Current, former legislators benefit through side businesses
South Carolina’s legislators like to complain about how little money they earn from their part-time jobs running the state. But for some of them, the $10,400 salary is the ticket for a far more lucrative pursuit — profiting on business deals with state and local governments.
It’s almost impossible to say with certainty how much money flows from government coffers to lawmakers because the state’s reporting laws are littered with loopholes and inconsistency. It’s a murky system, created by lawmakers, that makes it difficult for the average voter to see just where the money is going and to whom.
Since 2009, 20 current and former lawmakers reported ties to about $16 million in contracts with state and local government, an analysis byThe Post and Courier and the Center for Public Integrity shows.
Separately, some reported that they, their businesses, their associates or their immediate family members earned more than $3 million in work for entities that lobby state government and nearly $17 million from work representing people, businesses or government bodies in government matters, such as worker’s compensation cases and adoptions.