Tag Archives: State Ethics Commission

McMaster receives gifts totaling tens of thousands of dollars

April 7, 2021

0 Comments

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 […]

Continue reading...

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

January 29, 2021

0 Comments

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 […]

Continue reading...

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

December 16, 2020

0 Comments

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, […]

Continue reading...

Lawmakers routinely tap campaign funds for ‘other’ expenses

August 27, 2020

1 Comment

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 […]

Continue reading...

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

February 14, 2020

0 Comments

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 […]

Continue reading...

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

January 22, 2020

0 Comments

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 […]

Continue reading...

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

November 13, 2019

1 Comment

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 […]

Continue reading...

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

September 4, 2019

0 Comments

  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 […]

Continue reading...

Lots of hands in S.C. pension and health insurance cookie jars

August 28, 2019

0 Comments

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 […]

Continue reading...

S.C. lawmakers getting county payments for ‘phantom’ delegation offices

August 7, 2019

0 Comments

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 […]

Continue reading...