Even the Mighty Good Ones Fall

Leatherman's Broken Record

Friends of South Carolina,

Great work preventing a return to the committee report on H3066, the Department of Administration bill!

I think we are out of the woods on that one.  Thanks for all your calls and e-mails!

Haley has broken her deal with Leatherman, a move that has made him very sore.

He has taken every opportunity over the last several days to remind the Senate that the Governor is a deal breaker.

He spells out with painful regularity that she and he sat down and worked out a deal, and that she has betrayed him.

I’m glad she has!Haley Chooses Wisely

Last session, the Senate amended H3066 in the closing days of session.

We’ve now had several months to read and analyze last year’s amendment.

It is better than what it replaced, but it is far far away from what we need!

The Policy Council has some great recommendations on what should be done with the Budget and Control Board.  H3066 needs to be amended to implement their recommendations.

I’ll summarize why just below.

Your mission:

But first, I want to let you know that I’m asking you to contact your Senator and ask him to support amending H3066 with the recommendations of the South Carolina Policy Council.

You can read their recommendations here.

You can find your Senator and his contact information here.

“The whole problem with the Budget and Control Board is that taxpayers can’t hold a five-member board accountable for bad decisions.”

So says the South Carolina Policy Council!

I agree!

That short sentence captures in a nutshell one of the problems this state has been struggling with for 60 some odd years.

The hybrid semi-legislative, semi-executive system has plagued South Carolina’s state government for generations.

When they make bad decisions, they get away clean… why?

If the governor makes a bad decision we, as taxpayers, can vote her out of office.

If your Senator or House member votes for a bad law you can vote him out of office.

How do you hold a five member board accountable?

Two members of the board aren’t even subject to a statewide election.

Hugh Leatherman and Brian White are only accountable to the roughly 2% of the taxpayers in the state who happen to live in their districts.

So, what do you get if we can fix this problem of a budget and control board?  How does it affect you?

If government is restructured, properly dividing the duties of the Budget and Control board between the legislative and executive branches you will have transparency and accountability that is just not possible under the current arrangement.

That will save you money. 

Here is how:

The Budget and Control Board has four large areas of responsibility: procurement, bonds, deficit recognition, and state retirement.

These four areas need to be divided up as follows:

First, procurement will be moved to the executive branch, away from the influence of those who are appropriating the money.

This will prevent legislators from designing appropriations for their best campaign donor’s construction company because they don’t get to grant the contract.

It will also end the practice of no-bid contracts granted to a favored company.

Dividing the appropriation and the decision of how to spend it between the two branches will make it much more difficult to create these sweetheart deals!

The transparency and accountability will save you, the tax payer, money!

Next, we put the responsibility for issuing bonds directly on the legislature; again, saving the taxpayer money by making each legislator vote directly on each bond legislation as a stand-alone measure.

Any debt obligations made by the state should be voted on by those who are most closely accountable to the tax payer!

That transparency and accountability will save the tax payer money!

It gets even better.

Deficit recognition should also be the responsibility of the legislature.

If they screwed up and didn’t appropriate enough money, they need to be the ones who must recognize it and figure out how to manage it.

Again, when it comes to funding issues, the guys who are closest to the taxpayer must be accountable.

That is how we will control spending!

You, the taxpayer, will save money!

The retirement system is probably our biggest financial problem in the state.

It is currently managed by the B&CB.

How do we fix the state retirement system with all its unfunded liabilities?

Well, it shouldn’t be managed by those who benefit from the system!

That is how we ended up with legislators that have the sweetest retirement deal of all state employees.

The have created a system where they can “retire” while still serving and collect their pension, which is more than their annual salary!

Many of them do!

Here is what the Policy Council has to say about it:

“The current legislation’s creation of a Public Employee Benefit Agency is a step in the right direction, but it should be a cabinet-level agency, and shouldn’t be run by yet another board whose members are appointed by the legislature and the governor.”

The governor needs to be directly responsible for this retirement system through a cabinet level agency.

Let’s make sure this restructuring of government is done right!

So, please, contact your Senator today!  Tell him to amend H3066 to implement the recommendations made by the policy council.

You can read their recommendations here.

You can find your Senator and his contact information here.

Don’t let it be the result of back room deals made between legislators.

Don’t even let it be the result of back room deals made between the Governor and the legislators.  That is what gave us the original very weak version of this bill that didn’t even eliminate the Budget and Control Board, but only created a new Department of Administration!

True, Haley now has backed off of her support for that pitiful excuse for reform.  A fact that Leatherman keeps reminding the Senate of every day!

Boy is he ticked off about that!

You see, the story is that Haley didn’t believe that it was possible to completely eliminate the BHaley miscalculatedudget and Control Board, so she made a back room deal with legislators to create a Department of Administration while keeping the B&CB in place.

She even went so far as to call the current amendment a poison pill last year when she was trying to force the Senate to stay in session.

True, the current amendment is not the best we can get, but it was much better than what it replaced.

It wasn’t until the “poison pill” passed the Senate 43 – 0 that Haley realized she made a mistake.

Now, she backs the complete elimination of the Budget and Control Board!  She realizes it can be done.

She underestimated the will of the people!

Folks, I only point this out to make the point that we cannot depend on our elected officials to make the deals that are in our best interest!

We must simply demand what is best.

Do not put your faith in any politician!

Even the mighty good ones fall, and make mistakes.  We cannot excuse their mistakes, lest they think we approve!

They are all too willing to compromise for far less than what we can get!

We must constantly remind them that it is our state government, not theirs!

They don’t get to decide when and how to compromise away our rights!

They do so at their peril. 

They can, and will, be held accountable for not standing firm for the people of this state!

So please, contact your Senator today!  Tell him to amend H3066 to implement the recommendations made by the Policy Council.

You can read their recommendations here.

You can find your Senator and his contact information here.


Talbert Black, Jr.

P.S.  Don’t allow the politicians to compromise away our chance at a great opportunity to eliminate the Budget and Control Board.  Instead, contact your Senator and tell him to amend H3066 with the recommendations of the South Carolina Policy Council.  It will save you, the tax payer, money through greater accountability and transparency!

You can find your Senator and his contact information here.

You can read the recommendations of the Policy Council here.

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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