(Pictured David Singleton (left) Santee Cooper Board Member with his business partner Luke Rankin (right) Santee Cooper Senate Oversight Chairman)
Fitsnews of Columbia, S.C. reports today that Horry County State Senator Luke Rankin is the leading attack dog for all things Next Era Energy.
Fitsnews states: “NextEra submitted the winning offer last February to purchase the Palmetto State’s debt-addled, atrociously managed power provider Santee Cooper – which is billions of dollars in debt after Rankin and fellow “Republican” lawmakers pushed its participation in NukeGate, the botched construction of a pair of since-abandoned nuclear reactors in Jenkinsville, S.C.”
Says Fitsnews, “Rankin is thick as thieves with Santee Cooper, and bears more responsibility than any other member of the S.C. General Assembly for this command economic disaster – which has set South Carolina ratepayers and taxpayers back more than $10 billion.
Reporter Will Folks says Rankin is convinced NextEra worked against him in his 2020 primary win over John Gallman – which is why he has embarked on a jihad against the company.
In truth NextEra was not involved in that June 2020 primary at all. Rankin has simply become paranoid as a result of the blasphemous, libelous, dishonest campaign he ran.
Rankin is demanding NextEra give Rankin’s committee every piece of paper or electronic communication related to Santee Cooper dating back to the news of Santee Cooper’s V.C. Summer $9 billion nuclear fiasco.
According to Folks, “The problem? Rankin doesn’t have a leg to stand on in this fight … be it related to Santee Cooper or his war against NextEra. That’s because Rankin and his allies routinely rely on secrecy … even when conducting the public’s business.“
Folks has Rankin nailed here. Rankin worked to get the TDF (Myrtle Beach Chamber Tourist Tax) renewed in 2009 not allowing local residents to vote on the matter. When a similar vote was allowed in the City of North Myrtle Beach, the tax failed miserably.
Says Folks, “Despite receiving this recurring taxpayer appropriation, MBACC is not required to comply with the state’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) laws.”
That is true also. MyrtleBeachSC News was part of the Supreme Court decision as we FOIA’d MBACC asking for their 10 year running web statistics. The S.C. Supreme Court decided MBACC was not subject to FOIA laws even though their tax records show they receive $54 million in annual tax revenues.
Adds Folks, “In exposing the extent to which Rankin is a hypocrite on this issue, however, we neglected to point out arguably the most compelling argument to be made against him … the fact that all of his government emails are hidden from public view.
Folks is correct here also as the legislative branch of government in South Carolina is exempt from complying with FOIA
Folks finally nails it by pointing out that “Once again, this proves what we have said from the beginning about Rankin’s vendetta – that it is the act of a desperate politician eager to keep the focus off of a failed utility that has been mired in scandal after scandal in recent months. And which is in a financially untenable situation … as evidenced by Santee Cooper’s recent acknowledgement that it will need $100 million in “new money proceeds” by the fourth quarter of the year just to stay afloat.”