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Thursday
Oct302014

Can Industry Survive Ever-Shrinking Newsrooms?

We know the "news industry", as some still like to call it, is undergoing digital disruption. We also know that journalists are facing up to enormous changes. But how are they coping with ever-shrinking newsrooms?

A group of American academics has been trying to find out and have published a research paper with a lengthy title, "Newswork within a culture of job insecurity: producing news amidst organisational and industry uncertainty."

The study was carried out in the States at Iowa university with Brian Ekdale as the lead author. The co-authors are Melissa Tully, Shawn Harmsen and Jane Singer, who is now at City University London as professor of journalism innovation.

You will have to cope with the clumsy description of journalists as "newsworkers", but shelve your distaste at that. The interesting material concerns the attitudes the researchers discovered among people who survive redundancy. The report, drawing on previous research, begins by stating:

"Workers who remain employed with the downsizing company, the so-called 'survivors', wrestle with grief, guilt, anger and doubt.

Surviving a layoff can be so worrisome that survivors can experience more stress and less autonomy than workers who have lost their jobs and have found new employment."

Unsurprisingly, the "significant undercurrent" among those who are retained is job insecurity. Will they be next to face the axe? Evidently, that fear "has become part of the regular conversation in the newsroom."

But people do face up to the problem differently and the study identifies four types of newsworker:

Hopeful (constructive/active) They perceive greater job security and assist in achieving future goals. Obliging (constructive/passive) They are secure in their job but more likely to accommodate rather than instigate change.

Fearful (destructive/passive) They're insecure in their jobs and feel helpless in the face of industry change. Cynical (destructive/active) These people are insecure in their job and actively challenge change.

The authors give detailed assessments of each category, using responses from their interviewees. The most interesting sections of the report deal with the fearful and cynical news workers.

It emerges that both sets not only dislike change but, rather than grasping the opportunities it offers, see it in negative terms. That negativity expresses itself in an anti-management ethos. And this, of course, tends to place them at greater risk of future redundancy.

In other words, rather than doing all they can to adopt new innovations and practices, which would enhance their chances of staying on because of their value to employers, they place themselves at risk of being let go.

The fearful are covertly critical of management while the cynics tend to be open in their hostility. They show their contempt for their employers and are particularly upset about the hiring of new, younger people with skills they show no enthusiasm to obtain themselves.

Full Story Here

Thursday
Oct302014

Special Election Considered for Harrell Seat

The abrupt resignation of former South Carolina House Speaker Bobby Harrell has left Republicans pushing for a special election. For their part, Democrats hope next week’s ballot goes forward, virtually assuring them of a Charleston-area House seat they have not held in almost 40 years.

The South Carolina Election Commission meets today to consider whether to order a special election for the seat vacated when Harrell submitted his resignation last week after pleading guilty to using campaign money for his own benefit.

The commission late Tuesday received his affidavit asking that his name be removed from the District 114 ballot, saying he resigned on what he called the “legitimate nonpolitical grounds” of “family crises and substantial business conflict.”

As part of a plea deal with prosecutors Harrell agreed not to seek office for at least three years.

Harrell’s name is still on the ballot and if the Tuesday election in the district goes ahead, votes for Harrell would not count and the likely winner would be Democrat Mary Tinkler. Green Party candidate Sue Edwards also is on the ballot.

The last time a Democrat was elected to the seat was in 1974.

But under state law, if a candidate resigns his candidacy for nonpolitical reasons, the seat must be filled in a special election and that would give the GOP the chance to nominate another candidate to replace Harrell.

Among nonpolitical reasons for withdrawing listed in state law are “family crises, which include circumstances which would substantially alter the duties and responsibilities of the candidate to the family or to a family business.”

The law also lists “substantial business conflict,” which includes an employment change impairing a candidate’s ability to serve.

In the affidavit Harrell wrote that the plea agreement “has been incredibly hard on my family” and the agreement “has resulted in my ineligibility and has impaired my ability to properly carry out the functions of the office being sought.”

But in a memorandum filed with the Election Commission on Wednesday, Tinkler’s attorney, William Wilkins, calls it “absurd” to think that Harrell’s withdrawal from the race was not political.

Wilkins wrote that the plea deal had to do with the misuse of campaign funds and that the timing of the deal seemed to be politically motivated because he said Harrell was trailing in the race. Wilkins also wrote that the fact that Harrell used campaign funds to pay his attorneys reflects the political nature of the plea deal.

State Democratic Party Jaime Harrison said Wednesday it’s “unconscionable” that the Republicans would attempt to disenfranchise voters who have cast absentee ballots in the Tuesday’s election by seeking a special election.

“Any such effort would be a misguided attempt to replace a disgraced party leader in defiance of South Carolina law,” Harrison said in a statement.

But Charleston County GOP chairman John Steinberger said no one is disenfranchised because voters will still be able to vote later in the special election.

Thursday
Oct302014

Offshore Wind Energy Plan Moves Ahead Off S.C. Coast

The next step in North Myrtle Beach’s years-long drive to become the offshore wind energy capital of South Carolina will begin next month, when Coastal Carolina University, the University of South Carolina and others begin the work to label areas in the Atlantic Ocean off South Carolina as good and not-so-good for the development of wind energy farms.

Paul Gayes, director of the Burroughs & Chapin Center for Marine and Wetland Studies at Coastal Carolina University, said Wednesday the study will use $750,000 from the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management with a match from the state to narrow down a broad swath of ocean to areas that can then be studied further by private companies that might build the farms.

The step after that will come early next year when Sen. Greg Hembree, R-North Myrtle Beach, reintroduces a bill that would allow utility companies that wanted to build a demonstration wind tower offshore to apply to the state’s Public Service Commission to raise rates to fund the project.

The bill was stopped in the last session when one senator objected to it, and Hembree said he has worked to change that vote in the upcoming session.

Wednesday
Oct292014

Giant Pitcher Seals World Series Win in Kansas City

Go ahead, try to copy the San Francisco Giants' blueprint to win World Series championships.

The Giants did it again Wednesday night, capturing their third World Series in the past five years with a 3-2 victory against the Kansas City Royals in a thrilling Game 7 at Kauffman Stadium.

The Giants' cardpath to victory has been a little different each year, but this title was the most unconventional. How do you win a World Series with a one-man starting rotation who moonlights in middle relief in the biggest game of the season?

The Royals brought all of their World Series heroes from 1985 for support, but they were in awe as was everyone else, watching Madison Bumgarner win the title almostsinglehandedly.

If this is a dynasty, Madison Bumgarner is the emperor.

Bumgarner, who has the lowest career ERA in World Series history at 0.25, again took the Giants on his back, carrying them to the title.

He won two of the four World Series games, saved one and threw more innings this postseason than any pitcher in history.

He won Game 1, pitched a shutout in Game 5 and tossed five scoreless innings in Game 7. He was so efficient on two days' rest that he retired six of the first eight batters he faced on four or less pitches and retired 15 of the last 16 batters he faced.

He lowered his ERA in this World Series to 0.43, the lowest since Sandy Koufax in 1965 with the LosAngeles Dodgers.

Wednesday
Oct292014

Real Politics: S.C. Politics "Ervinized" by Latest Move

For the first time in this mid-term election cycle, South Carolina politics suddenly got interesting. The state’s just been politically “Ervinized.” But, first, a little background.

Make no mistake, ‘trounce’ will still be the South Carolina post-election catchphrase of the day come November 4th as most Republicans in this pitifully right-wing state will take measure of their massively outspent Democratic opponents by easy double-digits. These feelings of dominance and invincibility may be tempered however, by one race that seemed to be a walkover that is no longer a walkover.

You all know the back story of the South Carolina governor’s race. The current governor, Nikki Haley, an American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) puppet, wants to continue the states abysmally low rankings in almost every social and practical category of meaning. As I’ve written many times before, in a highly competitive field, Haley is, based on these rankings alone, the nation’s most inept governor. But, in the Palmetto state all that’s required of a governor is hate.

In its hatred of the federal government, the state has sacrificed hundreds of millions for vital educational and health programs. Nonetheless, hating the feds is an imperative, as is deep-seated racism as reflected in Haley’s abhorrence of “Obamacare”, not to mention Obama, himself. Let’s not forget hatred of gays. “It don’ make no difference what them liberal judges say, we ain’t lettin’ no gays git married in South Carolina.”

And unions? Don’t even get Haley started on unions. She’s already publicly pledged to block every attempt to unionize in the state. As quoted, “Union jobs aren’t welcome here.” Jobs that are welcome are those pieces of workplace pathos offered by greedy multi-nationals that are descending on the state like a massive swarm of locusts. Jobs that are assured to be non-union lest these companies have to pay living wages, guarantee safe working conditions and decent hours.

When not selecting South Carolina, the corporate biggies might actually have to pay taxes on U.S. profits in the U.S. instead of merging with some low-tax overseas corporate outfit of questionable character to create a phony “headquarters” to avoid American taxes.

Then there’s Haley’s arrogant disdain of human life in refusing to expand Medicaid to a certain group of low-wage earners. A move that is not only heartless, but will kill people. A Harvard study estimates as many as 1,300 annually in South Carolina alone. What kind of governor doesn’t care about killing people? We should throw her ‘hatred’ of environmental regulations into the mix. Regulations that minimize and control chemical releases that kill who knows how many of her fellow citizens.

This is not only a worthless, unfeeling governor; this is a worthless, unfeeling human being. And yet she commands comfortable double-digit leads in virtually every legitimate poll over her holdover opponent from her last gubernatorial run, State Senator, Vincent Sheheen.

Back to Ervinized and why that recent phenomenon is suddenly creating a modest opening for Sheheen in the governor’s race. Those who have followed this race are aware that there are five candidates. The two major parties, Independent Republican petition candidate, Tom Ervin and two political ciphers. The latter two are meaningless in terms of the outcome. Ervin is definitely meaningful, especially in light of recent developments. Tom Ervin is a 62-year-old former two-term state house member as a Democrat and a 14-year circuit court judge who currently practices law with his wife. He is philosophically still a moderate Democrat, though a few years ago, he declared himself a Republican to run for a couple of offices he craved. He lost both elections, but remained a Republican. Given that Haley won the Republican primary, Ervin was, by law, forced to run as an Independent in the general election.

He was a very effective candidate, giving both the major party candidates a dressing down on assorted issues. He was especially hard on Haley. His presence created vote switching that one would think would benefit Sheheen, the Democrat. As indicated earlier, while Ervin gained supporters, Sheheen lost them and Haley made a big move.

Now, all that could change. The ball, as they say, is squarely in Sheheen’s court. Ervin, who funded his own campaign to the tune of $4 million, suddenly dropped out of the race freeing roughly 8-10% of the total vote. I guess he felt he had made enough of an impression on the electorate and fully realized that, while certainly influential, he stood no chance of winning. One of his first post-dropout steps was to email an expression of strong support to Sheheen contributors under the Sheheen letterhead. The obvious question is, what difference will it make? Won’t Republican Ervin votes simply find a home in the Haley camp?

Maybe, but, as in TV reality shows, there’s a twist. Ervin has officially endorsed Sheheen. Some voters are now going to take a close look at why. In a local phone interview with reporter Jason Spencer, Ervin made the following statement, “It was a difficult decision, but I felt like it was time to put aside my personal ambition and try to do what’s best for our state.” Gee, what a novel approach to public service.

And Ervin has spelled out three reasons that it makes more sense to vote for the Democratic State Senator. According to the local press, those reasons are, ethics reform, domestic violence and economic development. He actually used the word “dishonest” in condemning Haley’s leadership on the issues.

The Haley camp provided a predictably snarky response that, of course, involved no substance whatsoever nor did it address Ervin’s concerns. Instead, deputy campaign manager Rob Godfrey, released the following statement, designed to push all the right-wing voter buttons. “Tom Ervin, Vince Sheheen and their LIBERAL TRIAL LAWYER CRONIES have always had the same agenda in this campaign. They have spent millions on false and shameful attacks and gotten nowhere with South Carolina voters. It’s no surprise that two PRO-OBAMACARE TRIAL LAWYERS would officially tie the knot at the end of the race.”

Not a peep about ethics reform, domestic violence and economic development.

Interesting response, but it will only be swallowed whole by those who are already in the Haley camp. Reasonable voters from both parties are going to wonder why there’s no rebuttal to Ervin’s issue concerns. They may even (GASP) do some research. I happened to talk with a state representative friend of mine today and consensus among his colleagues is that Ervin supporters are not happy with the move. Ergo, they may show their displeasure by simply staying home. Bottom line, who does that benefit?

I still expect Sheheen to lose, but by a narrower margin than I had earlier predicted. What does change is that, unlike Sheheen’s earlier predicament, there is an outside chance of an upset, unlikely, but not impossible when you add a majority of the 12% undecided vote. So thank you Mr. Legislator, judge, trial lawyer and straight talker, you just made things a lot more interesting.

In one race, at least.

Wednesday
Oct292014

YMCA to Honor Veterans with Nov. 11 Event

The Anderson Area YMCA will host a Veteran’s Day Celebration Nov. 11 at 10:30 am in the Community Room of the Anderson Area YMCA.

This year, the celebration will feature special guest speaker, Kathryn Smith, the author of “A Necessary War: Anderson County Residents Remember World War II.” Kathryn will be joined by some of the veterans of Anderson County whose accounts are featured in her book.

There will be refreshments and Kathryn will be signing books. This event will be an opportunity to celebrate and honor the bravery, courage, and dedication of our community’s veterans and everyone from the community is invited to attend. In addition to the celebration, the Anderson Area YMCA hopes to honor our veterans by collecting body wash for the residents of the Richard Campbell Veterans Home. All donations can be placed in the designated bin at the Anderson Area YMCA.

Wednesday
Oct292014

Audit Says S.C. Lottery Still Selling Tickets After Prizes Gone

An audit released Tuesday of the South Carolina Education Lottery says the lottery has not changed its regulations to make sure it doesn't sell scratch-off tickets after the top prizes for those games have already been won.

Previous audits recommended the change.

The lottery's director says the regulation doesn't need to be changed, though, because it already allows the lottery to stop selling tickets for a game once the top prizes have been won.

"The day that the last top prize for a game is claimed we stop all sales of that game," says Paula Harper Bethea, executive director of the South Carolina Education Lottery. So why hasn't the lottery asked the legislature to change the regulation, as recommended by the Legislative Audit Council?

She says, "If the regulations allow us to stop the sale, why go to the legislature and ask for something minor like that when the way it is written gives us the full opportunity to stop those sales immediately?"

She says some players wish they could still buy tickets for a game even after its top prizes are gone, because there are other, smaller prizes available.

The audit also says the lottery has not asked lawmakers to change regulations to allow the lottery to give away tickets as promotional items.

But Bethea says, "I think that opens our lottery up to potential fraud issues, and, in fact, there have been several lotteries in the country who have had employees get in trouble because they'd give away promotional tickets and then they can figure out a way to take those promotional tickets and either cash them in themselves or give them away."

You can see the full audit report at http://lac.sc.gov/LAC_Reports/2014/Documents/SCEL.pdf

Tuesday
Oct282014

Anderson's Chad Boseman to Star in Marvel's "Black Panther"

Chadwick Boseman will be Marvel Studios' first solo lead of color, with the news that he will take the title role in the newly announced Black Panther movie, one of several new titles revealed at this morning’s Marvel Studios event at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles.

Boseman will play T’Challa, the head of the fictional African nation of Wakanda, in the movie, which is scheduled to be released Nov. 3, 2017. The Black Panther — created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby — was a long-serving member of the Avengers who also enjoyed multiple critically acclaimed solo runs throughout his 48-year history.

Boseman is best known for his roles in 42 and Get On Up, playing Jackie Robinson andJames Brown, respectively. He's repped by Greene & Associates Talent Agency, Management 360 and Ziffren Brittenham.

While no other information about the project was released at the event, the studio reveal show concept art for the character, shared on Twitter by Marvel’s Ryan Penagos

The character will debut in 2016's third Captain America movie, according to Feige, which has been given the title Captain America: Civil War.

Tuesday
Oct282014

Legislative Delegation Taking Nominations for Boards

Representative Michael W. Gambrell, Chairman of the Anderson County Legislative Delegation has called a Delegation Meeting to be held on December 5, at 6 p.m., in Courtroom One in Summary Court, First Floor of the Ronald P. Townsend Government Building, 2404 North Main Street.

The purpose of the meeting is to reorganize the Anderson County Legislative Delegation; receive and make presentations; make appointments to the following boards and commissions and consider PARD Grants:
a. Anderson County Children's Foster Care Review Board lO-B (five vacancies);
b. Anderson-Oconee-Pickens Mental Health Center Board (two incumbents);
c. Big Creek Water & Sewerage District Board (three incumbents);
d. Sandy Springs Water District Board (three incumbents);
e. Starr-Iva Water District Board (three incumbents)

Anyone interested in applying for appointment to any of the above-mentioned boards or commissions, please contact the Anderson County Legislative Delegation Office at 864-260-4025 immediately for an application. These applications must be completed and returned to the Delegation Office no later than November 14.

A copy of the proposed Agenda is below for your convenience. The Anderson County Legislative Delegation extends a cordial invitation to the general public and welcomes their attendance.

View meeting announcement & agenda:
http://www.andersoncountysc.org/forms/Legislative-Delegation_120514.pdf

Tuesday
Oct282014

Ervin Drops Out to Throw Support to Sheheen

Petition governor candidate Tom Ervin dropped out the race a week before Election Day and endorsed Democrat state Sen. Vincent Sheheen.

Ervin, who dropped out the Republican primary to extend his time to campaign, was polling a distant third in the race despite spending at least $2.5 million of his own money.

Ervin said he entered the race at the last minute because he was upset about testimony on how the S.C. Department of Social Services mishandled cases where children died.

He set out a path as a centrist Republican -- calling for an end to the Common Core education standards while backing the federal Medicaid expansion and raising the gas tax to help pay for road repairs.

Ervin and Sheheen have been critical of the governor, but Ervin‘s departure from the race to support Sheheen came as a surprise.

“It’s what we always say about South Carolina politics, you just never know what’s going to happen,” University of South Carolina political scientist Robert Oldendick said.

In a Winthrop University poll in October, Ervin‘s 3.9 percent trailed Haley's 43.6 percent and Sheheen's 33.6 percent. A more recent poll, commissioned by The (Charleston) Post and Courier and other media outlets, Ervin fared better at 11 percent, but he still lagged Haley’s 51 percent and Sheheen‘s 31 percent.

S.C. political scientists said Haley is still likely to win re-election even with Ervin throwing his support behind Sheheen.

Even if all of Ervin’s supporters vote for Sheheen, it’s not going to make up the gap between him and the governor, The Citadel political scientist Scott Buchanan said.

Oldendick said, “Ervin didn’t have enough traction or enough support to put Sheheen over the top.”

Ervin has gathered almost $4 million in his campaign -- about the same as Haley did in her 2010 bid for governor and $500,000 more than what Sheheen raised during the current campaign.

But Ervin has self-financed a bulk of his campaign.

The former state judge has borrowed $2.2 million from himself and $1.6 million from Arthur State Bank, according to data filed with the state Ethics Commission. Ervin raised just under $100,000 from outside contributors. He had $1.2 million on hand as of last week, according to state records.

Ervin, a Greenville attorney and radio station owner, was a Democrat when he served in the S.C. House in the 1980s but switched parties to run for a House seat in 2005.

His wife, Kathryn Williams, an attorney in Greenville, has donated to both parties in recent years -- including $4,500 to Sheheen’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign and $50,000 to the S.C. Democratic Party that same year, according to state records.

Asked about how they voted in the 2010 election when he entered the race in April, Ervin said he voted for no one for governor. Williams said in April that she thought she wrote-in a candidate.

 

Tuesday
Oct282014

U.S. Gave Pakistan $8B While Christian Mother Sentenced to Death

The American Center for Law and Justice has started a petition asking the U.S. government to stop sending foreign aid to Pakistan, the country that recently upheld the death sentence for Christian mother Asia Bibi for blasphemy. Figures have shown that the U.S. sent close to $8 billion to Pakistan in the past five years while Bibi has been imprisoned.

"We must stop sending billions of our taxpayer dollars to nations that persecute Christians. It's that simple. Not one more dime for persecution. Cut off American foreign aid to any country that persecutes Christians," reads the petition, which has close to 40,000 signatures as of Tuesday morning and is addressed to Congress and President Barack Obama.

"As a wave of persecution sweeps across the Middle East — and Christians flee for their lives — it's time for the money to stop," it adds. "Already there is growing support for basic human rights and basic common sense on Capitol Hill."

The $8 billion estimate by the ACLJ is consistent with figures presented by the Center for Global Development. The research organization states that the 2009 Enhanced Partnership for Pakistan Act has allowed close to $7.5 billion in aid to be sent to the South Asian country over the past five years, aimed at improving governance and economic growth.

Full Story Here

Bibi, a Christian woman and mother of five children, was first sentenced to death in 2010 for an incident where she was accused of blaspheming against Islam by a group of Muslim women. Despite a global campaign calling for Bibi's release, the Lahore High Court upheld her sentence earlier in October.

Bibi's hopes now lie with Pakistan's Supreme Court. The International Christian Concern told The Christian Post last week in an interview that there are good reasons to hope that the Supreme Court will decide to overturn the death penalty.

"I think the chances of the Supreme Court overturning the death sentence are much greater than that of the High Court. In many cases, especially blasphemy cases, court decisions are influenced, either by ideology or threats, by local radical groups. Generally, the High Court is more insulated from this influence," William Stark, ICC's regional manager for South Asia, told CP.

Tuesday
Oct282014

IRS Targeting Cost Christian Group $80,000

In interviews with The Christian Post, leaders of organizations whose lawsuits against the Internal Revenue Service was dismissed claimed their fundraising and advocacy efforts were harmed by the IRS harassment, and other conservative groups were effectively abolished by the IRS targeting.

Last Wednesday, U.S. District judge Reggie Walton dismissed the cases against the IRS filed by conservative political advocacy groups True The Vote, Inc., Linchpins of Liberty and several other groups. The groups sued claiming the IRS illegally targeted them because of the nature of their political speech and knowingly stalled the approval of the group's essential tax-exempt statuses for a multitude of years.

Although it took over three years for many of the groups to get their statuses, Walton dismissed both cases calling them "moot" because the IRS eventually granted tax exempt status, which was the main controversy of the case. Without an ongoing controversy, Walton wrote, his court does not have authority to decide the case.

Linchpins of Liberty President Kevin Kookogey told The Christian Post that Walton missed the larger issue in the case, which is the IRS' pattern of targeting conservative groups for an "unlawful" delay of tax-exempt status. Kookogey said that for many of the groups involved, status was not granted until the IRS finally had to "submit something under oath." Kookogey said Linchpins of Liberty plans to appeal the decision.

Kookogey added that the multi-year delay in status put these groups in an bind they were incapable of overcoming as they needed tax-exempt status to guarantee donors a tax write-off for their donations. Kookogey said many other groups that have faced the same issue have not been able to survive the wait.

"We were singled out, I was, and 41 other groups, involved in this particular case, singled out not for legitimate reasons but based upon the content of our speech and our political and religious views. That is the violation. It doesn't matter that three years later our status was granted," Kookogey said. "The judge seems to think, for example, that if a lifeguard throws a life preserver to a swimmer that has already drowned, that's somehow sufficient, but it doesn't raise the dead and that is what has happened here."

Full Story Here

Monday
Oct272014

News: Ervin Slams Haley on Domestic Violence Views

Independent candidate Tom Ervin and the leader of an Upstate domestic violence agency are criticizing Gov. Nikki Haley's views on domestic violence after she failed during last week's debate to support the idea of a state ban on firearms for those convicted of domestic violence.

Ervin on Monday accused the governor for being "tone deaf" on the issue after she refused last week to say that she would support legislation to ban firearms for those convicted of criminal domestic violence.

Haley said during the debate that while she supported tougher penalties for those convicted of domestic violence as well as the state ban on firearms for those who are judged to be mentally ill, the issue of domestic violence is cultural and generational. The day after the debate, a spokesman for the governor clarified her remarks, saying she would support a state law enforcing a federal firearms ban for those convicted of such crimes.

Ervin and Haley's Democratic challenger, Sen. Vincent Sheheen, accused the governor of flip-flopping on the issue.

On Monday, Ervin renewed his attack.

"I'm calling the governor out on her miserable record in addressing the crisis of domestic violence in South Carolina," he told The Greenville News. "She has demonstrated a failure of leadership in refusing to not only answer the question during the debate but in ignoring the victims of domestic violence even though we are near the top of the nation, ranked second in the deaths of women stemming from criminal domestic violence."

Haley is a concealed weapons permit holder and a frequent defender of gun rights.

Asked during the debate whether those convicted of domestic violence should keep their guns, Haley did not directly answer the question, instead saying that for those not judged to be mentally ill, they should have the right to protect their homes, families and businesses. She also said the best chance for domestic violence victims is to send them to churches because they are not comfortable going to law enforcement.

Democratic Sen. Vincent Sheheen, a Camden lawyer, attacked Haley during the debate for her answer, saying he was shocked at her response. Haley fired back that she found it "amazing" that Sheheen was criticizing her on the issue when, as a lawyer, he has defended men charged with abusing women and children.

Ervin said Haley's debate response shows ignorance.

"Like many South Carolinians, I was embarrassed by her ignorance and offended that she believes this to be a cultural issue," he said.

Becky Callaham, executive director of Safe Harbor, a Greenville-based non-profit that provides shelter and counseling for victims of domestic violence, also was critical of Haley's response on Monday.

"To say that domestic violence is just a generational and a cultural problem is an over-simplification, and it shows Governor Haley's lack of understanding about this significant and pervasive problem," she said.

"Governor Haley's comment is similar to the antiquated myth that 'domestic violence is just a family issue,' Callaham said. "Yes, domestic violence is generational, and it is 'cultural' only that it is woven into our culture of South Carolina because of opinions like this.

"Domestic violence is also a criminal problem because it is against the law," she said, "and to put it bluntly, it is leaving dead people in its wake in South Carolina more than any other state in the nation."

Chaney Adams, a spokesman for Haley's campaign, again noted that Haley supports tougher sentences for those convicted of domestic violence as well as a state law that allows enforcement of a federal ban on firearms in such cases.

"As the governor made clear last week, she believes South Carolina should have tougher penalties for those who commit criminal domestic violence, and that includes those who illegally obtain firearms after being convicted of CDV," she said. "The governor would absolutely support a South Carolina law that mirrors federal law and allows us to enforce the ban on those ‎convicted of criminal domestic violence from possessing any kind of firearm. The only difference between Nikki Haley and her opponents on this issue is that Vince Sheheen makes money trying to get men who beat women off the hook when they go to court."

According to Callaham, of the females murdered in South Carolina in 2012, 71 percent were killed with guns. More than a third of those charged with murder, she said, had a conviction for criminal domestic violence.

According to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, more than a dozen states prohibit possession of firearms by those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence. Five states require such offenders to surrender firearms upon their convictions, according to the center.

Ervin said he would support such provisions.

"There needs to be an enforcement mechanism in place," he said. "Upon conviction, particularly if they are not going to be serving time and are going to be on probation, then that would be the appropriate time to enforce that provision."