After Harrell

I may have posted this before, but even if … great article by House Representative-elect Jonathon Hill:

It begins …

Sometimes, I’m a pretty embarrassed South Carolinian. Though we could be described, at least here in the Upstate, as “the buckle on the Bible Belt,” we have a way of frequently making unpleasant political headlines.

It started with a former Governor, now Congressman, who said he “hiked the Appalachian trail” when he was actually visiting his “soul mate” who was not his wife (a saga that is still playing out like a soap opera), to a Lieutenant Governor forced to resign in disgrace after multiple campaign finance violations (in the private sector, this is known as “embezzlement”), to 8 Sheriffs in the last 4 years indicted or investigated for a variety of fraudulent behavior, including racketeering and bribe-taking, finally climaxing in the indictment of Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell just days ago for violations that dwarf those of former Lieutenant Governor Ken Ard.

But what you won’t hear in the media is the greatest corruption of all: our very system of government is compromised.

Oh, we make a show of the three-branch balance of power that our founders bequeathed to us. Yet, as Lawrence Lessig put it, “We inherited an extraordinary estate. On our watch, we have let it fall to ruin.”

Well worth your time to click the link above and read the entire article.

October 23, 2014   Posted in: Uncategorized  No Comments

Harrell Press

I’m going to copy in some of the best coverage of today’s Harrell hearing so you can peruse as you like.

John Monk at TheState.com:

From powerful official to government informant: SC House Speaker Harrell pleads guilty to misconduct in office

And that’s the takeaway from today. The Feds have their snitch. Columbia should be prepared for Armageddon!

• Harrell agrees not to seek or hold public office for three years. He also will be on probation during that time. The Charleston Republican was first elected to the House in 1993.

• Harrell will pay a $30,000 fine plus an additional $93,958 to the general fund of South Carolina. Harrell will also turn over all of his remaining campaign account to the state’s general fund. That amount was not immediately available.

• Harrell agrees to cooperate with state and federal prosecutors, including being ready to testify “fully and truthfully at any trials or other proceeding” in state or federal court. Harrell must submit to polygraph examinations.

Eva Moore at Freetimes:

It might sound like Harrell’s in the clear, but four other indictments against him remain, including one felony. Those other indictments relate to Harrell allegedly paying an administrative assistant at his insurance agency using campaign funds, among other charges. “[The other charges] do not have anything to do with this guilty plea,” First Circuit Solicitor David Pascoe told the judge –

“The government’s got a huge amount of leverage over this guy,” Crangle said. “This is just the beginning. It’s designed to get his cooperation so the other guys will go down.” There’ve been rumors and a few news reports of federal and state investigations at the State House looking into everything from vote trading to improper PAC spending among legislators. Crangle said today he thinks some 15 to 20 other legislators could face charges, making the current investigation a second installment of Operation Lost Trust. Crangle also faulted other lawmakers for not blowing the whistle on Harrell. “Every member of the Legislature who did not complain … is complicit,” Crangle said. It shouldn’t have taken citizen activism and pressure to bring down the powerful Speaker, he said. –

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As far as the November 4 election goes … SC Radio News Team @scrnnews

W/ Harrell now ineligible, Democratic candidate Mary Tinkler & Green Party’s Sue Edward are only candidates in solidly GOP district.

There may be an attempt at a GOP write in vote.

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South Carolina Radio Network:

Pascoe said SLED investigators also identified four round trip flights Harrell reported from Charleston to Columbia that he called “non-existent.” However, prosecutors allowed Harrell’s legal team to add a “caveat” during his guilty plea that maintained the flights did occur, but he would plead guilty to improperly reimbursing himself.

The solicitor insisted investigators had evidence to show Harrell did not fly to Columbia on those days, “The State can prove the trip did not happen, but if he agrees that he’s guilty of this charge and that he received an excessive benefit, then I’m fine with that,” he told Judge Manning.

October 23, 2014   Posted in: Uncategorized  No Comments

Me and Bobby Harrell

In October 2010 Speaker Bobby Harrell was in Greenville speaking with a coalition of tea party leaders. It was my one and only interaction with him.

Here’s my Q&A with Harrell.

October 23, 2014   Posted in: Uncategorized  One Comment

South Carolina is now the only state in the nation without a working system.

Who is stunned to hear about this?

And … WHO should have fixed it long ago? Excusessssssss……..

I look at the time WASTED on the floor of the House and Senate and the “Congratulate ME!” tours of the state every time a taxpayer subsidized new business opens and wonder … as those legislators leave to floor to head to their dinner and drinks, and the Governor dines with politicos, and as they all watch over their children … couldn’t they have spent their time better in the past years by also watching over other people’s children by solving THIS? THIS more than that is their responsibility. Stop naming bridges and advocating for state vegetables and attend to these responsibilities.

Robert Kittle, Reporting at WSPA:

The South Carolina Department of Social Services has reportedly settled a dispute with the contractor it fired last year over a child support enforcement computer system that still doesn’t exist, 17 years after it was required. DSS and Hewlett Packard are still working out the details of the settlement.

The state fired HP in July 2013, saying the company had missed important testing deadlines for the system, which was not even close to being ready. But HP argued that the missed deadlines were the state’s fault because it kept making changes to the system, requiring computer code to be rewritten. The two sides have been in mediation since last year.

Since the details of the settlement are still being worked out, neither DSS nor HP can talk about them.

Federal law required the state to have a statewide child support enforcement computer system in 1997, but the state has had one problem after another with the contractors it hired to do the work. South Carolina is now the only state in the nation without a working system. The state has been fined more than $100 million by the federal government for not having a system. The contractors have paid almost half of that, but that means taxpayers have still shelled out tens of millions in fines.

Having one statewide computer system would make it faster and easier for the state to find deadbeat parents and get the child support they owe. Now, each county clerk of court has its own system, which is not tied to any other counties or to the state. Despite not having a statewide system, DSS says the state has still met all federal requirements for child support collection and enforcement.

DSS is looking at its options for how to proceed, trying to determine how much, if any, of HP’s work can be used and whether the state will be able to finish the system itself.

October 22, 2014   Posted in: Uncategorized  One Comment

Did you miss the Land Use Presentation Monday?

Roger Nutt, the Monarch of Transparency in Spartanburg County, has the video of Monday’s meeting which contains the discussion on Land Use Planning.

The discussion begins at 55 minutes, 30 seconds.

And … if you’d like to see the vote on the EPA RESOLUTION, that discussion / vote begins at 1 hour, 27 minutes.

October 22, 2014   Posted in: Uncategorized  2 Comments

AUTOPSY DESTROYS MICHAEL BROWN ‘HANDS UP, DON’T SHOOT’ STORY

We had WEEKS of coverage of outrage and rioting over a lie.

I doubt that we’ll have weeks … days … 1 day? of the same media coverage devoted to the facts that have emerged through autopsy and hearings.

Ben Shapiro reporting at Breitbart.com:

A new autopsy report revealed to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has now put the final nail in the coffin of the Michael Brown “Gentle Giant” narrative. Proponents of prosecuting Officer Darren Wilson of the Ferguson Police Department over his shooting of Brown have claimed that Wilson shot Brown while he was running away, his hands up. In actuality, the autopsy report suggests that Brown did indeed attempt to take Wilson’s gun, that Wilson shot him in the hand over it, and that Brown charged Wilson with his hands down.

In other words, every element of the original narrative pushed by the media, leftist politicians, and protesters was a lie.

There is not a single shred of physical evidence backing the original media narrative of the Michael Brown killing. But that won’t matter to the thousands who plan to go off the deep end should the state not ignore that lack of evidence and prosecute Wilson to the full extent of the non-law.

Full details are in Shapiro’s story at the link above.

October 22, 2014  Tags:   Posted in: Uncategorized  One Comment

Referendum to segregate Transportation Fund on the ballot for November

Sadly this is in Wisconsin, not South Carolina.

But if Butch Kirven wants to involve the SC General Assembly in legislation to pay for roads, here is where he should start!

This would be a changed to the state Constitution.

From the Wisconsin Daily Independent.com:

Should money you pay for transportation related projects go to fund other things, such as education or health care?

It’s a question voters will see on the November 4th ballot, but the wording of the referendum may be confusing for some voters.

The question on the ballot reads:

Shall section 9 (2) of article IV and section 11 of article VII of the constitution be created to require that revenues generated by use of the state transportation system be deposited into a Transportation Fund administered by a department of transportation for the exclusive purpose of funding Wisconsin’s transportation systems and to prohibit any transfers or lapses from this fund?

As the law stands now, funds collected in fees and taxes may be used for any public purpose by the Legislature. Wisconsin’s Transportation Fund, which currently exists under statute, is designed to be the source of funding for all modes of transportation in the state. Wisconsin law requires that specific revenue streams such as taxes or fees related to motor vehicles, aircraft, and railroads be deposited into the transportation fund.

Currently the legislature can take monies from this fund for any projects they deem necessary, and not necessarily transportation issues. When funds are transferred, they normally go to the General Fund for programs like health care education and shared revenue.

What this means in plain terms is that money in the transportation fund can be used for any purpose.

A “yes” vote would require that all funds collected must be used for transportation issues such as roads and bridges and other modes of transportation.

A “no” vote would allow the transportation funds to be used for other programs determined by the Legislature.

October 22, 2014  Tags: ,   Posted in: Uncategorized  No Comments

Halbig and the Nonchalance of Six Small Words

It’s a trifecta of Obamacare posts today!

and I LOVE This one!

GREG WEINER writing at Liberty Law Site.org:

It begins…

The psychology of legislative draftsmanship involved in the six words at stake in Halbig v. Burwell—“an exchange established by the State”—reflects a short-odds gamble that did not hit. The bettors first wanted the IRS to rescue them from the consequences, and now they want the courts to do it.

The gamble was that states, enticed by subsidies for their citizens or intimidated by the threat of losing Medicaid funds, would establish healthcare exchanges. The Obama administration is surely right that the whole idea of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was that such subsidies be provided, and that the consequences that have ensued from those six small words were probably unintended.

On the other hand, the authors of those words—and words, after all, are the stuff of laws—placed their bet at a casino called federalism, a device that is not incidental to the constitutional design. That is what is at stake in this case, and that is why even those who believe the courts should give majorities a wide berth may be compelled to support judicial intercession to empower majorities—as expressed through the states—in Halbig.

If you geek out about the Halbig situation as much as I do, read the entire article at the link above. Here’s another excerpt:

That makes the views of majorities as expressed through the state governments inescapably pertinent. Thus the significance of the ACA’s reference to exchanges “established by the State.” Its very nonchalance, which the ACA’s defenders say is why it should not be seen as frustrating the law’s design, is in fact the key to grasping phrase’s importance. It shows that the drafters simply assumed states would get with the program. That they did not reflected acts of majority will in 34 states, whose residents make up nearly 60 percent of the population.

October 22, 2014  Tags: ,   Posted in: Uncategorized  No Comments

71% of Obamacare Signups Traced to Government’s Expansion of Medicaid

Serious question. Do you know ANYONE who has benefited from the passage of Obamacare? Who didn’t have insurance coverage before and now does? REAL insurance coverage, not more Medicaid?

How about the reverse? Do you know anyone who DID have insurance coverage prior to passage of Obamacare who no longer does?

Melissa Quinn reporting at The Daily Signal:

The article begins:

The vast majority of Americans gaining health coverage under Obamacare actually qualified for Medicaid because of loosened eligibility —and that’s what boosted enrollment among those previously uninsured, a new report from The Heritage Foundation.

The Obama administration has boasted that the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, would allow those previously uninsured to purchase quality, affordable health care.

“The inescapable conclusion is that, when it comes to covering the uninsured, Obamacare so far is an expansion of Medicaid,” Heritage Foundation health policy experts Edmund F. Haislmaier and Drew Gonshorowski write in a research paper scheduled for release today.

Officials announced in May that more than 8 million Americans had picked a health plan on the Obamacare website, HealthCare.gov.

Haislmaier and Gonshorowski conclude that 8.5 million Americans gained coverage through Obamacare from January to July.

However, their paper says, more than 70 percent of those signups can be traced to the expansion of Medicaid eligibility in 24 states:

Of the 8.5 million total individuals who gained health insurance coverage, 71 percent of that net coverage gain was attributable to Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid to able-bodied, working-age adults.

Click the link above for the entire article.

Click here for the Heritage report.

October 22, 2014   Posted in: Uncategorized  No Comments

Obamacare FAIL stories

Reporter Sharyl Attkisson is collecting Obamacare Fail Stores. She’s the reporter who has maintained journalist standards in covering this Administration to the point where she no longer works for the mainstream media after a long career because they spiked her stories.

If you have an Obamacare Fail Story click the link above and let her know.

October 22, 2014   Posted in: Uncategorized  No Comments