The Columbia two step

The Columbia two step

The tap dancing has begun!

The Palmetto Liberty Score Cards have only been out for a few days and already legislators are trying to “explain” their bad votes.

Not unexpected, right?

So, I have to tell you about Senator Knotts’ “explanation” about his vote for  the retroactive tax incentive, S533, because I am sure your Senator or House member may try this same “explanation”.

This bill gives a tax “incentive” to a private company, The Institute for Business and Home Safety, for deciding to locate in Chester County three years ago.

They decided to come years ago!

They are already in Chester County!

Why do we need to give them an incentive to do what they have already done?

This retroactive tax incentive is un-needed and a waste of $1 million of your money.

This vote is recorded as vote #9 on the Palmetto Liberty Senate Score Card and as vote #12 on the House Score Card.

Senator Knotts told one of his constituents that the entire Senate voted against that bill, implying that the score card was wrong.

The truth of the matter is that he voted for this ridiculous retroactive tax incentive at least three times.

Here is the full story:

Last year, this same bill was passed by the legislature.  The Senate voted on it twice at that time on what is called 2nd reading and 3rd reading.  These votes were cast before we had mandatory roll call votes, so we don’t have a record of who voted for the bill and who voted against it, but we know it passed.

However, the bill was vetoed by Governor Sanford.

Knotts voted to override Sanford’s veto. 

That, we have on record here:  http://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess118_2009-2010/sj10/20100616.htm. You have to search the linked journal page for 717, last year’s bill number, but it is there, in black in white… Senator Knotts voted for this retroactive tax incentive.

The Department of Revenue declared that the law that was passed last year did not authorized them to give a company an incentive to invest in our state for an investment that occurred three years ago.

So, Senator Coleman, the bill’s sponsor, changed the bill so that it specifically allowed the tax incentive to be retroactive for investments back to 2008. This, it seems, would qualify the Institute for Business and Home Safety to get the tax rebate.

The modified bill passed the House and Senate this year and went to the governor’s desk.

Because we won the battle for mandatory roll call votes earlier this year, there is a record of who voted for this bill on both 2nd and 3rd readings this time.

The votes on 2nd reading: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess119_2011-2012/sj11/20110310.htm#p7

The votes on 3rd reading: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess119_2011-2012/sj11/20110323.htm#p6

Knotts voted for this bill on both 2nd and 3rd reading this year.

So, what about Knotts’ claim that the whole Senate voted against the bill this year?

Here is how that happened:

After the legislature passed this modified version of the bill this year and sent it to the Governor’s desk, the Department of Revenue reversed its earlier decision and decided that last year’s bill did authorize them to give the Institute for Business and Home Safety the tax rebate.

The Governor vetoed this years’ bill.  And since it was no longer needed to qualify the private Institute for Business and Home Safety for the $1 million rebate, the Senate voted unanimously against it, sustaining the Governor’s veto.

The House and Senate both get to truthfully claim they rejected the bill at the same time they did give the $1 million incentive.

You can read the details of all the twists and turns in the quest to give one million tax payer dollars to this private business at The Nerve.

So yes, Senator Knotts is technically correct.

The entire Senate did vote against this bill, but only after they passed it and then only after making sure an earlier version did the trick to get a $1 million check (your tax money)  from the SC Treasury to the Institute for Business and Home Safety in Chester County.

But, because we now have mandatory roll call votes, we know that Knotts voted for this bill three times.

Thanks for helping us get mandatory roll call votes passed!

Without it, we would never be able to prove that Senator Knotts, and many other Senators, are responsible for this ridiculous give away of $1 million.

If you like the reporting you are getting from Palmetto Liberty PAC and if you think the Score Card is a valuable resource, help me get the word out by writing a letter to the editor of your local paper.

Here is an example of what you can write that was suggested by a supporter in Aiken.

Of course, you don’t need to use this model at all, or you can modify it as suits your style.  Thanks in advance for helping get the word out.

Dear Editor,

Palmetto Liberty PAC focuses on these three issues I agree with: [list 3 issues you like about the PAC].

The PAC’s leaders have just compiled and published scorecards for the SC House of Representative and the SC Senate.  According to the data compiled, here is how the Representative and Senators from [fill in your County name] County scored:

[list names and scores].

I am tired of sending supposedly freedom-fighting candidates to Columbia only to have them vote against the very things that would make South Carolina the most free state in the nation.  I plan to vote in the 2012 primary and general elections  for those candidates whom Palmetto Liberty PAC selects as most closely aligning with these principles.

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If you need a reminder, here are the issues we support http://www.palmettoliberty.com/candidate-qualifications/.

Thanks for all you do!

Talbert Black, Jr.

 

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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