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South Carolina House District 99

South Carolina House District 99
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    Cindy Boatwright (Dem) Mental Health Counselor

  • Nancy Mace (Rep)

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Biographical Information

Why do you want to represent the citizens of House District 99?

What experiences qualify you to represent the citizens of House District 99?

What changes to the gun laws in our state would you support or oppose?

As the federal government struggles to fix the Affordable Care Act, what will you do on the state level to assure that affordable health care is available to all South Carolinians? Are there changes on the state level that might improve health care in South Carolina?

What measures would you support to prepare South Carolinians for the skilled, good-paying jobs that employers want to fill?

The S.C. Supreme Court decided in the Abbeville case that the state fails to provide a minimally adequate education to students in the state's poorest school districts. What ideas do you have to improve public education for students living in the poorest areas?

Based on the upcoming 2020 census, the state will need to redraw legislative boundaries. Are you supportive of having the General Assembly continue to draw these boundaries, or should an independent group be involved? What criteria do you support for identifying these boundaries?

Do you believe that citizens have a right to know the donors to groups that attempt to influence elections in South Carolina and how they spend their money? Please explain your position.

Campaign Phone (843) 697-7817
Age 65
Education B.A. magna cum laude, with honors, English/Psychology The University of the South (Sewanee), Sewanee, TN Elected to phi beta kappa M.A. English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University, New York, NY M.Ed. Counseling Psychology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ LPC Counseling, Kean University, Union, NJ
Experience I spent over 20 years in business management, working for companies such as L'Oreal (internationally), AT&T and Verizon. As a consultant, my clients included Johnson & Johnson, Citibank and Kraft. I was also VP Marketing for an internet start up called I led teams of people and key stakeholders in companies to solve complex problems and complete projects on time and in budget. I decided to change careers to do something that made a difference in people's lives and went back to graduate school to become a Licensed Professional Counselor. Today I am in private practice working with a Psychiatrist in Mt Pleasant and treat patients from a large geographic area. As a Tri-care approved therapist, I see a lot of military families. My internship work was with adolescents, so many of my patients are teenagers.
Candidate Email
I started reading about the corruption in our state government, and the more I dug, the angrier I became. The one-party system and cronyism inherent in our Statehouse has resulted in many Republicans under investigation and seven indictments. There is rampant mis-use of funds and conflicts of interest that results in bribes and legislation to the highest bidder. I felt that electing more Republicans would not solve the problem because this has been going on for decades and a few Republicans have all of the legislative power. I thought that, as a Democrat, I could better push for reform, laws preventing conflicts of interest and greater transparency. I also feel that Republicans have neglected key issues such as education, and we need to address providing a quality education for all of the students in South Carolina. Someone sent me an email saying, if you aren't part of the solution, you are part of the problem, so I decided to go for it.
I believe my business background will prove very helpful in committee work as well as tackling the complex problems facing our state. My educational background demonstrates my abilities as a life-long learner. No one knows it all going into a government position. Obviously there will be a huge learning curve, but I enjoy researching and talking to people and getting a broad perspective on issues. My counseling background will be invaluable in listening and "reaching across the aisle" which is so important in gaining consensus to move things forward. My career has been spent helping companies and individuals address issues, see opportunities, and find solutions.
I come from an old SC family, with many hunters, particularly bird hunters. I was talking to my cousin's husband, and avid bird hunter, recently, and he said he supports stricter gun laws. His responses was, "i can wait a few days to get a gun." I agree. That makes sense. Doesn't it make common sense to have universal background checks? Close the Charleston loophole. Make sure databases are maintained, so those who should not have access to firearms don't. I support Arm in Arm SC and their efforts to close the gaps in laws that allow guns to fall into the hands of those who should not have them. And unlike my opponent, I would never vote to have our teachers armed. No guns in our schools. That makes absolutely no sense.
I do not think the federal government is struggling to fix the ACA. Far from it. The Republicans are intent on killing the Affordable Care Act because it is one of Obama's key achievements, and they see it as another entitlement. In an attempt to deter marketplace competition, they did not stabilize the markets or guarantee insurance carriers that the government would pay the subsidies, leaving carriers nervous about participating on the exchange. They dropped the phone line to answer questions about the ACA and kept changing and cutting the enrollment period, hoping to point to low enrollment numbers as the death knell of the ACA. Still people signed up in droves. If the government wanted to fix the ACA, there is a wealth of information as to how to improve it immediately, or they could watch Senator Chris Murphy's excellent video. A key facet of the ACA was states' acceptance of Medicaid expansion, which would have made health insurance available to thousand of low income South Carolinians, primarily children, the disabled and the elderly. So of course Haley and McMaster refused to accept the expansion. Other Republican Governors including John Kasich did because it benefited his people. People over politics. Not in our state. Medicaid in SC is governed by nonsensical rules as to who qualifies. I have a friend whose daughter is bi-polar. She works but does not get health insurance through her job. Periodically she requires hospitalization or emergency care for her disorder, leaving her with HUGE bills she can't begin to pay. Do you know that in order for her to qualify for Medicaid she would have to have child? Seriously? We provide incentives for our people to have children in order to get insured? My aunt, who has dementia, is on social security. She should be in a nursing home but does not qualify because we did not accept the Medicaid expansion. Consequently my cousin has to care for her full time, seriously curtailing the retirement she so deserves. I would propose laws that change SC Medicaid eligibility, but the best bet for South Carolinians who care about health care is to vote Joe Cunningham and James Smith into office.
Education, education, education. In an article in the Post & Courier September 30, 2017, Charleston County School Board Chair, Kate Darby, says, "At graduation last year only 3.7 percent of black students and 38.6 percent of white students met the Gold Work Key level, the equivalence of which Boeing requires to apply for a position." She also points out that 90 percent of CCSD graduates attending Trident Tech need to take remedial classes before they can even begin classes for credit. Our early reading program needs an overhaul. We need students reading on grade level by third grade. It's hard to help them catch up if they are already a year behind. Not only is educating our students morally right, but preparing them for jobs or advanced education makes sense for businesses in need of skilled workers and would help attract business to the state. Education that is ranked dead last necessitates our full attention and would be a top priority of mine in the Statehouse.
This question was posed prior to the State Supreme Court bailing on this case last week. While Republicans applauded the court's decision, Democrats expressed skepticism that the needs of our state education would be addressed without the nudging of the court. Republicans have been stalling on the Abbeville case for decades. Governor McMaster recently appointed yet another committee to study this issue. We need a comprehensive plan to address fixing education in our state, and I would fight for that from day one. As part of this plan, we need innovative thinking and pilot programs to figure out how to attract experienced teachers to these rural and poor areas. Maybe we provide an incentive for teachers on the cusp of retirement to spend a few years in these areas, with a bonus for each year served. We need a program to mentor those students to stay in school to ensure they become productive contributors to our economy. I have talked to a number of educators who agree that early childhood literacy programs need updating because they are not effective. There is so much that can be done, but first legislators need to be committed to education for all of our students, not just the elite few who can take advantage of a voucher for private school. Public education is critical for South Carolina.
I do not support the General Assembly drawing these boundaries. Just look at my district to understand gerrymandering. How equitable is it for a one-party General Assembly to draw district lines to ensure we continue to have a one party system? That's their goal. We should not allow Democrats or Republicans to gerrymander our districts. Other states are using statistical models to draw district lines for a non-partisan approach.
While it sounds beneficial to know which groups and donors are trying to influence SC elections, providing donor lists is a slippery slope. It's an invasion of privacy to provide information as to where US citizens have donated. The better approach is to get rid of Citizens United, the single biggest blight on our political system in history. It has allowed special interests and PACs to contribute unlimited amounts to influence our elections. It's frightening to me that billionaires like the Koch brothers can use their money to buy elections, throwing millions at even local races to prevent Democrats from winning. Contributions and influence need to be curbed. Our government should not be for sale, and currently it is.
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