S.C. Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell (RINO-Charleston) – who in addition to his love of big government is also known for his loose ethics and lavish lifestyle – has paid himself $325,000 over the last four years out of his campaign account.  These so-called “travel reimbursements” – reported exclusively by reporter Renee Dudley of The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier – were not accompanied by the itemized invoices required by law.

As a result of this lack of disclosure, there’s absolutely no way to prove that Harrell is telling the truth when his office claims (as it did to the Post and Courier) that the Speaker is in “full compliance” with state ethics law.  Nor is there any way to prove the much more plausible scenario – that Harrell has been personally profiting from special interest campaign contributions by playing fast and loose with his reimbursement policy.

What’s not in doubt?  The fact that Harrell has flagrantly violated state law governing campaign reporting – making him the latest in a long line of “Republican” politicians to trample over our state’s ethics laws.

Previously, S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley has made a mockery of these laws – although like most of the “good ol’ boy” politicians she criticizes, Haley has completely evaded accountability for her actions.

Despite clear and compelling evidence of multiple ethics abuses committed by Haley, “Republicans” on the S.C. House Ethics Committee voted earlier this year to clear her of any wrongdoing.  This decision was based exclusively on testimony from the governor and sympathetic witnesses – and was reached without a public examination of the evidence (which has yet to be released, by the way). Worse still, Haley’s accuser was never allowed to present his case to the committee.

(To read the case against Haley, click here).

Even more galling, the House Ethics Committee failed to investigate allegations made against powerful S.C. Ways and Means Chairman Brian White (RINO-Anderson), who like Harrell has been accused of improperly funneling campaign money into his personal coffers.

Will Harrell receive similar “consideration” from his own committee?  Or will he receive a ceremonial slap on the wrist like S.C. Sen. Jakie Knotts did several years ago when he ran into his own campaign finance problems?

We suspect it will be one or the other …

Harrell – who has presided over some of the largest government spending increases in South Carolina history – is easily the state’s most powerful politician.  Prior to becoming Speaker in 2005, he was chairman of the S.C. House Ways and Means committee.

To read the full report on Harrell in the the Post and Courier, click on the link below …

Harrell offers no details on self-reimbursement of $325,000 from campaign funds (Post and Courier)