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SC Governor Mark Sanford Faces 37 Charges By Ethics Panel– Impeachment hearings begin today

TPM/—South Carolina’s ethics commission is investigating 37 allegations of lawbreaking by Gov. Mark Sanford in connection with travel and use of campaign funds — charges his lawyer described just last week as “minor, technical matters.”

Sanford is accused of violating ethics laws barring officials from buying high-priced airfare — including on trips to visit his lover in Argentina last year — as well as using state airplanes for personal travel, The State reports.

Sanford’s lawyers told The State that amid the investigation, the governor had added disclosures of flights he took on planes owned by friends and donors, as required by law.

Meanwhile, a bipartisan panel of South Carolina legislators are set to take up impeachment proceedings against Sanford on Tuesday. He has over a year left in his term.

SC State Ethics Commission Complaint Against Gov. Mark Sanford (11/23/09)

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**44-D Update**:
SC legislators begin Sanford impeachment hearings

Columbia, S.C. (AP) —

Legislators irked for months over Gov. Mark Sanford’s summertime vanishing act and his tearful revelation that he was in Argentina for a rendezvous with his lover plan to start debating a measure Tuesday that ultimately would remove him from office.

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South Carolina Republican Deputy Assistant Attorney General Caught with Stripper

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State_Lawyer_Stripp_285312l

1990 photo shows former State Rep. Roland Corning, R-Richland

Associated Press/Meg Kinnard—A deputy assistant attorney general who said he was on his lunch break when an officer found him with a stripper and sex toys in his sport utility vehicle has been fired, his boss said Wednesday.

Roland Corning, 66, a former state legislator, was in a secluded part of a downtown cemetery when an officer spotted him Monday, according to a police report obtained by The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act.

As the officer approached, Corning sped off, then pulled over a few blocks away. He and the 18-year-old woman with him, an employee of the Platinum Plus Gentleman’s Club, gave conflicting stories about what they were doing in the cemetery, Officer Michael Wines wrote in his report, though he did not elaborate.

Corning gave Wines a badge showing he worked for the state Attorney General’s Office. Wines, whose wife also works there, called her to make sure Corning was telling the truth.

viagralrgeHe then searched the SUV, where he found a Viagra pill and several sex toys, items Corning said he always kept with him, “just in case,” according to the report.

Corning and the woman were let go without charges. Wines’ wife reported the call to her supervisor, who told Attorney General Henry McMaster.

We received credible information about inappropriate behavior Monday afternoon,” McMaster said Wednesday. “And by the close of business, he was no longer working here.”

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Corning’s Political Background

Corning was an assistant deputy attorney general and deputy securities commissioner with the S.C. Attorney General’s Office.

He is a former state lawmaker from northeast Richland County and has been active in the state’s Republican Party.

He was elected in 1986 to the S.C. House of Representatives from District 79. He chose not to run again in 1994 and was appointed by the Legislature to the state Workers’ Compensation Commission. From there, he went to the state attorney general’s office.

Corning was perhaps best known in the House for his work on anti-abortion initiatives.

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South Carolina Republicans Use Jewish Stereotype to Defend DeMint

Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC)

Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC)

CBS News/Charles CooperWith friends like these…

Last week, State Senator Bakari Sellars wrote in The State that United States Senator Jim DeMint, R-S.C., had failed to do enough to get federal funding for the state. On Sunday, a couple of South Carolina Country Republican Chairmen defended DeMint in a joint letter to a local newspaper where they resorted to the stereotype of penny-pinching Jews to make their point.

In their response, published in The Times and Democrat, Bamberg County GOP Chairman Edwin Merwin and Orangeburg County GOP Chairman James Ulmer offered the following logic:

There is a saying that the Jews who are wealthy got that way not by watching dollars, but instead by taking care of the pennies and the dollars taking care of themselves,” Ulmer and Merwin wrote in their letter. “By not using earmarks to fund projects for South Carolina and instead using actual bills, DeMint is watching our nation’s pennies and trying to preserve our country’s wealth and our economy’s viability to give all an opportunity to succeed.”

Update from GOP Chairman James Ulmer’s office

Last week I co-authored a letter to the editor which focused on the vital importance of reining in the unsustainable and excessive federal government spending which is going on currently in Washington, D.C. In one of the paragraphs which I wrote, I quoted a statement which I have heard many times in my life, truly in admiration for a method of bettering one’s lot in life.

I admit that perception is indeed reality to many and that I could have certainly worded that sentence much better. I sincerely apologize for this great error. If I had quoted that great man from Pennsylvania, Ben Franklin, using his, “A penny saved is a penny earned,” I doubt I would be writing this note.

I meant absolutely nothing derogatory by the reference to a great and honorable people. I hope that anyone and all who were offended by my comment will accept my humble apology.~~James Ulmer

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Justice Served: Joyner Wins Great Uncles Posthumous Pardons

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Tom Joyner’s Falsely Executed Relatives Cleared – 94 Years Later

Syndicated Radio Host Tom Joyner

Syndicated Radio Host Tom Joyner

BlackAmericaWeb.com/Jackie Jones—The South Carolina Parole and Pardons Board has unanimously granted Tom Joyner a posthumous pardon for his great-uncles, Thomas and Meeks Griffin, who were executed in 1915 for a crime they didn’t commit.

Officials believe the men are the first in the state to be posthumously pardoned in a capital murder case.

Joyner, his brother, Albert, and two sons, Thomas and Oscar, were joined by Harvard scholar Henry Louis “Skip” Gates and his legal team in presenting their case. The host of “The Tom Joyner Morning Show” called in to the program right after the decision came down shortly after 9:30 a.m. to inform co-hosts Sybil Wilkes and J. Anthony Brown, along with his nationwide listening audience, who’d been texting their well-wishes for the family all morning.

Tom Joyner and Henry Louis Gates (at left) embrace after being granted posthumous pardons for Joyner's great-uncles.

Tom Joyner and Henry Louis Gates (at left) embrace after being granted posthumous pardons for Joyner's great-uncles.

They did give my uncles a posthumous pardon,” Joyner said. “We’re getting ready to go now for the signing of the pardon letter.”

Joyner had been on a quest to clear his uncles’ names after learning of their story when Gates announced the results of genealogy research conducted on Joyner’s family as part of the 2008 PBS special, “African American Lives II.”

Joyner, with help from Gates and South Carolina attorney Stephen K. Benjamin, put together the case petitioning the state to exonerate his maternal great-uncles.

Joyner holds up the signed pardon

Joyner holds up the signed pardon

The brothers were executed with two other black men for the April 1913 shooting death of John Lewis, 73, a wealthy Confederate veteran living in a town 40 miles north of Columbia.

The Griffin brothers were indicted in July 1913 and given just two days to prepare the case. The family was forced to sell 130 acres of land to finance the defense. Their lawyer sought a delay but the request was denied, leaving just one day to get ready. Later, the state Supreme Court said the denial was insignificant to the outcome of the case.

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African-American Lives 2 – Tom Joyner

africanamericanlivesIIdvdThe video clip below is poignant moment from the documentary where Dr. Gates stuns Joyner by telling him that his great-uncles were electrocuted by the State of South Carolina, for a murder they didn’t commit. Historically, of the 47 people who were put to death in South Carolina between 1912 and 1920, 44 were Black.

Albany Law School professor Dr. Paul Finkelman, who helped with the research on the case, says he’s never seen a case in which so many white public officials and sentences came forward to try to help black men who had been convicted.

The Griffin brothers stand for the thousands of people who are unjustly accused, unjustly convicted,“ he said after the pardon was granted. “It’s not just Tom Joyner’s family. This is a much bigger story and there are other stories that need to be told.”

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DeMint: Obama ‘Puts Our Troops At Risk’ By Working On Health Reform

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Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC)

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC)


Well, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) (Mr. ‘this will be Obama’s Waterloo’) is at it again. This time he says that President Obama is putting our troops at risk by pursuing health care reform.

ThinkProgress/Ben Armbruster—The Washington Post reported this week that Gen. Stanley McChyrstal, the top commander in Afghanistan, has recommended that more U.S. troops be sent there or the conflict will “likely result in failure.” However, the Obama administration is currently reviewing its overall Afghanistan strategy before anymore troops are deployed.

On ABC’s Top Line today, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) attacked Obama. “A lot of us are concerned that the President is putting off listening to the recommendations from his generals because he’s getting so much pressure from the left,” DeMint complained. When host David Chalian noted that Obama simply “wants to make sure that the resources are there to fit the strategy,” DeMint accused Obama of abandoning Afghanistan to focus on health care, which DeMint suggested is not a priority for the country:

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Joe Wilson Outburst Leads to Boycott: Black Newspaper Publishers to Cancel Mid-Winter Conference in South Carolina

Clowngressman Joe Wilson (SC)

Clowngressman Joe Wilson (SC)

EUR—*In response to Rep. Joe Wilson and his “You Lie!” outburst during President Barack Obama’s health care address to a joint session Wednesday night, at least one group has decided to make the congressman’s entire state pay the price.
“The National Newspaper Publisher’s Association (NNPA) announced in a press release Thursday that it will not hold its January 2010 mid-winter conference in South Carolina, and is joining the NAACP economic boycott of the state that has been in effect since July 1999 when the South Carolina NAACP called for it as a protest of the flag atop the State House and inside the House and Senate chambers.

NNPA Chairman Danny J. Bakewell Sr.

NNPA Chairman Danny J. Bakewell Sr.

“As African-American newspaper publishers we stand in solidarity with the NAACP and fully support the economic boycott of South Carolina,” stated NNPA Chairman Danny J. Bakewell Sr. “Rep. Wilson’s remarks were racist, disrespectful, and a disingenuous violation–not only of President Obama–but to the institution of the presidency and only solidified our position and the importance in not spending Black dollars where Black people are not respected.

“The continued public and blatant disrespect of President Barack Obama by members of Congress will not be rewarded with our dollars nor will a state that continues to uphold America’s shameful past by flying the Confederate flag.”

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