Good move, Vincent. Now release your e-mails, too

Finally, after a couple of weeks hiatus, there’s a sign of life from the Sheheen campaign, and it’s a good one. Vincent released his last 10 years of tax records, and challenged Nikki Haley to do the same.

Normally, this kind of gesture wouldn’t mean much to me. But it means a lot in the context of this particular contest. As you may recall, refusing to release the last 10 years of her tax records is one of several rather glaring ways in which the Republican running on a “transparency” platform has refused to be transparent. Only after Gresham Barrett pressured her into releasing the last three years (saying, when asked by The State, that releasing 10 years would be an “excessive” amount of transparency) did we learn that she had previously failed to disclose that Wilbur Smith had paid her$42,500 for her influence.

So laying his tax records out and challenging Ms. Transparency 2010 to do the same is perfectly appropriate, and a service to the voters.

Now I’d like to see him release his publicly-issued e-mail records. That is, if he hasn’t done so already (I didn’t get a release on the tax records and had to read it in the paper of all things, so for all I know I missed one on the e-mail records, too). There is no way that a candidate running entirely on trying to tear the veil of secrecy from the Legislature should be hiding her e-mail records behind a special exemption to FOI law that lawmakers carved out for themselves. No way at all.

I did think this was of note:

The couple’s charitable giving has risen as they earned more money. The couple reported charitable donations of $1,025 in 2000, or 1.4 percent of their income. In 2009, the couple reported $7,301 in charitable donations on $372,509 in income, or 2 percent of their total earnings.

Haley and her husband, Michael, earned a combined $196,282 in 2009 and gave $971 to charity, or one half of one percent of total earnings.

Yeah, OK, so he’s giving more than Nikki, but 2 percent is pretty sad. Maybe this doesn’t include giving to the church. I mean, we Catholics are notorious for not tithing but come on, Vincent.

At least he’s not hiding the fact, though.

20 thoughts on “Good move, Vincent. Now release your e-mails, too

  1. Doug Ross

    Wonder if bud will vote for a rich guy like Sheheen?

    Sheheen isn’t releasing the list of clients his firm has represented. Why not?

    Since the donations to church would be tax deductible, it seems very unlikely that they wouldn’t be reported.

  2. bud

    372k a year income is well off but hardly rich. Besides, why wouldn’t I vote for a rich guy? As long as he/she has good political credentials I don’t care how much money he makes.

  3. Kathryn Fenner

    @Doug–what do you mean–Vincent works very hard for his money. A lot of CEOs don’t even do a half-baked job for theirs!

  4. Doug Ross


    Prove it. Name the CEO’s. But before you do that, use the standard that they are held to: satisfying the board and shareholders.

    Bill Gates? Steve Jobs? Larry Ellison? Warren Buffett?

    They all work harder than your typical government worker. And the results show it.

  5. Kathryn Fenner

    @Doug–My own father wanted to know how to boot out the no-goodnik greedy heads of companies he holds stock in, but I showed him how impossible that was….

    And why set the standard at satisfying your cronies on the board?

  6. bud

    For starters all the cretins at Enron were doing was lying their way to riches. How about the CEO of GM during the 05-08 period. Did we really need the Hummer? And for heaven sakes can someone explain to me why Bill Gates is worth the kind of money he makes. Microsoft stuff is mostly crap. Then there’s the CEO of BP. Really, this is like shooting fish in a barrel. Corporate CEOs are grotesquelly overpaid.

  7. Doug Ross


    Did anyone force you to buy a PC running Windows? There are plenty of open source options.

    Enron’s top people were all arrested. Ken Lay died before he was tried.

    BP’s CEO is rumored to be resigning. When things go bad with the stock price, the board acts.


    Satisfying the board is the #1 entry in the job description. You do know how publicly traded companies work, right? Companies exist to make a profit. I assume you charge your clients what you believe you are worth not what someone else decides?

  8. Doug Ross


    And your father should sell his stock if he thinks the CEO is not doing a good job. The more people who sell, the lower the price will go thus impacting the CEO’s job.

    Or he can go to the required annual meeting and voice his displeasure.

  9. Kathryn Fenner

    Sure,Doug–duh–I know that’s how publicly traded corporations are *supposed* to work, but is it fair to all concerned?
    and if my dad sells his stock in one company with overpaid CEOs, what company should he buy? Ben and Jerry sold out–they had a company policy, akin to the Japanese, that the highest paid person could only make something like seven times what the lowest did–not 100 times as much–

    and I was required to use Microsoft software at my last job–I thought about bringing in my Mac and running parallel, but the connectivity was not there.

    and lawyers cannot charge whatever they believe they are worth–it’s more like what the market will bear—and top corporate law firms work their lawyers considerably harder, for less pay, than any CEO works….

    and he may not even be able to speak at many annual meetings, and even if he did, it would be completely pointless.

  10. Kathryn Fenner

    @ Burl–would Lehman be the late investment banking firm that apparently was not too big to fail?

    uh huh

  11. bud

    Doug, I’m not suggesting that some CEOs work hard and earn a good living. Instead what I’m saying is that even extrordinarily good CEOs are not worth the spectacular salaries they make. Kathryn suggests the highest paid CEOs make 100 times what a regular worker makes. I think it’s actually much more than that. Sorry but no one is worth that. It’s utterly riduculous to suggest that they EARN that kind of money. I doubt anyone in this country actually earns more than about $5million a year. Anything about that should be regarded as confiscatory and should be subject to high tax rates, perhaps 70% or even more.

  12. Doug Ross

    @bud and Kathryn

    I hope you don’t attend movies, concerts, watch television, or follow professional sports.

    Tiger Woods made $90 million last year. Tom Cruise gets $20 million per movie. The cast of Seinfeld became multi-multi-millionaires. Steve Spurrier made $5 million last year. Andrew Lloyd Weber makes millions off Broadway shows. Do you want the government to set their salaries as well?

    People are paid what the market says they are worth. If they aren’t acting unethically, they deserve every dime they make and deserve to keep as much of it as they can. If they are acting unethically, then hopefully they will be punished (either by laws or by karma).

    Stop trying to solve the world’s problems by taking other people’s money. There’s nothing noble about saying “I think we should take more money from him and give it to them”. If you want to help “them”, do it. Work harder, contribute more.

  13. bud

    I’m not sure Tiger Woods is a good example to support your point. He was paid a huge amount of money to serve as a sort of role model in order to hawk products. But there was incomplete information regarding exactly who Tiger Woods actually was. The endorsement gravy train ran out as soon as the information about Woods was brought to light. But Woods kept his money even though his endorsements almost certainly didn’t reap the rewards the companies he endorsed for thought that it would.

  14. Doug Ross


    Even without endorsements, Tiger earned over $10 million on the PGA tour. Should he have held back in a couple tournaments to give other lesser players a chance to win? Or should the PGA say “You can only win $5 million, Tiger.”? You know what would happen if they set a cap? Someone would start a new PGA tour that would allow Tiger to win as much as he wants and would reap the benefits.

    That’s why capping salaries cannot work. People (and the market) will find ways around it.

    Let the market decide what someone is worth.

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