Graham, and challengers, report modest finances

Greenville News Washington bureauMay 22, 2014 

On left - US Senator Lindsey Graham On right- the GOP primary challengers (clockwise from top left)) Bill Connor, Det Bowers, Lee Bright, Benjamin Dunn, Nancy Mace, Richard Cash

THE STATE

— Sen. Lindsey Graham has a modest financial portfolio compared to many of his multimillionaire Senate colleagues, according to his most recent personal financial disclosure report.

The report, filed with the Senate, shows most of Graham’s holdings are in mutual funds, checking and savings accounts and a money market.

His single largest asset is real estate he owns in Washington worth between $500,000 and $1 million. Graham, who earns $174,000 a year as a senator, has two mortgages on homes in Washington and Seneca. Combined, the two loans are for between $150,000 and $350,000.

The candidates challenging Graham in South Carolina’s June 10 primary also filed personal financial disclosure reports covering 2013.

The reports require incumbents and candidates only to report their assets in broad ranges.

Lee Bright of Roebuck reported about $66,000 in income last year from BBD LLC, a business development firm, and $37,800 in salary as a state senator.

He also reported $2,500 in commissions from AEO (Advanced Environmental Options). Among Bright’s assets are two managed investment accounts worth between $30,000 and $100,000 total, and a rental house in Jonesville that brings in between $5,000 and $15,000 in income.

Bright reported significant liabilities, including two mortgages, nine promissory notes and other debts. His total debt is estimated at between $695,000 and $1.66 million.

That reflects a significant reduction since Bright filed his previous report in December. That report showed debts of between $1.35 million and $3.14 million.

Bright said the Senate ethics committee advised him he was required to report only debts for which he was personally liable, so he removed business-debt creditors from his list of liabilities.

In December, Bright said at least $1.3 million of his debts were related to his trucking business, which closed in 2011.

Orangeburg attorney Bill Connor reported income last year of about $128,000 from his law firm and $17,179 from the U.S. Army Reserves. Another business where he lists himself as partner, National Defense Consultants in Columbia, didn’t generate any income last year.

In addition to some individual retirement accounts, Connor’s spouse owns stock in several companies through two USAA-managed portfolios worth between $600,000 and $1.25 million combined. A third investment account worth between $250,000 and $500,000 includes stock in AT&T, Duke Energy Corp., Scana Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc.

Connor reported real estate in Orangeburg worth between $250,000 and $500,000, and in Lake Lure, N.C., worth between $500,000 and $1 million. He and his wife listed two mortgages on the properties of between $150,000 and $350,000 combined.

Attorney and former pastor Det Bowers was paid about $30,000 last year by Christ Church of the Carolinas in Columbia. He and his spouse also reported several individual retirement accounts, but their largest assets are in real estate.

Bowers Plantation LLC in Luray is listed as timberland worth between $500,000 and $1 million. Another property owned jointly with his wife is worth between $100,000 and $250,000. A third piece of timberland in Luray, which provided income between $50,000 and $100,000, is valued at $1 million to $5 million.

The Bowers list three homes in Bluffton and Columbia worth between $750,000 and $1.5 million combined. They jointly have a mortgage and a line of credit of between $500,000 and $1 million combined.

Charleston business owner Nancy Mace reported income from four sources: $5,000 from her equity stake in FITSNews, a political website; $1,040 from sales of her book, “In the Company of Men”; $8,000 from Mace & Boucher Consulting LLC; and about $77,000 from The Mace Group LLC in Charleston, a marketing company she owns.

Her family has assets in retirement accounts and real estate, including three rental properties in Atlanta and Charleston that combined provided between $45,000 and $150,000 in rental income.

Mace reported selling her equity stake in FITSNews for $18,000. She also listed several of her firm’s clients, including Americans for Limited Government, Mick Mulvaney for Congress, state Sen. Lee Bright, Tim Scott for Congress and Tom Rice for Congress.

Piedmont business owner Richard Cash’s report covering 2013 wasn’t available Tuesday.

According to his last report, which covers 2012, he earned $34,000 from Road Runner Autos LLC and about $40,000 from Sweet Memories Ice Cream LLC, and listed himself as 50 percent owner of each.

Jointly with his spouse, he owned less than $15,000 worth of stock in companies such as British Petroleum, CSX, ConocoPhillips, and others. He owned between $15,000 and $50,000 worth of stock in Dominion Resources, Duke Energy Corp., Royal Dutch Shell and others.

A report for Columbia lawyer Benjamin Dunn was not available Tuesday.

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