From across the state of South Carolina we are reading reports that SC Lt. Governor Ken Ard faces 92 new ethics charges including 69 counts of using campaign money for personal use and 23 counts of failing to disclose spending.
The State news, in Columbia, reports that the charges could bring $184,000 in fines.
Bill Connor, the Orangeburg attorney who made the runoff in the race for Lt. Gov., has chosen to withhold comment. Still, I’ll bet you’re missing Bill Connor about now!
Ard took office just this past January and by February his campaign finances had already come under scrutiny.
The primary question is why campaign money had been spent post-election?
The Free Times quoted Ard as saying, “I’ll be honest, I’m not really good at dotting i’s and crossing t’s, but I’ve got a lot — a lot — of money in here and I’m certainly not spending any money on my own personal behalf” and ”I’ve got a vast amount of my personal wealth tied up in this campaign and I’m just trying to recoup as much of that as I can.”
In a television ad during the campaign, Ashley Cooper, the Democratic nominee for Lt. Governor, criticized Ard for voting to raise taxes as a Florence County Council member while simultaneously accepting a pay raise.
A popular Youtube.com video shows Connor lambasting Ard about raising taxes.
The Before it’s News blog notes that, as a Florence County Council member, Ard faced $45,700 in penalties for failure to disclose income, business dealing and gifts properly, the penalty of which was ultimately reduced to $1,100. As the Blog summarized “I’m not overly optimistic that anything other than ‘we checked and it’s all good’ will come out of any investigations. Sadly SC has not yet shed the tradition of protecting politicians.”
Before it’s News has a good point! In fact, during that recent campaign there were rumblings of Ard being representative of the “establishment” in South Carolina. Of all people in our latest elections, Bill Connor represented a turn from those ”traditional” ways of doing state business.
Makes me wonder, is anyone else besides me missing Bill Connor?