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Letter to the Editor

Sen. Massey Responds to Critics

web posted March 6, 2013

Dear Editor:
A few recent Wandering Minds posts have asked about my work in the Senate.  I appreciate the opportunity to address those concerns. 

A couple commenters asked about my support of the 2nd Amendment.  I am an unabashed, proud supporter of gun rights. I have been the primary advocate for legislation to expand the rights of responsible, Concealed Weapons Permit holders, and I’ll keep pushing until we get it passed. I am absolutely opposed to the federal push for more restrictive gun laws; those restrictions would only punish the good guys. I do, however, think we should keep firearms away from violent criminals and those suffering from mental illness.  So if you think John Hinckley or Jared Loughner or James Holmes should have had access to weapons, we disagree. But the good, decent, law-abiding gun owners should not be attacked and punished for the sins of others.

I also appreciate the comments about whether I’ve lived up to my commitment to work hard to shake up Columbia.  The first bill I introduced was one to eliminate the long-standing practice of hidden earmarks in the state budget. I pushed hard to force the Senate to record more votes, and now you have a much better idea of how I and other legislators vote. In fact, you can keep track of my votes by clicking on the “Voting Record” tab on my website – www.senatormassey.com. I have been a frequent critic of comfortable yet outdated educational practices.

When three state agencies asked to run deficits in 2011, I repeatedly blasted the irresponsible practice, chaired the investigative subcommittee, and called out those who had essentially created a culture of deficit spending.  And I’m not sure any member of the General Assembly has been a more persistent and outspoken (some may say obsessed) advocate for modernizing our state’s antiquated structure of government.  I recognize there’s much more to be done, but I have the political battle scars to prove I’ve taken on the status quo, as this article from The State points out -  http://www.thestate.com/2013/01/27/2606512/the-buzz-a-good-ol-fashioned-senate.html

Finally, I’ve always been frustrated by elected officials who come around only during election season.  Since my election to the Senate in 2007, I’ve held over 60 “town hall” meetings across our district. These meetings are nonpartisan and open to everyone.  In fact, my next meeting will be at the Edgefield County Council chambers on Thursday, 3/7/13, 6:00-7:30. Additionally, I send out a weekly email during the legislative session to give an update on what’s happening in the Senate.  If you’re not already receiving that email, please sign up on my website at www.senatormassey.com. 

I’ve also published my cell phone number (803-480-0419), my email address (shanemassey@scsenate.gov), and my mailing address (P.O. Box 551, Edgefield).  My goal is to keep everyone updated about what’s going on and be as responsive as possible. However, I am certainly open to suggestions as to how I can do a better job.

Representing you in the Senate is a tremendous honor and a wonderful opportunity. I take the job seriously, and I work hard at it. I realize we won’t always agree on the issues, but you deserve to know my thoughts about the challenges facing South Carolina and the reasons for my positions. I’m always available to talk with you, and I’d love to have your ideas and input. Please let me know if you have suggestions, ideas, or if I can ever help you with state government.

Shane Massey
SC State Senator

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