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Politics

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  • Nikki Haley, John Mace McGrath
    Meg Kinnard/AP
    /
    AP
    A national newspaper reports that the husband of former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and brother of U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn were given shares of a company that leased slots machines to a North Carolina tribal casino. The casino run by the Catawba Indian Nation in South Carolina needed political help to open last year. The Wall Street Journal reported that John Clyburn introduced backers of the project to people he knew and never discussed it with his brother. The newspaper reported that Michael Haley's company did physical and cybersecurity consulting for the project in 2018. A spokesperson for Nikki Haley told the newspaper she did not advocate for casino.
  • Election 2024 Pompeo
    John Raoux/AP
    /
    AP
    Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is headlining a major gathering of Republicans in South Carolina as he considers a 2024 White House bid. Congressman Jeff Duncan tells The Associated Press that Pompeo will speak Aug. 22 at the Faith & Freedom BBQ in Anderson. The Duncan campaign fundraiser has long been a showcase for possible White House contenders, including South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem. Pompeo has been testing the political waters of South Carolina, home to the first presidential votes in the South. Other possible contenders, including former Vice President Mike Pence, have been making appearances in the state throughout this summer.
  • Conservative think tank CEO Ellen Weaver has won the Republican nomination for South Carolina education superintendent. Weaver was the second-place finisher in the primary earlier this month, but vaulted past Palmetto State Teachers Association Executive Director Kathy Maness on Tuesday. Weaver will face Democratic teacher and SC for Ed founder Lisa Ellis in November. Weaver could still face a rough road to the job. A new South Carolina law requires education superintendents to have at least a master's degree. Weaver doesn't have one, but started a program in April. Election officials said there is no precedent for what happens if she wins in November without an advanced degree. A lawsuit is likely.
  • The South Carolina General Assembly is returning to Columbia on Tuesday to consider nearly $53 million in local projects that Gov. Henry McMaster wants out of the $13.8 billion state budget. All the money went toward items put in by lawmakers for local concerns, like $25 million to help pay for a quantum computer facility in Columbia, $7 million for a cultural welcome center in Orangeburg and $500,000 to improve the stadium at Summerville High School. McMaster says he allowed projects where lawmakers detailed exactly who got the money and where it was going.
  • South Carolina Democratic gubernatorial nominee Joe Cunningham is proposing an age limit — 72 — for state politicians. The cap is discussed in a video provided Wednesday to The Associated Press. It would cut off 75-year-old incumbent Republican Gov. Henry McMaster and makes a veiled argument that even fellow Democrats like President Joe Biden are staying "in office way past their prime."
  • The polls were closed in Iowa for less than 48 hours when South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott was shaking hands and posing for pictures with eastern Iowa Republicans at a Cedar Rapids country club last week. Scott is one of the many Republicans testing their presidential ambitions; at least a half-dozen GOP presidential prospects are planning Iowa visits this summer now that the state's June primary has come and gone.
  • If Tuesday's primaries in South Carolina end up having typical turnout, about 1 in 6 ballots have already been cast during the state's first early voting period. Shortening lines at the polls on Election Day could be especially helpful as temperatures are forecast to reach 100 degrees or higher, with humidity making it feel as hot as 112. In that kind of heat, doctors recommend people spend as little as 15 minutes outside.
  • South Carolina's Democratic gubernatorial primary has begun to head up in its final week. On Tuesday, one of the candidates, state Sen. Mia McLeod, castigated the chamber's minority leader on Twitter just hours after he endorsed one of her opponents. McLeod said House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford had backed Joe Cunningham, and not her, because McLeod had refused "to appoint his unqualified new wife" as a magistrate. Rutherford told The Associated Press he was frustrated by McLeod's absence from Black Caucus meetings and what he characterized as "no care and concern over Black women, over Democrats, over people in particular." McLeod's campaign didn't immediately return an email message seeking comment. South Carolina's primary is June 14.
  • Several powerful House and Senate lawmakers recently met for about 10 minutes to talk about South Carolina's budget without reaching an agreement on the main sticking points. Each side praised the other Tuesday. Staff members read off a list of dozens of smaller issues where both sides agree and the conference committee of four Republicans and two Democrats adjourned to meet at some undetermined time. They did not discuss the $1 billion rebate senators want to send back to taxpayers which the House didn't have in its plan. The clock is ticking to approve the nearly $13 billion budget. Both chambers are set to come back June 15 for a special session to vote on the budget compromise.
  • At least some of the five South Carolina Democrats seeking their party's gubernatorial nomination are expected to debate next week, just more than a week before the state's primary elections. The South Carolina Democratic Party announced Friday that it had sanctioned the production of a debate for June 10. That's a day before South Carolina's Democrats are expected to assemble in Columbia for this year's party convention. Early voting for South Carolina's June 14 primary elections is already underway.
  • The South Carolina lawmakers negotiating big gaps between the House and Senate versions of the state budget have received a big gift as the state's economy continued to do better than predicted. Economists meeting Tuesday predicted that South Carolina can now expect to have about $950 million more in its bank accounts by the end of June from taxes and other revenue. The House and Senate are about $1.3 billion apart on their budget plans with the biggest difference a $1 billion rebate senators want to send back to taxpayers.
  • State lawmakers adjourned without approving next year’s state operating budget, but they’ll return for a brief session next month to try and resolve House and Senate differences in the spending plan. Teacher salaries, employee pay raises, reductions in personal income tax rates, and how much or if any of $1 Billion in higher than expected tax revenues should be returned to tax filers in the form of rebates must be agreed to prior to the new fiscal year which begins July 1.