Insanity in the SC Senate

Financial Transparency

Friends of South Carolina,

The South Carolina State Senate is still fighting against transparency and accountability.

Take a look at the list below.  If your Senator voted against transparency and accountability Wednesday, call him and tell him how you feel.

Here is what happened:  Wednesday, Senator Tom Davis tried to amend the Amazon incentive bill with his Economic Incentive Transparency Act.

  • His amendment would require that economic incentives agreements be made in a transparent manner that is open for public comment before a commitment is made by the state.
  • It would require annual reporting by the company to account for its end of the bargain.
  • And, if the company receiving incentives did not live up to its end of the bargain, then it would be required to repay the benefit it received from our state based on how badly they missed their commitment to our state.

Don’t you think that is a reasonable solution to all the problems created by deals that are made in secret and that provide no accountability when the company fails to fulfill its commitments to our state?

But, as you might expect, the usual suspects fought against and killed this amendment.

Additionally, the usual suspects have recruited a new face to the “guard of secret deals”.  In a brazen move to kill transparency Senate President Lt. Governor Ken Ard ruled Senator Davis’ amendment out of order.

He said it was not germane to the Amazon incentive bill.

Just in case some of our thick skulled Senators are reading this, let me make it clear for them… germane means the amendment is related to the subject of the bill.

You would think our Senators could understand the logic that an amendment about how an economic incentive deal is made is definitely related to a bill that gives an economic incentive.

Can any sane person think otherwise? It is germane!

Using the only sane response to an insane ruling, Senator Davis challenged the ruling of the Senate President.

A challenge is an official way for the Senate to override just such a ridiculous ruling and restore sanity to the Senate.

When a challenge is made, it only takes a simple majority of the Senators to overrule the Senate President.

You’d think that at least half of our Senators could see the logic that the bill and the amendment were definitely related to each other.  Not in some minor little way, but absolutely definitely related in a clear and obvious way.

So, Senator Davis challenged the ruling of the President of the Senate, and gave a common sense argument that the bill and his amendment were related!

Believe me; it took no rocket science to make that argument!

But, in an effort to maintain secrecy, Senator Hugh Leatherman argued that a company has the right to send representatives in to negotiate an incentive deal with our state under an assumed company name.  Yep, that’s right, using a fake name. Leathreman used that as an argument against transparency and accountability.

Senator Larry Martin also argued that the amendment was unrelated to the bill!  He’s the chairman of the rules committee.  He should know better!

When the vote came down, the President’s ruling was supported 33 – 9.

Only nine Senators voted for common sense, transparency and accountability.

Here are the ones who voted against transparency and accountability in such a ridiculous contradiction to common sense.

  • Alexander
  • Anderson
  • Campbell
  • Campsen
  • Coleman
  • Courson
  • Cromer
  • Elliott
  • Fair
  • Gregory
  • Hayes
  • Hutto
  • Jackson
  • Knotts
  • Land
  • Leatherman
  • Leventis
  • Lourie
  • Malloy
  • Martin, Larry
  • Massey
  • Matthews
  • McConnell
  • McGill
  • Nicholson
  • Peeler
  • Rankin
  • Reese
  • Rose
  • Scott
  • Setzler
  • Sheheen
  • Williams

You can find the play by play details in the Senate Journal for Wednesday at this link.

Contact these knuckleheads and tell them what you think!

You can find your Senator and his contact information by following this link.

Thanks for all you do!

About Talbert Black

Talbert Black Jr is the founder of Palmetto Liberty PAC. His education in state politics & citizen lobbying began in 1999 with his membership in GrassRoots GunRights SC. In 2008 he joined the Campaign for Liberty and within a year he was the Interim State Coordinator for South Carolina. His goal for Palmetto Liberty PAC is to change to composition of South Carolina’s General Assembly so that it consistently supports conservative principles.

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