For months, South Carolina legislators, the attorney general and the state election commission have been working on a package of ethics reforms to be considered in the next legislative session.
On Wednesday, Gov. Nikki Haley put forth her own five-point plan for ethics reform, including a number of provisions that would regulate behavior Haley herself engaged in while she was in the Legislature. As reported by Gina Smith in The State, Haley's decision to unilaterally offer up a reform package is drawing fire from some of those who already have been at work on a proposal.
Smith reports: "Haley, recently cleared of ethics violation charges, toured the state with South Carolina's top law-enforcement officer, Attorney General Alan Wilson, to unveil a five-point ethics reform proposal But House Speaker Bobby Harrell, R- Charleston, and others said Haley only is trying to hijack the efforts of lawmakers who have been working on ethics reform legislation for months. “... (I)f we had these reforms in place before Governor Haley committed her actions, she would probably still be meeting with the attorney general, only in a different place,” Harrell said in a statement.''
In response to the criticism, The State reports, Haley said:
“As governor, it’s important for me to lead. You lead and you let the Legislature know what we want,” adding lawmakers likely will come up with additional ethics reforms that will strengthen her plan.