SC politics: Taxpayers would pay for SC presidential primaries

March 10, 2014 

Bill says state will conduct, pay for S.C. primary elections

Taxpayers would at least partly pay for South Carolina’s first-in-the-South presidential primaries under a bill backed by both major parties.

The bill, which lawmakers advanced Monday to the full House Judiciary Committee, clarifies the State Election Commission is responsible for conducting the contests. It does that by deleting from state law a reference to the 2008 election cycle.

Subcommittee chairman Alan Clemmons, R-Horry, says the bill means future presidential primaries will be funded through the budget like any other election, offset by filing fees that candidates pay.

Until 2008, South Carolina’s political parties ran and paid for their presidential nominating contests. A wide-open race for the White House that year prompted changes.

Uncertainty over the 2012 contest led to a lawsuit from four counties that argued lawmakers didn’t update the law.

Governor’s schedule, activities

Gov. Nikki Haley’s public schedule, released Monday by her staff, for this week is:

Tuesday, 1 p.m.: Address the Greenwood Rotary Club

Tuesday, 3 p.m.: Hold constituent meetings, Park Plaza, Suite 102, Greenwood County Council Office, 600 Monument St., Greenwood

Thursday, 10 a.m.: Tour Pawmetto Lifeline, Columbia

According to her staff, the governor’s activities last week included:

8 – Meetings with constituents

6 – Economic development calls or meetings

4 – Meetings with or concerning state agencies, including a State Budget and Control Board meeting, and a S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce rally

3 – Meetings concerning state policy

2 each – Meetings concerning education, including a meeting with S.C. State President Thomas Elzey; also, staff meetings

1 each – Legislative meeting; speech, to the Aiken Republican Club; ceremonial duty, designating March as “March into Literacy Month” in South Carolina; media activity, appearing on a radio talk show

Busiest day – Tuesday and Wednesday, with eight activities each

Slowest day – Friday, with six activities

Of note: Haley’s schedule included no activities for Monday, March 3

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