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NEWSPAPERS WEIGH IN ON BEHALF OF STATE TREASURER

It’s rare indeed when this website praises decisions made by the “Republican-controlled” S.C. General Assembly … or concurs with the judgments of our state’s ivory tower media elites.

Blind hogs do occasionally find acorns, though … as is the case with the drama surrounding South Carolina’s $24.4 billion pension fund.

Of course things didn’t start out that way. In fact just two weeks ago this debate appeared to be moving in a different direction.

For those of you catching up on the drama, The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper has been a ground-level participant in the insider jihad launched against S.C. Treasurer Curtis Loftis – who has been pushing for greater transparency and accountability as it relates to this under-performing, woefully-mismanaged fund (which has lost $1.8 billion over the last six months despite its exorbitantly high fees and growing taxpayer tab).

This website has consistently supported Loftis in his efforts – while working to uncover the real scandals at this corrupt agency.

Why? Because unlike some people we’ve been aggressively supporting  pension fund reform for years – and because we believe that Loftis is doing his job by calling attention to this issue (and by trying to fight the corrupt insider deals that have perpetuated the fund’s problems).

We’re not alone, apparently.

This weekend the editorial boards of both The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier and The Greenville News weighed in on the issue – praising the South Carolina Senate for blocking an effort to remove Loftis from the investment panel that oversees the fund.

“The Senate made the right call last week by rejecting a proposal for the treasurer to be removed from the fund’s six-person investment panel,” the Post and Courier‘s editorial board wrote, citing “the importance of having a citizen advocate on the panel.”

As evidence, the paper’s editorial writers highlighted a lengthy story by reporter Renee Dudley which laid bare the frightening numbers associated with this debate.

“The treasurer has questioned whether the $26 billion fund is getting an adequate return, whether the percentage of comparatively risky investments is too great and whether the $343 million paid in investment management fees last year was too high,” the Post and Courier editorial continued.

The editorial board at The Greenville News was even more aggressive in defending Loftis.

“The treasurer’s questions deserve to be answered,” its authors noted. “There is nothing out of the ordinary when a member of a commission overseeing taxpayer funds asks for more light to be shone on how those funds are being managed. And he’s absolutely right that more transparency is a good thing, especially when billions of dollars are at stake.”

Good …

Whether you like Loftis or not, he is solely responsible for bringing this debate to the forefront. Not only that, he has consistently proposed both benefit and investment reforms aimed at reducing liabilities and maximizing return.

We’re glad to see that we’re not the only ones who recognize that …

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