CHARLOTTE — South Carolina has a unique story to tell to others across the nation and it's about what happens when under Republican rule, Sen. Vincent Sheheen told delegates at a breakfast Tuesday morning at the Democratic National Convention.
"We have a perspective to share with these people that is unique in the United States of America," Sheheen said. "We have a perspective to share across this country that people need to hear.
"It ain’t such a good perspective because what we live under in South Carolina is a government that is completely and absolutely, for more than a decade, been ruled by Republicans."
As South Carolina delegates meet others from across the country, Sheheen said they needed to tell them about what the Palmetto State has experienced.
"When I pay my federal taxes, I want my tax dollars to come back to South Carolina," he said. "When you have Republicans running your state with an iron fist they say send it to Puerto Rico, send it to New Hampshire, send it to North Carolina so we turn away education dollars that could be coming to South Carolina. Dollars that could help citizens cover their insurance in South Carolina.
"It's weird that they would want the money that we spend, that we get taxed, to go to other states."
Sheheen, who ran for governor in 2010, also criticized Republicans for ethics violations.
"This is not isolated. It’s a pattern … this is what happens when you have these people running."
Sheheen mentioned Gov. Nikki Haley, without actually naming her, and .
When asked by Patch if the current state of South Carolina makes him want to run for governor again, Sheheen chuckled a little and said "it makes me want to see change come to South Carolina — whether that’s me or somebody else."
"We desperately need change in South Carolina. A one-party rule in dominance ends up in corruption, it ends up in incompetent government."
"It’s not healthy. I think many people in South Carolina realize that and many people in South Carolina want something different.
In introducing Sheheen to delegates, state Democratic Party chairman Dick Harpootlian called him the 2014 candidate for governor to which the crowd responded favorably.
An issue that several Democrats mentioned while at the convention in Charlotte is voters' rights and the push for tougher voter ID laws.
Sheheen criticized Republicans pushing for the ID saying the effort is done for political reasons.
"To spend millions for a system that’s unneeded. To spend time and effort to make it harder for people to vote when there’s no reason to do it is just blatantly obvious why it’s being done.
"Republicans are doing that for a very specific reason and it is to not have competition. That’s just un-American and it’s just wrong, and we ought to be morally outraged … It’s also a pattern across the country so it’s pretty clear that it’s purely politics."
Sheheen said that's the kind of stuff that hurts the state, government and the people.
"Things could be different and should be different, and I do get more sad than anything about the state of South Carolina’s government, the neglect and the distraction from the real issues.
"We’re not going to be able to move forward as a state if we don’t start talking about concrete ways to improve the state."
Some examples he said included lowering costs for higher education and having a system to help local businesses grow in the state instead of just recruiting businesses from elsewhere.
Sheheen said every time Haley is on CNN talking about national politics, it’s a minute spent not doing the things that need to be done for state government.
"That’s the kind of things we need to move away from."