Feds Turn for S.C. Election Decision-Updated

May 11, 2012 8:20 AM
Feds Turn for S.C. Election Decision-Updated

The confusion that has reigned since the close of candidate filing for the June primary elections, became even more chaotic Thursday when the issue had its first day in federal court.

A federal lawsuit was originally filed by candidate Amanda Somers because she believed she was left off the ballot for the Senate District 5 primary. It is now questionable whether Somers even has standing to bring forth a lawsuit because she was certified as a candidate.

After Somers lawyer, Todd Kincannon, discovered Somers was on the ballot, he attempted to shift the focus of the lawsuit, according to the judge, to include the nearly 200 candidates left off the ballot by the S.C. Supreme Court decision last week.

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Judges might delay June primaries

7:59 AM
Judges might delay June primaries

South Carolina’s primary election season – already marred by three lawsuits, 180 disqualified candidates and a congressman’s wife yelling at a state senator – could be extended.

A panel of three federal judges will hear arguments Monday about whether to delay South Carolina’s June 12 primary elections because of concerns the state may have violated the federal Voting Rights Act.

It’s a case that U.S. District Judge Cameron Currie – a former chief deputy state attorney general, law professor and attorney with nearly 37 years of experience – described this way:
“It’s all very confusing.”

The case was filed by Columbia attorney Todd Kincannon on behalf of Amanda Somers, a candidate for state Senate District 5 in Greenville County.

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South Carolina Senate Kills Do-Over Bill

May 10, 2012 10:17 AM
South Carolina Senate Kills Do-Over Bill

When they go to the polls June 12, voters will likely not see the names of 180 candidates ousted from the S.C. primary ballot because of a state Supreme Court ruling.

The state Senate rejected a proposal Wednesday that would have reinstated the candidates if they filed statements of economic interest by April 15. That would have restored almost all the ousted candidates, state Sen. Larry Martin, R-Pickens, said.

But some senators objected to the extension of the March 30 state mandated deadline. They also believed that by not changing the deadline the state would avoid a federal review over changing an election law that could delay the primary.

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S.C. General Assembly to overturn Supremes

May 8, 2012 7:29 AM
S.C. General Assembly to overturn Supremes

The fallout from the election filing mess continues as the General Assembly looks to overturn last week’s Supreme Court ruling with a joint resolution this week.

If successful, the resolution could put back on the ballot the nearly 200 candidates statewide who failed to file paperwork properly at filing.

The key wording in the resolution is:

SECTION 1. Notwithstanding the provisions contained in Section 8-13-1356(E), any person whose name will not appear on the June 2012 primary election ballot pursuant to the Supreme Court holding in Michael Anderson and Robert Barger v. South Carolina Election Commission, et. al.

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Nikki Haley And The Dropped Ethics Charges

May 7, 2012 2:11 PM
Nikki Haley And The Dropped Ethics Charges

The S.C. House last week danced a conspicuous ethics two-step, in what one State House watchdog describes as exactly the kind of bull pucky that makes taxpayers cynical about politicians and government.

Simply put – it stinks, says the watchdog, Common Cause of South Carolina director John Crangle.

As The Nerve has reported exclusively and repeatedly, a resolution was introduced in January 2011 to let some sunlight in on the House Ethics Committee.

The resolution, H. 3445, was designed to change the chamber’s operating rules so that matters before its Ethics Committee become public if they involve probable cause of wrongdoing.

The House Ethics Committee and its counterpart, the Senate Ethics Committee, have a long history of being secretive about their activities.

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Candidates Certified, Ballot Problems Continue

May 4, 2012 6:03 PM
Candidates Certified, Ballot Problems Continue

Two Supreme Court orders later, candidates certified to be included on the June 12th Republican primary ballot in Horry County still include some who did not file a Statement of Economic Interests (SEI) when they filed their Statement of Intention of Candidacy (SIC), according to information provided to Grand Strand Daily.

Several former Horry County Republican Party officials, who were involved in the filing process, told me they had no information regarding the requirement for the Statement of Economic Interests form to be filed at the same time as the Statement of Intention of Candidacy by non-incumbent candidates.

“The only instructions given were to fill out the two sheets (the Party Pledge and the Statement of Intention of Candidacy) and go look at the SC Ethics Commission website,” said one speaking on conditions of anonymity. “Several candidates brought a Statement of Economic Interests with them and they were the only ones who filed in compliance with the court ruling.”

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SCGOP Statement on Candidate Certification

1:18 PM
SCGOP Statement on Candidate Certification

Columbia, SC – The South Carolina Republican Party today issued a statement following the S.C. Supreme Court’s Noon, May 4 filing deadline:

“On behalf of all South Carolina Republicans, I am sad about this week’s candidate filing rulings, but am committed to following the S.C. Supreme Court’s instructions. Our party has meticulously analyzed the filing submissions in compliance with the standards set forth by the Court.

We respect the Court’s decision and in compliance with the Court’s order, we have submitted our list to the Election Commission. We are looking forward to moving ahead and anticipate animated and spirited primary contests on June 12th.”

Link to filings

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S.C. Supreme Court to Parties – “Stuff It”

May 3, 2012 2:03 PM
S.C. Supreme Court to Parties – “Stuff It”

The gang that can’t shoot straight was at it again Thursday morning as a motion filed by the Republican and Democratic parties and the state Election Commission was late arriving at the Supreme Court.

Working with a deadline of 10 a.m., the motion, which requested a rehearing of the case, arrived seven minutes after the deadline. Fortunately for the three parties to the motion (can we call them the Three Stooges?) the Court accepted the motion despite its tardiness.

Thursday’s motion said candidates filed their paperwork based on instructions from party officials. The parties said they wanted to make sure that a printed receipt of the electronic filing of Statement of Economic Interests presented with the Statement of Intention of Candidacy or a paper filing of the SEI at the same time an SIC was filed, but without the electronic filing was sufficient to allow candidates on the ballot.

It only took the court a matter of hours to answer the motion. The answer, in the form of an order, was, again, a very strict ruling on state law and a denial of the rehearing request. Essentially, the Court told the “Three Stooges” where to stuff their request.

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Decision Eliminates Many, Questions Remain

May 2, 2012 4:27 PM
Decision Eliminates Many, Questions Remain

It only took the S.C. Supreme Court one day to reach a unanimous decision that candidates who did not strictly follow state law with regard to filing candidacy forms may not be included on the party primary ballot or general election ballot this year.

The Supreme Court found as follows:

“ We grant declaratory relief as follows: (1) that individuals not exempt who are seeking nomination by political party primary to be a candidate for office must file a Statement of Economic Interest (SEI) at the same time and with the same official with whom the individuals file a Statement of Intention of Candidacy (SIC); (2) that an official authorized to receive SICs may not accept the forms unless they are accompanied by an SEI; (3) that an individual who did not file an SEI at the same time and with the same official with whom the individual filed an SIC should not appear on the party primary election ballot or the general election ballot; and […]

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Election Filing Case in Court’s Hands

May 1, 2012 1:48 PM
Election Filing Case in Court’s Hands

Arguments have been heard and a decision is expected within a few days ruling who will be eligible to be placed on the Republican and Democratic ballots for the upcoming June 12, 2012 primary elections.

The case, brought by two Lexington County voters, requests the Court to declare any candidate who did not file a Statement of Economic Interests (SEI) concurrently with their Statement of Intention of Candidacy (SIC) be ruled ineligible to be placed on the June primary ballot.

While five candidates from Lexington County who failed to comply with the law were mentioned in the lawsuit, the case has ramifications statewide.

During the court hearing, justices indicated a broad ruling that will apply to all candidates who filed for the upcoming June 12th Republican and Democratic primaries will be forthcoming.

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