1) What makes you the most qualified person to hold this position?
As Comptroller General I will bring the much needed accountability and leadership back to this critical office in our state Government. I am a CPA who has over fifteen years in the accounting field. I am also an Adjunct Professor of Accounting at USC and a Fulbright Scholar. I have written an accounting textbook “Hospital Reimbursement: Concepts and Principles,” and I am dedicated to helping the lives of all South Carolinians.
2) What will be your top three priorities if you are elected?
1) Timeliness of Financial Reporting - On two separate occasions the current Comptroller General has filed the State’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report late. By doing so, Mr. Eckstrom has jeopardized the credit rating of the state of South Carolina, which would increase the cost of living for every South Carolinian, increase budget short falls and make it harder for small businesses to create jobs. In the private sector any CFO failing this dramatically at such a basic duty would be fired immediately.
2) Accountability of Assets - The Comptroller General shouldn’t be about party or politics; it should be about serving the people of South Carolina, honestly and effectively. Richard Eckstrom has been accused of misusing campaign funds on various occasions and was caught using state-owned property for personal use. We don’t need more politics when it comes to managing our tax dollars; we need real accountability and honest leadership.
3) Rebuilding Trust – Many citizens of South Carolina simply won’t vote because of the numerous ethical violations that have occurred within our state government. Many people think our government is broken or badly needs repair. I believe new leadership is needed to ensure that all South Carolinians are represented accordingly. As Comptroller General, I will work to protect our state’s critical financial resources and ensure our state government does not endanger the financial well-being of our working families.
3a. For non-incumbents: How would your approach to your job differ from the incumbent’s?
My approach would be much different than our current Comptroller General in that I would assure that financial reporting deadlines are being met. The primary function of a CPA is to formulate the appropriate financial documents that are required by both internal and external stakeholders. Currently these deadlines are consistently not being met which has jeopardized out states credit rating and fiscal credibility. The citizens of South Carolina are being punished because our current Comptroller General does not have the ability to perform his duties in an effective and efficient manner.
In addition, I would conduct my behavior in an ethical and professional manner. As a candidate for this publically elected position I can assure all South Carolinian’s that I will never be privy to such unethical issues that currently plague our state house. As a CPA I took an oath to not only perform my duties objectively but carry myself in a professional manner at all times. A lack of integrity cannot be tolerated at any level of our state government.
4) Describe at least one political position you hold that would clash with your political base.
I am a strong supporter of Obamacare and I believe that healthcare reform is necessary for our country to succeed. However, I do not agree with the employer mandate referendum that forces employers to offer health care coverage or be penalized. I believe that the responsibility of having healthcare coverage be limited to the employee rather than the employer. Both small and large businesses have enough operating expenses already and the additional expense is not needed. The implementation of healthcare exchanges has made it easier for Americans to purchase health insurance without assistance from their employer.
5) Have you ever been convicted of a crime, been disciplined by a professional licensing board or organization or had an ethics complaint filed against you?
6) Have you ever filed for bankruptcy or been delinquent on your federal, state or local taxes?