Asset Forfeiture & Property Rights in S.C.

HOW SOUTH CAROLINA’S GOVERNMENT IS UNDERMINING ITS MOST IMPORTANT FUNCTION Low taxes, minimal regulations, a competent workforce. These are usually considered the most important qualities a state can foster in order to enhance the personal freedom and quality of life of its citizens, and make itself more attractive to outside investment. And understandably so. Too […]

An “Enterprise Division” for Clemson?

  IT’S ALL ABOUT POWER (A LOT OF IT) AND ACCOUNTABILITY (NONE OF IT) Last week, we posted a brief analysis of S.535, legislation that would create a murky new government entity called an “Enterprise Division” at Clemson University. The bill, in short, is a grossly misguided attempt to give vast powers to a government […]

Ethics Reform: Some Re-Gifting Ideas

A FEW IDEAS WORTH KEEPING FOR NEXT YEAR . . . The 2013 legislative session will begin in January, and many lawmakers and pundits have predicted that this will be the year of “ethics reform.” We don’t know what “ethics reform” will mean yet – a genuine overhaul of Columbia’s culture of secret deal-making, cronyism, […]

Freedom of Information?

FOR A ‘FREEDOM OF INFORMATION’ LAW, OURS DOESN’T ALLOW VERY MUCH INFORMATION Want information about the way a state agency uses your tax dollars? Here’s the good news: nearly every agency of any size employs a full-time Public Information Officer whose job – as the title implies – is to provide the public with information […]

What Income Disclosure Would Mean for You

 FOR STARTERS, YOU MIGHT LEARN THE REASONS FOR SOME OF YOUR LAWMAKERS’ VOTES Suppose for a moment that you disapprove of a particular vote cast by your lawmaker. You think the bill is unwise, unfair, and you can’t imagine why your lawmaker would vote for it. Then you wonder if he had financial reasons for […]

Release: Policy Council, Allies Propose Far-Reaching Reforms

Politicians Shouldn’t Be in Charge of Ethics Reform, SCPC President Says Columbia, S.C. – August 29, 2012 – Today South Carolina Policy Council President Ashley Landess stood with an ideologically diverse group of allies to remind the state’s political leaders what real ethics reform looks like. Landess was joined by Dana Beach, Executive Director of the […]

Investment Fail: “Economic development” deals that flopped

After the headlines, after the press releases and fanfare, where do all these investments go? Some of them go south and take millions of tax dollars with them.

Opening closed doors: Bringing sunlight and fairness to state-driven economic development

For years, the General Assembly has shut the door, cut deals with lobbyists and given away billions of dollars in incentives. Here’s what you can do about it.

SCPC President Ashley Landess calls for public disclosure in secret ‘incentives game’

Wednesday, April 20, 2011 – Today South Carolina Policy Council President Ashley Landess was joined by taxpayer advocates and grassroots leaders from across the state to present SCPC’s research on taxpayer-funded “incentives” to private companies. The Policy Council’s research proves that incentives have failed as an economic policy and that lawmakers are “investing” millions of public dollars while providing taxpayers with no meaningful information about the investments.

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A Major Transparency Win For South Carolina

In 2008, the South Carolina Policy Council wanted to know why state spending was so high, so we started to look at how lawmakers were voting. We found there was no record of votes – and so we hand-counted thousands of pages of House and Senate journals to find that in 2008 lawmakers recorded their votes only 8 percent of the time.

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