To the Contrary

State film subsidies

Everyone likes a good movie, and at least one South Carolina legislator wants to keep the reels rolling on the production end.

The anticipated resurgence of filmmaking in South Carolina hasn't emerged as some thought following the Hollywood writers' strike. State House Speaker Bobby Harrell, R-Charleston, wants to entice the industry by expanding wage rebates for in-state and out-of-state workers and to create an apprenticeship program for residents to gain experience in the industry. ...

We agree with the governor's office that it doesn't make a lot of sense to offer huge incentives to hire people from outside the state. If anyone needs a break, it would be South Carolinians. ...

The legislature has offered some ill-advised incentives in recent years to well-heeled companies that some South Carolinians don't embrace. ...

Harrell's ideas about creating crews and a supplier base are on target, and we would hope the filmmakers would hire them.

Creating a competitive edge is difficult, and it must have the right balance of incentives. Other states also are on the trail of the entertainment industry business. Everyone wants to create jobs, but lawmakers should take a close look at the return.

Upstate tourism

Tourism is South Carolina's No. 1 industry, and it's only fitting the Upstate do what it can to increase its share of that pie. Those efforts include a planned ad campaign that would be aired on the Golf Channel during the BMW Charity Pro-Am and are aided by the Upstate's prominent mention in a South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism advertising campaign aimed at tourists from Chicago.

These are both worthy efforts that will help position the Upstate as quality vacation destination and a great place to live. Our state already is wildly popular among tourists from all over the nation, although many tourism dollars stay at the coast. This state is recognized as a great place for families to relocate. ...

Our state is known nationwide as a tourism destination and a great place to live and work. There's no reason that the Upstate cannot continue to build its stake in our state's No. 1 industry, and there's no reason the Upstate shouldn't use its already plentiful assets to bring people here so they, too, can be "blown away" by what the area has to offer.

All of us who live and work in the Upstate know what a wonderful place it is. To capitalize on that, all we need to do is tell the rest of the world.

Restructuring plan

The legislation calling for voters to decide whether to let the governor appoint the education superintendent, secretary of state and lieutenant governor hadn't even made it to the Senate before President Pro Tempore Glenn McConnell declared it dead on arrival.

The Senate couldn't muster the two-thirds vote necessary to approve those and other constitutional referendums last year, he told The Associated Press, so it would be a waste of time to try again.

He's right that it would be a waste of time -- if the people who claim to support the legislation don't do any more to generate support than they did last year. ...

There are a handful of senators who truly support letting future governors appoint top executive branch officials -- or at least allowing the public a say in the matter. But few believe passionately enough in the concept to risk their political capital, or even to lobby their fellow senators. ...

Sen. McConnell and others who say they support that concept need to get to work selling the idea of a unified executive branch, of less electioneering, of better-qualified administrators, of a more accountable governor.

The Senate needs to debate the issue again. And this time, senators need to approve the plan to move us in that direction.

On the Net: www.thestate.com/opinion/

Anderson Independent-Mail on Sunshine Week in South Carolina, March 18:

It's Sunshine Week in South Carolina and across the country. March 16-22 is designated to highlight laws governing public meetings and public information. We are fortunate in South Carolina to have a legislature that has tried to strengthen those laws. But there are times when those obligated to follow the laws are not so cooperative. And that is detrimental to them as much as to the public they have sworn to serve. ...

When public officials or public bodies disobey, defy or attempt to redefine FOI, they are showing disrespect and disregard not just for the laws of our state but for the people who benefit from those laws.

And that doesn't mean just us, the members of the press. It means you, the public.

But those who would attempt to use freedom of speech and open records laws wrongly, to create the appearance of wrongdoing without benefit of proof, should have their disrespect and disregard for the law equally condemned.

On the Net: http://www.independentmail.com/news/opinion/

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