Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Agenda: McConnell resigns; Ethics reform out of time; S.C. Marine to receive Medal of Honor

State court strikes down "cornerstone" sunshine law

Posted by Sam Spence on Thu, Jun 19, 2014 at 11:44 AM

Retired U.S. Marine Cpl. William "Kyle" Carpenter, from outside Columbia, will receive the Medal of Honor today during a White House ceremony this afternoon. Carpenter was wounded in 2010 when he jumped on a grenade during an attack while he and another Marine were guarding a patrol base in Afghanistan. Check back here at 2:15 p.m. for live video from the event. [WIS, AP]

For the third time over the course of the current political term, South Carolina has a new lieutenant governor after Glenn McConnell, who was elevated to the position in 2012 after the indictment and resignation of Ken Ard, resigned Wednesday ahead of becoming the new president of College of Charleston. Conservative Democrat Yancey McGill of Kingstree was elected to become president pro tem by the Senate, then sworn in as lt. gov. after McConnell's announcement. Florence Sen. Hugh Leatherman is now the Senate president pro tempore. [P&C, The State]

Charleston car dealership owner Tommy Baker and hospitality businessman Michael Bennett bid $440,000 to buy the Spirit of South Carolina at public auction on Wednesday in an effort to keep the historic replica schooner in Charleston. [P&C]

Ethics reform is losing steam as the state Senate runs out the clock on one of the final days left to pass the watered-down proposal, which some say still goes too far and some say doesn't go far enough. Failed candidate for U.S. Senate, S.C. Sen. Lee Bright is said to be the principle opponent of the bill. [The State, P&C]

The State Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down what one paper called a "cornerstone of oversight of public bodies", saying that meeting agendas are not required under state Freedom of Information laws—allowing local boards and commissions to not publish meeting agendas beforehand or amend them on the fly during meetings. The S.C. Press Association, to which the CP belongs, called the opinion "an unfortunate decision." [Greenwood Index-Journal, SCPA]

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