Here's the latest from The Nerve, a Columbia-based investigative news website:

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Gov. Henry McMaster last December quietly hired a large law firm to lobby the federal government under an open-ended, “emergency procurement” contract that is costing taxpayers $15,000 a month, according to records released to The Nerve by the Governor’s Office. Ironically, then-Gov. Mark Sanford in 2003 issued an executive order banning the […]

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By RICK BRUNDRETT In the first two years of the gas-tax-hike law, the state collected enough money to pay for three-quarters of the identified $1 billion in road and bridge projects, yet the S.C. Department of Transportation completed or “substantially” completed just 8% of the total projected tab, newly released DOT records show. As of […]

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By RICK BRUNDRETT A longstanding state law requires counties to fully fund delegation offices for S.C. lawmakers, while at least 19 legislators are receiving thousands annually from counties in place of those offices, The Nerve found in a review. In at least one case, a legislator has received payments from local municipalities in his home […]

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Longtime state Sen. Paul Campbell gets plenty of perks as the Charleston International Airport director – on top of his growing six-figure salary, according to his current contract released last week to The Nerve. He can get reimbursed, for example, for “reasonable entertainment expenses,” and receives a $1,000 monthly car allowance. Under […]

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By RICK BRUNDRETT On its Facebook page Thursday, the nonprofit South Carolina Alliance to Fix Our Roads shared the latest state Department of Transportation video touting its work in Spartanburg County with gas-tax-hike revenues. “Seeing is believing! Check out the projects going on in Spartanburg County – all thanks to the new gas tax revenues!” […]

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By RICK BRUNDRETT As the new University of South Carolina president, Robert Caslen likely will be paid far more than the $650,000 salary that was reported after the school’s board of trustees in a split vote Friday hired him to run the state’s biggest university. Caslen, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general and former West […]

By RICK BRUNDRETT Ex-state transportation commissioner John Hardee negotiated $1.57 million in payments since 2014 from government agencies and nonprofits for public service announcements through a billboard-industry trade group, though much of the revenues were not used to produce billboards, records reviewed by The Nerve show. Instead, at least $450,000 from 2014 through 2018 was […]

By RICK BRUNDRETT More than four years after officials announced that Volvo would locate in South Carolina, the state Department of Commerce won’t reveal the estimated amounts of certain public costs and benefits identified in analyses of the $1.1 billion project. The Nerve reported last month, based on Commerce records obtained under the state open-records […]

By RICK BRUNDRETT An Upstate legislative delegation might have skirted the state’s open-meetings law last year by privately recommending to the governor candidates for a Department of Transportation Commission seat, The Nerve found in a review. In interviews this week, Greenville County GOP Reps. Mike Burns and Garry Smith said the Greenville and Spartanburg county […]

By RICK BRUNDRETT The S.C. Senate’s quiet move at the end of last week’s special legislative session to confirm Mike Pitts as a Laurens County magistrate surprised even some senators when the former state House member’s name was quickly read across the desk. That’s likely because, in part, the appointment of the more than 300 […]