Republican Primary for state senate District 44

Candidates address taxpayer money and key issues
Republican Party voters heading to the primary on June 11 have a choice between two candidates for South Carolina State Senate District 44: Brian Adams and Shawn Pinkston. Here is their take on the state’s handling of taxpayer money and key issues affecting the district.
In light of the unidentified $1.8 billion discovered in the state treasury’s account this year, and the $3.5 billion error overseen by the state comptroller general last year, what can the state legislature do to assure citizens that taxpayer money is handled honestly and responsibly?
Brian Adams: In reference to the $1.8 billion, the finance committee is still investigating and looking into the whereabouts and possible location of that $1.8 billion. I know they will get the legislation and the needed information in order for us to make a sound decision. In reference to the $3.5 billion oversite and error which happened in the comptroller department, the Senate was preparing to act and file a no-confidence against the comptroller after we obtained the factual information and learned how the comptroller was mishandling the accounts for South Carolina. Comptroller Eckstrom resigned from the seat and has since been replaced due to how he was running the office and the accounts which were under his watch. Looking at these two positions, I believe that we should make both of these positions appointed. This way, these positions can be held accountable with quicker responses if incidents like this should happen again. With these positions being appointed by the governor and approved by the Senate, I believe it will serve the state in a better way.
Shawn Pinkston: The first step is to find out whether the $1.8 billion actually exists. No one seems to know how the money got there or what it is for. According to reports, no state agency or organization has made a claim on this money. A task force has been created to investigate the origin of this mystery money and to determine if any agency has a rightful claim to it. We can all agree this is a mess. Part of the problem lies in how our state books are kept. The budget process is complex, and different agencies have a role in making sure our money is wisely spent and accounts reconciled. The comptroller, treasurer, and auditor all play a part in this process, with the General Assembly having an important oversight role. However, the General Assembly is limited since the comptroller and treasurer are constitutionally elected officers. How do we solve this mess? The state auditor ought to be given more authority, so independent auditors can reconcile our books. The people of South Carolina should be given the option to vote on whether we should keep the comptroller and treasurer as constitutionally elected officers. A periodic forensic audit of our books by independent auditors would likewise assist in our efforts to determine accounting discrepancies. In the meantime, the General Assembly should continue asking tough questions to hold these constitutionally elected officials accountable.
What do you think is an issue impacting citizens of District 44, and how do you propose to make improvements?
Brian Adams: The two things I hear about the most regarding key issues that affect those within District 44 are infrastructure and inflation. In reference to infrastructure, I have supported and voted for placing more money into the district for roads and bridges, as well as increasing what comes back to the county for roads and infrastructure through legislation. The growth within our state and especially within District 44 has impacted everyone who visits, or lives within the area. I have also worked with SCDOT regarding the start of construction for the off-ramps leading from the ports on Long Point Road, removing the port traffic and putting it directly onto the interstate. I also support the construction of the intersection of I-26 and I-526 to begin as well. These are two points of concern of Interstate 526 and will assist with traffic congestion once completed. In reference to inflation, the federal government created an increase negatively impacting us all; however, I have voted for and supported tax cuts over $2 billion, which help
South Carolinians, and I supported and voted for the removal of income taxes from retired military.
Shawn Pinkston: Traffic woes continue to impact our quality of life on a daily basis. I recently drove to Cane Bay on a Wednesday afternoon to watch my son compete in track and field. It took an hour and 42 minutes to travel roughly 30 miles. SCDOT has identified the 526/26 interchange to Virginia Avenue as the most congested interstate in South Carolina. No kidding! I-526 will be widened, the Don Holt and Wando bridges will be replaced, the port will expand, and the flyovers on Long Point will be built. These massive projects will impact nearly every community in District 44 for years. We have to get this right!
What type of character traits do you admire in other state legislators? Why?
Brian Adams: What I admire about other legislators and how I like to legislate is with respect. I understand everyone has important issues, and those issues that affect their district and/or those within them. I learned quickly that it is important to understand other positions and be able to work with others. I admire the way the South Carolina senate is able to build relationships and work through the issues which might arise during session. This does not mean we vote the same or for that said issue, but discussions can occur, and we learn to understand each other’s positions. An example of this is the bond reform bill that I worked on with both sides of the aisle as well as the House of Representatives. Once we had many discussions regarding this issue, we were able to get unanimous support within the Senate, and we stopped the revolving door for these career criminals.
Shawn Pinkston: Integrity. The word encompasses honesty, honor, perseverance, and accountability. It means keeping your word and being honest, even when the truth is painful. It means standing up for what you believe is right in the face of adversity. It means meeting with your constituents, keeping them informed, and giving them a chance to ask tough questions on issues they care about. It means treating everyone with respect. I am a Christian, a husband, and a father to four children. I am a veteran of the United States Army, a former prosecutor, and a small business owner. I want to leave behind a legacy of service to my community and set an example for my family. We have a short time to make a difference, and I have tried to do so throughout my life. Integrity has been, and will remain, at the forefront of my actions.

Daniel Island Publishing

225 Seven Farms Drive
Unit 108
Daniel Island, SC 29492 

Office Number: 843-856-1999
Fax Number: 843-856-8555


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