Common Sense for the Common Good
I have called South Carolina home for nearly 30 years, and have devoted that time to my family, my community, and the future of South Carolina through community service and teaching. I am running for Congress because I believe Congress has a responsibility to invest in America to create more jobs, opportunity, and security. I believe that every person in South Carolina has the right to be fully and equally represented in the eyes of the nation.
I refuse to accept donations from corporations or big banks — no public servant can serve two masters.
In 1986, I joined the faculty of Coker College, teaching Sociology and Political Science. In my three decades at Coker College, I have researched policy and political matters, from local high-school dropout rates to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as traveled to and worked on human rights issues in eight countries. My commitment to education was honored by being recognized as a Coker Master Professor three times, receiving the Governor’s Distinguished Professor award, as well as the Algernon Sydney Sullivan service award.
Working with the United Nations, I monitored the elections in Nicaragua in 1990 and in Mexico in 1994. I have served on numerous local boards including the homeless shelter, the Disabilities Board, Christmas in April (low-income housing), as well as the South Carolina Democratic party. I currently serve on the board of the Boy’s and Girl’s Club of Hartsville, am a co-chair of the local Earth Day Festival, as well as the co-chair of the conference “Sustainability and Faith.”
For 12 years, I have also taught government and economics at the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Math, helping students understand the importance of civic engagement and economic policy. My book, “Covering High Treason: Media Coverage of the Assassination of President Kennedy.” will be available early 2018.
I live in Hartsville with my wife, Carole Holloway, an attorney with the Department of Social Services. We are the proud parents of two daughters, Geneva and Nicole. Geneva, a nurse, is married to Dr. Luke Baxley, formerly of Hartsville. They have two children, Davis and Kate. Our youngest daughter, Nicole, is a Senior in college with a double major in political science and sociology.
I believe Healthcare is a human right. We need an efficient system, run by the states, in which everyone is covered and individuals pick their own doctors and hospitals. No one should lose everything because they are sick.
I believe that a living wage helps create a strong middle class and when the wealthy pay their fair share in taxes, we are able to invest in our communities. Recent floods make it clear that we need to repair our roads, bridges, dams, water systems, and levees. Investments in rebuilding public schools, public buildings, public housing, the electrical grid, and our railroads also need to be made—interest rates are low and millions of good jobs would be created.
Protecting the environment is crucial to the future of South Carolina. Foremost among our goals is the prevention of offshore drilling and seismic testing right along our coastline. Drilling for oil along the South Carolina coast risks our atmosphere, our beautiful beaches, and tens of thousands of jobs. Climate change is real, and a real threat to our future. We must act to reduce carbon emissions, and invest in sustainable and alternative energy.
FAMILY AND COMMUNITY
Investing in dignity for children strengthens families. Investing in opportunity for students strengthens families. Guaranteed healthcare and decent wages strengthens families. Paid family leave and sick leave strengthens families. Investing in veterans and seniors strengthens families. A deeper commitment to a common sense criminal justice strengthens families.
I believe in peace through strength and common sense. We must honor our commitments to our allies, and seek to strengthen international law. ISIS must be destroyed – yet we must understand that this is essentially a battle for the soul of Islam and we must broaden our work with our Muslim and Arab allies. A more balanced policy toward Israel and the Palestinians will diminish terrorist recruitment.
Social Security must be increased to provide dignity to seniors. Currently, Social Security is the sole source of income for about half of South Carolina retirees. About 37% of each Social Security check goes toward out-of pocket health care costs. Twenty percent of our citizens can not afford to fill their prescriptions. Currently, no Social Security payroll taxes are paid on incomes above $118,000 – so the upper middle class and the wealthy pay a lower share of their income on this tax than the rest of us. Eliminating this cap on payroll taxes will be more fair, it will stabilize the Social Security Trust fund, and Social Security payments would increase.
We all know that investment in education is an investment for the future of our State. Quality education needs to be affordable and accessible to all of South Carolina’s children. A dollar spent on early childhood education yields about $7 in return. If you don’t make that investment, you don’t belong in government. I will work to create a Children’s Bill of Rights — to guarantee food, healthcare, decent housing, good schools, and safe streets for all children.
JUSTICE FOR ALL
I believe the open wounds of our past demand a new commitment to criminal justice. We need more police training, changes in mandatory minimum sentencing, and overall prison reform. I believe in expanded drug courts, drug treatment on demand and a comprehensive study on the real risks of marijuana.
Presidents Jefferson and Eisenhower told us the price of liberty is eternal vigilance — that is the price of justice, the price of community, and the price of security. Just voting is not enough — we need to stand up, speak out, and organize — to create a government that works for all of us. Keep the faith. Organized people can defeat organized money. To strengthen the land of the free, we must be the home of the brave. Join us on this journey for LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL.