May 20, 2021

Charleston, SC - Former U.S. Representative and Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Joe Cunningham released a sweeping ethics reform package on Thursday, aimed at cleaning up Columbia from the corruption - both seen and unseen - that has been prevalent for decades. 


Cunningham’s Plan to Fight Corruption:


  1. Impose term limits on all legislators (three terms for House members, two terms for senators).

  2. Ban legislators and the governor from raising campaign money during legislative session so they can focus more on doing their job than on keeping their job.

  3. Report all PAC expenditures and contributions within 24 hours. 

  4. Increase transparency by disclosing all meetings and communications with paid lobbyists.

  5. End the legislature's role and influence in electing college boards of trustees by moving to a more independent Board of Regents system to oversee all public colleges and universities.

  6. Ban legislators from voting on bills being lobbied for or against by a member of their immediate family. 

  7. Strengthen the State Ethics Commission and abolish the House and Senate Ethics Committees so legislators are no longer policing other legislators. 

  8. End dark money groups in South Carolina.


“Two decades of one-party rule has created a culture of corruption at the state house that empowers special interests, lobbyists, and career politicians, while the working people of this state get ignored,” said Cunningham. “It’s time to bring about significant reform and accountability to our ethics laws so the elected officials of this state can start working for the people they represent - not themselves. As governor, I’ll make ethics reform and tackling corruption at the state house a top priority because the people of this state deserve leadership that cares more about the next generation than the next election.”


Cunningham announced his campaign for governor on April 26th alongside a 46-county tour of the state. Since announcing, Cunningham has visited five counties, released a record-breaking 48-hour fundraising haul, and the Cook Political Report cited his formidable candidacy in their decision to shift the governor’s race to a more competitive position.


In 2018, Cunningham flipped a congressional district that voted for Donald Trump by 13 points two years prior. In Congress, he was ranked one of the most bipartisan and effective members of the House and had two of his bills signed into law by President Trump.