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Limited, Fiscally Responsible, Transparent Government
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Volume 3 Number 2 15 February 2011
Verizon Sues the FCC
Verizon sued the FCC on 20 January 2011 to overturn an FCC order prohibiting Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from blocking customer access to particular websites. The original order was issued in 2008 against Comcast for blocking customer access to a file sharing service that competed with a service offered by Comcast. For the complete story click here.
This is part of a longstanding effort on the part of ISPs to bill both ends of the wire. They want to bill you for access to the network and also bill the sender of any information you request, who is already paying them for access. They want the right to substitute information from those whoi pay more for what you actually requested and to block information from those of whom they do not approve or who won't pay a second time. Essentially they are collecting from everyone for access and now they want to collect a second time for those who actually send anything. The FCC has been telling them that they only get to collect once from eveeryone, and havng collected for access, they are bound to provide it without charging again.
Internet service in the US is 100x slower than in Europe and elsewhere; if the ISPs would get their service up to world class standards bandwidth wiould not be an issue.
State Senate Amends Roll Call Vote Bill
A subcommittee of the SC Senate Judiciary Committee has amended H3004, the bill requiring roll call votes, so that it takes effect only when the State Constitution is amended to require roll call votes. If this amendment is allowed to stand the bill will never take effect. The bill may be in front of the full Judiciary Committee on Tuesday 15 February 2011. This amendment must be removed and the bill modified to take effect on approval by the Governor. To take action, go here for a summary of what needs to be done.
From the Editor
This newsletter is published as events warrant. Subscribers receive and email when updates are published. The email is very brief and contaoins a link to the new edition. If you have news, pictures. links or comment, or wish to subscribe, please let me know. Note that the link on the Resources page now includes a way to check out the voting records of members of the SC legislature.
J.R. Wilt, Editor and Publisher
Congressman Mulvaney on TV
Freshman Congressman Mulvaney was interviewed on C-Span on 25 January. The format was a call-in show, and Mick both spoke and answered questions from the interviewer and those who called in. If you want to know how your Congressman thinks on fiscal and other issues you can view the entire video (45 minutes) here. Thanks to Kris Thompson of SCD5 Patriots.
You can view Mick's questions for Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke on 9 February (5 minutes) here.
Mick served on a CPAC panel entitled "Cutting Spending by Spenders" . You can view the discussion here. Tou have to register (for free) to use the CPAC website.
Mick's latest newsletter is here.
Little Known Tax Break
Why do top executives like to take on stints with the Federal Government? The answer is a little known tax break that allows those who are required to divest themselves of assets due to a stint with the Fedral government to do so tax free. High ranking executives are often wealthy, but much of their wealth is tied up in restricted stock in the company for which they work. Diversification of this portfolio is often a major problem for these people, who must sell the stock, creating a taxable transaction, before they can do anything else. Taking a stint with the Federal Government allows them to sell the stock and invest the proceeds in government bonds tax free. When they complete their government service they can sell the government bonds and invest the proceeds as they wish. The tax savings can amount to tens of millions of dollars.Blame it on Bush?
This is an extensive comparison of economic parameters between January 2009 when the President Bush left office and the most recent available date. Thanks to the Charleston TEA Party. View it here.
Passes Voter Picture ID
On 26 January 2011 the SC House passed H3003, which requires a picture ID (state issued picuure ID, passport, driver's license, Armed Forces ID or picture bearing Vvoter registration card) to vote in South Carolina. Fees are aboloshed for state issued picture IDs issued by DMV until the Elections Commission is in a position to issue picture bearing voter registratiion cards. The legislative history of this bill can be found here and contains a link to the complete text of the bill. The details of the recorded vote may be found here. The bill has been sent to the senate, where there is significant opposition.
SC Senate District 16 Election
An election will be held to fill the unexpired portion of the SC Senate seat formerly held by now Congressman Mick Mulvaney. Primary elections will be held 22 February, primary runoff elections on 8 March, and the special election on 12 April. There will be a candidates forum on Saturday, 5 February at 11:00 AM in the Stevens Auditorium in Hubbard Hall at the University of South Carolina at Lancaster. Candidates and their web sites are as follows:
Keith Brann (D) - Fort Mill http://brannforsenate.org
Ronald Griffin (D) - Lancaster
No website available at this time
Brian Carnes (R) - Indian Land http://carnes4senate.com
Greg Gregory - Lancaster http://www.gregoryforsenate.com
Rob McCoy (R) - Lancaster http://www.robmccoyforsenate.com
Wendy Petzel (R) - Fort Mill
Mike Short (R) - Fort Mill http://votemikeshort.com
Stan Smith (L) - Fort Mill http://www.voteforstansmith.com
Mulvaney Endorses Gregory
Congressman Mick Mulvaney has endorsed Greg Gregory for the seat he formerly held in the SC Senate. Gregory previously served 16 years in the SC Senate, retiring in 2008. He decided to run again when Hugh Mobley left the race due to health problems. He has committed to run again in 2012 if he wins this race.
Gregory believes that there is only one real issue in South Carolina government and that is the reorganization of the government to give the Governor real authority. At present the Governor of South Carolina is nominally responsible for running the state, but is in practice the chair of a committee. The other members of this committee are either elected independently or appointed by the Speaker of the House and the President pro tempore of the Senate.