MORNING BUZZ: Two strikes against openness in government + Sheheen allies hit Haley

Posted by JAMIE SELF on July 17, 2014 

Chairman James Burns of the S.C. State Ethics Commission placed limits on who in that agency can talk to the press at the commission’s meeting Wednesday. But media watchdogs said the chairman, in announcing the new policy, violated a law that requires public bodies to make decisions by making motions and taking votes. Burns said he consulted with the agency’s director, the policy-maker at the agency, about making the new rule until a permanent policy is put in place. Burns said the change was not about limiting the media’s access to the agency.

In what critics are calling a blow to openness in government, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that autopsy reports are medical records and, therefore, closed to the public. The lawsuit came about after The Sumter Item sued a coroner to release an autopsy report in a police-related shooting incident.

State Sen. Vincent Sheheen, D-Kershaw, got a little help from his Democratic friends Wednesday, when the Democratic Governors Association, in a new campaign ad, took aim at Haley over the state's child-welfare agency. The ad was part of a six-figure ad buy. The Republican Governors Association has run five ads attacking Sheheen.

Happening today: The S.C. Silver Haired Legislature is having committee workshops at 9:30 a.m. (Blatt Building, rooms 108, 110, 112, 305, 321)

Buzz clicks

Sheheen, if elected, would push for millions to reduce beach pollution

Marco Rubio is coming to U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan's fundraising BBQ

Richland County pays $750K to settle inmate beating lawsuit

Cayce voters to decide booze on Sunday

Ex-Im Bank creates political divisions in the Carolinas

Clemson University slated for $11 million bioengineering research grant (Greenville News)

Undocumented immigrants rumored arriving in SC (Post and Courier)

Data-miners to probe Charleston home ownership for improper tax breaks (Post and Courier)

The Surprising South Carolina Evangelicals Who Support Immigration (National Journal)

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