Trial Attorney John White addressed a downtown Spartanburg women’s group Monday night and was asked about his Statement of Economic Interest (SEI) and the fact that he made $2,335,462.41 off the state of South Carolina last year. White wasn’t familiar with his own SEI and had to borrow a copy from the audience member asking the question. Upon reviewing his own SEI, White began defending the lawsuits in such a way that he was justifying it as though he’d done the state a huge favor with all the money he’d won for the South Carolina.
At one point, Representative Doug Brannon jumped in, in an effort to assist White asking, “Mr. White, thank you for your service to the state of South Carolina, could you please estimate, just in the past five years what amount of money that you, and/or your firm have indirectly contributed to the general fund in the state of South Carolina.”
Trial Attorney John White, looking uncomfortable with the question, estimated the figure at a quarter billion dollars. White bragged about having worked with six different South Carolina Attorney Generals (AG) throughout the past. What isn’t mention here is how these law contracts have been consistently handed down from AG’s in a no-bid process, meaning with all the thousands of attorneys across the state of South Carolina, John White has consistently been given preference over everyone else. Another important note of interest is that John White and his firm consistently give large campaign checks to those in the position of AG and recently, when Lt Governor Henry McMaster was busted by Ethics, it was because he was found to have taken more money than legally allowed while he was serving as AG, including multiple violations in the name of White’s law firm.
What makes this especially ironic is that Trial Attorney John White claims that state ethics doesn’t work, when it clearly caught his good friend McMaster taking too much money from White and his partners. Ethics reform is needed, but one has to seriously wonder about what sort of “fix” someone has in mind who has recently been caught up in that very system.
In a time when we desperately need tort reform, the downtown Spartanburg crowd applauded at White’s explanations, regardless of how empty. White has spent quite a bit of time like this, campaigning downtown Spartanburg, raising money downtown Spartanburg… and in case you didn’t realize, downtown Spartanburg is many miles outside Senate District 5. White continues to campaign with the slogan “People not Politics” but just which “people” is he referring to as he seems more eager to represent the downtown crowd than he does the rural district he’s running for.
Note: If you wish to look up the Statement of Economic Interest on any elected official or candidate for office, you can do so by visiting the website of the State Ethics Commission. Where things get a little tricky, is that when someone like Trial Attorney John White files an SEI and improperly claims no income, then later comes back and refiles an “amendment” the information in questions does not show up on the original filing – you have to know to click to view the latest amendment filed in order to get this information.