Tag Archives: State Ethics Commission

Counties still paying lawmakers for ‘phantom’ delegation offices

July 29, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Last year, S.C. Sen. Kent Williams of Marion County reported receiving a collective $17,060 in legislative delegation payments from neighboring Dillon and Florence counties, parts of which are in his Senate district. Another longtime lawmaker, Rep. Jackie Hayes of Dillon County, received $12,500 in 2020 – the same amount paid to Williams […]

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U.S. Rep. Mace among those owing S.C. House ethics fines

June 4, 2021

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  By RICK BRUNDRETT Ex-S.C. House member Nancy Mace, who was elected last year to Congress, owes a $5,100 civil fine imposed by the state House Ethics Committee for a campaign reporting violation related to her former position, according to an updated fines list released this week after The Nerve’s inquiry. The list, updated Tuesday […]

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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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McMaster receives gifts totaling tens of thousands of dollars

April 7, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Over the past four years as South Carolina’s governor, Henry McMaster received a total of more than $87,000 in gifts, The Nerve found in a review of his annual income-disclosure reports. Of the $87,695 in freebies, $24,679, or 28%, came from the Washington, D.C.-based Republican Governors Association (RGA), mainly for flights, hotel […]

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Top lawmakers’ campaign spending didn’t stop with re-election

January 29, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Over the last three months of 2020, the November general election wasn’t the only expense that top S.C. lawmakers covered with campaign funds. The Nerve’s review of the latest campaign-spending reports filed this month by Senate and House leaders found that a number of them spent some of their campaign funds 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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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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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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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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