Haley, Ervin, Sheheen agree ethics reform needs to happen - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Haley, Ervin, Sheheen agree ethics reform needs to happen

South Carolina State House South Carolina State House

Gov. Nikki Haley and gubernatorial candidates Tom Ervin and state Senator Vincent Sheheen would all like to see independent ethics oversight and stricter penalties for violators. But they each think they're more qualified to bring about reform when compared to one another.

During an interview with WIS, Vincent Sheheen criticized Gov. Haley's ethics commission which was formed in 2012.

However, Gov. Haley's office said the General Assembly, which includes Sheheen, approves appointments and ethics commissions for the House and Senate are made up of representatives and senators.

Independent commissions were initially a part of an ethics bill, but that bill died this session.

Haley's staff was quick to point out Sheheen voted against the ethics bill.

"On the campaign trail, Vince Sheheen claims to want ethics reform, but in Columbia, he has voted against it over and over again – and the people of South Carolina deserve to know why," said Chaney Adams with Haley for Governor. "If we are going to restore the public's trust in government, career politicians like Vince Sheheen must stop saying one thing and doing another."

And voting records show Senator Sheheen actually voted in favor of the bill several times until February 2014 when he switched his vote.

"[Sheheen] had been working across the aisle on ethics reform repeatedly to enact real reform while she was willing to settle for the sham of a bill this past session," said Kristin Sosanie with the SC Democratic Party. "Sen. Sheheen was working with a bipartisan coalition to get it done."

Both Ervin and Sheheen have said Haley has violated several ethics laws when she used state plane for an ethics reform tour.

"Gov. Haley's concern for ethic's reform ends at her doorstep," said Christian Hertenstein with the Tom Ervin for Governor Campaign. "She should lead by example. Open up her secretive administration to the sunlight of public inspection, return all gifts to her special interest benefactors, and accept no gifts in the future."

All three candidates have mentioned stricter penalties and reforming the legislature but they have different ways of achieving that goal.

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