SC

“Ethics Reform,” Nullification Dead In SC Senate

The S.C. Senate shut down debate this week without passing watered-down ethics reform legislation – and without even debating a Tea Party-backed bill that would have nullified U.S. President Barack Obama’s socialized medicine law. That means both bills are dead for the year. The defeat of the ethics reform bill…

The S.C. Senate shut down debate this week without passing watered-down ethics reform legislation – and without even debating a Tea Party-backed bill that would have nullified U.S. President Barack Obama’s socialized medicine law.

That means both bills are dead for the year.

The defeat of the ethics reform bill was a major setback for S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley, who made the issue her top legislative priority despite her own glaring hypocrisy on the issue. Meanwhile the refusal of the Senate to even address the nullification legislation was a major defeat for conservative activists – who pushed to get the bill included on the Senate’s calendar during the final week of the 2013 legislative session.

In an acrimonious, dysfunctional day of debate, Senators lashed out at one another over who was responsible for the building debacle. When it was all said and done, the ethics reform bill was shelved – and then S.C. Senate president John Courson (RINO-Richland) made the motion to adjourn debate before the Obamacare nullification legislation could be raised.

NIKKI HALEY
NIKKI HALEY

The reason “ethics reform” died? Democrats were livid at Haley for attempting to portray their party as the source of corruption in the Capital City.

Earlier in the week Haley’s spokesman, Rob Godfrey, referred to the resignation of State Sen. Robert Ford (D-Charleston) as “a real-world example of why ethics reform is so important.”

Really? Given his boss’s record, Godfrey is lucky he didn’t get struck by lightning when he said that.

To recap: Haley proposed income disclosure for lawmakers – even though she failed to disclose more than $40,000 she received from a company doing business before the state. She proposed consolidating ethics cases under an independent agency – even though she relied on a corrupt committee of her former peers to evade conviction on a wide range of ethics charges last summer. She pushed for mandatory recusals from office – even though she failed to recuse herself from votes benefiting her secret employer. She demanded reforms to the state’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) – even though her administration has illegally deleted emails and deliberately withheld public information from reporters. And she asked lawmakers to correct a flawed election law that resulted in hundreds of candidates being booted from the 2012 ballot – even though she co-authored the statute with her longtime ally, S.C. Rep. Nathan Ballentine.

“We can’t point to a single one of Haley’s ethics proposals that she hasn’t already either violated or exploited in an effort to cover up her offenses,” we wrote last year.

Also it’s worth pointing out that Haley’s ethical transgressions – like those of S.C. Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell (recap here) – are far worse than anything Ford did.

Enraged at Haley’s hypocrisy, Democrats led by Sen. Darrell Jackson (D-Richland) put up dozens of amendments to the ethics reform bill – bogging it down procedurally. When it became clear the legislation wasn’t going anywhere, an attempt was made to shift the debate to the Obamacare nullification bill – but that effort was shut down by Courson.

As we’ve noted in previous posts, the defeat of the ethics bill is no great loss … the legislation was fatally flawed. Most notably, it failed to eliminate the corrupt legislative “cover-up committees” that give lawmakers the exclusive right to police themselves (and their former colleagues).

Meanwhile the Obamacare nullification effort – which we’ve said all along we have no problem with – was weakened considerably as it made its way through the S.C. House.

The original version of the bill held that any federal employee attempting to enforce Obamacare would be “guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than five thousand dollars, or imprisoned not more than five years,” while any state employee attempting to enforce the law would be “guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than two years.”

Neither of those provisions made it into the final version of the bill – which critics contend is nothing more than a ceremonial objection to Obama’s socialized medicine law.

***

Pics: Travis Bell Photography

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20 comments

jimlewisowb June 5, 2013 at 11:29 pm

A Rabbit walks up to a bear that’s sitting next to a tree. The Bear asks the Rabbit “Excuse me, but do you have a problem with shit being on your fur?”, the Rabbit, thinking for a moment, replies “No, not at all”.

So the Bear picks up the Rabbit, and wipes his ass with him

In South Carolina elected/appointed officials are the Bears

Care to guess what taxpayers are

Reply
jimlewisowb June 5, 2013 at 11:29 pm

A Rabbit walks up to a bear that’s sitting next to a tree. The Bear asks the Rabbit “Excuse me, but do you have a problem with shit being on your fur?”, the Rabbit, thinking for a moment, replies “No, not at all”.

So the Bear picks up the Rabbit, and wipes his ass with him

In South Carolina elected/appointed officials are the Bears

Care to guess what taxpayers are

Reply
Cat Woman June 6, 2013 at 6:49 am

The picture of Martin, Cromer, Peeler, Courson and then the picture of Haley is illustrative of all that is wrong with the Legislature. The opposite of ethics, morals, integrity and anything which is right for the people of the State is represented in these two photos!!….hypocrits, cheaters, liars!

Reply
Nan June 6, 2013 at 7:45 am

Peeler must have taken a break from meeting with his brother to bring out of state trash into SC and from his extracarricular ;-)- activities to have his picture taken in the Senate !

Reply
Cat Woman June 6, 2013 at 6:49 am

The picture of Martin, Cromer, Peeler, Courson and then the picture of Haley is illustrative of all that is wrong with the Legislature. The opposite of ethics, morals, integrity and anything which is right for the people of the State is represented in these two photos!!….hypocrits, cheaters, liars!

Reply
Nan June 6, 2013 at 7:45 am

Peeler must have taken a break from meeting with his brother to bring out of state trash into SC and from his extracarricular ;-)- activities to have his picture taken in the Senate !

Reply
sam June 6, 2013 at 7:06 am

It ain’t about the law. It is about the people that enforce the law. The books are replete with statues that would allow the proper enforcement of an acceptable ethical standard.

Problem we have is that those charged with enforcing the law refuse to use the law as intended. They hide behind small defects that allow them to look the other way. They pass the buck. They are cowards.

People need changing, not laws.

Reply
Sarge June 6, 2013 at 8:33 am

I agree.

Reply
sam June 6, 2013 at 7:06 am

It ain’t about the law. It is about the people that enforce the law. The books are replete with statues that would allow the proper enforcement of an acceptable ethical standard.

Problem we have is that those charged with enforcing the law refuse to use the law as intended. They hide behind small defects that allow them to look the other way. They pass the buck. They are cowards.

People need changing, not laws.

Reply
Sarge June 6, 2013 at 8:33 am

I agree.

Reply
Carpe Jugulum June 6, 2013 at 8:07 am

Obviously, the photo captures our political scholars discussing how ethics (in South Carolina) is actually a sweepstakes; the outcome is per-determined. You have to admit, they have the art of selecting suits and wearing lapel pins down pat.

Reply
Carpe Jugulum June 6, 2013 at 8:07 am

Obviously, the photo captures our political scholars discussing how ethics (in South Carolina) is actually a sweepstakes; the outcome is per-determined. You have to admit, they have the art of selecting suits and wearing lapel pins down pat.

Reply
Smirks June 6, 2013 at 9:16 am

@ “ethics reform,” no surprise.

@ nullification, lol…

Next on the chopping block, school choice.

Reply
Smirks June 6, 2013 at 9:16 am

@ “ethics reform,” no surprise.

@ nullification, lol…

Next on the chopping block, school choice.

Reply
tally ho June 6, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Anything Co-authored, authored or spoken by Rep. Head Ballentine should be thrown out on account of stupidity! The boy can only write in 140 letter increments! #tweetnation #muthaf**ka

Reply
tally ho June 6, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Anything Co-authored, authored or spoken by Rep. Head Ballentine should be thrown out on account of stupidity! The boy can only write in 140 letter increments! #tweetnation #muthaf**ka

Reply
Polyphemos June 6, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Now you know why they are so afraid of a sensible gun law for citizens. They don’t want to be caught out on the street in daylight with a voter. It’s easier to hide out in a bar. (although that could be changing, hopefully).

Reply
Slartibartfast June 6, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Now you know why they are so afraid of a sensible gun law for citizens. They don’t want to be caught out on the street in daylight with a voter. It’s easier to hide out in a bar. (although that could be changing, hopefully).

Reply
Marie Harrison June 6, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Baba Buddha would be ashamed of Nimrata.

Reply
Marie Harrison June 6, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Baba Buddha would be ashamed of Nimrata.

Reply

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