NEWBERRY — Democrat Gubernatorial candidate Phil Noble stopped by Newberry this week to discuss issues and why he is running for governor of South Carolina.
“I’ve spent 30 years of my life working in this state, with all sorts of innovation projects around improving education, health care, race relations projects, trying to make this a better state. I’ve become convinced we are a truly amazing state with great potential, but we have a broken and corrupt government in Columbia that is holding us back,” Noble said. “We’ll never be the kind of state we ought to be, and want to be, until we deal with that broken and corrupt system.”
For Noble, the biggest issue is corruption, and one of his goals is to reform the State House.
“If we can’t do that, we can’t do anything else. We see it both in the State House corruption scandal, where people are getting indicted. The ultimate example is the utility scandal where the utilities are just trying to rob the people of this state. The legislature is a bought and paid for subsidiary of the utility, they’ve enabled it to happen. Utilities have bought it with millions of dollars of campaign contributions, consulting fees and other forms of legalized bribery,” Noble said. “We got to deal with that first, that means tough anti corruption legislation.”
Some of Noble’s ideas include banning PAC contribution and special interest money, not allowing members of the legislature to do business with the state government as long as they are in state government and ban any from being a lobbyist, ever.
“I’m the only candidate that has made those kinds of proposals. I’m the only candidate that says we need permanent special prosecutors to investigate the legislature and the corruption scandal,” he said.
Noble would also like to fix the education in South Carolina, he said if you don’t fix education in this state nothing else matters. He believes we need to totally reinvent public education, from pre-k to post grad.
“We do have some good schools in this state, but by in large the system is terrible, we’ve got the worst schools in the country,” Noble said. “We need a whole new system, and we start by doubling teacher pay, we do that within five years. If we don’t have excellent teachers, we will never have excellent education and students.”
Noble believes every student in South Carolina should get a basic level of service, including each child getting a laptop or iPad and basic health and nutrition services. Noble’s idea is to flip the process of how teachers teach, by letting teachers and principals on the local level decide what they teach and how.
“In exchange for that, we set up a system of accountability, working with teachers and principals. Where should your kids be in three years, how do we measure that, and we make an agreement on what’s reasonable. If they don’t make it in three years, we’ll send in an education SWAT team to help. But, get to five years, and still haven’t done it, hit standards all agreed on, they’re gone, teacher, principal, superintendent, no excuses, they’re gone,” Noble said.
When it comes to his opponents in the DNC Gubernatorial race, he said the difference is clear and simple.
“My two opponents have spent their careers working with the system to benefit themselves, their cronies and those who pay them,” Noble said. “Have a system of plantation politics, where political insiders, lobbyist, they get together in the big house and cut deals, take care of their friends, cronies and people who pay them. Say to the rest of us, this is the way it’s going to be.”
Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.