Cindi Ross Scoppe

Cindi Ross Scoppe

Suddenly, intrigue over an office of little intrigue

THREE POINTS about the legal battle over the next lieutenant governor: There could be a lot more at stake than whether the Senate president pro tempore assumes the office or Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster appoints the new lieutenant governor if he replaces Nikki Haley as governor. The convoluted language lawmakers passed in 2014 to change how vacancies are filled was not an accident. We wouldn’t be talking about this but for what one former Senate leader calls “the Jake Knotts gift that keeps on giving.”

Cindi Ross Scoppe

The (real) assault on the (real) Christmas

ON THE SECOND day of Christmas, my neighbors dragged their naked tree out to the curb, to be hauled away with Monday’s garbage. I reluctantly disassembled my own tree, because I wanted to bring my kitties back home from their Christmas visit with relatives and knew they would disassemble it themselves — along with my own peace on earth — if I did not. The rest of the decorations remain.

Cindi Ross Scoppe

How to punish corrupt politicians

The question comes up every time a politician gets into legal trouble: Will the politician go to jail? Or, if he has already been sentenced: Why isn’t he going to jail? As a Columbia reader asked me after Rep. Jim Merrill’s indictment on 30 public corruption charges: “Do any of these people EVER go to jail?”

Cindi Ross Scoppe

SC Senate has new ways, but the same old questions about will

TO UNDERSTAND how hard it is to legislate a reduction in hostage taking in the Senate, consider this new rule that the Republicans adopted this month over Democrats’ objections: “No member may make any dilatory motion, including placing amendments on the desk, or take any other action or use any parliamentary tactic for the purpose of delaying or obstructing business.”

Cindi Ross Scoppe

Some unethical actions are illegal in SC; lots aren’t

Unlike the case against then-Speaker Bobby Harrell, the corruption case against former SC House Republican Leader Jim Merrill is not a slam dunk, because in South Carolina, unethical and illegal are not always synonymous. Regardless of the outcome, Mr. Merrill’s case ought to remind us that our anti-corruption laws still need to be strengthened. Significantly.

Cindi Ross Scoppe

No passport? No military ID? You could soon be grounded

It’s hard to imagine how anyone who’s worried about terrorism — or even illegal immigrants who are not terrorists — could object to the idea that it ought to take more ingenuity than that of a college fraternity to counterfeit the IDs that we use to board planes and walk around on military bases and nuclear facilities. And yet, South Carolina objected. We could soon pay a price for that.

Cindi Ross Scoppe

New case, same lesson: We need random ethics audits

Former SC Sen Gary Cleary received a huge fine and reprimand because he couldn’t provide documentation to prove he spent campaign money legally — as state law requires. And frankly, the details in this case smell a lot like the case of then-House Speaker Bobby Harrell: a legislator reimbursing himself for what he said were official expenses, but providing vague explanations and no documentation.

Cindi Ross Scoppe

Godspeed Gov. Haley; welcome Gov. McMaster

For all the good Gov Nikki Haley has done for South Carolina, she two overarching flaws: her rigid unwillingness to compromise with lawmakers and her disdain for the rule of law. Lt Gov Henry McMaster is just the opposite: a devoted acolyte to the rule of law and a person whose go-to strategy is to build consensus.

Cindi Ross Scoppe

Don’t condone vandals; do appropriate their idea

JUST LIKE THE woman who shinnied up the flag pole and tore down the Confederate flag on South Carolina’s front lawn, and the vandals across the state who have splashed paint on statues of Confederate generals, the self-proclaimed “artists” at Winthrop University who used the tactics of white supremacists to condemn a notorious white supremacist need to be arrested and punished.

Cindi Ross Scoppe

Now that Haley has broken the taboo, what’s next?

It’s good for everyone in Richland County — and especially for the current and former employees of the Richland County Recreation Commission who were not relatives of former director James Brown III — that Gov. Nikki Haley notified the commissioners that she will remove them if they do not show up for a public hearing Nov. 30 and convince her they should stay.

Videos

South Carolina's Broken Roads: Senate's plan is a joke

Opinion writer Cindi Ross Scoppe weighs in on the Senate's roads plan. She explains how the plan will take money away from schools and other state funded agencies to fix the roads in South Carolina
South Carolina's Broken Roads: Senate's plan is a joke 2:10

South Carolina's Broken Roads: Senate's plan is a joke

Thornwell, Blanton talk loss to Kentucky 4:13

Thornwell, Blanton talk loss to Kentucky

Frank Martin postgame reaction after loss to Kentucky 11:13

Frank Martin postgame reaction after loss to Kentucky

Historic airplane hangar being renovated as brewery 2:33

Historic airplane hangar being renovated as brewery