Templeton refuses to disclose details about her taxes

On Monday, The Post & Courier reported that Catherine Templeton has refused to turn over the details of her recent tax returns, breaking from the tradition of transparency established by former Governor Nikki Haley and continued by current Governor Henry McMaster: "The first-time candidate did not send any additional forms and tax statements, including any information about her consulting firm, Brawley Templeton."

Given Templeton’s campaign for governor has been largely centered on the idea, however fantastical, that she is a champion of government ethics, transparency, and accountability, the decision to keep the public in the dark about how she has made a living as a ‘consultant’ over the last few years is surprising.

So why did she make it? What do her tax returns show that she doesn’t want the public to see? What is Catherine Templeton hiding?

What we know:

  • On January 13, 2015, Catherine, as President of Brawley Templeton, signed a consulting contract with DHEC just one day after leaving her post as Director of the agency. Making more per month as a consultant than she did as director, Catherine eventually funneled $86,500 in taxpayer money through Brawley Templeton.
  • On January 22, 2015, nine days after signing her first contract on behalf of Brawley Templeton, Catherine filed paperwork with the South Carolina Secretary of State’s office to legally incorporate the organization.
  • On April 1, 2015, Catherine signed a contract on behalf of Brawley Templeton with the South Carolina Department of Revenue (DOR) paying her $12,500 per month. The contract was set to run for nine months, but shortly after its existence was made public in the press, it was ended six months early. Her total payout from DOR was $37,500.
  • On August 10, 2016, The State reported that "two state agencies have little to show for the work that Catherine Templeton performed as a highly paid consultant." Catherine herself "did not respond to a request for her own records of her work at the agencies," despite DHEC’s contractual language specifically requiring her to keep such records for six years. The League of Women Voters called this lack of transparency "disturbing."

What voters don't know:

  • How much money did Brawley Templeton make in 2015 and 2016?
  • Who were Brawley Templeton's clients in the years 2015 and 2016?
  • How much was Catherine paid by companies that had business or contracts with DHEC or LLR while she was Director?
  • How much was Catherine paid by companies that are lobbyist principals?
  • What was the scope of work for each contract Catherine signed with her "consulting" clients? Did any work involve any interaction with South Carolina state government?

We know how Catherine Templeton has made some of her money since leaving state government full-time in 2015, but South Carolina voters deserve to know the full story of how this candidate for governor has made a living over the last few years. Specifically, who has paid her and what have they paid her for?

Until she joins Governor McMaster in releasing the details of her tax returns and discloses the client list of Brawley Templeton, the hastily (and belatedly) established consulting firm she used to cash in on her time in government, the McMaster for Governor campaign will host WhatIsTempletonHiding.com. It is time Catherine comes clean with the public, in the appropriate tradition of those who have preceded her in the office she aspires to.

See the Contracts:

Brawley Templeton - DHEC Contract

Brawley Templeton - DOR Contract

Brawley Templeton - SofS Contract