Why Did Vince Sheheen Vote To Kill Ethics Reform?
Is It Because His Annual Income Has Quadrupled to Almost $400k Since He Entered the General Assembly?
Last week, once again, Senator Sheheen had a chance to stand up for South Carolina and vote in favor of ethics reform. Rather than voting to hold a Friday legislative session, Vince voted to adjourn, which The State columnist Cindi Scoppe rightly pointed out was a vote to kill ethics reform. In response, Chad Connelly, Chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party, released the following statement:
“Last week, Vince Sheheen voted to kill ethics reform. There is no longer any question that Vince Sheheen wants the bill to die – the only remaining question is why?” Connelly said.
“Until Sen. Sheheen stops voting to kill ethics reform, and uses his influence as the leader of the Senate Democrats to get this bill passed, South Carolinians have no choice but to believe that Vince has something to hide – whether it be the origins of his $300,000 a year pay raise or something else,” Connelly continued.
“It’s time for Vince Sheheen to give the people of South Carolina the good government reforms they deserve, and to stop using legislative tactics to protect his own political and financial interests.”
The States’ Cindi Scoppe: “Did I hear that right? @vincentsheheen was among the 11 who voted to adjourn – thus likely killing ethics?” (Cindi Scoppe, Twitter Feed, 5/23/13)
The Sates’ Cindi Scoppe: “The 20 who voted to return Tue instead of Fri just joined list of sens trying to kill ethics.” (Cindi Scoppe,Twitter Feed, 5/23/13)
Sheheen On May 7: We Shouldn’t Rush This Bill. Sheheen: “I’m concerned that, you know, if you rush through a bill today that doesn’t accomplish what we want it to accomplish that’s not serving the public and I’m very concerned with that.” (Senator Vince Sheheen, Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, 5/7/13)
Sheheen’s Income Has “About Quadrupled” Since He Became A Legislator.“Sheheen’s income has about quadrupled to $372,509 in 2009 from $93,668 in 2001, according to tax records, since he entered the Legislature.” (John O’Connor, “Sheheen Firm Profits From State Government,” The State, 10/11/10)
Process Of Reforming Ethics Laws Started As Far Back As Last August. “South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley wants legislators to abolish the state House and Senate ethics committees, saying lawmakers should not be policing themselves. It’s part of a five-point ethics reform package that Haley proposed in a whirlwind statewide tour with Attorney General Alan Wilson on Wednesday.” (Matt Long, “Governor Calls For Revamp Of House And Senate Ethics Laws,”South Carolina Radio Network, 8/22/12)
A Bipartisan Report By The Governor’s Commission Made Sweeping Recommendations In January. “A panel led by two former attorneys general has released 23 recommendations on how to overhaul South Carolina’s ethics laws. Former attorneys general Henry McMaster and Travis Medlock co-chaired the committee that Gov. Nikki Haley created in October.” (Seanna Adcox, “Ethics Panel Created By Gov. Haley Releases Report,” Associated Press, 1/28/13)
And The Senate’s “Dean On Ethics Issues” Filed Ethics Reform Bills The First Week Of February. “[Senator Wes Hayes], widely considered that body’s dean on ethics issues, introduced bills Wednesday to require legislators to disclose all their sources of income, force political committees to reveal their financial backers and stop lawmakers from policing themselves. (Andrew Shain, “SC Senate Ethics Dean Proposes Reforms,” The State, 2/7/13)