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Jeff Gossett Jersey

South Carolina’s legislative state is growing … literally. At a time when annual state government spending is poised to climb above the $31 billion mark (at least), state lawmakers are adding new staff – and paying these employees supersized salaries.

According to reporter Rick Brundrett of The (Columbia, S.C.) Nerve, a total of 205 staffers currently serve the 170-member S.C. General Assembly – 95 serving the 124 members of the S.C. House of Representatives and 114 serving the 46-member S.C. Senate.

Of those, forty are earning more than $100,000 annually (not counting benefits) – up from 27 at the same point in time a year ago. Meanwhile 153 of them are earning more than $50,000 annually (not counting benefits) – up from 143 a year ago.

Drawing the highest salaries? The clerks of the respective chambers – Charles Reid and Jeff Gossett, who are pulling down $212,250 and $210,136 per year, respectively (again, not counting benefits).

Both of these salaries clock in well above the average $182,760 per year received by chief executives in the private sector, according to Brundrett – who had to submit a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to obtain the information from the two legislative entities.

(Click to view)

(Via: Travis Bell Photography)

Wait a minute … aren’t all taxpayer-funded salaries supposed to be posted online?

Yes … but lawmakers have routinely exempted their branch of government from such disclosure (sort of like they have exempted themselves from having to comply with FOIA requests for their correspondence).

The rules they apply to others don’t apply to them, it would seem …

Brundrett also noted that “the chambers routinely have ignored a longstanding state law requiring all state agencies to annually file budget requests with the governor” no later than November 1 each year.

Again … one set of rules for them, another for the rest of state government.

Our view? Honestly it isn’t the money the legislature spends on itself that bothers us (passing laws is a core function of government, the last time we checked). Instead, it is the ever-escalating sums of money lawmakers continue to mindlessly pump into a maze of antiquated, duplicative, corrupt, non-essential and otherwise wasteful and inefficient government bureaucracies – agencies which continue to produce diminishing returns for citizens and taxpayers alike.

Or as we often say, “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems.”

Jason Fabini Jersey

With four sons, former NFL offensive lineman Jason Fabini felt he had a great shot at one of his offspring following in his footsteps on the football field.

Son Jacob has made that dream a reality, sort of.

When Bishop Dwenger takes the field against top-ranked Lowell at 8 p.m. Friday in the Class 4A North Semistate game at Homestead, the Saints will have a pair of Fabinis playing integral roles — Jason in the coaches box as offensive line coach and Jacob on the field as (gasp) … a DEFENSIVE player?

“I always wanted an offensive lineman, but he’s obviously a better defensive lineman,” said Jason about his son, who enters Friday with 89 tackles and a team-leading 10 quarterback sacks along a stout Saints defensive front. “About his sophomore year, I figured that one out.”

Jason played a decade in the NFL with the New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins before returning home and joining the Dwenger coaching staff. His eldest son elected to play rugby instead of football, making Jacob the first of his children to delve into the sport.

“You never know what your kids are going to do,” Jason said. “(My oldest son) didn’t like football, so you can’t force a kid to do something he doesn’t like to do.”

Jason coached Jacob and several of his teammates at St. Charles prior to Jacob attending Bishop Dwenger. Back then, Jacob dabbled with the offensive line, but always preferred defense.

“I just like to hit kids,” said Jacob succinctly when asked why he likes the defensive line.

Jason’s playing career wasn’t relegated purely to the offensive line. At Dwenger in the early 1990s, he starred at both offensive line and defensive end before heading to the University of Cincinnati. That knowledge of both sides of the trenches has helped Jacob in his growth on the interior line for the Saints.

After all, who better to give pointers on how to beat opposing offensive linemen than a former pro offensive tackle?

“Sometimes I probably give him more tips than he needs,” Jason said.

Of course, problems do arise between father and son, although not as much as when Jacob was younger.

“When I was a sophomore, he used to get on me for not going in on scout defense a lot more,” said Jacob about dad. “Back in those days, I didn’t really like him out here as much.”

It is probably best that coaching duties keep father away from son on game nights nowadays, although halftime can be interesting.

“I think he gets a little frustrated with me (at halftime) — I can be brutally honest,” Jason said. “A few weeks ago, he wasn’t playing a great game and, at halftime, I was like, ‘What’s going on? You need to pick it up.’

“Sometimes, like any son, he doesn’t listen to his father.”

Jason’s duties up top during games can sometimes prevent him from seeing his son at his best. While working out issues on offense and the linemen, Jason can miss big plays made by Jacob on the other side of the ball.

“The hard thing on Fridays is I want to watch him, but I got a job to do,” Jason said. “Sometimes I don’t get to see every play because I’m trying to coach my guys up and talk to the other offensive coaches.

“Someone will be like, ‘Jake just made a play!’ and I’m like, ‘Oh God, I missed it!’”

While Jacob did receive a state championship ring for Dwenger’s title in 2015, he did not see much action as a sophomore. With Jason sporting three title rings — two as a player in 1990 and 1991 and one as a coach in 2015 — dad has bragging rights in that department.

But it sure would be nice to add another ring — and the shared experience of a coach and son at Lucas Oil Stadium on Thanksgiving weekend.

“I think this is a lot more enjoyable seeing him play,” Jason said, “and, hopefully we can win this week and enjoy that moment of being in the state championship together.”

James Hunter Jersey

Back in the spotlight with a sublime new rhythm and blues record, James Hunter follows up six critically acclaimed albums with his latest recording, Nick of Time, set for release on Brooklyn’s renowned soul label Daptone Records. Nick of Time is a shining testament of how a master songsmith continually draws fresh water from a bottomless well. Recorded and produced by Bosco Mann, Nick of Time features one of today’s foremost soul singers at the top of his game performing with musicians who’ve backed some of the biggest contemporary music stars including Daptone artists Sharon Jones and Charles Bradley. Nick of Time will be internationally released on March 6, 2020.

BrooklynVegan premieres the lead track “I Can Change Your Mind” featured on Nick of Time. A confrontational cousin to the title track from Hunter’s 2006 U.S. debut album, People Gonna Talk, “I Can Change Your Mind” has the protagonist already fighting for his love life instead of anticipating resistance. Interestingly, the narrator admits to being a “one-eyed jack” shortly before cautioning his loved one against “two-faced creeps.” To view the premiere, please visit:
The first Brit to sign to Daptone Records, Hunter is revered by critics both in his native UK and stateside, with Good Morning America hailing his latest album, Whatever It Takes, as the #12 Best Album of 2018. Listed shortly after Paul McCartney and Soccer Mommy on the Top 50 album list, GMA notes, “the title-track, ‘I Don’t Wanna Be Without You,’ ‘I Got Eyes’ and ‘Show Her’ could have all been massive hits in the early ’60s, with a vintage sense of authenticity. It seems perfect that Hunter is currently signed to the famed Daptone label.” Of his other recordings, Rolling Stone dubbed People Gonna Talk, “a treat not to miss” and his second album “unbelievably awesome,” while The New York Times noted of The Hard Way, Hunter’s “tight, slithery groove” and “sweet growl.”
For Nick of Time, Hunter and Daptone co-founder Bosco Mann hunkered down in the label’s Penrose Studios in Riverside, California for what certainly will be one of 2020’s standout soul recordings. Unmistakably another stunning James Hunter album, Nick of Time is a voyage between beautiful, mid-tempo rumba recalling early King/Federal releases, while lush arrangements summon lost tracks from early ’60s Burt Bacharach sessions. Nick of Time is steeped in an era when soul records were driven by earth-shattering vocal performances. James Hunter hands down ushers classic soul music into the 21st Century with a sense of timelessness that’s rare these days.
Nick of Time opens with syncopated baritone sax, bass and drum parts setting the stage on “I Can Change Your Mind” for Hunter’s crooning message of having a love so strong he’s confident he’ll convincingly change his lover’s mind, even with a backdrop of untrustworthiness. “Who’s Foolin Who” channels Ben E. King records produced by Leiber & Stoller. The slow roll of fingers softly plucking an acoustic guitar that dances along with piano string crescendos, Hunter pens a tearjerker dripping with honesty.

“Till I Hear From You” hints at a new artistic direction for Hunter as he delves into Dave Brubeck territory with his first go at recording a song in 3/4. Featuring his recording debut on chromatic harmonica, Hunter professes about the track, “I think I had three tunes in my head when I wrote this number, including Ray Charles’ theme from The Cincinnati Kid, Lou Johnson’s ‘It Ain’t No Use,’ and Bacharach’s instrumental bit from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”
Slowing things down to a simmer, “Never” catches Hunter with his guard down while Lady Luck answers all of his dreams with new love entering his life. “Missing In Action” sees a rare wartime theme in Hunter’s song catalogue. Though only spending a couple months in the Sea Cadet Corps at the age of 14, Hunter recalls, “I never saw action let alone went missing in it, but walking home dressed like Popeye the Sailor past pubs bristling with squaddies ensured I was always surrounded by the enemy. I was quite pleased with The Longest Day timpani and the machine-gun phrasing of the saxophones.”
The title track “Nick of Time” is a subtle nod to the widely hailed The Twilight Zone episode of a fortune-teller machine on a café table that answers yes or no questions for a penny each. Saved by love in the “nick of time,” Hunter is a changed man, and seen by his close ones with a different eye.
The straightforward soul of “Brother or Other” (whose timely message is only tantamount to its groove) addresses the unjust notion of those who treat others unlike themselves with suspicion. Divide and rule is the oldest trick in the book. Hunter lends a helping hand and encourages us to extend love to all mankind.
A fear of heights and a reluctance to ascend to the celestial realm of things drives the rollicking “Ain’t Goin’ Up In One Of Those.” Hunter follows the track by calling out those who just expect to receive love and respect, without returning it on “Take It As You Find It.” “Can’t Help Myself” references the infinite monkey and typewriter theorem, while “How ‘Bout Now” enters with a walking baritone sax and pays tribute to a common catchphrase of Hunter’s wife’s Jessie.
The sparse “Paradise For One” (that finds Hunter enacting his innermost Nat King Cole) enriches Nick of Time with sounds one may not readily associate with The James Hunter Six. Nick of Time concludes with “He’s Your Could’ve Been,” a song inspired by an ex of his wife, Jessie. Upon recalling no shortcomings whatsoever of this ex, Hunter pens a grateful number with no complaints.
James Hunter is an everlasting writer of compelling narratives sung with true grit while backed by an ace band of New York City’s finest musicians. Nick of Time finds Hunter in the company of Victor Axelrod (piano), Adam Scone (organ), Rudy Petschauer (drums), Myles Weeks (bass), Michael Buckley (baritone saxophone), and Freddy DeBoe (tenor saxophone). On the road for an extensive U.S., U.K., and European tour in support of Nick of Time, Matt Slocum (keyboards) takes the reins on keys for a hearty James Hunter Six ensemble ready to electrify soul music fans as they hit venerable stages in a city near you in spring 2020. For a comprehensive list of forthcoming tour dates, please see below.

The James Hunter Six
Nick of Time

Track Listing:
1. I Can Change Your Mind
2. Who’s Fooling Who
3. Till I Hear It From You
4. Never
5. Missing In Action
6. Nick Of Time
7. Brother Or Other
8. Ain’t Goin’ Up In One Of Those Things
9. Take It As You Find It
10. Can’t Help Myself
11. How ‘Bout Now
12. Paradise For One
13. He’s Your Could’ve Been