No one is ever going to replace Joe Taylor when it comes to bringing a pro-business, pro-taxpayer perspective to the governance of South Carolina’s corrupt, crime-ridden, anti-competitive capital city. The former state commerce secretary – who passed away three months ago – left a void that can never be filled.
Nonetheless, there is a vacant seat on the Columbia, S.C. city council – a seat which was held by Taylor at the time of his passing. And that seat must be filled by law.
This coming Tuesday (March 28, 2023), Columbia voters will go to the polls to choose who will fill it. Two candidates have submitted themselves for consideration: Former Richland County school board member Beatrice King and local businessman Peter Brown.
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King is running as a “conservative,” but her candidacy is backed financially by some of the city’s most prominent Democrats – including state senator Dick Harpootlian. King also served on a school board which has contributed mightily to the anti-competitiveness of the capital city on the tax front.
Richland District One has imposed harshly regressive tax rates on county residents – money which has subsidized worsening outcomes and rampant corruption at its increasingly violent, increasingly “woke” schools.
King essentially admitted her role in this high tax/ poor performance scam in an article published by The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier, saying Columbia’s tax rate was the same as “everybody else throughout South Carolina” – except, of course, for the “heap of additional taxes … associated with school funding.”
Talk about saying the quiet part out loud …
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As for Brown, he is backed by many of Taylor’s supporters – and has vowed to run the city “like a business.” Among other reforms, he has proposed hiring freezes in non-essential departments so additional resources could be routed toward the city’s understaffed, underfunded police department.
“Our city has a great opportunity to become a hub of activity, entrepreneurship, and life in South Carolina, and we can harness our ability by developing responsibly, cutting red tape, and finishing projects around the city,” Brown noted on his Facebook page earlier this week.
This news outlet moved its headquarters out of Columbia years ago – and has never looked back.
While Greenville and Charleston continue to thrive, Columbia is the poster municipality for stagnation.
Corrupt crony capitalists have lined their pockets, but left the people of the Palmetto State capital holding the bag. Will King or Brown materially alter that trajectory? Who knows … but of the two, Brown certainly seems more likely to assume the reform-minded mold of Taylor.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.
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