- Associated Press - Thursday, April 26, 2018

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A Republican challenging South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster unveiled his plan to restore ethics to the state’s government Thursday, saying the incumbent “has failed” on the topic and that another GOP hopeful hasn’t been transparent about her income.

In a statement provided to The Associated Press, John Warren’s campaign called for full income disclosures for public officials paid by lobbyist principals, as well as a two-year ban on former agency employees receiving contracts from that same agency.

Henry McMaster has failed when it comes to ethics,” Warren said. “Gov. Haley even said so herself when he killed income disclosures.”

In the release, Warren referenced a 2016 debate over ethics reform, when then-Gov. Nikki Haley criticized her then-lieutenant governor for striking down an amendment to require elected officials to disclose private income sources. At the time, McMaster said that changes to the measure to include a private-income disclosure requirement weren’t relevant to the original proposal, as is required by Senate rules. The bill ultimately passed and became law.

McMaster also served as co-chairman of a panel, commissioned by Haley, that laid the groundwork for the eventual legislation.

Warren also took on another Republican gubernatorial hopeful in his Thursday release, saying that former state public health chief Catherine Templeton “is in the same boat” when it comes to ethics issues, accusing Templeton of murkiness on sources of her income.

The criticism echoed a charge from McMaster, who earlier this month launched a new website accusing Templeton of “hiding” behind her tax returns by only releasing income, deduction and tax payment summaries instead of full returns. After serving as its director, Templeton earned $86,500 from her contract with Department of Health and Environmental Control and also took in $37,500 from three months of consulting work at the Department of Revenue.

McMaster’s campaign has criticized Templeton for taking the job consulting for the state health department after serving as its director, previously applauding a Senate resolution that would preclude such arrangements in the future, though he has also reaped the benefits of state consulting, earning more than $500,000 from the University of South Carolina Law School after serving as the state’s attorney general.

Templeton’s campaign didn’t immediately comment on Warren’s plan. In a statement to AP, McMaster’s campaign said the governor agreed with Warren that Templeton should disclose her client list.

Warren, Templeton, Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant and former Lt. Gov. Yancey McGill are challenging McMaster in the June 12 primary. Three Democrats are vying for their party’s nomination.

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Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP. Read more of her work at https://apnews.com/search/meg%20kinnard.


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