Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Agenda: Harrell says pols trying to weaken Charleston influence; Biden, O'Malley to S.C.; Bright's new ad

MUSC board vote could be in jeopardy

Posted by Sam Spence on Tue, May 6, 2014 at 10:45 AM

click to enlarge Harrell speaks to S.C. media earlier this year - S.C. PRESS ASSOCIATION
  • S.C. Press Association
  • Harrell speaks to S.C. media earlier this year

In an interview with WTMA, House Speaker Bobby Harrell, facing a state grand jury investigation over alleged misuse of campaign funds, draws parallels between his reported investigation and that of former lieutenant governor Ken Ard, who resigned in 2012 after a state grand jury indicted him for misuse of campaign funds, floating an, um, interesting theory around the systematic removal of Charleston-based power brokers from the Statehouse: "By removing Ken Ard, folks around the state were able to relieve Charleston of having the President of the Senate ... I think folks are coming after the Speaker of the House now. Because I haven’t done anything." [SC Radio Network/WTMA]

Spartanburg-area Congressman Trey Gowdy, appointed yesterday by House Speaker John Boehner to lead a select committee inquiry into the 2012 Benghazi attacks, says the facts of the case "are neither red nor blue." [G'ville News, The State]

State Sen. Lee Bright has a new campaign ad out, leading with a hot-mic moment where U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham is seen talking up Secretary of State John Kerry after a congressional hearing, telling him "Let me know what I can do to help you with Boehner," referring to ongoing House inquiries into the Benghazi attacks. We're still partial to Bright's infamous Star Wars parody. [YouTube]

MUSC is sorting through legalities surrounding its board of trustees' vote-recording procedures in the recent election of the school's new president. S.C. Press Association attorney Jay Bender tells CRBJ that the vote could be in jeopardy over the specifics. [CRBJ]

P&C talked with state Dept. of Insurance Director Raymond Farmer about recently reported federal numbers of South Carolina enrollees under the Affordable Care Act. [P&C]

Former 3rd District Congressman Butler Derrick, who served two decades in Congress died yesterday in Easley at the age of 77. [G'ville News]

A pair of 2016 Democratic contenders will make trips to South Carolina this week, with Vice President Joe Biden speaking at USC's commencement on Saturday and raising money for state Democrats while he's in Columbia. Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley will be in Charleston this weekend for his daughter's graduation from CofC, also raising money for state Sen. Vincent Sheheen's campaign for governor at The Alley on Saturday along with local Dems and Boyd Brown, a former House rep from Winnsboro. [Politico, CNN]

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