A guest editorial by Mrs. Hollie Bennett, a parent, published in the Sun News (5/23):
Political issues are bought and sold in every level of government. There is no longer true representation of the people. The primary objective of every politician is re-election. Contributions to campaigns are mere purchases for favorable votes on issues of importance to the contributor and money for a politician’s re-election; a win-win situation for the contributor and the politician.
This became overwhelmingly evident to me at the hearing held in Columbia on the issue of real school choice. The 200-plus people who turned out for this hearing were overwhelmingly in support of real school choice, not this silliness of public school choice that Jim Rex is behind. (Does anyone really believe that a school district will convene a committee that will investigate school choice options that would in any way be meaningful? Please.)
Those who provided testimony at this hearing were overwhelmingly supportive of real school choice. The few who spoke against real school choice were, for the most part, the public education establishment who are being paid with our tax dollars while speaking against our ability to choose the best education for our children, using our tax dollars. Unlike the few hired guns on the opposing side, we were all individuals who had taken time out of our day and work schedules to engage in the political process and attempt to evoke legislative change. What a waste of time for those poor saps, including myself.
There is no change to be had. To quote the arrogant and rude chair of the Senate K-12 Education SubCommittee, Sen. Wes Hayes, “My position on this issue, Mrs. Bennett, has not changed.” Well, if this is the case, Sen. Hayes, then why hold a hearing? Why provide the people of South Carolina with an opportunity to provide testimony, falsely giving them the hope they have voice and may effect change on the issue of school choice when you have your heels dug in? Does it perhaps have anything to do with the fact that, during your last unopposed campaign, you took money from the Leaders in Education Administration PAC as well as the S.C. Education Association Fund for Children and Public Education? You, sir, are no different than every other politician in Columbia and Washington. And like those in Columbia and Washington, it is time for you to go.
For everyone else, if you want a voice in what happens in your state and in your country, then be a silent majority no longer. Silence is not golden; it is the killer of democracy, if democracy is not already dead. This experience in Columbia makes me wonder.