The state legislature finishes up its work for the year—reconvening to address vetoes and possibly shortfalls in the state budget.In a recent interview, senior Democrat Phil Leventis, said he’s prepared for the few days back and more of the same dynamics of a few weeks ago, when the Senate adjourned.
He has a somewhat interesting take on the whole scenario, as a minority party veteran, often an observer in a dispute between Republicans that has at times gotten personal.
He says, “That’s the environment we are working in–a Republican-controlled legislature rejecting vetoes by a Republican governor to some degree simply because he doesn’t communicate well at all with the legislature–and that’s a shame.”
It’s a shame, says Leventis because that stand-off is not good for the state, if the governor does have a good idea.
“Tragically, this governor has had so little success even communicating with the legislature that sometimes we summarily override his vetoes when we really should think about them. I’ve never seen it like this. Most governors only have a few vetoes overridden in their entire term. This governor’s had very few sustained in his entire term,” says Leventis.
Some of those communications problems, says Senator Leventis, were in the context of Governor Mark Sanford’s veto messages.
“When a governor for example, in his budget message, suggests that we close USC Salkahatchie in Walterboro and just asks the students to drive to Charleston, this just shoots his credibility right in the foot.”
It’s hard to discern, says the Sumter senator, if Governor Sanford is trying to make a political science statement or a practical statement on how to make the state work better. The job of the governor, he says, is the latter.