Veteran Palmetto Political Player Wants Santee Cooper To Remain Under State Control

Spinning, not salvaging …

With pressure mounting from all sides, embattled South Carolina government-run utility Santee Cooper is trying everything within its power to stave off a reckoning related to the now-notorious #NukeGate debacle.

Remember this command economic disaster? You may have recently received a few pennies for your trouble from this multi-billion dollar, politically driven boondoggle – which was supposed to produce a pair of next-generation nuclear reactors at the V.C. Summer generating station in Fairfield County, S.C. back in 2017.

That didn’t happen, although thanks to South Carolina lawmakers (and are still paying) for this project.

Anyway, following the #NukeGate collapse Santee Cooper is very much in a vise – financially, politically and criminally. And its new leaders’ reform promises have come up empty, although they are promising a big “reveal” next month.

Funny how the threat of getting sold will make an entity find religion, right?

Or, at least trying to fool people into thinking it has found religion …

(Click to view)

(Via: High Flyer SC)

Anyway, Santee Cooper’s situation remains definitionally hopeless … but the power provider should be well-armed in making its case to intellectually incurious South Carolina lawmakers, who have been tasked with deciding its fate (irony alert). According to our sources, the state-run utility is benefiting – albeit perhaps indirectly – from the efforts of Bridgeside Public Affairs, a politically connected public relations firm with offices in Columbia and Charleston, South Carolina.

Sources at both Bridgeside and Santee Cooper insist there is no relationship between the two entities. However, multiple lawmakers tell us the firm is pushing them hard not to sell Santee Cooper – and to keep the utility from being managed by a private sector provider.

The only option left on the table? Keeping Santee Cooper under government control.

For those of you unfamiliar with Bridgeside, you may remember it by its former name – McMullen Public Affairs. Its founder, Ed McMullen, sold it in 2017 to veteran Palmetto politico Lewis Gossett when the former accepted the nomination of U.S. president Donald Trump to serve as ambassador to Switzerland.

Of course all the stellar “strategery” in the world isn’t going to change the basic math confronting Santee Cooper … nor will it prevent ratepayers from suffering the consequences once that math fails to add up.

So while we are sure there is a way to spin its situation … there is no way to salvage it.

Also, anyone asking lawmakers to keep Santee Cooper under state control after the way its leaders have lied to the people (and fleeced them on behalf of the liars) is basically asking them to insert their heads into the same vise … in an election year, no less.

That is a tall “ask” no matter who is doing the asking …



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