SC

Kirkman Finlay Pushes Income Disclosure

S.C. Rep. Kirkman Finlay (R-Columbia) is pushing an amendment which would dramatically broaden income disclosure requirements for public officials in the Palmetto State. Finlay’s amendment – which we support – would require disclosure of “the source, amount and type of all income received by any public official from a nonpublic…

S.C. Rep. Kirkman Finlay (R-Columbia) is pushing an amendment which would dramatically broaden income disclosure requirements for public officials in the Palmetto State.

Finlay’s amendment – which we support – would require disclosure of “the source, amount and type of all income received by any public official from a nonpublic source for the preceding calendar year, as indicated by any and all wage or earnings reporting documents issued to the public official.”

Such disclosure would represent a major leap forward for South Carolina – where politicians habitually operate in the dark, receiving payouts from special interests in exchange for their official advocacy.

Nikki Haley: Poster girl for lack of transparency.
Nikki Haley: Poster girl for lack of income transparency.

Income disclosure has been a major transparency issue since 2010, when then-S.C. Rep. Nikki Haley was busted hiding tens of thousands of dollars in payments received from a company with extensive business before the state. Haley – then a candidate for governor – belatedly disclosed that she had received $42,500 in consulting fees over a three-year period from the former Wilbur Smith Associates, which was the lead firm on a proposal involving the relocation of the S.C. Farmer’s Market.

These fees were not reported on her statements of economic interests. In fact, the vast majority of this income ($40,000) was reported by Haley two weeks after the GOP primary election – and mere hours before Republicans voted in a runoff election between her and former U.S. Rep. Gresham Barrett.

Wilbur Smith Associates said it hired Haley because she had “good contacts.” Haley hasn’t publicly said what she did for the firm, although she told numerous people in private that she did “accounting” work for the company. Numerous State House sources have accused her of lobbying for Wilbur Smith, although these allegations were part of a recent “whitewash” of ethics abuses.

The issue of income disclosure was revived earlier this year when FITS published a series of stories detailing millions of dollars in payments received by a construction company co-owned by powerful S.C. Senate finance committee chairman Hugh Leatherman.

South Carolina is the only state in America which doesn’t require its leaders to disclose any private income – which is an incredibly frightening proposition given the extent of corruption that exists here (and the lack of public access to documents).

Clearly this has to change … which is why we support Finlay’s amendment.

In the meantime, we would call on every South Carolina elected official (and agency leader) to voluntarily disclose all of their income sources … now.

Finally, we’d like to take a moment to remind our readers of this reform proposal, which we rolled out a few months ago. Its genius? You can’t have conflicts of interest on income issues if you simply ban lawmakers from taking money from companies impacted by their decisions.

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28 comments

southmauldin April 16, 2013 at 11:16 am

I agree with this SOB on this matter, though when you are as rich as him you can always bring bills like this up since they don’t affect yourself at all.
And thanks for the picture of Nookie wearing, yet again, another pantsuit made out of somebody’s grandmother’s sofa.

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shifty henry April 16, 2013 at 11:42 am

What picture? (later) ignore that – I tried to delete this comment. After I read the article I left for a while before posting, and I didn’t remember the bad photo.

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Jimmy April 16, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Damn if she don’t look like her mama.

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southmauldin April 16, 2013 at 11:16 am

I agree with this SOB on this matter, though when you are as rich as him you can always bring bills like this up since they don’t affect yourself at all.
And thanks for the picture of Nookie wearing, yet again, another pantsuit made out of somebody’s grandmother’s sofa.

Reply
shifty henry April 16, 2013 at 11:42 am

What picture? (later) ignore that – I tried to delete this comment. After I read the article I left for a while before posting, and I didn’t remember the bad photo.

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Jimmy April 16, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Damn if she don’t look like her mama.

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William Wallace April 16, 2013 at 11:24 am

Amen Rep.Finlay!!!!

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William Wallace April 16, 2013 at 11:24 am

Amen Rep.Finlay!!!!

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shifty henry April 16, 2013 at 11:37 am

His goal is a good one, but he will be on the proverbial uphill battle on a slippery slope . Sic Willie needs to follow this one closely over the next couple of years. It would be interesting to know who is for or against his ideas on this situation..If he his successful before the next election cycle……..hoo boy!

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shifty henry April 16, 2013 at 11:37 am

His goal is a good one, but he will be on the proverbial uphill battle on a slippery slope . Sic Willie needs to follow this one closely over the next couple of years. It would be interesting to know who is for or against his ideas on this situation..If he his successful before the next election cycle……..hoo boy!

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Okay April 16, 2013 at 12:06 pm

As long as people aren’t demonized for making a lot of money, it’s great. Problem is, as we’ve seen in presidential politics, the successful people who should be in leadership positions are cut down for making a lot of money everybody else wishes they had.

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Byrdscuz April 16, 2013 at 3:07 pm

oh, you know as well as i do, it’s not really about the amount of money. i’ve got to believe, to the electorate it’s all about the color of the money! and what kind of money source is it. and what was done in return for the money. that’s what i think!

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Okay April 16, 2013 at 12:06 pm

As long as people aren’t demonized for making a lot of money, it’s great. Problem is, as we’ve seen in presidential politics, the successful people who should be in leadership positions are cut down for making a lot of money everybody else wishes they had.

Reply
Byrdscuz April 16, 2013 at 3:07 pm

oh, you know as well as i do, it’s not really about the amount of money. i’ve got to believe, to the electorate it’s all about the color of the money! and what kind of money source is it. and what was done in return for the money. that’s what i think!

Reply
vicupstate April 16, 2013 at 12:22 pm

KUDOS for the bill, but the foxes aren’t going to open the hen house to public view.

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Smirks April 16, 2013 at 3:58 pm

Exactly.

Did anyone notice that the “anti-insider trading” bill that Congress passed on themselves (which didn’t actually stop insider trading anyways) was quietly curb-stomped just recently? No surprise, that’s what happens when the ethically challenged are put in charge of maintaining their own ethics.

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vicupstate April 16, 2013 at 12:22 pm

KUDOS for the bill, but the foxes aren’t going to open the hen house to public view.

Reply
Smirks April 16, 2013 at 3:58 pm

Exactly.

Did anyone notice that the “anti-insider trading” bill that Congress passed on themselves (which didn’t actually stop insider trading anyways) was quietly curb-stomped just recently? No surprise, that’s what happens when the ethically challenged are put in charge of maintaining their own ethics.

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Sam April 16, 2013 at 12:46 pm

I think she looks like the poster girl for birth control.

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Sam April 16, 2013 at 12:46 pm

I think she looks like the poster girl for birth control.

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truth squad April 16, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Finlay is a wanker. When he was on city council, I contaced his office several times about an issue in my area. Absolutely NO response. I don’t expect much from him as a state rep if his track record is any indication.

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9" April 16, 2013 at 11:21 pm

I contacted him on issues in my area,and he said I could suck his dick,and I did.

Kirkman is HOT!!!

we’re kinda in love…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPSatcfd0rw

Reply
truth squad April 16, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Finlay is a wanker. When he was on city council, I contaced his office several times about an issue in my area. Absolutely NO response. I don’t expect much from him as a state rep if his track record is any indication.

Reply
9" April 16, 2013 at 11:21 pm

I contacted him on issues in my area,and he said I could suck his dick,and I did.

Kirkman is HOT!!!

we’re kinda in love…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPSatcfd0rw

Reply
9" April 16, 2013 at 1:51 pm

I voted ‘no’ , because I’d give anything to suck/fuck that big hot bear,and that should stay between us…

Reply
9" April 16, 2013 at 1:51 pm

I voted ‘no’ , because I’d give anything to suck/fuck that big hot bear,and that should stay between us…

Reply
Joe April 16, 2013 at 8:44 pm

Doesn’t help much if they don’t disclose all assets including stock options and memberships in LLC’s. These may not produce an income while in office but often provide big pay-days later.

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Joe April 16, 2013 at 8:44 pm

Doesn’t help much if they don’t disclose all assets including stock options and memberships in LLC’s. These may not produce an income while in office but often provide big pay-days later.

Reply

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