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Letter to the Editor:  Writer Voices Support for Shane Massey

web posted June 9, 2016

Dear Editor,

I just wanted to take a moment to voice my support for Shane Massey, as well as highlight and commend the courage Shane displayed when he was one of only two senators to oppose the ‘election’ of Sen. Hugh Leatherman as the president pro tempore of the S.C. Senate in June of 2014. I feel compelled to write this because, in my opinion, it is something that has been largely overlooked and under appreciated by far too many people in South Carolina, particularly those of us in the 25th district.

Leatherman is a career politician from Florence who has been a member of the South Carolina Senate since 1981. Leatherman is currently seeking his 7th term in office. Among the powers of the president pro tempore are broad appointment powers to various state boards and committees. In addition to the president pro tempore position, Leatherman holds seats on several powerful committees such as chairman for the Senate Finance Committee, chairman of the Joint Bond Review Committee, chairman of the Salary Executive & Performance Evaluation Committee, a member of the State Budget and Control Board, a member of the State Infrastructure Bank, and a member of the Senate Ethics Committee. To say that it is a dangerous proposition to consolidate all of that power and influence into any single individual would be an enormous understatement.

If you weren’t familiar with this matter prior to reading this letter, I strongly encourage you to take the time to conduct your own research into the matter. I feel that the procedural end-around used to effectuate this ‘coup’ demonstrates not only the shadiness of those who perpetrated it, but also what those of us desiring to see meaningful reforms in government are up against in the General Assembly. I suggest watching all of Shane’s thirty-minute speech on the floor of the Senate that day (which can be viewed here), as well as reading these articles from The State, Free-Times, and Fitsnews for starters.

While I may not agree with Shane on all of his positions, there are several things that I do agree with him on such as requiring that the votes of legislators be recorded and CWP reciprocity with Georgia. However, there isn’t a human being on planet earth that I agree with on everything, either. I think most people can say the same about themselves. Seeing that so many of the problems in this state derive from government corruption and political self-dealing, it would defy common-sense for us to not support the individual who has demonstrated his efforts to oppose such things through not only his words, but also; and more importantly, his actions.

While speaking truth to power will almost certainly have consequences, logic dictates that speaking truth to absolute power will absolutely have consequences. Bearing that in mind, please do not allow yourself to fall victim to the arsenal of false propaganda about Shane currently being thrown at you through your mailbox, telephone, and elsewhere. I am certain many of you have already received some of this negative propaganda to which I refer in the form of political mailings and robo-calls, the likes of which would make even the notorious Joseph Goebbels blush.
While detractors may say that it was only a speech, it nonetheless took a lot of courage to do, and displays the character of someone with integrity and worthy of our support. In this day and age, to have an elected representative with such characteristics is exceedingly rare, and for us to not send him back to Columbia in the hopes that someone else would or could do better is simply foolhardy. Therefore, I would encourage everyone to re-elect Shane Massey to the South Carolina Senate for District 25.

In kind regards,

Kevin Beck
Trenton, SC

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