Cindi Ross Scoppe, a columnist with The State, South Carolina's largest daily newspaper, is the recipient of the eighth annual Hal Hovey-Peter Harkness Award, presented by Governing for outstanding coverage of state and local government. Scoppe is being honored for her insightful analysis and commentary about South Carolina's state government.
Scoppe has been a dogged advocate for the restructuring of government. Her ability to explain, in clear language, complex state policy issues has given her columns broad-based appeal. She writes with consistency and candor about the need to strengthen ethics in the South Carolina statehouse and is not afraid to point out certain inconvenient truths that are often glossed over by the rhetoric of politicians. In a recent column about the politics of government waste, Scoppe pointed out that cutting government waste has become "a rallying cry for politicians who don't have a clue how to reduce spending and don't want to make hard choices."
Peter Harkness, who presented the award to Scoppe, cited her two decades of work as a reporter and columnist that has ranged from tax policy and campaign reform to restoring the balance of power between the executive and legislative branches of state government.
The Hovey-Harkness award, which includes a $3,000 cash grant, is presented at Governing's annual Outlook in the States and Localities conference in Washington, D.C. It is named in memory of the late Hal Hovey, a dedicated public official, scholar and reporter, who died in 1999, and for Peter Harkness, the founding editor and publisher of GOVERNING, and long-time journalist who has covered state and local government for more than three decades.