Scott West - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Scott West

Green Party candidate for S.C. Senate District 20.

Email: slwest@gmail.com

Website: http://scgreenparty.org, http://scottwest.org

Occupation: Graduate Student

Education: Wando High School, 1989; College of Charleston, B.A. History 1994; currently enrolled in Masters of Library Science at USC-Columbia

Experience in Political or Related Positions:

Business Agent, Communication Workers of America 1188, Graduate Student Employees Union 1996-1998

Steering Committee, South Carolina Green Party, 2009 – present

State Co-Chair, South Carolina Green Party, 2011 – present

Office Manager, Tom Clements for Senate, 2010

Why should voters choose you in this election?

I want to represent the aspirations of the people in Senate District 20. Other candidates represent one or the other strand of machine party politics. South Carolinians can create a new kind of politics by organizing around policies they support, and electing officials who will defend those positions in the South Carolina Legislature.

Taxation and Spending

Since the publication of the TRAC report, it is commonly known that South Carolina returns as much revenue in tax breaks as it actually collects in revenue.  In order to balance the state budget and to ensure that state expenditures benefit working people, the state should reform taxation so as to eliminate loopholes on costly services and consumer items, while preserving the exceptions for common and inexpensive items.  South Carolina must completely revise its chaotic habit of tax give-aways to large corporations, emphasizing instead regularity and fairness to competing business and the taxpayers of the state.

Scott West is in agreement with the South Carolina Progressive Network and others who argue for a Moral Budget.  The budget debate in the state must turn to supporting enhanced and improved public services with stabilized revenue streams. 

Informational Links (no endorsement is implied): 

  • http://www.scpronet.com/policy-work/rally-for-a-moral-budget-2
  • http://www.scstatehouse.gov/citizensinterestpage/TRAC/TRAC.html

Higher Education

We need to challenge the formula that has shifted the burden of higher education costs from the state to the students. Tuition has increased above the rate of inflation every year for at least ten years, as state support for the University of South Carolina has dropped below 20% of school costs. As State Senator for District 20, Scott would work with students at USC to create a new and sustainable formula to shift the cost of education back to the state. 

Informational Links (no endorsement is implied): 

  • http://www.sc.edu/caseforcarolina/enrollment.php

Voting Rights

The right to vote is already overly restricted through cumbersome registration processes and single-day voting.  District 20 needs a State Senator who will argue for an expansion of early voting in polling places from Saturday through Tuesday.  South Carolina universities should be encouraged through law to register their students to vote at the time of enrollment.  South Carolina should join other states in establishing same-day registration on voting days.  

The attempts of the SC GOP to restrict voting rights are clearly racially motivated and maliciously intended to reduce voter participation.  South Carolina needs a centralized State Election Commission with a mission to ensure maximum public participation in elections. 

Informational Links (no endorsement is implied): 

  • http://www.scpronet.com/policy-work/voting-reform
  • http://www.aclu.org/blog/tag/voter-id
  • http://www.brennancenter.org/content/resource/policy_brief_on_voter_identification/

Labor Rights

The majority of District 20 voters would support an end to the state's right to work laws and the extension of collective bargaining benefits to state workers.  Scott West is a past union organizer with the Communication Workers of America and is strongly supportive of the benefits of organizing to working and middle class South Carolinians. 

  • http://sc.aflcio.org/5041/

Gender and Marriage Equality

Just as a state may not regulate love and domestic arrangements, the law must acknowledge the advance of LGBT persons with an assurance of complete equality before the law.  This means the legalization of same-sex marriage in South Carolina, and the extension of domestic partner benefits to all state employees in marriage, whatever their gender. 

Informational Links (no endorsement is implied): 

  • http://www.scequality.org/
  • http://www.familyequality.org/

Health Care and Reproductive Rights

Scott is a supporter of a national single-payer health care program, because only single payer insurance can adequately control costs, while ensuring that everyone receive quality health care.  He does not support the SC Governor's attempts to resist the President's health care reform within South Carolina.  Obamacare will not control costs, nor will it ensure full coverage. It is, however, an important step toward single-payer, and as such should be supported. 

Reproductive services,  including birth control and abortion, must be fully covered as an integral part of any basic health insurance package. .  Scott supports the allocation of reproductive decisions to the individual, and availability to all, either through Medicare or through private insurance.  Scott deplores the attempts by social conservatives to deny anyone necessary abortion or reproductive services. 

Informational Links (no endorsement is implied): 

  • http://www.pnhp.org/

Energy and Nuclear Waste

South Carolina utilities are embarking on a long-term and costly commitment to nuclear energy, without regard to waste, water misuse, or the dangers of catastrophic failures like that of Fukushima, Japan.   Wind and solar energy offer a decentralized and user-centered model for producing low-cost sustainable energy. 

While solar and wind power cannot immediately replace large plants, the state must move to encourage individuals and businesses to install energy production units through tax credits and requirements that utilities buy back excess power. 

South Carolina must resist the attempts of state politicians and the Department of Energy to move nuclear waste into the Savannah River Site under the pretense of future nuclear reprocessing.  There is no market for reprocessed nuclear fuel, and the failure of the Yucca Mountain storage facility means that South Carolina is in danger of becoming the nation's nuclear dumping ground.  As Senator from the 20th District, Scott would stand against state leaders of the Democrats and the Republicans who support expansion of the Savannah River Site. 

Informational Links (no endorsement is implied): 

  • http://www.ananuclear.org/
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