SC

Only In South Carolina …

Only in a state as corrupt as “Republican-controlled” South Carolina could an “ethics reform” movement – one born of endless scandals – devolve into a major scandal itself. That’s exactly what’s happening, though, as the Palmetto State’s crooked-as-hell GOP leadership has been caught red-handed trying to secretly decriminalize an entire…

Only in a state as corrupt as “Republican-controlled” South Carolina could an “ethics reform” movement – one born of endless scandals – devolve into a major scandal itself.

That’s exactly what’s happening, though, as the Palmetto State’s crooked-as-hell GOP leadership has been caught red-handed trying to secretly decriminalize an entire section of state law dealing with ethics offenses. Not only that – they refused to publicly release their proposed “reform” legislation prior to a pair of public committee hearings held earlier this month.

How transparent of them, right?

Of course that’s par for the course in this state, sadly …

Leading this goat show is new GOP “Majority” Leader Bruce Bannister, who apparently doesn’t like being exposed as the latest in a long line of “Republican” hypocrites. This week Bannister blasted his critics for spreading “gross misconceptions” about the GOP’s ethics legislation, but then admitted that the law “Republicans” are pushing indeed “decriminalize(s) serious and intentional violations of the Ethics Act.”

But hey … that’s okay. Because Bannister says this massive, secretive decriminalization was “not (his) intent.” Not only that, he swears he’s “working with others to clearly define” the violations which would be decriminalized.

Of course Bannister makes no secret of his bias toward decriminalization.

Bruce Bannister
Bruce Bannister

“It is not fair for a public official – nearly all of whom do campaign contributions and expenditures themselves – to be criminally penalized for simple accounting errors,” he said.

Wait … simple accounting errors? Is that what S.C. Ways and Means chairman Brian White’s scandal was about? Or the great Nikki Haley whitewash? Or S.C. House Speaker Bobby Harrell’s recent flood of scandals?

Of course not … these are corrupt public officials getting away with major violations of their oaths of office (not to mention the public trust), not “accounting errors.”

And yet Bannister is proposing to make our ethics laws governing public officials even weaker?

“Bannister’s release was astoundingly arrogant – especially since (GOP leaders) didn’t release the text of the bill to the public before an open meeting,” one Palmetto political operative told FITS. “That’s highly irregular and ironic given that this is ‘ethics.'”

We agree …

Of course the most accurate statement we’ve heard throughout this debate came from S.C. Treasurer Curtis Loftis, who basically said there’s no point passing new ethics laws if lawmakers aren’t going to follow the ones already on the books.

Obviously that’s not entirely true. Lawmakers clearly need to stop policing themselves and consolidate cases under one roof (as former S.C. Rep. Kevin Ryan proposed last November).  They should also insist on total income disclosure (which former S.C. Rep. Boyd Brown included in his ethics package in January) and require that all branches of government abide by FOIA (as S.C. Rick Quinn proposed in February).

Additionally, there should be a permanent ban against lawmakers and bureaucrats becoming lobbyists – among other reforms. Oh, and a comprehensive nepotism ban.

Oh … and it’s well past time lawmakers disclose all sources of their income, as S.C. Rep. Kirkman Finlay is pushing them to do.

But in a larger sense, Loftis is right – if “Republican” leaders like White, Haley and Harrell are permitted to flagrantly break existing law without consequence, then there’s really no point to having this debate.

Which is why barring some unforeseen miracle, South Carolina will continue to be one of the most corrupt states in the nation … 

***

Pic: Travis Bell Photography

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40 comments

Ethics and Morals be damned April 23, 2013 at 7:21 pm

Having worked there for a few years and spent time in Washington there are very few wo are ethical!
I’ve seen, to my disgust, the corruption and immorality, which is rampant!
The Countey and the State are being short changed and run into the ground. Few can say anything about it, 90% are involved in the corruption and condone it.
He who makes the rules wins!

Reply
Ethics and Morals be damned April 23, 2013 at 7:21 pm

Having worked there for a few years and spent time in Washington there are very few wo are ethical!
I’ve seen, to my disgust, the corruption and immorality, which is rampant!
The Countey and the State are being short changed and run into the ground. Few can say anything about it, 90% are involved in the corruption and condone it.
He who makes the rules wins!

Reply
Scrappy April 23, 2013 at 7:34 pm

Sheheen is right! We need to “Scrap” the entire state govt., appoint delegates from each county, draft a new constitution and start over. It’s so broken and dysfunctional to the point that I honestly believe it’s beyond repair.

The sad part is that WE keep sending these bastards back to Columbia year after year simply because of a “R” behind their name. They are not worthy of our trust! They are living off of our sweat, cutting every deal they can to hustle a dollar at our expense, Don’t forget the retirement and Insurance they steal on the way out!

Reply
Scrappy April 23, 2013 at 7:57 pm

btw Will, See if you can get Tom Davis to comment on this? I would love to hear what he thinks.

Reply
lowcorider April 23, 2013 at 8:07 pm

I’m sure he will give a Mise Econ speech, make another Sanford excuse video, and then punk out an 8th grader.

Reply
Scrappy April 23, 2013 at 7:34 pm

Sheheen is right! We need to “Scrap” the entire state govt., appoint delegates from each county, draft a new constitution and start over. It’s so broken and dysfunctional to the point that I honestly believe it’s beyond repair.

The sad part is that WE keep sending these bastards back to Columbia year after year simply because of a “R” behind their name. They are not worthy of our trust! They are living off of our sweat, cutting every deal they can to hustle a dollar at our expense, Don’t forget the retirement and Insurance they steal on the way out!

Reply
Scrappy April 23, 2013 at 7:57 pm

btw Will, See if you can get Tom Davis to comment on this? I would love to hear what he thinks.

Reply
Lowcorider April 23, 2013 at 8:07 pm

I’m sure he will give a Mise Econ speech, make another Sanford excuse video, and then punk out an 8th grader.

Reply
katlaurenscounty April 23, 2013 at 7:41 pm

Usual pedantic FITS crap from high school writer interns. “Legislators should stop policing themselves”????? Really? And I pronounce we should all grow wings and fly to Mars!!

As long as citizens embrace the status quo paradigm that government officials operate autonomously from citizens, gov officials enjoy unlimited license to be corrupt. Government officials will never give up their self interest, their income, and the power that feeds their bloated egos, to reform themselves. And most citizens don’t do anything but complain. So this is status quo

TRY, at least, to make your pronouncements seem like more than high school sophistry. Like SCPC. I blasted Landess for theirs. http://thenerve.org/news/2013/04/16/Landess-column/ At least they spent more than two minutes.

Reply
Right April 24, 2013 at 6:17 am

Kat, you’re starting to sound like Big T with your “I can do it better than you can” – isms. You can at least string a sentence together, though. I’m sure Landess valued your voluminous input as well. T’s got you beat on succinctness, though. Rambling is also a characteristic of “high school sophistry.”

Reply
katlaurenscounty April 24, 2013 at 9:18 am

it’s true I suffer from WCD – word compulsive disorder. Family says I have a million word a day quota. I have to dispute the rambling and ‘string a sentence’, however. But I completely understand the numbing affect of all the words.:)

Reply
katlaurenscounty April 23, 2013 at 7:41 pm

Usual pedantic FITS crap from high school writer interns. “Legislators should stop policing themselves”????? Really? And I pronounce we should all grow wings and fly to Mars!!

As long as citizens embrace the status quo paradigm that government officials operate autonomously from citizens, gov officials enjoy unlimited license to be corrupt. Government officials will never give up their self interest, their income, and the power that feeds their bloated egos, to reform themselves. And most citizens don’t do anything but complain. So this is status quo

TRY, at least, to make your pronouncements seem like more than high school sophistry.

Reply
Right April 24, 2013 at 6:17 am

Kat, you’re starting to sound like Big T with your “I can do it better than you can” – isms. You can at least string a sentence together, though. I’m sure Landess valued your voluminous input as well. T’s got you beat on succinctness, though. Rambling is also a characteristic of “high school sophistry.”

Reply
katlaurenscounty April 24, 2013 at 9:18 am

it’s true I suffer from WCD – word compulsive disorder. Family says I have a million word a day quota. Naturally, I dispute the rambling and ‘string a sentence’. But I completely understand the numbing affect of all the words.:)

Reply
BigT April 23, 2013 at 8:01 pm

FITS is like the old, Cranky dude, who sits on his front porch and B!*t*ches and moans about the Rascally Wee-Publicans…When FITS’ hey-day, his only claim to fame, came from a guy who claimed to be a Wee-Publican..They are the same guys (FITS and Sanford) who turned out to be the party’s Biggest Embarrassment, ever…

FITS, A guy who gets his @$$ kicked at every turn is bad enough..but wen you have not figured out you’re losiing…bad turns to pathetic…

Still, like Wile E. Coyote…I’m sure you’ll show up again tomorrow, Acme Anvil in hand…ready to drop it on the imaginary GOP demons you blame for you and Sanford’s fall from grace….

Reply
BigT April 23, 2013 at 8:01 pm

FITS is like the old, Cranky dude, who sits on his front porch and B!*t*ches and moans about the Rascally Wee-Publicans…When FITS’ hey-day, his only claim to fame, came from a guy who claimed to be a Wee-Publican..They are the same guys (FITS and Sanford) who turned out to be the party’s Biggest Embarrassment, ever…

FITS, A guy who gets his @$$ kicked at every turn is bad enough..but wen you have not figured out you’re losiing…bad turns to pathetic…

Still, like Wile E. Coyote…I’m sure you’ll show up again tomorrow, Acme Anvil in hand…ready to drop it on the imaginary GOP demons you blame for you and Sanford’s fall from grace….

Reply
lowcorider April 23, 2013 at 8:08 pm

But then you (Fits) go all in with Sanford.

Reply
Lowcorider April 23, 2013 at 8:08 pm

But then you (Fits) go all in with Sanford.

Reply
jimlewisowb April 23, 2013 at 8:19 pm

Know it is an insult to cockroaches worldwide but the GOP needs to replace the elephant

Reply
jimlewisowb April 23, 2013 at 8:19 pm

Know it is an insult to cockroaches worldwide but the GOP needs to replace the elephant

Reply
Elected Leaders Are Pig Sheets April 23, 2013 at 8:49 pm

House Speaker Bobby Harrell should be tied up and fed to alligators in that creek by his mansion. The POS is a big time lying sack of dung crook! I say organize a protest march in front of his insurance office and do a sit in outside of his house.

Reply
Sam April 24, 2013 at 11:56 am

Wonder how long it will take for his little wife to leave. When the money dries up?

Reply
Elected Leaders Are Pig Sheets April 23, 2013 at 8:49 pm

House Speaker Bobby Harrell should be tied up and fed to alligators in that creek by his mansion. The POS is a big time lying sack of dung crook! I say organize a protest march in front of his insurance office and do a sit in outside of his house.

Reply
Sam April 24, 2013 at 11:56 am

Wonder how long it will take for his little wife to leave. When the money dries up?

Reply
Alec April 23, 2013 at 9:09 pm

If you think ethics legislation will get passed this session, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

Reply
Alec April 23, 2013 at 9:09 pm

If you think ethics legislation will get passed this session, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

Reply
What about the AG?!?!?! April 24, 2013 at 12:10 am

So can’t help but notice, you made quite the effort to
mention every person and ethics “scandal” you could … except the one that is
probably the biggest (and probably the only one where actual law breaking took
place) … Attorney General Alan Wilson?!?!?

What was it, he admitted to secretly pocketing and not
reporting 12 to 15 checks?

Oh, wait … no. It was
actually 68 checks he tried to hide!
Well, that we know of, and there is probably a LOT more we don’t know
about … yet.

Where’s the Grand Jury being called to investigate Alan
Wilson?!?!?! Why isn’t he in hand cuffs
right now?!?!?!

Here is the real white wash … So, how much is Alan paying
you FITS to not mention his real crime along with all the bogus ones you keep
mentioning.

What, everybody else is guilty, but dear Alan only made a simple
accounting error?!?!!?

Reply
katlaurenscounty April 24, 2013 at 9:20 am

Yeah!!! Glad to see somebody but the million word quota lady chimes in about FITS love affair with Wilson!!!

Reply
What about the AG?!?!?! April 24, 2013 at 12:10 am

So can’t help but notice, you made quite the effort to
mention every person and ethics “scandal” you could … except the one that is
probably the biggest (and probably the only one where actual law breaking took
place) … Attorney General Alan Wilson?!?!?

What was it, he admitted to secretly pocketing and not
reporting 12 to 15 checks?

Oh, wait … no. It was
actually 68 checks he tried to hide!
Well, that we know of, and there is probably a LOT more we don’t know
about … yet.

Where’s the Grand Jury being called to investigate Alan
Wilson?!?!?! Why isn’t he in hand cuffs
right now?!?!?!

Here is the real white wash … So, how much is Alan paying
you FITS to not mention his real crime along with all the bogus ones you keep
mentioning.

What, everybody else is guilty, but dear Alan only made a simple
accounting error?!?!!?

Reply
katlaurenscounty April 24, 2013 at 9:20 am

Yeah!!! Glad to see somebody else besides the million word quota lady chimes in about FITS love affair with Wilson!!!

Reply
And what about the AG?!?!!? April 24, 2013 at 12:16 am

So can’t help but notice, you made quite the effort to
mention every person and ethics “scandal” you could … except the one that is
probably the biggest (and probably the only one where actual law breaking took
place) … Attorney General Alan Wilson?!?!?

What was it, he admitted to secretly pocketing and not
reporting 12 to 15 checks?

Oh, wait … no. It was
actually 68 checks he tried to hide!
Well, that we know of, and there is probably a LOT more we don’t know
about … yet.

Where’s the Grand Jury being called to investigate Alan
Wilson?!?!?! Why isn’t he in hand cuffs
right now?!?!?!

Here is the real white wash … So, how much is Alan paying
you FITS to not mention his real crime along with all the bogus ones you keep
mentioning.

What, everybody else is guilty, but dear Alan only made a simple
accounting error?!?!!?

Reply
And what about the AG?!?!!? April 24, 2013 at 12:16 am

So can’t help but notice, you made quite the effort to
mention every person and ethics “scandal” you could … except the one that is
probably the biggest (and probably the only one where actual law breaking took
place) … Attorney General Alan Wilson?!?!?

What was it, he admitted to secretly pocketing and not
reporting 12 to 15 checks?

Oh, wait … no. It was
actually 68 checks he tried to hide!
Well, that we know of, and there is probably a LOT more we don’t know
about … yet.

Where’s the Grand Jury being called to investigate Alan
Wilson?!?!?! Why isn’t he in hand cuffs
right now?!?!?!

Here is the real white wash … So, how much is Alan paying
you FITS to not mention his real crime along with all the bogus ones you keep
mentioning.

What, everybody else is guilty, but dear Alan only made a simple
accounting error?!?!!?

Reply
The Ward April 24, 2013 at 12:21 am

Right FITS, all these folks you accuse are guilty but haven’t been convicted of a darn thing.
Seems Ard and your buddy T-rav didn’t have any trouble getting convicted. maybe it’s because they were actually guilty and you’re actually full of BS

Reply
BigT April 24, 2013 at 7:52 am

Amen Bro,,,

Reply
The Ward April 24, 2013 at 12:21 am

Right FITS, all these folks you accuse are guilty but haven’t been convicted of a darn thing.
Seems Ard and your buddy T-rav didn’t have any trouble getting convicted. maybe it’s because they were actually guilty and you’re actually full of BS

Reply
BigT April 24, 2013 at 7:52 am

Amen Bro,,,

Reply
BigT April 24, 2013 at 7:50 am

FITS is Really Dropping the Ball…

Sanford in BIG Trouble. He has changed his story…If FITS Really wants to DO politics, he should be all over the Sanford -Busch race. If Sanford loses, it’s so many story lines. Same is true if he wins.
If he loses, it’s the Collapse of a silver-spooned guy who NEVER lost. Also: What about The taking of TIM SCOTT’s seat (A Staunch BigT Conservative) by a democrat in a GOP state, under a HORRIBLE democrat president….

What about (self-called independent) FITS’ prostitution of himself for a Corrupt, Career politician? What about Sawyer being sullied AGAIN by Sanford’s slimy actions…..

People all over SC are talking Sanford..and FITS has all but dropped his benefactor’s news. A desperate Sawyer sends out a press release every hour…Bad, Bad posture for the Sensational, Scandal gobbling FITS…

Link: Sanford Changes Story:

http://www.thestate.com/2013/04/23/2738807/sanfords-trespassing-explanation.html

Reply
Taxed (BigT) Enough Already April 24, 2013 at 11:41 am

“What about The taking of TIM SCOTT’s seat (A Staunch BigT Conservative…”

Look out everyone, BigT’s been branded…lmao…

Reply
BigT April 24, 2013 at 7:50 am

FITS is Really Dropping the Ball…

Sanford in BIG Trouble. He has changed his story…If FITS Really wants to DO politics, he should be all over the Sanford -Busch race. If Sanford loses, it’s so many story lines. Same is true if he wins.
If he loses, it’s the Collapse of a silver-spooned guy who NEVER lost. Also: What about The taking of TIM SCOTT’s seat (A Staunch BigT Conservative) by a democrat in a GOP state, under a HORRIBLE democrat president….

What about (self-called independent) FITS’ prostitution of himself for a Corrupt, Career politician? What about Sawyer being sullied AGAIN by Sanford’s slimy actions…..

People all over SC are talking Sanford..and FITS has all but dropped his benefactor’s news. A desperate Sawyer sends out a press release every hour…Bad, Bad posture for the Sensational, Scandal gobbling FITS…

Link: Sanford Changes Story:

http://www.thestate.com/2013/04/23/2738807/sanfords-trespassing-explanation.html

Reply
Taxed (BigT) Enough Already April 24, 2013 at 11:41 am

“What about The taking of TIM SCOTT’s seat (A Staunch BigT Conservative…”

Look out everyone, BigT’s been branded…lmao…

Reply

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