And that would make it less “political” HOW?

I was a bit surprised by this move by Joan Brady:

A Midlands lawmaker says the investigation into Gov. Nikki Haley has gotten too political and is encouraging it be investigated by the state Attorney General’s Office instead of a legislative committee.

“The State Attorney General’s Office has the experienced investigators and staff necessary to address this matter in a fair and timely manner,” wrote Rep. Joan Brady, R-Richland, a member of the House Ethics Committee that is looking into charges that Haley illegally lobbied while a member of the House.

In a letter to the committee’s chairman, Brady continued the committee is “not positioned to hire the criminal investigators and lawyers necessary to fully investigate this complaint.”…

On the one hand, the attorney general should be someone who could credibly do this. That is the one great advantage, theoretically, to having the A.G. elected separately from the governor.

On the other hand, what’s our experience been? The A.G.’s office was much criticized for supposedly dragging its feet on the Ken Ard investigation. I’m not saying Alan Wilson DID delay dealing with that sticky wicket; I’m saying he was accused of it. And I think it fair to say that criticism was… political. In the end, the thing was handled properly, but along the way there were plenty of recriminations. Political recriminations.

Does an investigation by lawmakers of one of their own have a political dimension? You bet. But so does an investigation by an elected official from outside the General Assembly.

And as it happens, the way the law is set up, it’s the Legislature’s job to investigate this. Rep. Brady not wanting to do so comes across as little more than wanting to ditch a hot potato.

Maybe it is more than that. If so, Rep. Brady should present clear evidence that the process has been compromised. That is to say, more compromised than that party-line vote to dismiss the charges the first time around.

The innuendo here — raised by Nikki Haley (who would never seek to influence an investigation of herself — would she?) — is that Bobby Harrell has improperly influenced the investigation by urging the panel to DO something this time.

I suppose you could see that two ways — as Harrell out to get Nikki, or as the speaker wanting a trustworthy ethics panel that won’t punt at the first whiff of public scrutiny.

If Rep. Brady has evidence that Harrell has crossed a line, let’s hear it when the panel meets on Wednesday. If not, if it’s just that the members are in an uncomfortable position here — well, Alan Wilson would be, too, if you dumped it on him.

12 thoughts on “And that would make it less “political” HOW?

  1. Doug Ross

    On FitsNews it was mentioned last week that Ms. Brady was one of the people Nikki Haley supposedly had evidence against to use to “influence” the committee to drop the investigation.

    This certainly makes that speculation look more plausible.

  2. Brad

    I don’t know whether there’s anything to that, but I do know that she’s being pressed by her Democratic challenger. A recent release:

    Columbia. SC – Beth Bernstein, candidate for House District 78, called on Rep. Joan Brady to explain why she missed Friday’s all-important House Ethics Committee meeting that reopened portions of the ethics investigation into Governor Nikki Haley. Representative Brady was the only member of the six member committee to miss this crucial meeting. Rep. Brady serves as Secretary of the Ethics Committee.

    “The recent investigations of Gov. Haley have thrust the House Ethics Committee to the forefront of adjudicating the credibility and integrity of our elected officials,” Bernstein said. “Although challenging, it is an opportunity for those serving on the committee to lead and to restore public confidence into our state government. It is disturbing that Rep. Brady was the only member to miss such an important meeting. Why did she miss this meeting? Where was she? What was she doing?”

    “It concerns me that Rep. Brady would avoid her responsibilities as a legislator and member of this committee,” Bernstein said. “I am worried that the people of House District 78 are not being represented with the integrity and loyalty they deserve and that is why I am in this race.”

    Bernstein, 42, chose to run for the House because of her concern about the direction South Carolina is headed under the current leadership. She grew up in the District and has chosen to raise her family there. She practices law in her family law firm, Bernstein and Bernstein, LLC, in Columbia. She and her husband, Rip Sanders, are proud parents of Caroline, 8, and Isabel, 3.

  3. `Kathryn Braun

    I think Doug called it right….Corey Hutchins summarized Nikki’s defense to the previous round as “If I’m going down, I’m taking you all with me.” Sounds about right.

  4. Silence

    Yup – Rep. Brady is just grandstanding b/c she’s got a legitimate race this year.

  5. tired old man

    Even trying to avoid politics, it is impossible to NOT agree with Bernstein that “it concerns me that Rep. Brady would avoid her responsibilities as a legislator and (as) a member of this committee.”

    Not knowing that much about the challenger, but the incumbent is making a case for being replaced as either incompetent, cowardly or corrupted by the process.

  6. Doug Ross

    @tired old man

    “as either incompetent, cowardly or corrupted by the process.”

    Why does it have to be either/or? Most politicians hit that trifecta about the time they reach their second term.

  7. tired old man

    I have found incompetent, cowardly and/or corrupted to be a pick any two.

    As in speed, cost, quality. Pick any two.

  8. Brad

    Here’s something for all friends of transparency to consider:

    “State Representative and House Ethics Committee member Laurie Slade Funderburk announced today that she would be calling on the House Ethics Committee to hold a public hearing with sworn testimony in the ethics probe into Governor Nikki Haley. Rep. Funderburk will introduce formal motions to subpoena numerous individuals at the committee meeting on Wednesday.”

  9. tired old man

    She is on a collision course with Joan Brady.

    Or more accurately, can a Democrat aim well enough to hit an incompetent, cowardly and ethically challenged Republican who is hell-bent on evasion?

  10. tired old man

    Sorry for the confusion.

    Indeed, Rep Funderburk is a Dem. Rep Brady is a GOP.

    Rep Funderburk, the D, is trying to hold public hearings with supoenaed testimony — while Rep Brady the R is trying her best to evade that eventuality. Rep Brady wants to throw the hot potato to the Republican atty gen.

    So my question was whether a Dem can hit a Rep helt-bent on evading her clear and present responsibility to resolve this issue by applying the truth in the form of open hearings, open testimony and a verdict.

    Money is not on the Dem. Think the GOP will be MIA on this issue

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