By Paul Gable
According to South Carolina state Ethics Law, a candidate for state or local office is required to file a campaign disclosure report within 10 days after $500 is raised or spent by the campaign. After the initial filing, the candidate must file quarterly reports to the S. C. Ethics Commission.
Campaign disclosure reports are public records of campaign finances, donations and expenses, which allow the public to view how much and from whom a candidate receives donations and how much and to whom campaign expenditures are made. The reports are designed to provide voters with a transparent view of a candidate’s campaign financing.
A pre-election disclosure report is required to be filed 15 days prior to election day. A quarterly report may be combined with the pre-election report if the quarter ends within 30 days of the date on which the pre-election report is required.
The date for filing a pre-election report for the upcoming November 7, 2023 election for Conway city offices was yesterday, October 23, 2023, according to the Ethics Commission.
One candidate, Ken Richardson who is challenging Mayor Barbara Blain-Bellamy, failed to file a pre-election campaign disclosure report by yesterday’s required deadline. A check of online disclosure report filings with the S.C. Ethics Commission showed no pre-election report filed by the Richardson campaign by the end of October 23, 2023.
Every other candidate for Conway City Council and Mayor, who was required to file a pre-election disclosure report, filed properly by yesterday’s deadline.
What is interesting about this failure is for six weeks, the Richardson campaign has peppered voters with words about Richardson’s business acumen, public service acumen and promises of his transparency and accountability.
Then, a required campaign disclosure filing deadline is missed.
Missing a filing deadline may be considered a small thing by some. A small fine may result.
However, with the entire campaign messaging to date being a word salad collection of statements about Richardson’s acumen, transparency and accountability, one would expect disclosure deadlines to be rigidly adhered to by the campaign.
How does one prove the statements by the campaign are more than just word salad if the deadlines for transparency disclosure reporting, required by state law, are missed or ignored?