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(4-30-05) What is your reaction to Rep. John Altman's comments on criminal domestic violence?
SK, Gaston: He has apologized, let's get on with life.
LW, Orangeburg: Isn't it about time for a new topic or question of THE DAY? This is old news that WIS continues to milk for every drop.
DT, West Columbia: A few parting shots on this issue before it is (hopefully) closed: First, to all you who are embarrassed at rep. Altman’s public remarks and how they might reflect on our state, let me remind you that people holding such attitudes aren’t confined to South Carolina. I assure you that every state has its share of such people both in and out of government. Next, to the victims of domestic violence who want to “throw the book” at all offenders and see a tougher CDV bill as a means to do that, I suggest that your impulse is misguided. Laws – however harshly drawn - don’t prevent behavior, they simply define unacceptable behavior and set forth penalties for those found guilty of it. There has been a law against murder ever since the Ten Commandments (if not before) but people still kill each other quite frequently. And finally, to WISTV: I remain suspicious of your motives for inciting this controversy in the way you did and prolonging it to the extent you have done. Encouraging the perception in the public mind that the House Judiciary Committee or the General Assembly had somehow trivialized the matter of criminal domestic violence, or that another bill (on cockfighting) was deemed to be more important, was a willful distortion of the facts on your part. I suggest it was a device calculated to inflame the public passion, which it did perhaps even beyond your expectations after being given an unwitting assist by Rep. Altman. Either you knowingly incited all this uproar in order to prod the General Assembly into action, or you unwittingly created the controversy but then took advantage of “a good thing” and followed the story to whatever end it led. However it happened, this episode is troubling because it demonstrates the great potential political power WISTV can wield, accidentally or on purpose. Problem is, who elected you? And who has the power to police your excesses?
KA, Columbia: The fact that Altman doesn't see where there should be a 2nd offense is appauling and ignorant. If you are a victim of CDV and you have the guts and support to leave him/her, he can still find you and beat you up a 2nd and 3rd time...and it's still considered CDV! Take it from me, a CDV survivor (so far) but you never know when he's lurking around the corner...especially since the people in authority just continue to slap his hand no matter how much evidence and how many witnesses I have!!!! They keep telling me "he's learned his lesson because we've 'scared him' with a bench warrant". Well, guess what?? He hasn't!! I wonder, if I loose my life at his hands and leave my children without a mother...what are they going to say then? "Well, we didn't think..." I just have to spend the rest of my life looking over my shoulder because the laws of this state are more to protect the criminal than the victim, and that's the honest to God truth. I have experienced it first hand and it's sad. I'm glad this 'can of worms' was opened...maybe this is the answer to my prayers for so long.
AB, Elgin: John Altman's comments on criminal domestic violence should let everyone in the State know how he feel towards women, he has no respect for women and the sad thing is,he does not know any better!
SR, Columbia: Now a democrat has stopped your CDV bill. Lets see you send your evil man hater down to attack the democrats. I know it will not happen.
JP, Columbia: What happened WIS? Why havent you sent your SWAT team of men haters and story twisters to attack and belittle the democrat that stalled the CDV bill. Could it be that your station is only interested in attacking the republicans? Your failure to attack the democrats shows your two faces very clear.
VT, Gaston: CDV law reform is long overdue. Rep. Altman may have actually done us a favor by exposing the real reason why victims in this state are not safe from CDV. Speaker Wilkins made statements that all lawmakers are not as insensitive and stupid as Rep. Altman, but he sure cannot explain why laws have never been passed to protect the victims - rather than the criminals. I spoke with a judge recently about a case close to my heart that has been pending for over a year. The judge's attitude was that she is just out to get this poor sap who keeps stalking her, harassing her, intimidating her, and leaving unwanted messages on her phone. The victim has registered repeated police reports and complaints - has an order of protection against the offender - and still the judge has arbitrarily determined that this offender is not a threat to the victim. You call this justice? Rep. Altman has the audacity to wonder why the public is outraged at his disgusting attitude? It is quite obvious to me that Rep. Altman epitomizes all lawmakers in this state - both past and present - because no significant laws have ever been passed to deter CDV. Why do victims have to die before you call CDV what it is - a crime? Thirty-five years ago I was told by a magistrate, "You probably deserved it" when I took my case to court. Go home, Rep. Altman, and take a bunch of those other good ol' boys with you. You don't "represent" anyone but yourselves.
JG, Columbia: I am serious when I say this: I wonder if Rep. Altman is not suffering from the early stages of senile dementia or even Alzheimer’s. That would be one possible explanation for him saying such outrageous, absurd things about women and domestic violence in front of a TV camera. The good people of Rep. Altman's Charleston district need to take action now to get him out of office and under proper medical care. I urge them to consider a recall petition.
ME, Placeless: maybe it is time he thought about resigning. He does not seem able to keep up with the issues
CC, Cola: Of course he, as well as everyone else, has the right to free speech. The problem is that he is supposed to be REPRESENTING the people. Now, were his comments truly reflective of what the people would have wanted? I doubt it. He must think we are still living in the 1930's-the rest of the world has kept up with modern ideas, Mr. Altman-don't you think you should too?
RS, Columbia: Ewww. What's that smell? Oh, a dead horse. Can we get a new topic? This one stinks.
SM, Columbia: This man has no idea what he is talking about. I was an abused spouse for many years. I got out of it. I had family that helped me. Many people don't and have no place to go. No one can know what they would do until they themselves go through it. He needs to walk in the abused shoes, then maybe he can talk about it. I have been remarried for 17 years now and he is so good to me and my kids. I couldn't ask for a better husband. I do still have nightmares about the abuse and may also will but I also know I have a good and loving husband there for me.
WW, Columbia: If I had to choose between what Mr Altman said and what WIS-TV says, I would belive Mr Altman every time. WIS has been leaning more and more to the left for months and now it is just another mouthpiece for the liberals.
DP, Columbia: I deplored Rep. Altman's response to Kara Gormley's interview and wrote a letter to Speaker Wilkins about it. Although I think his apology is half-hearted, I think it is time to let it go. I also think that WIS TV seized upon this opportunity to create news and change laws rather than simply report the news. This is a very dangerous path!
CH, Cayce: I think Altman has the right to free speech which our government has given us. You might not like what he said, but he has the right to say it and not be punished for it. Let it go, everybody says things that others don't like and they aren't being fired or told to resign.
BJ, Columbia: Who cares, even liberal Democrats say the bad was poorly written and not likely to pass as written. It just so happened to be voted on the same day as the chicken vote. WIS stirred up this crap, which blew up in their face and now they're milking it for all it's worth. WIS is becoming The State newpaper of television reporting.
MA, Lexington: He's a real class-act. And if his name stays on the amended bill, just think of how good we'll look again to the rest of the nation. Also hat's off to Kara Gormley for standing her ground during the interview. When Altman was talking of not being very bright he must have been looking into a mirror off- camera.
ME, Gaston: Rep. Altman apologized, but he certainly did not seem sincere. As a matter of fact, I think he was laughing at the whole idea of the apology, the CVD bill, and the previous remarks he made to Kara Gormley. He is also trying to make a farce of the CVD bill by now adding his name as a co-sponsor of the bill. I do not blame Ms. Cobb-Hunter for removing her name. I wouldn't want mine along with his either. I feel he is just doing this for the publicity it generates, and I hope people remember this when it comes time to vote!
BA, Sumter: I think it is sad for all South Carolinians. Rep. Altman made national news and his views were a direct reflection of the people in South Carolina, even if we do NOT agree with him. Every other state in America think South Carolina is a bunch of red-neck, bear footed, woman beaters and now it looks like our government (Rep Altman) is in agreement with them. It is really sad to think he may ever be re-elected for that position, I hope the people of Charleston are smarter than that.
BA, Sumter: I wonder if Rep. Altman's opinion about CDV would change if his daughter or granddaughter was the victim of it. I think it is terrible to think a man can strike a woman other than his wife and go to jail for assault and battery, but he can strike his wife and get back home before she leaves the hospital. What are we saying to our children? It's ok to hit a woman as long as you are married to her.....that just doesn't seem right. Tougher laws need to be in place, not for 3rd offenses; by that time it could be a murder charge. Nip it in the bud....ZERO TOLERANCE!
DO, Chapin: Putting Rep Altman's name as a sponsor of the CDV bill is a crock and just another example of the'good ole boys'games politicians play.
TM, Cameron: Rep. John Altman's comments were taken out of context and only part of the interview was played. There were parts of the cdv bill that Rep Altman agreed with but a lot of other things attached to the bill wasn't addressed. I accept Rep. Altmans apology and cannot agree with Guilda Cobb on her racists comments. If a black rep. has made this statement and apologized, then immediately the media would have forgiven him.
SM, Rock Hill: Just a typical legislative hypocrite. The apology was simply to cover his tracks and was not sincere. There is no place in society for abusers, either physical or emotional. Look at the core of the bill, "the punishment". That should tell you the real feelings of Mr. Altman and his cronies in the House
KW, Darlington: I do not believe one word that comes out of Rep. Altman's mouth and now he has his wife on camera. What do these upper class "know it alls" know about leaving a criminal domestic situation? Well I'm glad Charm had enough "self respect" to leave her abuser. Many times self respect has nothing to do with getting away from someone who has gone off the deep end.
TB, Aiken: I saw nothing at all wrong with it. Nowadays all special interest groups are so easy to offend. What aboutfreedom of speech I guess its ok as long as you are politically correct . People love to whine
SS, Columbia: I guess this fine gentleman has never had to chose between feeding your small children and getting knocked around by your spouse who can't seem to control his temper. He's a joke. His apology is only for being "caught" not the content. He thinks its perfectly okay to "bop her again". He thought it was funny and I feel sorry for him and those who agree with him.
HS, Lexington: I have been following this story since the first night it aired with John Graham Altman's comments, and am one of the many that was seriously offended by his sarcastic tone, lack of sensitivity, and the general nature of his comments. I think he was condescending to Kara Gromley and downright rude. John Graham Altman has been a public figure in Charleston for a long time and he continues to be elected by his constituents. Unfortunately, being a rude, overbearing, ignorant jerk has never been a reason for someone to be forced to step down from an elected position or our legislatures across the country would be somewhat empty. People do and say things they shouldn't and that is a fact of life. John Graham Altman has apologized for his comments and deserves what typically comes next: forgiveness. Of course, if his apology is sincere it comes with the understanding that what he did was wrong, a sincere regret for offending others, the willingness to learn from his mistake, and the opportunity to not make the same mistake again. Hopefully he has learned from the error of his ways and if not then it will be up to the voters he represents to make sure he is not given the opportunity to embaress them again.
PJ, Swansea: JN, Columbia, You need to read a little further into those codes of law. By the time an abuser has gotten to the point of Assault of a high and aggravated nature, he has been, more than likely an aficionado at abusing, assaulting, steadily worse to a possible point of killing. The first offense is 30 days and /or $500.00 fine, second and third don't come close to near a logical punishment. Also previous crimes of the same nature from another state don't apply (Florida for instance)Apparently just crossing the state line altered his past life and his nature. My abuser got thirty days for CDV (trying to choke me to death in front of neighbors and my children)...He received 5 years for assaulting a corrections officer (he bit him on the hand)I challenge you to do some in depth research.
MW, Elgin: It is interesting to hear that Altman believes that there is no need for domestic violence laws based on second and third offenses because there shouldn't be one. If you think about it, there shouldn't be a second or third offense to any criminal act, but guess what there is. The fact that criminals recidivate is the reason for these additional levels of laws. Domestic Violence is not unique in that sense. I also believe that it is very interesting how Altman took his time out of his busy schedule to apologize to the legislature - hello - you need to be apologizing to the public!!!! Yes, Altman did make us (South Carolina) look a bit uncivilized and outdated in a few interviews that were conducted. South Carolina is smarter than that and so are the women in this state. Altman is useless as a representative and I am just happy to say that he is NOT my representative and hopefully in the near future he won't be anyone else's representative. South Carolina does not need individuals who are stuck in the dark ages and can't see the progression in which our state and country is going. The only positive thing about this whole ordeal is that Altman did bring Domestic Violence issues to the publics attention and therefore have forced action to be taken - so for that I thank him - and only for that.
TC, Sumter: I responded by writing to Mr. Altman myself. The following is the letter Mr. Aultman received from me with my name proudly displayed. "As I viewed your interview on April 19, 2005 with Ms. Gormley I was struck at how completely appalling it is to have a person of such abundant and obvious ignorance to represent the fine state of South Carolina. I was both shocked and disappointed on how you chose to conduct yourself in the public eye and how you chose to represent South Carolina. Let me inform you Mr. Altman, you do not represent this South Carolinian. Your rudeness, ignorance and unexplainable conduct toward both Ms. Gormley and women in general is outrageous as well as uncalled for. Your use of the phrase, “you women” proves that you are generations behind the rest of civilization and that any amount of explanation would render useless on one as uneducated and “not bright” as yourself. You stated that you do not understand why women would go back to abusers. Mr. Altman I suggest if you feel you do not understand, then you should educate yourself by reading reports and/or studies in this reference before voting. How asinine to vote on a subject you publically admit you do not understand? If you were an upstanding citizen and representative you would publically apologize to Ms. Gormley for the way you conducted yourself during this interview. You would also apologize to women for voting on a subject you obviously know nothing about. This is what a gentlemen would do, this is what an upstanding citizen would do....this is exactly what a positive REPRESENTATIVE of South Carolina would do. Alas, I feel you will instead go back into your cave and bury your head in the sand, because in honesty, YOU should be ashamed of yourself.
PS, Camden: First and foremost, there is no place in South Carolina or in this world for the physical brutality that is a result of domestic violence. It's the most cowardly demonstration imaginable, and actions of this kind are absolutely criminal. Simply giving that person a jail sentence is insufficient. Our state representatives should take the gloves off and treat the crime with a punishment equally as severe as the crime. If Rep John Altman doesn't understand the significance of this type of brutality, he should see first hand the result of such action. I truly believe that he has no earthly idea the depth of this type act. A person of his limited respect for humanity should not be representing anyone in the state of South Carolina, and it would only be fitting that he resign from his position, and devote the remainder of his life in total defense of the defenseless. Of course, this should be without receipt of any monetary gain for his efforts. He'll better understand the severity of this issue. John Altman should also apologize to Kara Gormley because the comments made toward her were truly insensitive and totally unwarranted. Anything less than that is whitewash. Wake up John Altman and realize that there are real people on this earth, not pawns of a generation pass.
PJ, Swansea: I'll answer "Altman's" question about why women return to their abusers with a response that even a politician can appreciate. Abusers are insidious, they don't start out telling you they'll beat you, take all your rights away and will try to kill you,... they make wonderful promises with high ideals (like politicians), they'll feed this shlopp til you believe them, love them, marry them (or vote for them). Then you are stuck with your vow, trying to make it work with what you've got (stuck with those inept lawmakers). As to a partial answer to the ancient CDV laws on the books, take a look at Florida
AA, Columbia: His apology is not an apology for being wrong;it's an apology for offending, and it's written to pacify constituents. He obviously doesn't understand the issue and apparently isn't doing anything to educate himself about it. Let's hope he's not re-elected.
JN, Columbia: Mr. Altman was rude in his response, however the public is being misinformed by this. Under law 16-25-65 it is already a felony for CDV high and aggrevated nature. Mandatory prison up to 10 years. = Read it and inform the public. Mr. Altman is clearly correct in noting that abused men are almost never able to see the same justice. Instead they get assumed as guilty and clobbered in a divorce.
AA, Columbia: If Mr. Altman (a term used loosely) is re-elected then we may need to seriously consider allowing Charleston to secede, otherwise, this State will be moving 50 years behind the times. It is obvious from his remarks he has not kept up with the modern world.
GT, West Columbia: nuff said get this piece of trash out of the state house i am ashamed if him and his croonies
JP, Sumter: I think his comments were appropriate when confronted by a hostile, rude and ingnorant reporter that was determined to blame the republicans for the CDV law passed by the democrats.
JP, Columbia: I am really upset by the attitude of your station and your reporting staff. Mr Altman made some really unpleasant comments but he was hounded by your so called reporter that made it very clear she had an axe to grind. Dont blame Mr Altman if we have a lax CDV law and a weaker one being considered. Your reporter needs her face slapped for being so delibertly rude. Maybe if she didnt hate men so bad she may have an open mind about the subject.
PG, Newberry: John Altman is clearly a man that needs to be stripped of his seat as representative of our state. Can we depend on him to make sound decisions? I know that he is not what I think should be considered a representative of me or our state.
VS, Spartanburg: To SB from Camden: Did it ever occur to you that those who listed "Placeless" as their city maybe victims of abuse who want to speak out, but do not want to risk being found even with the slightest information such as their initials being given??? This is just my observation based on victims who live in fear.
GS, Bamberg: He needs to realize that this does not only affect the actual victims, but also the familes of those victomized and left with only memories of their loved ones. There are a lot of people affected by just one senseless act. Angela Sweatman is my sister-in-law, and I am so proud of her for having the courage to speak out so soon after the lose of her mother Jenny. She has displayed unbelievable courage and I hope others will follow her example and speak up so things like this will never happen again to anyone. Thank You
SF, West Columbia: Mr. Altman should have to talk the family of the Bamberg Lady just killed. She could possibly still be alive if we had stiffer laws on CDV. If you read this, Mr. Altman, go talk to them. And just maybe we will not have to read about another woman being killed, beat up or her children being terrorized by some controlling man. Help these women and children now!
SH, Cayce: Everything he said was rude and, in no way, should people form opinions of SC based on his opinion and total disregard for another human being. Having said that, in SC, a person can go to jail for CDV based on hearsay alone. Whether a spouse beats his/her other half or not, if the other person chooses to call and state that he/she fears his/her life, the person gets locked. How do I know that? I'm married to a police officer. I agree that there needs to be harsher laws for those who actually do it...but what about those who just want to be downright mean and vindictive with no reason? There has to be something regarding proof before any law is passed.
DM, Elgin: Mr. Altman's attitude towards Kara Gormley was appauling. It reflects the plantation mentality I see in this State. With every step of progress made, people like Rep. Altman pull us back into the early 50's. He should resign and the folks that re-elected him should call for his resignation.
CF, Columbia: I don't think John Altman is very bright! He's an idiot, and should be voted out of office. Once again, he's helped make South Carolina a laughing stock.
TS, Elgin: I am appalled at the response a Representative from the State of South Carolina could say on National Television. Is he dumb or what. Does he have any idea what it's like to have been abused? Why not talk to some women. He has no idea what its like to continually be afraid he's going to find you. There's no wonder we are so low in nation-with idiots like him in a highly elected office. Let's let him stand on our State Capital steps and let some of the abused women and men beat the crap out of him.
RS, Winnsboro: It takes a majority to pass or not pass a bill in the house. Rep. Altmans' mistake was to boast about the cock fighting bill winning and to be just outright rude to your reporter. South Carolina has enough problems without him adding to it. Removal from his seat is the only answer, and quick!
mh, newberry: I think he's an ignorant man who doesn't have the first clue about the world we live in today!
EW, Columbia: I wanted to respond to the person who said: "If all the raving idiots would just stop following the mob and do some thinking and reading, they would see that the penalties for CDV in South Carolina are very stiff. Up to 20 years in prison and once convicted (1st offense) they can never own or possess a firearm in the state." The short version: 1st Offense not more than $500 not more than 30 days 2nd Offense not more than $500 not more than 30 days 3rd Offense not more than 90 days Also, in some counties the offenders are allowed to do PTI (Pre-Trial Intervention) where when they have completed that they are allowed to expunge their records, so they can commit the first offense all over again. You can read it in SECTION 16-25-20 Also "The court may suspend the imposition or execution of all or part of the sentence conditioned upon the offender completing, to the satisfaction of the court, a program designed to treat batterers." I don't see lengthy sentences for offenders that were cited earlier.
WR, Lexington: I believe he has commited political suicide. With domestic abuse in the headlines everyday, he needs to get in the 21st century. He should resign.
aj, camden: I feel sorry for any female who may have had or will have any contact with MR.Altman because it's clear that he hates women! I wonder did he have a mother
KK, West Cola: There's probably no help for this person. He's the kind of man you find in the KKK. Ignorant, arrogant, chauvinistic,closed-minded, 1810 thinking hard-headed and a moron. Anyone who makes jokes at the expense of the abuse of another just scares me.
CJ, Orangeburg: I for one am a pet lover and do not believe in the cruel treatment of animals. However, I think it's very sad that a person can be charged with a federal offense for fighting a chicken and this same person can beat a woman or a man and receive a misdemeanor charge only.
HJ, Pelion: ALL I have to say is when will this end? Has anyone seen the front page of WIS.com today? A lady was murdered by her ex!!! We need a tougher law and we need it NOW!!!!!!!!
JS, West Columbia: I feel as though Rep. Altman's comments are typical of our government at this time. It would seem our Legislators, and Judges have become power hungry, self serving, and totally out of touch with the will of the common people. If it is not on their agenda, and/or serving their self interests they could seem to care less. Apparently, we no longer have a true government "Of the people, by the people, and for the people" We have "Them" telling "Us" what we can and can't do as it suits their whims.
LA, Lexington: How long is WIS going to milk this story? It's going to take a medical examiner to examine whether or not this pile of pulverized meat was in fact once a horse.
MM, Jefferson: Having people in the House and Senate that South Carolina currently has what do you expect as they know nothing between a rooster and a human. These are our good-ole-boys. Certainly hope you print this as it is not offensive material, just the honest gods truth.
JB, Blackville: The current bill would have given us a bad law. I favor a good domestic violence bill and the sooner the better. The cockfighting bill, an unrelated matter, should not have been injected into the interview by the WIS TV reporter. This was a form of editorializing and Sen. Altman's comment, though rude, were not entirely inappropriate.
LT, Lexington: If Kara Gormley had risen from her seat, snatched up a stapler and hit Altman across the face until he cowered on the floor begging her to stop, would she have served time in jail? How likely would it have been settled with arbitration? How about serving one to thirty days or a suspended sentence? The only way she could reasonably expect this level of lenience would be if they were a couple. The question here is not whether the woman stays in the relationship. The question is: Why are women being maimed and killed by husbands, ex-husbands and boyfriends (especially those women who leave)? The question is: Why in the year 2005 are we debating an issue of physical, psychological and emotional safety for the largest portion of our society? The answer to all these questions is simple: The lawmakers who were elected to serve the people of South Carolina have chosen to prioritize the issue gamecock safety ahead of the “family values” issue of criminal domestic violence. Altman displayed the same arrogance, superiority, contempt, ignorance and unearned expectation of respect, with which every victim of domestic abuse is so sickeningly familiar. Having lived through this horror myself, I say with complete conviction that this man does not have the intelligence to fully comprehend this issue. I would like to applaud that "little girl from Columbia" for bringing this issue to the people of South Caroina.
DP, Dalzell: I would like to say I am shocked by the decision to table the domestic violence bill, yet sadly, I am not. Ignorance comes from all walks of life, and Rep. John Graham Altman is the epitome of such ignorance. Domestic abuse happens in homes ranging from the very poor to the very rich, and the form it takes run the gamut of physical, mental, verbal, sexual and emotional abuse. Downplaying abuse will only lead to deeper problems for our society.
JD, Hartsville: I think it is ridiculous. That a bill on cock fighting would be passed, while one on domestic violence was not. I had hoped that our state had progressed to the point that anything to help stop domestic violence or to punish the offenders would have been passed. As a survivor of domestic violence I am appalled.
ca, camden: I do not agree with the method and manner in which the represenative handled himself. He has singlehandly probably done more to pass a CDV bill than anyine in our state. However, personally I do not see the need for our legislature even spending time on CDV bill. Violence of any kind should not be acceptable in any state. Currently if there is violence commited either in a home or anywhere else can't the victim have the attacker arrested for Asault or Asault and Battery or a more serious crime? They can be husband and wife, just living together, or total strangers. So why then must we have another law on the books to do what can already be done. To me it is like the "Hate Crime" legislation. How can it be more serious to attack or kill someone based on race etc.. You should not be sentenced more serverly because you hurt or kill someone because of their race, relegion etc. Cause if you do you have decreased what your value another victim who does not meet the same criteria.
DT, West Columbia: Rep. Altman’s comments suggest that he just doesn’t get it when it comes to domestic violence, which is quite interesting considering that he claims to have represented many litigants in such cases. But what makes his remarks so frustrating to so many is that he speaks as if he actually knows what he’s talking about when it comes to domestic violence, while with his every word on the subject he demonstrates his ignorance. The fact that he is in such a powerful position to effect change on the issue only heightens the frustration of those for whom it is so important.
mf, n. myrtle beach: He's a disgrace to humanity. He should be thrown out of government and made to apologize. Domestic violence is SC #1 crime.
RO, Lexington: Rep. Altman is an embarrassment to the State of South Carolina. I am sad and appalled at his ignorance and arrogance.
JS, Lugoff: My view on Rep. John Altman's handling of the Domestic Violence Issue is Rep. Altman has not walked in an abused woman's shoes. He is correct in advising women to stay away from their abuser, however, in reality that is not a normal situation. The abuser will cry and whine and ask forgiveness and promise never to hit the wife/girl friend again. The abuser will threaten the victim with death of herself and her children. Many women have died after they left their abuser. Just last week a new case was reported of a death here in the Columbia area. Mentally these women are in a state of shock. These women are not thinking clearly. They are hurting inside and their bodies are mutulated. They need food and shelter and protection for themselves and their children. Most often there is not money and the men will not willingly give them money. There is a lot going on here. It is not a simple cut and dried issue. We need stronger laws. And we need more law enforcement officers willing to handle these cases. So many times these cases fall through the cracks. We need help in South Carolina. I am speaking a voice of experience. I am a hero now not just a survivor. I am married to a very nice man now. I do know what goes through a woman's mind and I know what it takes to struggle to survive, to feed and clothe children and keep them in college. Rep. John Altman needs to take a closer in depth look at what really goes on in domestic violence cases. You know another thing that comes to mind is God gives us a brain chemical that bonds two people together. Wives don't think of their children's father's as criminals. Most all women believe with all their heart that things will get better that they can work it out. Rep. John Altman needs to give us women some credit. And he owes Kara Gormley and all of us an apology.
DA, Lexington: What I want to know is....what is going to be done about Altman???
HB, Columbia: Looks like we have some batterers in our midst! You people are the sick ones who think victims deserve it. It's your kind of thinking that allows this to continue to happen. This violence escalates. Look at what happened yesterday in NE Columbia...the ex husband SHOT his ex wife and their child. She DID leave, but he found her. Leaving doesn't stop abusers from continuing to hurt their victim. These abusers need to be LOCKED UP for YEARS. Abusers don't just get better when the sitation is over. Abusers stalk their victims, abusers harass their victims, and they find ways to get back into their lives. There are MANY MANY stories of victims who HAVE left and the abuser shows up and kills the victim. Abusers are sick people. Letting them roam free is not an answer. Blaming the victims is not the answer. And it seems to me that people in this state desperately need to get with the program and have some education on what domestic violence is and how terrible it is. It's not simply hitting your spouse. There's a lot of emotional abuse and scare tactics that occur. If you don't understand that, you're totally ignorant about the subject. There are MANY books on the subject, and I highly encourage everyone who thinks it's so cut and dry to go on over to the library or Barnes and Noble or Books a Million and pick one up.
ZJ, Columbia: I am apalled by the utter disregard for human life and ashamed that someone like that sits in office. The message is clear and makes a statement so loud that everyone understands that we do not care about our abused parties. It is not only about female victims. It is about all victims. I witnessed domestic violence on a firsthand basis as a child. Sure, my mother got the strength to leave but not before we had the opportunity to witness her battering and suffering. Although she left him, he would follow us to intiate more violence. The state representative has no idea what kind of horrors we suffered. From a person who knows no one just choses to be repeatedly hurt over and over again. We need to protect our families. It is most definitely not just about women.
RF, Columbia: This is so typical of our state Law makers. They just don't seem to get the picture. We know where there mind is. If it helps Sc forget it about it. But if it puts money inthere pockets do it. We need to vote those good ole boys out and get people who really want to help SC
AW, Florence: This is typical of the mindset of the current legislature, personified by Altman's incredibly doofus remarks to K.Gormley.Lord knows, we can't let our citizens engage in such a crude sport as cockfighting, but let's not interfere with a man's homelife!
SB, Camden: Looking over the responses, I noticed that several people were from "Placeless", SC. Just where is that? For the Yankee who did not want anyone to know where he lives yet wanted to insult Southerners, how is the so-called Southern ignorance any worse than you not putting where you are from? That puts you with Mr. Altman in my view. Classless.
LT, Camden: If the legislators truly wanted to do the right thing, there would be no audio tape of the committee members laughing and joking about domestic violence. As someone who was born into a household with an abuser, I have been devastated by the condescending tone with which Altman has repeatedly attempted to justify the choice to table the bill. If the decision to table the bill was truly about the fact that the bill was not well-written, then why was that not the response when the decision was questioned? Altman's arrogant and condescending responses (over and over) provide evidence of our worst fears. His attitude and behavior embody everything that is wrong with South Carolina. Is it any wonder that we make the bottom of so many lists with people like Altman at the helm?
KH, Lexington: i think the bill itself had some problems and needed a re-write. what mr. altman has done, though, is going to cause an outcry to push a bad bill through.
SS, Sumter: Our world as we know it, the hearts of men are wax cold,and we wonder why all the violence, children killing parents, high school dropouts, homeless people, More thought given to chickens verses human life, and this madness continues to be generational, until we become one nation under God.
AB, Swansea: As a young female living in South Carolina, I honestly felt like someone slapped me in my face when I heard the comment made by this elected official who calls himself a man and then to hear the joke being made about "poper". There was a lot of laughter in the background and all of them should be made to apoplogize for it. I saw nothing humerous about the so called "joke". What goes around comes around and when it does come around I will be with the many women enjoying the show. Unfourtunatly women are still being looked at as being "weak" and that is going to continue until we do something about it. As far as that man talking to the female reporter like that, he should be glad that her camera remained in the camera man's hands and not somewhere it would have to be surgically removed from his body, she's a better woman than I would have been about it. thank you and have a great day.
DS, Blythewood: Rep. John Altman has once again demonstrated that he has neither the maturity nor the compassion necessary for the position he holds. He should resign immediately.
KL, Columbia: In a state that still flies a disgusting rebel flag why would you think that the life of a chicken would out weigh the life of a woman?? This is a prime example of why there should be term and age limits on serving in the political arena...
CR, Orangeburg: "POPER again"! Rep. Altman should be ousted from office! I only hope the people of the great city of Charleston show this ignorant man exactly how they feel by voting him out of office!
BS, Camden: I totally agree with the decision. I think anyone who stays with an abuser is an idiot and they deserve what happens to them. What are you going to do when they take the person away with a felony conviction? Why couldn’t you just leave before it came to this? Come up with all of the excuses about how you can not afford to leave and such nonsense. Why is that my problem? Why should it be the abusers problem? Oh, now it is the state's problem. Please... If you two do not like one another, the abused staying just because they can not provide for themselves is a very stupid reason for staying. Oh, now it is the states responsibility to give you assistance. What kind of garbage is this? People are getting spoon fed too much and getting very lazy and also thinking they deserve more that they really do. You want something done? Do it for yourself! Abuse is like a drug addiction. Once you start, it is nearly impossible to stop unless you totally remove yourself from the situation which causes the outburst. Now be logical and just remove yourself from the situation. Do everyone a favor. Anyone dumb enough to compare chickens to people deserve to get you feathers ruffled over the truth. Comparing the two, I am for the chickens.
KS, Lexington: South Carolina needs to join the year 2005. we are one of the highest rated states for cdv and our laws here need to be brought up to date. The legislatures here need to be held accountable for their actions and if they think that cockfighting is more important than cdv and want to table the issue the voters need to table the representatives. The sad thing is that altman is not the only one with those type views as can be told from the laughs heard from the "POP HER AGAIN" remark. They need to be "POPED" out of office.
KS, Lexington: I feel that Altman should be removed from office. He is an embarrasement to the state of South Carolina and his views toward women are dispicable. How can he represent this state when he doesn't even know what respect for the people is. I also have re greatest respect for Kara Gormley for not telling him off for the way he spoke to her. He truly owes her and the women of this state a sincere apology and really needs to be removed from office.
JG, Columbia: As a loyal Democrat, I'd like to thank "the Honorable" Mr. Altman for so thoroughly embarrassing the Republican Party. It is great fun to sit back and watch Sanford, Wilkins and the other assorted GOP ilk scrambling like ants pouring out of a kicked-over anthill, desperately trying to repair the damage done every time Altman opens his piehole. They don't have Clinton or Hodges to knock around anymore, nor can they summon Lee Atwater to help them out of this awful jam. Awww...how does it feel, guys? Keep up the good work, Rep. Altman!
CB, Columbia: What's so sad about domestic violence is that a lot of times NOBODY knows. For all of those who are smug and say these women and men are stupid: it could be happening to your brother or sister or children or friends. Be careful who you insult in front of others. Men don't leave because they're embarassed...after all, what kind of man lets his wife beat him? (That's their train of thought.) Women don't leave because they don't know there are places to help them, they're scared the man will find them, or they've been so brain washed into thinking they're worthless and deserve it. If you've grown up with this behavior, you think it's normal...and these are the kinds of people abusers prey on. Nobody deserves to be beaten or mentally abused, EVER. Anyone who turns this back onto the abused is either an abuser themselves, or just doesn't GET it and should volunteer for the battered women's shelters or hotlines around town.
SW, Columbia: The CDV bill has many flaws, I dont know if that is why it was shelved because they didnt say. Mr Altman may not have used the best of words to answer the rude and aggresive reporter but he did respond. I have read a lot man-hating responses. These women dont deserve a man to look after them. I didnt know that mad cow disease was so widespread.
DT, West Columbia: Like a dead fish, the older this story gets the more it stinks. And what I think I smell is the unsavory scent of activists and journalists in cahoots to manipulate public opinion to further their own ends. What smells most about this whole thing – aside from rep. Altman’s foul mouth – is the premise behind this controversy as set forth in the very “Question of the Day” above all these responses. It was you – WISTV – that falsely linked the issues of criminal domestic violence and cockfighting, and you – WISTV – that has subtly encouraged the equally false public perception that the legislature has placed one issue above the other in importance. In truth, the only “link” between these issues is that they were brought before the same committee. By your “logic” every bill before the legislature is linked in the same way, and every bill that passes must be presumed to be more important than every bill that doesn’t. I don’t think you’d take your linking theory quite that far, not because of the logical absurdity of the idea, but because it doesn’t serve your ends to do so. Which brings me back to my opening premise, that public opinion is being manipulated in this case by the way this “story” is being reported more than by the facts. And I think I know why. When you want to get something done – particularly when you want to get the public all stirred up – you appeal to emotion and not to reason. What better way to do it than to equate the life of a woman with that of a chicken? But no rational person – not even rep. Altman I dare say – would ever literally subordinate the life of a human being to that of a chicken. Yet you have shamelessly encouraged this perception in the public mind and exploited it as a means to further your ends. And that stinks!
TD, Columbia: Mr. Altman says that there are good reasons for not passing the domestic violence bill. The people of South Carolina may eventually want to hear the details of these reasons. For, at this moment, many of us still believe that our government values the life of a chicken over that of a woman's.
JP, Columbia: If all the raving idiots would just stop following the mob and do some thinking and reading, they would see that the penalties for CDV in South Carolina are very stiff. Up to 20 years in prison and once convicted (1st offense) they can never own or possess a firearm in the state. The law allows some police and judicial latitude on the first and second offenses which I think are good. What Gilda cobb hater wants is public beheading for the first offense and only for the men. Stop letting those infected with mad cow disease do your thinking for you.
AM, Gaston: This really hits home for my family. On March 11 my sister was beaten by her live in boy friend. She was beaten so bad that she quit breating a few times and she had to be air lifted to Palmetto Richland Hospital. She was beaten with a chair , a board and a fire extinguisher. The man that did this to her did go to jail and was charged with Criminal Domestic Violence with a high and aggravated nature and attempted murder. She was called by the solicitor of Lexington County and was told they are dropping charges because they did not think they could get a conviction in Lexington County because there were drugs and drinking involved. My sister almost lost her life, she had a broken arm, a broken rib and cuts and bruises. There is nothing in this world that should justify why a woman or a man can be beaten the way she was and not be held accountable. The next time he may kill her. She does not have to go back to him for him to hurt her again. There have been plenty of women found after they have left a abusive relationship and killed any way.
TC, Cassatt: The Charleston attorney knows he is prone to firing from the hip. Altman, during work on a seat belt bill, says, "I never know what I'm going to say until I say it, so I am kind of interested in hearing what I think." It is quite obvious that this mans mouth says things his brain has not yet thought of…it’s also a disgrace to the people of South Carolina that he was chosen to represent our state. I now know why Governor Sanford takes livestock to the statehouse…they fit right in with the other “animals” up there…
SB, West Columbia: They Should run him out of office. Charleston should be ashamed for electing this type of person when this man has shown his backwards ways time and time again. I'm sure he would not feel this way about this very important bill,if he has a daughter who had been abused by a boy friend or husband? It's time to this man out of office.
CT, Orangeburg: It is well known that Altman is an idiot. This exercise clearly demonstrates the priorities of the South Carolina legislature, cock fighting over abused women and the needs of senior citizens is much further down the list than this. See you on election day!!
HM, Columbia: I can not believe that the people of Charleston keep electing this "not very bright person" to serve them in the Legislature. I was appalled to hear the way John Graham Altman spoke to Kara Gormley during the interview with no apparent regret. I am very ashamed to say that he represents a county in SC.
TB, Elgin: I understand why the CDV bill was tabled. It needs revision before it is passed. However, the comments Sen. Altman made were nationally humiliating to South Carolina. Maybe he should do his homework before speaking publically. In elementary school, we were taught to treat each other with respect. Senator Altman needs to re-visit grade school and learn how to do that.
DF, Blythewood: Mr. Altman appears to show signs of a person who practices domestic violence with his smart remarks that we all heard. Perhaps Mr. Altman needs to have some big bad lady flush his 70 year old face down a toilet bowl. We could all stand back and see what his reaction would be when he collected his thoughts.
DB, Columbia: I was shocked that the bill regarding cockfighting was passed while the one on domestic violence was tabled. My shock intensified as I listened to Rep. Altman's response during the WIS interview, and again as he made national news. This is NOT the type of publicity that SC needs. How can an educated person even ask why a person doesn't leave an abusive relationship? It's not that the person enjoys being abused, but they are in a co-dependent relationship and don't know how to get out of it. I am a SC native, a Charleston native, and I am deeply embarrassed that this "man" represents our state.
JP, Blythewood: Mr. Big Mouth Altman: I have 22 words for you, "Do every South Carolina resident, especially every woman, a huge favor; Resign today then crawl back in the hole from which you came.
SJ, Columbia: First, let me apologize to Kara Gormley for the comments made to her by Mr. Altman. You kept your composure very well, a situation where I know I would have said, cut off the cameras
LL, Columbia: I am embarrassed that an elected politicians would speak so disrespectfully to reporters trying to gather information. I was mortified seeing Kara Gormly attacked by one of our political leaders. He was arrogant and ignorant and no "southern gentleman." When we have so many respectful southern politicians, why do these with such negatitve images seem to make it to National news portraying the "South?" Kara handled herself with great poise and confidence. (You go girl!) I was very impressed with her demeanor. I am 51 years old, have a college education and have worked in the software industry for 25 years. I have been the victim of domestic abuse more than once and I would like to have fifteen minutes with this man to explain to him why women put themselves in this situation. It is more common than anyone wants to believe and it is in every facet of society. My abuse has been at the hands of a successful and prominent corporate attorney and successful corporate executive. Domestic abuse does not ust exist in lower economical situations. Domestic abuse is more prevalent than most people realize. It is related to control issues, frustrations and stresses in the work place, and acceptance in society. I hate animal cruelty and believe that laws should be passed to hold people accountable, but there is nothing worse than domestic violence and changes are needed in our laws to hold those offenders accountable. Victims should not have to feel as if it is their fault for being abused. And parents need to teach their young daughters that if ever in a relationship where there is one outburst of violence you can be assured there will be more to follow. Get out! And Get Out fast! It won't get better no matter what they say. Parents give your daughters the ability to come home and feel no blame that it was their fault!
db, Lexington: Question/Comment: How proud John Graham Altman's wife, children, family and friends must be of him. As a health care provider of women I have seen the victims of DV more often than I care to or the public would ever imagine. Altman "does not understand" because he chooses not to understand. His responses to this issue is, to borrow his quote, the true "stain on our soul" as South Carolinians. His responses are very indicative of someone that abuses others. He abused Kara during their interview and slandered her after the interview with MSN. Pesonally I feel his constituents need to wake up and ask for his immediate resignation and Kara should seek legal recourse. He stated he does not know what is going to say until he says it and likes to hear what he is thinking. Well, John G. Altman, it is quite clear YOU DON'T THINK! And if you listened to yourself you would realize you are the one who is "not very bright" and "you will just have to live with that!" You sir are a stain on mankind and the good state of South Carolina.
SW, Columbia: I think the tabling of the domestic violence bill shows us just where our priorities lie. Yes, I believe it is important to protect the animals, but I believe that humans need to be our main concern. I come from a family where I am one of three girls and we have a younger brother. All our lives we were taught that it does not matter what a female does to a man, he never has the right to lay a hand on her. Females are God's gift to the males in their hour of loneliness. It is not always as simple as what everyone thinks. Despite what Mr. Altman thinks, just because we do not share his view, we are not "stupid", and by him acting that way, he has to be hiding something. Oh, and Mr. Altman, just so you know, there are many different types of abuse. Not just physical. By you running around telling people they are not very bright, that may be considered as mental abuse, which in some respects is just as bed. As a mother of a three year old son, it is not my choice or even my right, but rather my responsibility to him to make sure that he has respect for females. Not everyone is going to teach their children respect. That is where this all starts. At home. In child hood. Being in love with someone who hurts you does not, Mr. Altman, make you stupid. Feeling a small taste of the pain you might feel if you were to lose the one you love, reguardless of how he treats you, is enough to dull the pain that he might create. Think about that next time you go to open your big mouth. To all the ladies out there who go through this thing, sadly, you are not alone. Just remember one thing, love should never hurt. Stay strong!
DL, Sumter: As a woman, taxpayer, and voter, here is my message to Mr. Altman: Sir, your services are no longer needed. Oh, wait, let me stoop to your level--in other words, resign!
AW, Columbia: I sincerely hope that this uproar over Mr. Altman serves as a wake up call to the voting public. This is a prime example as to what happens when voters blindly vote for someone because they have "Democrat" or "Republican" in front of their name. It is time we as voters pay attention and put people in office who will serve their constituency, not themselves. Being a moron is not crime. Voting one in to office should be.
CG, Columbia: Now WIS gets around to admitting this buried deep in the new article about the POPER comment (which was probably a joke about Gilda Cobb-Hunter) she's hunting something alright. "We should note that a new bill which took effect in January 2004 does make Criminal Domestic Violence of a high and aggravated nature a felony." Yeah WIS should have made that known from the start. The laws are sufficient, people are not perfect. It should be a punishment to fit the crime and should be on a scale of violence. A little slap on the cheek shouldn't put someone in prison. Sorry, that's just common sense. If a man beats the hell out of a woman then, he deserves to do some hard time for a while. I agree with Altman. Ladies, if you're significant other is beating you, contact law enforcement and get the hell away from him!
TW, Irmo: I spent the last hour reading angry responses from the majorty of your viewers. Yes Rep. Altman made a fool of himself. Yes, your repor, ter pushed him to get the reaction. And, yes WIS is getting every inch out of the story. I wonder how many of these angry people voiced their opinions by voting last year? In Charleston county where Rep. Altman serves only 15,811 out of 184,569 registered voters took the trouble to vote. Don't like your Rep. or their actions, quit complaining about it and vote next year. Maybe the state will break a 14% turn out for state elections. As far as I'm concerned there are 168,758 registered voters in Charleston county who didn't vote in 2004 that are to blame for anything Rep. Altman does.
RL, Chapin: I think WIS and all other SC news channels should interview state reps. more frequently. It sure would make it easier to identify any other idiots that have been elected to public office.
CB, Orangeburg: I do not think that Rep. John Graham Altman handled his interview with Kara Gromley like a gentleman should have! As far a , the CDV bill what do you expect when you have laywer making laws that they are going to have to defend their clients against?The other problem is if the law is gender base thanit is wrong. The punishment should be the same weither it's a man hitting a woman or vice versa. Assult is assult, but when you can't get the victum to press charges how is a CDV bill better than a assult charge? So the next time you go to the polls ask yourself "Did the Rep. really make a differance?" Also can you get a tough law that these same attorney's are going to have to fight later?
FT, Placeless: there may be a bright side to this fools ignorant statement the politicans have to listen now and act on this issue a law will pass protecting women or men now may be when we call the police on our neighbor for beating his wife and children they will have to make an arrest and put him behind bars instead of leaving her to get hurt worse we have called many times hoping to get her protection and it still goes on
TC, Lexington: This is totally insane!!!!!!!! Where does Rep. Altman get off on telling Kara Gormley she is not very bright? I think he's the one who isn't very bright on this whole situation. Obviously he is the one who does not understand. I think he should be asked to resign and to quit embarrassing us Carolinians. Obviously his opinion between cock fighting and abused women, is that the animals life is more important than a human's life. I'm curious to how the other members of the Judiciary Committee feel about his opinion and how much attention he has brought to himself. It's got to be an emabrrassment to the other mebers!!!!!!!!! Maybe he likes all the attention he's getting and likes looking like a total jerk. If that's case, then he needs to be a jerk in some other state and not ours. We deserve better than this.
DL, Lexington: The coments and Jokes that Senator Altman made were insenative to all south carolinas and this type of attitude is Just what we do not need for our state not only does he dismiss a large and growing problem within our state he also gives comic material to talk show hosts adding to the attitude that this is the ideas of the people of south carolina as a whole and that is not true at all. Senator Altman was right about some people not being too bright maybe now we as a state need to show mr Altman just how bright we are, and get him and his caveman attitude out of office. And i would say to Mr. Altman to be call Senator is a Previlage if anyone should be ashamed he should be not a victim of cdv. Thanks
VS, Spartanburg: Well, a, fter initially reading this on yesterday my first reaction as well as many of you was total disbelief. I have a few comments to make and will try to be brief and concise. We have real issues here in SC with domestic violence that for some reason those who can do something about it refuse to address it in the way it needs to be. I do agree that it was right to table the bill if it was not prepared with the right terms and legal language. The bills sponsors have admitted that it needs to be fine tuned and want to be correct in its wording. My concern is that we have the fire and outrage of the state behind this issue now, but the bill cannot be reintroduced until January 2006. Will all of you who have expressed outrage at the dismissal of this bill still feel as passionate then? I hope so. Its not that women (or men) want to remain in an abusive relationship its called learned helplessness. For many there isn't an easy way out. Even when one takes the right steps to get out: leaving the abuser, moving away, obtaining restraining orders...the abuser will still get to them. Ironically, on yesterday CourtTV re-aired a CDV Murder case that occurred here in SC in which the victim was murdered in the back seat of a car in the police department parking lot with children present as she tried to do what her "options" dictated that she do. Her murderer of course was her husband & father of her now motherless children. A restraining order means nothing in this state or a CDV 1st, 2nd or 3rd, 4th or 5th offense conviction.....90 days if that. Its easy for those who have not been in this situation to pass judgment on those involved in these types of situations, but it is more difficult to get out than what it appears. Many shelters offer only temporary assistance. So, what do you do when your abuser threatens to kill you, your children, or any of your loved ones? The decision to stay is not out of ignorance or love, for many it is what is the best solution for now to keep others out of harms way. Its easy to say that the cockfighting bill was "presented properly" and passed, , but let us also realize that if the domestic violence bill was of any concern to any one in the legislature it would have come up years ago. I refuse to address the behavior of the Distinguished Gentleman from Charleston as his comments say it all. It makes you wonder about his disdain for this bill? Who is really trying to protect? His response could have simply stated that there were concerns over legal issues, but instead he chose to let us in on his ignorant bliss. To the "snippy" reporter keep up the good work. More exposure on this topic and maybe one day SC will dr, op out of the top five in the nation for Domestic Violence. Too many families have been destroyed by it.
KM, Kershaw: Rep. Altman is a disgrace to South Carolina. I wouldn't be surprised if he hasn't beaten a few women in his lifetime. Everytime he speaks he shows his ignorance. My sympathy goes out to the citizens of Charleston who did NOT vote him into office.
SL, Placeless: Being originally from the North, I am asked all the time why it is people think Southerners are stupid and ignorant...HELLO? Is it not painfully obvious? I cannot believe these are your elected officials, South Carolina. For anyone, but especially for someone entrusted with the responsibilty that Altman has been given, to joke about domestic violence the way he did is just appalling! How the treatment of women could be a priority over the treatment of chickens, well that is absurd. Altman won the popular vote and to me, that is a very scary thing. Maybe there should be testing (in this State) before any one can vote, to see if they have the mental capacity to take on such an important responsibility. Better yet, maybe there should be testing (in this State) for people before they have children...this way there wouldn't be any Altman's to vote for...or any ignorant rednecks to vote for him. To spread his ignorance, and this States ignorance, on national television...keep on wondering, South Carolina, why you are the laughing stock of our country.
TC, Columbia: Once again, I am ashamed to be from South Carolina. Some of the reps we have running our state can be pretty embarrassing! I do not think Kara was at all or in anyway out of line. She was just doing her job as a reporter. Altman is just a coward. He acted like a typical , southern politician red-neck. Whose to know?---he may have abused his own wife. We do not know what goes on behind closed doors at his house but he sure indicated so with the ugly comments he made. He is not a gentleman at all! It is hard to believe that he was ever a lawyer----I thought lawyers had tough skin.
MP, Columbia: This response is the very kind of ignorance that keeps SC in the dark ages re violence against women. My hope is that the outrageousness of these comments will incite people to take a strong stand in support of the bill.
DC, Jefferson: I write this from first hand experience,I was abused in my first marriage and thank God I had the support of my loving family to get me through.Most women don't have the support I did and my heart goes out to them.In my opionion Altman must be an abuser himself to verbably abuse Ms Gormley as he did.Personally I would like to know what it is he thinks we (women) don't understand?It sounds to me like someone needs to explain it to him.It seems to me he sees them both as a SPORT and I think he is a COWARD with a big mouth who has no right holding this high ranking office and making decisions that will affect other peoples lives......
JM, Columbia: I think that the decision to table the bill on CDV was a horrible decision on the part of our legislature. I also am astounded by the ignorance of our Senator on both local and national news. It doesn't make our state look good at all and I wish that there were some way to remove him from offic, e.
TM, Pelion: I think that John Altman is a sexist and dumb fool. Kara Gormley is one of the best reporters in the state. I wonder if he is married and if so, does he beat his wife? There has to be some reason he didn't pass the bill.
ZD, Camden: I think that what they did was wrong. People are more impportant than animals. I don't believe in cock fighting but that just isn't right. Also he showed a lot of disrespect to Kara Gormely and that was wrong. She handled it very professionaly and we are proud of her.
MF, Lexington: He is lucky that is was not me in front of him...I'd have slapped that smile off his face. He could have answered the question stating that the CDV bill is not as cut and dry as the gamecock bill. The CDV bill is much more complicated and involved. But this chauvinist PIG showed us his personal ignorance and hate. It is a real shame. I bet he has hit his wife on more than one occasion, the poor thing she was raised in a generation that said it was ok for men to do that so smile and act like it never happed. He should be forced out of office, not retire or resign; because he will still get taxed paid benefits: but kicked out with no benefits. It is an injustice to all of SC to allow him to stay employed with tax payers monies.
MC, Columbia: I've listened to Rep. Wilkins and Rep. Harrison and feel that the "committee" is aware of the CDV issues in this state and will refine the bill so that it can be passed in the near future. I understand that the wording in the law must be precise and cover all aspects of the problem. The problem I have will all of this is Rep. John Graham Altman. He is an embarassment to the State. I would hope that he is not re-elected. The man has no business being a representative of this State when his public response to the outcome of the CDV Bill shows him as an insensitive Chauvinistic pig. Kara Gormley had a firm handle on what she was asking the Rep. however John G. Altman showed his true colors when he attempted to sidestep the question with his "redneck" response.
SH, Darlington: I am appalled that anyone in South Caroina of any intelligence has such ignorance as Rep. Altman! South Carolina has so much wrong and most of it is perpetrated by our elected officials. To have such complete lack of respect for the safety of women, or ANY human being, shows this man's true character. He need not include me in his collective "all South Carolinians" as he did in his interview with MSNBC. One thing is certain, millions of viewers saw a buffoon live and in person! He is a total embarassment to the state, the Legislature, the people of his district. Hopefully they will enlighten him by voting him out of office. Then he can get a job searching out cok fights!
LP, Lexington: While Mr Altman's response was definitely not the most eloquently worded rebuttal that I have heard, there is much in what he said to be agreed with! I also agree with those who feel that the reporter badgered him into some of the remarks. , I have personally known quite a few women who were in abusive relationships and who absolutely would not accept the help from friends, family, and others which would have helped them to get away from the abuser and start a new life. Why doesn't someone approach this as the sickness that it is on the part of many of these women, who keep going back time and again and DO have options but won't accept them? It seems that in many of these cases, they want someone to listen to them moan and whine about how awful their mate is, but offers for alternate housing, relocation, etc are either used only briefly or turned down altogether and they are right back with him in a couple of weeks or less. They always have an EXCCUSE for going back into the situation but so does the alcoholic or drug abuser for going back to their source of misery. I really believe that in most of these cases, the abuser could die today and the "victim" would find another one just like him within a month. I have actually seen this happen a time or two, again, leading me to believe that this should be attacked as a psychological disease. I'm sure the sob-sisters will want to bash me now for being "insensitive" but at what point do you learn to focus on common sense over being sensitive just because it feels warm and fuzzy? I feel that real "wife beaters" should be locked up and the key thrown away, however the current and proposed laws don't allow for a one time mistake where a woman may have been in a total rage and physically assaulted the man (or vice versa) and the one being assaulted was in panic mode and slapped the agressor to get them off of them. The cops get there and the original "victim" now goes to jail because his / her handprint is on the others' face. I have been told be law enforcement officers that I know that this happens in a lot of cases and that these are first time, not pattern, incidents. Also, I am told that there are a lot of couples out there that for whatever reason, seem to emjoy slapping each other around every weekend. They both get bruises and little scrapes but it does not escalate and no one is being battered with broken bones, loose teeth, etc. Strange? Yes! Harmful to anyone in a big way? Probably not. This proposed law is bad and should have been tabled! Focus should be on protecting women, who want and accept help, from wife beaters first, then helping those who keep going back to see the sickness of their actions and to change them. The habitual batterers need to be dealt with severely but allowances shoould be for one-time mistakes by either party. As to the big stink about making Cockfighting a felony, Mr Altman made the case well that domestic violence rarely had accomplices but cockfighting always does and it is easier to charge the accomplices in a felony! Also, animals don't have the option of phoning for help and turning it down or accepting it that humans do. Their options are much fewer so I see nothing wrong with protecting them.
JJ, West Columbia: I think Mr. Altman needs to sit down and really talk to some women who have been involved in CDV situations so that he can understand what the real issue is here. I also believe he needs to do his own homework and not point the finger at reporters who interview him. He was just as rude to the MSNBC reporter today as he was to Kara Gormley earlier in the week. Obviously, there is little hope for an indiviual to vote for a CDV bill that will protect women when he can sit in an interview and call a female reporter stupid. I believe that Mr. Altman needs to understand that he represents his constituents, not his own beliefs when voting on legislation. I think to remind him of this, the people in his district need to make that a point when election time rolls around again.
TD, Columbia: Mr. Altman says that there are good reasons for not passing the domestic violence bill. The people of South Carolina may eventually want to hear the details of these reasons. For, at this moment, many of us still believe that our government values the life of a chicken over that of a woman's.
MW, Swansea: I have have lived in SC for over two years. I came from MN. This state; I now call my home is a wonderful place to live. The people that live hear are good and caring. To bad Rep. Altman cannot see or hear past his nose. If you listen to his interview on MSNBC he clearly states that making the CDV a felony will not be as lucriative in fines or punishment because you have no accessories to the crime. But with gamecock fighting you can charge everyone with a fine and throw away the key. Am I hearing this right? If the police or sherrif find a bunch of chicken boxing promoters and managers running their own contender show locally we can fine and jail them all for the cruelty of the chickens. But arresting one man or woman (no accessories) who hurts or kills another family members is not as profitable. I agree that maybe the bill does need some changes to work out legal bugs. But Rep. Altman did not say that. He must assume we are all well versed with this bill. I may be adding to this a little, but the MSNBC interviewer was right; he has not explained anything to the fine people of South Carolina. It just proves that an educated man such as Rep. Altman can look like he graduated from Redneck universty with honors and embarass this wonderful state I now call home. Do us favor Rep. Altamn and resign your position. Because obviusly your not bright enough to see what, a disgrace your are to this state! Keep up the fine reporting Kara!
JM, Columbia: My comments on domestic violence is the fault does not lie with the with Rep Altman, the fault is in the voters for re electing such ignorance year after year
LM, Sumter: Once again SC has been put on exhibition by our politicians. It started with Jenneret and now we have this donkey from SC.Is this man a public servant? He has got to be one of the most ignort people with his opinions around much less doing a job as a public servant. Charleston has to be burying their heads because he is from there.
CP, Columbia: I am writing this letter in response to your broadcast last night on the domestic violence legislation. My first reaction was anger. I not only was appalled that one human being would speak in such a way to another human being,I was also angered at Rep. Altman's total lack of understanding about domestic violence. Then I realized that many other people are equally as ignorant and decided to write this letter. Just as an abuser comes from an abusive childhood, so a victim of domestice violence comes from a background from which they have very little self-esteem. In an abusive marriage/relationship, any amount of self-esteem they may have had is completely destroyed. They are made to believe that they deserve this abuse. Such phrases as "You are the only one who makes me mad enough to hit you" and "See what you made me do?" are continually used. And, as the saying goes, if you throw enough mud against the wall, soon it will stick. COnsequently, self-esteem diminishes and totally disappears. So in answer to the question "Why do women to back to those men", the answer is simple. They think they have no choice. I speak from experience. I am a domestice violence survivor. By that I mean that I was able to get out of the marriage without being maimed or killed.
WR, Orangeburg: When it was first aired, I was appalled to hear the comments fron Rep. Altman regarding the penalties for domestic violence in S.C. I am even more apalled and incensed that in subsequent interviews, both local and national, he has maintained and even justified his archaic, close minded, and insensitive position. He continues to call people stupid, ignorant, and not very bright. In the MSNBC interview, he is now blaming the whole discussion of stronger penalties for domestic violence on " special interest groups who want to stir up trouble" Well, girls and women who make up over half of the state's population are certainly "special interest groups" because they are the mothers, sisters, aunts,nieces, and daughters of this state. What century does this man live in? The electorate who sent this man to Columbia as a representative should be calling for his immediate resignation. I cringe to know that this man will continue to sit in a policy and lawmaking capacity for this state. I call upon the entire S.C House and Senate to not let this man's voice be the voice of this state. God help us all, especially girls and women, should this man's position be the voice and position of the leaders of this state. By the way, Kara Gromley deserves an award for her tolerance and professionalism demonstrated in the initial interview with that man.
SB, Columbia: Rep. Altman owes Kara Gormley and the women of S.C an apology but she, nor the women will ever hear those words from him. Great job Kara, keep up the good work. Rep. Altman is a disgrace to the people of S.C.
CJ, Hopkins: The situation w/Rep. Altman is a sad one. It was one thing when he showed the citizens of SC how ingorant he is but to go on MSNBC and show it to the world is truly heartbreaking. Hopefully, someone close to him will able to get him to see how inconsiderate he is to such a growing and delicate issue.
RS, Columbia: I agree with Rep Altman, almost 100%. I agree that some of your reporters ask stupid questions and when you are reporting on the air you give your opinion, when your opinions should be kept to your self. Reporting is suppose to be neutral, without opinion. You are so opinionated in your reporting. I was proud of Rep. Altman for not being politically correct. Why was it reported that only 1 person agreed with the Rep. Altman. You've never given percentages before! I don't like domestic violence, but a woman shouldn't keep going back time and time again to continue to get beat on and they are stupid for going back.
MH, Columbia: As a physician in the Columbia area, I see on a regular basis the long lasting effects of domestic violence. After following this story for the past two days, it is clear that Rep. Altman is unable to understand why his comments have offended so many. The contrast between how passionately he speaks about cock-fighting and his references to criminal domestic violence are striking. I only wish that he could find that same passion for the women of this state for whom he was elected to serve. The definition of the word representative means One that serves as a delegate or agent for another . The women of South Carolina elected Rep. Altman to represent them so I challenge Rep. Altman to educate himself on this important issue. Then if he is still unable to understand , I think his constituency should call for his resignation.
MB, Columbia: For all the women that do not want to have to go back to their abusers, but have nowhere else to go, can they pack up their kids and their belongings and stay at Altman's place?
JG, Orangeburg: Obviously Rep. Altman needs to be admitted to MUSC for an Alzheimer's work-up.
LN, Placeless: As a victim of spousal abuse, I would be gald to explain it to Mr. Altman. He is the one that isn't very smart
JK, Columbia: I was so embrassed for our state - Representative Altman needs to get in touch with the real world - I wonder how he would feel if it happened to one of his children - I think he would have a different approach if it was one of his own. Thanks Kara for showing us what John Altman is all about.
SF, Columbia: Thank you WIS and Kara Gormley for showing South Carolinians (and the nation) Mr. Altman's true character. I am proud of Ms. Gormley. She stood her ground and kept her poise in what must have been a very difficult situation. Keep up the good work!
RP, Prosperity: It has disappointed and shocked me, as well , as, been an embarrassment to our state.
LD, Greenville: I couldn't believe what I was reading. I work for a sexual assault and child abuse center which walks hand in hand with domestic violence. I am a child of domestic violence. My mom wasn't allowed to work outside our home.We were "upper class" and I never wanted for any material thing. My dad was an alcoholic who beat her and did unspeakable things to us all when he was drunk. We all were terrified of him. Mom would take us and leave but daddy would cry and say he was sorry and promise to never hit her again. I could tell many stories of the abuse we all endured.When I was twelve, mom finally found the courage to leave him for good.She found a job working for minimum wage. We lived in a run down little house, didn't have a car or health insurance but we were free!! How dare anyone belittle the abuse of another human being!!! Men, women, children are abused every day in our state. I invite Rep. Altman to walk in our shoes. WE need stronger laws regarding domestic violence and sexual assault. It is shameful that there are so few in our Law making bodies that care.
SS, West Columbia: I emailed the below response yesterday...today my feelings regarding Rep. Altman have not improved. Thank you for making the Judiciary Committees list available. I hope the rest of our Leaders continue to address this matter. Ms. Gormley, It has taken me most of the day to compose myself enough to write you. I am appalled that one professional would speak to another professional in the manner Rep. Altman conducted himself. I applaud you for maintaining your composure. I would appreciate access to a list of all members serving on the committee assigned to review the CDV bill, I believe we have a right to be informed as to the other members stand, opinions, regarding CDV. Rep. Altman has expressed his opinion, as he is entitled, it is a shame a man of such stature in our political community can set our State back so many years with a few irresponsible comments. Maybe the reason Rep. Altman does not understand CDV is because he does not care enough to take the time to gather information, both from professionals and victims. I personally believe the damage, not to mention personal offence he has caused the people in our State is beyond repair! I call for his resignation, effective immediately. Our representatives are just that, OUR representatives. Rep. Altman is sadly mistaken if he feels the comments and the manner in which he conducted himself represents the people of South Carolina.
MG, Leesville: It is my belief that Mr. Altman is not very informed, or concerned, about the effects of domestic violence. Women do not necessarily return to their abusers - their abusers often seek them out, even when women have taken precautions to prevent this. It is absurd to jail a person for five years for the crime of cockfighting, yet punish an abuser for only 90 days for a crime far more serious. I am all for animal rights, but let's put this into perspective, Mr. Altman. This man should clearly resign his position as a representative for the state of South Carolina.
AS, Elgin: I def think something needs to be done with sen altman. his responses to some of these questions make me wonder what has gone on in his personal life. I am appalled we have not done more for abused woman in our state. we have one of the hights death rates for woman killed by abusers. For a lot of woman, if the abuser would have been sent to jail after the first, second, or even tenth time, a lot of woman may still be alive today. God bless sc....
DS, Lexington:, I think that it is absolutely a disgrace that the CDV bill has been tabeled. Whether they want to admit it or not, it looks like the people we elected to represent us care more about cockfighting than human lives. It is sad that it is safer to be a chicken in South Carolina than a person.
JG, Irmo: I certainly agree that cockfighting should not be allowed and there should be serious consequences for it, however I feel that domestic violence is an even more serious issue that calls for serious consequences. I am not sure why the bill did not pass. If there are problems with the bill then it needs to get re-vamped and brought up again for another vote. This issue needs to be dealt with and taken seriously. It does not look good for the state of SC when a bill passes unanimously on cockfighting but then a bill on domestic violence gets tabled. What worsened the situation is Rep. Altman's rude, ignorant and chauvanistic comments made to Kara Gormley. Then to state that she must not be very bright... Talk about "foot in mouth" Even if he had his backwards and chauvanistic ways of thinking and has no sensitivity and does not "truly understand" the domestic violence issue... he should have at least had the wisdom to keep his big mouth shut. He looks like a fool to the state of SC and to the rest of the US. I don't think he will get re-elected. I think he just sealed his future with his ignorant, big mouth. HE is so ignorant on the issue that he does not understand why a judge or court officials, lawyers etc would need training in domestic violence. He does not understand it himself otherwise he would understand the cycle and all the complicated dynamics involved as to why it is so hard for a woman to leave that situation. It is easy for someone on the outside looking in to say she should leave...but it is a lot easier said than done in most cases. Mr. Altman is never going to live this one down.
MC, Columbia: Representative Altman really needs to learn that when you get to the bottom of a hole, it's best to quit digging. He's now been interviewed three times and in each case he has come out looking like a bigger bafoon than the time before. Seems to me it would be in his best interest to not respond to any further questions on the issue for a few days while he spends some time removing his cranium from his rectum. Upon hearing the loud popping sound announcing proper removal we should expect to hear a formal appology to the people of SC, Kara Gormley, along with a detailed explanation of how he intends to push forward legislation that will make CDV a felony and provide for the punishment and community support that is needed to move SC beyond being the leader in violence against women. Representative Altman, you sir, with no assistance other than your own voice, have demonstrated a severe lapse in judgement.
SB, Columbia: It makes me angry, and makes me sad to see this kind of news going national - Rep. Altman made some ridiculous statements, but on the positive side, Kara Gormley kept her cool and her dignity and didn't resort to the display of ignorance he showed. I love S.C. and hate to see us made to look like dolts when one of our own comes out with statements like Rep. Altman made. I hope he comes to his senses at some point in time and realizes how wrong he is. Also, I cannot believe he represents battered women in his law practice with the very narrow view he has of this horrible blight on our society today.
RK, Lexington: Im confused, Rep Altman told the fellow on MSNBC that SC has one of the toughest CDV laws in the country. Then why would he be willing to sign a well written bill if it is presented to the committee. So who is the individual that "isn't too bright"? Its one thing to lok like an idiot on local tv, now he has to do it nationally. Do us a favor Mr Altman, sit down and shut up!
BS, West Columbia: I have to agree with Altman on this one..(by the way I am a female). These two bills are completely separate and should not even be referred to in the same conversation. The CDV proplem in this state is awful, but how can you hold the man completely responsible if the woman keeps going back for more?(Do they like being beat? If your not there then he can't beat you, and if he stalks you and attacks you then that is Stalking and Assault, Have him arrested.) There are too many outlets for women of CDV to get help now for them to stay. The excuse "I can't make it if I leave him", that is crap as far as I am concerned. There are places you can go and people that will help you just have to make an effort to find them. I don't know why a woman stay's with trash that would beat her. One time, that would be all it would take and then you press charges and get out OR PUT HIM OUT! In closing... Hit me once, shame on you Hit me again, shame on me Ladies, there should never be a 2nd or 3rd offence. Leave his sorry butt, there is a way, people will help you.
MG, Lexington: I am embarrassed that our state legislature is setting consequences for cock fighting higher than consequences for CDV! Altman keeps informing reports that they don't know what they are talking about and need to do more research, however, I believe he is the one who should be doing research. Yes, cock fighting is appalling, but seeing a women who's life is torn apart from CDV is MORE appalling. I can not believe that he would place a chickens life at a higher price than a woman. As a woman I am hurt that he has no repect for women in this day and age. I am truely embarrassed for our state that we are on the national news because in the year 2005 we are arguing over cock fighting, instead of a womans right to life, regardless of her circumstances. I admire Kara Gormley for her conduct during the interview, as a communications major, I respect her for the way she handled herself. Again, I'm sorry that this again is giving our state a bad reputation!
GJ, Columbia: I find it sad that in 2005 attitutdes such as Mr. Altman's are still found in th SC legislature. His response to the question of why the DVB was not passed was uncalled for and showed his ignorance of how to handle the media or anyone who happen to oppose or question his views for that matter. He really should learn to take a better approach to people. This is the exact attitude that those who commit domestic violence in the form of mental abuse have. His respose to the reporter calling her "ignorant" and "not very bright" exemplifies the mentally of the abuser who thinks that women should not have a voice and can be treated disrespectfully and spoken to with disdain.
RW, Cayce: Contrary to popular opinion a domestic violence bill is not about Women's Rights. Women are not the only victims of Domestic Violence and Men are not always the abuser. People are much more complex than chickens. So if putting that bill off until a time when more thought and consideration can be put into this Bill to make sure that all aspe, cts are lo, oked at and that the best decision is made for All people who are victims of domestic violence then I applaud our lawmakers for not making a wrong decision by making a hasty one.
BM, Sumter: I was listening to the radio this morning and heard Kara, Judi, and Steve on WMHK talking about this issue and the interview. So, I decided to check WISTV.com to see and hear the actual reports for myself. After watching the initial interview and the follow up, I cannot believe the audacity of Rep. Altman. First of all, he gave us men a bad name and as a man I must apologize to Kara Gormley and all women. I hope that he isn't representative of all of us. Second, he is so out of touch. Does he even think of the possibility that, in a few cases the beaten woman may leave the husband or boyfriend that has beaten them? And that there also the possibility that the offender finds them and do it again? I for one must admit that I am not completely aware of the statistics, but the CDV bill needs to be reviewed and whatever problems there are-- FIX IT. Don't just table it. I will definitely make sure that some of my friends in Charleston are made aware of this idiot that is representing them. Maybe, Rep. Altman will realize that he was the one being dumb. Not Kara. With that, I have to give Kara Gormley credit for maintaining her professionalism and think she should be commended. She wasn't doing anything that any other reporter wouldn't do. She was asking the tough questions--that's her job. Way to go Kara!! If Rep. Altman doesn't like it, he should get out of public service and return to his private practice. Questions that Ms. Gormley asked are going to come around occasionally and he needs to learn how to deal with it.
DH, Columbia: Personally, I think Gov. Sanford should demand Rep. Altman's resignation immediately! The State of South Carolina does not need someone with views like Rep. Altman's to be in any sort of politics. He should be ashamed of himself and he owes Ms. Gormly? a big apology!
TS, Turbeville: Where did this so called man come from? Not S.C. I think that he should be made to appologize to Kara after all she didn't committ any crime
AS, Columbia: I moved here from another state just 8 months ago and I can't understand why anyone would consider cockfighting as savage yet not domestic violence! The message this conveys is it's not ok to harm an animal in this state, but it sure is ok to beat your spouse. When I heard the news report and Representative Altman during the interview, my blood was about to boil. He obviously has no clue what domestic violence is really about or he wouldn't say it's the woman's fault for staying. I can only hope the other Representatives are not nearly as closed minded when it comes to domestic violence. As for Representative Altman, I pra, y he gets some education on this topic, abusing your spouse should never be acceptable.
LM, Lexington: I am disgusted by Rep. Altman's remarks about domestic violence. How would he feel if it was his mother, wife or daughter. Would he tell them the same things that he told Kara? Kara, bless you for standing up for women and staying strong with a PIG who has no idea what it feels like to be violated by your husband. Thankfully I got out of my situation on my own two feet but some women do not have the means to do so. I would love Rep. Altman to tell me how stupid I was all those years ago because I would have a few choice words for him. To the voters of his precinct, I hope you remember this when he comes up for re-election so you can blow this arrogant man out to the curb well he deserves to be with all the other trash and scum!!
JD, West Columbia: Once again our Good Ole Boys of our State Legislature have put our State in the news. Why do we keep voting for these old white men . They dont have a clue what year this is. This is wrong and something needs to be done to help the abuse victims. By the way I am a fifty year old white woman. I will be voting for WOMEN from now on. I may even run for Office myself. Thanks for your time. Tell Kara we all love her.
HB, Columbia: Would he have said a MALE reporter was "not very bright"? This just goes to show how some men are stuck 70 years in the past. That exact line of thinking is what allows men to beat their wives and partners in the first place. This is just ANOTHER reason why this state desperately needs to get it's act together, and why it's the laughing stock of the ENTIRE nation...not to mention the rest of the world. It's time to clean house on all of these officials and start over again. Frankly, it doesn't surprise me that Altman is a republican. You get what you vote for, congratulations district 119. That's what happens when you vote on party lines and not issues and facts.
JM, Placeless: WAKE UP SOUTH CAROLINA VOTERS!!!!John Graham Altman is one of the many ignorant and arrogant members of the legislature. Perhaps his stupidity will help insure the future election of intelligent, progressive individuals. Secondly, let's see if Speaker Wilkins is really sincere on getting this bill passed or is he going to use the same tactics he has used in the past - well, there was part of the bill that was controversial and we could not get it through. Perhaps he should accept the Ambassodor of Canada position ASAP! HURRAY for Gilda Cobb-Hunter!!!! Those men cannot stand that she has more intelligence in her little toe than the majority of men at the State House. And finally, a big thank you to Kara Gormley for bringing out the best in John Graham Altman. The best gift the state could receive from this whole matter is that Johnny's house seat be filled by a woman!!!
DS, Sumter: Rep Altman actions reminded me of a hog back into a corner, in a very defensive position. Attack was his only option, and a poor decision on his part. His behavior was very immature and showed a marked lack of empathy for people. Would feel sorry for the people that he represents, but his nature has been known for years. There may have been some problems with the cdv bill, but that does not justifiy his actions. And his actions has done his party and the state a great disservice. He should resign, but that is doubtful.
HS, Isle of Palms: Tabling the bill about 'domestic violence' shows the legislators lack of knowledge or even worse, a lack of interest in a very tragic and troubling topic. SC has one of the highest rates of domestic violence in the nation for a variety or reasons: poor education system, a culture that supports such behaviors, and also a culture that treats women and chattels. On any proposed legislation, those charged with representing the public have an obligation to stay informed on the issues, rather than operating as though only part of a 'good ole boys' club. When that day comes, then SC no longer will be at the bottom of the list on issues where they should be at the top.
JP, Sumter: My impression of the so-called interview was that the reporter had a definite agenda she was promoting and was trying to goad Mr Altman into a confrontation. I think that when "news people" stop trying to make the news and just report the news, everyone will be better off. This is the type of aggresive and downright nasty interviewing that would cause me to become iritated too.
PD, Prosperity: Before you fly off with this you need to READ the bill..While working in the medical field for many years I have seen much..Some of this bill is worth and should be passed some IS NOT..so READ ALL the bill before you go into crap like this on your news. You are supporting all the bill when you should not be. Read below and READ CAREFULLY Does the following: Forces Magistrates and Family circuit judges to attend CE for domestic violence every year. Redefines Physical cruelty in divorce to include physchological damage. Requires finding of fact before anyone accused of CDV can be released on bond, this will keep people in jail for days or weeks until the investigation and initial court hearing is done. CDV charges will not be dropped if the victim or victims lawyer does nto bother showing up for court. Prohibits mutual restraining orders in cases of divorce. Any law enforcement officer found guilty of CDV must be terminated. CDV can not be expunged from a persons record. It also eliminates any lieniency on first offenders. BTW, Clyburn is one of the bill's authors, you know the moron that said Social Security was not in crisis...
SP, Columbia: If that nasty tempered reporter has confronted me like she did Mr Altman, she would be looking for a proctologist to remove her microphone.
WW, Columbia: I think that reporter got exactly what she deserved. She was very rude and nasty to Altman. I would have thrown her out.
TC, Cassatt: Petition created to remove Rep. Altman from office. We, the people of the state of South Carolina, find Rep. John Altman’s comments on the criminal domestic violence bill H3143, to be offensive and find Mr. Altman to be incapable of representing the people of this state, based on comments he made in his televised interview on WIS on 04/09/05. His views in no way represent those of the people of SC and based on this fact we find that he is not qualified to participate in the creation of laws for the people of SC. We request that you ask for his resignation from office.
JR, Columbia: I think the domestic violence should not pass. It is very biased toward the men and the way it is written in conjuction with other laws, only the man can be put in jail. It takes two to have domestic violence and both should be treated the same.
LR, Charleston: How embarrassing that Altman is from Charleston. Shame on him and all the rest who decided this issue could wait one more year and that women could wait to be protected from the men who beat them.
LR, Columbia: My daughter is a CDV survivor. I'm proud that she had the courage to leave. Women, as well as men, who are abused need to know that there are laws out there to protect them. I think someone already said in another response that a lot of times the abuser stalks the victim and at that time hurts or kills her or him. Does anyone remember seeing the movie "The Burning Bed?" THAT is exactly t, he, abuse that my daughter went through 25 years ago. Her then 2 year old son had to witness his father beating his mother and forcibly pushing her to the floor and rubbing her face in food which ended up there once he turned the dining table upside down. Kara, my daughter has already responded. We both appreciate what you are doing by keeping this issue going. You took Altman's arrogance and handled yourself like a professional. He needs his head examined.
PB, Lexington: How do I express disgust at such an interview with what is suppose to be an educated man, and scarier still, one that has been elected to represent the people of South Carolina? It is no wonder that South Carolina stays on the negative in so many ways when we still have such caveman attitudes from our leaders. Hopefully the people that elected this person will have a better sense of judgement the next time his name appears on anything. Graham is a disgrace to this state, this country, and his own gender. Domestic violence doesn't need "friends" like this to help search for solutions. Thank you for a chance to vent at an outrageous interview.
CG, Columbia: I think the liberal media is trying to make people think that Representative Altman is all for beating women. I side with Altman in that, women do have choices. My mother was emotionally abused by my father and she told me the best thing that ever happened to her was his leaving. She has since worked for years after our house burned down, to provide for her family and she has not failed. Women shouldn't be going back to men that beat them or abuse them in other ways habitually. No one is perfect and people sometimes lose their cool, but it doesn't mean they are wife beaters or are a threat to the lives of their partners. I think putting someone in prison for five years for hitting someone is a bit extreme. I think the scale of abuse should be taken into account, not just letting a slap put someone away for five years with a felony on their record. The media are a bunch of slimy snakes and they always try to sensationalize issues to their benefit and political agenda. I wonder if a Democrat had said what Altman had, would he be treated the same?
MB, Lugoff: I am apalled that the domestic violence bill was dropped. We are one of the top states in the nation for doemstic homicides due to lax penalties. Usually, a first offense gets a 24 hour "cool off" in jail. When does the woman have time to get all of her things, kids, etc and leave and find a place to go? John Graham Altman doesnt understand. I also want to say to Kara that you are an excellent reporter and a very intelligent woman. Thanks for all you do WIS!
LO, Irmo: Mr. Altman (and I use the title "MR" because I cannot fathom the idea that he "represents" SC, has shamed himself, shamed South Carolina and probably done more to elevate the cause against domestic violence than any other figure. Mr. Altman did not speak to issues, but let whatever personal characteristics he disliked about Kara Gormley (youth? energy? intelligence? compassion?)become his focus. Is that how he votes for his constitutents? As a woman, I resent his implications that staying in an abusive relationship makes a woman "not bright", as a member of a community I see the devastation brought about by domestic violence and the inclusion of children in that disease, either overtly or covertly. The effects are lifelong, and crime statistics show many of the effects. As a South Carolinian, I ask Mr. Altman to recognize his character defects and resign.
RG, Elgin: Iam outraged that we have lawmakers that would even entertain the thought of placing a bill as important as the issue of domestic violence on the back burner to pass a cockfighting bill. I sincerely hope Rep. Altman does not return for another term nor does he ever hold any other public offices if chickens are more important to hime than humans.
pj, Orangeburg: Rep. Altman is up for reelection in November of 2006 from the information I have received. That's when his policitcal career will be decided by the voters of his district. VOTE. VOTE. VOTE. All voices will be heard then. Not just HIS.
LC, Columbia: Maybe Rep.Altman is an abuser and needs to cover his rear...look how he treated a woman reporter ..does this not say something for him...what a scum bag!
db, columbia: It is especially tragic to me that priorities in SC, so clearly defined by this legislator, occur during Child Abuse Prevention Month. Criminal domestic violence is a major contributor to child abuse in this state - doesn't anyone care enough to try to prevent it? It's time to make it your business - call your legislator.
db, columbia: It is especially tragic to me that priorities in SC, so clearly defined by this legislator, occur during Child Abuse Prevention Month. Criminal domestic violence is a major contributor to child abuse in this state - doesn't anyone care enough to try to prevent it? It's time to make it your business - call your legislator.
MM, Chapin: Good Job, Kara. The jerk should apologize to you publicly. As a reporter you truly did your job in bringing out the jerk's true colors (feelings), Isn't that what one does as a journalist? I'd like to ask the jerk just where does he think an abused person (read men/women) can go? You're walking a razor blade...if you stay, it's more abuse...if you go, they have threatened to track you down like an animal and kill you/your children. You live in a rural area...no Sistercare there...no money...no family..no job..so where do you go?? As a victim, I sought help and was TOLD to return to the situation and tough it out ( by a very well known female lawyer). So, jerk, understand this...the next time you decide to shoot off your mounth, do your homework first. By the way, I hope Mrs. Altman cleans the toilet with your toothbrush.
SR, Gaston: I support the fact that Representative Hunter-Cobb is reintroducing a bill that is so imperative to so many lives. I am a Columbia College student currently taking a womens studies course, in which we just discussed the implications of battering and looked at some statistics regarding battering against women AND men. I think it would benefit Mr. Altman's career as a senator to look at these statistics more closeley, as he obviously is not living in the 21st century if he places a chicken's life above a woman's life or above anyone else's for that matter
GR, Columbia: It was a poorly written bill that should never have seen the light of day. A good bill can and will be written and passed into law. This is a case of a reporter creating news and going after someone because she can. I just love it when you turn old Melvin the attack dog loose on somebody. Whoops! I better be careful you might sick him onto me.
CH, Lexington: Domestic violence is a serious problem. Many women in these relationships fear for their safety and the safety of their children. If it was as easy as just walking away, don't you think they would do that in a heartbeat. Mr. Altman obviously doesn't keep up with the news of the day. How many women have been killed by abusive men they have finally had the courage to leave. Domestic violence is not just something you are capable of walking away from - the abuse is not just visible on the outside. The abuser makes sure that the victim is worn down until they see no hope in sight. Our leaders should be educated about this issue and not just say walk away.
lb, west columbia: I think this is bad for our state,and bad for women.Women sometimes don't have a way to excape the abuser,they have to stay. i was one of them...
JM, Lexington: My mother was a victim of domestic violence and her life was taken because of it. This was after she left and he came to try to get her to come back, but she refused. I am a man who has been a victim of domestic violence. When I tried to get help I was the one arrested, because I was drinking. When I arrived at the jail with a goose egg on my forehead all the officers mocked me. Also, in Acts 14 Paul was stoned, presumably to death. What did he do? He got up and went right back into the city where he was stoned. When you love someone that much that is the Holy Spirit dwelling inside you. Of this type of love Rep. Atlman is obviously ignorant.
hc, winnsboro: unacceptable, but expected.
NB, Lexington: I didn't see the initial interview, but I certainly didn't believe what I was seeing or hearing when I turned on the News last evening. How can anyone talk about women so condescendinely in the 21st century-especially one in Public office?? Who would vote for this Male Chauvinist?? Talk about the "Good Ole Boy" network!!! Words can't describe the feelings that I have for this ignorant man-If this is the caliber of Law-Makers that we voters have elected, we definitely need to recruit more voters who care about the plight of "Victims of Domestic Violence". I love animals and am appalled that cock-fighting and dog-fighting are so prevalent in SC, but to me an abused child or woman, certainley takes priority and should to anyone with an inkling of intelligence. Hats off to Kara-she conducted herself in a very professional manner.
KH, Lexington: And why is SC at the top of the list for domestic violence problems? Lawmakers like Rep. Graham Altman are a large part of the problem. It is obvious from his interview with Ms. Gormley that he is not in touch with the real world. It should be a felony to physically abuse a spouse or family member. The citizens that care about CDV need to use this opportunity to convey the urgency of this legislation to their State Representitive. Perhaps in some odd irony, Rep. Graham Altman's ingorence of domestic violence has now raised the awareness level of, SC residents. Perhaps that's a "silver lining" of this event.
KH, Lexington: And why is SC at the top of the list for domestic violence problems? Lawmakers like Rep. Graham Altman are a large part of the problem. It is obvious from his interview with Ms. Gormley that he is not in touch with the real world. It should be a felony to physically abuse a spouse or family member. The citizens that care about CDV need to use this opportunity to convey the urgency of this legislation to their State Representitive. Perhaps in some odd irony, Rep. Graham Altman's ingorence of domestic violence has now raised the awareness level of SC residents. Perhaps that's a "silver lining" of this event.
mm sumter: How does Mr. Altman keep getting elected to the Legislature? The people of his district need to look for someone to replace him in office.
BP, Blythewood: I am still amazed, especially that someone such as Mr. Altman expressed his backwoods views on TV. Instances such as this are what keep the rest of the nation believing we are toothless, barefoot, bar-b-que eating fools.
SM, Lexington: I'm glad we're looking out for the birds in SC, but we need to look out for people as well. It's typical politics - the cockfighting bill passed because it caused the politicials terrible shame last year when the Agricultural Commissioner was caught secretly funding/hiding/supporting it (oops!). Let one of those bigwigs get caught beating their wife, and I'll bet this bill passes without anybody blinking an eye. I would also tell Kara Gormley not to pay attention to Altman. The man wasn't exactly radiating wisdom.I'm ashamed a SC politician was on TV loudly pronouncing such a backwards view on the situation (which I fear others must share, if the bill didn't pass). The only ignorance shown in that interview was his own. Thanks for having the guts to cover this!
DM, Irmo: Tabling a domestic violence bill and passing one on cockfighting has set back South Carolina to the dark ages! This is one of the reasons why other states think that Southerner's are backward people. For we put an animal ahead of human beings. Rep. Altman evidentantly has not had a hardship or violence to him or his family for before you call anyone or anything ignorant make sure you know the facts before you speak and don't assume to speak for us all!
LT, Irmo: Frankly, this does not surprise me at all. I think it was proven last year where people like Henry McMaster and the Attorney General's office put their priorities.....dog fighting. It was also obvious that the sentence that was handed down for dog fighting was more than some 3 time offenders get for domestic violence and worse. So in essence we have a dog fighter in prison that our taxes have to pay for for 30 years, but we have domestic violence abusers walking the streets with just probation or parole (or sometimes no sentence). Where is the logic in this in comparison??? I'm sure Mr. McMaster or Mr. Altman could answer that for us. I don't know how South Carolina has ended up with a representative like Mr. Altman and an Attorney General like Mr. McMaster. People like that really do give our state a bad name. I love animals and have them myself, but I also know that a human life should still be the top priority when it comes to protection. I commend the reporter that did the interview with Mr. Altman for not losing her temper and getting down to his level (which by the way, showed less education than a pre-schooler). It is easy for him to say what a woman should do when they have been confronted with domestic violence, but I'd like to see him in that situation. Let's see how brave he would be standing toe to toe (or running for his life) with a man of average build beating on , him. The sad part of all of this is that the women that have lived through this pain and heartache already, get to suffer yet again after hearing his remarks. They already think they have done something wrong to cause this and now he all but said it was their fault for staying. When are the people in South Carolina going to wake up and realize that those that are making the decisions for us are not capable of running their own lives, much less ours. The one person that I will say I have found in South Carolina that really cares for the people is Lt. Governor Andre' Bauer. He has always tried to put the peoples needs before his desires and you don't find that often in government. I hope that some of the actions that people like Mr. Altman and Mr. McMaster take are looked into in the future and that people in this state will remember these unnecessary actions when it comes time to vote. Let's get strong and take our lives back and make our own decisions instead of letting these, people represent us as a whole.
ME, Gaston: I watched that on the news last night, and I was totally appalled that this insensitive chauvinist PIG could be so condescending! I watched it again tonight, and evidentally the CDV bill does need a lot of work to it, but that still gave the PIG no right to talk to the "snippy little reporter" (his words) like he did. Kara was only doing her job by asking questions. She should sue him for sexual discrimination! It is the "OLDE BOYS' NETWORK" and men like him who keep SC so far behind other states in most everything. Let's remember him on Election Day!
KD, Columbia: I think this man better have someone else write his answer for him if he wants to stay in office. As for a lawyer I would not recommend him to anyone. To me he is one of the dumbest men I have ever heard open their mouth. He makes men that believe in his Ideas look like jackasses like he is. He is one of those men I will be glad to vote out of office. He needs to be put into a room of women who have been there and let him see just what they have been through and then see if he still thinks he knows what is best for women. I do not think i am the most educated woman in the world but I do know a dumb ass when I see one.
SS, North Augusta: If any other state had any doubts as to whether South Carolina residents are barefoot illiterate country bumpkins, Representative Altman has most certainly laid them to rest! Cock fighting outranks domestic violence in priorities? I wonder if he realizes how much workplace violence is directly related to domestic violence? I bet the factory workers found his attitudes enlightening! For a man that insisted that anyone who disagreed with him was "ignorant" he certainly made himself the poster child of ignorance - not to mention stupidity. Excuse me - but aren't over 50% of the voters in his district women? Does he think they are stupid enought to vote for him, knowing his attitudes towards women? I'll tell you this much- I'm not. Good Grief.
SB, Camden: I am disgusted by Graham-Altman's responses both ABOUT the bill and TO Kara Gormley. What arrogance! I don't think apologies are enough. He needs to resign. He has already shown his ignorance once this month with the ETV fiasco, and now he is really making it evident that he is an ignorant (I refrained from calling him "stupid.") Neanderthal. Ridiculous and disgusting.
LJ, Yonges Island: once again john graham altman shows the depth of his intelligence. i know he doesn't understand the word "insensitive", s, o how about "inhuman?" and that so appropriately fits this latest community injustice of his. for he has sided with the rights of chickens over the rights of women. and indeed this shows it all. appalling!
DL, Sumter: Every representative needs to do the honorable thing and resign! To the wives of these men, I have to ask, "Why in the world would you let him back in the house?"
DM, Lexington: How can he possibly know what it's like to jerk your children out of there beds and home in an instant and take them to a shelter where they keep asking please mommie let's go home even though you may be safe, their is no security. Your children say I have a test tomorrow in school, I'm supposed to be at Tommy's B'day party on Saturday,or I want to sleep in my bed. As far as 'What self respected woman would go back', she has no more self respect because he robbed her of it. She doesn't have any self esteem or dignity he took that too. She loves her home where she has some control over what she chooses for supper or what laundry gets done today. It's where she has her life set to be, and was not planning on getting abused from the one who said he'll love, charish, and protect her. I bet Mr. Altman has never been put out of his house with his children and no extra clothes or safe place to go, knowing you have to be careful because there's awful people in this world and you don't want anyone groping your children, or yourself.
CS, Placeless: It is unfortunate that the media linked two unrelated pieces of legislation to make a point. Obviously the domestic violence legislation has gaping holes in it, or it would have been passed too. And had this Altman character had the smarts to point out the absurdity of linking the two, rather than attacking the reporter, he would've looked a lot less like an arrogant redneck and more like the statesman I'm sure he believes he is.
FF, Columbia: I think he (Rep Altman)showed his true self. As someone who often responds to domestic violence incidents it saddens me see how little some it power fell , about the issue. Should a first or second conviction be a felony - no, because as a misdemeanor the magistrate court system has control and it is easier to set and enforce bond restrictions. Rep Altman should be removed from office.
CT, Sumter: I think it is rediculous that they think a human being is less important than a animal. Also think it was very unprofessional and very rude of Altman to talk down to a lady who was interviewing him saying she is not smart. The way he was talking down to her and how he kept saying she was not smart shows how he views women., What some of these people do not know is that if a battered person tries to leave the relationship or tries to get a restraining order, these people would be killed before the police could get to the location.
MB, Columbia: My question of the day is?? Why do the people of his District keep electing him to office? This isn't the first time and I'm sure it won't be the last time his ignorance is shown. There has to be someone in that district that can make SC look something other than a bunch of redneck idiots.
KR, Saluda: I think that Kara handled herself quite admirably given the comments by Altman.I was appalled at his remarks,his rudeness and I think he showed people just how "stupid" HE is and I hope the voters let him know in the next election.A bill needs to be passed making CDV punishment for convicted persons more severe to deter this common crime.
SW, Irmo: Altman voices the opinion and sentime, nt of antique, good ole boy South Carolinians that have not walked into the 21st Century. Altman is not alone in his thoughts and opinions regarding Domestic violence. Those of his mentality are the reasons this state continues to be regarded as backwards. They will now add corn likka drinking, uneducated purveyors of cock fighting and wife-beating to our resume’. The bill as drafted by Rep. Cobb-Hunter included continuing education for Family Court Judges and Magistrates. It is quite evident that Mr. Altman too needs to be included in that group. Maybe, and only after some classroom instruction will his voice and tone change. We are never too old to learn. Ms. Gormley and the women of South Carolina are due an apology from Rep. Altman. This should be demanded from him as a public of, ficial, representing women in his district.
BM, Lexington: Did anyone else get the irony of this man telling Kara there was no way she would ever understand the issue as he sat there himself stating that he just does not understand these women who go back to their abusers? Rep. Altman...you can kiss your politcal career goodbye. Thanks for making our state look stupider than we all ready appear. Cara was a class act and represented the station as well as our state well!
WS, Columbia: Although I disagree with the committee tabling the DVB, I beleive your repsonse on tonights news was terrible. Yes you did have the interview! Yes Altman made a fool of himself! No you did not have to harp on the fact that News 10 uncovered the story. It seems to me that while you were trying for more ratings, you forgot about the substance of the original story, domestic violence.
BE, Gilbert: Rep. Altman does not understand the difference between cock fighting and domestic violence as he has little respect for women as was demonstrated in his remarks to Ms. Gormley. Unfortunately, his ignorance of domestic violence situations and his attitude towards women is all to typical in a state where we rank number one in domestic violence. Perhaps all of us should consider spending more time with our candidates prior to election so that this mentality is wiped out of our state once and for all.
GB, Columbia: With a representative such as Rep. Altman on the Judiciary Committee, we should not be surprised. Aside, from his objections to the domestic violence bill, as written, his blatant ignorance to common courtesy toward another human being, such as Ms. Gormly, is an embarassment to his district, the State Legislature, and above all, to himself. Hopefully, the voters of District 119 will send him home when his term is ended. His opinions belong to another time which, fortunately, has passed.
LW, Newberry: Sounds like Rep. Altman has a past he is trying to defend. And we wonder why the domestic violence rate is up in the state? Goes to show, women's rights take a backseat to less important issues in this state (i.e. cockfighting and mini bottles). And the comment about, "they listen to me" (referring to his clients); you can't tell me that every women who has truly felt threatened for her or her family's safety has left. There's a difference when the situation involves kids. Keep in mind that abusers don't just threaten to harm their wives, but they threaten harm to their own kids as well! Wake up Rep. Altman! Oh, and good job Kara on placing his numbers on tv. I hope his office is flooded with calls for the next century!
PT, Columbia: I will be polite... Representative Alston did say one intelligent thing. There should not be a second offense, however, the man should be imprisoned. I hope beyond all hope that the voters in Charleston do not reelect this waste of lifeforce. John Graham Alston is an evil man!
LH, Columbia: CDV does not only affect the women of SC, it affects the children of these women as well. I work in the Pediatric Intensive Care unit and we see numerous children who have been critically or fatally injured because of CDV. These children are innocent victims and need protection. Women who are witness to CDV as children are more likely to be abused as adults. The only way to stop the cycle of abusive is to offer protection to all victims and punishment to the abusers. SC needs to strengthen its CDV laws.
MS, Blythewood: I am embarrassed to live in a state that has representation with such views. We need to elect officals that will bring our state into the 21st century. I agree that cock fighting is a bad thing, but to put something as important as domestic violence behind chickens killing each other, is just making us look bad to the rest of the country.
MG, a bit of heaven: What an idiot Mr. Altman is. It is a shame and disgrace that he is allowed to represent citizens in the state of South Carolina. I thought Ms. Gormley handled the situation with grace and control. I could not have done that. Hopefully, someone will set Mr. Altman straight and see him to the door.
AW, Columbia: The tabling of the domestic violence bill by the South Carolina legislature is literally another “slap in the face” to the thousands of women and families who are victims of this crime. After all, why would a woman choose to leave her abuser if the state continues to refuse to protect her? The actions of the legislature, , in particular the remarks made by Rep. Altman, show the entire country where South Carolina’s priorities lie—with the chickens! It is no wonder that people from across the country have such a negative image of our state. As a South Carolina native, I am sad to say that I would have to agree with them.
KK, Lexington: Good ole' Boy politics as usual. Save the bird, beat the woman. Sen. Altman needs to apologize on camera to Ms. Gormley for his bad behavior and also apologize to every woman in this state that he feels has no "self-respect". Thanks Sen. Altman for leading the way in simple mind mentality.
JJ, Irmo: I am glad the bill making it a felony to engage in cockfighting passed as I see a direct correlation between the abuse of animals for pleasure and those who think it is o.k. to abuse their partner,spouse or child. Most people who abuse their spouse or children also abuse animals. It is truly sad and unfortunate that the domestic violence bill did not pass as well. I guess we have Rep. Altman's ignorance on domestic violence issues to thank for keeping South Carolina in the "dark ages."
TM, West Columbia: I am disgusted by Mr. Altman's remarks. Thank you Kara, for keeping your cool and exposing this guy. He should resign immediately, Charleston residents ought to demand it. Also, I think most of us were shocked to learn that CDV is a misdemeanor in this state. I guess I just assumed it would be a felony like any other assault & battery charge. I travel alot in my work and guys like this make it embarrassing to tell people where I am from.
DH, Lexington: I was appalled at the insensitivity of Mr. Altman and his incredibly rude behavior. Quite frankly, Ms. Gormley asked a valid question about this showing that animal lives are valued higher than womens. We already have tougher sentences for abuse to dogs than we do for abuse to women. What does that say about the attitude towards women in South Carolina - are we really worth less than the life of an animal??? No wonder the mortality rate in CDV cases is high here! Where in the marriage license or marriage vows does it say that you lose your worth and your human rights when you say "I Do"?
DP, Columbia: I am appalled by the misogynistic and deplorable behavior Representative John Graham Altman displayed during his interview with Kara Gormley. It is clear that Mr. Altman is “not very smart” and “ignorant” when it comes to the pressing issue of Domestic Violence in South Carolina. He clearly represents why little has been done on this issue in our fair state.
BS, Blythewood: The "honorable" Representative Altman has, as coach Spurrier would say, "Chosen not to represent his constituents any longer." As a man, I'm sure I do not fully understand the issues surrounding CDV and a woman's psychological state after perhaps several years of abuse, whether verbal or physical. I do understand, however, that CDV should be a felony. I don't know what language is in the bill in question, but I would hope that neither party would use it as a political pawn to promote some other unrelated policy. As a conservative Republican, I am saddened and embarrased that Rep. Altman has chosen to view cruelty to animals as a more serious issue than cruelty to humans. I do not make this statement lightly, but Mr. Altman is not an individual who should be involved in any law-making or other leadership position in our state or any other governing body until he has a deep-rooted understanding of our great need for compassion for each other. I for one hope the people of his district are willing to remove him from office at the ballot box, if he is unwilling to resign first. I also hope that Mr. Altman is able to understand that his creator has such compassion for him, and that through a relationship with God, he too can have compassion for his fellow-men/women. I have read other comments that condemn our state because of this man. South Carolina is a great state with some flaws and certainly some 4 million flawed citizens. The test of our greatness is not whether we have problems, but in how we choose to work through our problems. CDV and Mr. Altman's views are problems, to be sure. But now is our time to shine and resolve these problems properly, so that we can move toward resolving other problems with which we are tested. People come first; not government, not nature, not industry. People are God's prized creation.
WC, Columbia: I also find myself totally stunned that we have a man like John Graham Altman serving us in the SC House of Representatives. It is obvious to the citizens of our great state who the ignorant person was in this interview and it definitely was Kara. I respect her for her ability to remain cool and calm during this interview. Being a life-long Republic, I sincerely hope that the Republic Party will apologize for this embarrassing situation. More importantly, I hope the citizens of the district that Rep. Altman serves, will have make sure they do not re-elect him to office again. I would love to see this story make it to the Today Show so the entire nation can see what we put up with here in SC.
SW, Columbia: How can a Man reach the hight and statis of legislator in 2005,and claim he understands compassion for game fowl,but not for Women? In a society where women earn 64% of the male counterpart in labor, where equality for , women is not even discussed? Altman claims not to understand how a women could return to her own home,where her children may be held hostage by a terrorist. And yet , he has compassion for gamecocks. Thank you Gilda Cobb-Hunter for some sanity in this never ending circus ya'll call State Government
MP, Leesville: Thank you Kara for standing up for what's right. It's time the good ole boys in the legislature wake up morally. Not only are women being abused but so are children, parents, and grandparents. What's our world coming too when the value of a rooster is more important than that of humans.
RE, Lugoff: The two bills are completely separate. The cock fighting bill was ready to pass while the DV bill still had language in it that needed to be corrected. READ the bill and see if you agree. Keep the issue between Ms. Gormley and Mr. Altman out of it, since it has nothing to do with the wording of the bill. He should have been a bit more tactful, but that does not change the fact that the bill was not ready. However, I do not think it should have been tabled for so long. It does need to be addressed, but not in the same language of the current bill.
DW, Columbia: Mr. Altman's comments on CDV were ridiculous enough, but his bullying actions toward Kara Gormley speak even louder about his opinion of women. Makes me want to ask him the age old "joke"...have you stopped beating your wife?
FB, Columbia: I trully admire Kara for the way she handled the interview with Rep. Altman. Rep. Altmab owes Kara a big apology but probably she will not get one as he appears not to be the type person to admit that he is rude, arrogant and seems to care very little about domestic violence. I would hate to have Rep. Altman represent me in any case and I hope he will not be representing our State in the future.
BG, Irmo: My hats off's off to Karen Gromley. Rerun this interview the next time Mr. Altman's up for re-election. John Graham Altman's attitude as an elected political official is ignorant. He needs to move on. He's out of touch with reality and the voters need to retire him.
DB, Columbia: Kara Gormley is truly a professional. I am embarrased that Rep. Altman is a part of our state legislature. Here is yet another opportunity for the nation to judge our state on a few stupid people. Rep. Altman needs to step back and look at himself very closely. He needs to look at the definitions of ignorant and stupid. Ignorance is the lack of knowledge and stupid is the lack of intelligence. He is the latter. More committee time should have been spent on amending the CDV bill and less time on cockfighting. There are various reasons that people go back to an abusive relationship. Men are abused, too, and go back to the abuse. You serve less time for beating your spouse / child than if you beat a total stranger on the street. It seems that some must think that it is their right to beat a relative and that they in some way deserve it. I pray for Mrs. Altman. Rep. Altman could have spent more time explaining that there were things that needed to be corrected in the CDV bill and less time attacking CDV victims. I wish that I lived in Rep. Altman's district so I could vote against him. I hope his constituents remember this at election time.
SL, Lexington: I cannot believe a representative of this state would respond in such a manner. This will be another reason SC will look like a backwards state, since I feel sure this will get National attention. For Rep.Altman to comment on how there should not be a second time with CDV is showing his ignorance.There have been times when women have not gone back, but found themselves being "hunted down" by their abusers. You don't always have to go back to get seriously hurt or killed, but apparently Mr.Altman thinks by not going back, this will solve the problem. His comments about Kara were also showing his ignorance. I applaud Kara for handling the interview in such a professional manner and I personally feel Mr. Altman owes her as well as all women of this state an apology. I also hope his constituents see that they would be better off not re-electing him to office. SC does not need representatives like him in office
BW, Placeless: I think it is terrible when a chicken has more rights than a human being.
SW, Columbia: I think it is about time that the people in JG Altman's district vote him out of office. He really is a disgrace to the political arena and to the citizens of South Carolina. This is another reason why there should be term limits for our elected officials. He definitely owes an apology to Kara and to the people of South Carolina. His IQ definitely came out. Talk about not being bright. He needs to look into the mirror. Once again South Carolina politicians make South Carolina and her wonderful citizens the laughing stock in the good ole USA.
JE, Columbia: I think this is awful. To pass over abused woman for roosters. Mr. Altman must not be aware that women go back because (1) they may not have financial backing if they leave, (2) they may not have family support, (3) abuse may be all they know or have ever known, (4) they are afraid to be killed if they DO leave, the abuser possibly has threatened to kill them, (5) they have been told by the abuser that he will change and it won't happen again. There could be lots of reasons. The woman has to make up her own mind when she's had enough. No one can decide for her and force her to leave. I know, I AM a CDV survivor and I had to make up my own mind when to leave. It's a hard decision to make. I hope that this issue does NOT get pushed to the back burner. The laws need to be tougher. Maybe Mr. Altman needs to talk to a few CDV survivors, I'd love to be the first in line.
MR, Placeless: No wonder we as ordinary citizens don’t know what to think about our legislating capabilities. When a member of the Judiciary Committee comments in, I assume, a sanctioned press interview, that he thinks the reporter is not very bright or that he doesn’t understand why women would put themselves in harm’s way or that women want it one way or the other speaks to the lack of representation of half our population. If he can get away with being a spokesperson for the rest of the Judiciary Committee’s vote on this issue then all women should wonder who is looking out for their well-being. Mr. Altman needs, to do his homework if he can’t make Kara Gormley ‘understand in 100 years.’ After all, that’s what legislators do-help us understand what they do and in this case most importantly don’t do. PS Mr. Altman, Rome is burning.
HP, Lexington: John Graham is way out of line. He really doesn't know what women go through. He is the definition of ignorant. He was complaining about Kara Gormly not knowing what she was talking about, but if I remember correctly he's the one saying I don't know why women do this. He needs to learn more about Criminal Domestic Violence. Maybe if actually knew someone who has been abused he might actually learn how hard it is because right now he really doesn't know what he is talking about and is being really sterotypical. With lawmakers like him there's no wonder why our society has become what it has become.
MT, Irmo: We have a problem not only in South Carolina but across the country. It is with domestic violence. The reason why the abused, whether it is a female being abused or a male, is afraid to file charges is because of the fact that in 30 days, the abuser is going to be back on the street, angrier than ever. The abused is afraid that what will happen next will be worse than what has happened before.
PH, Sumter: It’s easy to see why Rep. Altman had the ability to compare cock fighting to a Roman circus. His medieval attitude towards domestic violence demonstrates the century in which he exists. His response to Kara Gormley indicated his lack of understanding the questions and the issues. Never fear Ms. Gormley, you looked like a genius next to that guy! How did he ever get to represent the citizens of South Carolina?!!
MJ, Columbia: Of course there can be second offenses even if the victim leaves. For one, the abuser will abuse someone else leading to second offense. Secondly, a lot of abusers hunt down the vicims and hurt/kill them if they leave. All women do not stay and still they are continually abused with no protection. However, those who do stay deserve protection as well.
TF, Placeless: What do you think my response is? South Carolina has an ignorant, boorish man in a leadership role who in another time would probably have been a slave owner. He already has the attitude and power. He should at the least be censured by the House. I hope the national media picks this story up and makes this politician rue the day he ever climbed out of bed and opened his mouth.
GS, Elgin: What underlining bills were trying to be passed with the domestic violence bill. He made it sound like other issues were tied on to that bill.
MG, Dalzell: I cannot believe that a state legislator, someone who is supposed to have a modicum of education, would ever talk to a news reporter like he did. I was a journalist in the Air Force and would have been courtmartialed for that kind of behavior. Treating a professional like Kara like that is totally inexcusible. That aside, we know where his priorities lie, and maybe his time away from the House should be looked at. Perchance is he watching cock fights and maybe even betting on them? Is he worried about passing a bill that protects spouses from domestic violence (notice I didn't say wives), because he might be someone who is guilty of such a crime? This is one individual (I dare not call him a man)who needs to be called to task by his constiuants and voted out of office.
CJ, Columbia: This by far has been one of the worse responses by a public official I have ever heard. I find it truly shameful that it came from a SC elected official. To make it worse,, he continues to defend that kind of thinking. I hope at the next election time, the people remember how offended they were by those kind of attitudes and comments. This is something that our state could do without.
MJ, Columbia: Thanks Mr. Altman for your insensitive comments! It's just what we needed to not only get attention to this bill, but also ensure its passage!
GS, Irmo: As an elementary school counselor having worked with children who have witnessed domestic violence and have been used as pawns in the disputes, hearing Representative Altman refer to "the savage practice of watching chickens trying to kill each other" and in the next breath downplay domestic violence lets me know how "ignorant" he is about the realities of domestic abuse. What could be more "savage" than a child watching one parent beat the other? What could be more "savage" than a child being fearful about a parent coming home because he or she doesn't know how that parent is going to behave? What could be more "savage" than having a parent hold you hostage to keep the other parent in the house?
CJ, Columbia: Shameful. Altman is a disgrace to South Carolina. He should resign, but since he probably won't, he should be removed from office.
MC, Dillon: I caught the story at the beginning yesterday. I was very outraged not only with Rep. Altman, but with his views on the bill! I contacted his office today and left my number and was never called back. I also left my info with his wife to contact me, but again I received no answer! I contacted both my local stations WBTW and WPDE about the story and both said they would check into. I just got off the phone with WBTW and they already have a reporter on the story and plan on airing that story tonite on their 11 pm news cast. I also contacted both ABC and CBS about the story. They too plan on looking into the story. I want to tell Rep. Altman that the only true ignorance displayed was that of his actions. I plan on calling my local government offices to see what steps I need to take to start a petition to have something done about Rep. Altman. He NEEDS to tell everyone that he is sorry. If you doesn't then that is what I would call ignorance!
AL, Newberry: Can you tell us how each member of the House Judiciary Committee voted on the motion to table the criminal domestic violence legislation? I hope they will remedy this bad decision and pass the legislation this year.
KW, Sumter: As one of many emergency medical technicians,who respond with police and firefighters,I would like for Representative Altman to come out of his office and on the road with us and respond to a call where lives are changed due to domestic violence. Maybe then his view of the violence and repercussions may help him see the victims side in a clearer view. His comments are very offensive to all,male and female,who have been a victim. Yes,i speak from both sides. I got out and have never been "stuipd" or "dumb". Wake up Mr.Altman,you may find yourself eating "Chicken",instead of crow.
RP, Columbia: Protest Altman TOMORROW AM Bring your Posters and Your Voices to Protest the ignorant statements of Congressman Altman regarding criminal domestic violence Thursday morning. 7:00am until… We cannot stand by and allow him to be the voice of South Carolina. Support the women who are being abused right now, and the many that have been killed in our state.
MR, Placeless: Has Rep. Altman ever looked into the eyes of a child who has been held at gun point by an abusive father? I have! If the women he has represented have been able to "not go back", they are most fortunate. Has Altman ever looked into the eyes of a woman who is in a shelter and has no where to go and no one to care? I have. Has he ever seen a six year old you has been prostituted by her father? I have. I am an educator in the SC public schools. I have seen all of these things and many more. It is time we made life hard for these offenders! In my opinion Rep. Altman a pompous fool who must have lived a very sheltered life!
TS, Lexington: First of all, to Ms. Kara Gormley, I think I speak for all the viewers of WIS. We appreciate your professionalism and your devotion to your job as a journalist. It is very nice to see the bright smile on your face and enthusiasm as you broadcast the news. Secondly, I am personally ashamed that Mr. Altman and I are of the same gender. It is also shamefull that we the people of SC have been snowed by false representation and have elected officals like Rep. Altman. However, we the people of SC are able to rectify our mistake by demanding the immediate dismissal of Mr. Altman as our representative. Mr. Altman clearly demonstrated !his! ignorance in last night's interview.
DM, Irmo: Thank God that someone is finally willing to speak the truth about domestic violence. I was also falsely arrested on January 26, 1991 for domestic violence. I was ultimately found innocent and the arrest was expunged from my record, but it was a terrible ordeal. Before this nightmare, I also had the misconception that most men who were arrested for Criminal Domestic Violence are guilty. My wife finally agreed to go to Charter Rivers and get the help she needed, and we are still together. However, I never received an apology from the Irmo Police. Throughout this ordeal, I attempted to get help from various government agencies, but as soon as the contact people learned that I had been arrested for domestic violence, they would not support my efforts to get help for my wife. NO ONE, NO ONE would believe me! You can bet that I will be at the Legislature testifying if they try to create more prejudice against men who are acused of domestic violence.
JC, Orangeburg: It was obvious for everyone watching your newscast that Rep. Aultman was totaly demeaning to the reporter. He could have defended his stance by simply stating that we already have existing felony laws that deal with domestic violence, assault, battery, etc. when physical harm is done to one citizen by another citizen, regardless of their personal relationship. You cannot cause harm to another human being...we already have laws dealing with this issue. Now having said that, I believe domestic violence charges should primarily be employed by law enforcement when they are called to the scene of a heated domestic distrubance. Non physical of course. If either party should touch (assault) or threaten to touch (battery) the other party, then the police could charge the violator with the law that is already on the books. All this probably seems too simple to make any sense to two feuding politicians. By the way, it should be a felony to fight gamecocks...especialy in SC. Pass the rooster law, enforce the laws we already have enacted, and get on to more pressing state business. Rep. Aultman owes that young lady a sincere apology. He is lucky he doesn't have to rely on my vote.
RS, Gilbert: In response to Rep. Altman's comments, I challe, nge all v, oters in District 119 to show their arrogant, male chauvinist representative what they think about him by not voting for him when he comes up for re-election. There is no room for anyone in the State House that acts like he does. I am ashamed that our State has a representative that doesn't show a lady any respect. If I was a female client of this kind of lawyer, I would get my file and find another.
TC, Cassatt: I was so appalled at Rep. Altman’s cavalier attitude on domestic violence that I went to the SC Code of laws and looked up the penalties for Criminal domestic violence of a High and Aggravated Nature and Assault and Battery with Intent to Kill. Imagine my surprise when I learned that you are subject to imprisonment for up to 20 years for the assault and battery with intent to kill but you may only be sentenced to a maximum of 10 for Criminal domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature, which is essentially the same crime, the difference being that one is a stranger and one is a spouse or significant other. This is yet another example of South Carolina’s lack of understanding of the critical issues that we face as a state. We rank #1 in the nation in the number of women killed by their significant others and our homicide rate for women is TWICE the national average. It’s one of South Carolina’s “dirty little secrets” except that it’s not a secret and the entire nation is leaps and bounds ahead of us in the protection of women from spousal abuse. And Rep. Altman thought Kara Gormley was “not very bright” I think Rep Altman is the one lacking here
LM, Leesville: I think Mr. Altman's comment was degrading and represents his oppressive opinion toward "you women". It displays the need for legislation to protect women from just such opinion. I just hope that come election time women act responsibly and vote him out of office.
MP, Columbia: I think this is one more thing to make southerners look bad. A representative of us and our state showing such disrespect for woman and showing everyone that he himself partakes in verbal abuse by the way he spoke to the reporter. It is a sad shame that the protection of women has been put on the back burner. I myself grew up in a home where violence was a way of life. And as for why don't women leave, well is Mr. representative going to pay for them and their children a place to live?
TR, Conway: I "think" that Rep. Altman, who I do not know nor have I ever voted for or against, may have been portrayed poorly. Without seeing the whole interview, I have to believe he was "prodded" to GET a story. Why don't you air the whole story or at least the beginning so we can see how things led up to what you did air. I think that he was trying to tell us that Women do have an option,whether is is a slim one or not, , to leave a violent situation where as a Gamecock is under the total control of it's owner. If the owner decides to fight the Gamecock to it's death, then the bird has no choice in the matter. To me, that is a sickening thought. I would help any Woman who was in a violent situation with any means neccesary. After that, if she elects to go back, then she is own her own. There are all kinds of organazations to help women in these type of situations. The Lady you aired tonight said that her Mother just couldn't leave the situation that she AND her kids were in, but when the Father left on his own accord, she has done just fine. She did not make it sound like her Father made her Mother stay. I do not know. I do believe that in todays world, 99% of the Women can find a way out of it. Somehow. It is a shame that the Gamecock does NOT have this option. Thanks for allowing me to voice my opinion. Which is what this is. Just an opinion.
KD, Lexington: An attorney that puts "chickens" before the protection of women should never be considered as council for a domestic violence case by any woman!
JE, Columbia: I still do not understand why that bill was tabled. Unfortunately, Rep. Altman resorted to such infantile posturing that any opportunity for intelligent and useful discussion was lost. It is his job to explain and clarify any bill that the public questions. Since he is more interested in calling women idiots than doing his job, he should resign.
CS, Columbia: Wilkins stated the Domestic Bill that has been shoved aside so the SC Chickens can be protected, contained grounds for divorce that included mental cruelty and he felt that was wrong. Mental cruelty is abuse in its worst form whether it is a husband inflicting the abuse upon his wife or vice versa. The SC Legislature should have a mandatory workshop on domestic abuse, as soon as possible, before more tax dollars are wasted discussing the fate of the state chicken population. Maybe they should also take a field trip to area women's shelters and talk with women and their children hiding from an abuser because the laws are not protecting them. Republicans brag about restoring moral values. Where is the proof? I do not see moral values being considered in current legislation on the state or federal level. By the way, the Ancient Romans treated women the same as they did their animals. Women were considered property. It is 2005 isn't it?
PH, Sumter: After watching all the news and listening to everyones chatter on the , streets today,I have come to realize that Mr. Altman is a Blessing in Disguise. When was the last time you hear the public speaking out about domestic violence, like we have today? Law makers have no choice, they have to listen NOW! Everyone is speaking out. Now we only need another unaware law maker to put his foot in his mouth about sexualy abuse on children. Then maybe those laws will get the attention they need Also! Break The Silence! Make sure your heard!
JM, Irmo: I am still trying to process what I saw and what I heard. If I had closed my eyes I would have sworn I had been morphed into somewhere circa 1920 and women were still considered the property of their husbands and thus subject, supported by law, to whatever abuse their husbands dished out. Representative Altman’s behavior towards Ms Gormley was appalling and very telling as to the true character of the man himself.
KM, Charleston: It just goes to show that we value animals more than the women and other domestic abuse victims of this state. I am not surprised that John Graham Altman, who was jailed many years ago for non-payment of child support, is an opponent of domestic violence protections. Another "pro-family" Republican!
BD, Columbia: Is this man (and I use the term lightly) for real? His statements are those of an ignorant individual who has let the world pass him by. If we had a time machine I would suggest that he be sent back to his real time period. The other cavemen would appreciate his comments more than the people of this state and of the nation. Mr. Altman, if you believe that Women just don't understand then I suggest that you open your narrow mind and take a look around you before it's to late. Come re-election time they will show you just how much they understand.
RC, West Columbia: Well it`s obvious that Rep. Altman does not know how to put his brain in motion before he does his mouth. You can bet in the next few days he will most likely be apologizing and saying that Kara Gromley took things out of context. Yeah right !! He should resign now because he has embarrassed the good state of South Carolina and i am sure his remarks will make it worse when it makes national news.
DC, Columbia: Rep Altman is a ignorant, pathic man. I cannot believe he spoke to Kara in the manner he did. No wonder our state is disgraceful.
LT, Lexington: On the surface, this sounds absolutely terrible. I don't know all the facts behind this and hopefully those involved have good reasons. I DO KNOW that the representative that Kara interviewed is arrogant, disrespectful and has a condescending attitude toward women. If he has any plans of a political future I imagine he will live to regret the rude remarks he made to Kara and the ignorant comments about women returning home after a domestic violence incident.
KM, Columbia: I'm almost too stunned to respond. No, I am. I am now embarrassed to be living in South Carolina.
EH, Lexington: I think Rep. Altman was way out of line to speak to Kara Gormley the way he did. He was rude and disrespectful in the interview - not only to Kara, but to all women who have found themselves victims of domestic violence in our State. He is the one who obviously doesn't "understand the difference between trying to ban the savage practice of watching chickens trying to kill each other and protecting people rights in CDV statutes". It is also obvious from his comments in the interview that as long as he is a committee member that the women of our State who find themselves victims of domestic violence will forever remain victims... and their violent batterers will forever simply have their hands popped, told to be good little boys and sent on their merry way to commit the acts again and again. I applaud Kara for the professional manner in which she handled the interview, as well as the sheer restraint she exhibited. And I support Rep. Cobb-Hunter for her continuing efforts in fighting for harsher penalties for those who commit crimes of domestic violence in our State.
LB, West Columbia: The CDV bill should have been given a higher priority, and the wording for the bill should have been better thought out. Then they would not have had to table the bill. As far as Rep. Altman is concerned, he is as ignorant a legislature as I have ever seen. The people in his district either must be ignorant, wife beaters, but probably both.
PM, West Columbia: I was appalled at the ignorance that representative altman showed during his interview with ms. korman, but what can you expect from someone who tries to fire executives of etv for showing a documentary on the truth. Ms. korman I commend you on your professionalism when it comes to dealing with a person who apparently needs to check webster dictionary for the definition of ignorance. I strongly recommend that women in the state of south carolina particularly in the house area that he represent not only, re, gister to vote but do so, because as a woman I feel his views on how valuable a womans rights are or the value of her life is quite scary
JP, Columbia: Its obvious that they have their priorities correct. Its a known fact that the one thing 95% of the battered women have in common is that they dont listen.
LC, Columbia: Come on ---we need to work on our roads,work on our schools ,work on our taxes and help South Carolina get ahead..come on people this is important (domestic violence) but if you start in the schools and teach them there we would not have to waste our tax $ on this...if a man or woman want to hit on each other maybe before it gets so bad they need to leave each other and go their separate ways ,if they need help getting out there is help out there...(been there done that)so stand up for yourself and get out if it is wrong.
JH, Lexington: its probably not the idea that didnot pass. it was probably all the "stuff" that was included in the proposed bill.It could have even been the wording of the bill. the founder of the bill even said herself that there were some things that needed to be changed.i do think it is trying to start trouble when you compare bills. i doubt seriously that you would be able to find any rep. that would say that cock fighting is more important that a woman's life. there is already enough out there to get stirred up about, lets leave this alone. when its proven that its getting sacked for NO reason then go for it.
KR, Bishopville: Unfortunately, I missed your segment on domestic violence last night. Fortunately, friends of mine shared it with me this morning! I see the segment as two-fold. (1) The issue of the House Judiciary Committee voting on cock fighting and tabling domestic violence until January is an important issue in itself. (2) The total, uncontrolled ignorance of John Altman Graham is also a very important issue in itself. Both issues extremely important in their own right, however, John Altman Graham's attitude most definitely in the forefront. I'm a survivor of domestic violence. With that said, you can imagine how infuriated I am with the ignorance as that of John Altman Graham. I'm amazed at the ignorance of one individual! Even more unbelieveable is that he's such an influential person, a Representative of this State. It's my belief that perhaps an even more important issue the House Judiciary Committee now needs to address is how to get John Altman Graham removed from office, as quickly as possible. Until he's removed from office, no issue, whether it's big or small, will ever be addressed fairly, nor responsibly. When we elect Representatives, we elect them with the utmost belief they're fairly representing everyone, to include women, men, children of this state. Cockfighting doesn't necessarily need to be represented. Domestic violence, whether it's men, women or children, however, does deserve the best representation. KUDOS to WIS-TV for allowing the entire segment to run on air! Excellent piece! Thank you!
MK, Columbia: As usual, something in the news to show how backward SC is. Cockfighting? What about the Dog Fighting? I never heard of a chicken killing anyone, but a dog raised to fight and kill, yes it happens. Ever stop to think that animal abuse and PEOPLE abuse are closely related?
TC, Columbia: I am totally digusted by this turn of events. This shows how the committee feels about females getting beaten up and sometimes killed. The committee must be made up of a lot of males because only they would go this far to pass Cockfighting against Domestic Violence???????
SM, Gualala: This is why domestic violence continues. To eradicate this terrible crime demands that it be placed at the forefront of public policy and focus. This specific example is ludicrous, but illustrative of how imperative change is.
LF, Hopkins: It seems to me that the legislature has it backwards...is this what we are paying them to debate? Laws for cockfighting over domestic violence signals the legislature has their priorites out of place.
LR, Columbia: It is sad that this important piece of legislation was tabled, and I will pray every night for the women who may be affected by this in the future. What is shocking, appalling, and disturbing is the narrow-minded attitude of representative Altman, who is clearly suffering from cranio-rectal inversion. (In layman's terms, he has head head up his butt.) I am shocked he would imply that if a woman returns to an abusive man she deserves the consequences. Those may not have been his words, but that is exactly what he said. I kept waiting for someone to enter the frame and end the interview, or pop him in the back of the head or something...but it kept getting worse and worse. I have admittedly never been in an abusive relationship, but I am OUTRAGED that he completely ignored the plight of these women. I certainly hope that the voters in his district will remember his ignorance and total lack of compassion or understanding, not to mention his condescending and insulting demeanor. He clearly demonstrated which of the two of them is not so smart. My hat is off to Kara Gormley for the professional way she handled this backwards, chauvinistic, ignorant, not-so-good old boy. I dont know that I would have been able to maintaim my composure the way she did.
BS, Irmo: When I woke up this morning I had to look at the calendar to be sure it "was " the year 2005. After watching the news last night and witnessing the most rediculious comments from Representative Altman, I now understand why South Carolina is still so far far behind other states. Ms Gormley conducted herself in a most professional manner during this interview. As for Representaive Altman, I would sugguest that he wake up and look at the calender also. If not, perhaps he needs to retire as it is quite evident that he cannot handle himself in a professional manner.
PR, Columbia: I was totally outraged by Altman's responses to Kara Gormley's questions. I've never seen anyone so insensitive, rude or abusive. Altman showed his own ignorance by not giving respectable answers. If he was going to take the position he did, he should have never granted the interview. I have heard reporters ask insensitive or "not so bright" question at times, but this was not one of them. The general public needs to know why this crucial bill has been tabled. He could have merely stated that the bill needed some fine tuning and that we could expect to see some positive action at a later date. He demonstrated to me that he #1. Has no respect for reporters, particularly women. #2. He himself does not understand the bill. #3. He has no respect for the sponsors of the bill. and #4 He really isn't interested in the plight of abused women. None of us can understand why anyone would return to and abusive situation, but circumstances often are such that women do not feel they have a choice, whether it's financial, fear, or what have you. Many abusive men have a psychological hold on their victims and the laws are not strong enough to give these women confidence that they will be protected if they leave. Thus the need for the bill. I had never heard of Mr. Altman until last night and believe me, I'll never forget him now. I would really like to see him ousted and especially, dumped off the Committee. Someone with his attitude should not be responsible for making laws that govern our state. He is a male chauvenist pig and should be in a sty somewhere, either in the ring with some mad wild gamecocks, or on the receiving end of and abusive spouse. He does not deserve any respect from anyone. He certainly will never have mine.
RS, Columbia: I think it is total manipulation of the facts. I heard the media recording and the reporter was trying to insinuate too many factors. Although he did not fall for her ploy, he did not come off sounding very good. I am sure there are many reasons why the bill did not pass, but I highly doubt that one of the reasons is that the people in the legislature think fighting cocks deserve more protection than the domestically abused. I think domestic abuse is just a much more complex issue requiring a lot more thought and clarification.
DM, Irmo: It's scary to know this type of person is passing laws in SC. I applaud Kara Gormley for not stooping to this level. He was very disrepectful and ignorant and I can't help but wonder how he treats women. I hope the women in his district do not re-elect him.
MS, Charleston: I think this is apalling. We all as American citizens should protect our fellow citizens and respect human life just as much and more than animal life. Animals should be protected and so should domestic abuse victims. I will make sure I never vote for John Graham Altman after hearing his views on this bill. These women who he says should not be a victim of domestic violence but one time. Women who take their wedding vows seriously try to seek help for themselves and for their spouse who is abusive, whether it is verbal, mental, or physical. When you love someone it's hard to see them hurt and it's hard to allow them to hurt you. Therefore, you try to trust them and go back and it happens again. That doesn't mean they don't need to be protected. Let's please pass this bill to help these victims so we can show our citizens and citizens of other countries that we do value human life too.
EB, Elgin: I am not sure “appalled “ even begins to cover my feeling in regard to Kara Gormley’s interview with Rep. Altman. I could understand the bill not going through for a variety of reasons, and surely there must be some hidden story here, but to have that Neanderthal cretin representing any part of this state is simply, intolerable. I cannot believe an elected official would believe it was acceptable to verbally abuse and castigate a reporter for simply asking pertinent questions-to which there are probably some good answers. All this aside from the fact, that since no plausible explanations were given, indeed it does appear that that our Judiciary Committee finds “cockfighting” a problem of much greater significance. It was rather apparent that Rep. Altman believes that to be the case, no let’s go further there, Rep. Altman is more concerned about chickens than women I will not be surprised to see this interview on some sort of national television venue-somehow; SC can never generate positive national coverage. I suppose however, when we continue to elect politicians of this ilk, we get what we are entitled to!
RE, Lugoff: These two bills are completely seperate issues and should not be lumped together at any point. I don't believe the issue is that anyone thinks that "cocks" are more important than "women". The Domestic Violence Bill has some serious faults that need to be addressed and corrected. The bill as written infringes upon our 2nd Admentment rights. Seperate the two issues....they are clearly not related.
MM, Little Mountain: Altman is in another era of time...he should have died out with the rest if the dinosaurs..maybe he will crawl back under a rock. Kara Gormly should have acted like a real woman and slapped his face for insulting her honor. This is one STUPID, unenlightened man.
DM, Columbia: At first I was really upset. But after reading Speaker Wilkins'comments, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, and hope that this is a temporary setback in pass, ing this bill. I hope it gets the changes in it that are needed, and then it should pass--no problem. But as I listened to Altman, I couldn't believe he was calling someone else ignorant. Is he so naieve as to think it's very easy for a woman to leave the only home she knows, with possibly nowhere for her and her children to go? And if she leaves, what's to say she want be tracked down by her husband, and possibly killed? This is what happens too frequently. The husband just won't leave her alone, and she lives in fear. So she gets a protective order that says he shouldn't come around her. Do abusers really care about some piece of paper? Domestic abusers need to be jailed after one-just one-incident. And lastly, I hope and pray that this inhuman, bigoted, snub, arrogant, egotistical man gets voted out by all of "us women" who indeed have the power to put him out. I could go on, as I get so angry every time I play the video of his interview with Kara Gormley, and I've played it several times, just in shock. He knew this would be on TV and he didn't care. Much credit to Kara. This is one story I wish would make it to the national NBC stations so the whole country could see what a moran he is. I hope his life becomes as miserable from this as those of women who are battered every day.
TS, Lexington: I believe the legislature is taking a serious look at domestic violence in our state and I understand that the two bills are separate and they must be voted on and debated separately. However, I felt Rep. Altman's comments were extremely rude and demeaning towards women. The fact that he had the audacity to insult a professional woman on television shows "enormous ignorance" on his part to think that his constituants would not be watching. As a working professional and as a woman, I was very offended at his remarks toward Ms. Gromley.
AK, Columbia: I am outraged at the behavior of representative Altman. The tabl, ing of the domestic violence bill was bad in itself but then to have one of our representatives behave this way in an interview on the subject was embarrassing for our state. I think it is criminal that a cock fighting bill is pushed through and a criminal domestic violence bill is tabled. It is exactly as Kara Gormley questioned Rep. Altman about last night. They are sending the message that gamecocks are valued over the life of victims of domestic violence. Victims of domestic violence are not just women either. They are women, men, and children. My take on the interview aired last night is that Rep. Altman could give no plausable reason other than political pandering(and they aren't going to admit to that) for why the domestic violence bill was tabled, therefore he immediately went on the defensive and attacked Kara's intelligence. He could give no reason because there should be no reason for this to have happened. I hope that the publicity this issue is receiving will send a clear message to our State House that the citizens of SC feel the lives of domestic violence victims are valued much higher than the lives of gamecocks.
SJ, Lugoff: Representat, ive Altman owes the State of South Carolina an apology for his comments during Kara Gormley's interview. I am sure we will once again make National news because of our inept politicians. I believe that Representative Altman is the "not so bright" person in this case. Someone in his position should be wise enough to know when to quit speaking and also to know when he has inserted his foot into his mouth.
JC, Leesville: Irresponsible, arrogant, slanderous and typical for Rep. Altman. He would do well to remember as an elected official he represents the state as a whole, not just his constituents. He should apologize to Ms. Gormley, the House and Senate, and every woman in South Carolina. Then he should be relieved of his duties on the Judiciary Committee.
DC, Chapin: Mr. Altman (and I use that term loosely)not only owes Kara Gormley an apology, but all of the citizens of South Carolina. I feel as though our state just stepped back 100 years. He should do us all a favor and submit his resignation immediately!
TC, Irmo: Although I'm not a activist on politics nor do I let it get me worked up. However after last nights coverage on Rep. Altman disgusted me as a women and as a SC resident. My only hope is that his pathetic opinion and lack of social skills did not make the national news. I also hope that voters take this interview as a mission to NOT reelect him as a representation of our great state. For those people like me that looked at him as just another politician I thank him for letting me know that he doesn't need to hold a office that represents us.
DS, Columbia: I was in complete shock and awe when I heard Rep. Altman speaking to Rep. Cobb-Hunter on the news last night....this is one of the main reasons that South Carolina will never get ahead in this nation and comes in last in virtually every category....my reaction to the comments made by Mr. Altman would have been quite different. I would more than likely be in jail today if he had talked to me in the manner that he did Rep. Cobb-Hunter....there is no excuse for his comments....I hope I live to see the day come when S.C. wakes up and realizes that it is much more important to change the law for domestic violence to a felony than to change it for cockfighting...I think both crimes should be a felony....and I also th, ink that Mr. Altman should be put in the cockfighting ring !!!
CP, Chapin: Rep. Altman just confirmed what a lot of people feel about Politicians. His language and comments to the press demonstrates the enormous amount of ignorance on his part related to the seriousness of domestic violence in today's society. His good old boy attitude is just one of the things wrong with SC politics today. I am just sorry he is not in my district so I could vote against him when he comes up for re-election.
MS, Cayce: If California can have a recall election for governor it seems that SC should be able to have a recall election for condescending/19th century good 'ol boys who seem to think it is not so bad to beat women. My hat is off to Ms Gormley for not coming across the table to inflict 'domestic violence' upon our esteemed legislator!
TC, Columbia: Representative Graham is an embarassment to the state of South Carolina. Apparently he does not possess sufficient language skills to explain why he thinks the CDV bill is a bad bill, so he resorted to insulting Ms. Gormley. It is obvious to anyone who heard or read the interview that Ms. Gormley would easily surpass Rep. Graham in any measure of intelligence. She sould be commended for maintaining her composure in the face of the incredibly rude and boorish behavior of Representative Graham. Hopefully the residents of Charleston will throw him out in the next election.
JB, Charleston: Unfortunately Altman has done and excellent job of demonstrating what a gross disconnect much of the Legislature has from their constituents. To ignore the relevence of CDV and to suggest that the solution should be for woman to not be around men who assault them is a lapse in judgement of enormous proportions. I will be eagerly awaiting a formal appology from Altman directed at Ms. Gormley as well as the people of South Carolina both male and female for his breech of trust and respect for the people of this state. Altman will most certianly be a name I pass over at election time.
SP, Lexington: Shame! Shame! Shame! on you Senator Alt, man and the other members of the Judiciary committee for not passing this law. As a retired law enforcement officer, I am totally disgusted with Senator Altman's condescending and embarassing response to questions posed by Ms. Gormley. He was disrespectful and should be humiliated at the impact of his actions. Senator Altman has obviously never spent a night at the hospital or morgue with a domestic abuse victim. Or watched first hand the mental and physical abuse placed upon victims of domestic violence. Not just women but men as well. No one wants to be abused. Women , do not necessarily have to go back to the abuser. They come to her. They stalk, they call, they harass them at work, they threaten other family members, they sneak up on them at the least expected place. The threat is constant and never ending till one party is dead. Unfortunately I have seen that too. For many women, death is seen as the only way out as the penalty for CDV is only a few days in jail. A misdemeanor. The abuser often returns to inflict more pain because she reported him to begin with. The suffering is never ending. Until our State Senators and Legislators take the responsibility to save human life instead of being more concerned over animals how can anyone think there is help out there. No wonder women don't want to go to Law Enforcement for help. The laws are not there to help and support them. In my past I tried to help victims but as a law enformcement officer there were only temporary actions I could have taken as the first responder to this horific crime. Senator Altman, as you wait and deny the passage of the CDV Bill there are more bruises, broken bones and potentially more death due to ignorance and negligence on your part. Spend a night on the real streets of ou, r cities and counties. Go to the homes of victims and have a one on one confrontation with the victims and abusers. It won't take long for you to change your opinion of victims of Criminal Domestic Abuse.
MC, Columbia: I have to say that I am glad to see John Altman do such a fine job of illustrating what those of us who have had to work against him have had to deal with. He stood in the way of funding the Conservation Land Bank every step of the way with the same mindless abandon as he has shown here for the woman of South Carolina. The sooner his seat is vacate, d the better off all South Carolinian's will be.
KO, Tallahassee, Florida: So this comment from a SC egislator will be heard around the world " "People who compare the two are not very smart, and if you don't understand the difference between trying to ban the savage practice of watching chickens trying to kill each other and protecting people rights in CDV statutes, I'll never be able to explain it to you in a 100 years ma'am." There are hundreds of advocates out here in the nation watching to see how the SC Legislature addresses this with Rep. Altman - he needs to be censored. And the Legislature needs to step up and recognize the value of women's lives!
TB, Lexington: I was truly appalled after witnessing the interview given by John Graham Altman on WIS TV 10 News. I hope the Charleston County Voters can somehow explain to him not all females are ignorant and Criminal Domestic Violence does not apply only to female victims. John Graham Altman has a right to his own opinions, however shallow they may be. His responses were inappropriate and he was condescending to the local media and women of South Carolina, especially when he stated; “You women want it one way and not the other.” I especially feel sorry for the women of Charleston County who he represents. This man has obviously been sitting behind his desk for the past fifty years sucking on his dentures. Wake up Altman and face the real world! I get the feeling he feels threatened by professional females and must attack their intellig, ence to compensate for his own personal insecurities. I hope Altman’s comments are a misrepresentation of others associated with the General Assembly because he has done a great disservice to the women of this state. In the near future I would like to see him give a public apology to Kara Gormley along with all women in the state of South Carolina because he must be held accountable for his display of ignorance.
PZ, Liberty Hill: I could not beleive what I was hearing - Mr Graham is an idiot to say the least- he just proved it in front of hundreds of viewers. He should not be allowed to open his mouth let alone represent our state. I wonder what his wife and children are thinking!? Kudos to Kara for hanging in there.
AG, West Columbia: God bless you Kara Gormley!! As a woman I would not have had the strength to sit through an interview such as that one! You were absolutely right. The passage of this cockfighting bill over the CDV bill gives the message that South Carolina cares more about the welfare of some chickens over the welfare of abused women. As as far as why do women go back, only a person who has been abused could answer that. Not some hoity toity so-called representative. Who does he represent? This is just another black eye for the State of South Carolina. Wait until the national news gets a hold of this one! But then again, maybe I am just not "bright" enough to understand why we would value chickens over women. I never will.
BH, Columbia: The General Assembly must enact a stronger domestic violence penalty. Too many people are losing their lives in domestic arguments. Police, who are endangered also in these cases,need a stronger law to enforce. If anyone is dumb, it is Rep. Altman.
WC, Columbia: Unfortunately, I missed the interview last night, but I understand from a number of people that it was a "doozy"! I, too, am appalled how someone in Mr. (and I use that term loosely) Altman's position can actually be so condesending to a young lady who was only doing her job. He was elected by the people in his district, so they must know something about him others don't know. I'm pretty sure, though, that after the people in his district see or hear about the interview, he may need to begin searching for another line of work. True, it could be possible that the CDV bill may not be completely "refined" yet, therefore, causing the need for "tabling" it until a later date, but co, ck fighting a felony??? That's like the man (in SC) a number of years ago who got 25 years to life for setting a puppy on fire! Yet, someone who physically assaults or even murders a human being could get only 30 days! Appalling! Shame on, not only "Mr." Altman, but all of the other legislators, as well... What were you thinking?! Wait a minute! You weren't thinking...Maybe you're the ignorant ones...Hmmm?
DT, West Columbia: At the risk of incurring the indignation of the majority of contributors to this forum, I am going to voice an idea that seems to have bee, n largely overlooked in the previous responses to this question. As I read it the question solicits reaction to the fact that one bill – in this case a measure on criminal domestic violence – has failed to be passed by the House Judiciary Committee while another measure on cockfighting was reported out of the same committee. Since when did the question become a referendum on Rep. Altman’s conduct in his interview with Kara Gormley? That seems to be what has happened, and I don’t think it’s an accident. Yes, I saw that interview – more than once – and I agree with those who fault Altman and praise Gormley for their respective performances. (Clearly Rep. Altman has a severe case of “foot in mouth” disease.) Unfortunately however, the original point of that interview would seem to have been lost in the emotion born of that moment. It has been swept aside in a tide of journalistic activism provoked by one ill-spoken politician ruffling the feathers of one well-connected reporter. As proof I respectfully ask, when is the last time WIS-TV went out of its way to post the names and contact information of every legislator on a particular committee, or to so blatantly solicit such direct public reaction as it has done in this case? Each legislative session there are dozens of bills proposed that never make it out of committee, but these activist tactics have rarely been used before. I can’t help but wonder why. And I hate to think that the reason might be because someone got her feelings hurt. Or is it that WIS-TV has decided it wants to flex some journalistic muscle in defense of Ms Gormley’s honor?
DS, Columbia: After watching the video I had to pull up Mr. Altman's credentials to see what kind of person would demean someone to that extent. It appears that Mr. Altman is/was a Sunday school teacher - and my response is that not only is the view not Christian, but his attitude throughout the interview was not Christian. Did he honestly think that the people in this good state would agree with him? If so, he is "not very bright". I hope that the nation will take a good look at the politicians that South Carolina has elected. His behavior was appalling and he should be ousted at the very least.
PH, Swansea: I was totally shocked at rep. Altman's remarks last night. We do prison ministry at DJJ and I see 1st hand the cycle of abuse being played out in the lives of young kids. Not only have many of these children come from domestic violence but they are now acting it out on others. We are loosing our next generation and where does that leave us as a country. These children at their young age have already seen more violence (sexual and physical) to scar them for the rest of their lives and then these children have children??? I can understand the need to redefine a bill that needs more revision but PLEASE!!! Look around you Altman You kill chicken to eat not women and children.
CM, Little Mountain: I am very shocked by the behavior from one of our states representatives. He was the one portraying his ignorance. First of all, he apparently doesn’t have a female figure in his life that has been a victim of domestic violence. If he had, he would know how hard it is to remove ones self from a situation such as this. If someone if threatening your life of course you are going to return to the environment. Especially if you are told that would be the only way you would survive. After knowing someone who experienced this, it is hard to understand what makes them stay. But you never know the control that someone takes over you. It doesn ’t matter if you say “I would leave” or anything like that because the fact is there is no law. That is what makes it so hard for the woman to have a back bone when it comes to standing up for herself. No one is going to back her up and protect her, since the crime is just a misdemeanor. Men like Mr. Altman (he really doesn’t deserve the respect) cause men that commit such a crime to have the mentality that nothing will happen to them and they will not be stopped. Men like Altman give wife beaters the permission and excuse to beat women and degrade them. Men like Altman have no respect for women period. I am disgusted to have this man in office representing what others feel. The judicial system already lacks laws for adequate punishment. Give me a break. People go and wring a chicken’s neck to cook it and now you can get in trouble for that. However, a man can do that to a woman and he gets no punishment. Where the heck is the justice there. The problem is we have men like Altman who believe that women are objects and they own them. Humans can’t be owned. The very person that owns us is slowly being taken out of the process of justice so what do you expect. Criminal Domestic Violence should be on the same page as murder. If there were tougher punishments for this crime there would be very little happening and then you wouldn’t have to worry about more than one offense, if any at all. That is the reason more and more are occurring because “wife beaters” get away with what they do. They just say well nothing is going to happen to me. I will get away with it. If there were major repercussions for the crime then less would happen. I commend Kara Gormley for her “brightness” of being able to handle this man. I don’t believe I could have handled the situation as well as she did.
CR, Chapin: What was he thinking? Maybe the bet, ter question is is he really that stupid?! What in the world is he doing in public office?
GB, Columbia: This man makes me absolutely sick!! Until you have been on the other side, it is unfair to judge the intelligence of an abused and battered wife. I witnessed as a child constant physical and mental abuse of my mother by my step-father. She gathered my sister and I and left him once only to have this tyrant track her down and threaten to kill all of us if we didn't return home. To save her life as well as my sister and I, she returned. This man was part of South Carolina's "Good Ole' Boy" system who had influential friends in high places in South Carolina, and my mom knew that he could literally get away with murder at the time. One of his best friends was the sheriff at the time, and he was also commissioned as a special law enforcement agent by two SC Governors.This was in the late 1960's, and unfortunately, South Carolina has not advanced much through the years as evidence through the ignorance of lawmakers such as Representative Graham. Want to know why a woman has to return to her husband, Mr. Graham, come talk to me and I can give you a REAL eye/ear opener!!
DP, Columbia: It seems like someone a whole lot less ignorant than me said a people get the government they deserve. What did we do to deserve this this guy ?
DH, Pomaria: I would like to know if Rep. Altman was born in the DARK AGES and if so he needs to join the HUMAN RACE. I feel sorry for his Grandmother, Mother, Sisters, Wife, Daughters and Granddaughters if he shows them the same disrespect I heard in his words and voice on tv yesterday. I cannot believe that this type of person is responsible for making laws for the good of ALL PEOPLE because he obviously does not think that women are human. Thanks for letting my voice be heard.
MM, Columbia: First of all let me say Rep Altman that it appears you are not very bright. When will we ever start focusing on the issues that really matter. People die minute by minute due to domestic violence and we are worried about saving chickens. Give me a break.
BG, Columbia: Do we wonder after yesterday what is wrong with our great state. It is the stupidity of Representatives that are there because we have always voted for them. Kara Gormley is much smarter than this representative and she should run for elected office and oust him.
JE, Placeless: We have no one to blame except ourselves. Most folks don't vote so you see the results. As long as we, as citizens, sit idly by and allow individuals such as Mr Altman to serve as our leaders; nothing will ever change.
SL, Green Sea: What kind of idiots do we have working for us in congress? Kara should have told him he was not too bright. Domestic abuse is not always the woman going back into the bad situation. Sometimes the man goes looking for the woman so he can bang up some more. How about those women who have left and gotten restraining orders and everything else the law allows and the man still gets the woman and maims her or kills her. If Rep. Altman is elected to office again or anyone else who has the same mentality as he, the state of SC should hang our heads in shame and disgrace. That is what he is to SC and women, a shame and a disgrace.
PB, Sumter: "Dumb struck". That was my initial reaction to the interview that I witnessed on your 11;00 Report last night. Next reaction was "anger". Not that the bill didn't pass, but the audacity that an elected, "educated" official of our state could project himself in such a light. Maybe, the bill was not ready for full endorsement, but his arrogance, and demeaning comments were a slap in the face to every South Carolinian. I applaud Kara for her professionalism. Rep. Altman, I wonder to whom or what your anger is directed at. You seem to have a lot of it. As a human being, we should "care" about what happens to fellow human beings, male or female, as well as animals that can't defend themselves from these human beings, not just cock fighting, but dog fighting, etc. Rep. Altman, at first, I thought possibly some community service in a battered woman's shelter might help you to understand, but those women and children in those shelters certainly do not need another abuser. Let the bill go back to committee, and be passed next year, as an even stronger deterent. Thank you.
JO, Lexington: Once again SC is showing what a backward state it is. As I watched the news last night, I was downright ashamed to be a South Carolinian. Mr. Altman only proved his ignorance through his response. How is it that people like this even get elected to public office? How can he expect women to stand up against an abusive partner when their state does not even stand behind them? The whole point here is that if abusers were held liable for their actions on a first offense then maybe it would prevent second and third offenses.
RW, Newberry: I am sickened at the thought of this ignorant man and others like him making decisions that affect me and my daughters. His complete disrespect for women was evident in his treatment of kara on what may end up being national television. There are so many wonderful things i love about South Carolina the rest of the country will never see because of stupid people like him.
DW, Blythewood: I was astounded while listening to the broadcast last night about this issue. I have written every legislator I can think of today to express my abhorance of this Representative's comments. This is not a party line issue. This is an issue for the good of those who are not strong enough to protect themselves.It is a ridiculous thought that our state legislature values the life of a chicken more than an abused person! And, yet, that is what the decision handed down by the Judiciary committee implies! Women (and men) suffering abuse have few options and choices, many times. From clergy to police officers, to judges and (surprise here!) politicians, women receive rebuke instead of encouragement. Whether the complaint is rape, harassment, domestic abuse, women receive the same treatment – “What did you do to deserve that?” There is a pervading cycle at work in this matter. A cycle of violence that has little chance of being broken, without intervention from objective parties. It only takes ONE incident of violence from a member of your own household to break a person’, s self esteem and spirit. It takes years to heal. And when you witness that type of violence as a child, it penetrates deep in your mind. The permissive attitude that the leaders in this area have does not support anyone getting out of this type of situation. It supports the abuser. This is the reason why domestic violence continues.
TM, Irmo: They own stock in KFC, now you see why nothing ever gets done in the legislator, now you see why our prisons are over crowded and understaffed, now you see why we dont have any state troopers own our roads and mental health is in shambles because of idiots we elected.
EH, Columbia: For most of the state this is the first time they have heard of the dumb things Rep. Altman says. However I lived in Charleston for 12 years and got to hear alot more. Rep. Altman is a loose cannon at best. The bill may need fine tuning but the are ways of saying that. Rep. Altman represents parts of the West Ashley area as well as Seabrook and Kiawah Islands. If you wander how he stays in power. I guess the good ole boy was out to lunch with his old buddy Maurice in 1930 during this interview. I have to give him credit, he surely said what was on his MIND and in his HEART.
RH, Columbia: First, I would like to know which bill was tabled. There are a total of 20 bills proposed on domestic violence in the House and Senate. Second, I would like to congratulate Kara Gormley on her professionalism during the interview. I am not sure that I could have sat there in front of that man and kept my cool. The interview showed who did not understand the bill in question--Rep. Altman. He could not explain why it was tabled. He sure could explain why we needed the cock fighting bill. Who is the one that does not understand the bills??? Rep. Altman!!!!! I believe Jim Harrison, Chr. or another representative of the Judiciary Committee should come forth and explain why the bill was tabled. Are any of the other bills ready to go and would they help with the situation of domestic violence? There are too many questions that this male person representing the Committee left unanswered. I don't think some of the members of the Committee really want that type of person representing their viewpoints.
WB, Columbia: It's been said before, but bears repeating: South Carolina is too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum.
CT, Leesville: Rep. Altman, you're not very bright!
MB, Wedgefield: I was disappointed to hear Rep. Altman's response to the new legislation of domestic violence. I am also ashamed that he and I both are Republicans. He should have a lot of soul searching to do the rest of his term. We eat chickens... certainly there is more value to a human life! Isn't there?
AC, Lexington: I just want to know who elected this Altman guy? He represents everything about what the rest of the US thinks all of us South Carolinians are like. I guess he is the reason why the law is still on the books about beating your wife on the state house steps on a sunday.
MF, Columbia: I think the Rep. from Charleston showed his true colors. Most of us probably wouldn't have known how stupid he really is if he hadn't opened his mouth. But this stance is what is represented by the old south mentalality and you wonder why S.C. can never move ahead. Get rid of old senile goats like JGA.
SS, Columbia: I cannot believe that Sen. Altman had the unmitigated gall to speak to anyone on a professional level as he did. And to do it on camera tells me that he is ve, ry "in your face" about his views regarding "you women." Kara should get a raise for continuing to be professional and courteous during his tirade. Sen. Altman should face censure and of course, as a voter with relatives in his district, I'll be sure to help campaign AGAINST him when election time rolls around.
CS, Columbia: Mr. Altman believes he is smarter than your reporter, but he should know that the dumbest person I have ever met still knew the difference between the value of a human life and the price of chicken.
MW, Columbia: Kara Gormley is 'much brighter' than Rep. Altman. He would have been better served answering her question rather than attacking her intellect.
LN, Columbia: We will probably soon have a large number of people leaving the state who want to beat their fowl and an even larger number of people entering the state who want to beat their spouse. Where are our state's priorities? Cockfighting is savage but domestic abuse only occurs to women who don't respect themselves so it should take a backseat to bloody chickens? Kudos to Kara for keeping her cool. Rep. Altman threw the word ignorant around freely - I'm guessing because he's very familiar with it.
AB, Lexington: I bet Mrs. Altman sure is proud of her son,John Graham. He should be ashamed of himself for both his treatment of Ms Gormley and for putting chickens above the health of women in our state.I hope all the great ladies of Charleston remember come election time.
DK, Leesville: I can't help but wonder if Rep. Altman has any daugters, grandaughters, etc. He is obviously the ignorant one in this case and wouldn't "get it" in 100 years. He needs to realize that the majority of women in an abusive relationship have been threatened to point that they feel they have no other alternative than to stay where they are. Most cases are women that have children, little education and no where to turn for help. Maybe Rep. Altman should open his home to the victims of domestic voilence. I applaud Ms. Ghomley, I would not have been able to curb my anger and irritation at such an idiot to remain as professional as she did. Let's just hope that the next time Rep. Altman is up for re-election all the idiots of SC bounce him and his cave man mentality back to whatever rock he crawled out from under.
sd, MYRTLE BEACH: I salute Rep. Altman for his insight, after having been falsely accused and jailed for CDV, I am glad someone upholds the principle of innocent until proven guilty.
WB, West Columbia: Rep. Altman is not just an embarassment to this state, but is fast becoming a national embarassment as well. His comments to your reporter were rude and patronizing. Why his district keeps electing him is beyond all explanation. This state is in desperate need of tougher laws on CDV and to toss it aside while toughing penalties against cockfighting is absolutely insane and insensitive. I hope people finally start to see just exactly what kind of goofs are really in control of this state. It's certainly NOT the people, but a closed group of Good Ol' Boys.
ET, Charleston: This is just another example of how some of our so-called leaders so easily accept violence as a part of our culture. Let's get those cocks fighting and increase vulnerability for victims of domestic violence for goodness sake! It's sickening.
MR, Irmo: Unbelievable...Need I say more?
AA, Elgin: I am absolutely appalled at Mr. Altman's interview. He was rude and disrespectful to all women and I am ashamed that we have such an individual in our legislature.
RP, Pelion: I believe rep.altman should resign his post. He put the rights of a chicken over the rights of the people of South Carolina. he should be ashamed and step down. let someone who knows what they are doing take his place...
GB, Columbia: John Altman is absolutely appalling! Obviously he has not looked in the mirror lately to see the word ignorant plastered across his forehead. The saying is true, it takes one to know one. The way in which he repeatedly used the word ignorant proves that he's speaking from experience. I applaud Kara Gormley for maintaining her dignity in the face of such a fool.
DR, Columbia: This was a very shocking story and I was absolutely appalled at the comments made by Rep. Altman! He obviously does not think very highly of women but his position requires him to look past his own prejudice!
JT, Columbia: I can' beleive Senator Altman"s comments. He needs to come out of the dark ages and represent all of his constiuents not just the men. I commend Kara for holding her cool under the circumstances. Senator Altman is the one who doesn't understand. If there were stricter laws on domestic violence maybe women would not have to go thru it the first time. Senator Altman 's comments throws it back to the women and putting all the blame on them for creating the problem in the first place. I hope when the next election comes around that all the women in his district will remember this and wote him out of office. We need men who will stand up for women's rights and not sit down on the job.
JJ, Columbia: I am shocked at the unprofessional responses of Representative John Graham Altman from Charleston. He should be ashamed. He shows no knowledge nor understanding of the deadly affects of domestic violence. He was rude and unprofessional to say the least. It is difficult for me to believe how this man could be a representative from the city of Charleston. I don't believe his views and opinions represent the majority of the people of Charleston, SC. Thank you for letting me voice my opinion,
BS, Sumter: This is the most ridiculous thing a lawmaker could possibly do. This shows how people view a human life. Domestic violence offenders are just as bad as sexual abusers - they commit the crime over and over. It is time to stop the violence
KJ, Columbia: I find it unbelievable in this day and age a politician say what Mr. Altman did much less that he believes it that garbage! He is really 'not too bright' is he!
DG, Summerville: I am from Berkeley County, and thank God that Altman doesn't represent our county. He has totally missed the boat on this issue.
cs, columbia: Once again, South Carolina will be in the national news. I can't believe Rep. Altman made the comments he did (I wonder what his wife and daughters think about his comments?), and I can't believe the bill on cockfighting passed, and the one on domestic violence did not! SC has one of the worst records of violence towards women out of all 50 states. Perhaps Rep. Altman does not know about the "cycle of abuse" that happens when someone is in an abusive relationship. I doubt his community service activities includes working with a women's shelpter. Kara Gormley and Rep. Cobb-Hunter must be commended for their poise a, nd intel, ligence. I don't know what to say about those who did not vote to pass the domestic violence bill.
MO, Camden: The audacity of this man just blows me away! What about the women who are abused & don't go back. They will be too afraid to report it. The abuser will only get 30 days in jail & after that he'll be back out.And wether or not the woman goes back to him I'm sure when he gets out he will really beat the mess out of her. So this makes women not feel protected so therefore they have no one to turn to. The law is there to protect us the people right?
JH, Columbia: I think that Rep Altman needs to wake up and realize what type of world we live in now. We aren’t in a society where the woman stays in the kitchen bare foot and pregnant all the time. He needs to realize that!!!!!! Coming from a relationship were I was abused, it’s not like you can just get up and leave. IT”S NOT THAT EASY MR. ALTMAN!!!!!!!!!!! He needs to go somewhere else where that type of lifestyle is still in existence not here in South Carolina. something needsto be done about this and REP ALTMAN. And all of us (not just women) that have been victims of domestic violence might just get the chance to not be afraid for their lives anymore!!!!!!!
DJ, Cayce: It would nice if Sen. Altman had respect for women before he made decisions that affect them. I'm talking about real respect, not just "Good 'ol boy condescension". He also needs to be reminded that the year is 2005, not 1955. These are the very things that embarass and hold back South Carolina!
BN, Columbia: A sincere thank you to Ms. Gormley for her report, in spite of Mr. Altman's rudeness. This kind of legislation leaves South Carolina at the bottom of the heap when it comes to the rights of women.
BJ, columbia: After viewing Rep. John Altman’s rude and discourteous interview with Kara Gormley I have to wonder what century John Altman is living in. Anyone that feels a chicken’s life is more important than an abused victim certainly isn’t living this is century. His attitude is pathetic, outdated and lost in the past, and in no way should be portrayed as representing the people of South Carolina. His statements have only served to reinforce the backwards opinion people have concerning our state. How anyone can think like this is beyond me or any rational thinking person. Rep. Altman responded to the comparison by stating, "People who compare the two are not very smart.” I must not be very smart, please explain this to me and the people you represent. He stated there shouldn’t ever be a second offense, because the women shouldn’t return to an abusive situation. In a perfect world that would be correct, but in that perfect world domestic violence wouldn’t happen. However if she is tracked down as often happens and beaten or wor, se, it still remains only a misdemeanor. I want him to tell the victim if and when they regain consciousness that if only she were a chicken, her attacker would serve time in jail. But as it stands he’ll be out in a matter of hours. It saddens me to think some elected officials think the way he does. We have to move forward as a state if we hope to attract new industry and jobs for the citizens of South Carolina. But it seems the legislature is more concerned with protecting a chicken than the women of this state, what does it say for the future of South Carolina?
NR, Columbia: I think any of the Judiciary Committee members who will be coming up for re-election should look to the chickens for their votes. I'll be volunteering for whoever runs against them.
ee, cola: i could not believe what i was hearing, rep.altman must be a complete idiot, what a jerk. kara, u go girl!!!!!!!
KG, Lexington: This action is typical of the SC Government, when have then done ANYTHING beneficial for the people of SC. Unfortunatly, a female relative (child or grandchild) will have to be beaten beyond recognition in order for a domestic violence law to be important enough.
jg, columbia: WIS has done a great service by exposing the true ugliness of Mr. Altman to the harsh glare of public scrutiny. Even by usual SC/GOP/Charleston standards, Altman's arrogance and crudeness is off the scale. No one should be surprised that he values the lives of chickens over the lives and safety of women. Until South Carolina ends its love affair with narrow minded ultra-conservatives, we will get (and deserve) legislators like Altman.
TP, Camden: I am outraged at the response from Rep. Altman.. Not only did his thoughts on domestic voilence and comments about the intelligence of the reporter were dis-respectful and asinine; the comments also gave some of our Northern friends and late night entertainers more matieral to poke fun at the same state that considers the confederate flag as a valuable historic symbol for all of SC residents..
JT, Columbia: I believe that Rep. Altman needs to be educated in domestice violence. He should not be allowed to sit back on the House Judiciary Committee until he is able to make educated and responsible decisions pertaining to a bill that affect the lives of people everyday.
TM, Columbia: What is there to understand? Kara is intelligent and Rep. Graham is ignorant.
SK, Columbia: Mr. Altman's comments made me physically ill. He owe Cara Gormley and, above all, all the women of the South Carolina a public apology. ,
DM, Columbia: If I were Kara Gormley, I would be livid, but I know she had to keep her cool and she kept it very well. Sounds like he could be an abuser of women; verbally, if not physically. He made a terrible mistake by talking to Kara in that way and will pay the consequences.
PC, Chapin: Mr. Graham should have been able to explain his position better. After Ms. Hunter's closing comments, I was able to determine that this bill needed to be fine tuned and was happy to know that they are working on the revised bill. It is one thing to explain to someone, in this case Kara, why a bill was not passed and quite another to call someone ignorant for asking a question. People learn by by asking questions. I am not the least bit pleased knowing that he is a representative, but we should all celebrate the fact that Mr. Graham is not a teacher. No one should ever be called ignorant for simply asking a question.
PJ, columbia: I am dumb founded that this state doesn't realize the depth of what goes on in cases of domestic violence. I am appalled and saddened by the lack of concern by Mr. Knotts and Mr. Altman. Domestic Violence has got to be recognized for what it is, A CRIME. The lawmakers that did not pass this bill just sent out a message that all Victims of Domestic Violence hear on a regular basis: A man or offender of domestic violence will not be punished for committing the act. The victims (which in many cases involve children) do not matter and will not be protected. If Mr. Altman needs an answer or clarification of the mind set of the victim and why they go back, he needs to take a look at his actions by not passing the bill. Kara did a good job yesterday trying to get answers. She was very much in control and that shows just how classy and intelligent she is, keep fighting for us Kar, a we need your help.
NM, Columbia: I am outraged. South Carolinians are not being well served by this man. He needs to go.
MR, Batesburg: This man is not very bright. He must be a woman beater his self. What someone need to do you beat the mest out of him and just let him see and it fells. This happen to be before but not by my husband, and of course his dad paid his way out of troblem.....
SB, Cordova: I missed it on the news last night, but caught it replayed on the radio this am! WOW! As a survivor of domestic violence, I can tell you sometimes I still do not understand what made me stay as long as I did. I don't know that anyone out there that has ever been on the receiving end of domestic violence could ever explain what they were thinking by trying to make it work, or trying to keep it together for the kids, or trying to avoid being a failure because we couldn't make our marriages work. Having a child is what woke me up to what was going on in my life. Because of my child I found the courage to get out of the relationship and get us both on with our lives. I feel that the state of SC and those represented by John Graham Altman, III, should be ashamed to claim him. Although it is his right to feel however he wants about CDV and the bill that was tabled, he is a representative of the people in his district. He attacked Kara verbally telling her that she wasn't very bright. Doesn't sound like he's very educated in the matter on which was tabled.....women are not the only victims of domestic violence. There are many men that are the victims, and what about the children? He stated that he did not understand why a women would go back to an abusive relationship knowing she will be abused again. He said why would any "self-respecting" person do that. Unfortunately these victims have no self-respect because it has been beaten out of them. He can talk to Kara like he did, and not see that this is how it all starts to begin with? In my case, it didn't start with physical abuse. It was subtle emotional then verbal abuse before I was ever hit. By the time the physical abuse kicked in, I believed what I had been told about myself. I had heard it for so long that I believed it. So I stayed. Altman attempted the same mind games with Kara. At least that's the way I saw it. He looked down his nose at her, and when he didn't like where she was going with her questioning...instead of answering the question, he turned it all around on her. He tried to beat her down over a question HE couldn't answer. He made it perfectly clear to me that he didn't support the bill because he's the type that would be on the sentencing end if it ever passed. He may as well have said straight out that those who return to abusive relationships are asking for it and deserve it. He may as well say that women are property and can be treated however their partners choose to treat them. Altman outright dis-respected every victim of domestic violence, male & female, as well as those people that supported him in his district. And people wonder why South Carolina is so fa, r beh, ind the rest of the country? Just look at the fools that have been chosen to represent us at the level that really counts. And, by the way....I feel this should be shared with the rest of the nation on the NBC Nightly News. SC gets a lot of flack about education, religion, and being behind the times. Maybe we should let the rest of the world see that it is the leaders in our fine state that are keeping us in the dark ages!
CM, Cayce: No wonder our laws don't make any sense after seeing the behavior of Rep. Altman. I am appalled that this man is representing our state! He needs to be removed from the Judiciary Committee immediately!
DB, Columbia: This is unbelievable! It is a witness to the continual degradation of human rights and lives! Roosters 1 Abusers 1 Abused 0
FD, Irmo: My wife and I watched this interview. We both looked at each other after and said did we actually hear the same thing? Mr. Altman needs to resign his position immediately. We as voters need to remove these good Ole Boys and their dark ages thinking! Kara kept her cool and should congratulated on how professional she handled this interview. Next election lets start cleaning house.
aN, columbia: I think that he is the only one that is ignorant. I hope that he will only lose his job after his comments. What if a teacher told a child that to ask a question is a sign of ignorance. The teacher would be gone in a heart beat and so should he.
JT, Columbia: People need look no further if they were seeking the reason our state lags behind others in so many catagories. People with unbelievably limited understanding like Rep. Altman have NO business representing anyone for anything. Some may consider him a relic, holdover from older days. He should count himself lucky that this is 2005 and duels are no longer regarded as proper. If this were still so I suppose someone would feel obligated to defend Ms. Gormley's honor. This is no way to treat any human being, especially a lady. If this is the way Altman treats a courteous young woman in public should we really be suprised that he is not rallying support to defend women from abuse. Legislature is not a simple matter and few things are black and white but right is right and wrong is wrong in many cases. This is one of those cases.
DH, Columbia: As a survivor of domestic violence, I am appalled that the judicial committee tabled a domestic violence bill but passed one on cockfighting. Mr. Altman should never be allowed to make comments publicly again. He sounded like an idiot. It is not his job to determine why a victim returns, but it is his job to create bills to protect the women (and men)who choose to go back. Shame on you Mr. Altman and all who think like you.
SS, Columbia: Rep. Altman represents many of the negative things about our state. In his interview with Kara Gormley, he is ignorant, sexist and rude. His comments that women "want it one way and not another" and that he "doesn't understand why women continue to go back" demonstrate his lack of knowledge about domestic violence in general. There may be complications to the bill that gave the judiciary committee reason to table it, but Rep. Altman has shown himself. I am embarrassed as a resident of South Carolina to have this man serving as an elected official and as a public representative.
JT, Columbia: I am so disappointed at the insensitivy of our legislators. Especially the comments of Rep. Altman reveal an appalling lack of knowledge about the serious domestic violence problem and its devastating impact on families.
MK, Columbia: Congratulations Charleston County for having the most offensive, male chauvinist pig representative in the state. I can't believe he couldn't answer questions and conduct an interview without insulting Kara Gormley and dismissing her because she was a woman. I think by the end of the interview we knew exactly who wasn't very "bright". Again Charleston County congratulations and I hope who ever runs against this Rep. Altman holds on to this interview tape to remind his constituents in Dist. 119 of the ignorant remarks made by Rep. Altman, perhaps then Charleston County 119 can be represented by a 21st century man.
MF, Gilbert: I can not believe this! Our government actually thinks that it is okay to send someone to jail for ONLY 30 DAYS for beating their spouse/partner, but if you fight a gamecock you go to prison for 5 years. It does sound to me that they value a bird's life more than a human's (or maybe it's just a woman's life that is worth less). I also disagree with it being a woman's fault for going back into the relationship. There can be MANY reasons that no one will ever understand. Many times women feel they will be hunted down and beaten worse or killed if they do not return. Other times they sacrifice themselves to provide a "family" for their children. Unfortunatly, they do not realize how much their children suffer mentally and emotionally from witnessing the abuse. Rep. Altman is correct on ONE thing, he will NEVER understand why someone returns to the relationship until he is living in their shoes. I have witnessed this as a child and never understood it, now that I am an adult, I do understand some of her choices. More than anything I understand that she loves me unbelievably and she would have done ANYTHING to protect and keep ME SAFE.
SB, Irmo: Let's separate the two issues. The gamecock bill was ready to be passed; the domestic violence bill was not. Still, that doesn't excuse Rep. Altman from being rude and condescending. I applaud Kara Gormley for maintaining her professional image. I applaud Rep. Cobb-Hunter for continuing her work on the CDV bill and for her dedication to the families of South Carolina. I pray for Rep. Altman's wife.
DJ, Blythewood: Altman's "bright" talk is reprehensible. Who is he to judge anyone's intellect? This makes me happy he does not represent my family.
TS, Lexington: His remarks were appalling and disrespectful. He has made me embarassed to be a republican. The point of this bill is not whether or not there should be a second offense. The point is there are second offenses and these victims should be protected. The fact that he cannot see that makes him the ignorant one. I also want to say "Good Job" to Kara.
jb, irmo: i think its a disgrace to south carolina that we actually have a committee that believes any women whether it be a mom, daughter, grandmother, aunt, niece etc in a domestic relationship actually comes 2nd to cockfighting. apparently the women in this state who cook clean and are the glue to most family aren't as important when they get beat up or killed vs. the cock that got beat up and easily gets replaced with another one.
CP, Columbia: After seeing the 11:00 news last night I was enraged! I can not believe someone the uninformed was elected! There has to be something we can do. Everyone must do something or it is our fault that someone like him represents us. I have email this story to every one on my email list faxed it to every fax number I have! We can't stand by and tolerant this injustice! What kind of message would we be sending?
DM, Columbia: Rep. Altman (R.-Charleston) shows no understanding of the CDV situation. He will never understand in 100 years or more what people who have had their self esteem destrotyed will do. He will never understand what happens when people have no food, shelter, friends, or family to go to. It is a situation that arises out of basic needs as structured in Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. I believe he does not serve in the interest of South Carolina or any decent political party. He needs to be rebuked, censured, recalled, or he could just resign in light of this tremendous disgrace. Everything he said was out of ignorance and misunderstanding. My heart goes out to innocent victims of abuse. I sincerely hope that Rep. Cobb-Hunter will continue her noble fight. I also hope Speaker Wilkins acts quickly and decisively or that Rep. Altman resigns quickly.
ss, florence: Now that I've gotten over the initial shock of seeing the interview bewteen Ms. Gormley and Rep Altman, I'd like to respond. This is the 21'st century and I now know why S.C. has yet to enter the 20th. The man (and I use that word lightly) has got to be the biggest idiot I've ever come accross who's in politics. To put chickens ahead of any human being,living or dead, is absolutely innane. This guy is a NUT!!! He has total disregard for the safety and well-being of women, period. His very treatment of Ms. Gormly epitomizes this. But let's face it. This really isn't intirely his fault. Women in S.C. hav got to know that this Legistature isn't about to help them. They have got to form a group and do two things. (1). Get rid of Rep Altman because the statements he made to Ms. Gormley ursurps any positive thing he's ever done in S.C., and (2). Ban togethen and hold this Legistature accountable. I am still so sadden that I had to hear that interview. And I am now fully aware why S.C. ranks 49th in education and hugs the bottom in economics.
HB, Columbia: This is not the first time that Rep. Altman has exhibited his ignorance of the majority views of the citizens of our great state or the first time that he has demonstrated his perpetuation of outdated, patriarchal views of intimate partner violence (i.e., re-victimizing women by blaming them is not productive nor the solution to the problem). This is merely the first time that most people have witnessed it. Rep. Altman has consistently promoted his personal, outdated agenda rather than represent his constituency. However, the intimate partner violence bill is not about Rep. Altman. It is about the horrifying number of women battered and , killed by their intimate partners who are not held accountable by our legal and criminal justice system. It is about all the women who want to leave but are unable to for myriad of reasons and not because they don't want to. We need more support (financial, child care, employment assistance) for women in violent relationships so they can leave, tougher laws on the books to punish offenders, and state-funded programs to rehabilitate male perpetrators. The fact that the "cockfighting" bill has moved forward while the intimate partner violence bill wallows is a testament to the convoluted process of passing legislation in our state. What is really best for the citizens seems to be consistently overshadowed by politics and personal agendas.
JM, Ladson: Rep. Altman needs to be educated in domestic violence in order to make a statement of what has been said. I cannot believe that as far as we have come with a domestic violence, how far we still need to go.
SS, Leesville: It figures-- a bunch of good ole boys think more highly of chicken than women!!! So what else is new?
BD, Irmo: I am amazed that Rep. Altman would call any woman ignorant when it comes to domestic violence. Each case is different and each person has his or her own reasons for returning to their abusers. All cases are not so cut & dry, but cock fighting has a wrong or right.
ls, elloree: while both bills deserve to be passed, making any offense a felony rather than a misdemeanor, Mr. Graham-Aultman's response to Kara's questions was totally out of line. He must be living in the dark ages where the woman are supposed to stay barefoot, pregnant and keep their mouths shut. I hope he retires what's left of his brai, n cells before the next election - cause shame on the people of South Carolina if he's re-elected.
DF, Columbia: I could not believe that I heard this interview correctly so I listened to it again. I can not believe that we have someone in our legislature as backward, as biased, as arrogant as Rep Altman. Did he miss the fact that SC has the highest rate of domestic violence in the country? Does he think that domestic violence is a personal issue between a husband and wife? Does he not understand that children of an abusive marriage are learning this behavior and statistically will repeat it when they are adults? There are a multitude of reasons a woman feels that she must return to an abusive relationship and I am sure that Mr Altman could and has seen them but it appears that he is so sure that he has all the answers that he refuses to look at the facts of domestic violence. I must ask the question : Does he beat his wife? He certainly seems to think that it's ok to do so. I am shocked! I am pleased that the Dog fighting / Gamecock bill made it out of committee we needed that one but Please, Women are as important as chickens . I want to congratulate Kara Gromley for keeping her cool in the interview. I don't think that I would have been able to when insulted like Rep Altman insulted her. Thank you Rep Hunter for not giving up on this bill. I hope that she will be able to get it out of committee in January and that the legislature will have the guts to stand up for what is right and to protect those who can't protect themselves. We elected leaders -let's see them lead.
JY, columbia: Representative Altman needs to be removed from public office. I suggest, at least, that everyone call their representative and ask that Altman be censured for his comments. Unfortunately, while Mr. Altman may beat his wife with impunity, I will be charged with a felony and get at least 3 years in prison if I kick his ass. Of course, this is assuming I don&, #39;t marry him first -- then it would only be a misdemeanor. Don't old white men make wonderful leaders?
KJ, North: I am appalled at the way Mr. Altman spoke to the other Representatives and the reporters who were qustioning him. It's obvious to me that does not understand domestic violence since he kept asing why does a woman go back. He is the ignorant one on this matter.
RG, columbia: I'd like to know who exactly Rep. "Johnny" represents. I don't recall voting for him, but if he is my representative, then I know who I *won't* be voting for next election.
pJ, Orangeburg: I would request that Rep. Altman work with Rep Cobb-Hunter on passing a bill that would support stricter laws and penalities for domestic abuse whether this abuse comes from a male or female. Rep. Altman needs to understand and must understand that not all domestic cases involving a first offense and then going on to a second offense is the cause of a person staying in the relationship but of a person trying to or has gotten out of that relationship. As a survivor of domestic abuse, I would hope and expect that each occurence be studied and legal action taken by law enforcement and the judiciary system. Our legislators should not dismiss this bill but to work with other legislators to work for law that would protect all rights of all individuals involved.
BB, Tega Cay: This man is obviously a hear, tless individual. Nothing he has said makes any sense to me...he states that women shouldn't go back to those type situations...well what happens to the woman who does try to get out and the husband finds and assaults her anyway. Is he going to protect her? My opinion is that he'd blame her for that as well. I think Gormly handled herself very well and he was very rude to her. I'll never vote for him and I've passed this on to everyone I know.
ML, West Columbia: After working in the victim services field for 16 years, I am not surprised by Rep. Altman's comments and attitude, but I am appalled and outraged. He was very unprofessional and was actually "downright mean" to Miss Kormley. I feel that he should publicly apologize to her, and have called the house judiciary committee this morning to express my concerns.
KL, Lyman: My first reaction is pretty much unprintable, but good sense has taken hold, so I suggest we find a way to educate the clearly unknowledgeable Altman on the foolishness of his claim that abused wives can just leave their homes! A call to the Judiciary Committee office to find out whether there's any required reading on subjects on which legislators vote got me an "I don't know" answer. Is this a pattern in the State House? Anyway, somebody's got to figure a way to enlighten legislators obviously devoid of common sense. Ideas? NOBODY should be beaten, human nor animal. How difficult is that to understand? sigh . .
JD, Lexington: I thought Rep. Altman was very rude and unprofessional in his response. There may be good reasons for not passing the domestic violence legislation from the committee (like maybe it wasn't ready yet or wasn't well understood by the committee) but he didn't seem able to say anything useful. The WISTV reporter was not the one who didn't look very bright.
JW, cayce: If Mr Altman had problems with certain aspects that the domestic violence bill addressed then he should have addressed those individual items, but the manner in which he answered the que, stions presented to him came off as pompass arrogence. Mr Altman also stated that there should never be a second instance as though all women go back asking for more from their abuser, when in fact many times the abuser comes looking for the victim, a fact that in his responses never happens. In my opinion, Mr Altman owes Kara, Rep Cobb-Hunter and the other "stupid" people of South Carolina an apology. To be a leader in this state and to then go on TV and spout out the rhetoric he did last nite is simply not acceptable.
KW, Columbia: Thank you for airing this segment. It helps me to see the ignorance of some of these politicians and how they view women. I have always been a republican and I do believe there are other representatives that feel different about this issue. Thanks to Cara for informing us of these issues.
AM, Newberry: I just wanted to respond to Mr. (and I use that term loosely) Altman's statements from Tuesday, April 19th, 2005. Mr. Altman is right there shouldn't be a second offense of domestic violence because there should be laws in place to protect women and give them some place to go when they want to leave. I am a former victim of domestic violence. I'm not from South Carolina but my now ex husband and I were living in Greenville when I made the steps to leave him. It was because of the ignorance of South Carolina law makers that made it necessary for me to pack up my car with what I could fit and leave while my husband was at work because he would have killed me if he had known I was planning on leaving. I didn't go back to my ex husband, he stalked me after I left. Seven years ago when I left, I left the state and went out west for a period of time and then to the DC area for several years and then to the Midwest. I lived in constant fear, I had to have my phone number changed 4 times because he would continually be able to find out what it was and then harass me by using it (even when it was unlisted). He had a female acquaintance call the credit card company where I had a credit card an, d was able to finagle my address out of them. He called my parents and harassed them until they moved. I will spend the rest of my life in complete and utter fear that he will find me. I lived in a building in DC that had security and a secured entrance and they were on alert with his picture as was my employer. I had to hire a private detective to take the divorce papers to him because my ex refused to sign them. The private detective had to intimidate my ex into signing them. In the Midwest, I had a roommate and ven though we split the bills everything was pu, t in her name so I wouldn't be trackable. I never left a forwarding address when I moved. It's a weird twist of fate that I am back in South Carolina but not with my ex. Mr. Altman is right when he says he doesn't understand domestic violence. He needs to be voted out of office next term so he can go stick his head back in the sand in whatever backwoods he was able to find his way out of. The more appropriate use for his comments last night as they applied to you, Ms Gormley, would be for them to be turned around on him because he was obviously describing himself.
AD, Camden: I don't think anyone has ever insulted women on so many levels, so many times, in one interview as Altman has. What a piece of work he is. I didn't realize people like him still existed. Guess I forgot to look in the statehouse. Hope the national news picks up his comments and gets him some "attention".
SW, Columbia: First, I would like to say thank you to Kara Gormley for doing such a good job with this interview. I am sorry that Mr. Altman felt the need to insult her, but do he not have any women in his family. Domestic violence offenders should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, . I am sorry that he does not have any more respect for women than he does.
SJ, Lexington: Clearly Rep. Altman is the one who is ignorant and not Ms. Gormley. I recently had occassion to witness CDV court proceedings in Richland County, and was amazed at the 30 day sentences for repeat offenders. What Rep Altman is missing, is that it is not always a case of a victim returning to an abuser, but the abuser moving on to new and unsuspecting victims. Abusive individuals, male and female, have been known to stalk victims who are trying to get away , from the abuse. Of course, this may be difficult for Rep. Altman to understand since he apparently is thinking exactly like what he is - a male chauvanist.
JE, Leesville: Kudos to Kara for her professionalism. I am sure the majority of viewers easily figured out who was the smart one in the interview. As a lifetime resident of this wonderful state, I am sometimes ashamed of the "backwoods, good old boy, red-neck" mentality of the people who always seem to catch the spotlight in TV interviews. Rep. Altman, however, has topped them all. I urge all self-respecting women who helped elect the "idiots" on this Judiciary Committee to block vote them out in the next election. They do not have a clue as to the abuse and suffering of many women and children in this state. When you view yourself and chickens as being "above" the ordinary people, you need to be replaced.
PY, columbia: This is a travesty. I wonder how many of those "good old boys" abuse their wives? John Graham Altman is a disgrace to this state. How anyone in his district can even think about voting for him, is mind-boggling. I saw this idiot on your newscast last night and was appalled and furious with the way he responded to your reporter's questions in such a demeaning manner. He should be sensored by the legislature! We do not live in the 18th or 19th century anymore and such remarks as his has no place in our current society. If the legislature lets this disgraceful idiot have his way, then I say all women should march on the, State House and DEMAND that the domestic violence bill be passed and abolish the cockfighting bill. How dare he put more value on the life of a "so-called man's sport" over the life of battered, abused, and murdered victims of domestice violence. Shame on him.
RR, Sumter: I could not believe my ears when I heard Rep. Altman speak the other night on your telecast. What contempt he an his colleagues must have for women in general. They past this bill which basicly states that a chicken is of more value than a woman. His disrespect for Kara Gormley reflected those feelings. He and his fellow reps are PIGS. I cannot believe that this sort of thinking is still going on in the WORLD.
KD, Blackstock NC: It is ok sometime some people don't know what to say .
MB, Lexington: I believe the unwillingness of Rep. Altman to explain his view indicates his own lack of understanding on the issue. What individual that supposedly has such an understanding of the issues does not take the time to explain it to others who question? Apparently Rep. Altman has a lot to learn himself. It was completely disrespectful to address Kara in the manner that he did and it is a shame he reperesents SC. Both gamecock fighting and domestic violence are very important issues and I would hope that anyone passionate about either issue would take the time to explain to others rather that insult them.
PL, Columbia: Congratulations to Ms. Gormley for the professional manner in which she handled herself during this interview! Mr. Altman's responses to her questions certainly showed which party was "not too bright." It is a shame South Carolina has a representative who believes he is so intelligent that anyone who dares to clarify his statements is beneath him. He has proven himself to be the ignorant one. Let's hope the voters make sure he does not serve another term.
MM, Columbia: I applaud Kara's control during the interview. My hope is that this interview will educate the public to the types of important legislation that are currently being considered and the need for the public to be envolved. Mr. Altman has proven once again that his lack of intelligence continues to have a negative effect on South Carolina and the victims that laws are suppose to protect. I hope that the public will decide that SC should NOT be known for its high rate of violence against women. Instead, I hope that the public will become involved in making SC known for its forward thinking in , the protection of ALL crime victims!
JT, columbia: Mr. Altman is a disgrace to the legislation, South Carolina, Men, and the human race in general. I congradulate Kara for maintaining her cool! Unfortunately this jerk is only soley responsible for the way he conducted himself in the interview, there were many others in the house responsible for tabling the domestic violence bill. Shame on them all!.
BT, Sumter: I was completely shocked at last nights interview with Rep. Altman. Rep. Cobb-Hunter seems to have a good understandin, g of what the battered women of South Carolina need. Rep. Altman doesn't have a clue. It is sad we have an elected official with his views.
JN, Lexington: I am appauled by the Senators comments about women and domestic violence. It is hard to believe that people like Sen. Gormley are glorified in congress. Gives SC the worst reputation in the union. No wonder other states look down on us and to think he got elected by the people in his area.
CA, Kuwait: This legislation (domestic violence) is way to important to "table". Perhaps the next piece of legislation should come up with a plan to get important legislation back on the floor for debate and eventual law (when it can't wait until next year). I'm stunned that the politician (silver tongued when necessary) wasn't able to get his point across without insulting Ms. Gormley and making himself look like a good ole boy from the pre-civil rights (1964) era. I hope the fiscal and social conservatives from his district will find another person to look out for their interests. Then Rep. Altman-R (for Retired) should find a Domestic Violence shelter or Safe Home to volunteer in so he might better understand the issues of constituents that suffer in every SC county. Kudos to Ms. Gormley for demonstrating great restraint in the face of an individual whose necktie was apparently keeping the oxygen from the brain.
CS, Cayce: Kara Gormley is a class act. She handled this interview with professionalism and grace. This guy is the ignorant one if he thinks the residents of this State would tolerate his insults.
PH, Sumter: I think Mr. Altman owes an apology to your reporter and every woman and child. My question is "What self respecting person, would put the life of a rooster, before the life of a woman or child?" And then call someone ignorant for questioning him on that decision. I am truly embarrassed, that I am from a state that ELECTED law makers who find it important to protect a rooster and protect perpetrators before a woman or child who has been abused. I pray for all those making this decision and pray that someday, Those of us who have been abused, will be heard and the laws will start protecting victims, not the perpetrator.
AF, North: Not planning to place my wife in the arena with someone else's wife, I fail to see a connection between cockfighting and CDV. Your interviewer did not ask the essential question that was finally answered in the statement from David Wilkins office - what was wrong with the CDV bill? While couched in less than gentlemanly terms, the assessment given of the techniques being used were essentially correct. It belittles the CDV issue to compare it to cockfightimg.
DA, Columba: I hope ALL the Republicans in this state are proud of the person they ELECTED. He is a representative of SC and now has shown the entire nation that there are idiots in the government of South Carolina. The Governor of this state should immediately be asking the House and Senate to resume session and attend to this very important matter of domestic violence instead of leaving this matter as it currently is. If our governor is smart enough he will realize what an impact these negative remarks from an elected official has on the people of this state and how it represents this state. John Graham Altman needs to make a formal apology on TV to Kara Gormley and to all the people who live in this state. Kara is a true professional in every sense. The superior manner in which she conducted herself while she was verbally belittled by this man represents what a fine and intelligent woman she is, unlike him. I give great credit to WIS TV for having such a wonderful woman in Kara Gormley reporting news to te people of SC. John Graham Altman is not the smart one at all, in fact, he is just plain stupid.
AR, Columbia: I have not been a victim of domestic violence personally. I was however attacked at work by a man unknown to me; who attempted to kidnap and kill me. I cannot imagine what it would be like to be a victim of someone who I knew and trusted. The man who attacked me has never been caught but would face up to life in prison for attempted murder and kidnapping. I don't think that 5 years is too much to ask for someone committing criminal domestic violence to be put away. I am haunted by the woman with the swollen eyes from last nights report and my heart goes out to her and her family. I know that kind of pain and suffering. I urge everyone to please contact the numbers posted at this site and let your voice be heard. The 734-3120 number is the only one I could get to answer. They will ask your name and number for a petition that is being formed. It is a sad day for all in the Great State of South Carolina to be represented by Rep. Altman. Thank you Kara for bringing this to the attention of S. You are a true professional and I think it was clear on last night's report from you who was the ignorant one. I am disgusted that this "man" is allowed to speak on behalf of South Carolina and have sent an email to The House Judiciary Committee as well calling for action. Thank you Kara and Job Well Done,
JP, Lexington: I understand the initial purpose of the segment was to discuss how one bill would be supported and another would be tabled. I think the main focus of the segment highlighted the true convictions of a man-John, Graham Altman "the Distinguished Gentlemen" from Charleston County. He definitely helped me distinguish who the "bright one" was in the interview. Being a politician is about hearing and representing the views of your constituents. It is safe to say that there are some women in Charleston that are "allowed" to vote and some that may actually believe his statements show that he is not representative of their own beliefs. It is obvious that he is not accustomed to being challenged by the media. One can only hope his constituents in Charleston are able to view this broadcast and make a truly informed decision about him in the future. The League of Women Voters may want to rethink there endorsement of him next go around.
EM, Hopkins: I was shocked at Rep. Altman calling Ms. Gormley dumb if she could not understand the different. Rep. Altman is an elected official and if he can not explain why gamecock fighting can become a federal offense why domestic voiolence is not then he must be dumb as well. I am sure the people who elected him was not pleased with him comments to Ms. Gormley. She was very polite doing the entire interview. Rep. Altman should make an apology to Ms. Gormley for his comments on yesterday. Better yet his colleagues should prepare his speech for future public interviews.
BH, Blythewood: If anyone still wonders what sustains the image of our "good old boy" legislature, watch Kara Gormley's interview with one of the men who make our laws. This is an example of the most offensive behavior I have ever seen from a public official. The sad part is that he thinks it is the other people who are not too smart!
JP, Irmo: I'm very disappointed in Representative Altman's response to Kara Gormley questions. Representative Altman is working for the citizens of SC. If he had knowledge of domestic abuse before making a decision on this bill he would have understood more the problems abusive women have. I think the one statement Representative Altman made shows crystal clear just how IGNORANT he is on the subject. Rep. Altman spoke about domestic violence, "There ought not to be a second offense. The woman ought to not be around the man. I mean you women want it one way and not another. Women want to punish the men, and I do not understand why women continue to go back around men who abuse them. And I've asked women that and they all tell me the same answer, John Graham you don't understand. And I say you're right, I don't understand." Some are unable to leave an abusive relationship because of finances or worse they've been convinced by their abuser they deserve to be abused. Whatever the reason for not leaving a relationship is not important what is important is no one has the right to abuse anyone. This should never be allowed! Representative Altman is obviouly IGNORANT on the subject of abused women. USC has a great Psychology department that covers abusive relationships and I beleive after a certain age you can attend free of charge. I recommend Representative Altman get into another line of work.
JH, Camden: Kara, my dear, I hope you know that you are intelligent, beautiful and very well prepared for interviews. Oh, my! - which I have learned is a 'proper' remark about people who would make such insensitive,insulting remarks. Keep on keeping on - you are a lady and a scholar,
HB, Springfield: Geeeez! How did this man get elected? Who's the one that's not very bright here? I hope his constituents were watching.
MB, Forest Acres: Once again, Altman is proving that he is a total idiot. I'm sure this will make national news and again make SC the laughing stock of the nation. Who are the people that elect this man? He should be recalled for his ignorance.
BB, Columbia: It just proves the mentality of our legisators. We need to clean house immediately.
DT, West Columbia: This is a case of comparing apples to oranges. What we learned here is simply that in this particular instance it was politically easier to get the bill on cockfighting out of committee than it was to pass on the domestic violence bill. But it is a leap beyond logic to conclude that since one proposal was passed and the other tabled that one is inherently more important than the other. We simply don’t have enough facts to make that determination based on the reporting published to date. It has been said that watching legislation being written is a bit like watching sausage being made. On its face, this story bears out that observation because it certainly makes lawmaking look distasteful. But I think there’s more going on here than we in the general public will ever know.
BM, Columbia: Bravo to the editor of this piece for emphasizing the one person in this story who is "not very bright". I hope his constituancy dismisses him as quickly as he dismisses women.
TM, Batesburg-Leesville I was outraged at the interview I don’t know how Kara sat there so cool and calm I wanted to slap this man upside the head. I cannot believe anyone being this ignorant. I know what its like being in an abusive situation you have no where to go. You have no money no job and you’re pregnant. I have been there. So I fought back I was tried of being pushed hit etc I pulled a knife out on him which I did not use cause God stopped me and the next day I left. But I was lucky I have wonderful good parents and this is where I went home to my parents and I have lived there ever since. He has come to my parent’s house and watched me so I called the Sheriffs dept several times they have not caught him but he has not come back. But there are so many women you have no family and if they do they want go the extra mile to help them. A lot of parents do not want their grown child to live with them + they have a child (children). You have to do the best you can. Women don’t have the money that Rep Graham does women can’t afford a place to live on a Part-Time Job. What is with this man has he lost his mind well then again he doesn’t have a mind. I cannot believe that cockfighting is more important than protecting the women of SC. In the future I hope the voters of SC will be more careful who we put in office. There are so many women who need help who cannot help themselves for me I am really blessed that I have wonderful good Christian parents who have gon, e beyond the limits to help me and my child. I just wish there was more people out there like my parents. But then there are so many women who lie about being abused just so they can throw the guy in jail. There are men arrested who have never abused a woman but they have a record and then the men who really do the hitting they are not punished the laws in SC need to be changed today not tomorrow but ToDaY.
Sunday, August 31 2014 4:12 PM EDT2014-08-31 20:12:10 GMT
CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – Dozens of videos are all over Twitter from parties held at Coastal Carolina University. Many of the posts lead back to a group called I'm Shmacked. It makes videos at universitiesMore >>
Dozens of videos are all over social media from parties held at Coastal Carolina University.More >>
Friday, August 29 2014 12:21 PM EDT2014-08-29 16:21:29 GMT
An Alexander County woman is facing charges after deputies say she molested a four-year-old at a church while services were happening. According to the Alexander County Sheriff's Office, 52-year-old CarolMore >>
According to the Alexander County Sheriff's Office, 52-year-old Carol Diane Britto, of Taylorsville, was charged with one count of first degree statutory sex offense and one count of indecent liberties with a child.More >>
Tuesday, September 2 2014 12:18 AM EDT2014-09-02 04:18:07 GMT
While many people took the day to relax at home on Labor Day, Mother Nature was hard at work as usual. On Monday, a severe thunderstorm swept through the Midlands causing some damage and power outages.More >>
While many people took the day to relax at home on Labor Day, Mother Nature was hard at work as usual. On Monday, a severe thunderstorm swept through the Midlands causing some damage and power outages.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 11:46 PM EDT2014-09-02 03:46:22 GMT
Under a bright Carolina sun, citizens across the state enjoy going out and making a few waves on the lakes. Some like Johnathan Crossland enjoy fishing as a method of recreation and relaxation for a while.More >>
Boaters and law enforcement officials provide safety advice when making waves on the lakes.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 10:35 PM EDT2014-09-02 02:35:14 GMT
You've likely noticed a spike in gas prices across the Midlands. They have jumped almost 15 cents after a steady drop nationwide.Prices are about $3.11 in the area on Labor Day, which, when compared toMore >>
You've likely noticed a spike in gas prices across the Midlands. They have jumped almost 15 cents after a steady drop nationwide.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 8:32 PM EDT2014-09-02 00:32:26 GMT
With a severe thunderstorm moving its way through the Midlands, customers across Richland and Lexington counties currently find themselves without power. South Carolina Electric & Gas is reporting overMore >>
Over 4,000 outages have been reported across the Midlands according to SCE&G.More >>