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SC House Bans Leadership PACs




By FITSNEWS || Under the leadership of its new Speaker Jay Lucas, the S.C. House of Representatives took a major step toward ethics reform this month – passing a measure that precludes its members from operating or creating political action committees.

“A member of the House shall not, directly or indirectly, establish, finance, maintain, or control any entity including, but not limited to, a non-candidate committee that receives or makes contributions,” the new rule states.

We support this measure …

“Leadership PACs” have been a cancer on the Palmetto political process – a means of funneling more special interest cash into the system so that a handful of legislative leaders can effectively bribe rank-and-file members.

No wonder these PACs are at the heart of the ongoing federal-state investigation of corruption at the S.C. State House …

Anyway, cutting off this particular spigot of corruption is a long-overdue reform – and we credit Lucas and his allies for making it happen.

Of course the battle isn’t over.  With the ink barely dry on the rule change, one House member has drafted a bill that would eliminate the reform.

S.C. Rep. Jonathon Hill states that he supports “the notion that House and Senate leadership should not be allowed to wield the power of a large PAC as a carrot or as a stick over the members of the body,” however he believes the new rule “does not accomplish it’s stated purpose.”

Really?  What part of “shall not” is confusing Hill?

Also, while Hill spends plenty of time moaning about the unintended consequences of the rule change – his legislation offers nothing in the way of an alternative.  It simply scraps the rule, which would permit these corrupt PACs to go back into business.

We agree with the notion that money is speech.  But “leadership PACs” are bribery, pure and simple.

Lawmakers should ignore Hill’s bill and stick with the rule they just passed …