SC Lawmaker Gets Gig With Company Receiving Tax Breaks

MORE STATUS QUO CORRUPTION FROM PALMETTO STATE’S RULING ELITE || By FITSNEWS || A South Carolina lawmaker has been given a job with a company that got more than $50 million from Palmetto State taxpayers. Movement Mortgage – which received $53 million in taxpayer-funded incentives in late March to relocate its…


|| By FITSNEWS || A South Carolina lawmaker has been given a job with a company that got more than $50 million from Palmetto State taxpayers.

Movement Mortgage – which received $53 million in taxpayer-funded incentives in late March to relocate its corporate headquarters across the border from Charlotte, N.C. to Indian Land, S.C. – has hired S.C. Rep. Nathan Ballentine.  Ballentine announced his hiring via Twitter on Friday.

Ballentine is close friends with S.C. governor Nikki Haley – whose administration approved the incentives package for Movement.

Sound shady?  It is …

This website has repeatedly railed against government-subsidized, market-distorting incentives – arguing they provide certain companies with unfair competitive advantages at the expense of individual taxpayers and small businesses.  Also, South Carolina’s escalating use of such incentives has failed to create jobs or raise income levels over the long haul.

Now we learn a state legislator is getting a job from one of the company’s benefiting from these anti-competitive subsidies?

Shameful …

Also Movement Mortgage – despite its claims to the contrary – appears to be re-inflating a new housing bubble by offering loans to those rejected by banks.

“We don’t want to go back to the subprime days, when we were extending credit to the wrong folks, but we do want to make sure we’re extending credit to those borrowers who do have the ability and capacity to repay the loans but may just not have traditionally documentable income,” the company’s founder told CNBC earlier this year.

Yeah … what could possibly go wrong?


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Richard Gozyna June 13, 2015 at 12:58 pm

Shady on two levels. Ballentine shafted the taxpayers with $53 million in incentives. Then, he shafted his former employer by helping the competition before quitting to join the competition. I guess he can change his nickname from “Big Head” to Benedict Arnold.

Commonman June 14, 2015 at 10:43 am

This type self service is business as usual. You get what you pay for and hopefully he will move to Indian Land and leave the House. More likely, he will stay in the House and “recuse” himself from any votes that could affect his employer while explaining to his colleagues why they should vote a certain way to help them. You have to be blind to think this does not stink, politically and ethically. The question is did he ingratiate himself with any persons in the company that could affect his future employment. I imagine there were some open and closed door meetings with this company before any incentives were given. This too shall pass. Have to love the ethics of the legislature. From what we see, I do not care to know about what we do not see.

Torch June 15, 2015 at 10:33 am

Recuse himself? What have you been smoking?

Commonman June 16, 2015 at 9:51 am

Ethics! Basically to refrain from voting on an issue as to avoid a conflict of interest. Of course, this legislature would never take a vote if they had to recuse themselves because of a conflict of interest. Recusals would run rampant. And I will now recuse myself from further comment about this matter.

Victorious Secret June 13, 2015 at 12:58 pm

Ex-ante price internalization is a valid form of risk mitigation in the loan markets . . . so long as said company is actually on the hook for its potential losses. Unfortunately, me thinks that will likely not be the case.

Yep, that’s a pretty deal, Nate.

Now, lets pay attention and see how much “Movement Mortgage,” et al. donate to Mr. Ballentine’s re-election campaign. Anyone care to help create the over/under for total funds coming from this source?

SYNTwist June 13, 2015 at 6:30 pm

I knew people who supported Ron Paul – hard core – yet worked for Homeland Security, was published in a GOP group last election. How is him getting a job so different? I am glad we have the transparency to know he is getting the job, but I don’t understand why he is such a bad guy as a result?

Victorious Secret June 14, 2015 at 12:23 pm

I’m not sure of your comparison with Ron Paul followers. I’m also not sure I will attempt to synthesize the two scenarios.

My point–standing alone–is that this (by itself) appears to be a prima facie case of crony capitalism followed by an reciprocal handout. My question also points out that if this is true, then it will manifest itself through Movement Mortgage’s maximum contributions to Nathan’s eventual re-election campaign.

SYNTwist June 14, 2015 at 12:35 pm

I’m sure they will likely support him, he is an employee. However, I doubt he was hired based on any incentives. His biography shows he was the VP Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. Wells Fargo is a much better known company and his experience likely very valuable to this company I never even knew existed until I saw it on this website. I know they are national, but they aren’t a Wells Fargo.

The comparison to Ron Paul and Homeland Security – people often take jobs that conflict with personal beliefs/values, because they need a job.

NoEthics June 14, 2015 at 1:10 pm

That’s because Asshat they’re a new company, only been around 5-6 years. They need hand outs like 53 million dollars so they can continue to grow and a represtative and a governor who are in each other’s pockets or past desk mates giving a now employee of that company 22 million to build a new office smells more than fishy! Ballentine walks away from a 22 year career that he worker part time because he worked part time at the state house!

Victorious Secret June 14, 2015 at 2:25 pm

Oh, I absolutely agree that people can take a job and not fully support that job’s mission, etc. That is the quintessential example of the doctrine of necessity. Frankly, I’d much rather someone do the former than simply draw on a welfare program while “sticking to their beliefs.”

As for the Ballentine move, I believe the setup creates a rebuttable presumption of bad faith. This means there is no “smoking gun,” but one can reasonably draw the inference of certain attributes about this transaction.

Is that necessarily fair? Not particularly; but that’s the court of public opinion, my dear. Where there’s smoke, most will believe there is fire, and if the smoke is on your land, then the ball is “in your court” to prove otherwise.

SYNTwist June 14, 2015 at 2:32 pm

What happened to innocent til proven guilty?

Victorious Secret June 14, 2015 at 4:56 pm

Surely you don’t believe that the protections provided in the due process clause also apply to the court of public opinion?

SYNTwist June 14, 2015 at 5:42 pm

I wish it did. I still believe it can.

I used to think I knew who you were. I thought your name was L*****, but I’m forming the opinion you are not a female. Hmmm….

If you are L*****, then you of all people know about due process.

Victorious Secret June 14, 2015 at 7:09 pm

Ha! I love it! I exude a feminine vibe! Unfortunately, I am not L****. But I do enjoy our back and forth banter.

Please don’t stop on account of my not being L****.

Finally, I commend your positive outlook–don’t ever let that go! Collective action and rational apathy problems are rampant.

SYNTwist June 14, 2015 at 7:21 pm

Too funny, “I commend your positive outlook–don’t ever let that go! Collective action and rational apathy problems are rampant”

I don’t really play well in the sandbox. I am a nice person you would probably like IRL, but I don’t really go along just for the sake of getting along. I am very tolerant when it comes to diversity, but I am not shy about speaking my mind, even when it is better left unspoken. I think I lack a filter?

jimlewisgowb June 13, 2015 at 12:59 pm

Watched MM’s kiss our ass You Tube video – according to the top two blood sucking cockroaches running the place they are a “blessed” and “called” organization

Damn right they are – hey mother fuckers, here is my “call” to you, get your ‘blessed” taxpayer sucking dicks out of my ass

As for Cockroach Ballentine, beer clouded minds wants to know if he is moving to Indian Land (hope so) or will he continue to suck Mother Carolina’s tit as an absentee Legislator who doesn’t work anywhere near where he claims he resides

Lakeside at Indianland June 13, 2015 at 1:09 pm

Giddy upNate will have to change his F3 “stagecoach” name after Wells Fargo to “big dump” for Movement Mortgage. Just like the Dump he is taking on SC. Zero ethics, zero transperancy.

Sunnyside Up June 14, 2015 at 12:38 am

What is F3?

Lakeside at Indianland June 14, 2015 at 8:34 am

It’s a group of MEN ONLY that get together and exercise in the early hours of the morning. They start with a prayer they say but they have to give themselves all nicknames! It’s like another fraternity type deal for men! Whether they end in a circle jerk is unknown! When Ballentine joined his name was “Stagecoach” and his bromance could be seen every 20-30 mins on social media!

nitrat June 14, 2015 at 8:38 am

A local affiliate of The Fellowship/The Family/C Street/National Prayer Breakfast/Prison Ministries/etc cabal, no doubt.

Pax June 14, 2015 at 6:56 pm

Burpee, fartsack, and other bizarre nicknames? Circle jerk could be fun.

Ralph Hightower June 13, 2015 at 1:30 pm

It’s gotta be nice for the General Assembly when they can create jobs for themselves based on the legislation that they propose, lobby, and make into law.
And, very, very wrong!
Where’s that Ethics Reform?

SYNTwist June 13, 2015 at 6:19 pm

I would like ethics reform, but what exactly does that have to do with topic? Why is it wrong for Ballentine to take a job? Doesn’t matter if you approve of his job, but I see nothing that would implicate wrongdoing. Til then – what is wrong with him taking the job?

nitrat June 14, 2015 at 8:35 am

Ever heard of quid pro quo?
You know, pretty much the essence of bribery?

SYNTwist June 14, 2015 at 8:49 am

That is simply an allegation, until there is proof. From what I have seen they hired or are expected to hire some 650 employees. He just happens to be one of them. If you can show me that bribery is actually taking place, then I am all ears, until then….

nitrat June 14, 2015 at 8:56 am

It doesn’t matter if they hire 65,0000 if Ballentine connived to get them the tax break in exchange for a job.
A bribe is a bribe and that is what Ralph Hightower is talking about when he talks about ethics reform.

Yes, it is only FITS’ allegation…which is as much based in fact as your automatic defense of Ballentine. Both are nothing but opinion.

SYNTwist June 14, 2015 at 9:03 am

There is that little word IF. Show me that he did.

SYNTwist June 14, 2015 at 9:40 am

Just saw this “Yes, it is only FITS’ allegation…which is as much based in fact as your automatic defense of Ballentine. Both are nothing but opinion.”

I agree both are opinion. I have no skin in the game and no reason to defend him, Ballentine is not my representative. I just see no reason to draw suspicion without evidence. A reputation is easily tarnished without any evidence of wrong doing. Even when cleared of wrongdoing, people still remember the stain and it plants doubt. That is how politics work as I am sure you are aware.

Denozitall June 14, 2015 at 4:31 pm

How would that be a whole lot different than Jonathan Pinson? If Ballentine used his influence to get something done and he gets paid off with a new job? Wells Fargo must have gotten tired of him.

Bible Thumper June 13, 2015 at 4:00 pm

Our over exposure to Bruce Jenner’s trans gender transition to Caitlyn has conditioned us to display a more muted response to the revelation that the chapter president of the Spokane NACCP, Rachel Dolezal, has transitioned to be black. Of course, for those of us who are regular visitors of Fitsnews, this type transition is something we’ve witnessed before in the “founding editor”.

SYNTwist June 13, 2015 at 6:15 pm

Ok, I get that he is friends with Gov. Haley, and has a government job. I am missing the piece that connects body with the headline. I don’t know him personally, I guess as much as anyone can in social media – which by the way is what our voters see, only less of it.

What exactly did he do wrong? He got a job?

SYNTwist June 13, 2015 at 6:26 pm

They hired 650 people according to news release in January – I am struggling (no sarcasm) to understand why this is such a big deal?

Bible Thumper June 13, 2015 at 6:47 pm

I see more wrong with the “editor” of a public affairs/political website working for a US Senate candidate’s campaign.

SYNTwist June 13, 2015 at 7:01 pm

It is no different, regardless the amount of time spent working there. Legislators do not get paid enough to do the job they do without supplemental income unless they are filthy rich and retired. People hire people because who they know in politics. It is also the case in many jobs. Amy was IMO left of Sanford, but who really knows. I like her, but her views are not so much Republican last I read. No one complained too much about that to my knowledge, if they did – it wasn’t published. The only thing I saw was she quit. No need for explanation. For all we know so will Nathan Ballentine. Or maybe he will contribute and make it a better company. Either way it will work out in the end. While connections might get you a job, they keep a job – performance does.

DanaWShelton June 14, 2015 at 9:53 am

The Job Search Site on the Net @mk31



FastEddy23 June 14, 2015 at 12:39 pm

Not paid enough? You could be right. The Kid may be on the up-and-up and just needs a second job …. Maybe.

SYNTwist June 14, 2015 at 1:22 pm

If I were a legislator and that was my sole source of income, I’d be looking into the food stamp program. I favor fresh faces, but many of those fresh faces cannot run for office, because the pay is too low. His experience speaks for itself IMHO. I’m not saying he didn’t do anything wrong, but until there is proof, I see no reason to tear him down.

I believe you are from CA, so you might be surprised to find what SC Legislators are paid:

“How much do Legislators get paid?

As cited in Article III, Section 9 of the South Carolina Constitution, “Members of the General Assembly shall not receive any compensation for more than forty days of any one session.” Compensation is:

$10,400 annually

subsistence expenses per day for session, except days when local uncontested matters are considered

travel expense for distance traveled going to and returning from Columbia on weekend adjournments (See Article III, Section 19 of the South Carolina Constitution for details)

$600 per session for postage

$1,000 per month in-district expense.”

Whatever June 14, 2015 at 3:13 pm

There have been many articles over the last session that note once you calculate all their pay and reimbursement our legislators make about $40K per year. No bad for a six month a year part-time job. The 40K figure does not include all the free lunches and trips they take either.

Regardless, they knew what the pay was when they ran for office.

SYNTwist June 14, 2015 at 3:23 pm

I have no freaking clue where they come up with 40k. The best I have ever seen is 24k.

As you say….whatever.

TroubleBaby June 15, 2015 at 8:37 am

Really? That’s scary.

In your position in gov’t, are you elected or appointed/hired?

Bible Thumper June 15, 2015 at 12:30 pm

Self-appointed unpaid..

TroubleBaby June 15, 2015 at 12:36 pm

Well, you should really reconsider regardless.

Politicians on the take are a hell of a lot scarier because they wield a ton more power can do far more harm than even the state’s most prominent blogger.

Bible Thumper June 15, 2015 at 12:44 pm

So, if he wasn’t a friend or ally of Haley’s, it would be OK to take the job?

TroubleBaby June 15, 2015 at 1:01 pm

No, it’s not ‘ok’ for him to take the job because it’s a conflict of interest between his position as being a representative of the people and working for a company that may have benefited from his position.

Recusal is suppose to cover even the “appearance of impropriety”.

Who he is or was friends with has no bearing on the matter in this instance.

EDR June 13, 2015 at 8:18 pm


Denozitall June 14, 2015 at 4:34 pm

Maybe there are lots of police officers up there. That would be an incentive for his spouse.

TroubleBaby June 13, 2015 at 10:02 pm

So Bowel Movement Mortgage hired a turd that was stuffing them?

Sounds like constipation to me; let’s hope they get sepsis and die.

Riverland Thrills June 13, 2015 at 10:58 pm

Taxpayers put up 53 Million dollars in incentives so that Movement Mortgage can come to Indian land and the promise to hire up to 650 from the Charlotte and SC area over the next five years. Meanwhile Rep. Ballantine has been to Washington discussing his personal pursuits with Rep. Mulvaney. Have you read his motto “people before politics” the people he means his himself! Last I checked Richland is nowhere near Indian Land, we can only hope he moves. He has been useless as a representative for this district.

Haley's Girl June 14, 2015 at 8:28 am

If what you say is true and he was up Washington Lobbying Mulvaney and all other trips he took to Charlotte or Virginia to talk to the folks at Movement Morgage, did he use his capaign funds to fund a personal job search? Why was he going to Washington he hasn’t past a bill for his district in years and the bills that he is co sponsoring currently is set to cost the towns in his district to lose money. Or the DUI bill that he wrote that was illegal and was thrown off the floor!
Hey SYNtwist are you being paid by the post or just a. Consultant! I don’t want towards a $53 million tax dollars incentive to a new Countrywide!

erneba June 14, 2015 at 12:20 pm

“..but may just not have traditionally documentable income,”
That sounds like pimps, whores, drug dealers, thieves, ne’er do wells, and of course, don’t forget to include those (honest?) SC politicians.

FastEddy23 June 14, 2015 at 12:36 pm

Any dumb butt banker can make money borrowing at 3% …

That Movement outfit hiring 600+ is just a passing deal. The refi biz has just about shot the moon. I would bet a fiver those guys will splash and crash when Fanny/Freddy/phony/fraudy raise the bar a bit. … Unless hiring poli-wogs somehow wires them into the DC money laundering schemes.

SYNTwist June 14, 2015 at 1:48 pm

I’m not sure how it is in CA, but in SC not many banks are loaning money. How do I know? A couple properties for sale, a number of offers to buy, but banks won’t loan them money. I would prefer cash v. financing. However, one property we did owner financed for 1 year (will likely be extended?) at a 5% interest rate (market rate at that time, set by the buyer).

It’s a gamble – I don’t like being the bank, too much risk unless you do it in volume/aggregate. So let’s look at your scenario, a 4% interest rate. Let’s say I loan you 100k for one year – I take on all the risk and all I make is a lousy 4k.

Given the choice of cash v. interest, even with a higher rate at 5%, I’d prefer to lower the price and take the cash. Too much risk involved in a one time deal.

Let me ask you – assuming you could, would you loan 100k for 4k? Or balloon it out, then risk becomes even higher – can they pay? Will they still have the same job? Will they live long enough to pay it off? If they can’t how much will it cost to recover the property? How long will that take?

No one forces anyone to take a loan. Where does personal responsible factored in?

John June 14, 2015 at 3:42 pm

I am not sure this is even news. Its not as though he is hiding it. Doesn’t an R beside a politicians name mean, I’m for hire.

When you can’t make it in the business world, you go into politics. That way you get government pay, for doing nothing; government health care; and government retirement, to tide you over until you start building you fortune from graft or you get some rich guys to pay you off.

Jj June 14, 2015 at 8:55 pm

You people don’t know shit. It’s a full commission job, it’s not like he voted for a deal and hen is getting a $100,000 year job from a salary, he gets paid on what he brings in.

I smell sumthin June 15, 2015 at 12:18 pm

Tell us more Jj!! A full commission job? He walked away from a salary job + commission at Wells Fargo to live on the $40k he gets for being a PT legislator? His spouse must being bringing in the paycheck then, oh wait! she’s a stay at home mom! Was there an upfront signing bonus? Gotta pay for that boat, beemer, Lakeside house on more than monopoly money! Someone doesn’t know shit and I think it’s the voters that put this bozo in office.

Jj June 15, 2015 at 10:35 pm

When you are good at selling mortgages you can easily make 250-350k per year. It’s why it’s called sales and the harder you work the more you make, and subsequently pay in taxes. You act like you have to be a multi-millionaire to have a lakehouse with a boat and nice car. Any hard working mortgage broker can easily make that.

Teacher's pet June 16, 2015 at 3:34 pm

WOW! 250-350K! three words, good, hard work, all things Head Ballentine is allergic to. Handouts, backstabbing, bullshit, talking out both sides of his mouth, he is excellent at. I guess sales and con man can be called similar. Doubt he’ll move to Indian land it’s to close to his ex-wife.

VA King June 15, 2015 at 4:04 pm

Note to Editor: How about you start using more updated photos of Rep. Ballentine rather than re-using the same 1983 photo that you used on your last Ballentine bash when you made fun of the size of his “head” ( Guessing you were a 6 year old working in a sweat shop when you wrote that one? I like to call that the “Lets make fun of someone’s appearance because I’m a worthless reporter with nothing to talk about” article. Classy move my friend.

Nonetheless, if a person wants to change employers (while staying in the same industry need I remind you), who are you to make that call?
2 Questions for the Editor:
1.) How does Nathan Ballentine (an employee; not corporate shareholder) directly benefit from tax incentives/benefits that his new employer received 6 months ago for bringing +650 jobs to the state?
2.) If you were the CEO of the fastest growing lender in the nation and were given a $53 million tax incentive to relocate your corporate headquarters 25 miles south…What would you do?
The only thing shady is your bogus article that you wrote above. The next article that you write, try not to use Google as your sole source of reference.
-VA King

Than you supra genius June 16, 2015 at 7:39 am

“1.) How does Nathan Ballentine (an employee; not corporate shareholder) directly benefit from tax incentives/benefits that his new employer received 6 months ago for bringing +650 jobs to the state?”

You’d think a well paying job would be the obvious answer to most.

ur a bunch of queens June 16, 2015 at 3:44 pm

Hey VA King, stay the f&%K in Virgina or North Carolina, we don’t need another phony company moving just across the boarder and sucking SC Taxpayer dry while employing NC residents with experience. We know our legislators are on the take and will hand over our money to make themselves look good and line their own pockets. But we don’t kneed your high dollar company, taking our tax money we can go online and get mortgages. The one thing you have in common with the legislator you hired is your pompous attitude and possibly his phony Christian espousal.

Joe Blow June 15, 2015 at 7:29 pm

Very sad that this was written. I feel like the editor needs more research to back this article though.


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