Beth Bernstein exposes Representative Brady’s Blatant Conflict of Interest

For Immediate Release:

November 2, 2012
Beth Bernstein exposes Representative Brady’s Blatant Conflict of Interest

Columbia, SC – House District 78 candidate Beth Bernstein held a press conference at the State House on Friday to expose a blatant conflict of interest involving Rep. Joan Brady, a member of the six-member House Ethics Committee.  Rep. Brady has received, directly and indirectly, close to $30,000 in campaign support in recent days from the leadership PAC of House Speaker Bobby Harrell. It has been widely reported in the media recently that government watchdog groups are planning on filing ethics complaints against Speaker Harrell, alleging illegal and frivolous campaign spending. As a member of the House Ethics Committee, Rep. Joan Brady would be tasked with investigating Speaker Harrell, now her single largest campaign contributor, after a complaint is filed.
Bernstein released the following statement after the press conference:

“This is a clear example of the ‘fox guarding the hen house’, and one big game of ‘you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours.’ It is wrong. And such conduct should not be legal. I’m calling on Representative Brady to ask Speaker Harrell to withdraw his financial support, and by doing so, completely eliminate any appearance of impropriety. I am not casting judgment as to whether or not the allegations against Speaker Harrell are legitimate; however, I would like to shine a light on the glaring conflict of interest his financial support presents. It is so important that our elected leaders demonstrate through their actions that honesty and integrity actually matter. Representative Brady has been in the legislature for almost a decade and has not once proposed any reforms to our ethics laws.  She is using the gaping loopholes in our ethics laws to benefit her own flailing campaign. Representative Brady should know better. And while she has now recently begun talking about ethics, her actions speak much louder than her words. I want the people of District 78 to know my vote in the legislature will never be for sale. I will work tirelessly to not just talk about ethics reform, but you will see me be a crusader to end the corruption at the State House. Because to me, this isn’t just a political campaign. This is about the future of my community and my state.”

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