About that Haley-Sanford feud
Gov. Nikki Haley said last week she'd "heard" of what was reported in The New York Times Magazine about the supposed fall-out between her and former Gov. Mark Sanford, but she had not read it.
Quoting heavily from Haley nemesis businessman John Rainey, the report from last month said Sanford was upset that Haley never personally thanked him for helping her 2010 run for governor via a heavy expenditure from Sanford's campaign money that went to ReformSC.
The nonprofit issues advocacy group was created after Sanford became governor. It stepped up during the 2010 campaign by running ads saying Haley was a political reformer.
Another snub reported in the Times' piece was that Haley declined to give Sanford's eldest son one of her South Carolina season football tickets, or a meal at the Governor's Mansion.
During the appearance in Summerville by Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Tuesday, Haley declined to address the report directly, saying she'd already stated her version of events surrounding Sanford's support in 2010 in her book, "Can't is not an Option."
"It is word-for-word in the book the way we see it," Haley said, adding "I'll leave it at that."
In one portion, the book says, "The shadow the Sanford scandal cast mover my campaign continued to hamper my fundraising and my attempts to break out of fourth place." The book later recounts ReformSC's TV ads on her behalf but only mentions the group had "ties to Governor Sanford." It devotes a whole chapter to her endorsement from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
Help call for S.C. State University
Charleston Democratic state Rep. Wendell Gilliard made a plea last week that more help be given to beleaguered South Carolina State University.
During a meeting of Charleston-area members of the House of Representatives, Gilliard mentioned everything from advocating for a special session of the Legislature, to asking Gov. Nikki Haley to get more involved on behalf of the state's only historically black public college.
The Orangeburg school is facing multiple woes, among them a recent $13.6 million deficit. State budget leaders agreed earlier to loan the school $6 million to address some of its bills.
"Six million (dollars), that's like lending them an anchor to sink a little faster," Gilliard said. "It didn't solve anything."
Area lawmakers seemed less inclined to join in with Gilliard on an elevated call for action, but were more receptive to calling in ranking members of the school for a public meeting this summer to explore their plans for the future.
Tecklenberg touts mayoral money haul
Charleston mayoral candidate John Tecklenburg not only has done the most campaigning since he entered the mayoral raise on April 21, but he's also raised the most money.
He reported raising $71,047 this spring from 126 donors and his campaign has more than $68,500 on hand as it continues to crank up toward the November 2015 election.
City Councilman Dean Riegel has said he will run, but he hasn't opened a campaign account so far, according to the State Ethics Commission.
But it's still very early, and several other candidates still could emerge. Some possibilities are: City Councilman Aubry Alexander; former state Rep. Jimmy Bailey; Charleston County Councilwoman Colleen Condon; restaurant developer Dick Elliott; state Rep. Wendell Gilliard, D-Charleston; City Councilman William Dudley Gregorie; businesswoman Linda Ketner; contractor Marc Knapp; state Rep. Chip Limehouse, R-Charleston; City Councilman Mike Seekings; state Rep. Leon Stavrinakis, D-Charleston; and former City Councilman Paul Tinkler.
More Sunlight on political TV ad buys
Those who want to track political spending on television now have an easier time than ever, particularly in the Lowcountry.
Starting last week, all TV stations were required to post their political files online. Previously, journalists, campaign operatives and others had to visit the station in person and ask to look at its paper copies.
About 230 TV stations in the nation's 50 top markets had to file online, but now all of them -more than 2,000, including those in the Charleston area -must.
The Sunlight Foundation - a nonpartisan nonprofit that advocates for open government - hailed the change as "a rare victory for transparency in a political system increasingly inundated with dark money." It also has made it possible to search and sort those files by advertiser, by date and by state with its Political Ad Sleuth tool: politicaladsleuth.com.
Here's an example of how this information can be useful: The foundation's analysis of Charlotte WBTV, found that outside groups bought virtually all the ads that have aired so far in North Carolina's heated Senate race; nearly half of $3.8 million spent hasn't been reported to the Federal Election Commission.
Charlestonian works for Ted Cruz
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, named Nick Muzin as senior advisor and deputy chief of staff for strategy.
Muzin, 38, a physician and attorney, is currently the director of coalitions for the House Republican Conference, where he oversees strategy and outreach for the 233 Republican members of the House. He was previously chief of staff to Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., during his term in the House, and directed his political action committee.
Muzin earned a bachelor's degree from Yeshiva University, an M.D. from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and a J.D. from Yale Law School, according to the announcement.
Before joining Sen. Scott's campaign in 2010, Muzin worked in the private sector in Charleston. He lives in Silver Spring, Md., with his wife and three children.
League of Women Voters
Charleston League of Women Voters leaders Julie Hussey and Nancy Finch were among the 700 members who attended the league's national conference in Dallas.
Also, Elisabeth MacNamara of Georgia was given a third term as the national group's president, and Barbara Zia of Columbia and Peggy Appler of Charleston, were elected to the board of directors.
Hussey said she was proud to represent the Charleston area at the convention as its delegates vowed to continue the fight to protect voting rights and to combat climate change, including supporting the EPA's new rules on carbon pollution.
Will S.C. follow the Aloha State's lead?
The state of Hawaii took a big step forward in making voting easier last week, as Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed a bill to allow voter registration at absentee polling places beginning in 2016 and to add voter registration at precinct polling places beginning in November 2018.
Miles Rapoport, President of Common Cause, said, "Hawaii joins an important group of states that have advanced proactive voting reforms that will increase access and participation in sharp contrast to the voter suppression tactics we have seen in all too many states."
The bill was aimed at addressing Hawaii's low voter turnout in recent elections.
Carmille Lim, executive director of Common Cause Hawaii, said, "We only hope that South Carolina can move in the same direction toward a more modernized voting system. Hawaii's voter deadline is currently 30 days prior to election day (like South Carolina's), until the new Election Day Registration system is implemented in 2016."
Lim called that 30-day deadline "an arbitrary deadline connected with an antiquated voting system. Now that we are adopting new technology, we must look at our voting laws entirely and make sure they are relevant and complement our constantly updating systems."