“It’s always as though it’s somebody else’s fault … Gov. Sanford has some great ideas, but his execution is the worst that I have seen of a governor.”

Senate ldeader Glenn McConnell (R-Charleston) on Mark Sanford’s limited accomplishments as governor. In looking back on his last six years, Sanford told The State last week that he’d wished he’d looked at the fine print on the powers of the governorship.

S.C. Gears Up For Census

As population estimates continue to suggest strong growth in South Carolina, the state could be in line for a seventh Congressional District once the final numbers have been tallied in the 2010 Census. With one of the most populous districts in the country, the 1st District that covers much of the S.C. coast, including Myrtle Beach and Charleston, is likely to be impacted if that state gets another delegate.

But before we get there, we have to get to counting. The U.S. Census Bureau is looking to hire 300 Charleston-area residents to assist in doing the official head count. South Carolinians are among the worst when it comes to responding to the census. For more information, visit www.census.gov/2010jobs. Source: The Sun News, The Post and Courier

Legislative Preparedness

South Carolina legislators will be back at work on Jan. 13, but legislators have already filed dozens of bills laying out some priorities for the new session, addressing unresolved issues from the past few years, including tax reform, school funding, oversight of the payday lending industry, and government restructuring.

Some of the proposed legislation is a product of recent events. One bill would request that members of the General Assembly submit to a drug test — following former State Treasurer Thomas Ravenel’s 2008 conviction for handing out drugs to friends. Just months after the presidential election, several other bills seek to adjust state voting laws, particularly as it relates to absentee voting and accessibility at the voting booth. There are also efforts to expand smoking bans, currently enacted by several local municipalities, so that they apply statewide.

A few nanny state bills have returned for another try, including efforts to prevent adults from smoking in the car with children, talking on the cell phone while driving, and the use of trans fats in restaurants.

Energy is also a hot button, with bills targeting specific energy programs, likely nuclear or wind. There are also several bills to establish and regulate offshore oil exploration.

Our two favorites? A bill that would put a painting of Sen. Glenn McConnell (R-Charleston) in the Senate chamber and one that would establish the “Summer Duck” as the state duck. —Greg Hambrick


That’s the amount that Congressman Gresham Barrett (R-S.C.) is donating to charity, according to The State. The money came from a regular pay increase for Congressional members that Barrett says should have been rejected during these tough economic times. Charleston Mayor Joe Riley announced last month that he would be sending his raise back to the city this year since some city staff members went without one.

Buck Naked For A Cause

Tera Mabe and Jessica Lambrakos have returned with their second calendar benefiting people with AIDS. “The Naked Truth” is a 12-month collection of locals tastefully nude or nearly nude in various Lowcountry settings. With the proceeds of the 2008 calendar, the two women traveled to Tanzania to work with children orphaned by AIDS and single mothers struggling with HIV. This year’s calendar will benefit the local chapter of the Ryan White Foundation. Mabe and Lambrakos will also use some of the money to establish their own nonprofit organizations in support of local HIV positive people.

The ladies will be hosting a Red Party to launch this year’s calendar from 7-10 p.m. Thurs., Jan. 15, at Dudley’s, followed by a drag show at Pantheon. Models in this year’s calendar include the City Paper‘s own Stratton Lawrence (pictured, far right). For more information, visit www.nakedtruthsc.com. —Greg Hambrick

Charleston Police Target City’s Unsafe Passengers

In its latest effort to sweat the small stuff, City of Charleston police officers are pulling drivers over when passengers are not buckled up.

In this new year, the department’s attention has turned to securing the safety of your co-pilot. Our routine review of the city’s police report found at least three cases in the last two weeks in which officers initiated a traffic stop because a passenger in the car was not wearing the safety belt.

The cases we read in the police report led to other, more serious charges, so there is a recognizable value in the law’s enforcement. Even if you feel like the cops are acting like your worrisome mother, it’s best to just buckle up.—Greg Hambrick


That’s the number of times local Congressman Henry Brown (R-S.C.) used the word “Charleston” in the congressional record last year. It was his second favorite word behind “energy.” Other common words used by Brown included “security” and “appropriations.” Source: www.CapitalWords.org

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