Incestuous “Penny Tax” Ties Deepen

MO’ MONEY, MO’ PROBLEMS … Reporter Ron Aiken of The Nerve – a Columbia, S.C.-based news website – has sunk his teeth into the mushrooming scandal surrounding the Richland County, S.C. “penny tax.” And good for him … This $1.2 billion heist – “approved” via a rigged election in 2012 – needs…


Reporter Ron Aiken of The Nerve – a Columbia, S.C.-based news website – has sunk his teeth into the mushrooming scandal surrounding the Richland County, S.C. “penny tax.”

And good for him …

This $1.2 billion heist – “approved” via a rigged election in 2012 – needs to be back in the headlines.  And stay there.  Only then can we expose this scandal for what it really is – an elaborate plot to steal an election.

Anyway, Aiken’s latest report delves deeper into the incestuous network of connected insiders profiting from the scam.  Specifically, he exposes the “triple-dipping” of prominent Columbia, S.C. lobbyist Darrell Campbell – who is being paid in multiple, conflicted ways out of the profits of the “penny tax.”

In addition to his own firm receiving a $1.5 million “public relations” contract to promote projects associated with this tax hike, Campbell is also a one-third owner of Brownstone Construction Group – one of the construction companies that’s receiving business from the tax hike.  He’s also a subcontractor for BANCO Bannister Co. – another firm that’s been retained for “public relations” and “consulting” associated with tax hike projects.

Campbell is “triple-dipping,” in other words … all from a tax hike he was paid to promote.

Payments to Campbell’s firm – and to BANCO – were highlighted by S.C. Department of Revenue (SCDOR) director Rick Reames in a letter last month exposing a host of improper disbursements related to the tax hike.

Specifically, Reames’ investigation found “questions of potential public corruption and fraud” as well as “multiple instances of illegal activity by individuals and/ or companies associated.”

“In effect, the penny tax is paying $50,000 per month, $600,000 per year, and $3 million over five years (before reimbursements) for the equivalent of two full-time employees – when an entire public information office already exists within Richland County government and other (penny tax project) members also provide public relations services,” Reames wrote.

All of those payments run afoul of the law – which requires that tax hike revenues actually go toward construction projects.

Two officials – including sitting Richland County councilman Kelvin Washington – have already turned themselves in to authorities on tax charges stemming from Reames’ investigation.

Will Campbell be next?

In addition to the “triple-dipping” exposed by The Nerve article, Campbell is also linked to the penny tax via his association with the Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority – a.k.a. “The Comet.”  This is the Columbia, S.C.-area bus system that was ostensibly rescued from financial insolvency by the “penny tax” hike.

“The Comet” is set to receive an estimated $300 million in revenue from the tax hike – and Campbell’s firm is reportedly in line to be paid out of this pot of money as well.

Which would make him a “quadruple-dipper …”

As we’ve said all along, the real scandal here isn’t the millions of dollars in improper penny tax payments … it’s the penny tax itself.

“The voters of Richland County deserve better than this,” we wrote last week.  “They rejected this tax hike in 2010, and they would have done so again in 2012 had there not been a vast, multi-layered conspiracy to suppress their votes.  Yet more than three years later, law enforcement has not only failed to hold the perpetrators of this suppression accountable – it’s taken a completely unrelated probe just to get them to acknowledge their stalled inquiries into the matter.”

Indeed …

That’s the justice we’re seeking as we continue to follow this scandal.


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pogo January 11, 2016 at 11:03 am

Did someone say incestuous? *drool*

D.Fannin January 11, 2016 at 11:41 am

Damn.I thought the threat of legal action stopped that shit.Guess not?

Anonymous January 11, 2016 at 11:04 am

This is unbelievable. Where is SLED, AG, and Feds?

CorruptionInColumbia January 11, 2016 at 11:07 am

Where they always are when big crimes are being committed by big politicians represented by big political machines; either in hiding, looking the other way, or helping to keep these acts covered up.

shifty henry January 11, 2016 at 12:26 pm

(see my post above)

Anonymous 2 January 11, 2016 at 11:09 am

They are all part of the club-

I used to think it was only SLED that did the whitewashing, now it’s apparent that the AG does some of his own too.

The Feds are merely indifferent as they have nothing to gain.

Everybody January 11, 2016 at 11:21 am

This is unbelievable. I should be reading The Nerve instead of waiting for FitsNews to put out a second hand article on their stories!

shifty henry January 11, 2016 at 12:23 pm

Because as of today there are a minimum of 150 FBI agents assigned to counting the hairs around Hillary’s asshole….

jimlewisowb January 11, 2016 at 11:18 am

“…make him (Campbell) a “quadruple-dipper …”

A 4 headed mother fuckin’ Cockroach is very rare but considering the amount of sewer water he drinks and political dick he sucks he is lucky he doesn’t have 6 or 7 heads

Fuckin’ Cockroach

ted January 11, 2016 at 12:54 pm

I would say dick suckin politicians are pretty common in Columbia,

erneba January 11, 2016 at 11:50 am

You describe this as “an elaborate plot to steal an election.”
I disagree, this ploy was detected, analyzed, and brought to the public’s attention before election day was over. The perpetrators, down at city hall may have thought they successfully pulled off the biggest election day scam in the history of Columbia. It was conceived and pulled off by simple political hacks, just trying to be too smart by a half… like in… half a brain.
All the players should be exposed, and if they can be tied to this scam, in any way, sentenced to substantial jail time.

Mom January 11, 2016 at 11:59 am

Truth. And why isnt’ the paid staff person mentioned here? She was in on it too. I think her name was McBride?

erneba January 11, 2016 at 12:06 pm

She should definitely be exposed and charged in this episode. Some people have indicated this woman was simply told what to do and handsomely rewarded for her efforts. Was she in on the planning, I don’t know but I have a tendency to doubt that.
Even so, she did knowingly break the law and should be indicted.

Mom January 11, 2016 at 2:07 pm

She knew exactly what she was doing.

raj January 11, 2016 at 3:57 pm

Some of those blacks are real smart.

shifty henry January 11, 2016 at 12:16 pm

“Penny Tax” is the term commonly used for this scam. It’s a 1% sales tax. The boogers on the street were told that if they have been paying $10.00 for a pack of smokes and piss-wine it would only cost them $10.01 in the future, or on a $30.00 purchase it would be $30.01, and so forth. Calling it a “penny tax” was slicker than whale shit.

major major January 11, 2016 at 1:34 pm

Absolutely. It would also more accurately have been described as a 14+% increase in the existing sales tax.

As you say, most of these low-information voters who were in favor of the tax probably figured it was just an extra penny on every purchase.

shifty henry January 11, 2016 at 5:05 pm

1.000 +

Teddy January 11, 2016 at 12:18 pm

all of these turds need to get flushed out once and for all

shifty henry January 11, 2016 at 12:27 pm

I still call for shaving heads, tarring, feathering, whipping, and ridden out of town on a jackass…

Soft Sigh from Hell January 11, 2016 at 7:39 pm

I’m for gibbeting.

As a warning to others.

shifty henry January 11, 2016 at 8:16 pm

When they hang a person upside down but without actually killing them? Yeah, I’d agree with you on that.

Soft Sigh from Hell January 11, 2016 at 8:22 pm

Or simply the stocks.

CorruptionInColumbia January 11, 2016 at 8:45 pm

Oooh, I like that. In front of the stocks, keep a big pile of fresh chicken and/or hog shit. Add a dispenser of those little pooper-scooper plastic gloves so the citizens can rub it into their faces.

Quietus January 11, 2016 at 1:25 pm

This Just in: Penny Tax Fornicates with Sister Nickle Tax

Todd January 11, 2016 at 2:37 pm

$300 million for 15 empty buses driving up and down Two Notch / Broad River Rd?

CorruptionInColumbia January 11, 2016 at 5:10 pm



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