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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Candidate Qualifications Remain In Doubt

May 13, 2012 5:35 AM
Candidate Qualifications Remain In Doubt

So far we have had two orders from the S.C. Supreme Court, a recertification of eligibility of candidates by the S.C. Republican and Democratic parties and an ongoing challenge in federal court with respect to the upcoming June 12th primary elections. Yet, there are still difficulties with the candidates currently certified to appear on the ballots.

Despite very strict rulings by the Supreme Court on Section 8-13-1356(B) with respect to certification of non-incumbent candidates, by our tally 10 challengers for S.C. House seats remain in violation of those rulings but are certified for inclusion on the ballot. (See link below)

This would be egregious by itself considering all the questions that have already been raised about the qualifications of candidates for the upcoming June primaries. However, it is not the only question that remains unanswered about candidates for those elections.

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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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