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Southern 500 in Darlington racing with plenty of tax dollars

August 30, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT The thousands of fans who are expected to attend the Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on Sunday aren’t the only folks supporting the annual NASCAR race. For years, taxpayers have subsidized the private stock-car racetrack dubbed “The Track Too Tough to Tame.” State comptroller general records, for example, show that the […]

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Lots of hands in S.C. pension and health insurance cookie jars

August 28, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT When it comes to receiving taxpayer-funded state retirement and health insurance benefits, lots of folks have their hands out – and it’s not just government employees. Certain nonprofit organizations and quasi-government groups participate in the state pension and health insurance systems, which mainly cover state, county and local government agencies, as well […]

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County legislative delegation tightens grip on Clarendon 2 school board

August 23, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT For many years, S.C. lawmakers have exerted considerable control over local matters through county legislative delegations. Take the Clarendon County legislative delegation, for example. In April, Democratic Sen. Kevin Johnson of Manning introduced a bill to give the three-member delegation, of which he is the chairman, direct control over appointing the nine-member […]

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SCDOT plan would make small dent in fixing bad state roads

August 21, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT The S.C. Department of Transportation plans to complete about 2,300 miles of road repairs by the end of 2021, records released to The Nerve show, though that number represents a small portion of the major road work the agency says needs to be done statewide. The department wants to bring about 16,800 […]

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Gov. McMaster hired federal lobbying firm for $15K monthly fee, records show

August 16, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Gov. Henry McMaster last December quietly hired a large law firm to lobby the federal government under an open-ended, “emergency procurement” contract that is costing taxpayers $15,000 a month, according to records released to The Nerve by the Governor’s Office. Ironically, then-Gov. Mark Sanford in 2003 issued an executive order banning the […]

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First 2 years of gas-tax-hike law: Little work completed despite fat cash reserves

August 14, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT In the first two years of the gas-tax-hike law, the state collected enough money to pay for three-quarters of the identified $1 billion in road and bridge projects, yet the S.C. Department of Transportation completed or “substantially” completed just 8% of the total projected tab, newly released DOT records show. As of […]

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S.C. lawmakers getting county payments for ‘phantom’ delegation offices

August 7, 2019

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state house

By RICK BRUNDRETT A longstanding state law requires counties to fully fund delegation offices for S.C. lawmakers, while at least 19 legislators are receiving thousands annually from counties in place of those offices, The Nerve found in a review. In at least one case, a legislator has received payments from local municipalities in his home […]

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Landing on easy street: Sen. Campbell’s airport contract offers generous pay, perks

July 31, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Longtime state Sen. Paul Campbell gets plenty of perks as the Charleston International Airport director – on top of his growing six-figure salary, according to his current contract released last week to The Nerve. He can get reimbursed, for example, for “reasonable entertainment expenses,” and receives a $1,000 monthly car allowance. Under […]

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Interstate projects paid with gas-tax-hike revenues: priority for roads alliance?

July 26, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT On its Facebook page Thursday, the nonprofit South Carolina Alliance to Fix Our Roads shared the latest state Department of Transportation video touting its work in Spartanburg County with gas-tax-hike revenues. “Seeing is believing! Check out the projects going on in Spartanburg County – all thanks to the new gas tax revenues!” […]

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College president millionaire’s club growing in South Carolina

July 24, 2019

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University of South Carolina

By RICK BRUNDRETT As the new University of South Carolina president, Robert Caslen likely will be paid far more than the $650,000 salary that was reported after the school’s board of trustees in a split vote Friday hired him to run the state’s biggest university. Caslen, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general and former West […]

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