Catherine Templeton

Catherine Templeton

Republican gubernatorial candidate Catherine Templeton unveiled her “conservative values” platform on March 5. The six issues in the platform are: passing laws to require public bodies to recite the Pledge of Allegiance before meetings and require state-funded sporting events to play the National Anthem; passing laws protecting historic monuments from removal; tsupporting efforts to “take back states’ rights from a bloated, bureaucratic, overbearing federal government;” passing “constitutional carry;” reducing abortions; and closing the state’s primaries so that only party members can vote. In a press release, she said carrying a concealed gun is a constitutional and “God-given” right. “When I worked for Governor Haley, SLED suggested I carry to protect myself from all the entrenched bureaucrats I fired,” Templeton said. “I still carry today because I am not finished doing the right thing, but as a mother and responsible gun owner, I think it is government overreach to require us to pay a fee to the government … to carry.” —Chris Trainor

Utilities Knew Early On There Were Major Issues With Nuclear Project

SCANA and Santee Cooper knew almost immediately there was going to be trouble in constructing two new nuclear reactors at V.C. Summer, a project that ultimately failed spectacularly. According to a report from The Post and Courier, an email from then-SCANA CEO Kevin Marsh just six months after the first concrete was poured on the project in 2013 “warned [construction partner] Westinghouse that both South Carolina utilities had serious concerns about cost overruns and design delays that put ‘potentially unrecoverable stress’ on the existing construction schedule to add two nuclear reactors.” As noted by reporter Andrew Brown, “electric customers paid more than $2 billion for reactors that will never churn a kilowatt of electricity.” — Chris Trainor

Gamecocks Nab Fourth Straight Women’s SEC Hoops Tourney Title

The University of South Carolina women’s basketball team made history as the team won its fourth consecutive Southeastern Conference Tournament title, becoming the first team in league history to do so. Coach Dawn Staley’s squad took down previously undefeated Mississippi State 62-51 for the championship. The Gamecocks were led by senior forward A’ja Wilson, who popped in 16 points and had 8 rebounds, while guard Ty Harris had 14 points and 6 boards. South Carolina now turns to the NCAA Tournament, where it will have a chance to defend its 2017 national title. The brackets for the women’s Big Dance will be announced March 12. — Chris Trainor

Senate Panel Approves Another Abortion Ban

A state Senate panel approved a ban on so-called “dismemberment abortion” despite warnings that the ban will likely draw court challenges. The State reports that the procedure was performed in just 22 of 5,736 abortions done in South Carolina in 2016, but that pro-choice advocates say it’s “the most common and safest way to terminate a high-risk pregnancy in a woman’s second trimester, starting in the fourth month of pregnancy.” Opponents say the procedure causes pain to unborn children. The vote of the Senate Medical Affairs Committee was 9-6. That bill is entirely separate from another bill pending in the state Senate that would define every fertilized egg as a human being. — Eva Moore

New State Constitution? Not So Fast

In other State House news, a bipartisan group of freshman lawmakers rolled out an ambitious plan for a state constitutional convention. In South Carolina, the legislature has outsized power compared with the executive and judicial branches. But the proposal for a new constitution quickly drew the ire of the state Democratic Party, which sent a bizarre press release claiming the idea was “nothing more than an attempt to oppress every woman in South Carolina.” (The party chair later explained to reporters he meant the rewriting of the constitution could be used to outlaw abortion.) Top Democrats also reportedly urged the Democratic lawmakers who’d signed on to the effort to withdraw their support. Some did, some didn’t. — Eva Moore

Pascoe Asks Judge in Corruption Case to Recuse Herself

Special Prosecutor David Pascoe, who has long been conducting a probe into corruption at the State House, got into a tense exchange with Judge Carmen Mullen, and even asked the judge to recuse herself. There was a hearing Feb. 28 in Beaufort in which Pascoe wanted Mullen to reconsider her recent sentence of former state Rep. Rick Quinn, who got two years probation. According to The Post and Courier, Pascoe had accused Mullen of “improperly communicating” with Quinn’s lawyers. “You’re making something about absolutely nothing,” the judge told Pascoe. At one point during the heated hearing, Mullen reportedly called for a brief recess, threw her hands up and left the courtroom. “Now I am going to get locked up,” Pascoe was then heard commenting to someone nearby, The Post and Courier reported. The judge will later issue a written order as to whether Quinn’s sentence will be reconsidered. — Chris Trainor

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