A Democrat who is running for governor, Mullins McLeod, took on a topic that Republican candidates have all said is a non-issue in this race. His jobs plan, introduced Thursday, includes taking down the Confederate flag that flies at the Statehouse.
“The reality of it is, it’s all about jobs. If we’re going to get serious about economic development in this state, if we’re going to get serious about competing with our neighbors for jobs, if we want to send a message to the world that we’re open for business and we’re ready to compete in the 21st century, then it’s something we need to do. We can’t put our heads in the sand and pretend like the issue doesn’t exist.”
He accuses the other candidates of being career politicians who are dodging the issue because it is too hot.
“The reality of it is, it’s hurting our state and it’s holding our state back. You look specifically, I’d like to have an NCAA tournament right here at the Colonial Center. That’s not going to happen as long as that flag is there. The ACC tournament in Myrtle Beach, they’re pulling out now because of the flag. Those are dollars in revenue that have come to South Carolina that will go elsewhere, and I think that’s wrong.”
The Charleston attorney has not been afraid to stir things up early in the race for governor —even within his own party. When a federal health care bill passed the U.S. House, he then challenged fellow Democrats to vow to keep the public option in, if it came down to each state to decide for itself. He says no one has agreed to that.
“I don’t think Republicans can compete with us on the issues, but as Democrats we’ve had a tendency to run state-wide and run like Republicans and that has hurt us, and that’s why we’ve lost, and we have to change that.”He says in his jobs plan, the keys to the state’s growth lie in the rural areas and in small businesses.