State employees know who values the jobs they do (hint: it’s not Henry McMaster)

Oct. 17, 2018
Press Contact: Brad Warthen, 803-315-1886

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Yesterday, we told you about the fact that South Carolina teachers are backing James Smith and Mandy Powers Norrell for governor and lieutenant governor.

Today, we’re talking about other state employees. The South Carolina State Employees Association, unlike the South Carolina Education Association, does not issue political endorsements. But in a communication to the group’s members, SCSEA Executive Director Carlton Washington left little doubt as to which candidates have the employees’ interests in mind:

It is important that state employees and teachers do a side-by-side evaluation of Governor McMasters reaction to our plan for state employees and teachers and the reaction from Representative Smith. It is clear, even with certified information from retained experts in the field, Governor McMaster has decided to ignore the men and women who stand on the front lines everyday to keep South Carolina safe and moving.

By contrast – and the emailed message draws the contrast sharply – James and Mandy have clearly stated their support for the plan McMaster was pointedly ignoring: using a $177 million state budget surplus for one-time bonuses for teachers and state employees.

“We need to show teachers and state employees that we value their service,” said Rep. Norrell in an earlier release about the bonus plan. “We always say we don’t have the money. Well, right now we do.”

“This is about more than what these hard-working public servants deserve,” added Rep. Smith. “It’s about what we all deserve. We want the very best working for us, and our spending priorities need to reflect that. For years, we’ve been sending the opposite signal.”

Mr. Washington concluded his message by saying, “The SCSEA is not telling you who to vote for but we sure are giving you important information about the Gubernatorial candidates and their position on state employee and education issues.”

Yes, they were. And the choice is clear.