South Carolina Bill Redefines Committees - State and Federal Communications

February 24, 2011  •  

South Carolina Bill Redefines Committees

Robert W. Hayes, Jr., Chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee has introduced a bill to redefine the definitions of committees involved in political campaigns and to add a definition of ‘independent expenditure committee.’ Senate Bill 0593 is a response to South Carolina Citizens for Life, Inc. v Krawcheck, a federal court decision finding the state’s definition of committee unconstitutional.

Based on the court decision, the State Ethics Commission announced in October of 2010 it would not enforce provisions of the state law concerning making independent expenditures. Among the refined definitional changes in the bill is wording specifically detailing the major purpose of the committees, usually for the support or opposition of a ballot issue or election of a candidate. In the bill, an ‘independent expenditure committee’ is defined as an association, a club, an organization, a group of persons or a person whose major purpose is to support or oppose the nomination or election of a candidate to elective office and makes independent expenditures in excess of $5,000 during an election cycle.

This post is an update to two previous Lobby Comply articles by George Ticoras:

Ethics Commission Not Appealing Decision Striking Down Definition of Committee” from October 19

South Carolina Defines Committee Too Broadly” from September 20

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