Lowcountry to Washington: You better listen up


We asked you: As the shutdown lingers, what message do you want to send to your federal lawmakers? Here's what you said:

“They need to end this. My grandma gets a government check every month and she depends on that to pay rent and take care of herself. This hurts her and it affects a lot of low-income people.” Marcus Middle, 24, Georgetown, student

“There are people who have been waiting for Obamacare who have chronic health problems, who really need this to kick in. It may work, it may not, but we have to take a chance on something. We can't just shut down the government. We have to keep moving forward. No step forward is a step backwards.” Shawna Hardin, 29, West Ashley, health and wellness consultant

“I already see the impact. We are taking our children on a field trip that is all about science (to Bull Island), and one class was able to go ... and the other class wasn't. We have all these children who are waiting to take part in this great experience that was given as a grant. It's a great way to reinforce the things they learn in class, and now they're not able to go. I really don't see that as being fair to them for lawmakers to prove a point.” Stacey Shoecraft, 48, teacher, Mount Pleasant

“I hope they get together to get it right. Compromise. And put these other folks back to work so they can pay their bills.” Jeryl Canty, 49, skilled worker, North Charleston

“Get moving. Get negotiating, and put people back to work. There's a trickle-down effect. People don't get paychecks and then businesses suffer. It's not just federal employees being affected. ... This an avoidable disaster. Quit playing games with our economy. The country is thought of as a safe haven now, but that could change. ... This sends a horrible message.” Elaine Worzala, 52, Mount Pleasant, director of the College of Charleston School of Business' Carter Real Estate Center

“There's a time when governing requires compromise. And I would like to see folks sit down at the table to compromise. Right now, no one party is in control. Democrats have control of the Senate and Republicans have control of the House. So people will have to give up something and compromise.” Gibbs Knotts, 41, Mount Pleasant, political science professor at the College of Charleston

“My message to lawmakers would be that if it requires a government shutdown (only about 15 percent of the government is affected) to get to fiscal responsibility, to stop borrowing money and to produce a balanced budget, then keep the government closed. Republicans have to stop capitulating to the bullies in the Senate and White House.” Nancy Corbin, 68, retired DoD civilian employee, rural Berkeley County

“If I could, I would like to remind lawmakers of their sworn duty to SERVE the people. After the incident at the Capitol and White House, lawmakers should be ashamed to continue to furlough the very people who protect them and keep them out of harm's way. When our founding fathers wrote the Constitution, they did so with the intent to 'guard against faction.' Well, factionalism has now taken over our government. Our country was founded on the necessity of compromise, and when we fail to do so our entire nation suffers.” Melissa Watson, 36, teacher, Goose Creek

“I would tell them to do their job.” Matt Eldridge, 45, of Charleston, owner of The Rutledge Avenue Inn

“I'm sure it affects a lot of people and their jobs and their income and supporting their families. I know there's a lot of people that aren't working right now, and I don't know like what the furlough means — if they are going to get paid later or if they're just not going to get paid. I don't know what that means, but I'm sure it does affect them and I know it would affect me.” Kim Hoffman, 34, of Moncks Corner, surgical assistant at Shelbourne & Associates

“It is a disgrace. They do not have our interests at heart. Run the government like you should run your household. Please hold yourself to the same standards. They should be on the same benefits plan for you as the rest of the country. If there is no money, then the program (Obamacare) does not get funded. If we cannot pay for it, then it does not get done.” Dawson Cherry, 49, a practice manager at S.C. Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center in North Charleston and a Mount Pleasant resident

“I would like to ask our federal lawmakers to work together to rectify the main issue facing our country and that is the federal deficit. I would like the Senate to create and pass a realistic budget as required by law, which should be based upon the revenue of the government, not how much the government can borrow. Then this should be approved and passed by Congress, so we all can move on. Also, I would like all federal lawmakers to be required to go online and purchase an insurance plan being offered by the 'Affordable Health Care Act.' ” Joe Calandra, 56, a physician who lives in Mount Pleasant

“You're not focusing on the important things in the country. You're focusing on yourselves. You're not doing what's right.” Courtney Odom, 22, Summerville, retail

“Stop crying. Stop crying. Stop crying. I work every day. I work two jobs. Health care is expensive. People who aren't healthy enough to work need it. People like myself who are healthy enough to work, I need it for myself and my family.” Shawn Simmons, 33, Summerville, custodial supervisor

“Huge numbers of hardworking people will be hurt tremendously by the Washington politics. ... They didn't get the job done and now people who are marginalized and barely able to survive are hurt the most.” The Rev. Donnie Woods, 59, executive presbyter, Charleston Atlantic Presbytery, West Ashley

“While each party is blaming the other, both parties are accountable. It's irresponsible to allow a shutdown of the government in any case. It sends the wrong message domestically as well as internationally.” Teresa Campagna, 42, medical language specialist, Mount Pleasant resident

“Members of both sides of Congress as well as the president are to blame for the shutdown. It's not like this was only a possibility in the last few days, weeks or months. ... It is more than a possibility we will see a first-ever federal default which would cripple not only the American economy but that of the world as well.” Joe Campagna, principal productions engineer, 43 Mount Pleasant resident

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“Get your act together and get it done! You can't print what I really want to say to them.” Jacki Middleton, 51, financial case manager at Charleston Area Senior Citizens, Charleston

“Why wait until the last minute every time? They had a year to do this. And the Republicans are just so stubborn. They hate Obama.” Michael Larnish, 75, retired, Charleston

“Do your job. The whole country is watching. My wife is a programmer and has a lot of government clients and she doesn't have a lot of work because they aren't allowed to spend any money.” Norman Adelsflugel, 46, James Island, film mechanic

“It's shameful. We owe it to our military to pay them on time. People vacationing and visiting national parks aren't able to get in because they won't compromise and work together. They need to negotiate and compromise.” Karen Paxton, 56, Kiawah Island, homemaker

“Washington is completely dysfunctional, and 'we the people' are paying the price. Can you imagine if everyone who worked for Apple was suddenly told tomorrow, 'Come in for a few hours and then you are on indefinite furlough.' Who operates this way? Tell the lawmakers to open the government back up immediately and then deal with their issues.” Jon Goldfarb, 45, Charleston and owner of orderonsite.com

“With all due respect, this is not what we sent you there to do. Please turn your attention to ways you can really serve your constituents, such as correcting the major problems flowing from the Biggert-Waters flood insurance changes.” Pat O'Neil, 65, member of Sullivan's Island Town Council and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at MUSC; director, MUSC Weight Management Center

“Congress' unwillingness and inability to compromise demonstrates that they (Republicans and Democrats) are more concerned with their political ideology than doing what is best and right for the people of our country. We are suppose to be the most powerful and strongest country in the world. What kind of message are we sending to the rest of the world when our elected leaders cannot make decisions to take care of our own country?” Thomasena Stokes-Marshall, 70, Mount Pleasant Mayor Pro Tem

“Over 8.9 million moms and kids under 5 will not have milk to drink or food to eat because of the shutdown (covering the Women's, Infants and Children food nutrition program). Tea party Republicans are playing politics with children's lives — and celebrating. Pathetic.” Richard Hricik, chairman, Charleston County Democratic Party

“It is clear that the federal government is not equipped to enroll citizens in the health insurance exchanges. I would like to see an agreement from the House and Senate to delay implementation of the Affordable Care Act for at least another year to iron out all of the glitches. It is also clear to me that the administration is trying to inflict pain on the people by furloughing more people than necessary and closing public access to self-sustaining parks and monuments. It was disgraceful to see our World War II veterans blocked from entering the monument erected in their honor.” John Steinberger, chairman, Charleston County Republican Party