Phillip Bowers, the Chairman of the Pickens County Republican Party, recently sent this open letter:
A Law Impossible to Obey
Thousands of words have been written about the S.C. Supreme Court
candidate eligibility ruling, but I have not seen these: It is
impossible to follow the letter of the law.
The same law the court used also says candidates “must file a
statement of economic interest (SEI) with the appropriate supervisory
authority.” But the court ruled that candidates must file their SEI with
the “same official with whom the candidate files a Statement of
Intention of Candidacy (SIC),” which is the local party chairman. The
same law the court used specifies only three supervisory authorities:
the S.C. Ethics Commission, the Senate Ethics Committee and the House
Ethics Committee, not the county party chairman.
It is impossible for political parties and candidates to follow the
law as the court interpreted because political parties are not legal
supervisory authorities. By law, the SEI must be filed with one of the
three state agencies which, also by law, require online filing.
Candidates should not be punished over impossible requirements.
I believe all candidates who filed their SIC forms as required by law should be on the ballot.
The law has so many contradictions related to SEI that specific
filing times should be irrelevant, provided it is filed in a reasonable
time before the election. I hope the measure scheduled to be taken up
this week in the Senate will resolve the issue.
If those efforts are unsuccessful then, regrettably, I see no remedy short of Federal Election Commission intervention.
Phillip Bowers, Chairman, Pickens County Republican Party