Dozens of political candidates and groups seeking to influence the political process owe taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in ethics fines, according to a “debtor’s list” compiled by the S.C. State Ethics Commission (SCSEC).
The fines range from small-ticket amounts ($100) to hefty chunks of change (more than $200,000). Many of the debtors are former officeholders or candidates who lost their races, but some are sitting officials – like Richland County councilman Norman Jackson, who owes taxpayers more than $35,000.
Former lobbyists are also on the list, like Chip Zullinger of the liberal S.C. Education Association – who owes $2,600.
Political party organizations are listed, too, including the City of Charleston’s Republican Party – which owes $12,500.
“In each case the Commission has levied a late filing penalty, issued a public order with an enforcement fine, and/or has filed a judgment with the Clerk of Court/Register of Deeds in the county of residence,” the SCSEC website states. “Commission personnel have sent letters, telephoned, and/or made personal contact regarding these debts. In addition, the Commission has referred the list of debtors to the S.C. Department of Revenue for collection.”
The full commission list (.pdf format) can be found HERE.
Meanwhile FITS has compiled a list of 160 debtors who owe taxpayers more than $1,000 apiece. To access that list (.xlsx format), download it HERE.