South Carolina gubernatorial candidate talks political corruption, education at Sumter convention

Phil Noble running on Democratic ticket

BY ADRIENNE SARVIS
adrienne@theitem.com
Posted 2/21/18

Phil Noble, Democratic candidate for governor, is seeking support for his plan to reform the state government to rid it of unnecessary or corrupt practices that continue to set back South Carolina residents.

South Carolina is a great state, but …

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South Carolina gubernatorial candidate talks political corruption, education at Sumter convention

Phil Noble running on Democratic ticket

Posted

Phil Noble, Democratic candidate for governor, is seeking support for his plan to reform the state government to rid it of unnecessary or corrupt practices that continue to set back South Carolina residents.

South Carolina is a great state, but the dysfunctional political system in Columbia is holding the state back, Noble said recently when he attended the Sumter County Democratic Party Convention.

"It's a huge barrier," he said.

The state House is operating on a system of plantation politics where a small group in Columbia is dictating how everyone else in the state should fall in line, he said.

"The root of corruption is money," he said. "It always has been."

State legislators are also able to make money from their positions in the state House, the Greenville native and Charleston-based business and technology consultant said.

Legislators should not be able to present cases in front of the judges they elect and do business with the government through their personal companies, he said. They should have to disclose their clients.

Corruption in the state House is keeping the state from addressing many issues that need attention, such as education, he said.

For example, there is no reason why South Carolina is 50th in the country in education, but legislators have not done anything to keep this from happening, he said.

State legislators have corrupted the system and are preventing residents from getting an adequate education, Noble said.

The public education system, he said, needs to be totally reinvented. There is no sense in tip-toeing around the issue, he said.

And teachers' pay needs to be doubled to attract new teachers and to retain those who are already in schools, he said.

Educators want to come to the state because of the quality of life here, Noble said, but teachers are not getting paid as much as they should.

Under the current education system, the Department of Education tells the school districts what and how to teach the students, but it should be the other way around, he said.

Noble is the founder of Phil Noble and Associates and three statewide nonprofit initiatives: The Palmetto Project, One Laptop Per Child South Carolina and World Class Scholars, an online global student exchange program.

The teachers and schools should determine what to teach students and the best methods to do so while the department of education provides the resources to make it possible, he said, such as providing every child with access to technology that will help him or her learn.

Schools should also set a goal to make sure at least 90 percent of high school graduates are college or career ready, Noble said.

With reform, Noble said the state would be in a much better place.

Local leaders, such as those at the county and city level, know what is necessary for their communities to succeed, he said, but the state House keeps them from exercising good judgement.

There is terrific potential, he said, for the state of South Carolina.

Primary elections will be held on June 12, and the general election will be held on Nov. 6.

Other declared Democratic candidates are James Smith and Marguerite Willis. Declared Republican candidates include Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant, Yancey McGill, Catherine Templeton and John Warren.

Gov. Henry McMaster (R) announced that he intends to run for a full term in office this year since he took the position in 2017 after former Gov. Nikki Haley was appointed U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.