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South Carolina state Rep. Mia McLeod, known for not biting her tongue when it comes to discussion GOP antics in the state, sent out her take on Gov. Nikki Haley's State of the State address.

For all of you who had the misfortune of watching the Governor’s State of the State address Wednesday night, I’m gonna do what she should’ve done… apologize.

If the state of our state is as hollow as the empty rhetoric she offered, then we really do need to have “the conversation.”  At least our Governor was right about one thing…the people of South Carolina deserve better.

And while she spent two pages starting “the conversation” about public education funding, here’s a newsflash:  that conversation started years ago. So instead of wasting two pages talking about it, Governor Haley could’ve spent two years being about it.
But since we’re having “the conversation,” maybe we should talk about the recent hacking of the Department of Revenue’s database because it exposed the personal financial information of almost four million South Carolinians and is considered the worst state government data breach in U.S. history.  Even the identities of our children, vulnerable adults and businesses have been compromised.

Saying it won’t happen again isn’t an apology.  A year of free credit monitoring isn’t enough.  And although “what happened at DoR was a jolt to all of us,” S.C. residents are the victims.  She’s the Governor.  Maybe she should stop “talking” and start “doing.”

Perhaps you should ask what she wants you to do after that year is up.  Surely she knows that anyone who is sophisticated enough to hack into our SSNs and bank account information, is certainly patient enough to wait at least a year before using it.

So now that she’s “talking,” ask her why she’s okay with almost one million South Carolinians not having healthcare.  Oops…she already answered that one for you:

“As long as I am Governor, South Carolina will not implement the public policy disaster that is Obamacare’s Medicaid Expansion.”  (translation: it’s not about you)

Obviously, she would rather send your federal tax dollars to citizens of other states, who will gladly accept them. But don’t forget that you’ll pay regardless, with higher premiums to pick up the slack for S.C. folks who aren’t covered, and for those lucky recipients in other states who’ll get to use our money at our expense.  

And while we’re talking, let’s also ask the Governor why she takes credit, even for jobs that she had no part in creating.  Sadly, South Carolina’s unemployment rate is still well above the national average and as she focuses on large corporations, small businesses, our state’s biggest job creators, are still struggling.

She must not care to talk about election reform, workforce development or public safety either.  After all, these necessary reforms might actually benefit you.

I mean, why should she care about your confidence in the elections process or how early voting might help ease the process for millions?  Why should she care that in S.C., we’ve got jobs without (skilled/trained) people and people without jobs.  Training and preparing S.C. citizens for S.C. jobs might actually allow us to recruit our best and brightest back to the state, and keep those of us here who haven’t left yet.

The term “conversation” suggests a dialogue or an exchange of information. So Governor, please let us know when you’re ready to have a real conversation…one that includes all of us, instead of the familiar monologue we heard again on Wednesday.

While you’re wasting our time and yours railing against Obamacare, the reality and I have quality healthcare, while millions of South Carolinians don’t.    

And although you finally recognize that investing in our infrastructure is an economic development issue, so is investing in our children and the public schools that educate them.  So is investing in quality healthcare so that all of us are healthy enough to work and feed our families.  So is protecting our financial information for the long haul, since it was your failure to lead that allowed it to be compromised.

Before S.C. can ever become the “It” state you so arrogantly described (when it comes to jobs and economic development), we must first get off the “IT” (that’s Information Technology) disaster list, stop blaming Washington for our self-inflicted wounds and show the people of South Carolina real accountability, real transparency, real reform and hopefully, real leadership.

But alas, her rambling rhetoric (“As long as I am Governor…”) does offer us one small glimmer of hope…for a day when she will no longer be Governor.

Here’s an idea:  let’s start “the conversation” about how we can make that day come sooner than later.


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