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Holding the Line on Accountability

June 12, 2009

Office of the Governor

A message
from Mark

Dear Friends,

One serious consequence from the recent stimulus decision was that South Carolinians missed a perhaps once-in-a-generation opportunity to reframe the way our state does business. We’ve consistently said that the state’s government structure and Jim Crow constitution holds us back for the way it diffuses executive authority, diminishes taxpayer accountability, and decreases transparency – all bedrock principles of a successful democracy.

Yet, instead of finding ways to streamline government with a Department of Administration similar to what is found in 49 other states, or save millions of taxpayer dollars by consolidating duplicative services, some in the legislature are actually trying to move in the opposite direction.

So in the absence of major restructuring this year, I’d ask you contact your legislator to, at a minimum, prevent backsliding.

This coming Tuesday, the legislature will vote on a Ports Authority bill we vetoed. Given we believe the battle will take place primarily in the Senate, you’ve got one more chance this legislative session to make your voice heard by calling your state Senator – and House member as well – and telling them to sustain our veto (find your Senator and Representative’s contact information here).

The Ports Authority serves as an important cog for economic development in our state, and as such, it’s important that the agency be both responsive and transparent in its day-to-day operations. The bill we vetoed would reduce taxpayer accountability and make it harder to correct mistakes, as an editorial in yesterday’s newspaper pointed out.

While stopping this backsliding Ports bill will not meaningfully nudge the ball forward on this larger notion of restructuring, we believe it’s still vital to make sure our antiquated model of state governance doesn’t get any worse. For if we ever want to be competitive as a state in the 21st Century, it starts with having a 21st Century government structure. Accordingly, I’d once again ask you to call your legislators and urge them to stop this Ports Authority bill before it sails off to sea and leaves South Carolinians worse off for it.
Mark Sanford
Mark Sanford

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