SC

Supreme Court To Hear SCDOT Challenge

WHISTLEBLOWER QUESTIONS NIKKI HALEY’S DEAL WITH LAWMAKERS || By FITSNEWS || It was another scandalous summer for the S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT), which still can’t seem to do its job despite receiving hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenue. For the latest on this agency’s chronic corruption, click…

WHISTLEBLOWER QUESTIONS NIKKI HALEY’S DEAL WITH LAWMAKERS

|| By FITSNEWS || It was another scandalous summer for the S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT), which still can’t seem to do its job despite receiving hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenue.

For the latest on this agency’s chronic corruption, click here …

Prior to SCDOT’s scandalous summer it endured a scandalous spring – one which saw S.C. governor Nikki Haley fire her second straight SCDOT secretary back in May.

What happened?  As we exclusively reported at the time, Haley had no choice but to jettison Janet Oakley – the liberal, tax-hike supporting lobbyist whom she appointed to replace the drunk ex-general she hired the first time around.

After all, lawmakers were set to strip her of the ability to appoint this position – which she desperately wanted to retain even though it is essentially a ceremonial post.

Of course months later Haley still hasn’t named a successor, leaving the agency in the hands of her college roommate.

Anyway, from our prior coverage …

Under the provisions of the utterly worthless 2007 SCDOT “reform” bill – a.k.a. “Act 114? – Haley’s authority to appoint the state’s transportation secretary expires on July 1, 2015.  At that point, authority to appoint this position would fall to the S.C. Transportation Commission – which is dominated by legislative appointees.

Haley wants to keep that appointment power for herself … which is why sources close to her administration tell FITS she’s cut a deal with legislative leaders to fire Oakley if they agree to let her continue appointing the secretary’s position.

Both the State Senate and the S.C. House of Representatives have both voted to amend the “sunset clause” on Act 114 – meaning the governor would still appoint the secretary of transportation in the beginning of the next fiscal year (which begins on July 1).

“The understanding is that Oakley will be out and a more suitable person will be retained,” one legislative leader confirmed to FITS.

A week after our report was published, Oakley resigned.

Now, a government watchdog – Ned Sloan – has filed a complaint alleging that the legislature violated the state’s constitution in passing this measure via a budget proviso.  According to Sloan, the proviso has nothing to do with the raising and spending of state revenue – making it unconstitutional according to Article III, Section 17 of the constitution (which requires all laws to relate to one subject).

Of interest?

“In 2009, the S.C. Supreme Court ruled that in the future, a law successfully challenged under the one subject rule would see the entire law ruled unconstitutional,” reporter Paul Gable of Grand Strand Daily noted.  “Therefore, if this proviso is determined by the S.C. Supreme Court to be unconstitutional, the entire state budget for the current fiscal year could be declared unconstitutional.”

Ruh-roh.

A separate petition filed by Sloan alleges the SCDOT sunset provision itself is unconstitutional because it violates the separation of powers clause.  Both petitions will be heard by the S.C. Supreme Court.

Currently, state lawmakers appoint seven of the eight SCDOT commissioners.  This system has been an abject failure – wasting billions of dollars on unnecessary projects while vital infrastructure needs go unaddressed.

In fact South Carolina’s roads are worse than they’ve ever been despite SCDOT’s annual budget climbing from $1.13 billion to $1.84 billion over the last four years alone.

Ignoring this corruption and fiscal recklessness, a major push was undertaken last year by status quo lawmakers to raise South Carolina’s gasoline tax – even though Palmetto State residents already pay more of their income in fuel than residents of any other state (save Mississippi and West Virginia).

Thankfully, this effort – which would have pumped more money into the same failed system – was unsuccessful (thanks to  S.C. Senator Tom Davis).

We suspect the fiscal liberals will be back again next year …

***

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21 comments

nitrat September 29, 2015 at 4:47 pm

So, you say Haley’s director appointees are crap…and, the legislature’s board appointees are the same. Who can disagree?
What is the common factor?
The SC Republican Party in control of these 2 branches of SC government.

Reply
Nölff September 29, 2015 at 4:51 pm

Queen of nepostism.

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Tunes'n'News September 29, 2015 at 5:02 pm

The Budget proviso system is how legislators meddle. One of those crazy parts of the SC constitution that gives too much power to legislators and shields their actions from full review and disclosure.

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Old RC lawyer September 29, 2015 at 5:03 pm

The only question as to the anticipated result of the SCSC hearing is – what is in Jean Toal’s best interest. That’s all that matters to Jean these days. She keeps talking about her legacy while continuing the same corrupt ways.

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CNSYD September 29, 2015 at 6:22 pm

Is this the same Jean Toal that carpetbagger Davis voted for?

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Old RC lawyer September 30, 2015 at 8:21 am

This would be the same one. Just like she has done to Harrell and Leatherman, she will turn on Tom Davis before she has to turn in her keys in December. She cannot let Davis get too much power and hurt Alan – I’m a product of Jahue Moore and Jakie Knotts – Wilson’s political career. Moore is calling in his favors from Toal now as he is smart enough to do so.

She is rabid with a need to leave a “legacy.” She wants the adequate school debacle case she let languish for 21 years while her cronies were being paid millions of dollar to “try” this bogus case. Bobby Stepp, Steve Morrison and other Nelson Mullins lawyers did not work this case for free. All Toalites. She wants to rule on the Episcopal Church and now, this SCDOT mess. She is daily making calls to land her servants good state jobs after her boot. Nobody wants this Toal tainted spies. She made sure Alex Sanders made all that money on the CSOL BAR exam fiasco. She will call in that favor.

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Sic Semper Tyrannis September 29, 2015 at 5:54 pm

So much for Nikki’s transparent government. Thanks Will !

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Dan ruck September 29, 2015 at 5:55 pm

Another FITS lie. “Palmetto State residents already pay more
of their income in fuel than residents of any other state (save
Mississippi and West Virginia).” The truth is SC has the lowest gas prices in the U.S.

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CNSYD September 29, 2015 at 6:19 pm

This trick wording by Folks. He bases his assertion on the percentage of “income” that residents spend on energy. Energy is more then gasoline. How many below the poverty line people have automobiles? They couldn’t afford the payments or the insurance. So gasoline is a moot point.

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The Colonel September 29, 2015 at 7:43 pm

You really think not having insurance (or a license, or functional brakes even) keeps people from driving in South Carolina?

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CNSYD September 29, 2015 at 8:11 pm

No. But they probably don’t own a car. Most day workers I have seen are picked up by an employer at their residence and driven to the job site. The employer returns them home at the end of the day. If the worker needs to go to a grocery store they walk. Yes they drive if someone lets them use their car. Insurance? No. License? No.

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The Buzzman September 30, 2015 at 9:55 am

Ever consider the fact that most people have more than one person in their household, and another family member may use the car for going to work, applying for work, applying for assistance, taking kids to school, grocery shopping, or a dozen other things? Illegals, mostly, don’t own cars. Other low-income workers in SC, yes. Seems like you’re just going out of your way, as usual, to find fault with Will.

CNSYD September 29, 2015 at 6:21 pm

Thanks to Tom Davis and his ilk, getting on and off Johns Island is virtually impossible.

Reply
Native Ink September 29, 2015 at 10:48 pm

Damn, you moved there without even knowing it’s never been a good place to commute from. Then you went around calling people stupid for calling it a sea island. Sounds like you’re either ill-prepared or just plain dumb.

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CNSYD September 30, 2015 at 9:04 am

Just because you visit a place does not mean you live there. So your comment is ludicrous.

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CNSYD September 29, 2015 at 6:25 pm

If the position of SCDOT secretary is “essentially a ceremonial post”, what does it matter who is appointed?

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Just Another Day in Corrupt SC September 29, 2015 at 6:58 pm

SCDOT is a cesspool of criminal corruption and Jean Toal still has alcohol in her system when she is at work.

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DumSpero September 29, 2015 at 7:07 pm

Court’s reputation is shot. Like Jean Toal’s sobriety behind the wheel of her van…

Reply
DWB September 30, 2015 at 10:30 am

Shot like the paint job of any car parked along the route between Toal’s house and the nearest bar. Or shot like Toal’s power on January 1, 2016.

Reply
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Reply
Todd September 30, 2015 at 9:46 am

The federal government sure could use a “one subject rule.” Where were you on that one, Mr. Jefferson?

Reply

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