In what could be considered South Carolina’s version of the Stolen Valor Act,, a staunch defender of the Confederate flag has prefiled a bill for the coming legislative session that would bar lawmakers from making unsubstantiated claims of illustrious Civil War ancestry.
Dubbed the Honesty, Openness, and Responsibility in Notification of Extraction Rule, Aiken Republican Rep. Chris Corley’s bill is widely seen as directed at state Rep. Jenny Horne. Horne, a Summerville Republican, was on the other side from Corley last summer when the Legislature voted to remove the rebel banner from Statehouse grounds after the killing of nine black worshippers at Charleston’s Mother Emanuel church allegedly by a white supremacist.
During the emotional debate, Corley waved a miniature white flag to symbolize Republicans’ surrender. Horne gained widespread acclaim for a fiery speech, bolstered by a claim to be descended from Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy, denouncing the flag as a symbol of hate and oppression, not Southern heritage.
The speech galvanized the effort to take down the flag, but her claim to be descended from Davis was quickly challenged. Horne said she’d been told that by her grandfather, but conceded she didn’t know if it was true.
Corley, who filibustered to try to keep the flag flying, said Horne’s claim had its intended effect despite being unproven.
He likened it to someone claiming to be related to an iconic gun maker as a way to pass gun control laws.
“It just opens the door and I don’t like it,” Corley said.
Horne, who is challenging Republican incumbent Mark Sanford in 1st Congressional District GOP primary, said she hadn’t read the bill and had no comment on it.
Corley was in the news last week over two other flag-related activities: prefiling a bill calling for a referendum on restoring the Confederate flag to the Statehouse grounds, and sending colleagues a Christmas card with a picture of the Confederate flag advising them to repent for their betrayal.
Six months after he was sentenced to probation for misdemeanor ethics violations, former Charleston state senator Robert Ford is poised to run for his old seat.
Ford, a Democrat, recently sent out Christmas cards announcing “I am running for the state Senate to complete what I started as your senator.”
Nothing in his plea agreement prevents him from running again.
Ford’s attorney, Bill Runyon of Charleston, said Ford’s thinking he has any chance of making a successful return to politics is in the realm of “delusions.”
“Once you get that Congaree fever, there’s just no cure for it,” Runyon said, referring to the river running through the state capital.
In May, Ford was sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to pay nearly $70,000 in restitution for his ethics-related conviction. The charges stem largely from spending campaign donation money on himself, such as car payments, department store purchases, restaurants, novelty shops and other living expenses.
He resigned from the Legislature in June 2013, prior to being indicted.
The District 42 seat is now held by Sen. Marlon Kimpson, D-Charleston.
Attempts to reach Ford were unsuccessful Friday.
Signs are pointing to the televised Democratic presidential debate slated for Charleston on Jan. 17 being held at the new Gaillard Center downtown.
An announcement is expected in the coming days. The debate is being hosted by NBC News with the Congressional Black Caucus Institute. It would likely feature candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley.
Democrats have declined to discuss the rumor that the recently renovated auditorium is the site, waiting for NBC to confirm it first.
The debate coincides with the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. The Democratic primary is Feb. 27.
Donald Trump, 7 p.m. Monday, onboard the aircraft carrier Yorktown at Patriots Point; noon Saturday, University of South Carolina Aiken, town hall featuring South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson.
Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, 11:30 a.m. Monday, U.S. Sen. Tim Scott’s town hall series, Furman University, Greenville.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich, noon Tuesday lunchtime address, Myrtle Beach, Crown Reef Resort Conference Center.
Compiled by political reporter Schuyler Kropf.