Gilliard: All SC police should wear body cameras
State Rep. Wendell Gilliard, D-Charleston, says he will pre-file a bill in the Legislature requiring every police department in the state - at their local expense - to have body-mounted cameras for their officers.
Gilliard had no estimate of what the requirement would cost but said "cameras don't lie." He pointed to statistics indicating that body cameras reduce use of force instances by police and also lead to a drop in the number of citizen complaints.
"Look at what it's going to prevent," he said. Gilliard is among those interested in running for mayor of Charleston next year.
Charleston County Democrats have called foul over a fundraising letter from Republican Register of Mesne Conveyance Charlie Lybrand. Of particular concern is that Lybrand included the phone number of the RMC's main office phone line (958-4800) alongside his home number for anyone wanting to reach him.
The undated note points out that Lybrand has Democratic opposition this year which means "I must work extra hard."
It also makes a request for donations. "Any contributions I receive will go towards getting my message out: Charlie Lybrand equals Good Government in the RMC Office." He faces Democratic challenger Patrick Bell. The RMC oversees land records in the county.
Lybrand downplayed the office phone listing, saying Democrats were looking for something to complain about. "I have been here 20 years," he said. "This telephone and I are sort of together."
Herb Hayden, executive director of the state Ethics Commission, didn't want to speak directly to the Lybrand issue but said state ethics laws don't allow for political solicitation via public assets. If a candidate is soliciting campaign calls to a government office, that would be prohibited.
County Democratic Party Chairman Brady Quirk-Garvan said Lybrand's conduct is out of bounds. "He's having staff answering the phone off of a fundraising letter, and that's wildly inappropriate," he said.
Lybrand previously has drawn heat for political use of public equipment. In 2008 he used his county computer to circulate an e-mail defending President George Bush's decision to declare war on Iraq. The note ended up in the in-boxes of some who disagreed. Lybrand later apologized.
Hillary bus late but gets here
It may have arrived later than expected but the "Ready for Hillary" tour bus made its way into downtown Charleston to conclude a week-long schedule of stops targeting South Carolina colleges.
Among the sites visited were Clemson, South Carolina State, Claflin, the University of South Carolina, and at the end of the tour on Thursday, the College of Charleston.
The effort is part of a national movement to support former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for president in 2016. The group operates without her official approval but is preparing should she get in the race.
Among South Carolina Democrats who will take part in the party's 2016 primary, Clinton remains the anecdotal favorite. A recent Post and Courier poll of voters showed about one-third of 1,000 likely voters surveyed picked her as their choice in two years, far more than any other Democratic contender. Vice President Joe Biden netted only 5 percent.
Ravenel TV show filming
Independent U.S. Senate candidate Thomas Ravenel's "Southern Charm" TV show appears to be out and about filming around Charleston. Thursday, crews were seen in the restaurant and boutique district of mid-King Street.
While Ravenel wasn't immediately spotted, an equipment van that was being used by a film crew prominently displayed a "Ravenel for Senate" signboard in the vehicle's window/dashboard area. A fresh Ravenel for Senate bumper sticker was also seen posted nearby.
Sanford to address Goose Creek NAACP
U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford is the invited speaker Monday to address the Goose Creek Branch of the NAACP. Chapter President David Cakley said Sanford, R-Charleston, will give an opening address before taking questions from the audience.
The meeting is set for 7 p.m. at the Berkeley Electric Co-op Building, 2 Springhall Drive, in Goose Creek.