FITSNews Exclusive – Pigs At The Personal Injury Lawyer Trough October 26, 2007Posted by fitsnews in SC Politics.
S.C. LAWYER-LEGISLATORS REAP MILLIONS FROM WORKERS’ COMPENSATION FEES
FITSNews – October 26, 2007 – Eight State Senators – four Democrats and four Republicans – and their law firms have collected nearly $6 million in workers’ compensation fees over the past three years, according to an exclusive analysis of State Ethics Commission filings conducted by FITSNews.
Individually, State Sen. John Land received $2,203,900 in workers’ comp fees from 2004-2006, followed by Sen. Luke Rankin ($659,200), Sen. Gerald Malloy ($394,902), Sen. Vincent Sheheen ($294,292), Sen. David Thomas ($128,299), Sen. John Hawkins ($55,581) and Sen. Wes Hayes ($22,694).
Additionally, Sen. Land’s law firm pulled in another $1,681,665 in workers’ compensation fees over that time period, and Sen. Hawkins’ firm brought in another $138,933. The firm of an eighth State Senator, Brad Hutto, lists workers’ compensation fees of $377,096 over the past three years.
We’ve written in the past about how these ambulance chasers refuse to play it straight on key workers’ compensation votes – a clear conflict of interest – and how their campaign accounts are invariably filled by their ambulance chaser buddies. We’ve also discussed how this flagrant pocket-padding has contributed to South Carolina’s lack of economic competitiveness.
Not surprisingly, these eight senators have been among the most vocal opponents of efforts led by Gov. Mark Sanford and members of the Common Sense Caucus to reform South Carolina’s non-competitive workers’ comp laws.
They’ve been aided capably in that fight by powerful House Labor, Commerce and Industry Chairman Harry Cato, whose wife, Kris Cato, runs the labor and employment practice of Columbia-based law firm McAngus, Goudelock and Courie.
While it is true you can hardly shake a stick in Columbia without finding another example of self-serving corruption (all too often at the expense of our state’s economy), it’s hard to top the Senate’s “Ambulance Chaser Caucus” for sheer, in-your-face disrespect of everything elected officials ought to stand for.