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By Hook or by Crook—Amazon’s Crony Capitalism Goes Stealth

Cronyism gets a cloaking device...

The other day, I wrote about the Amazon.com distribution plant in Cayce, and the proposed sales tax exemption (worth 40 million dollars!) that former Governor Sanford promised Amazon.

As I predicted, the people trying to push this idea through would to attempt to slip in the kickback as a proviso during Budget Week (which is this week).

Guess what? The promoters of the Amazon Kickback are doing just that. Gosh, I must be psychic or something.

Sometime this week, Rep. Dan Cooper (R-Anderson), and a few other House Republicans, are planning to slip in a proviso that will put the Amazon Kickback into law, at the urging of Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt and his allies.

The advantage of slipping in the Amazon.com sales tax exemption as a proviso, is that only the most astute lawmaker would notice that such a thing has been done, and the whole maneuver would be executed in the figurative dead of night.

These spending instructions, essentially, are the little brother of the earmark—tacked on to a bill at the last minute, unrelated to the bill being debated, wasteful, and—most importantly—anathema to the conservative’s rallying cry of transparency and accountability.

Given that Nikki Haley campaigned on “transparency” and “accountability,” she has the power to back her words up with actions, by putting the kibosh on this backroom deal that’d cost the state millions.

This story is breaking, and I will update as I get more information, but remember, you heard it here first!

UPDATE

The keyboard monkeys over at Stuffed Suits sent over a notice that, thanks to them spreading the word , they “got [my] information to the right people, and they are slamming the door on it.

Now, obviously, the pro-Amazon Kickback bunch will probably try to slip it into the budget again. But thanks to the boiler-room crew over at Suits, the word got out that subterfuge was afoot in the Statehouse, and the attempt got called out.

Because the watchdogs barked, South Carolina’s taxpayers were spared from the shady deals which Statehouse critters make in secret.

Again, thanks to the web-monkeys at Stuffed Suits! You guys rock!

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