SC

Susan Pearlstine: On SC Appointments

My recent experience running for a seat on the MUSC Board of Trustees provided me an unabashed view behind the curtain of our State’s legislature. The South Carolina General Assembly is responsible for electing the members of the State’s university boards, and after going through the process as a candidate,…

My recent experience running for a seat on the MUSC Board of Trustees provided me an unabashed view behind the curtain of our State’s legislature. The South Carolina General Assembly is responsible for electing the members of the State’s university boards, and after going through the process as a candidate, it became clear that internal relationships are given more weight in the election than merit of the candidate. This led to my discovery of flaws and bias with a clear and immediate need for change.

This month, I received 17 out of a possible 158 votes for the seat. While I’m very appreciative of the support, the small percentage validated what I was told as soon as I decided to run – I was chasing an impossible quest. I was competing for the seat against the brother of a sitting Representative. In fact, too many of the candidates were either former legislators themselves or related to a legislator, proving the existence of an inner circle with legislative pressure and trading of votes.

My business experience, work with nonprofits, and more than four decades of service and support to MUSC assured my qualifications for the seat on the MUSC Board. As I began the process of running for the board seat, it was evident that qualifications were not enough. I was asked to “come to Columbia and get to know us.” As I did this, I was told there was no way I could get to know as many people as the candidate that I was competing against – a Representative’s brother.

As the election drew closer, I was pressured to drop out of the race, as were other candidates, in order to avoid a vote in the General Assembly. I was encouraged to not press the issue, but with so much on the line for future candidates with a desire to serve, I was compelled to shed light on these issues.

There are many great leaders in our communities who are committed to serving our state institutions. It is my goal to ensure that board positions do not simply turn into another political race, but are instead rewarded on the merits and qualifications of the candidate, and most importantly the needs of the institution.

Beyond the internal pressures to vote in one direction, there is a complete disregard for the lack of diversity on university boards. At the time of the election, the MUSC Board of Trustees was comprised of only male members. State law cites that the General Assembly should strive to assure that the membership of the board is representative of all citizens of the State of South Carolina. With women making up 51 percent of the State’s population (and 61 percent of the MUSC student body), it should be a goal to have qualified women on the board.

This should have worked significantly in my favor, but it wasn’t even a consideration.

My purpose of writing this is to challenge the South Carolina General Assembly to adopt a truly transparent process, eliminating any question of nepotism, cronyism or discrimination. This would call for no relatives of legislators or legislators themselves to be able to run until they have been away from the General Assembly for a minimum of two years. This would also include safeguards to prevent undue influence on the election process.

My experience is a common one for the 87 candidates in the recent election of trustees to the boards of South Carolina colleges and universities. The role of the General Assembly should be to elect the best candidates for these positions in order to maintain the integrity of these institutions. I hope that those involved with this process learn from the issues raised and strive to improve this for the good of the board and the institution they are elected to serve. I believe that reform can come quickly and easily if our South Carolina elected officials have the will to make it happen.

Susan Pearlstine Headshot

Susan Pearlstine
Businesswoman and Philanthropist

***

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55 comments

Fonzarelli May 22, 2013 at 2:50 pm

Throw Trustees in the mix also and the benefits!

Reply
Fonzarelli May 22, 2013 at 2:50 pm

Throw Trustees in the mix also and the benefits!

Reply
Maggie Mae May 22, 2013 at 3:00 pm

My purpose of writing this is to challenge the South Carolina General
Assembly to adopt a truly transparent process, eliminating any question
of nepotism, cronyism or discrimination. This would call for no
relatives of legislators or legislators themselves to be able to run
until they have been away from the General Assembly for a minimum of two
years. This would also include safeguards to prevent undue influence on
the election process.

Why in the world would the legislature adopt the above processes when our very own governor Nikki Haley is guilty of all of that????

Reply
Maggie Mae May 22, 2013 at 3:00 pm

My purpose of writing this is to challenge the South Carolina General
Assembly to adopt a truly transparent process, eliminating any question
of nepotism, cronyism or discrimination. This would call for no
relatives of legislators or legislators themselves to be able to run
until they have been away from the General Assembly for a minimum of two
years. This would also include safeguards to prevent undue influence on
the election process.

Why in the world would the legislature adopt the above processes when our very own governor Nikki Haley is guilty of all of that????

Reply
GrandTango May 22, 2013 at 3:10 pm

You will be judged on your application, like everyone else. Many of us are told “No.” What makes you think that your being rejected is supposed to spark some sort of special new process, that is quota-based.

This country is suffering miserably because too many people buy the quota over merit dogma. It’s gone on too long.

I would eliminate you because you believe that “diversity” entitles you to a seat. I submit it that your allegiance to its false doctrine dis-qualifies you.

Reply
Joe Blow May 22, 2013 at 3:24 pm

“Abe”
… go back to watching cartoons pluuz.

Reply
Knights of the Ku Klux Klan May 22, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Bravo!

Reply
dwb619 May 23, 2013 at 7:12 pm

Which name you make application under
big idio”T”, orGrand Tango?
YOU BETCHA!
YOU BETCHA!

Reply
Smirks May 22, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Are you suggesting our wonderful state legislature is corrupted by good old boy politics?

The NERVE!

Reply
Smirks May 22, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Are you suggesting our wonderful state legislature is corrupted by good old boy politics?

The NERVE!

Reply
Tunes'n'news May 22, 2013 at 3:21 pm

Even scarier – this is just how SC judges are picked. There is a bit of a show as to a board that does some rating and vetting, but the rubber hits the road in the parking garages, legislative breakfasts, happy hours, and dinners. You need comfortable shoes and an exercise regimen just so survive it.

Reply
Tunes'n'news May 22, 2013 at 3:21 pm

Even scarier – this is just how SC judges are picked. There is a bit of a show as to a board that does some rating and vetting, but the rubber hits the road in the parking garages, legislative breakfasts, happy hours, and dinners. You need comfortable shoes and an exercise regimen just so survive it.

Reply
katlaurenscounty May 22, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Is this a joke? “My purpose..goal…board positions do not ..turn into another political race…challenge the SC Assembly to make a more transparent process..”. Lemme get this straight. You agree that elected officials can govern by their own will. . “Reform can
come quickly and easily if our South Carolina elected officials have the will to make it happen.”

Your plan to meeting your stated purpose? Supplicate our rulers the General Assembly to change their mind, because you’re a sore loser, and give up the financial benefits their secrecy gets them. Not because disclosure is ione of their fundamental duties in answering to us, the citizens. Yah, I’d vote for you.

Reply
katlaurenscounty May 22, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Is this a joke? “My purpose..goal…board positions do not ..turn into another political race…challenge the SC Assembly to make a more transparent process..”. Lemme get this straight. You agree to status quo governing by the will of elected officials. “Reform can come quickly and easily if our South Carolina elected officials have the will to make it happen.”

So your approach: supplicate our rulers the General Assembly to change their mind, and give up personal financial benefits secrecy gets them. Apparently, because you’re a sore loser, not because you believe disclosure is one of their fundamental duties to us. I doubt you’d be complaining if you won. You must have been aware of our Legislature’s corruption and fake ethics reform before they voted on you. If not, maybe you’re not so qualified for public service. Did you think they’d suddenly be different for you?

If you sincerely want something different, you could have done something different instead of complaining. Like propose a prototype selection process. Ask citizens to request their rep introduce a bill. What about a chart listing objective qualifications for the job, show how you meet/exceed qualifications, list candidates and how they met/didn’t meet, identify relationships, specify what you did on the ‘get to know you’ trip, who was there, what they wanted to know, etc. who voted for whose brother, etc.

Instead, you asked perpetrators of status quo nepotism, to do that which you won’t – something other than status quo.

Reply
Jim May 22, 2013 at 4:21 pm

The frat house in Columbia

Reply
OK May 22, 2013 at 4:21 pm

The frat house in Columbia

Reply
GrandTango May 22, 2013 at 6:56 pm

So: It’s NOT OK to pick board members based on qualifications???

But: picking on a Quota system is OK??

If you think like that, I’m guessing I can figure out why you may have been passed over….

Reply
Concerened Citizen May 22, 2013 at 7:06 pm

http://www.stateintegrity.org ranks South Carolina state government — including its college trustee system — as fifth most corrupt in the nation.

Property theft, misuse of college airplanes, ghost employees, mischaracterization of college expenditures, and nepotism, are well documented in TROUTMAN vs. HENDRIX, et al., CIVIL ACTION NO. 3:08-cv-449-MJP, US DISTRICT COURT — involving Clemson.

Gene Troutman, a Clemson graduate, engineer, and former Executive Secretary to the Board, spent over $125,000 in legal fees after informing the board of President Barker’s unethical activities, for which he was terminated.

Federal Judge Matthew Perry surprised everyone by dismissing the complaint, stating that Clemson is a state institution not subject to federal jurisdiction.

The recent embezzlement of $1.3 million by a Coastal Carolina University purchasing agent (doing phantom business with her boyfriend) was brushed under the rug.

The theft of expensive, newly purchased books from the College of Charleston’s Nathan Addlestone Library, and re-sale of them on E-Bay, is almost a sport. Thieves simply walk from the library proper into the “Java Café” (which is part of the library) and exit via the Café “outside entrance” door. Again, the CofC administration is fully aware of this ongoing theft and does nothing about it because (a) the Café was poorly located by the architects, (b) there is only one guard on patrol and (c) it’s embarrassing.

I agree with everything Susan has written and admire her hard work; she began volunteering at MUSC as a candy-striper in her teens.

But she must understand that our state constitution, dating back to 1895 and grounded in Jim Crow racism, is dedicated to preserving the legislature’s power in the event that a black man were to become governor. Our state has the most powerful legislature and the weakest governor in the nation.

See
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_the_State_of_South_Carolina
and
https://www.fitsnews.com/2009/01/20/tom-davis-v-south-carolinas-1895-constitution/.

The bilking of the state by entrenched legislators will continue until wholesale restructuring occurs, which is doubtful.

An alternative I suggest to Susan is to start a local but statewide grass-roots campaign, and to build on prominent, respected, well-established organizations and individuals who will personally endorse a change to the corrupt system.

Incidentally, read the FITS piece above concerning Sen. Tom Davis, supposedly one of the state’s “bright lights” for transparency, who rails against corruption and waste.

Did Sen. Davis vote for the honest broker Susan Pearlstein or for the good ‘ole boy Stavrinakis? I’m real curious.

Reply
dwb619 May 23, 2013 at 7:11 pm

I like the tone of your sermon,so…..
PREACH BROTHER PREACH!!!!!!!!!!

Reply
Concerened Citizen May 22, 2013 at 7:06 pm

http://www.stateintegrity.org ranks South Carolina state government — including its college trustee system — as fifth most corrupt in the nation.

Property theft, misuse of college airplanes, ghost employees, mischaracterization of college expenditures, and nepotism, are well documented in TROUTMAN vs. HENDRIX, et al., CIVIL ACTION NO. 3:08-cv-449-MJP, US DISTRICT COURT — involving Clemson.

Gene Troutman, a Clemson graduate, engineer, and former Executive Secretary to the Board, spent over $125,000 in legal fees after informing the board of President Barker’s unethical activities, for which he was terminated.

Federal Judge Matthew Perry surprised everyone by dismissing the complaint, stating that Clemson is a state institution not subject to federal jurisdiction.

The recent embezzlement of $1.3 million by a Coastal Carolina University purchasing agent (doing phantom business with her boyfriend) was brushed under the rug.

The theft of expensive, newly purchased books from the College of Charleston’s Nathan Addlestone Library, and re-sale of them on E-Bay, is almost a sport. Thieves simply walk from the library proper into the “Java Café” (which is part of the library) and exit via the Café “outside entrance” door. Again, the CofC administration is fully aware of this ongoing theft and does nothing about it because (a) the Café was poorly located by the architects, (b) there is only one guard on patrol and (c) it’s embarrassing.

I agree with everything Susan has written and admire her hard work; she began volunteering at MUSC as a candy-striper in her teens.

But she must understand that our state constitution, dating back to 1895 and grounded in Jim Crow racism, is dedicated to preserving the legislature’s power in the event that a black man were to become governor. Our state has the most powerful legislature and the weakest governor in the nation.

See
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_the_State_of_South_Carolina
and
https://www.fitsnews.com/2009/01/20/tom-davis-v-south-carolinas-1895-constitution/.

The bilking of the state by entrenched legislators will continue until wholesale restructuring occurs, which is doubtful.

An alternative I suggest to Susan is to start a local but statewide grass-roots campaign, and to build on prominent, respected, well-established organizations and individuals who will personally endorse a change to the corrupt system.

Incidentally, read the FITS piece above concerning Sen. Tom Davis, supposedly one of the state’s “bright lights” for transparency, who rails against corruption and waste.

Did Sen. Davis vote for the honest broker Susan Pearlstein or for the good ‘ole boy Stavrinakis? I’m real curious.

Reply
dwb619 May 23, 2013 at 7:11 pm

I like the tone of your sermon,so…..
PREACH BROTHER PREACH!!!!!!!!!!

Reply
Soft Sigh from Hell May 22, 2013 at 7:59 pm

South Carolina politically, and to an extent socially and economically, is a semi-feudal society. It has an entitlement syndrome. The Lords are entitled. It is bad enough that they believe it, but the real problem is that far too many of the serfs accept it too.

I’m with Mencken:

“Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.”

Reply
Soft Sigh from Hell May 22, 2013 at 7:59 pm

South Carolina politically, and to an extent socially and economically, is a semi-feudal society. It has an entitlement syndrome. The Lords are entitled. It is bad enough that they believe it, but the real problem is that far too many of the serfs accept it too.

I’m with Mencken:

“Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.”

Reply
nitrat May 22, 2013 at 9:23 pm

What is the deal?
What do these people get for being on these boards?
It’s got to be more than per diem.
Do they get state insurance benefits?
State retirement benefits?
A state license plate? who pays for that?
What is the deal that makes this so very attractive?

Reply
nitrat May 22, 2013 at 9:23 pm

What is the deal?
What do these people get for being on these boards?
It’s got to be more than per diem.
Do they get state insurance benefits?
State retirement benefits?
A state license plate? who pays for that?
What is the deal that makes this so very attractive?

Reply
Gilbert McCann May 23, 2013 at 7:19 am

Sweetie, you are not missing out on anything at MUSC. They are currently in a downward spiral.

Reply
Say What? May 23, 2013 at 11:27 am

Gilbert: Do not know where you get your information from but you are totally wrong as MUSC, rated the number 1 hospital in SC, one of the top medical research institutions in the nation, the only medical school out of SC’s four who is nationally ranked (top 70 or so) medical school and whose total entity budget is higher than USC or Clemson, even combined and gets far less state funding than these two institutions and who you would depend on if you had a complex medical issue, especially cancer as it is one of 64 nationally accredited “cancer centers” by the NIH. Please get your facts straight before you say negative things about folks and organizations.

Reply
Just saying May 23, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Just an FYI, MUSC is in danger of losing their NIH Cancer Center designation as we speak! They have very low enrollment in research studies (about 4-5% with a needed minimum of 15%). I would be concerned of coercion into studies there right now. The majority of the public wants the best therapy and not a research study.

Reply
CNSYD May 23, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Before there is therapy, there is research.

Reply
Gilbert McCann May 23, 2013 at 7:19 am

Sweetie, you are not missing out on anything at MUSC. They are currently in a downward spiral.

Reply
Say What? May 23, 2013 at 11:27 am

Gilbert: Do not know where you get your information from but you are totally wrong as MUSC, rated the number 1 hospital in SC, one of the top medical research institutions in the nation, the only medical school out of SC’s four who is nationally ranked (top 70 or so) medical school and whose total entity budget is higher than USC or Clemson, even combined and gets far less state funding than these two institutions and who you would depend on if you had a complex medical issue, especially cancer as it is one of 64 nationally accredited “cancer centers” by the NIH. Please get your facts straight before you say negative things about folks and organizations.

Reply
Just saying May 23, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Just an FYI, MUSC is in danger of losing their NIH Cancer Center designation as we speak! They have very low enrollment in research studies (about 4-5% with a needed minimum of 15%). I would be concerned of coercion into studies there right now. The majority of the public wants the best therapy and not a research study.

Reply
CNSYD May 23, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Before there is therapy, there is research.

Reply
CNSYD May 23, 2013 at 9:04 am

Sic Willie loves to tout carpetbagger Davis as the savior of SC. So who did he vote for to be on the MUSC board? It wasn’t Pearlstine. Davis is just as phony as Sanfraud.

Reply
CNSYD May 23, 2013 at 9:04 am

Sic Willie loves to tout carpetbagger Davis as the savior of SC. So who did he vote for to be on the MUSC board? It wasn’t Pearlstine. Davis is just as phony as Sanfraud.

Reply
CNSYD May 23, 2013 at 9:04 am

Sic Willie loves to tout carpetbagger Davis as the savior of SC. So who did he vote for to be on the MUSC board? It wasn’t Pearlstine. Davis is just as phony as Sanfraud.

Reply
Watched It May 23, 2013 at 9:12 am

This woman donated a bunch of cash to MUSC and tried to essentially buy a board seat. She’s bitter because she was outworked and she got to the game late. And oh yeah, she had Limehouse pushing her, which automatically gets you nothing but votes against. The 1% again getting pissed off cause it didn’t go their way. What a whiny bitch

Reply
Philip Branton May 23, 2013 at 10:46 am

Actually …this woman is very smart. She did know enough to get Wil to publish her article on FITSNEWS…!! We wonder how many Board members at Furman University will be reviewing Gild Cobb-Hunter’s nominations since “Leadership” awards do have benefits..??

We wonder if Susan has shared a pint with Gilda lately..??

Reply
Watched It May 25, 2013 at 11:43 am

Don’t disagree she is a smart businesswoman. There were 2 people in the race until January. The winner and Buck Limehouse (father of Rep. Limehouse and perennial blow hard). When Buck realized he didn’t have the votes he got Susan into the race, and was late. She touted her recent gift to MUSC as a “qualification”. She likely is qualified to be on the board, but so is the winner. A small business owner with deep community roots. You shouldn’t have to be rich to win.

If she would have gotten involved when there was initial filing she may have won. Instead, she played the minority card and tried to essentially buy the seat. And is now whining about it, certain to be her demise if she seeks another seat,

Reply
Watched It May 23, 2013 at 9:12 am

This woman donated a bunch of cash to MUSC and tried to essentially buy a board seat. She’s bitter because she was outworked and she got to the game late. And oh yeah, she had Limehouse pushing her, which automatically gets you nothing but votes against. The 1% again getting pissed off cause it didn’t go their way. What a whiny bitch

Reply
Watched It May 23, 2013 at 9:12 am

This woman donated a bunch of cash to MUSC and tried to essentially buy a board seat. She’s bitter because she was outworked and she got to the game late. And oh yeah, she had Limehouse pushing her, which automatically gets you nothing but votes against. The 1% again getting pissed off cause it didn’t go their way. What a whiny bitch

Reply
Philip Branton May 23, 2013 at 10:46 am

Actually …this woman is very smart. She did know enough to get Wil to publish her article on FITSNEWS…!! We wonder how many Board members at Furman University will be reviewing Gild Cobb-Hunter’s nominations since “Leadership” awards do have benefits..??

We wonder if Susan has shared a pint with Gilda lately..??

Reply
Watched It May 25, 2013 at 11:43 am

Don’t disagree she is a smart businesswoman. There were 2 people in the race until January. The winner and Buck Limehouse (father of Rep. Limehouse and perennial blow hard). When Buck realized he didn’t have the votes he got Susan into the race, and was late. She touted her recent gift to MUSC as a “qualification”. She likely is qualified to be on the board, but so is the winner. A small business owner with deep community roots. You shouldn’t have to be rich to win.

If she would have gotten involved when there was initial filing she may have won. Instead, she played the minority card and tried to essentially buy the seat. And is now whining about it, certain to be her demise if she seeks another seat,

Reply
Philip Branton May 23, 2013 at 9:41 am Reply
Philip Branton May 23, 2013 at 9:42 am

Well….I just refreshed the pages a few times and the comments showed up……interesting..

Reply
Philip Branton May 23, 2013 at 9:41 am Reply
Philip Branton May 23, 2013 at 9:41 am Reply
Philip Branton May 23, 2013 at 9:42 am

Well….I just refreshed the pages a few times and the comments showed up……interesting..

Reply
Philip Branton May 23, 2013 at 10:21 am

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen of the JURY, this is a classic example of an unaware citizen who is now just waking up to the fact that there is a WAR going on. As if her own selections to the Pearlstine Distributors Company did not select their board members the same way..?? MY BACKSIDE….!!!!

This woman is a classic example of “Public Friend number 1″…!! We wonder just how much foreign diesel this woman has purchased over the decades to fuel her BEER trucks…!!!

Even though we have never met this woman, this is the type woman that would fight tooth and nail and turtle nests to stop all Wind Turbine installations in our state. She is probably totally clueless how much american blood has been shed for foreign OIL interests when compared to how much blood has been shed protecting local WIND ENERGY….!!!

…….and she is upset about the selection process for board positions at MUSC..?? Where the HELL was she in confronting the Board MEMBERS at SC State University…!?! Where was she in the comment sections of the Post and Courier to show her support for BLACK Students at that fine college…??

Jury members…..if she is so concerned about appointment processes, then where has she been concerning the 900 Million to BOEING….???

Jury…..just look how Wil Folks is using this article……

Reply
katlaurenscounty May 23, 2013 at 10:34 am

Dude, your stuff is hard to read. “Jury’; irrelevant stuff, jumping to unfounded assumptions (she’s unaware how things work – If she’s so experienced and not a complete moron, it’s not rational she’s not aware) implications on beer trucks, fight tooth and nail??????The sound points you make get lost in the blabbering.

Reply
Philip Branton May 23, 2013 at 10:21 am

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen of the JURY, this is a classic example of an unaware citizen who is now just waking up to the fact that there is a WAR going on. As if her own selections to the Pearlstine Distributors Company did not select their board members the same way..?? MY BACKSIDE….!!!!

This woman is a classic example of “Public Friend number 1″…!! We wonder just how much foreign diesel this woman has purchased over the decades to fuel her BEER trucks…!!!

Even though we have never met this woman, this is the type woman that would fight tooth and nail and turtle nests to stop all Wind Turbine installations in our state. She is probably totally clueless how much american blood has been shed for foreign OIL interests when compared to how much blood has been shed protecting local WIND ENERGY….!!!

…….and she is upset about the selection process for board positions at MUSC..?? Where the HELL was she in confronting the Board MEMBERS at SC State University…!?! Where was she in the comment sections of the Post and Courier to show her support for BLACK Students at that fine college…??

Jury members…..if she is so concerned about appointment processes, then where has she been concerning the 900 Million to BOEING….???

Jury…..just look how Wil Folks is using this article……

Reply
katlaurenscounty May 23, 2013 at 10:34 am

Dude, your stuff is hard to read. “Jury’; irrelevant stuff, jumping to unfounded assumptions (she’s unaware how things work – If she’s so experienced and not a complete moron, it’s not rational she’s not aware) implications on beer trucks, fight tooth and nail??????The sound points you make get lost in the blabbering.

Reply

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