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Life is good for South Carolina incumbents, says analysis by the National Institute on Money in State Politics, which found that elected politicians in this state with the cash to spend on a campaign were virtually unbeatable in 2011 and 2012, and S.C., along with Georgia, had the lowest portion of contested Statehouse seats in general elections. Source: P&C

A CBS News travel writer names Greenville, S.C. among his top tourist destinations for 2015, calling it “the new Austin.” Source: CBS News

With less than a year left in Mayor Joe Riley’s term, candidates are lining up to replace him. Source: P&C

Across the nation, committees set up ahead of governors’ inaugurations are raking in cash from big-budget special interest lobbies like energy, tobacco, and health care. Companies like Duke Energy and Altria gave between $5,000 to $25,000 to Gov. Nikki Haley’s inaugural committee in 2010 and campaign reps say they’re seeking the same donations this year. Source: AP

The state Department of Commerce says it has about 15 projects in the pipeline as a result of the state’s trade ties with India. The department, and Gov. Nikki Haley took a trade trip to the nation late last year, and reportedly some interest was drummed up by interest in Haley. Source: Columbia Biz, The State

Inauguration ceremonies this month are also catching the eye of potential 2016 contenders like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who plans to attend Haley’s and a series of others this month. (After, of course,catching the Cowboys game in the owner’s box last night.) Source: Politico

The largest rail car in the world rolled out of the Port of Charleston this weekend, carrying a massive part shipped from South Korea, bound for the SCE&G’s new reactor at the VC Summer Nuclear Station in Jenkinsville. Source: P&C

Compared to 2013, the tri-county area saw a 40 percent increase in homicides last year, the deadliest year since 2007. Source: P&C

Last week, Gov. Nikki Haley and Attorney General Alan Wilson said that they would challenge a court ruling ordering the state to change the way it finances its schools. Over the weekend, two S.C. papers came out against the appeals:
HHI Packet/Beaufort Gazette: “No good in fighting school equity ruling”
Florence Morning News: “Don’t waste tax money fighting S.C. school ruling”