Whose senators?

On Feb. 18, the U.S. Senate, by a vote of 78-22, re-instated the Violence Against Women Act.

Our two senators, Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, voted against the act.

For a number of years South Carolina has been ranked in the top 10 percent of states when it comes to violence against women. According to the latest ranking by the Washington, D.C.-based Violence Policy Council, South Carolina ranks second worst among states for women killed by men.

Based on FBI data for 2010, 46 women were killed by men in South Carolina. More than 36,000 cases of domestic violence are reported in South Carolina each year.

Many incidents go unreported, which raises the serious question of why our two senators voted against the act. Could it be because the federal grants to assist in the prosecution and counseling of victims are conditioned upon lack of discrimination against gays and lesbians?

Sen. Graham has suggested cutting Obamacare to avoid sequestration. Thousands of uninsured and those with pre-existing conditions who pay exorbitant premiums for health care are and will be greatly benefited by the Affordable Care Act.

Of course, neither he nor Sen. Scott has volunteered to give up his excellent health coverage under the federal employee health program where we taxpayers pay 72 percent of the cost, according to the Office of Personnel Management.

Gov. Nikki Haley has refused the expansion of Medicaid, which doctors and hospitals want and for which the federal government will pay 100 percent of the costs for the first three years and never less than 90 percent after that.

Even Florida’s Gov. Rick Scott and Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, both Republicans, have elected to accept this coverage for their poor adults and children.

Whom do Republicans Graham and Scott represent, and why don’t the average people in South Carolina who need what they vote against rise up and kick them out of office?

Thomas W. Greene

Wappoo Road

Charleston

Truth about SNAP

Having recently stepped into the fray over Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, aka “food stamps,” and the need for more scrutiny of it, I was surprised that Rep. Bakari Sellers challenged the governor to eat only healthy food on SNAP for one week.

Rep. Sellers highlights a basic misunderstanding many share. The fact is SNAP was not meant to buy your groceries for a week, or a month. It was and is a supplement to extend what you can bring to your food-budget table.

The basic per-person allotment for “supplemental” assistance is about $138 per month, or $4.60 per day. I encourage more of the public to join us one Saturday for a grocery store tour to see that in fact it is not impossible to eat well on a budget, or for $4.60. There’s a family pack of drumsticks, 10-ounce bag of frozen broccoli and a one-pound bag of rice for $3.73 that could prove that theory wrong.

Rep. Sellers wants to ban high-sugar and high-fat foods in schools. He believes healthy eating starts in school, but that could not be further from the truth.

Again, when we finally realize that it’s parents who need to take responsibility, lead by example and be as concerned if not more so than the rest of us for their children’s health, then we will be able to make a dent in the obesity epidemic.

If you can’t buy Gatorade on the Women Infant and Children’s food assistance program, you should not be able to buy it on SNAP. Let’s start there.

Louis H. Yuhasz

Founder/CEO

Louie’s Kids

I’On Avenue

Sullivan’s Island

Broken promises

After hearing arrogant comments from John Kuhn at a recent debate and reading a recent letter to the editor praising him, I am forced into action. Mr. Kuhn may talk the talk, but I don’t believe he can walk the walk.

When Mr. Kuhn was running for the state Senate, he visited my wife and me at our home. Spending nearly a half hour on my front porch, Mr. Kuhn made all kinds of campaign promises.

We spoke about North Charleston’s opposition to the State Ports Authority expanding on the Naval Base. Mr. Kuhn promised that before he took action on any matter he would solicit feedback from his constituents.

Shortly after his election, Sen. Kuhn called a town hall meeting at North Charleston City Hall to talk about the SPA expansion on the Navy Base. Instead of hearing our concerns and questions he rammed down our throats his reason for supporting the expansion. We were not given the opportunity to share our opinions.

What happened to his campaign promise to hear from the people first? Fool me once, John Kuhn, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Mr. Kuhn breaking his campaign promise, I believe, is one of many reasons he served only one term. Let’s not be fooled by John Kuhn again.

David C. Bowers

South Constellation Drive

North Charleston

David Bowers is a former North Charleston City Council member

Stop tree-for-all

Two local issues in the news concern trees.

One is the majestic Angel Oak on Johns Island. During one of my mom’s visits from Ohio we went to take photos beneath the oak’s huge limbs, which were supported by posts to maintain their beauty. She loved seeing this splendid tree and purchased a placemat as a memento.

Why would anyone want to meddle with nature and develop the land nearby? There is no reason to use this land for any other purpose than to maintain the Angel Oak’s beauty for more generations.

The other area in question is I-26. Do you think that trees along this route are responsible for accidents occurring there? Please put the $5 million in the bank to collect interest instead of using it to chop down this forest. Please use the money to patrol this 30-mile stretch. Drivers need to maintain correct speeds, and need not to drink, text or use cell phones.

My mom is now 87 years young and still has the same beliefs and attitudes of her youth. Can’t we all learn from her wisdom?

Sarah J. Blum

Olympia Fields Lane

Mount Pleasant

Proud history

The Post and Courier seems obsessed with denigrating South Carolina’s past, most recently evidenced by the dreary series by Doug Pardue.

He insinuates that problems such as obesity and dismal education performance in some parts of the state are the product of a “sordid past” while ignoring a prevailing culture that abdicates individual responsibility.

Far from sordid, South Carolina’s heralded past includes one the most enlightened constitutions in American colonial history, written in 1669 by Philosopher John Locke and welcoming persecuted religious groups that were threatened with death in such utopias as Massachusetts.

During the American Revolution, more battles were fought in South Carolina than any other of the original 13 colonies, and without the stalwart determination of South Carolinians such as Francis Marion there would be no United States today.

Rather than plod through Pardue’s vapid negativism, readers might enjoy the vibrant hopefulness of such as Charleston philanthropist Anthony Toomer Porter in his wonderful 1898 book “Led on Step By Step.”

What other section of this nation or this world can claim its past was more humane? The Northeast, where child labor was a reality until the early 20th century? West Africa, where slavery still exists?

Pardue’s pandering to the guilt/victimization crowd ignores the fact that the policies of populist reactionary Gov. Ben Tillman were directed as much against “urban, aristocratic” South Carolina as anything else, and were in stark contrast to such forward-thinking S.C. governors as Edward Rutledge, Robert Hayne, Wade Hampton and James Byrnes.

Michael Trouche

Marsh Court Lane

Mount Pleasant

Who’s on first?

Campaign attack mailings no longer work. My neighbors are offended and disappointed. John Kuhn and Chip Limehouse are spending large sums to immaturely trash their opponents Mark Sanford and Ted Turner.

Do these actions indicate that Kuhn and Limehouse see Sanford and Turner as No. 1 and No. 2?

Vaughn Davidson

Legare Street

Charleston

Slim pickings

OK, let’s have a show of hands of the people who have had enough of the political brouhaha. Are we really to believe any of these candidates?

Most have served in one capacity or another in our state and local government. They all state they will make changes. If this were the case our state would be in better shape than it is. They have all had their chance.

So let’s look at a few of the candidates:

John Kuhn states that we live in the greatest state in the country. This is a good state but no way is it the greatest. Mr. Kuhn is an attorney. I assume that being an attorney he can read. Obviously he has not read the articles in The Post and Courier about how we are at the bottom or close to it in education, health care, roads and that the western part of the state is all but forgotten.

Teddy Turner is a teacher. He sometimes looks like a deer caught in the headlights. I find it hard to believe that a teacher has the funds to run this expensive campaign. I think he ought to remain a teacher before the Peter Principle kicks in.

Chip Limehouse stated in one his ads that he reduced state spending by $20 billion over the years. If this were the case he should be voted for something higher than president. He did this all by himself? Plus, his handling of the board at the airport is not exactly stellar.

Could Mark Sanford, if elected, possibly run his office from Argentina so he can be with his soulmate? In Washington, he could walk the Blue Ridge Mountains or even Rock Creek Park.

With his moral track record I wonder if anyone would believe this man. The money he cut from our budget has put our schools, roads and health care in the mess we have today. I would not buy a used car from this man.

What’s needed in Washington is someone who will work to get things done. Not contribute to the bickering and compound the log jam that exists.

Compromise is not a dirty word. Sen. Lindsey Graham has learned this.

So citizens of the 1st District, vote, responsibly.

Barry Schiftic

Crossing Street

Daniel Island

No gas-tax hike

Re Ron Brinson’s March 10 op-ed “Crumbling roads require a gas-tax hike”:

At a time when the entire country is struggling to figure out how to survive the Obama years and the changes he keeps proposing (more spending), Brinson and state Rep. Tommy Stringer think we need a new tax.

Let’s suggest some other thoughtful options for raising money to fix our roads:

Tolls on I-26 and I-526: DMV registration and taxes on utility trailers (construction tractor transport, boat, lawn care etc.)

Permits for 80,000-pound, fully loaded container trucks.

My head is spinning from trying to make sense out of all the information flooding the news pages.

Obama wants many more Americans to drive electric cars, and recent reports are indicating that in the near future, the average family will not be able to afford purchasing a passenger vehicle.

Vic Latvis

Andover Way

Mount Pleasant