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More state payments to consultants discovered

April 24, 2017

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Research authority is paying political operative more than 850K By ROBERT MEYEROWITZ The South Carolina Research Authority, chartered by the state in 1983 to “foster and enrich South Carolina’s innovation economy,” has paid political consultant Bob McAlister at least $855,500 since 2011. The payments are all to McAlister’s firm, McAlister Communications, most in consistent monthly amounts […]

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The threat to motorists’ safety isn’t roads

April 18, 2017

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Please stay on the line if you want to make driving dangerous By ROBERT MEYEROWITZ In the seemingly interminable debate about funding for roads in South Carolina, with the latest gas-tax hike up for floor debate today in the state Senate, we’re often told that billions of dollars must be taxed or borrowed, and spent, […]

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Preschool program pays consultant hefty fees

April 11, 2017

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Bob McAlister cleared more than 350k from SC First Steps By ROBERT MEYEROWITZ South Carolina First Steps to School Readiness, an early-childhood development program funded by the state, paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to a prominent political consultant over the last several years, according to documents obtained from the state Department of Education. Between […]

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More money for more roads might be bad

April 6, 2017

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Road Work

We’re up against human nature By ROBERT MEYEROWITZ Several recent studies suggest that what seems to be true for South Carolina is true of all the states’ road systems: They’re not falling apart. What’s more, repaving roads and building new ones is not a good way to address at least some roadway deaths. Both conclusions […]

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Wealthier, more connected counties get big road projects

March 27, 2017

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By ROBERT MEYEROWITZ Bank spending in well-worn groove Billions of dollars flow through South Carolina every year, to contractors and others, for roads and other infrastructure projects. The money comes from three pots, essentially: funds sent from the General Assembly through the state Department of Transportation; federal dollars channeled through SCDOT; and money, usually borrowed, […]

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Fresh ammo arrives for gas-tax advocates

March 22, 2017

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road construction ahead

By ROBERT MEYEROWITZ   Construction advocates bring convenient report Another player emerged yesterday in the debate on a gas-tax increase: TRIP, a Washington, D.C.-based, nonprofit transportation research organization. The group released a report detailing ways in which South Carolina motorists lose $5.4 billion a year, as much as $1,850 per driver, it maintains, due to roads […]

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Are the roads really crumbling?

March 16, 2017

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By ROBERT MEYEROWITZ Some data say SC’s, like the nation’s, aren’t that bad “The state’s crumbling road system” — that phrase and its variants seem to be uttered almost nonstop in South Carolina as the General Assembly mulls the latest gas-tax increase legislation. South Carolina Department of Transportation Secretary Christy Hall has been outspoken, saying […]

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A fifth of all state money goes to vendors – here are the top 10

March 6, 2017

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By ROBERT MEYEROWITZ $57 million spent on Bank of America cards Vendors made billions of dollars selling goods and services to the state of South Carolina last year, according to data compiled by the comptroller general’s office — about $5 billion in all. That’s roughly one-fifth of all state appropriations. Leading the list: Blue Cross […]

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DOT funds flow to roads alliance

March 1, 2017

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By ROBERT MEYEROWITZ Some seeking tax hike get hundreds of millions Since 2014, at least eight members of a nonprofit pushing for an increase in the state’s gas tax collectively have received more than $451 million from the state Department of Transportation, records show. The money was paid to contractors who are members of the […]

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Bill would pierce right-to-work

February 23, 2017

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By ROBERT MEYEROWITZ Docs could be made to join advocacy group Manufacturers such as Boeing are said to be drawn to South Carolina because it’s a right-to-work state, something state political leaders tout. It’s spelled out in state law: “The right of persons to work must not be denied or abridged because of membership or non-membership in a labor […]

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