SC

Former Senator May Challenge Curtis Loftis

The battle over South Carolina’s corrupt, underperforming state pension fund may soon move to a new venue – the voting booth. Status quo forces supporting S.C. Retirement System Investment Commission (SCRSIC) leader Reynolds Williams are courting a challenger to State Treasurer Curtis Loftis – who has spent the last three…

The battle over South Carolina’s corrupt, underperforming state pension fund may soon move to a new venue – the voting booth.

Status quo forces supporting S.C. Retirement System Investment Commission (SCRSIC) leader Reynolds Williams are courting a challenger to State Treasurer Curtis Loftis – who has spent the last three years dutifully exposing this fund’s exorbitant fees, abysmal performance, self-serving corruption and indefensible bonuses.

And not just any challenger …

Sources tell FITS this cabal has recruited former S.C. Sen. Greg Ryberg – a multimillionaire from Aiken, S.C. who was recently given a $161,000-a-year job with the SCRSIC.

Ryberg – once viewed as a staunch fiscal conservative – lost much of his credibility during his last few years in the State Senate.

Seriously … what sort of fiscal conservative calls a cash-strapped government agency to perform road work in the private, gated community of his rich buddies?

Also, Ryberg – along with S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley – was at the heart of a despicable effort to smear Loftis. And when that failed, he led a legislative effort to remove Loftis from his oversight role of the pension fund.

Weak …

Loftis is literally the only person in state government attempting to hold this fund and its corrupt managers accountable for their ongoing failure. In fact his crusade represents one of those rare moments in politics when an elected official who campaigned on “transparency and accountability” actually follows through on his promise (something Loftis has done on the transparency front, too). You would think Ryberg – a so-called fiscal conservative who has previously criticized the SCRSIC for its poor performance – would be supportive of those efforts.

Instead he’s joined in the attack against Loftis …

Unfortunately, the threat of a possible Ryberg campaign cannot be dismissed. He has the ability to pump millions of his own money into the race, and the special interests who want Loftis off of the pension fund board have the ability to spend millions more.

That kind of cash buys a lot of televised lies, people …

Then there’s Haley – whose appointee to the SCRSIC has led the charge against Loftis. While the governor’s overall approval ratings remain dismal, she’s still quite popular among “Republican” voters – and we have no doubt she would use her bully pulpit to go after Loftis.

Add it all up and we’re talking about a serious potential challenge …

This website has made no bones about its support for Loftis. He’s far from perfect (and we often find ourselves wishing he would expand his war against corruption and incompetence beyond the SCRSIC), but the bottom line is he is doing the job taxpayers elected him to do – and doing so despite a tremendous amount of institutional pressure being brought to bear against him.

Whereas “reformer” Nikki Haley has decided to cut a deal with corrupt legislative leader S.C. Sen. Hugh Leatherman – who appointed Williams to the SCRSIC – Loftis has adopted a “damn the torpedoes” approach on behalf of taxpayers.

He deserves our support … and if Ryberg indeed decides to challenge him in the 2014 GOP primary, he’s going to need it.

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49 comments

Thomas November 20, 2013 at 8:51 am

Who did not see this coming? He owns The Pantry convenience stores as well as Depot Food Stores. Oh, and he wholesales gasoline too. He can be assured many, many will stop patronizing his c-stores for a long time. Loftis is bucking for Governor in 2018 and they know it.

http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=6612764

http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=1027042

http://votesmart.org/candidate/biography/3976/greg-ryberg#.Uoy8IdK-pW8

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CorruptionInColumbia November 20, 2013 at 9:05 am

Thank You for the tip! I will no longer patronize the Pantry stores in my area. Never heard of the Depot, but will avoid them if I see them, too.

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Smirks November 20, 2013 at 8:57 am

Amazing how a millionaire somehow needs a high salary government job.

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venomachine November 20, 2013 at 11:56 am

He’s doing it for his pocke….er..the people!

Yeah…that’s the ticket!

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Vic November 20, 2013 at 3:22 pm

Curtis told me personally, in a serious conversatiion about government, that this race would cost him a million bucks and that he had set the money aside and was ready.

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Vic November 20, 2013 at 3:53 pm

Also said the campaign is the best, and perhaps only way to tell the true story of the investment commission.
Gonna be a race for the record books

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Elfego November 20, 2013 at 9:16 am

He who controls the money controls the system.

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SouthofBraodDaze November 20, 2013 at 9:48 am

Hey I think the GOP needs a couple of good rich Republican Italians to move her e from New Jersey or New York and run the pension fund. Then you will see the real deal. It takes a good Italian Catholic to demonstrate a sweeping knowledge of money.

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fred November 22, 2013 at 9:47 am

Hey you have a good German Catholic from Wisconsin in Ryberg. Enough all ready. How many carpet baggers do you need here in South Carolina?

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CNSYD November 20, 2013 at 9:50 am

another carpetbagger

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Warren November 20, 2013 at 9:54 am

Ryberg is tight with fellow Aiken resident Bill Giobee who Gov. Haley appointed to the SC Retirement Investment Commission. Giobee is the one who led the efforts to censure Loftis in an effort to silence him. This was after Ryberg failed to get the Senate to remove Loftis from the Commission.
Curtis Loftis is the most decent, hardworking elected official in Columbia. By fighting for the taxpayers, he has made Haley and her cronies mad. Perhaps if Ryberg decides to run for Treasurer again, Loftis should challenge Haley for Governor. Keep up the good fight Curtis!

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Billy K Mulligan November 20, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Ed Giobbe and he is 100% a grade A prick. Aiken is full of these types of carpetbagging assholes. Ryberg will tell you all about how much of a self-made man he is, and to some extent that is true. His wife’s family money helped tremendously. So did video poker machines until he ran for the Senate pledging term limits (2) that he violated, so did selling lottery tickets in his GA convenience stores while opposing them in the SC Senate, so did selling fuel to the SC Dept. of Education while ranting about big gubment and people sucking off the government tit. And on and on. He even got the City of Aiken to tear down an old gas station where he built his three story ugly ass Brownstone development. (Sold 2, lives sometimes in 1). Wife claims permanent residency next door to Ms. Sanfraud to pay 4% tax on beach plantation home. I hope he does run…..much more where this comes from.

Also he lost 3 times, twice in SC GOP primaries, once in the General Assembly (90+ to 8 or so – mostly Aiken Cty Delegation votes), demonstrating how badly he is despised by people who know him best.

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M326 November 21, 2013 at 6:43 am

I know Ed Giobbe. Seems like a fine fellow to me. What evidence do you have otherwise?

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Billy K Mulligan November 21, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Personal interaction with and observations of the prick.

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jimlewisowb November 21, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Had me worried there for a second Billy

Mistook “the” as “his” but now I see my mistake

Sorry, my bad

southmauldin November 20, 2013 at 9:54 am

Isn’t this the clown from Wisconsin that had that silly handlebar mustache that he shaved off once he announced for Governor a few years back? And CNSYD and Smirks hit the nail on the head.

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Aiken-Girl November 20, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Greg Ryberg wore an 8-inch waxed upturned handlebar moustache and a pair of $800 caiman-belly cowboy boots custom-made by Tim’s Boots in El Paso. That is, until he ran for State Treasurer and realized that “the common people” would not like that ostentatious money-in-your-face look. But really, Greg, screw the common people. Let ’em eat cake, right?

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nitrat November 20, 2013 at 10:37 am

Who’s paying you, FITS? Curtis Loftis or his great and good friend Mallory Factor?

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jimlewisowb November 20, 2013 at 10:38 am

Ryberg will make a lot of noise and will get a butt load of attention from mainstream media

However the more personal appearances he makes, those in attendance will easily .discover how big of an asshole he really is. If he were able to restrict his comments to the first five minutes, he might have a chance. Fortunately for us he can’t stop talking about himself in the first person (I, I, I, I), how smart he is and how dumb Southerners are

Fucking Carpetbagger Cockroach

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Donald2 November 20, 2013 at 4:01 pm

$420 million in fees in exchange for bottom 20% returns oughta be enough for Rybergs New York buddies. But then to got Ed Giobes and his New York buddies. And Reynolds Williams and his law firm that make $150,000 on an investment.

Greed has no boundaries. The investment commission is gonna get Loftis no matter what they got to do.

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Old lawyer November 20, 2013 at 7:56 pm

Reynolds Williams make $150 grand off an investment commission investment and hardly a word said.

The Commission pays the highest fees in the country, $420 million dollars in 2013 alone.

And these people are ballsey enough to try to beat the treasure. They should be glad they are not in jail.

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Bob Barker November 20, 2013 at 11:16 am

How old is this dude for Christ sakes?

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Slartibartfast November 20, 2013 at 1:24 pm

That’s Ryberg? I thought it was Clint Eastwood as William Munny.

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Deep Throat in Charleston November 20, 2013 at 11:40 am

See my comments about this unethical and corrupt creep at

https://www.fitsnews.com/2012/02/20/curtis-loftis-gets-pension-fund-support/

I may decide to identify myself if he does enter this race.

Ryberg carries water for Glenn McConnell, the state’s most corrupt politician.

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sconset November 20, 2013 at 11:43 am

Are you kidding? Ryberg is not going to run for Treasurer. He ran twice before and lost both times. This so called news story is just another fantasy dreamed up by Curtis Loftis. Loftis’ reelection slogan should be: ALL MOUTH AND NO FACTS.

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venomachine November 20, 2013 at 11:55 am

Nope, not Ryberg.

Nope, nope, nope.

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Slartibartfast November 20, 2013 at 1:20 pm

When you have people whose companies stand to lose literally billions of dollars if they continue to be exposed, you would expect such a challenge.

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M326 November 20, 2013 at 1:23 pm

This is an absurd story. It is Loftis running scared and Fits is helping him. Ryberg is not running for this office. But if he were, he is far more qualified for it than is Loftis. In New York, they smile behind their hands when they see Loftis coming. “Easy money coming, Boys!”

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KHMann November 20, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Really? Is that why feature stories on Treasurer Loftis have been written by Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, among others? — which, incidentally, were positive in tone, not mocking.

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M326 November 20, 2013 at 5:17 pm

Just check Seanna Adcox’s story on Loftis settlement with the Bank of NY just posted in the State. This guy shovels money to New York and they love him–but do they respect him? You tell me. By the way, this is retiree’s money. Easy to be fast and free when it ain’t yours.

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K.Mann December 13, 2013 at 2:52 pm

That’s pretty funny. The ones you support pay in excess of $430 million to Wall Street investors and are the ones “shovel(ing) money to New York.” In comparison Loftis won a lawsuit worth $26 million against BoNY/Mellon (though in fairness, the suit was brought and the terms of the law firm’s compensation largely determined by Loftis’ predecessor). Recap: $430 million from SC to NY by commission, $26 from NY to SC by Loftis. Get back to me when you sober up, ok?

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M326 December 13, 2013 at 3:08 pm

The original suit was $200 million. Loftis settled for $34 million $9 million of which went to his attorneys one of which was his fraternity brother and close friend. He sought and received permission from the AG to personally negotiate a settlement with the attorneys. I have a copy of the letter. The attorney settlement was 100% Loftis.

M326 November 20, 2013 at 2:13 pm

I have recently heard substantial rumors that a PAC is being started to defeat Loftis in the primary. I don’t know if that is true but if it is, I think the maximum one can contribute is $1500.

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M326 November 20, 2013 at 2:47 pm

It’s a foul wind that blows from the stockyards.

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Billy K Mulligan November 21, 2013 at 12:58 pm

You shoveling your own barn these days?

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Robert Ginger November 20, 2013 at 3:37 pm

If a PAC has started, you can find out very easily after they have collected the minimum amount and have to file with the Ethics Commission. Ethics committee has a list of all the PACs in the state. I just know as a member of the state retirement system, SC cannot continue to be tops in fees and expenses and bottom in making money. SC paying $420 million in investment fees is awful!!

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Ass Blow November 20, 2013 at 4:04 pm

He looks like Clint Eastwood.

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fred November 21, 2013 at 9:15 pm

Oh please poor old Clint would be embarrassed that he had any resemblance to this arse hole. Didn’t Ryberg and his wife get into BIG shouting match a few years ago in a Columbia restaurant with a fellow politico? Absolutely NO CLASS-NO BRAINS-BIG EGO.

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Robert Ginger November 20, 2013 at 4:45 pm

With a chairman whose law firm makes $150,000.00 off the fund he was sworn to protect, and hires a new COO in the middle of the night to help orchestrate his drama against Loftis, This is clear greed and Reynolds needs to go far away. I am sure Loftis is ready, and armed with facts, figures, and money. Smart guy!

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M326 November 20, 2013 at 5:37 pm

This posted in The State:

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The state treasurer’s office wants to pay the bank that holds South Carolina’s assets $2 million directly from public workers’ pension fund without getting budget approval from the Legislature.

Office attorney Bill Condon has sought agreement from the Retirement System Investment Commission and other agencies responsible for the fund. His letter says legislative approval is not necessary.

Former Sen. Greg Ryberg, the commission’s new chief operating officer, replied with a resounding no, calling it a shockingly nontransparent scheme.

A settlement negotiated last spring through Treasurer Curtis Loftis awarded the Bank of New York a 10-year contract. But it remains unsigned. His office is trying to find a way to pay the bank for upfront custodial fees never previously paid.

His spokesman has not returned phone or email messages seeking comment.

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Truth November 20, 2013 at 7:08 pm

This story is crap. Not true.
the truth will out. Give it a little time

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transparencyandaccountability November 20, 2013 at 8:24 pm

A copy of Condon’s letter will be made public tomorrow and the truth will come out that Loftis personally negotiated a ten year contract without having a clue how to pay for it. You would have thought that a State Treasurer who talks a lot, a whole lot, about accountability would have known how he was going to pay for the services he was committing the state to purchase. Now he wants the Investment Commission to bail him out. That is a hoot.

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Phil November 20, 2013 at 9:11 pm

You arE a liar

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M326 November 21, 2013 at 6:50 am

Specifically, Phil, what is untrue here? Just because you say it does not make it true. We don’t even know who you are, do we? So why give you any more credibility than transparencyandaccountability? No reason I can see. Let’s see what Condon’s letter has to say. Maybe then we can judge. Right, Phil? Hey…Phil?

Honey Badger November 20, 2013 at 7:37 pm

So this will make how many times Ryberg has lost a race for Treasurer?

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M326 November 21, 2013 at 6:19 am

From the AP

Treasurer’s office seeks $2M to sign bank contract

By SEANNA ADCOX
Associated Press

Posted: November 21, 2013COLUMBIA — The state treasurer’s office wants to pay the bank that holds South Carolina’s assets $2 million directly from public workers’ pension fund without getting approval from the Legislature. Office attorney Bill Condon has sought approval from the Retirement System Investment Commission and two other agencies responsible for the fund. But former Sen. Greg Ryberg, the commission’s new chief operating officer, replied with a resounding no.

“This attempt to spend millions of dollars of retirees’ trust fund money with absolutely no transparency or accountability is one of the more shocking schemes that I have seen,” said Ryberg, who spent 20 years in the Senate before retiring last year.

A spokesman for Treasurer Curtis Loftis did not return phone or email messages Wednesday seeking comment. Since taking office in 2011, the elected Republican has publicly feuded with Ryberg, as well as his fellow commissioners on the board that invests retirees’ $27 billion pension portfolio.

But Condon is seeking their approval in an attempt to wrap up a 10-year contract with the Bank of New York Mellon Corp.

A settlement negotiated last spring through Loftis’ office awarded it a new contract as the holding bank and securities investor of state assets — keeping roughly $40 billion with a bank the state accused of losing retirees’ money through bad investments. But six months later, no contract exists.

Under the not-yet-signed contract, the state would have to pay the bank an estimated $2million annually in upfront custodial fees never before paid. The treasurer’s office wants the money to come from the pension fund because there isn’t money in the 2013-2014 budget for it.

Condon says legislative approval isn’t needed because the money is coming out of a trust fund, not public funds, he wrote in a letter obtained by The by the by the Associated Press. He likened it to investment management fees paid from the fund.

Custodial costs could go through the budget process in future years, but the money needed now “may still be properly paid from the trust,” he wrote. As for transparency, he added, the letter itself provides that, and costs could be disclosed in audited financial statements.

By law, the treasurer is the custodian of state assets, including the pension money.

In a Nov. 14 written response, Ryberg argued that the treasurer’s office, not the trust fund, should bear those costs, especially since Loftis signed a settlement without knowing where the money would come from.

Officers with the State Retirees Association believe the trust fund should bear all the costs of administering employees’ pensions, including custodial fees. But they are adamantly opposed to letting the treasurer’s office dip directly into the fund without other approval.

The association’s treasurer, Wayne Pruitt, said the group prefers it go through the budget process. If that’s impractical, the Legislature needs to approve handling it differently, he said, adding the payment should be jointly approved with the investment commission and the Public Employee Benefit Authority, the agency that doles out benefits.

“It makes me nervous when anybody thinks they can singlehandedly, arbitrarily take money out of the trust fund,” Pruitt said.

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Cynthia November 21, 2013 at 10:16 am

Guess Richard Breibart also thought he wouldn’t get caught. Doubt he will ever leave prison.

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Truth November 21, 2013 at 10:25 am

Delenda, stop trying to pitch this story about Ryberg running. he’s not running and you look foolish as usual spreading lies.

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fred November 21, 2013 at 9:09 pm

Isn’t he only experience Ryberg has was being a chauffeur for the “Luv Guv” and his Buenos Aires bombshell when she snuck into Aiken. What does he know about finances, after all didn’t he spend millions on a failed campaign a few years ago?

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