While his Republican colleagues in the S.C. General Assembly are pushing for expanded income disclosure at the state level, S.C. Sen. Lee Bright (R-Spartanburg) has yet to file his federal income disclosure forms.
And his delay continues to raise speculation about just what he might be hiding …
Bright – one of four GOP candidates challenging liberal Lindsey Graham in next June’s Republican primary for the U.S. Senate – was supposed to have filed his income disclosure paperwork with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) months ago. In fact he’s now well beyond what was supposed to be a hard-and-fast ninety-day deadline for submitting this information.
“The total number of days for any extension granted for any one report may, not exceed 90 days under federal law,” the agency’s rulebook states.
Apparently that deadline is a bit looser than it appears, though.
According to Bright’s campaign, he has received another extension from the FEC – and his disclosure information now isn’t due “until late December.”
Yeah … just in time for the holidays (when absolutely no one is paying attention to politics).
“Candidates are routinely allowed extensions beyond the 90-day limit so this is within normal procedure guidelines,” Bright campaign spokesman Michael Stevens told FITS.
Okay. But wouldn’t a champion of transparency in government – one who has been blasting rival candidates over the financial information contained in their income disclosure forms – want to be beyond reproach on this front?
Earlier this week FITS reported on Bright’s late filing – referencing his previous financial troubles and concerns his disclosure might contain a “land mine” capable of sinking his campaign before it ever really set sail.
“Lee’s campaign is over once he files that document,” one source told us, citing a “litany” of bankruptcy and tax issues.
Bright’s campaign is disputing that assessment.
“Those issues are just rumor and nothing else,” Stevens told FITS. “There’s nothing to this extension other than the fact that Lee is very busy running around the state aggressively campaigning. It’s fully within FEC guidelines to have this routine extension so no rules are being broken.”
Really? Are all the other candidates not also “busy running around the state aggressively campaigning?” Yet they managed to file their paperwork on time …
Were Bright’s personal financial history in ship shape we might be inclined to buy his campaign’s excuses … however given that the potential exists for some damaging revelations to come to light as a result of it being filed, this strikes us as an effort to bury the truth.
Or at least delay its release until a time when no one is paying attention …
Bright is one of four announced challengers to Graham. The others are Lowcountry businesswoman Nancy Mace, Upstate businessman (and former congressional candidate) Richard Cash and Orangeburg, S.C. attorney (and Afghan War veteran) Bill Connor.