The Buzz

ELECTION 2014: Katrina Shealy to sponsor legislation targeting Vincent Sheheen

State Sen. Katrina Shealy said Monday she will introduce legislation that would ban lawyer-legislators from appearing before magistrates they recommend for appointment.

The news release comes after The State newspaper reported over the weekend that State Sen. Vincent Sheheen, the likely Democratic nominee for governor, has eight pending cases before magistrates that he recommended for appointment.

"Lawyer-legislators, including Vince Sheheen, don't deserve a 'pass' when we find out they are doing business before magistrates they appoint," Shealy said in a news release.

What's ironic about this is someone has already filed legislation to do this: Vincent Sheheen. Sheheen introduced S.240 in January. While the bill would not "ban" lawmakers from appearing before magistrates that they appoint, it would stop Senators from recommending magistrates, giving that duty to the state Supreme Court.

And earlier this year, Sheheen voted for an amendment that would have banned lawmakers from appearing before magistrates' they recommend.

Shealy, a first term Republican from Lexington County, is a close ally of Republican Gov. Nikki Haley. When Shealy was removed from the ballot in 2012 for a paperwork error, Haley made a personal appeal before the Republican Party's executive committee to have her reinstated (she was, but the state Ethics Commission overturned it.) After Shealy got on the ballot as a petition candidate, The Movement fund, a political action committee with ties to Haley, spent $125,000 running ads to help Shealy defeat former state Sen. Jake Knotts -- the notorious Lexington County Republican who once called Haley a "raghead" on an Internet talk show.

Shealy's move is another in the time-honored tradition of using legislation as political weapons. Sheheen did the same thing earlier this year when he introduced S.0164, a concurrent resolution that would formally apologize for the data breach at the state Department of Revenue, where an international hacker stole the personal financial information for 6.4 million S.C. consumers.

Both of Sheheen's bills have not made it out of committee yet.