Friday, November 03, 2006

State's Sheinin Hosting Monday Web Chat

Usually, State newspaper reporter Aaron Sheinin is the person asking the tough questions, much as he did during the recent gubernatorial debate between Mark Sanford and Tommy Moore.

Next week, however, the tables will be turned.

Sheinin is hosting a pre-election "Web Chat" on TheState.com this coming Monday afternoon, taking live questions over the Internet about next Tuesday's elections.

For the better part of the last four months, Sheinin has been living, eating, breathing and sleeping the 2006 horseraces, traveling to all corners of South Carolina with the different campaigns as they've crisscrossed the state in search of votes.

He's seen all the polls, heard all the debates, watched all the TV commercials and interviewed most all of the candidates, which in addition to making him a likely candidate for post-election therapy, also happens to make him one of the most knowledegable people out there when it comes to the veritable smorgasbord of issues, intrigues and idiosyncrasies of Campaign 2006.

Sheinin's going live "without a net," so to speak, meaning he won't be picking and choosing the questions in advance, he'll be answering them straight from you as they come in.

Basically, what that means is if your name is Drew Theodore, you might consider keeping your question PG-rated. Or if your name is John Rainey, you might consider keeping it under 10 pages. Or if your name is Laurin Manning, you might consider keeping the number of Howard Rich-related questions to 20 or 30. Or if your name is Phil Bailey, you might consider not participating - if not giving up computers altogether.

As for the FITS girls, all we want to know is what impact Sheinin's shortened sideburns have had on his Elvis impersonation? And maybe how the Orioles are going to handle their bullpen in the offseason ... if there's time.

Sheinin's live "Web Chat" will begin on Monday, November 6, at 12:30 p.m., and participating is easy. All you have to do is click on this link, and then click on the "SC Politics" tab.

So come Monday ... log on and fire away!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ask the reporter why we have to go to blogs to find out information like this....

Robert Barber: Chicken to disclose lobbying work?

So... should Robert Barber disclose his lobbying work to the voters?

No, his handlers argue. Technically, he complied with the law by filing necessary paperwork with the Ethics Commission.

But his records have since been shredded. So, believing they were safely hidden from public view, Barber masqueraded as a lobbyist for only non-profits. (Actually, “public interest advocate” is the term he uses.)

But many folks in Columbia remembered Barber’s work as a paid lobbyist for a cockfighting ring. Lo and behold, although Barber’s paperwork was gone, records filed by “Gamefowl Management Inc.” were still on the computer at the Ethics Commission. They revealed that Barber had indeed lobbied for the group.

So much for the “non-profits” his handlers are fond of referring to.

When Lt. Governor Andre Bauer asked Barber during the first debate about his work as a lobbyist for cockfighting, the “public interest advocate” said he lobbied for bill to ban the sale of animals such as goldfish at places like the State Fair. Why was “Gamefowl Management” so interested in protecting goldfish? They weren’t. Actually, it was an amendment to the Goldfish Bill they were interested in. The amendment contained language that kept legal the "testing" of gamefowl.

During the second debate, Bauer took Barber to task for Barber’s generous interpretation of his cockfighting work. The bill Barber lobbied for passed by a unanimous voice vote, Bauer told Barber, because lawmakers did not realize the implications of the word “testing.”

Barber’s confidence-inspiring reply? “You should have read the bill.”

(The State newspaper, of course missed all this.)

Bauer has since challenged Barber to reveal to the voters the details of his lobbying work: how much he earned, who he worked for, etc. South Carolinians deserve to know, Bauer says, adding that refusing to disclose such information would be a disservice to voters.

Still, Barber -- who served as a “consultant” to the group as recently as last year -- has declined.

Barber criticizes Bauer for violating the public trust. But isn’t it hypocritical for him to do so while declining repeated requests to disclose his lobbying work to the voters?

Should Barber disclose? What do you think?

8:12 AM

Blogger faithinsound said...

Whoa there, buddy. We agree but next time can you just link to the S.C. Solon website?

Maybe we need the John Rainey rule on our comment page.

9:43 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wil is anon going to rainey on your parade?

Not to endorse the idea, but I'd be amused to hear of merry pranksters crashing a server on Monday as tehy've tried to do to several issues sites this year...

11:43 AM


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