December 11, 2014

Inside Insight

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ariail leadership

The South Carolina House of Representatives recently banned so-called leadership PACs – political action committees designed specifically for lawmakers and legislative caucuses. Whether the ban has a loophole large enough to continue the practice remains to be determined.

In any case, South Carolina lawmakers survived for years on the largess of leadership PACs – and one in particular: the Palmetto Leadership Council, or PLC, the PAC affiliated with former House Speaker Bobby Harrell. So liberal was the PLC with its funds, indeed, that a potential Ethics Committee probe into Harrell’s use of campaign money quickly became a joke, since the Republican members of the Committee had all received PLC money.

Moreover, when SLED recently released its report on the investigation of Harrell, the agency had redacted parts of the report dealing with the PLC – suggesting that officials may be conducting a separate investigation into the PAC’s dealings.