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Another SC Pension Fund Battle



For those of you who haven’t been reading our recent wire posts, there was a big story in Governing magazine this week about the sorry state of South Carolina’s pension fund.

The article – which you can read for yourself by clicking here – basically reiterated what South Carolinians have long known, that their state pension fund is underperforming compared to its peers and paying way too much money in fees. Seriously … in good times or bad, our investments are lagging behind the rest of the nation while we shell out disproportionately large fees.

The commission’s response to this?

“We’re not thinking about putting ourselves in a horse race with other public pension peers,” one of its six-figure taxpayer-funded bureaucrats told Governing‘s Liz Farmer.

Ah, South Carolina … forever the slow zebra.

Anyway, the state’s pension fund posted a 12.4 percent gain in 2012 – basically recovering its losses from the previous year. However that mark once again trailed both the broader market as well as other pension funds. One reason? Its disproportionate reliance on “alternative investments.”

S.C. Treasurer Curtis Loftis has been dutifully exposing the myriad problems with the pension fund – which is managed by a corrupt, secretive and totally unaccountable commission run by one Reynolds Williams, an appointee of legendary scamster Hugh Leatherman (RINO-Florence).

Specifically, Loftis has been exposing how commissioners and their staff have been receiving all sorts of undisclosed perks from the firms they are doing business with – and in some cases profiting directly from deals. What has Loftis gotten for his efforts? A literally non-stop vendetta … one fueled by the Palmetto State’s “bought and paid for” mainstream media.

Williams and his cronies have done everything within their power to take Loftis out … including passing a resolution of censure against him in February.

This week – less than forty-eight hours after the Governing story was published – they struck again, with Williams proclaiming that politicians would be forever prohibited from serving on investment commission subcommittees. According to our sources, Williams was enraged by the Governing story – and wanted to rebuke Loftis for embarrassing him.

So middle school …

Loftis is the lone elected official on the investment commission – i.e. he’s the only member directly accountable to taxpayers. The others are all political appointments.

In other words, Williams is taking the lone “voice of the people” and attempting to silence it – all because that voice is speaking the truth and demanding reform.

How sad …

The irony in all this? Williams is currently under criminal and ethical investigation for alleged self-dealing between his law firm and the commission. In other words if there was anyone on this committee who ought to be restricted from playing a role in investment decisions, it’s him.


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