The Agenda: Obamacare deadline looms; State's $600k traffic bill; W. Ashley key in special election

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Obamacare - With a few months left until the October 1 deadline for individuals to enroll for coverage under the Affordable Care Act, some are concerned that not enough is being done (P&C) to help people get enrolled. A four-page marketing plan developed by a PR firm under contract with the state shows specifics on what state officials can do during the transition, but the proposals have not been implemented. "I’m not going to take responsibility for all the federal government’s failures," says state Health and Human Services Director Tony Keck.

Pricey traffic - A state law that bars the state Dept. of Public Safety from charging for services like traffic direction costs the state about $635,000 a year (AP), three-quarters of which is spent on traffic control at USC, Clemson, and SCSU football games. AP has the breakdown.

Senate 42 - Though the special election for State Senate District 42 has candidates courting voters in parts of downtown and North Charleston, the historically African-American neighborhood of Maryville-Ashleyville (P&C) in West Ashley could also be a key electorate for the candidates.

Exile on Ann St. - After last week's news that Charleston Law has signed an agreement for InfiLaw to manage the school, the P&C reports that more than a few people are pissed. The school says it plans to hold a town hall meeting this week where members of the school community can get answers from administrators. Fitsnews.com writes that the city may also be involved in having InfiLaw spearhead development projects near the school, which bought a 1.25-acre lot at Woolfe and Meeting Streets from the city in 2004.

VERONICA - Baby Veronica's birth father Dusten Brown has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block (NPR/AP) the SC court-ordered adoption of his daughter by a James Island couple as part of a final ruling on Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl.

Sheheen's chances - Democratic State Sen. Vincent Sheheen is hoping that a "better government" (Beaufort/State) line of attack will help him overtake the governor in a rematch of the 2010 governor's election, when he was defeated by a relatively-unknown Nikki Haley by 4.5%. A good campaign by Sheheen could also increase turnout for other down-ballot races, which lt. gov. candidate Bakari Sellers says (State) will be essential to beating state Republicans.

Rainey vs. Haley - The State Supreme Court last week refused to rehear (State) the sweeping case brought by conservative activist John Rainey against Gov. Nikki Haley, which alleges she violated state ethics laws.

Clyburn on NSA - An alliance of unlikely Congressional figures, including S.C. Congressman Jim Clyburn (NYT), fell short in their efforts to end NSA surveillance programs last week, but momentum may move soon move in their favor.


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