SC

South Carolina Awash In Illegal Lobbying

South Carolina is flooded with illegal lobbying activity, sources at the state and local level tell FITS. In fact we’ve recently launched an investigation into allegations involving a controversial “incubator” project that would be funded with $6 million in state funds. And this is just the first of several examples…

South Carolina is flooded with illegal lobbying activity, sources at the state and local level tell FITS. In fact we’ve recently launched an investigation into allegations involving a controversial “incubator” project that would be funded with $6 million in state funds.

And this is just the first of several examples brought to our attention …

Multiple lawmakers tell FITS that the College of Charleston is using two unregistered lobbyists to actively push this “incubator” expenditure – which would be made through S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s Department of Commerce.

One of the employees is Bobby Marlowe, a former member of the college’s board who resigned his post to work full-time as the school’s “vice president for economic development.” His definition of “development?” Traveling to Columbia, S.C. each week to push lawmakers for tax money to fund this “incubator” – which would reportedly focus on “digital technology.”

Astounding, isn’t it? After pouring tens of millions of dollars into failed projects like this across the state – lawmakers still haven’t learned their lesson. Hell, we’re already funding nearly twenty of these “incubators” across the state – and what have they managed to produce?

That’s right – a record low labor participation rate.

Joining Marlowe in overtly lobbying for this expense is Peggy Boykin, former director of the S.C. Retirement System. FITS spoke with several lawmakers who said they were directly approached by Boykin regarding their support for this project.

“She’s getting commitments while getting paid by the college,” one lawmaker told FITS. “That’s lobbying.”

Boykin is not a full time employee of the College of Charleston, but she is paid “tens of thousands of dollars” by the school each year as a “special assistant” to its president, Steve Osbourne.

Incidentally, the College of Charleston already has a full-time lobbyist on staff – former S.C. Rep. Shirley Hinson, a Republican from Berkeley County.

We are adamantly opposed to the use of tax dollars to pick winners and losers in the marketplace – whether it’s the hundreds of millions of dollars going to aircraft  manufacturer Boeing or the “chump change” being routed to this project. In both cases lawmakers are taking money out of the pockets of existing taxpayers and businesses – which inhibits our consumer economy and suppresses the real engine of job creation in this state.

Furthermore, we object to the College of Charleston evading its lawful obligations by using unregistered lobbyists to push for this expense.

Of course the news that South Carolina ethics laws are being ignored is hardly shocking given the Palmetto State’s status as one of the most corrupt states in America.

***

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36 comments

truthteller April 23, 2013 at 11:27 am

Fits, Steve Osborne is not president of College of Charleston. He is VP for Business Affairs….

Reply
katlaurenscounty April 23, 2013 at 7:44 pm

Let’s not let a little detail like facts get in the way.

Reply
truthteller April 23, 2013 at 11:27 am

Fits, Steve Osborne is not president of College of Charleston. He is VP for Business Affairs….

Reply
katlaurenscounty April 23, 2013 at 7:44 pm

Let’s not let a little detail like facts get in the way.

Reply
LD April 23, 2013 at 11:30 am

Legal or illegal, does it matter? The penalty is the same– zilch.

Reply
Sam April 23, 2013 at 3:19 pm

It’s okay. Didn’t our great Guv. say everybody does it?

Reply
LD April 23, 2013 at 11:30 am

Legal or illegal, does it matter? The penalty is the same– zilch.

Reply
Sam April 23, 2013 at 3:19 pm

It’s okay. Didn’t our great Guv. say everybody does it?

Reply
jimlewisowb April 23, 2013 at 11:36 am

Stopped by Doc’s, a shoebox bar, outside of Goose Creek last weekend. Beer was cold, wings hot, jukebox loud, bartender was a damn fine hugger and easy on the eyes(yes, she was a she, not a he or an it).

Word was MUSC and CofC were in merger talks

If Hinson, Marlowe and Boykin are all boinking for CofC no wonder MUSC wants to merge

Those three little fat ass pigs really know how stick their snouts in the taxpayer’s feed trough. One of them has been alleged to be willing to fuck a door knob if it would be of benefit to their bottom line.

Reply
BigT April 23, 2013 at 11:36 am

Who Cares…Like Benghazi or your Hero Abortion Doctor..unless you can get the meida to make a case of it…you may as well put a sock in it…
Not to mention: You shilled for a Child-Killer Relgious Jihadist, while you BASH Christians as zealots…Why in the World wiuld anyone give a Crap what you are trying to peddle? You are the reason Government is as powerful as it is, and peole HAVE TO Lobby…
FITS has proven to be a cheap hack of Sanford…and we have WAY too many liars and charlatans influencing us, already…

Reply
LD April 23, 2013 at 1:08 pm

When politics became a profession instead of a public service it all went towards the money.

Reply
jimlewisowb April 23, 2013 at 11:36 am

Stopped by Doc’s, a shoebox bar, outside of Goose Creek last weekend. Beer was cold, wings hot, jukebox loud, bartender was a damn fine hugger and easy on the eyes(yes, she was a she, not a he or an it).

Word was MUSC and CofC were in merger talks

If Hinson, Marlowe and Boykin are all boinking for CofC no wonder MUSC wants to merge

Those three little fat ass pigs really know how stick their snouts in the taxpayer’s feed trough. One of them has been alleged to be willing to fuck a door knob if it would be of benefit to their bottom line.

Reply
BigT April 23, 2013 at 11:36 am

Who Cares…Like Benghazi or your Hero Abortion Doctor..unless you can get the meida to make a case of it…you may as well put a sock in it…
Not to mention: You shilled for a Child-Killer Relgious Jihadist, while you BASH Christians as zealots…Why in the World wiuld anyone give a Crap what you are trying to peddle? You are the reason Government is as powerful as it is, and peole HAVE TO Lobby…
FITS has proven to be a cheap hack of Sanford…and we have WAY too many liars and charlatans influencing us, already…

Reply
LD April 23, 2013 at 1:08 pm

When politics became a profession instead of a public service it all went towards the money.

Reply
Chris Nölff April 23, 2013 at 11:43 am

I keep buying tires while the roads turn to shit. I guess incubators are more important.

Reply
Nölff April 23, 2013 at 11:43 am

I keep buying tires while the roads turn to shit. I guess incubators are more important.

Reply
CNSYD April 23, 2013 at 11:44 am

“failed projects like this” Includes CU ICAR right?

Reply
CNSYD April 23, 2013 at 11:44 am

“failed projects like this” Includes CU ICAR right?

Reply
FOIA man April 23, 2013 at 12:44 pm

Send Steve Osbourne a FOIA request.

Send him five FOIA requests.

Or ten.

He won’t even respond.

Believe me, I know.

Reply
FOIA man April 23, 2013 at 12:44 pm

Send Steve Osbourne a FOIA request.

Send him five FOIA requests.

Or ten.

He won’t even respond.

Believe me, I know.

Reply
InTheKnow April 23, 2013 at 1:13 pm

“She’s getting commitments while getting paid by the college,” one lawmaker told FITS. “That’s lobbying”

Didn’t the legislature say that was not lobbying when Haley went before the “Ethics” Comittee?

Reply
InTheKnow April 23, 2013 at 1:13 pm

“She’s getting commitments while getting paid by the college,” one lawmaker told FITS. “That’s lobbying”

Didn’t the legislature say that was not lobbying when Haley went before the “Ethics” Comittee?

Reply
College of Chas. professor April 23, 2013 at 1:41 pm

Shirley Hinson’s “revolving door” from House member to her $87,550 “lecturer” job at the “Lowcountry Graduate Center” (http://www.lowcountrygradcenter.org/) is a great example of why http://www.stateintegrity.org lists S.C. state government as the nation’s “fifth most corrupt.”

I taught at the LGC before, during and after Hinson got this plush job full-time in 2007. The LGC is poorly attended and duplicates facilities at The Citadel, MUSC, CofC, who are listed as “partners.”

The high-rent digs are “colocated with the College of Charleston North Campus in North Charleston on International Blvd. near Charleston’s airport.” The CofC gave Hinson an office there and let her do as she pleased. This is a complete screwing of S.C. taxpayers.

When I asked staff members what Hinson was doing, they said —

“I don’t know. She comes in at 10, takes lunch at 12, comes back at 3, and goes home at 5. For days — sometimes weeks — we don’t even see her.”

“She’s supposed to be a lecturer, but she doesn’t lecture, or teach, or mentor, or even see students. She’s supposed to be an administrator, but she doesn’t administrate anything. We’ve got our own Executive Director, who doesn’t know what she does either.”

“She’s a mystery. She reads the newspaper and surfs the web.”

“She surfs the web.”

“She shops on the web and plays angry birds.”

“She goes to Starbucks down the road and disappears for the rest of the day.”

“We think she doesn’t do anything because she’s a former legislator.”

))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

The Post and Courier
Shirley Hinson leaving House
By Yvonne Wenger

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Chief majority whip, of Goose Creek, to take education job

COLUMBIA — In a state with a declining number of women willing to serve in public office, one of the most visible and powerful of those women announced Friday she was stepping down.

Shirley Hinson of Goose Creek climbed the Republican ranks of the S.C. House of Representatives to become the state’s first woman chief majority whip, but said she was leaving office next week to take an education position.

That leaves 15 women in the 170-member Legislature, down from 20 in 2000.

“The biggest challenge is knowing when to move on,” Hinson, R-Goose Creek, said after talking the decision through with her family over Thanksgiving dinner.

When she ran earlier this year to fill the Senate seat left vacant by the death of Sen. Bill Mescher, a Berkeley County Republican, Hinson said she had decided she’d accomplished all she set out to in the House. Losing the race to former Alcoa executive Paul Campbell did not play a part in her resignation, she said.

“That decision had already been made in my heart and my mind,” Hinson said, adding that it’s time to give someone else the opportunity to serve. “There is a reason for all things. I feel like this opportunity came along and I feel even better about it.”

Hinson, 58, will accept a full-time position at the Lowcountry Graduate Center in Charleston, where she’s worked part time developing curricula and training courses for the area’s in-demand jobs.

Her resignation is effective Dec. 1. A special election will be held, but no date has been set.

“Shirley’s always had such a good overview,” House Majority Leader Jim Merrill, R-Daniel Island, said. “There are probably enough middle-aged white males in the General Assembly and to have a lady who has such a macro view of politics and society, and a conservative view, will be greatly missed.”

House Speaker Bobby Harrell, R-Charleston, and Rep. Annette Young, R-Summerville, agreed that Hinson has been an effective legislator and ally to the state’s conservatives. As majority whip since January 2005, Hinson was charged with ensuring the Republicans had the necessary votes to pass important legislation.

“I will miss her terribly,” Harrell said. “She’s been very, very helpful to me, and she’s been very good to the Lowcountry.”

Young noted that Hinson’s resignation strikes a blow to diversity in the Legislature.

South Carolina has the lowest percentage of women in any state legislature, and the state has no women in Congress or statewide office. Women make up about 52 percent of South Carolina’s population and are more likely than men to go to the polls. For every five men who voted in 2006 in South Carolina, six women cast ballots.

Hinson recalled her efforts to reach the top. Having served eight years on the Berkeley County School Board, her first assignment was on the House Education Committee. Relying on her experience in banking, she moved to the Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee before convincing former House Speaker David Wilkins to give her a spot on the Ways and Means Committee.

“I said, ‘You will not be sorry, Mr. Speaker. I will make you proud,'” Hinson said.

Hinson says her accomplishments include increasing teacher salaries, while noting there’s still room to grow there; helping shape the Education Accountability Act; and helping to pass tort reform and overhaul workers’ compensation. She also counts property tax relief, a women’s scholarship fund and a monument dedicated to the state’s fallen law enforcement officers among her accomplishments.

In 2000, she overcame a nasty public battle to retain her seat in the state House with her then-estranged husband, Jimmy Hinson, now a Berkeley County School Board member. Shirley Hinson married James Law in 2004.

Additionally, Hinson earned a reputation as being sure-footed politically. In 2003, she called for honesty in tort reform and took on Gov. Mark Sanford when he vetoed her bill for the fallen officers’ monument.

Whether she decides in the future to seek public office again or stays in the background, Hinson said she intends to continue to fight for the causes closest to her heart: conservatism in government and women in leadership.

“I will not have that vote on the board, but I will be pushing buttons every other way I can,” Hinson said.

))))))))))))))))

State Rep. Shirley Hinson,
R-Goose Creek

AGE: 58

FAMILY: Husband, James Law; son, Trey, 29; stepson, Jay Law, 31.

EDUCATION: Graduated from Hanahan High School in 1967; associate degree from Trident Technical College in 1992; Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from the College of Charleston in 1994.

OCCUPATION: Accepted a full-time position as a college administrator at the Lowcountry Graduate Center in Charleston, previously working in that capacity part time.

PREVIOUS ELECTED OFFICE: Berkeley County School Board, 1988-1996; House of Representatives, District 92, 1996 to present.

SERVICE: First woman to serve as chief majority whip; member of the House Ways and Means Committee; vice chairwoman of the House Ethics Committee; past president of the General Assembly Women’s Caucus; member of the House Women’s Caucus and chairwoman of the Berkeley County Legislative Delegation.

GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Serving as one of the few women in the Legislature and as chief majority whip, she was responsible for handling floor activity during the passage of such important legislation as tort reform, workers’ compensation reform, Department of Transportation restructuring and property tax reform.

AWARDS: Named Legislator of the Year in 2002 by the Fraternal Order of Police; received Friend of the Taxpayer Award in 2003, 2004 and 2005, among other honors.

Reply
shitforbrains April 24, 2013 at 9:32 am

Sounds like another Mike Forrester deal. He is paid $90,000 by Spartanburg Community College for economic development? Isn’t that his job as a legislature?

Reply
College of Chas. professor April 23, 2013 at 1:41 pm

Shirley Hinson’s “revolving door” from House member to her $87,550 “lecturer” job at the “Lowcountry Graduate Center” (http://www.lowcountrygradcenter.org/) is a great example of why http://www.stateintegrity.org lists S.C. state government as the nation’s “fifth most corrupt.”

I taught at the LGC before, during and after Hinson got this plush job full-time in 2007. The LGC is poorly attended and duplicates facilities at The Citadel, MUSC, CofC, who are listed as “partners.”

The high-rent digs are “colocated with the College of Charleston North Campus in North Charleston on International Blvd. near Charleston’s airport.” The CofC gave Hinson an office there and let her do as she pleased. This is a complete screwing of S.C. taxpayers.

When I asked staff members what Hinson was doing, they said —

“I don’t know. She comes in at 10, takes lunch at 12, comes back at 3, and goes home at 5. For days — sometimes weeks — we don’t even see her.”

“She’s supposed to be a lecturer, but she doesn’t lecture, or teach, or mentor, or even see students. She’s supposed to be an administrator, but she doesn’t administrate anything. We’ve got our own Executive Director, who doesn’t know what she does either.”

“She’s a mystery. She reads the newspaper and surfs the web.”

“She surfs the web.”

“She shops on the web and plays angry birds.”

“She goes to Starbucks down the road and disappears for the rest of the day.”

“We think she doesn’t do anything because she’s a former legislator.”

))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

The Post and Courier
Shirley Hinson leaving House
By Yvonne Wenger

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Chief majority whip, of Goose Creek, to take education job

COLUMBIA — In a state with a declining number of women willing to serve in public office, one of the most visible and powerful of those women announced Friday she was stepping down.

Shirley Hinson of Goose Creek climbed the Republican ranks of the S.C. House of Representatives to become the state’s first woman chief majority whip, but said she was leaving office next week to take an education position.

That leaves 15 women in the 170-member Legislature, down from 20 in 2000.

“The biggest challenge is knowing when to move on,” Hinson, R-Goose Creek, said after talking the decision through with her family over Thanksgiving dinner.

When she ran earlier this year to fill the Senate seat left vacant by the death of Sen. Bill Mescher, a Berkeley County Republican, Hinson said she had decided she’d accomplished all she set out to in the House. Losing the race to former Alcoa executive Paul Campbell did not play a part in her resignation, she said.

“That decision had already been made in my heart and my mind,” Hinson said, adding that it’s time to give someone else the opportunity to serve. “There is a reason for all things. I feel like this opportunity came along and I feel even better about it.”

Hinson, 58, will accept a full-time position at the Lowcountry Graduate Center in Charleston, where she’s worked part time developing curricula and training courses for the area’s in-demand jobs.

Her resignation is effective Dec. 1. A special election will be held, but no date has been set.

“Shirley’s always had such a good overview,” House Majority Leader Jim Merrill, R-Daniel Island, said. “There are probably enough middle-aged white males in the General Assembly and to have a lady who has such a macro view of politics and society, and a conservative view, will be greatly missed.”

House Speaker Bobby Harrell, R-Charleston, and Rep. Annette Young, R-Summerville, agreed that Hinson has been an effective legislator and ally to the state’s conservatives. As majority whip since January 2005, Hinson was charged with ensuring the Republicans had the necessary votes to pass important legislation.

“I will miss her terribly,” Harrell said. “She’s been very, very helpful to me, and she’s been very good to the Lowcountry.”

Young noted that Hinson’s resignation strikes a blow to diversity in the Legislature.

South Carolina has the lowest percentage of women in any state legislature, and the state has no women in Congress or statewide office. Women make up about 52 percent of South Carolina’s population and are more likely than men to go to the polls. For every five men who voted in 2006 in South Carolina, six women cast ballots.

Hinson recalled her efforts to reach the top. Having served eight years on the Berkeley County School Board, her first assignment was on the House Education Committee. Relying on her experience in banking, she moved to the Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee before convincing former House Speaker David Wilkins to give her a spot on the Ways and Means Committee.

“I said, ‘You will not be sorry, Mr. Speaker. I will make you proud,'” Hinson said.

Hinson says her accomplishments include increasing teacher salaries, while noting there’s still room to grow there; helping shape the Education Accountability Act; and helping to pass tort reform and overhaul workers’ compensation. She also counts property tax relief, a women’s scholarship fund and a monument dedicated to the state’s fallen law enforcement officers among her accomplishments.

In 2000, she overcame a nasty public battle to retain her seat in the state House with her then-estranged husband, Jimmy Hinson, now a Berkeley County School Board member. Shirley Hinson married James Law in 2004.

Additionally, Hinson earned a reputation as being sure-footed politically. In 2003, she called for honesty in tort reform and took on Gov. Mark Sanford when he vetoed her bill for the fallen officers’ monument.

Whether she decides in the future to seek public office again or stays in the background, Hinson said she intends to continue to fight for the causes closest to her heart: conservatism in government and women in leadership.

“I will not have that vote on the board, but I will be pushing buttons every other way I can,” Hinson said.

))))))))))))))))

State Rep. Shirley Hinson,
R-Goose Creek

AGE: 58

FAMILY: Husband, James Law; son, Trey, 29; stepson, Jay Law, 31.

EDUCATION: Graduated from Hanahan High School in 1967; associate degree from Trident Technical College in 1992; Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from the College of Charleston in 1994.

OCCUPATION: Accepted a full-time position as a college administrator at the Lowcountry Graduate Center in Charleston, previously working in that capacity part time.

PREVIOUS ELECTED OFFICE: Berkeley County School Board, 1988-1996; House of Representatives, District 92, 1996 to present.

SERVICE: First woman to serve as chief majority whip; member of the House Ways and Means Committee; vice chairwoman of the House Ethics Committee; past president of the General Assembly Women’s Caucus; member of the House Women’s Caucus and chairwoman of the Berkeley County Legislative Delegation.

GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Serving as one of the few women in the Legislature and as chief majority whip, she was responsible for handling floor activity during the passage of such important legislation as tort reform, workers’ compensation reform, Department of Transportation restructuring and property tax reform.

AWARDS: Named Legislator of the Year in 2002 by the Fraternal Order of Police; received Friend of the Taxpayer Award in 2003, 2004 and 2005, among other honors.

Reply
shitforbrains April 24, 2013 at 9:32 am

Sounds like another Mike Forrester deal. He is paid $90,000 by Spartanburg Community College for economic development? Isn’t that his job as a legislature?

Reply
Economist April 23, 2013 at 2:47 pm

SC legislature appropriated $18 million of the College’s $222 million budget for 2012-13.

http://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess119_2011-2012/appropriations2012/tas10.htm

Without this annual subsidy I suppose they’d have to cut back on lobbyists.

Reply
Economist April 23, 2013 at 2:47 pm

SC legislature appropriated $18 million of the College’s $222 million budget for 2012-13.

http://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess119_2011-2012/appropriations2012/tas10.htm

Without this annual subsidy I suppose they’d have to cut back on lobbyists.

Reply
Jeffy01 April 23, 2013 at 4:36 pm

She is hot.

Reply
Wescott Poker Team 3 April 23, 2013 at 8:56 pm

Shirley’s new husband (Rep. James Law) would agree that she’s hot.

Rep. Hinson and Rep. Law were caught twice having sexual intercourse in a car parked along a dark, dirt road at night in 2000. Her upturned legs were visible through the windows, she was screaming loud, and the car was shaking. That’s what got the attention of curious policemen.

http://amarillo.com/stories/062400/usn_LA0620.shtml, Bedfellows make strange politics

http://onlineathens.com/stories/062400/ele_0624000005.shtml, Couple takes bitter divorce on campaign trail for S.C. seat.

Hinson’s first husband was so angry he went berserk and actually ran against her. The Hinson divorce was long, public and nasty. Shirley takes lots of things lying down.

Reply
jimlewisowb April 24, 2013 at 12:01 pm

“Shirley takes lots of things lying down”

do believe you forgot to add

” and screaming her cockroach head off”

Reply
Jeffy01 April 23, 2013 at 4:36 pm

She is hot.

Reply
Wescott Poker Team 3 April 23, 2013 at 8:56 pm

Shirley’s new husband (Rep. James Law) would agree that she’s hot.

Rep. Hinson and Rep. Law were caught twice having sexual intercourse in a car parked along a dark, dirt road at night in 2000. Her upturned legs were visible through the windows, she was screaming loud, and the car was shaking. That’s what got the attention of curious policemen.

http://amarillo.com/stories/062400/usn_LA0620.shtml, Bedfellows make strange politics

http://onlineathens.com/stories/062400/ele_0624000005.shtml, Couple takes bitter divorce on campaign trail for S.C. seat.

Hinson’s first husband was so angry he went berserk and actually ran against her. The Hinson divorce was long, public and nasty. Shirley takes lots of things lying down.

Reply
jimlewisowb April 24, 2013 at 12:01 pm

“Shirley takes lots of things lying down”

do believe you forgot to add

” and screaming her cockroach head off”

Reply
Honest Lady April 23, 2013 at 8:16 pm

College of Charleston professor is right about Mrs. Shirley Hinson. When Mrs. Hinson worked for the Lowcountry Graduate Center it was a standing joke about Mrs. Hinson’s work ethic. She never worked a full day if she came in at all. Mrs. Hinson’s office is now at the downtown campus. When Mrs. Hinson bothers to come in I hear she is rarely seen on campus before 11AM or after 2PM even during the time the legislature is not meeting. She is taking a full time taxpayer funded salary while only working part time.

Reply
Honest Lady April 23, 2013 at 8:16 pm

College of Charleston professor is right about Mrs. Shirley Hinson. When Mrs. Hinson worked for the Lowcountry Graduate Center it was a standing joke about Mrs. Hinson’s work ethic. She never worked a full day if she came in at all. Mrs. Hinson’s office is now at the downtown campus. When Mrs. Hinson bothers to come in I hear she is rarely seen on campus before 11AM or after 2PM even during the time the legislature is not meeting. She is taking a full time taxpayer funded salary while only working part time.

Reply

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