Thomas Ravenel, Ralph Nader, SCPA, anti-discrimination ordinance 

News Blips

"It's a one-man mission out there."

An unnamed Hillary Clinton advisor regarding Bill Clinton's hard push through South Carolina in advance of the state's January primary. Sensing that Hillary would be solidly defeated in the state, aides had encouraged the former president to spend his time in other states where he might be able to better spur support, but he balked at the suggestions and pressed on in South Carolina. Source: L.A. Times

Thomas Ravenel sentencing March 14

Former state Treasurer Thomas Ravenel will face sentencing on March 14 after pleading guilty last year to handing out cocaine amongst his friends. Though defense attorneys have pleaded with the court to give Ravenel probation, sentencing guidelines suggest he could receive a few months to a few years, depending on the assistance he was required to provide to federal agents as part of the plea agree

ment. There's still no word on whether his cooperation includes the implication of other Charleston movers and shakers involved in handing out cocaine. —Greg Hambrick

Nader Presidential Campaign Gets in Gear

Some voters, particularly Democrats, have raised their eyebrows and rolled their eyes at the latest run by independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader (whom critics claim tipped the 2000 election to Bush), but others welcome an alternative to the current field of candidates.

Nader, 74, threw his name into the mix with little hoopla. On Meet the Press with Tim Russert last month, Nader announced his intentions to seek the presidency as an independent candidate.

When Russert asked about his age (he's two years older than McCain), Nader responded, "The only true aging is the erosion of one's ideals."

Nader ran on the Green Party ticket in 2000, receiving 2.7 percent of the nationwide popular vote. He ran again in 2004 as an independent, earning 0.38 percent of the nationwide popular vote.

"The two parties have just shut out the people. Washington is corporate-occupied territory," Nader said during a recent interview on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. "The two parties carve up the territories (and) keep small party candidates off the ballots with obstructive ballot access laws. Then they sell the election to commercial interests ... then they go to Washington, and they turn Washington into a big-business-dominated government."

Unlike the Republican and Democratic candidates, Nader has already picked his running mate — leading San Francisco politician and public defender Matt Gonzalez.

According to his current literature, Nader supports a single-payer, Canadian-style, free-choice health care system; exploring the "use of solar energy over nuclear power;" cutting the military budget and reversing U.S. Middle East policy in Israel/Palestine, Iraq, and Iran; launching an aggressive crackdown on "corporate crime and corporate welfare;" "genuine enforcement" of affirmative action; equal rights for gays and lesbians, including civil unions; a constitutional guarantee of equal rights for women and full abortion rights; and "a living wage for all workers." For more information, visit www.votenader.org. —T. Ballard Lesemann

1,250

That's the number of applicants so far prepared to vie for the Charleston Law School's 135 available slots. Source: The Post and Courier

click to enlarge JOSHUA CURRY

S.C. Press honors City Paper staff

The South Carolina Press Association recognized the Charleston City Paper last weekend, with four awards for the paper's news coverage.

Photos by web editor Josh Curry of the memorial for the nine firefighters lost in the Sofa Super Store blaze were recognized, with a first prize award for general news photography and a second place win for best online photo gallery.

Greg Hambrick won first place for beat reporting for his coverage of the City of Charleston and a special Best of the Best award in a competition with other first place beat reporting winners from all daily and weekly divisions.

Staff writer Stratton Lawrence won third place for his business coverage, focusing largely on environmental concerns.

"When we work together and respect each other, we can make Columbia an even better place to live."

Columbia City Councilman Daniel Rickenmann on the council's approval of an anti-discrimination ordinance that includes sexual orientation and gender identity. It's the first ordinance of it's kind in the state, according to the South Carolina Equality Coalition.


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