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"Campaign disclosure reports not always accurate"

Charleston Regional Business Journal

May 5, 2014

On April 25th, the Charleston Regional Business Journal reporter Ashley Barker examined how, under South Carolina campaign finance law, a "flaw in procedure" can be misleading - particularly when observers are looking for potential conflicts of interest.

A few excerpts:

"When a S.C. candidate transfers funds from one account to another — even if a donation was made years before — the money shows up on campaign records with the date on which it moved from the account, not the date the contributor initially wrote the check....

Former Columbia Mayor Bob Coble, now chairman of the S.C. public policy group for law firm Nexsen Pruet, filled out many campaign disclosure forms while serving as mayor from 1990 to 2010.... He said the system should distinguish between previously donated money being transferred to a new account and new campaign contributions.

“Anytime there is not clarity — and if a reporter is having trouble with clarity, the average citizen who is not as familiar will too — I certainly would think that ought to be a feature in the computer system that they might want to consider,” Coble said. “I could see how adding a transfer designation would be something that’s helpful.”

Read more from the Charleston Regional Business Journal.

Bob Coble advises business leaders and professionals on the inner-working of South Carolina’s business and political landscape. As part of his enduring commitment to economic development and business growth in the Palmetto State, he serves as Chairman of the Columbia World Affairs Council and on the board of the Columbia Urban League Board.