Tag Archives: ethics

Lawmakers routinely tap campaign funds for ‘other’ expenses

August 27, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Politicians typically spend campaign funds on things like signs, billboards, TV, radio or internet advertising. But S.C. lawmakers often use their campaign money for other expenses, including out-of-state trips, donations to their favorite charities, membership dues, or gifts to their staffs and constituents. And it’s all legal – at least according to […]

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Legislators continue to look out for their own bottom lines

March 27, 2019

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SC budget process

By RICK BRUNDRETT Another year, another round of state lawmakers supporting legislation that could fatten their wallets. Just this month alone, at least two House bills and a Senate bill were introduced, while separate legislation passed the Senate, that pose potential conflicts of interest for lawmakers who authored or co-sponsored the proposals. State ethics law […]

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How S.C. lawmakers try to intimidate citizens and groups they don’t like

February 8, 2019

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state house

By RICK BRUNDRETT For years, S.C. lawmakers have repeatedly tried through legislation and other means to intimidate citizens who run for legislative seats, raise ethical questions about legislators’ official or campaign activities, or criticize their positions on issues. And lawmakers show no signs of letting up – at least not in this legislative session. The […]

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S.C. lawmakers treated to out-of-state conferences on taxpayers’ dime

January 19, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT South Carolina taxpayers last fiscal year shelled out more than $50,000 to send 27 lawmakers to “educational” conferences across the country, travel records reviewed by The Nerve show. Most of those lawmakers who took trips in 2017 didn’t specify the reimbursed expenses on their latest annual income-disclosure reports, The Nerve’s review found […]

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Powerful legislative chairman profits from state-funded groups

November 2, 2018

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Update: S.C. House Speaker Jay Lucas, R-Darlington, on 12/4/18 informed White that he would be removed from the Ways and Means Committee, according to a prepared statement from White on 12/5/18. White was transferred to the House Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee. Rep. Murrell Smith, R-Sumter, was appointed to replace White as the Ways and […]

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SLED won’t release investigative file on former S.C. House speaker

October 31, 2018

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  By RICK BRUNDRETT In requesting this month’s public release of a state grand jury report into legislative corruption, special prosecutor David Pascoe wrote that he “firmly believes that the greatest weapon against corruption and incompetence in government is transparency.” Yet the State Law Enforcement Division, which assisted Pascoe, declined multiple open-records requests this year […]

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Local charity billboard campaign features State House candidate

May 30, 2018

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By RICK BRUNDRETT If you drive through the busy intersection of Pine Street and Country Club Road on Spartanburg’s south side, you can’t miss a billboard showing state Rep. Eddie Tallon with his arm around a smiling child and the words “Future Legislator” at the bottom. On the surface, the billboard appears to be a […]

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S.C. legislators know how to protect their own wallets

March 9, 2018

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By RICK BRUNDRETT In the S.C. General Assembly, lawmakers can’t seem to resist pushing legislation that could benefit their businesses’ bottom lines. The practice has been perfectly legal for more than a quarter century – and they wrote the ethics laws. Consider this: On the same day last week, at least three House bills were […]

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