By Robert Scott
All writers in Op Ed are here to inform and acknowledge issues of importance to our communities, however these writings represent the views and opinions of the authors and not necessarily of The Advertiser.
Informed voting is a responsibility we all have. Each of us needs to think before reaching the voting booth and to reject easy outs like straight ticket voting or voting the same way your family has always voted. I remember the first time I was old enough to vote for President, in an election that had a seemingly viable third-party candidate. After we had voted, my family spoke about who voted how. Turns out Mom, Dad, and I each voted for a different candidate! At the time, I thought “Might as well have stayed home.” But since then, I’ve decided that was a good thing; it helped to cement the message that in the view of my own family at least, there are good points and bad involved in every voting decision.
Which brings up this year’s gubernatorial vote: the incumbent, Henry McMaster (R) being contested by former congressman Joe Cunningham (D), as well as one not-so-viable third party. Cutting through their commercials, what does each of them stand for, what do they promise to strive for this coming term if the voters were to grant them that opportunity?
Governor McMaster has already compiled a résumé based on his terms in office. His father was a SC state representative, and Henry McMaster himself served as a U.S. Attorney, as state Attorney General (AG), and as Lieutenant Governor before succeeding Nikki Haley as Governor when she resigned to become our Ambassador to the United Nations. There is a re-election website that lists both what he has done in office and what he hopes to do in the future. His record reflects the most conservative Republican issues. As AG he opposed Obamacare, leading a coalition of state AGs in an unsuccessful court challenge to that law. He has continued that opposition as Governor, consequently rejecting federal funding to support that version of healthcare for our least prosperous citizens. He has firmly opposed abortion in the state, supporting the S.C. House version of no exceptions for pregnancies medically certain to end with the death of the newborn, a version that our own Sen. Shane Massey predicts has no chance of passing the Senate. You can check out that website to see more of his positions.
Rep. Cunningham is less well known. He lost his bid for re-election to Congress and appears to have changed his position on several issues relative to his fellow Democrats in Congress. His website states he wants to “get rid of career politicians” (no question as to whom he means), and he opposes not only abortion bans but also vaccine mandates in the name of keeping “the government out of our medical decisions.” He wishes to keep the government out of more decisions by legalizing personal use of marijuana and legalizing sports betting. Most controversially, he states an intention to entirely abolish the state Income Tax without explicitly stating where the revenue will be made up (what other taxes) or what state spending will be slashed. The state income tax brings in some 40% of state revenue, so consequences would be large indeed. For my part, I find this troubling.
Which one will you be voting for? Check out thosewebsites and also watch the Gubernatorial Debate on SCETV on Wednesday, 10/26, at 7:00pm. Make sure you cast an informed vote for Governor this year!