MSM PLAYING “CYA” WITH STATE HOUSE SELF-INTEREST
|| By TAYLOR BROWN || Jamie Self, one of The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper’s beat reporters who covers the S.C. General Assembly, had an “investigative” piece on insider dealings between two legislators and the City. The legislators under her “investigation” were State Senator John Scott and S.C. Rep. Mia McLeod.
The article highlights what FITS has long described as the “Mayorhood” of Steve Benjamin. It seems that Benjamin’s top bureaucrat – Columbia, S.C. city manager Teresa Wilson used some administrative sleight of hand to get these state legislators on the city payroll. How’d she do that? By keeping their contract amounts under a cap that would have required a vote of the city council.
Evidently if your contract is worth less than $50,000 or less, the city manager can approve it without a vote from council.
A former council member told me this week that when Charles Austin was the capital city’s manager, he only had approval authority of expenditures of up to $10,000. I’m not defending Austin or his tenure at the city, but evidently former mayor Bob Coble kept him on a tight leash. Like Wilson, Austin had zero real administrative experience – and his position had to be dumbed down even further so Wilson could qualify.
But let’s get back to Jamie Self – the reporter covering all of this. State lawmakers tell me she is not trusted by the leadership of the General Assembly, and has had trouble getting reliable sources and access that she should have because she is viewed as being two-faced and unreliable.
We all know The State likes to pride itself on being politically correct and fair (compared to FITS, which admits to being “unfair, imbalanced”). So it wasn’t surprising that in addition to outing two black legislators who were paid in semi-secret for questionable work, Self did not report all the facts, and – in the process – led the public to believe that certain other local officials were profiting from their offices.
Let’s look at the case of S.C. Rep. Kirkman Finlay. In her article, Self implied that the rent Finlay collects from a magistrate is somehow tied to his publicly elected office. I looked into this issue and found it to be completely false and without merit.
In 2001, Finlay purchased a property on Shop Road with an existing lease in place. This lease has several automatic renewals, and Finlay had no control over any of them. In addition, Finlay was not elected to the legislature until 2012, and Finlay’s prior service on Columbia’s city council did not begin until 2006. In other words, Finlay’s purchase of the Shop Road property occurred well prior to his public service.
Even Finlay’s twice defeated Democratic challenger for the S.C. House, Joe McCulloch, did not raise this issue during one of the most negative State House campaigns ever. We have no use for Joe McCulloch – but apparently even he knows a dog of an issue when he sees one.
Seems to me Self and her bosses at The State were simply covering their collective asses because they uncovered shady dealing among people that happen to be black – and Democratic – so they attempted to throw in some white public officials to appear even-handed and avoid accusations of racism.
Unlike The State (which claims to be unbiased), FITS reports facts and let the chips fall where they may – despite what some of our commenters believe. The State‘s readers deserve better reporting.
There are plenty of real scandals and self-serving in state government without Jamie Self trying to conjure up new ones in an effort to appease the politically correct police. If Self needs any help in the future identifying such scandals, she is welcome to call on me or FITS founding editor, Will Folks, for advice.
Taylor Brown is a 20-something Wofford College graduate who somehow got sucked into politics at an early age. She is easily won over with Rush’s fast food, wine, and spirited political arguments.
I’ll be following the new developments……
I thought you actually had something here…until I got to the part where it was revealed you are defending Finlay. His chummy relationship with y’all makes this piece worthless.
It funny that one of Will’s crushes thinks she is a ‘journalist’ and attacks an ACTUAL journalist.
Does she get paid for this silliness?
Have you see Mr. FITS? Pretty young girls like Taylor do NOT have crushes on ugly, old, married men. :-)
LOL, yeah, this is just a piece that Finlay paid FITS to publish to defend himself against the allegations. Finlay is obviously all of the “sources” for this “article.” Self is a journalist. Brown is, well, I’m not sure. Taylor dear, don’t expect a call from Jamie any time soon.
Like Joe Owens and James Metts creating do nothing jobs for Danny Frazier and paying him with taxpayer funds, to …do nothing! One has to wonder, was the real payback funds from the illegal gambling ventures of “King Fish”, as Frazier was so lovingly referred to by associates & membersof the “Ring”, Amodio, Halfacre, the Peelers, and Metts. Guess they figured “hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil”, was the best course of action; especially, if they were benefiting from the illegal gambling proceeds, tripping, wine and dine at their favorite spots.
Slowly but surely, the quality of Taylor’s writings seem to be improving.
I rarely, if ever, visit The State’s site, anymore. Their requirement for Fecebook membership to post was sorta like the last straw in whether going to their site to look around was worth the trouble, or not.
And she’s hot,for a girl
Knock me over with a feather, the good Rep is dirty? I’m sure she justifies the money as reparations or social justice. Every one of her policy rants have come from her stated personal wants, nothing in relation to her constituents.
Inquiring minds want to know if Teresa Wilson will get to keep her Escalade with the Blue Lights/Red Lights and PD/FD radio when she resigns in disgrace.
Hopefully, when that happens, a State Trooper or deputy somewhere will stop her and make a case for the unlawful lights, siren, and perhaps “impersonating a police officer”.
If Columbia fires incompetents in the same manner they hire incompetents, it will be cheaper for the taxpayers to retain Wilson in her current position and salary
Move her to a closet, give her a rotary dial phone and a TV tray for a desk. Instruct her to do nothing but show up daily and put in her 6 hours
Sen. John Scott is letting Columbia getoff easy. Former Anderson County administrator, Joey Preston (now Bamberg county administrator) signed a 1.3 million dollar severance deal should the newly elected council decide to discontinue Scott’s services. This action was taken on his last day of work after Joey first arrange a 1.14 million dollar buy out of his own contract with the lame duck council members and the only black council woman conspiring ironically with neo confederate, ponzi scammer, now Federal prison inmate, Ron Wilson.
Good one, Taylor.
Hey Will, I like the new format for “Also On FITSNews.” Highlighting comments is an appreciated nod at the fact that these threads are a big part of the reason people read the blog at all.
What I think is really cool about those, is he occasionally has a post by Tar-nation or whatever name Grand Tango is using for the day. That way, GT helps promote and support this site, which he claims to so badly detest. :-)
GT would be lost in the Sargasso without FITS.
Don’t we know it?
“…in the process – led the public to believe that certain other local officials were profiting from their offices.
I doubt any of us believe that most of our
cockroacheslegislators aren’t getting some form of benefit from their “public service” but the egregious bovine excreta some of them get away with needs to be dragged kicking and screaming out into the daylight. A former upstate congressman has the transponder for Charlotte Douglas on his property – the lease has been worth millions.
Don’t tease us: name the former upstate congressman.
Let’s see, he was replaced by Mick Mulvaney
Figures! So we still pay that POS and pay him well,eh?
Yeah, I actively campaigned against him from 2000 till he was defeated by Mulvaney. He played a major role in getting Obamacare passed chairman of the house budget committee. Good Riddance !!!
I was in his district the first time he ran and I voted against him that year. Nobody in my family voted for him and it was good to see him finally gone from that seat.
As traditional Democrats go he was not a bad representative.
…ummmmm, I dunno about that one, Colonel. I can’t recall ever finding anything to like about him. His support of the 0bamacare trsvesty (rightfully) sounded the death knell for his reign in Congress.
Say what you want about Congressman Spratts politics, he did bring home the bacon for the state.
Aye, but thst is exactly how and why government and government expenditures grow at an slarming, unchecked, rate.
That was covered by the “traditional democrat” qualification…
Of course you’re still paying him – his Congressional retirement check is north of $120,000. http://www.wsoctv.com/news/news/special-reports/9-investigates-critics-say-congressional-pensions-/nNyKF/
Why did I know you were talking about Mr. “Brings Home The Bacon” Spratt?
Yes.Let’s definitely look at the case of Kirkman Finlay…Grrrr
It has been years since I have held and read “The State” newspaper. It has been about two years since my last trip over to the online version. Somehow, I think I am a better person for not enduring any more mental self-flagellation at the hands of “The State.”
Columbia will never amount to anything more than missed opportunity so long as these Reparations Vampires, and their kind, continue to suck it dry. Notice how huge (as in grotesquely Fat) Mayor Amin Shitwater has become! Suck it dry, Mayor. Suck it Tamika DipShit. Suck it hard Whore Lawyer.
Gee, that’s sort’a harsh…..
Yet you gave him a thumbs up.
He went to the Grand Tango school of “Writing eloquence peppered by random capitalization”, yet I felt compelled to do the same.
The world works in mysterious ways sometimes.
Now that Ms. Brown has slapped the crap out of Ms. Self I do believe any issues between the two should be settled in a dignified manner
Therefore I would propose a wrestling match to be held at an appropriate venue which would allow up close crowd viewing – right off the top perhaps the Tin Roof
Contestants would go three rounds in a strawberry jello pit
Contestants would be prohibited from carrying any concealed weapons which may give them an advantage or in other words both will have to get butt nakkied before getting into the pit
In order to provide some order and decorum First Eunuch Gentleman Michael Haley will be the referee – no, he will not be nakkied – he will be wearing a Burka with a Jimmy Swaggart cutout
The winner will receive a $509 gift certificate to Rush’s, a case of grape ripple and a one on one 2 hour debate with Senator Leatherpecker
Vegas odds favor Taylor.
Will we be allowed to take photos?
Whaaaat?…Diamond Jim and Reggie are allowed to steal 50 mil of TAXPAYERS’ money down at S.C. State
And lying felon T-Bone is allowed to hide his DUI after he practically killed a woman—the corrupt reprobate
And now John I-Too-Be-A-Felon-Scott and Mia-Felon-Too-McLeod steal with sister felon Teresa as well
That’s right—when you worship at the pagan altar of everything black God WILL send you straight to… !!!
Most journalist would not know a story if it hit them in the face. They know gotcha stories, but they don’t know the stories that are meaningful.
We need a real press corp. Not the ones looking to fry some pol over a no-nothing offense.
Well, well, well, MIA MCLEOD! You were on such a great trajectory until you got greedy and took 49K of government bribe money. Shame on you!
Scott was paid mega bucks with a contract written that couldn’t be denied for any reason, including not even working on a project he had no experience in, by our former corrupt county administrator here in Anderson for expert consultation in mass transit. Just saying, if you hire Joey Preston, which some county did, look out for your wallets, we’re still paying a high price here in Anderson, years later after this scumbag left.
Finley is no saint, and Fits probably was “prompted” into putting out this article, but I also felt the State’s article was a great deal disingenuous in naming Finley’s rental property lease as some possible special deal. As stated in this piece, Finlay owned that property, and had the lease, years before his public office holding began