Citizen Reporter Janet Spencer Shares Her Views on Project Conflict Watch

July 16, 2013

Inside Insight

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janet spencer

Editor’s Note: Janet Spencer is a grassroots leader in Horry County and the head of the Carolina Patriots in Myrtle Beach. The Nerve asked Janet to talk about her experiences as a Citizen Reporter involved with Project Conflict Watch.

 

1.       What does income disclosure mean to you?

Citizens of South Carolina care about ethics reform and transparency. We’re the only state that doesn’t require any disclosure of private income. We deserve to know the sources of our legislators’ private income because private income can affect the way they vote on certain bills at the State House.

 

2.       What have you done to participate in Project Conflict Watch? What have you asked your group to do?

 I have sent requests to all of our Horry County legislators requesting that they complete the income disclosure form. I also asked our members to request that the forms be completed. I do not think that any of the Horry County legislators have responded yet. 

(Editor’s note: In fact, we posted a video on our YouTube page about a month ago where one Horry County lawmaker claimed that in Horry County “people aren’t talking about ethics reform.”)

 

3.       Why do you think it’s important for politicians to disclose their private sources of income?

Our elected officials work for us, and their private income sources should be available for anyone to access. Our elected representatives have an obligation to recuse themselves from anything that would benefit their bottom line. Look at Gilda Cobb-Hunter asking for funding on her own nonprofit. I want accountability and transparency. It just gives the voters and taxpayers a mechanism to evaluate how our representatives are representing their voters back home.

 

4.       No one from the delegation has responded yet. Have any explained why?

I have sent requests several times and have only received one response. This representative said he could not complete the income disclosure source document. He is a lawyer and said he felt he needed client confidentiality.

South Carolina Policy Council President Ashley Landess will address this issue on Thursday, July 18, 2013, with the Carolina Patriots. The meeting is from 6-8 p.m. at Fire Station #6, 970 38th Avenue N., Myrtle Beach, SC.