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  • Dick Harpootlian

Legislative Audit Council Request

Last week, I, along with eight Senate colleagues—Shane Massey (R-Edgefield), Wes Climer (R-Rock Hill), Gerald Malloy (D-Hartsville), Chip Campsen (R-Charleston), John Scott (D-Columbia), Vincent Sheheen (D-Camden), Shane Martin (R-Pauline), Tom Davis (R-Beaufort), and Brad Hutto (D-Orangeburg)—formally requested a Legislative Audit Council (LAC) review of all economic incentives offered to private companies over the last 10 years. You can read that LAC request below.

Given the significant number of still unanswered questions surrounding Senate Bill 655 and the proposed incentives to entice the Carolina Panther’s to move their practice field and corporate headquarters to South Carolina, I felt it was important to look more closely at our use of public money for economic development projects to determine whether we are getting our money’s worth from these deals. I expect the LAC’s review will take some time, but it should prove an important tool in evaluating the merit of future economic incentive deals.

In the past few weeks, many of you have contacted me to voice support over the questions I’ve raised about the proposed Panthers deal. I greatly appreciate your feedback and support.

I recently spent some time with former-Mark Sanford staffer turned Wall Street Journal columnist Barton Swaim to discuss my brief time in the Senate. This weekend, the Journal ran Swaim’s piece highlighting some of the issues I’ve engaged on thus far and observing (below LAC Request):  

"Are we really so irreparably divided? Maybe, but once you leave aside the stupid partisan point-scoring and contemplate the things that directly affect ordinary people—bogus government promises, incompetent local officials, basic corruption—there are acres of middle ground."

I agree. There are acres of middle ground and people of good faith across our state trying their level best to find it together.

Over the last four months, I’ve tried to make State government work and shine light on it when it isn’t working. Last week’s LAC request is another small part of that project.

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