Mark Sanford earns $130K from Fox News; Curtis Bostic hasn't filed report

gsmith@islandpacket.comMarch 26, 2013 

election 2013

In this file photo, former Gov. Mark Sanford answers questions at Charleston County precinct 7.

LEROY BURNELL — LEROY BURNELL, Charleston Post and Courier

  • To search the candidates' financial disclosure statements filed with the U.S. House of Representatives, click here.

First Congressional District GOP front-runner Mark Sanford earned $130,000 from Fox News for his occasional commentary and another $61,000 from serving on two corporate boards -- Coastal Forest Resources, a manufacturer of hardwood lumber, and Lending Tree, a Web-based company that matches borrowers and lenders -- in 2012.

That's what filings with the U.S. House of Representatives show.

Candidates seeking congressional seats must submit the forms before any special election so voters know their financial interests and how that could affect their work in Congress.

But Curtis Bostic, the Charleston attorney who faces Sanford in Tuesday's runoff, has yet to file his financial disclosure statement. He has asked for a 60-day extension, according to his campaign manager.

That has upset some open-government advocates, noting Bostic's financial information will not be available before the runoff.

"The whole purpose of the disclosure form is to let voters know what a candidate's financial interests are. This denies voters the chance to see that important information. It defeats the whole purpose of the disclosure forms," said John Crangle, executive director of government watchdog group Common Cause of South Carolina.

Bostic campaign manager David O'Connell said the extension was needed "due to the extremely cumbersome process required" in submitting the information. He added that the campaign has until late April to turn it in and has not been fined.

"It is not uncommon for a congressional campaign such as this to file extensions with the U.S. Clerk of the House in order to ensure that the paperwork is properly filled out," O'Connell said. "We are doing this to make sure that our reports are proper and accurate."

Staff with the U.S. House and its Ethics Committee confirmed that no report has been received from Bostic but could not comment on whether an extension has been submitted or granted.

"Seeing how and where someone has made their money is a pretty significant piece of information for voters to have heading into an election," said Joel Sawyer, Sanford's spokesman.

"The bigger issue is whether this is part of a larger pattern of circumventing the vetting process," Sawyer said, noting that Bostic did not attend several candidate forums other Republican candidates attended leading up to last week's primary.

Bostic has declined to participate in a Beaufort candidate forum today but will participate in one Thursday in Charleston.

Elizabeth Colbert Busch, the Democrats' nominee, earned nearly $115,000 for her job at Clemson University as a director of its Restoration Institute, which researches wind turbines and other renewable energy sources.

Her 2012 income also included between $5,600 and $21,000 in dividends, interest and rent on about 20 IRAs, stocks and funds. Candidates are not required to give specific amounts, just ranges.

The biggest chunk came from residential property she rents out in Charleston, which brought in between $5,000 and $15,000, according to the filings.

Her investments include those in drug companies Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer, as well as IBM, Ford and General Electric.

Sanford earned between $108,000 and $286,000 in 2012 in rent, capital gains, deferred compensation and accounts. Much of it came from limited liability corporations related to Coosaw Plantation, the Beaufort County farm he owns with his siblings, and Sanford's real estate partnerships.

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