Top 10 recipients of gifts and travel

June 22, 2013 

The top 10 legislators and constitutional officers ranked by the value of the gifts and travel they reported on their statements of economic interest

1. Gov. Nikki Haley

Amount: $98,315.59

Where it came from: $57,800.21 was for travel, including $24,451.74 from the Mitt Romney for President campaign. Another $28,940 came from 10 people — listed as a “friend/supporter” — who let Haley use a Clemson football suite, including David Wilkins, the former speaker of the S.C. House of Representatives and chairman of the Clemson trustees; the Ogletree Deakins law firm, where Haley administration appointees Catherine Templeton and Cheryl Stanton once worked; and Joseph Swann, an unsuccessful candidate for Senate District 8. The list also includes a “pearl pin” valued at $750 and a camera valued at $500 from two unnamed companies that Haley met with during a trade mission to Japan.

2. Attorney General Alan Wilson

Amount: $17,299.55

Where it came from: $9,411.92 came from the Republican Attorneys General Association, mostly for travel and lodging at conferences.

3. Sen. Gerald Malloy, D-Darlington

Amount: $11,925.70

Where it came from: $11,485.85 was for travel to speaking engagements, including the S.C. Bar Association; the Pew Charitable Trusts, a nonpartisan advocacy group that worked with Malloy on reforming South Carolina’s sentencing laws; and Sullivan and Cromwell, an international law firm headquartered in New York.

4. Sen. Thomas Alexander, R-Oconee

Amount: $11,092.72

Where it came from: $9,535.35 was for travel and lodging, with $7,754.69 coming from three organizations — the Senate Forum, an association of state Senate leaders; the Milbank Foundation, a health care policy group; and the S.C. Alliance of Health Plans, the trade group for the state’s insurance industry.

5. Superintendent of Education Mick Zais

Amount: $9,804.07

Where it came from: $4,114.49 came from travel to speak at various conferences, including the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching, a group that supports performance-based teacher pay, and the Council of State Governments. Another $3,701 came from USC for “tickets/parking/events.”

6. Treasurer Curtis Loftis

Amount: $8,007.20

Where it came from: $3,459.21 came from travel, including a trip to New York paid for by the Managed Funds Association, the trade group for alternative investments, meaning anything not a stock or a bond. His gifts included $1,500 “Tartan Club Passes” from the Heritage Classic Foundation.

7. Secretary of State Mark Hammond

Amount: $5,266.93

Where it came from: Gifts included $1,969.20 for a “golf retreat” from the Republican State Leadership Committee and $1,500 for passes to the RBC Heritage golf tournament from the Heritage Classic Foundation.

8. State Sen. Brad Hutto, D-Orangeburg

Amount: $4,852.90

Where it came from: $1,864.18 came from a trip to the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners conference. Gifts included $200 for a quail hunt paid for by Poco Soba Plantation and $100 for a dove hunt paid for by the S.C. Farm Bureau.

9. Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell

Amount: $4,465.02

Where it came from: All of it came from gifts, none more than $100. The gifts range from a $99 gift basket from Nan Ya Plastics to $1 for a Diet Coke from USC.

10. House Speaker Bobby Harrell

Amount: $3,887.24

Where it came from: $2,043 came from attending the National Speakers Conference, an association of speakers of the House of state legislatures; $970 was for “tickets and lodging” from the Coca-Cola Bottling Co. for the Coca-Cola 600 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, where Harrell waved the green flag.

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