- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Recent editorials from South Carolina newspapers:

May 11

Herald-Journal, Spartanburg, South Carolina, on government being accountable:

The hacking of the S.C. Department of Revenue computer system and the theft of millions of South Carolinians’ tax returns was a colossal government failure.

The state required residents to give it their detailed personal financial information, and then the state failed to protect that data.

The state put its people at terrible risk for theft and fraud. It tried to make up for this by paying for free credit monitoring, but the government must be held accountable for this failure.

The people of South Carolina deserve to know how this happened and to be assured that it can’t happen again. Any secrecy on this issue will breed distrust and fear.

That’s why the report on the hacking should be available to the public. The complete report has never been made public. Only the members of the State Budget and Control Board have copies of it.

State Sen. Vincent Sheheen called for the release of the report last week, and a bipartisan group of senators agreed with him. Gov. Nikki Haley called the request a campaign stunt.

Both are right.

Sheheen is running against the governor this year. He wants to remind voters about the biggest scandal of Haley’s tenure. His call for the release of the report is clearly politically motivated. But he’s still correct in that we all have a right to see that report.

It’s been two years since the hacking, and it’s unlikely that the hunt for the hacker is going hot and heavy and that the release of the report will hamper that investigation. Law enforcement figures often claim that “releasing the information will hamper the investigation” when they simply don’t want to give out certain information.

If there are particular details that truly would hurt the chances of apprehending the hacker, those few details could be redacted from the report, but the vast majority of the report should be released to the public.

The financial lives of 5.7 million South Carolinians and 700,000 businesses were put in jeopardy by the state. We deserve to know how and why.

The governor should support releasing the report. Trying to keep it secret makes it look as though the government has something to hide.

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