Curtis Loftis Criticizes Underperforming SC Pension Fund

February 26, 2013 10:00 PM
Curtis Loftis Criticizes Underperforming SC Pension Fund

South Carolina Treasurer Curtis Loftis again criticized the underperformance of the pension funds controlled by the S.C. Retirement System Investment Commission recently.

Speaking of the year end results for 2012, Loftis said, “It is unfortunate that the SC Investment Commission chooses not to tell the whole story about the state’s $27 billion pension fund. Our fund performs in the bottom third compared with our peers. That low performance is costing us big money. By being below average, South Carolina is leaving $175 million on the investment table.”

Since assuming the office of treasurer, Loftis has been a critic of the SCRSIC for poor performance, wasteful spending, lack of transparency and conflicts of interest.

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Legal Difficulties Loom for Judge John Rakowsky

February 21, 2013 7:00 AM
Legal Difficulties Loom for Judge John Rakowsky

A month ago, we reported that Lexington attorney and chief magistrate judge John Rakowsky was a defendant in a lawsuit filed in Las Vegas, Nevada federal court, Case No. 2:12-cv-02161-GMN-CWH.

The lawsuit is for Breach of Contract, Breach of Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing, Intentional Misrepresentation and Conversion of Property. The Plaintiff is Center for Legal Reform (CLR), a Nevada Non-profit Corporation as successor in trust to Resolution Settlement Corporation (RSC), a former Nevada corporation, which provided expense funds for the Southern Holdings case.

This case has the potential to fully expose the South Carolina legal system as a good ole boys club that protects its own at the expense of the law, fairness and justice.

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IRS Complaint Lodged Against S.C. Rep. Mike Ryhal

February 14, 2013 5:00 AM
IRS Complaint Lodged Against S.C. Rep. Mike Ryhal

Grand Strand Daily has learned that S.C. House District 56 representative Mike Ryhal and RAN Enterprises, LLC, a business owned by Ryhal, are being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service for alleged discrepancies in required tax filings.

The investigation reportedly stems from complaints to the IRS by several former employees of Rotelli’s restaurant, the business Ryhal operates under RAN Enterprises, LLC. The employees said their W-2’s for tax year 2012 show considerably less wages than they actually earned.

The employees said they were fired by Ryhal after each refused, in December 2012, to sign an individual, back-dated statement saying they were sub-contractors of Rotelli’s for tax year 2012.

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Flow Control ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ Lawsuit Update

February 13, 2013 6:00 AM
Flow Control ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ Lawsuit Update

The Horry County Administration Committee will hear an update at its Friday meeting on plans to hire a law firm to sue the State of South Carolina if the General Assembly passes legislation to outlaw solid waste flow control within the state.

The ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ lawsuit would be one of the highest forms of political folly ever seen in this county of almost continuous political follies.

Couched by county council members as their line in the sand for ‘home rule’, it is anything but.

The Horry County Solid Waste Authority and then county attorney John Weaver sold county council a bill of goods in 2008 about the authority’s need to have flow control in order to stay in business.

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SC House Passes Flow Control Ban

February 11, 2013 9:06 AM
SC House Passes Flow Control Ban

The S.C. House ended the month of January by passing third reading on the Business Freedom to Choose Act (H3290), which would make Horry County’s solid waste flow control ordinance illegal.

The fate of the county’s monopoly on solid waste disposal for all solid waste generated in the county now rests with the S.C. Senate.

According to information we are hearing, Sen. Luke Rankin and Sen. Greg Hembree will fight passage of the bill in the Senate, which would act to the detriment of the citizens they represent.

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Tourism Development Fee Tales

February 9, 2013 12:00 PM
Tourism Development Fee Tales

The Tourism Development Fee, otherwise known as the reverse Robin Hood tourism ad sales tax, is again in the news as Myrtle Beach city and Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce officials continue to attempt to justify it.

They speak of capital improvement projects and reduced property tax for owner occupied homes in the city as well as possibilities of extending the tourism base for local business.

What we don’t hear about is how the motel and restaurant owners were able to decrease their advertising budgets in excess of 90 percent, allowing them to put more money in their pockets, while the maids, waitresses and bus boys they pay minimum wage to pay more tax.

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Expanding Flow Control Monopoly in Horry County

January 31, 2013 9:00 AM
Expanding Flow Control Monopoly in Horry County

As the S.C. General Assembly considers legislation this year that would make flow control of the waste stream illegal throughout the state, Horry County government is planning to expand waste operations of the Horry County Solid Waste Authority and carry the fight into the courts to maintain its government monopoly over the waste business within county borders.

For over three years now, Horry County has legislated that all waste generated within the county must be disposed at the county dump, also known as the Horry County Solid Waste Authority, at rates dictated by the SWA.

This is nothing more than maximizing the income stream for the county created SWA, which operates as a quasi-governmental authority, without the SWA having to compete in the free market against private companies. And it must work well because the SWA has cut no jobs, even in the depressed economy, and each of its over 100 employees received a $500 Christmas bonus in 2011 and 2012.

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South Carolina’s Transportation Infrastructure Problems

January 28, 2013 10:10 PM
South Carolina’s Transportation Infrastructure Problems

The battle to save South Carolina’s transportation infrastructure, especially roads and bridges, seems to be joined in the state government this year.

A bill to do away with the State Infrastructure Bank and roll its responsibilities into the Department of Transportation appears to have a chance of success as does one that would require prioritizing road projects with maintenance and repair of existing roads as the top priority.

In her State of the State address, Gov. Nikki Haley urged state lawmakers to fix crumbling roads and bridges.

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The Internet Sweepstakes Clean-Up

January 18, 2013 9:00 AM
The Internet Sweepstakes Clean-Up

Raids on internet sweepstakes cafes continued in Horry County yesterday and, for the first time we can confirm, several locations within the city limits of Myrtle Beach were targeted by SLED officers.

For the first time since internet sweepstakes cafes began operating in Horry County over two years ago, there is a consistent policy being carried out that the games are illegal throughout the county.

Prior to yesterday’s raids, internet sweepstakes cafes were declared illegal by a county magistrate and subject to closure and confiscation in the unincorporated areas of the county, but were allowed to operate unimpeded by law enforcement within the Myrtle Beach city limits.

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Internet Sweepstakes Ban Inches Forward

January 16, 2013 9:19 AM
Internet Sweepstakes Ban Inches Forward

A bill to ban internet sweepstakes games took a key step forward yesterday when it passed second reading in the Senate by a 40-2 margin.

The bill seeks to close any loophole business owners cite, in the state’s gambling laws, to operate so-called sweepstakes cafes. Senate Judiciary Chairman Larry Martin said the bill clears up any ambiguity in the law.

The state banned video gambling in 2000. Operators of internet sweepstakes cafes say the games compare to the sweepstakes that McDonald’s uses as a promotion every year. Law enforcement officials in the state contend that they are merely another form of gambling.

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