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Panthers’ summer camp got $150K through state sports marketing program

May 19, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT In 2015 and 2016, S.C. lawmakers approved spending a total of nearly $4 million for a “Sports Development Marketing Program,” $150,000 of which was used for the Carolina Panthers’ summer training camp, records released Friday to The Nerve show. In an email response, Dawn Dawson-House, spokeswoman for the S.C. Department of Parks, […]

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Subsidies for Carolina Panthers: A losing game for S.C. taxpayers?

May 15, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT At the end of the 2014 regular legislative session, lawmakers slipped in a budget proviso funneling $75,000 through the state tourism agency for the Carolina Panthers’ summer training camp at Wofford College in Spartanburg. Then-Gov. Nikki Haley vetoed the proviso, writing in her June 11, 2014, veto message, “The National Football League […]

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Tax money meant for veterans’ care spent on university bus, new furniture

May 9, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Over the last four fiscal years, $1.4 million in tax dollars flowed through three state social services agencies to an equestrian center operated by Lander University, a small, public liberal arts school in Greenwood. But an investigation by The Nerve found that relatively little was spent to directly help S.C. citizens served […]

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No significant road projects completed in 26 S.C. counties, despite gas tax hike

May 3, 2019

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  By RICK BRUNDRETT Through March, the S.C. Department of Transportation had completed no road reconstruction or significant repaving projects in more than half of the state’s counties with revenues generated under the gas-tax-hike law that took effect nearly two years ago, newly released DOT records show. The balance in the state “Infrastructure Maintenance Trust […]

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Are S.C. officials shirking their oversight of tax dollars awarded to private groups?

May 1, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT In 2006, lawmakers approved spending $700,000 in the fiscal 2007 state budget to help the private Erskine College in Abbeville County establish the “John Drummond Center for Statesmanship” – to be named after the late longtime senator who retired from the Legislature in 2008. A budget proviso authorizing the funding required the […]

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Proviso pork spending: A longstanding legislative tradition

April 27, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT As S.C. lawmakers head into the final weeks of adopting an approximately $30 billion state budget for next fiscal year, their taxpayer-funded goody bag keeps growing bigger. For years, lawmakers have slipped in funding requests – often for their own pet projects – through obscure state budget provisos. The latest budget cycle […]

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SCDOT’s pothole projections have plenty of holes

April 24, 2019

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SCDOT

By RICK BRUNDRETT Last fiscal year, the S.C. Department of Transportation estimated it filled more than 37,000 potholes in small, rural Kershaw County – the biggest number among the state’s 46 counties. In comparison, the pothole total was more than three times DOT’s projected number of patched potholes in Greenville County – the state’s most-populous […]

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Horsing around: How an ex-lawmaker and his sister involved themselves in a veterans’ therapy program

April 18, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Former S.C. Rep. Mike Pitts pushed for state funding to launch a veterans’ therapy program that his sister positioned herself to manage and was overseen by the state agency that employed her for years, an investigation by The Nerve found. Two years and $1 million later, the therapy program, called “Herd 2 […]

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Ecodevo groups get lots of tax dollars, show few landed projects for the money

April 13, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT In recent years, state lawmakers annually have earmarked a total of nearly $5 million to eight regional economic development organizations, presumably to help attract new companies to South Carolina. But whether taxpayers are getting significant, verifiable returns on their investment is questionable, The Nerve found in a review of required annual reports […]

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State lawmakers have strong grip on local schools in two S.C. counties

April 10, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT S.C. Sen. Kevin Johnson’s wife and daughter work for Clarendon School District 2. Another daughter is the school board chairwoman. Last week, Johnson, a Democrat from Manning, introduced a local bill – which passed the Senate in two days – that would give the three-member Clarendon County delegation, of which Johnson is […]

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