Tag: Mark Keel

Governor Nikki Haley’s EthicsReforms – Style Trumps Substance

Nikki Haley, Public Corruption and Nepotism

Charges of nepotism and apparent attempts at media intimidation have turned a non-story into a story affecting the administration of Gov. Nikki Haley as well as highlighting why South Carolina ranks as the 45th worst state in the nation in a public corruption study by the Center for Political Integrity.

A little background:

Approximately two weeks ago, we received an e-mail claiming that Gov. Nikki Haley’s 14 year old daughter was working at the State House gift shop and that two workers hours had been cut to accommodate the new employee.

We could not confirm that employee hours had been cut and decided this was not an important story. When a high school age girl, regardless of who she is, wants to get a summer job, we applaud it.

Mark Keel, SLED Raid Internet Cafe's

SLED Raids Internet Sweepstakes Cafes

Two internet sweepstakes cafes, one in Richland County and one in Lexington County, were raided and shut down yesterday for illegal gambling by a combination of SLED agents and sheriff’s deputies.

End of problem right? Business owners trying to get around the state ban on gambling, except of course for the lottery, are now out of business.

Not really. Despite yesterday’s raids, an earlier opinion from Attorney General Alan Wilson that sweepstakes cafes are illegal gambling and confident statements by SLED chief Mark Keel that the games are illegal, they are NOT gambling.

In point of fact they are worse, but we’ll get to that later.

Loftis and the High Cost of Political Courage

What happens when a newly elected South Carolina official tries to bring openness and accountability to the management of the state’s retirement system investment commission?

He finds himself in the news after “documents” are leaked, to the Associated Press, in which a possible “pay to play” scheme is mentioned and a SLED investigation is requested by the SC Attorney General’s office.

Looking at it another way, S.C. Treasurer Curtis Loftis finds himself in a political knife fight for trying to buck South Carolina’s “good ol’ boy” system.

Loftis has been a critic of the management of the state’s pension fund for much of his 13 months as treasurer. On January 31, 2012, Loftis outlined problems associated with the pension fund during testimony to the Senate Finance Retirement Committee.