Dems, GOP release lists of certified candidates
Fri, 04 May 2012 17:13:25 GMT —
The state Supreme Court ruled Wednesday candidates should have filed financial paperwork when they filed to run for state and local office in March.
The Democratic Party's Candidate Filing 2012 webpage says, "Please note that if your name does not appear on this list, it is because your filing did not adhere to the Supreme Court ruling, or your SEI was filed after the deadline of March 30 at noon."
The parties were ordered to produce new lists by the state Supreme Court. Earlier this week, the justices ruled that, under a new system, candidates who didn't file statements of economic interests at the same time they filed for their candidacy could not appear on the primary ballot.
State Democrats say 95 of its candidates in State House and county-level races were ineligible. The GOP list shows 88 of its candidates were not eligible ineligible.
â??On behalf of all South Carolina Republicans, I am sad about this weekâ??s candidate filing rulings, but am committed to following the S.C. Supreme Courtâ??s instructions," said the South Carolina GOP in a statement. "Our party has meticulously analyzed the filing submissions in compliance with the standards set forth by the Court. We respect the Courtâ??s decision and in compliance with the Courtâ??s order, we have submitted our list to the Election Commission. We are looking forward to moving ahead and anticipate animated and spirited primary contests on June 12th.â??
On Friday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Larry Martin announced that he will call an emergency meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 8 to talk about passing legislation aimed at allowing candidates impacted by the Supreme Court's decision.
A joint resolution introduced by Senator Kevin Bryant and others would allow candidates who filed the rest of their paperwork on time to have an additional 12-hour period to provide their statements of economic interests to political party officials in order to complete their filing requirements and preserve a spot on the ballot.
"I donâ??t fault the Supreme Court for their decision, but clearly there is a deficiency in the law if so many people were adversely affected by these requirements," said Martin. "Our democratic process should not be derailed by what amounts to a technicality. People across South Carolina deserve a chance to vote for those who made a good faith effort to comply with the law, particularly when they had every reason to believe they would appear on the ballot.
A lawsuit filed by two Lexington County voters last month sparked the showdown at the Supreme Cour this week. The justices issued an opinion on Wednesday just one day after hearing arguments in the case. The Supreme Court justices' five-page opinion read in part, "we fully appreciate the consequences of our decision, as lives have been disrupted and political aspirations put on hold. However, the conduct of the political parties in their failure to follow the clear and unmistakable directives of the General Assembly has brought us to this point."
Democrats and Republicans were hoping for clarification of the ruling. Thursday afternoon, the South Carolina Supreme Court denied reconsidering their decision.
The two-page ruling read in part, "[our opinion] speaks for itself and stands as written. Accordingly, we deny the request for rehearing."
Under a new system, those documents were supposed to be filed online with the state Ethics Commission by a March 30 deadline , but the parties did not check for them. The forms include income and other financial information.
The court wrote candidates can stay on the ballot if they give party officials a paper copy of their financial information when they file their candidacy.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)