This excerpt is from a story written by Schuyler Kropf that appeared in The (Charleston) Post and Courier on October 20, 2004. Those conducting this study regard it as an example of substantive political coverage.

After being debated at the national level this election season, the politics of the minimum wage flared up Tuesday in South Carolina’s U.S. Senate race.

Democrat Inez Tenenbaum wants the federal minimum wage of $5.15 an hour to increase “over time, once the economy recovers,” her campaign said.

She doesn’t have a target of how high she wants the hourly wage to go or when she wants an increase to take effect.

Republican Jim DeMint opposes increasing the minimum wage because he’s against more regulation on business.

“The way to create high-paying jobs is by reducing regulations, not increasing them,” his spokeswoman, Kara Borie, said.

Tenenbaum accused DeMint of wanting to eliminate the minimum wage, based on ideas he’s supported in Congress.

In 1999, DeMint, Greenville’s 4th District representative, backed legislation that would have let states set their own minimum wage. The idea has faded out, his office said.

Under the plan, the national minimum of $5.15 per hour would not be done away with, DeMint said. But if the federal government raised the rate, states would be free to adopt it, leave the wage unchanged, or pick a compromise. The decision would depend on the local economic climate, he said.

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