by Paul Bowers
It's four days before the election to fill the District 42 seat in the S.C. Senate, and apparently nobody but Republican candidate Billy Shuman knows who's funding Shuman's campaign.
Under state law, all candidates for the state Senate are required to file a pre-election report with the Senate Ethics Committee no later than 15 days before an election. Since the District 42 race is on Tues. Oct. 1, that deadline was Mon. Sept. 16. On Sat. Sept. 21, Shuman was fined $110 by the Ethics Committee. With $10 added to that amount each day, he now owes $170 and a campaign disclosure to the state of South Carolina.
The City Paper has been unable to contact Shuman since last Thursday, when a campaign volunteer informed us via phone that someone from the campaign was "working on [the report] right now." This week, multiple calls and e-mails to the campaign office have gone unanswered. A broker at Charleston Coastal Properties & Appraisals, the Sullivan's Island business where Shuman works as a broker associate, informed us today that he is out of town.
S.C. Code of Laws Section 8-13-1308-D requires that, in the last 15 days before any election, a list of a campaign's contributions and expenditures "must be open to public inspection upon request." The City Paper made a request to that effect today via e-mail and voicemail.
UPDATE, 3:30 p.m.: In an e-mail this afternoon, Shuman said that he intends to file his pre-election report today. He gave the following statement in his e-mail:
We have been extremely busy attempting to track down all the information required for the filing. We were missing addresses, as well as occupation information for some contributors. When the report is filed, we want it to be as accurate and transparent as possible. This has always been our intent, and we have absolutely nothing to hide. We welcome close inspection of our books.
We have received a total of approx. 130 contributions. We have made expenditures for printing, food for volunteers, staff salary, website & graphic design, a mailing, office supplies, consulting fees, as well as transaction fees for online contributions. I can assure you there is nothing to hide.
John Steinberger, chairman of the Charleston County Republican Party, says he can assure us that Shuman will file before the Oct. 1 election. "There have been 62 instances since 2008 when incumbent senators did not file on time," Steinberger says, "so this is not unusual."
Shuman is not an incumbent in the race.