by Paul Bowers
Billy Shuman, the Republican candidate in a special election for S.C. Senate District 42, is now one week late in filing a pre-election campaign finance report with the Senate Ethics Committee.
Candidates are required to file a pre-election report detailing expenditures and contributions 15 days prior to any election. Since Shuman will face Democrat Marlon Kimpson and Libertarian Alex Thornton in a special election Oct. 1, that deadline was Mon. Sept. 16. Last week, the Senate Ethics Committee left Shuman a voicemail and sent him a certified letter about the matter, letting him know he had until Sat. Sept. 21 to file the report electronically before the committee began issuing fines. On Saturday, when the grace period ran out, Shuman was issued a $110 fine, to which $10 will be added for each day he is tardy, according to staff at the Senate Ethics Committee. If the total fine amount hits $200, it will begin increasing by $100 per day.
Shuman and his staff did not respond to requests for comment today.
According to a report by South Carolina political blog The Nerve, it's not unusual for elected officials and candidates to blow their filing deadlines. On Aug. 2, reporter Rick Brundrett wrote that, since 2008, 42 current and former state senators and Senate candidates had been fined $64,804 by the Senate Ethics Committee. The report stated that 58 of the 62 fines were for late filings.