Climer Releases Complete Financial Disclosure
GOP Senate Candidate Says Proposal in
Senate “Fails the Test of Real Reform”
ROCK HILL, SC -- Today, Wes Climer, a Republican candidate to represent York County in the South Carolina Senate, released a complete personal financial disclosure to set an example for the kind of transparency South Carolina taxpayers deserve from the General Assembly.
“The career politicians in Columbia have been talking about Ethics Reform and income disclosure for more than a decade,” said Climer, “but they don’t have to wait for the law to change to do the right thing. Ethics reform is about more than changing a law – it’s about dismantling the culture of corruption in Columbia. It’s about doing the right thing because it’s the right thing to do, not just doing the bare minimum the law requires.”
“The income disclosure proposal currently being debated in the Senate would represent a small step in the right direction, but it fails the test of real reform. In addition to disclosing their sources of income, legislators should also be required to disclose any real estate, financial assets, liabilities, and corporate or board positions that could constitute a conflict of interest.”
“I shudder to think about how many Columbia politicians sit on the boards of corporations that have business before the legislature, or own property that gains in value from state projects, or hold stock in companies that profit from state policies or contracts. Taxpayers have a right to know whether legislators stand to gain personally from the laws they pass, and full financial disclosure is the only way to guard against politicians using their positions for personal gain.”
“I looked at a side-by-side comparison of the transparency laws from all fifty states and found that none is more comprehensive than the disclosure required by the federal Ethics in Government Act, which is the model I used to complete my financial disclosure. If even our shameful Congress can do it, surely we in South Carolina can do at least as much. All we need to do is change a few words on the federal form and update state law to make it a requirement. In the meantime, any legislator who is actually serious about Ethics Reform – as opposed to just talking about it – can voluntarily do the right thing and post a complete financial disclosure on their website, as I have done today.”
Climer also completed the South Carolina Policy Council’s voluntary income disclosure document, which is part of the Council’s Project Conflict Watch. A list of participating legislators is available at: http://www.scpolicycouncil.org/conflict-watch.