tea party

Taking the Power Back: Eight Reforms

HOW CAN WE MAKE SOUTH CAROLINA’S POLITICIANS THE LEAST POWERFUL AND MOST ACCOUNTABLE IN THE NATION? (1)  Restore judicial independence. The public deserves confidence that judges rule independently of the legislature whose laws they judge. South Carolina is the only state in the nation in which the legislature unilaterally appoints judges even when vacancies arise. […]

Budget Process Remains Secretive

THERE’S ONLY ONE WAY TO ACHIEVE BUDGET TRANSPARENCY, AND THAT’S TO FOLLOW THE LAW  The budget debate this session was one of the most bizarre we’ve seen yet. It wasn’t that many years ago that the state’s Budget and Control Board was making across-the-board budget cuts owing to the recession and the state’s inability to meet its […]


The Supreme Court Reversal: An Analysis

HIGH COURT UPHOLDS RULE OF LAW. BUT WHY SECRECY IN FURTHER HEARINGS? Wednesday’s ruling by the Supreme Court reversed an unprecedented and dangerous ruling issued by a Circuit Judge Casey Manning in May. In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court ruled that Attorney General Alan Wilson was acting within his statutory and constitutional jurisdiction when […]

Category: Transparency · Tags:

The Ethics Bill: Still Alive, for Now

THE STICKING POINT: SELF-POLICING A House Judiciary subcommittee met on Tuesday to once again take up the “ethics bill” – H.3945. Versions of the bill have already passed both the Senate and the House, but rather than sending it to a conference committee, the House chose to amend the bill. The key sticking point has […]

The “Nullification” Bill, Then and Now

  WHAT THE BILL DOES, AND COULD, ACCOMPLISH Originally known as the “nullification” bill, H.3101 has gone through many changes since it was originally pre-filed for the 2013 legislative session. Here we compare the bill passed by the House in May 2013 to the latest strike-and-insert amendment filed in the Senate. The Original Bill The […]

How Do We Stop ObamaCare? Transparency.

  WHERE’S THE MONEY GOING? HOW MUCH? WHAT FOR?  The federal health care law known as “ObamaCare” gets more unpopular every week, but the question for citizens and policymakers is the same: What can be done about it? Many of the law’s critics contend that it can be nullified. What many advocates of this approach […]


Is Legislative Self-Policing Really a Problem?

IF AN ETHICS REFORM BILL ALLOWS LAWMAKERS TO CONTINUE POLICING THEMSELVES, IS IT REALLY AN ETHICS REFORM BILL? During a brief debate on H. 3945 – a bill most legislators and the governor characterize as meaningful ethics reform – Senator Luke Rankin (R-Horry, and Chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee) referred to the process of […]

Category: Commentary, Self Governance, Transparency · Tags:


Contract, Clarity, and a Return to Sovereignty

HOW TO STOP FEDERAL COERCION – INCLUDING OBAMACARE – AND ENACT FREE MARKET REFORM   [PDF of full report here; a briefer version of the report here.] For three years, policy experts, citizen groups, and politicians have argued for multiple approaches to either blunting the effects of ObamaCare or abolishing it altogether. The Affordable Care Act is […]

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Best & Worst of the General Assembly is Here

WONDER WHAT YOUR LAWMAKERS WERE UP TO IN 2013? IT’S ALL HERE. Our annual guide to the year’s legislative session, The Best & Worst of the General Assembly, has been published. To download your electronic copy, click here.  As in years past, we covered a large number of bills. Although it’s not feasible to analyze […]

bull street

The Bull Street Deal: Extreme Caution Advised

WHY TAXPAYERS DESERVE DETAILS – NOT VAGUE TALKING POINTS AND HIGHER TAXES On June 25th, the mayor of Columbia, Steve Benjamin, unveiled what’s being commonly called the “Bull Street Development Deal.” The deal would involve the city committing to an estimated $70 million for infrastructure, two parking garages, and a minor league baseball stadium. The estimated economic […]