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Powerful SC Budget Writer’s Residency Issue Resurfaces




A year-and-a-half after we published this exclusive report, South Carolina’s mainstream media is finally exploring the cozy connections between powerful S.C. House ways and means chairman Brian White and members of state’s nursing home industry.

Will White be held accountable this time?  Or will he get another hall pass?

In December 2014, we reported extensively on White’s residency issues – and their proximity to nursing home executive Brad Moorhouse and lobbyist James Randall Lee.  Of interest?  Lee was one of the central figures in Operation Lost Trust – a federal probe that snared seventeen South Carolina lawmakers in a sweeping public corruption sting a quarter century ago.

Our report laid out White’s last known place of residence as being a property owned by Moorhouse – who is now under investigation by local assessors for possibly skirting county tax obligations.

According to reporter David Slade of The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier,  White paid “an undisclosed amount of rent” to Moorhouse while collecting “campaign donations from his landlords and executives with their company.”

Moorhouse listed the property as “owner-occupied,” though – reducing his property tax burden.

“White’s living arrangement is an example of the cozy relationships and potential conflicts of interest that South Carolina’s weak ethics rules ignore,” Slade wrote.  “Ethics rules don’t, for example, require disclosure of the rent White was charged by a campaign donor.”

Slade did not mention Lee in his report.  Nor did he mention that White – an insurance agent – also makes money writing policies for South Carolina nursing homes.

White and his family no longer live on the Moorhouse property.  They purchased a $390,970 property in January 2014 for the bargain basement price of $295,000.

White’s various issues have reportedly been investigated in the context of an ongoing joint federal-state probe into alleged corruption at the S.C. State House – although the future of that investigation is now uncertain thanks to the ongoing obstruction of S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson.

The only casualty of the “probe” so far?  Former S.C. Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell – who resigned his office in October 2014 after pleading guilty to six ethics violations.