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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Chief Justice Recuses Self from Election Case

April 30, 2012 9:50 AM
Chief Justice Recuses Self from Election Case

Grand Strand Daily and SC Hotline have joined forces to confirm that Chief Justice Jean Toal and Associate Justice Donald Beatty have recused themselves from the candidate filing case for the upcoming June 12th Republican and Democratic primaries.

The case is Michael Anderson and Robert Barber, Plaintiffs v. S.C. Election Commission, S.C. Republican Party, S.C. Democratic Party, et al.

Plaintiffs Anderson and Barber are seeking to stop the parties from certifying and the election commission from including on the June 12th primary ballot any candidate who did not strictly comply with state law by filing their Statement of Economic Interest form, with the S.C. Ethics Commission, at a different time from when their Statement of Intention of Candidacy was filed.

According to information from the Clerk of Court for the S.C. Supreme Court, Chief Justice Toal will be replaced on the bench by Justice G. Thomas Cooper, Jr. from the 5th Circuit Court while Justice Beatty will be replaced by former Supreme Court Associate Justice James Moore, who retired from the court in 2008.

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New Twist in Election Filing Case

April 28, 2012 9:57 AM
New Twist in Election Filing Case

A new twist has been added to the election filing controversy that affects many candidates for elective office throughout the state.

Even before the S.C. Supreme Court hears oral arguments on the case May 1, 2012, the S.C. House Legislative Ethics Committee has seen fit to send out notices of fines for late filing.

The letter below has been edited to eliminate the name of the candidate for public office who received it. However, this candidate is a first time office seeker who filed the Statement of Economic Interests SEI) after March 30, 2012 but before April 15, 2012.

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7th District Democrats Heating Up

April 27, 2012 6:49 AM
7th District Democrats Heating Up

The race for the Democratic nomination for the new 7th Congressional District heated up recently when Horry County’s Preston Brittain took a swipe at S.C. Rep. Ted Vick of Chesterfield County.

According to recent polling date, Brittain and Vick are the front runners in a field of five that also includes Gloria Bromell-Tinubu, Parnell Diggs and Harry Pavilack all from Horry County.

Brittain has been traveling in the western part of the district this week. He picked up an important endorsement from Florence Mayor Steven Wukela early in the week.

“Preston hasn’t been part of the problem in Washington — he has spent his career standing up to power for real people.” Wukela said.

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How Far Will S.C. Supreme Court Go?

April 25, 2012 5:40 AM
How Far Will S.C. Supreme Court Go?

Part III of the Election Filing Mess

After reading the complaint and viewing exhibits included with the lawsuit by two Lexington County voters against the S.C. Republican and Democratic parties and the S.C. Election Commission, it is clear it will be very difficult for the S.C. Supreme Court to fail to disqualify some candidates who were late in fililng their Statement of Economic Interests.

Many incumbents and challengers, who filed for the upcoming June 12th primary elections, did not comply with either the letter of the law or with the spirit of the law by failing to file some required papers until after close of filing at noon March 30, 2012.

(Ed. Note: The complaint, exhibits and other documents included with the suit can be found in the election commission information pdf file below.}

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S.C. Election Filing Mess – Part II

April 24, 2012 6:24 AM
S.C. Election Filing Mess – Part II

Every time we look at the mess created during election filing time by candidates who did not comply with state law, something else jumps out to further complicate the upcoming S.C. Supreme Court decision on two lawsuits filed to challenge discrepancies in the filings.

Yesterday we reported on the absolute mess in Horry County that, under strict adherence to state law, would disqualify enough candidates and incumbents to leave two county council, one state house, one state senate, sheriff, coroner, clerk of court, auditor and treasurer with no qualified candidates from either party to appear on the ballot.

That could mean all those seats are determined by write-in campaigns in November.

But, the mess does not end there. It seems the state legislators who passed the law could not be bothered to follow its provisions either.

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S.C. Election Filing Mess Gets Deeper

April 23, 2012 10:37 AM
S.C. Election Filing Mess Gets Deeper

The Horry County June 12th primary election ballots could have many blank spaces instead of candidates’ names if the South Carolina Supreme Court determines strict adherence with state law is required by all candidates.

After the state Supreme Court agreed last week to hear two cases regarding challenges to candidate filings from the recent election filing period, Grand Strand Daily conducted further investigation into filing dates of candidate Statement of Economic Interests.

Our investigation of filing information listed on the S.C. Ethics Commission website included both incumbent office holders as well as challengers. The results are that many candidates, it could even be said most, did not strictly comply with state law when filing for office in the current election cycle.

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Wallace Continues Rise in 7th District Polls

April 21, 2012 7:39 PM
Wallace Continues Rise in 7th District Polls

Myrtle Beach city councilman Randal Wallace has become the “little engine that could” among Republican candidates for the 7th Congressional District nomination.

Although he trails significantly in money raising, normally the “mother’s milk” of politics, Wallace has been polling respectably among the more, supposedly, high flying candidates in the race – Andre Bauer, Chad Prosser, Jay Jordan and Tom Rice.

A personable individual, effective speaker with a good grasp of issues and an extremely hard working campaigner, Wallace’s personal attributes seem to be leveling the playing field somewhat with his better funded opponents.

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