Tag Archives: Thomas Alexander

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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Hundreds of Santee Cooper employees receive ‘incentive’ bonuses

December 4, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT “Incentive” bonuses totaling more than $5 million were doled out this year to 1,463 Santee Cooper employees, with individual cash rewards averaging about $3,500 and topping out at $165,000 for a high-level executive, The Nerve found in a review of utility records. The records, provided by the state-created utility under the S.C. […]

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S.C. lawmakers continue tight grip on PSC elections

September 23, 2020

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Update: The Legislature on Sept. 23, 2020, elected four newcomers to the S.C. Public Service Commission: Carolyn “Carolee” Williams, District 1; Stephen “Mike” Caston, District 3; Headen Thomas, District 5; and Delton Powers, District 7. By RICK BRUNDRETT For many South Carolinians, the size of their utility bills ultimately rests with state lawmakers. Not only […]

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PURC legislative members took junkets to utility industry-sponsored events

February 19, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT From 2007 through 2016, five longtime legislative members of a panel that nominates candidates to the S.C. Public Service Commission each attended at least two out-of-state events sponsored by utility-industry trade groups, records show. The total taxpayer cost of the trips by the five lawmakers who sit on the six-legislator, 10-member State […]

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State law violated: PURC fails to submit annual reviews of PSC members

January 24, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT A legislatively controlled committee violated state law in recent years by not giving the General Assembly annual performance reviews of individual S.C. Public Service Commission members, who set utility rates for residents and businesses statewide, a review by The Nerve found. Timing could be everything. Before the V.C. Summer nuclear project collapsed […]

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How one S.C. senator can control the appointment of county magistrates

July 2, 2019

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SC Senate Chamber

By RICK BRUNDRETT The S.C. Senate’s quiet move at the end of last week’s special legislative session to confirm Mike Pitts as a Laurens County magistrate surprised even some senators when the former state House member’s name was quickly read across the desk. That’s likely because, in part, the appointment of the more than 300 […]

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Subsidies for Carolina Panthers: A losing game for S.C. taxpayers?

May 15, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT At the end of the 2014 regular legislative session, lawmakers slipped in a budget proviso funneling $75,000 through the state tourism agency for the Carolina Panthers’ summer training camp at Wofford College in Spartanburg. Then-Gov. Nikki Haley vetoed the proviso, writing in her June 11, 2014, veto message, “The National Football League […]

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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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PSC election delayed again; public comment chilled under state law

September 26, 2018

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By RICK BRUNDRETT S.C. lawmakers have once again delayed filling a $107,822 seat on the state Public Service Commission, which routinely approved electric rate hikes for the failed V.C. Summer nuclear project. A screening hearing for PSC Seat 2, which was supposed to have been held Monday of this week, was postponed, according to a […]

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S.C. legislative panel to consider PSC insiders for ‘do-over’ PSC election

August 8, 2018

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By RICK BRUNDRETT An incumbent state Public Service Commission member, a past commissioner and an ex-PSC attorney are among six candidates who have applied for a PSC seat in a “do-over” election imposed by lawmakers in May. The former PSC attorney, who dropped out of a May race for another PSC seat, recently moved so […]

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