governor has done NOTHING to improve education. What is more money for education going to do? Money is not the answer. Better use of the money will go a long way towards improving education. Gov. Hodges would rather educate our kids on the supposed virtues of gambling with the lottery and Powerball than actually teaching them the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic! Nice education, Gov. Hodges!
GOV. HODGES FAILED OUR CHILDREN!
- Raising teacher salary to the national average
While teachers deserve to get paid more money than they get, it should be based on merit, not across the board. Gov. Hodges refuses to distinguish between good and bad teachers. That is why our national test scores rank at the bottom in the nation.
GOV. HODGES FAILED OUR TEACHERS!
- Building $1 billion in school construction
Again, spending money on schools wonít make education any better. While I am in favor of having a modernized school, the focus needs to be on the content of the lessons, not on how beautiful the building looks.
GOV. HODGES FAILED THE FUTURE OF OUR CHILDRENíS EDUCATION!
- Training 5,000 certified teachers
Certified or not, teachers need to be given the tools to teach children the subjects they specialize in. A science teacher has no business teaching English and a math teacher does not need to be teaching music. Letís do a better job of putting teachers in the areas they studied and learning will be improved across the board.
GOV. HODGES FAILED OUR EDUCATION STANDARDS!
- Providing more money for job skills training at technical schools
Job skills training, especially for people like the mill workers who have been laid off in South Carolina, is a good thing. Learning a new job skill can diversify the working population and make them flexible in this shaky economy.
GOV. HODGES FAILED DISPLACED WORKERS!
- Passing McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform
Gov. Hodges is simply jumping on the Democratic Party bandwagon on this one. This bill is supposed to remove the corruption from elections. However, it does nothing but penalize challengers of incumbent candidates. If this measure were to pass the state legislature, I think it would be successfully overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.
GOV. HODGES FAILED ELECTION REFORM ADVOCATES!
- Banning soft money
You mean like the third-party ads that Gov. Hodges and his buddies ran against Mark Sanford in the GOP gubernatorial primary? How hypocritical can you get? Gov. Hodges was caught red handed in an illegal activity doing the exact opposite of what he is supposedly working on getting rid of. What else is Gov. Hodges deceiving us about?
GOV. HODGES FAILED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT ELECTION CORRUPTION!
- Improving the DMV
The DMV has nowhere to go but up! Even after the recent computer upgrades, the DMV has shown no improvements. This is yet another prime example of Gov. Hodges refusing to take action in an area that sorely needs it!
GOV. HODGES FAILED TO SOLVE THE PROBLEMS OF THE DMV!
- Making many statewide elected positions into appointed positions
Of course, Gov. Hodges wants this because it gives the governor more power over statewide officials. This depoliticization of many of the statewide elected offices would shift the balance of power in the state heavily in favor of the executive branch. This is not a good idea, regardless of who the governor is.
GOV. HODGES FAILED TO SEE THE NEED FOR STATEWIDE ELECTED OFFICIALS!
- Shortening the legislative session
Oh yes, please let the hardworking legislators come home a little bit sooner. Lord knows they work themselves to death debating issues that never seem to get resolved. Gov. Hodges could care less when the legislature is in session or not!
GOV. HODGES FAILED TO EFFECTIVELY LEAD BY EXAMPLE FOR LEGISLATORS!
- Giving state employees cost of living adjustments
Ah, the state employees now seem to matter to Gov. Hodges. This is the same group of people that Gov. Hodges gave an across the board cut in pay to in order to help resuscitate the state budget. Nevermind that Gov. Hodges has ticked off this large group of people so much that they might rise up in one voice to vote his sorry patooey out of office!
GOV. HODGES FAILED TO PROVIDE FOR THE HARDWORKING STATE EMPLOYEES!
If Gov. Hodges says he needs more time to work on a resolution to all of these issues, then I say we give it to him. Give him all the time he wants for the rest of his life to devote himself to doing something constructive about each of these areas.
Here is how we can do it: Vote for Mark Sanford to be the next Governor of South Carolina in November. Send Jim Hodges and his political cronies packing so they can get to work right away on these important issues.
If Jim Hodges really wanted to do something about these issues, then he would have done it in his first term. Instead GOV. HODGES FAILED time after time! Itís game over for Gov. Hodges.
The time has come to see what Gov. Mark Sanford will do for South Carolina.