S.C. State chairman’s letter to candidate angers trustee
An S.C. State University trustee complained Wednesday about the school's board chairman sending a congratulatory note to a political candidate on college letterhead.
Trustees chairman William Small complimented Bakari Sellers, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, on his statewide televised debate Monday with Republican Henry McMaster.
“By any objective standard of measure, your performance was clearly superior,” Small wrote the state representative from Denmark. “We wish you continued success in your campaign and career.”
S.C. State trustee Dennis Nielsen, appointed to the board by Republican Gov. Nikki Haley, wrote to Small with his objection Wednesday.
“You certainly have the right to independently support any political candidate of your choice,” Nielsen wrote. “However, I suggest the use of your (office) ... and the use of SCSU’s letterhead ... and the use of government personnel, equipment and materials seems to be a breach of South Carolina ethics laws.”
Small, who said last month that he plans to step aside as chairman, declined to comment Wednesday.
Christie, Jindal hit the road with Haley
Two possible GOP White House hopefuls will join Gov. Nikki Haley on her campaign bus tour of South Carolina, launched Wednesday ahead of the Nov. 4 election.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, chairman of the Republican Governors Association, will join Haley Sunday for events in Spartanburg.
The two will attend U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy’s church in the morning, before going to the Beacon restaurant for a public campaign event, Haley campaign spokesman Rob Godfrey confirmed.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal also will join Haley for campaign stops Thursday, Godfrey said.
Recent polls of the 2016 GOP presidential field show Christie in fourth place, behind U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. The same polls have Jindal, on average, the 11th favorite for the GOP nomination.
Haley has a double-digit lead over her Democratic rival, state Sen. Vincent Sheheen, according to recent polls.
Democrat O’Malley to campaign with Sheheen
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley – eyeing a 2016 run for the Democratic presidential nomination – is returning to the Palmetto State Saturday to campaign with Democratic candidate for governor, state Sen. Vincent Sheheen.
O’Malley will join Sheheen in three get-out-the-vote campaign stops in Moncks Corner and North Charleston.
Sheheen spent Wednesday flying to various campaign appearances across the state with Tom Ervin, who dropped out of the race for governor Tuesday and endorsed Sheheen.
Haley, McGill ask voters to approve change
Gov. Nikki Haley and Lt. Gov. Yancey McGill are asking voters to approve changing the way South Carolina’s top military officer is selected.
The executive officers from differing parties jointly made the appeal Wednesday.
Next week could be the last time voters choose the adjutant general. The second constitutional questions on the ballot will ask whether the governor should appoint the state’s military leader.
South Carolina is the only state where voters elect the adjutant general. Nothing requires candidates to have military experience.
The adjutant general oversees the state’s Army National Guard, Air National Guard, State Guard and the state’s Emergency Management Division.
Audit: Lottery-funded scholarships need review
An audit of lottery spending on education has found South Carolina’s college oversight agencies do not verify students who receive more than $220 million in lottery-funded scholarships are eligible to receive them.
The Legislative Audit Council report released Wednesday recommends the agencies review the lottery money they distribute to colleges and technical schools statewide.
The Commission on Higher Education distributes most of that money. It used to review its distributions but stopped after the 2008 recession-era budget cuts. The agency is seeking money in the next budget to renew the practice.
A spokeswoman for the State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education says it has begun reviews at three colleges that saw large increases or decreases over the last year for student tuition assistance.
Andrew Shain, Jamie Self, The Associated Press