Tag Archives: State Ethics Commission

Public agencies in SC spending thousands to influence lawmakers, other state officials

February 14, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Last year, local municipalities, fire and other special purpose districts, public colleges and at least three state agencies collectively spent more than $1.4 million on lobbying the S.C. legislative and executive branches, State Ethics Commission records show. The total grows to at least $2.9 million if  other state-created or state-owned agencies, organizations […]

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Some lawmakers off to a fast start – looking after their wallets?

January 22, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Although S.C. lawmakers have been back in session only since last week, some of them aren’t waiting to author or co-sponsor bills that could boost their own bottom lines. And a longstanding state ethics law gives them a big legal loophole to push for such legislation. Under a House bill prefiled in […]

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S.C. lawmakers spending campaign funds on favorite charities, other ‘gifts’

November 13, 2019

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state house

By RICK BRUNDRETT During this year’s legislative session, S.C. Sen. Hugh Leatherman spent a total of $14,769 for constituent “gifts” through ChemArt, a Rhode Island-based ornament company, plus another collective $1,364 for constituent meals at the upscale Palmetto Club near the State House – all paid for with campaign funds, records show. The Florence County […]

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Public agencies in SC spend more than $1 million total on state lobbyists

September 4, 2019

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  By RICK BRUNDRETT For the first half of this year, North Myrtle Beach agreed to pay a total of $120,000 to a lobbying firm to “work with” the Legislature and Governor’s Office on the city’s behalf, including a push for a law allowing a local sales tax for infrastructure projects, according to a retainer […]

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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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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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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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State ethics violations? Video raises questions about senator’s 2017 DUI arrest

June 17, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT A newly released police video is raising questions about whether S.C. Sen. Paul Campbell tried to use his position as a lawmaker to get out of charges of driving under the influence and lying to police in 2017 – which, if true, would violate state ethics law. On the one-hour-25-minute YouTube video […]

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Ex-lawmakers continue to cash in on their legislative time

March 2, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Over the years, lawmakers have legally made it easy for themselves to continue making money after leaving office through their connections in the Legislature and elsewhere in state and local government. Under state law, for example, legislators can become lobbyists just a year after leaving office. In recent years, at least four […]

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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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