Haley’s Ethics Problems

May 29, 2012 2:45 AM
Haley’s Ethics Problems

The ethics investigation into actions of Gov. Nikki Haley while she was a member of the House could cause the governor considerable problems with ethics laws.

In a complaint to the S .C. House of Representatives, Republican activist John Rainey alleged Haley “traded on the influence of her office (representative) for her personal benefit and the benefit of those paying her by (1) lobbying a state agency, (2) failing to disclose that her reason for recusing herself from voting on legislation was because the legislation’s beneficiary was secretly paying her, (3) failing to abstain from a vote authorizing payment of public money to a corporation paying her, (4) soliciting money from registered lobbyists and lobbyist principals for the benefit of her employer and (5) concealing all of this activity by making false and incomplete public disclosures.”

The S.C. Ethics Commission defines a lobbyist, “as any person who is employed, appointed, or retained, with or without compensation, by another person to influence by direct communication with public officials or public employees.”

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Will Haley be Next Political Casualty of 2012?

May 27, 2012 6:16 AM
Will Haley be Next Political Casualty of 2012?

In this strangest of all political seasons, the number of political casualties continues to rise by the week as new disclosures are made about challengers and incumbents. And it is not over yet by a long shot.

Over 200 state and local candidates for elective office have already been removed from the June 12th primary ballots and more seem destined to be disqualified in the upcoming weeks.

Two front running candidates for the new 7th Congressional District seat ended their campaigns after being arrested for what can only be called “extremely stupid acts” on their part.

Now, Gov. Nikki Haley’s ethics, while a state representative, are getting a second look and it appears that there is a lot more fire than smoke in the complaint against her.

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Harrell Responds to Haley Accusations

May 26, 2012 4:58 AM
Harrell Responds to Haley Accusations

The fight over alleged ethics violations by Gov. Nikki Haley when she served as a member of the House is being heard far and wide from Columbia.

The governor claimed House Speaker Bobby Harrell was interfering with the House Ethics Committee investigation, which could be an ethics violation in itself. Harrell responded to those charges yesterday.

“Statements made by Governor Haley today at a press conference are simply not true.”

“It is not true to claim that lawyers for the House Ethics Committee were ‘directed’ to refuse to meet with the Governor’s lawyers in order to accept the documents the Committee requested. The truth is, the Governor’s lawyers did in fact present those documents directly to counsel for the Ethics Committee…”

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Certifying Unqualified Candidates, Is the GOP Playing Favorites?

May 24, 2012 10:38 AM
Certifying Unqualified Candidates, Is the GOP Playing Favorites?

A new hearing on the never ending candidate filing controversy is scheduled for the S.C. Supreme Court on June 4, 2012.

A very clear ruling on the requirements of state law pertaining to candidate filing requirements, specifically Section 8-13-1356(B), was issued by the S.C. Supreme Court on May 2, 2012. Irrespective of that decision, it appears some candidates got onto the June 12th primary ballots anyway.

The new hearing resulted from of an affidavit the Florence County Republican Party submitted to the Supreme Court in which it acknowledged only one of the 15 candidates it certified for the June 12th primary ballot actually filed the proper paperwork on time.

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Statement from Bauer on Raising Debt Ceiling

1:35 AM
Statement from Bauer on Raising Debt Ceiling

In a Republican debate May 22 in Georgetown, SC (Congressional race in South Carolina’s new 7th district) Tom Rice was the only candidate who said he would raise our nation’s debt ceiling for a local pork project.

Today’s statement from Andre Bauer on raising the debt ceiling…….

“I have pledged that I would not vote to raise our nation’s debt ceiling. We cannot afford it. Our children and their children do not deserve being burdened by our increasing debt and careless spending. We must have the capacity to say NO…and we must do it now. I congratulate the other Republican candidates for agreeing with me during last night’s congressional debate in Georgetown,SC.

However one candidate said that he was in favor of raising our debt ceiling, Tom Rice. This is a major area in which Tom Rice and I differ tremendously. As a conservative, I will say no to spending we cannot afford. Apparently, as a moderate, Tom Rice believes that more spending whether it be a project in South Carolina or a “bridge to nowhere”…is not a big deal.

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Will Petition Drive Lead to Identity Theft?

May 22, 2012 8:20 PM
Will Petition Drive Lead to Identity Theft?

The drive to get candidates onto the ballot by petition could lead to even further problems down the line than occurred with the recent decision by the S.C. Supreme Court that disqualified these candidates in the first place.

Operation Lost Vote is ramping up a statewide campaign to get as many of the disqualified candidates as possible back on the ballot by the November general election. This is an admirable goal.

What may not be as admirable is the apparent haste to get petitions signed with little pre-planning of the effort.

Notable is the post for a “Signature Saturday” this weekend in Spartanburg County. Brief training and Q&A session will be followed by the distribution of walking lists for door to door canvassing for signatures. You don’t have to know anybody or live in the county to volunteer.

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Election Commission Says NO to Shealy

May 17, 2012 10:35 AM
Election Commission Says NO to Shealy

The South Carolina Election Commission negated the SCGOP decision last night to place Katrina Shealy on the upcoming June 12th primary ballot for Senate District 23.

According to a press release issued Thursday, the Election Commission is holding certification of candidates to the May 4, 2012 date set by the S.C. Supreme Court May 2nd.

“Under order of the S.C. Supreme Court, state and county political parties were required to provide the state and county election commissions with an updated list of candidates who properly filed for office by noon, May 4th,” reads the commission website.

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Nikki Haley Overrules S.C. Supreme Court

May 16, 2012 8:47 PM
Nikki Haley Overrules S.C. Supreme Court

By a vote of 26-0, an SCGOP Executive Committee placed Katrina Shealy back on the June 12th primary ballot for Senate District 23.

Shealy was the fourth of five candidates whose protests were heard by the committee. She was the only one successful in reversing a former decision about her certification for the ballot.

The entire candidate filing controversy has been pinned to Shealy’s opponent, incumbent Sen. Jakie Knotts who, reportedly, had someone challenge Shealy’s filing in a lawsuit heard by the S.C. Supreme Court with original jurisdiction of the case.

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State Ethics Committee Violated State Law

6:10 AM
State Ethics Committee Violated State Law

The appeal of Republican operative John Rainey to House Speaker Bobby Harrell asking the full House to re-consider ethics complaints against Gov. Nikki Haley, for actions when she was a House member, virtually screams for an investigation to be opened.

The fact that stands out most in Rainey’s appeal is that just minutes before voting 5-1 to dismiss an ethics complaint by Rainey against Haley, the House Ethics Committee voted unanimously that probable cause existed to investigate the complaint.

S.C. Code of Laws Section 8-13-540 states, “If the ethics committee determines complaint alleges facts sufficient to constitute a violation, it shall promptly investigate the alleged violation and may compel by subpoena the testimony of witnesses and the production of pertinent books and papers.”

In failing to investigate the complaint and, instead, voting to dismiss it, the ethics committee violated state law. There doesn’t appear the committee is allowed any discretion in this decision as the law plainly states “shall promptly investigate.”

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From the Court Room to the Living Room

May 15, 2012 4:08 AM
From the Court Room to the Living Room

Election ballot issues shifted from the court room to the living room Monday when a federal three judge panel threw out the lawsuit challenging the continuing candidate certification issues for upcoming Republican and Democratic primaries throughout the state.

The complaint said military personnel serving overseas should have 45 days before the election to receive, fill out and return their ballots. Absentee ballots for federal elections, Congressional races this year, were sent 45 days prior to the election, according to the S.C. Election Commission.

A separate ballot, containing names for state and local candidates was sent later, after the S.C. Supreme Court decision eliminated nearly 200 candidates from certification two weeks ago. The complaint argued the splitting of the ballots was illegal under election law.

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