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THIS FIRST — COSTLY LOOPHOLE — South Carolina’s Republican and Democratic party caucuses in the Legislature have spent $3.4 million since 2008 with no requirement to tell the public how they’re using donors’ cash.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY — To “Pretty Woman” Roy Orbison, and pretty women Valerie Bertinelli and Shirley Temple
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NATIONAL LENS — THREE WEEKS — Having concluded that talks to advance a bipartisan immigration overhaul are stalled and party lines in the Senate are hardening, Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) has told Sens. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) to strike a deal in three weeks or Democrats will bring their own bill forward, aides and lobbyists said Thursday.
OPINION — “What’s needed most is for GOP lawmakers like McCain, a proponent of comprehensive immigration reform during the Bush White House years, to team with Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer. The New York lawmaker has a solid proposal that combines tough border security with a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants. But so far, only one GOP senator, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, has shown any inclination to help make Schumer’s bill filibuster-proof.”
WATCH THIS — Yesterday, Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) sat down with The Foundry for a quick interview before sitting on a panel with Congressman Tom Price (R-GA) and their own Bill Beach for an event titled, “Is America Sinking into the Dependency Abyss?“.
$44B — The Senate Budget Committee Thursday continued its markup of the fiscal 2011 budget resolution, passing an amendment from Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., to eliminate $44 billion in unobligated Troubled Asset Relief Program funds. “Let’s take this money off the table,” Graham said, arguing it could be spent for purposes that were not in line with the TARP program, which was designed to stabilize the financial industry.
LEARN MORE TODAY — U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the key senators working on bipartisan carbon legislation to be unveiled Monday, will be featured on a panel discussing energy policy at the Charlotte Business Journal’s Energy Inc. event Friday.
IN A PICKLE — Sen. George LeMieux’s dilemma — to choose between his political mentor and his own electoral ambition — couldn’t come at a worse time. At a moment when some of his fellow appointed senators attract attention mostly for purposes of derision, the mild-mannered, 40-year-old Florida native has won plaudits from a range of his colleagues — some of whom say they’d like him to return to the Senate. “He has exceeded every expectation I’ve had for somebody who was going to be here as kind of a placeholder,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said.
ON THE SUBJECT TWEET — scpolitico
The Real Republican Civil War: The struggle between Marco Rubio and Charlie Crist for the Florida Se… http://on.wsj.com/aIbfO0
“CYA POLITICS” — A trio of key senators on Thursday pressured Democratic leaders not to let immigration reform displace a global warming bill. Moving the immigration bill first, as House and Senate leaders have discussed, threatens the rare chance of winning passage of climate change legislation, said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).
80 or 90 — U.S. legislation aimed at stopping China from “manipulating” its currency by imposing duties on Chinese products would get overwhelming support in the U.S. Senate, co-author Senator Lindsey Graham said on Thursday. “We’d get 80 or 90 votes if we could ever get this sucker to the floor,” the South Carolina Republican lawmaker told a U.S. Senate Banking Subcommittee on Economic Policy hearing. Graham said he hoped to move the bill, co-authored with 13 other senators, in the 100-member Senate this year.
MATTER OF CONVENIENCE — Cigarette tax increases were the topic Thursday at Greg’s Gas Plus in North Augusta, with Gov. Mark Sanford squeezing between the aisles to assure he will veto the proposed legislation. “We think it would be harmful to this convenience store and hundreds others like it across South Carolina,” Sanford said.
FAMOUS FOR PHELPS — The Senate on Thursday unanimously confirmed Columbia, S.C., lawyer Bill Nettles as U.S. attorney for South Carolina, making him the state’s top federal prosecutor. “I’m nothing less than thrilled,” Nettles told McClatchy. “I really appreciate the support of both parties. I promise that I will represent all the people of South Carolina.”
SERVING DOUBLE DUTY — Military health care spending is rising twice as fast as the nation’s overall health care costs, consuming a larger chunk of the defense budget as the Pentagon struggles to pay for two wars, military budget figures show. “I want to be generous and fair to all those who serve, but there’s a cost-containment problem,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said at a recent hearing.
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2012 WATCH — DEMINT’S DESIRE — In an interview with David Brody, Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina, a favorite of movement conservatives and Tea Partiers, doesn’t rule out a 2012 presidential run. DeMint says the presidency is “not something I desire,” adding that not really desiring the presidency is an essential requirement for the next president.
SELF-PROMOTING TWEET — greshambarrett
[*] Powdersville Post: Gresham Barrett leads gubernatorial race in Powdersville Post online poll. Read more at http://tinyurl.com/2crkqgpd
ROAD WARRIORS — A weekend filled with political events in the Upstate and Columbia unfolds about a month and a half before South Carolina voters pick Republican and Democratic candidates for governor and other offices during June 8 primaries.
LANDER — Lander announced Thursday that Sen. Lindsey Graham, the state’s senior senator, will serve as the keynote speaker during Lander’s spring commencement ceremonies at 11 a.m. May 1 in Finis Horne Arena.
ORANGEBURG — Superintendent search narrowed to 3 finalists
COMING TO TOWN TWEET — SCGOP
Pawlenty to stump for Mulvaney in Rock Hill http://bit.ly/aWSndL
VIEWPOINT — GIRL POWER — “Today’s college students don’t remember, but there was a time when, despite some exceptional cases, most of the women seeking a higher education planned to be either teachers or nurses. Those were for many years the only areas open — and welcoming — to women. Our traditional roles are changing and not just because of the economy. The changes have come about in large part because of the women themselves.”
FINALLY THIS — SHOW YOUR STUBBLE — If you haven’t got a mustache; one will be provided, courtesy of the Winthrop baseball team. It’s Mustache Night at The Winthrop Ballpark. The 4:30 p.m. nationally-televised game on ESPNU between Winthrop and Radford will be a fun night planned around the mustache theme. Any fan with a mustache, beard or goatee; even whiskers or stubble will be admitted to the game for just $1.