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We’ve repeatedly said S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s so-called ethics reform bill was “watered down” and nothing but “reform in name only.”

“(Haley’s) legislation failed on the most critical front – abolishing the corrupt legislative ‘cover-up committees‘ that give lawmakers the exclusive right to police themselves,” we wrote earlier this year.

Seriously … it’s one thing to have politicians set their own ethics rules. It’s something else entirely to let them enforce those rules. Something about foxes and hen houses comes to mind …

Anyway, we’re not the only ones who are less-than-impressed with Haley’s hypocritical ethics reform push …

“The ethics bill passed by the House earlier this year and touted by the governor is not enough,” a recent editorial in The Spartanburg Herald-Journal notes. “It needs to be strengthened before it is passed.”

The paper adds that Haley’s threats against lawmakers who oppose this weak legislation “are probably unnecessary.”

“The bill does not go far enough to engender real opposition by corrupt lawmakers,” the editorial adds. “It is a watered down version of the necessary reforms.”

Indeed …

Also, there’s the critical point made by S.C. Treasurer Curtis Loftis … namely that strengthening our state’s ethics law isn’t going to mean much of anything so long as politicians (like Haley) are permitted to continue breaking the law with impunity.

South Carolina is teeming with corruption … replete with elected officials at all levels of government who violate the public trust for their own personal benefit. But with rare exceptions, no one is ever held accountable.

The ingredients for real ethics reform in the Palmetto State are surprisingly simple: Tough laws, tougher penalties and independent enforcement.

Haley’s law provides none of the above …