Palmetto Politics

The Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala.

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott will take part in the remembrance ceremonies marking the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights-era Selma to Montgomery voting rights march.

Scott, R-S.C., is a co-leader of the bipartisan Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage that U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., is leading with the Faith & Politics Institute.

The trip marks the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” the historical confrontation that helped lead to the 1965 Voting Rights Act being passed.

While many of the details still need to be worked out, the commemoration is scheduled to take place March 6-8 in Selma and Montgomery, Ala. The tour will include visits to historic sites and church services.

As a young organizer, Lewis was beaten by police during the march, at the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Scott is the first black senator elected from the South since Reconstruction.

“When my congressional colleagues make a pilgrimage together to Alabama, my hope is that it occasions open and honest dialogue about our painful history as well as a shared hope for the future,” Scott said in a media statement.

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said she was invited by Scott to attend.

No hard feelings after Haley skips tea party

The organizer of last weekend’s S.C. Tea Party Coalition Convention says he’s not upset that Gov. Nikki Haley turned down an invitation to attend.

Tea party convention leader Joe Dugan and Haley’s press office said the governor was coming off a busy schedule of inaugural events in the days just before the gathering. She also faced delivering her State of the State address two days afterward.

“I think Gov. Haley has been a very good governor,” said Dugan, who pointed to previous appearances she’s made with the group. “We’re good friends.”

About 1,000 tea party members attended the Myrtle Beach get-together.

Obama still an S.C. no-show

President Barack Obama is a highly traveled president, but South Carolina remains one of the three states he’s snubbed since moving into the White House. Together with South Dakota and Utah, the Palmetto State remains off of his bucket list.

True, South Carolina is a solid red state but Democrats are itching to see him here.

Bold prediction: somehow he finds a way to get to Charleston to honor retiring Mayor Joe Riley, who is leaving office after 40 years and has been a steady supporter of Democrats in the White House.

Elizabeth Warren draft parties in Charleston

Democrats pushing Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren to run for the White House have pegged next weekend for supporters to hold “Run Warren Run” house parties in Charleston.

The events are described as “friendly gatherings with other folks who care deeply about our country to plan the next stages in our grass-roots campaign.” Previous gatherings have been held in New Hampshire and Iowa. The parties are being called for both Saturday and Sunday, which is also the date of the Super Bowl.

Backers include the groups MoveOn and Democracy for America. There’s also a website, http://runwarrenrun.org/

School Choice rally Tuesday

School choice advocates say they expect nearly 1,000 students, parents, teachers and community leaders on the south grounds of the Capitol complex in Columbia on Tuesday to commemorate National School Choice Week.

“The event and parade will raise awareness of the importance of protecting and expanding educational choice in the Palmetto State,” said the event’s organizers, which includes the conservative Palmetto Policy Forum.

The group will march from the Hilton Downtown Columbia hotel to the Statehouse. Gov. Nikki Haley is expected to attend. The event begins at 10 a.m.

Supporters back public charter schools, online learning options, and special needs scholarship programs. The march coincides wth National School Choice Week.

Palmetto Politics is compiled by Post and Courier reporter Schuyler Kropf.