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October 25, 2006 | South Carolina Headlines


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Erwin reflects on 2005 legislative session
May 31, 2005

May 31, 2005
News Release - For Immediate Release
Contact: Lachlan McIntosh (803) 799-7798

Today at the State House, South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Joe
Erwin, joined by Democratic leaders of the State House and Senate, discussed the 2005 legislative session and the performance of Governor Mark Sanford. Erwin praised the legislature for fully funding public education and for overriding most of Governor Sanford's budget vetoes, which would have taken millions in funding away from education, health care and job training.
"Education is being funded properly for the first time in years. The budget is balanced, trust finds are being restored and the state is fulfilling its obligation to invest in economic development, health care and job training," Erwin said. "Unfortunately, this progress was made with absolutely no help or leadership from Governor Mark Sanford."
Erwin pointed out that Sanford has done little to combat South Carolina's high unemployment rate: "South Carolina currently has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. Mark Sanford's answer was a tax cut scheme for the rich and a massive funding veto for just about every job training technical college in the state. Families are suffering and Mark Sanford's idea of leadership appears to be taking pot shots at legislators and dining with editorial writers."
Erwin criticized Sanford for once again failing to fund public education in his executive budget and for his latest attempt to implement a private school voucher program: "Instead of funding public education, Mark Sanford had a bill introduced that took money away from public schools and gave it to private academies."
Erwin also raised additional questions about the Sanford administration's role in the Santee Cooper fiasco: "After promising he would never attempt to privatize Santee Cooper, we learn that his office was secretly taking bids to do just that. Documents uncovered only because of the Freedom of Information Act shed light on those secret back room deals." Erwin pointed out that Sanford attempted to have two senate sub committee members removed from their positions after they began to ask tough questions: "Mark Sanford is acting pretty odd about all this to say the least. What's he so worried about anyway?"
"We all know people who blame everybody else for their own shortcomings, but Mark Sanford is taking the blame game to another level. South Carolina is faced with daunting problems and we need a Governor who is capable of leading and who can work with others. We need a Governor who believes in public education, who understands the lives of regular people and is committed to moving South Carolina forward."


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