STEVE FRENCH BLASTS “BUSINESS AS USUAL” IN COLUMBIA
South Carolina’s Libertarian gubernatorial nominee weighed in on the scandal enveloping powerful S.C. Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell this week – saying a controversial court ruling in the case “allows business as usual to continue in South Carolina.”
Steve French – a Charleston, S.C. businessman who has embraced an aggressive government reform agenda – said Harrell’s case highlights the need for real ethics reform in the Palmetto State.
Specifically, French wants to eliminate legislative exemptions to the state’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) laws – the kind S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley famously availed herself of back in 2010. He is also pushing for lawmakers to disclose all sources of income – another issue Haley has struggled with in the past.
French also wants to end the legislature’s corrupt “self-policing” mechanism for current and former members – which enabled Haley to evade accountability on her public corruption scandal in 2012 (and which is currently being used in Harrell’s case).
“S.C. lawmakers cannot be allowed to continue serving as the exclusive judge and jury anytime serious allegations brought against other lawmakers,” we wrote in the wake of Haley’s 2012 scandal. “Instead, they should be subjected to the same laws – and the same prosecution – as any other elected official.”
According to French the pursuit of such reforms is a critical component of his campaign – which he says is built around “challenging the establishment of both parties that have held the state of South Carolina back for decades.”
Good for him …
Haley and Harrell are both guilty as sin of violating state law – abusing their positions of public trust for personal gain. Were there any justice in this state, both would be wearing orange jumpsuits right now.
“It seems that the elected officials from both parties have very little interest in creating a more open and transparent government for the people of South Carolina,” French said.
Actually transparency isn’t the real problem … it’s the fact transparently corrupt politicians are allowed to break existing anti-corruption laws with impunity.