Tag Archives: Luke Rankin

House member quit suddenly last year; now a judicial candidate. Coincidence?

July 27, 2021

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south carolina judicial department, judiciary

By RICK BRUNDRETT What a difference a year can make – especially if you’re a state lawmaker. In unexpectedly resigning his longtime House seat last July after winning the Republican primary, Alan Clemmons, a Myrtle Beach attorney, said in an affidavit to the State Election Commission that he was withdrawing from the general election because […]

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Lawmakers to spend millions on incumbency-protection maps

July 22, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT The S.C. House and Senate plan to spend millions creating new legislative and congressional district maps based on the latest U.S. Census – a convoluted process that lawmakers undertake every 10 years. Historically, the “reapportionment” or “redistricting” process has been aimed at keeping incumbent legislators in office, though it’s not the official […]

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Santee Cooper board still has expired, vacant seats despite ‘reform’ law

June 18, 2021

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Santee Cooper

By RICK BRUNDRETT Of the 12 seats on the board governing state-owned utility Santee Cooper, two are vacant while seven members are serving past their expired terms. A new law that purportedly will reform Santee Cooper – pushed by lawmakers after they couldn’t decide to sell the debt-burdened utility – doesn’t change the selection process […]

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Two lawmakers rack up thousands in unpaid ethics fines

May 19, 2021

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BY RICK BRUNDRETT Since 2015, two sitting House members have owed thousands in civil fines after receiving public reprimands for campaign reporting violations, records reviewed by The Nerve show. Rep. Cezar McKnight, D-Williamsburg, who is an attorney, owes $59,150.88 to the Senate Ethics Committee, committee lawyer J.J. Gentry said in an initial written response in […]

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Attorney with ties to SC senator wins judgeship

May 7, 2021

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south carolina judicial department, judiciary

By RICK BRUNDRETT An attorney who works in a state senator’s law firm is Spartanburg County’s new master-in-equity judge – less than three months after the county’s legislative delegation, of which the senator is a member, quietly nominated her. The Senate and House this week confirmed Shannon Phillips, an attorney in Sen. Scott Talley’s law […]

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Lawmakers seek to regain control over who heads county VA offices

March 12, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Two years ago, lawmakers created the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, a stand-alone state agency aimed at helping to provide services to the thousands of veterans in South Carolina. With the creation of the new agency, county legislative delegations lost their sole power to fire the county veterans’ affairs officer (CVAO) in their […]

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Lawmakers want to grow size of state’s top court – and their control over judges

January 20, 2021

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south carolina judicial department, judiciary

By RICK BRUNDRETT The powerful S.C. House speaker, who controls half of the appointments on a committee that nominates judges for election in the Legislature, wants to expand the size of the state’s highest court and eliminate the cap on judicial nominees. Rep. Jay Lucas, R-Darlington, is the main sponsor of a joint resolution calling […]

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Lawmaker-controlled panel violates state law – again

January 6, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT A legislatively controlled committee has once again violated a state law requiring that it provide the General Assembly with written individual evaluations of S.C. Public Service Commission members. The seven-member PSC’s authority includes setting utility rates for investor-owned gas and electric utilities. The PSC is holding additional public hearings this week on […]

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Attorney who works in SC senator’s law firm one step closer to judgeship

December 16, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT With 2021 nearly here, S.C. lawmakers likely won’t be making any New Year’s resolutions to loosen their tight grip on the state court system. Legislative leaders have shown little interest in giving up power over the judicial selection process – which often favors friends and business associates of lawmakers. Sen. Scott Talley, […]

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State court system keeps staff salaries secret from the public

November 20, 2020

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south carolina judicial department, judiciary

By RICK BRUNDRETT The S.C. Judicial Department – the third branch of state government – is refusing to publicly reveal salaries of its own employees, contending it isn’t legally required to do so. The Nerve on Oct. 18 submitted a request to the department under the state Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) asking for the […]

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