All sorts of seediness is shaking out of the public corruption trial of Jonathan Pinson, former business partner of Mayor Steve Benjamin and former S.C. State University trustee. A witness testified Wednesday about a business trip on which Benjamin, already Columbia’s mayor at the time, accompanied Pinson to Florida. The witness alleged the two married men visited a strip club and later took two of the dancers back to their hotel room for the evening, WIS reports.
Wednesday proved to be an historic one for the South Carolina Senate, as it elected two new leaders, immediately elevating one to lieutenant governor in order to make room for Hugh Leatherman, already the Senate’s most powerful member as Senate Finance Committee chairman, to be elected its president pro tempore. But before the senators voted, Sen. Shane Massey of Darlington took the floor to inveigh against selecting Leatherman, his fellow Republican, saying the Florence senator’s consolidation of leadership roles would endanger the body and the state. Then Massey claimed Leatherman had orchestrated a coup that in recent weeks compelled Sen. John Courson to resign as president pro tempore so as to avoid ascending to the largely powerless lieutenant governor’s office, filling that unwanted position with Sen. Yancey McGill, a Kingstree Democrat nearing retirement, and then locking down the votes to make himself president pro tempore for the foreseeable future. Yes, it’s complicated.
Meanwhile, the bill that would bolster College of Charleston to become the state’s third major research university and that led to the recent Senate power struggle has died, The Statereports. Former Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell, the college’s incoming president, tried to ram the bill through the Senate several weeks ago without allowing for normal debate, but when Sen. John Courson stood him down, McConnell threatened to leave the lieutenant governor's office, compelling Courson either to resign as president pro tempore or ascend to the lieutenant governor's office. Courson chose the former.
For yet another year, state legislators appear unlikely to pass an ethics reform bill. The Senate is expected to resume debate of the issue today, but Sen. Lee Bright, who has strange concerns about First Amendment infringement, also is expected to filibuster it.
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Make Your Own Beer and Wine!
Come get started on your “liquid hobby” and help us celebrate our 46th year in the Columbia area. Bet Mar Liquid Hobby Shop: 736 St. Andrews Road.
Brew Pub Site Available
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Red Bowl in Lexington now has great early bird and late night sushi specials 7 days a week, as well as 99-cent kids meals on Saturdays! Click here for special information and hours.
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Wing Zone is now hiring for experienced delivery drivers, cooks & cashiers. Apply in person @ 132 Assembly St. or call 803-933-9464.
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Free Times is looking for a highly organized, detail-oriented self-starter to assist in gathering material from advertisers, coordinating between the sales and production departments, and handling routine clerical tasks. Must be proficient on a Mac, able to conduct business via phone, email, text, Dropbox, social media platforms and face to face while under deadline in a fast-paced, sometimes distracting work environment. The position requires the ability to multitask, excellent oral and written communication skills, and solid experience in quickly learning new computer programs. This is a full time position with benefits. Send a cover letter, resume and salary expectation to firstname.lastname@example.org.