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. […]

Reforms Pass in North Carolina … But Not Here

THE REASON HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IDEOLOGY It’s a tale of two legislative sessions. In one state, lawmakers passed significant tax reform that lowers tax rates across the board, took a meaningful step towards school choice, and expanded Second Amendment rights. In another state, lawmakers talked a big game about government restructuring, reforming the […]

Who Investigates?

IS THERE A ‘CONTROLLING LEGAL AUTHORITY’ HERE? In 1997, when Vice President Al Gore was questioned about suspicious campaign fund-raising activities, he claimed repeatedly that he didn’t know it was illegal. “My counsel tells me,” said the Vice President, “there is no controlling legal authority that says that is any violation of the law.” Whatever […]

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 […]

The Rules Apply to Everyone. (Except Us.)

WHY THE HOUSE & SENATE ETHICS COMMITTEES SHOULDN’T EXIST – AND WHY IT MATTERS South Carolina is often said – correctly – to be dominated by the legislature. What does that mean, exactly? Partly it means that the General Assembly takes the lion’s share of power over most areas of state government. But it also means […]

Why Our Legislative Session Is Far Too Long

OR, WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THESE GUYS STICK AROUND TOO LONG? We’re sometimes asked: Where’s the harm in the fact that South Carolina has a longer legislative session than most other states have? Sure, the per diem expenses will be a little higher, but will forcing legislators to wrap things up a little more quickly really […]

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 […]