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Vincent Sheheen releases 2013 tax returns

06/30/2014 10:01 PM

07/29/2014 8:05 PM

State Sen. Vincent Sheheen, the Democratic nominee for governor, saw his earnings rise nearly 50 percent in 2013 over what he reported a year earlier, according to income-tax returns he released Monday.

The Camden attorney and father of three earned $333,042 in 2013, which rose by $108,122 because of fluctuations in his law practice, a state Democratic Party spokeswoman said.

He made $346,121 in 2009, $185,966 in 2010, $310,273 in 2011 and $224,920 in 2012. His income has increased from $73,461 since he was elected to the Legislature in 2000.

Sheheen has released the past 14 years of his returns for every year he has been elected in state office. He ran for governor in 2010.

“My income comes from hard work in the private sector,” said Sheheen, who also gets income from a real estate investment company.

Republican Gov. Nikki Haley has not reported her earnings for 2013. Last year, Haley and her husband reported earning $284,226 in 2012, including $109,481 in profits from her book, “Can’t Is Not An Option.”

Sheheen called on the governor to release her 2013 returns and her income tax returns for the last 14 years, dating back to when he took office.

“It’s time to be open with the people of South Carolina,” he said.

Haley’s campaign spokesman Rob Godfrey said the governor has released her tax returns for every year she’s been an elected official since 2005. She will release her 2013 returns, he added.

Sheheen criticized Haley for previously not disclosing $42,500 earned from Wilbur Smith Associates, a Columbia engineering firm where she was a paid consultant when she was a state representative from Lexington. In 2012, the House Ethics Committee dismissed complaints that Haley used her position while a state representative for personal gain, including in her work for Wilbur Smith and the Lexington Medical Center Foundation, where she was a fundraiser.

Godfrey said Sheheen’s release and criticisms were a stunt.

“We will know Vince is serious when he stops hiding the details of the income he’s received as a trial lawyer defending violent criminals, drug dealers and child predators, and when he stops voting against ethics reforms that require legislators to disclose their income,” Godfrey said.

Sheheen said he will not release his clients’ names.

“It would be completely unethical for me as an attorney to disclose clients’ names,” Sheheen said.

He has also defended letting the ethics reform bill die during the legislative session because the proposal did not establish an independent body to review allegations.

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A blog from The State's political team of Cassie Cope, Jamie Self and Andy Shain. Email tips to Follow The Buzz @buzzatthestate. Follow Cassie @cassielcope. Follow Jamie @jamiemself. Follow Andy @andyshain.

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