Kirkman Finlay Won’t Take Per Diem Payments

NEW HOUSE MEMBER WON’T TAKE CONTROVERSIAL REIMBURSEMENTS Incoming S.C. Rep. Kirkman Finlay (R-Richland) will refuse a legislative stipend tied to his service in the S.C. General Assembly – requesting that the money be send back to the state’s general fund and (ideally) rebated to the taxpayers.  In refusing to accept…


Incoming S.C. Rep. Kirkman Finlay (R-Richland) will refuse a legislative stipend tied to his service in the S.C. General Assembly – requesting that the money be send back to the state’s general fund and (ideally) rebated to the taxpayers.  In refusing to accept this money – which amounts to roughly $12,000 per year – Finlay joins S.C. Senator Katrina Shealy, a petition candidate who unseated fiscal liberal Jakie Knotts last month.

Each day they are in session, state lawmakers receive $131 for expenses related to food and lodging.  Shealy and Finlay aren’t taking that money because they both live in the Midlands region of South Carolina – a short drive away from the S.C. State House in Columbia, S.C.

In fact Shealy announced last week that she would refuse the subsidies for the duration of her term – saving taxpayers $48,000.  If every lawmaker were to follow Finlay and Shealy’s lead, taxpayers would save an estimate $2.1 million annually.

Well … we say “saving” …

Unfortunately South Carolina doesn’t have a mechanism in place to send this money back to the taxpayers.  Accordingly, whenever you hear politicians talk about cuts, consolidations or other reforms that produce “savings” – they’re really talking about money that gets spent somewhere else in government.

To Finlay and Shealy’s credit, both have expressed their support for S.C. Sen. Tom Davis (R-Beaufort) in his bid to create a “taxpayer rebate fund” and force state lawmakers to take recorded votes on whether to put specific pots of surplus revenue and government “savings” into the fund.


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lance December 3, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Looks like a heroic, graying Navy Seal in that pic …

interested December 3, 2012 at 2:21 pm

LOL, what?

henry December 3, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Perhaps even a thougtful-eyed,youthful Bobby Lee…

Original Good Old Boy December 3, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Looks like a dude with a pen in his hand to me.

steve December 3, 2012 at 4:24 pm

….but in reality he is still a spoiled, condescending, snarky frat boy who has never accomplished anything on his own, it has been given to him. Navy Seal, please. This is the type of Ted Nugent coward who will vote to send others to fight while talking tough, but he would no more go and fight himself than say turning down hand outs from the federal government in the form of farm subsidies.

scsince60 December 3, 2012 at 5:57 pm

Steve, He had a great-great grandfather who fought pretty damn well. I take it you were not a fraternity man?

sweepin December 3, 2012 at 9:12 pm

@SC60. The last of the Hampton lot to serve his country in war was Finlay’s relative, Ben Morris, President and Publisher of The State.

Ben, a fine man and WWII Vet. wasn’t even blood kin. Young Finlay would be honored to carry Ben’s soiled underwear.

The Chief December 3, 2012 at 11:27 pm

What a fugly character. Give him a tophat and a dragon and he’s prime time Disney.

interested December 3, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Who else could follow suit?
Both Rick Quinn, James Smith live locally. Oh and there’s Nathan Ballentine and Todd Rutherford.

Recovering Lobbyist December 3, 2012 at 2:26 pm

How will they make their boat payments?

BradWarthenSucks December 3, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Darrell Jackson will likely keep his. Same with John Courson who could probably walk to the Statehouse from his house.

CorruptionLivesInRichlandCountyToo December 4, 2012 at 8:45 am

Oh hell yes Darrell Jackson will keep his per diem…’s time voters in Eastover district replace him and replace Joel Lourie in his district. It is my opinion and others they are both VERY SELF- SERViNG. People in those districts need to wake up. I’d rather see a Republic win those seats than have those two in the Senate and I’m a democrat. Joel Lourie and Darrell Jackson make me want to turn Republican in a hurry. Look at the Richland County election problems that occurred. Joel Lourie and Darrell Jackson are a part of the Richland County delegation supporting McBride and Joel Lourie’s brother-in-law, Gary Baum. Joel Lourie was quick to say, I didn’t influence my brother-in-law getting a job in the Richland County Election office making over $60,0000 a year. I say “BULLSHIT” .

junior justice December 3, 2012 at 2:57 pm

They should take the per diem, and spend it for constituent services. Such as: assisting someone with a heating bill, or some kind of extra needed service. This would put the money to direct and good uses.

Guero December 3, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Chump change for the $1,000,000 Welfare Queen who rips off the US Treasury for crop dole payments.

SparkleCity December 3, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Wouldn’t hold it against any legislator who lives within a 25 mile radius for submitting an expense report for meals/mileage but all in all…good for them.


What they are they going to do about the taxpayers who are going to have to spend the rest of their lives dealing with the DOR/SSN fuck up???


Tetley December 3, 2012 at 10:32 pm


Johnson December 3, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Anybody know if Toal gets a per diem to ride from Wheat Street to her palace on Gervais Street?

jimlewis,owb December 3, 2012 at 4:50 pm

For real. The Toad doesn’t play bumper cars anymore.

Hell, I’ll bet everyone in the neighborhood is happy now that their car insurance rates have dropped.

Wait a minute. Surely The Toad is not riding the bus. Maybe one of her Toadetts gives her a ride. If they do, I am sure they are claiming mileage plus a little extra for hazard pay. Alcohol fumes are dangerous if inhaled.

Of course there could be a platoon SLED Agents playing chauffeur.

stand828 December 3, 2012 at 9:28 pm

They could justify providing her a car and driver as a public safety expense.

Donny December 3, 2012 at 5:10 pm

The real question is when will Harry Ott stop accepting his crop subsidies from the gov’t …millions of $$$.

sweepin December 3, 2012 at 9:17 pm

When young Finlay and other Republicans who have been a wholly owned subsidiary of ADM and American Farm Bureau for the past 40+ years does.

By the way, what do Fed crop subsidies have to do with SC per diem expense vouchers?

Teddy December 3, 2012 at 9:26 pm

What is wrong wih paying the legislators?

Skeptical December 3, 2012 at 11:06 pm

scsince60, do you even comprehend how inane your comment sounds? The fact that he has such illustrious lineage and so many advantages gives him an even greater duty to serve.

Destiny Now December 4, 2012 at 12:53 am

Wow, all you gotta do is point out that a couple of Republicans are doing the right thing, and the hissing vipers and snarling demons come out of the woodwork, huh?

I guess you guys are going nuts because you just don’t think you’d be capable of doing it if you were in the same situation.

Congratulations. Y’all always show your stripes.

It’s funny.

And sad at the same time.

How about some more hissing and snarling for good measure.

You know I deserve it.

Perer December 4, 2012 at 10:45 am

You gonna call out your buddy Ballentine if he doesn’t follow suit?

Really SC? December 4, 2012 at 10:55 am

Hey Fits, I’m glad these cats are so wealthy (and conveniently located near the capital) that they are going to refuse the per diem.

But what happens when we don’t pay our legislators anything? When we make it all volunteer so that that only the wealthiest can serve? I mean, they get, what, $10K a year or something? I’d rather compensate them for basic expenses than make it to where only the richest of the rich can ever dream of holding office.

BradWarthenSucks December 4, 2012 at 11:14 am

” When we make it all volunteer so that that only the wealthiest can serve? ”

How would that make any difference than it is now? How many regular Joe’s do you know who take months off of work every year to sit around and slap each other’s backs at the State House.

vicupstate December 4, 2012 at 12:11 pm

If the legislating thing doesn’t work out, Finlay could always model for Brawny Paper Towels.


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