COLUMBIA --- Because of inaccurate statements in an ethics investigation, Lt. Gov. Ken Ard had to pay extra stiff fines for using campaign money on a family vacation, clothes and iPads, the state's top ethic official said Friday.
On Thursday, the Republican paid a $48,400 fine for 107 violations and agreed to reimburse the state Ethics Commission $12,500 for its investigation. He'll also repay his campaign about $12,000. Ard paid $100 for each of 69 violations, $500 for each of 23 violations and $2,000 -- the maximum allowable fine -- for 15 violations.
Commission Executive Director Herb Hayden said Friday that the $2,000 fines included offenses where inaccurate explanations of spending were provided to investigators.
By JOHN O’CONNOR
Lt. Gov. Ken Ard has settled an investigation into his use of campaign money by agreeing to pay $48,400 in fines for 107 ethics violations and reimbursing his campaign $12,121.35.
Ard, a Florence Republican, racked up more than $20,000 in questioned expenses after his November election, paying for hotel rooms, football tickets to the Southeastern Conference championship game and a $799 dress for his wife to wear to the inauguration.
Ard will not face criminal charges after the State Ethics Commission declined to refer his case to the state attorney general for possible prosecution. Ard’s spending was first reported by the Columbia Free Times.
By Alex Alvarez
South Carolina Forward Progress, a group whose self-defined mission is to “turn back the tide of extremist politics in South Carolina,” often posts comical videos about people and policies making the news. One such video features Betsy, a bright-eyed young woman who loves Sarah Palin. In fact, Palin’s Constitution-covered bus routinely rolls through Betsy’s dreams, filling her heart with hope and song. Elated over news that Palin would be rolling through South Carolina while on her tour, Betsy took it to the streets of Charleston to see how others felt.
Watch SC Forward Progress’ video:
BY COREY HUTCHINS
Bow-tied men in seersucker suits and women in pumps and pearls were streaming up and down Greenville’s Main Street May 5 on their way to the first presidential debate of 2012.
The Upstate South Carolina city is home to some of the most conservative voters in the country, so it was a fitting choice for kicking off the 2012 Republican nomination race. But this year, it became a scene for something a little different. Before the debate geared up, a man in an elephant mask gyrated in a hula hoop on stilts as a mime juggled beside him and a clown made balloon animals and danced around to carnival music.
“It’s a circus!” said a little boy. And it was. Sort of.