U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the most senior Republican member of the U.S. Senate, told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd yesterday that he worried that the Heritage Foundation, which he says “used to be the conservative organization helping Republicans,” now headed by former U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, could be in danger of “losing their reputation” as its politics continue to drift to the right. [NYT, Politico]

DeMint in today’s Wall Street Journal: “We Won’t Back Down on ObamaCare” [WSJ]

State Sen. Larry Grooms used some political muscle to remove a key vote during a state DOT Commission meeting in Greenville that could have set back the I-526 extension project, instead opting to only hear presentations for and against the project. [P&C]

West Union, S.C. Mayor Linda Oliver is under fire for comments she made on Facebook this week criticizing “queers” for their support of gay marriage. [USA Today]

Lowcountry wildlife refuges, among the victims of the government shutdown, are now re-opened along with a slew of federal offices. [Beaufort Gazette]

Did U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney get upset because he thought money from the debt ceiling deal sent money to Joseph Kony? An aide says the controversy stems from a “typo.” [Huff Post]

Challengers to incumbent U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham may have to depend on outside spending in the race to make up the massive money gap between them and Graham’s $7 million campaign warchest. [The State]

Candidates for downticket statewide races for state superintendent and lieutenant gov are also working to snatch up potential donors more than a year out from the November 2014 election with modest fundraising hauls beginning in the last quarter. [AP]

Some residents of a North Charleston trailer park aren’t sure where they’ll go after North Charleston City Council yesterday approved a proposal to build a new office building to house the College of Charleston North Campus. [P&C]

By next summer, state DNR officials say they’ll have dropped a new batch of Vietnam-era armored personnel carriers into the Atlantic Ocean off the Port Royal coast to build new reef habitats. [Beaufort Gazette]

Cover photo by Flickr user markn3tel