February 2009 Archives
Yesterday I had the pleasure of going to the SC statehouse to represent MUSC as a member of the Presidential Scholars group. The idea was to meet with as many senators and representatives as possible to remind them of their financial duties to the university. We were escorted throughout the day by three lobbyists all paid full time by the university (I have no idea how that works if tax money is used to sway the opinions of elected officials, not to mention the conflicts of interest involved in a state university paying the daughter of a state congressman to influence her father's friends...). It was a pretty full day, with a complete schedule and lots of introductions (both to the whole senate and house, as well as individually).
The most attractive and interesting part of the statehouse is the second floor lobby, in between the house and senate (shown in the picture above). I was surprised at the number of people (mostly lobbyists) waiting all day long just to get a few minutes to talk to state congressmen (on a federal level, however, entirely understandable). I asked one of our lobbyists where the smoke filled back room was where stuff really gets done, and she claimed they closed that room down a long time ago when they made smoking illegal in the building. Oh well.
We did meet briefly with Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer - I didn't get a chance to ask him if he could get me out of a recent parking ticket. Unfortunately, Mark, the big man himself, was too busy to meet with us.