Independent gubernatorial candidate Tom Ervin releases ethics ad - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Independent gubernatorial candidate Tom Ervin releases ethics ad

Tom Ervin has just released the third of his campaign ads. Tom Ervin has just released the third of his campaign ads.

One of South Carolina's third-party candidates is hitting the airwaves for a third time with an ad focusing on ethics reform.

Tom Ervin, the self-described "Independent Republican" candidate for governor, released the ad called "Honest" on Tuesday.

In the ad, Ervin describes his "common sense" ethics reform plan which, according to him, would "get rid of secret campaign accounts, get tough on lobbyists, term limits," and "stop politicians from taking gifts from special interests."

"People are born honest," says the ad. "But a little nudge every now and then will keep them that way."

But actually achieving that reform could prove to be tough. The ideas Ervin's proposing would all have to be submitted, debated, amended, and approved by the state legislature -- not by the executive branch. Meaning a proposal for term limits would have to be voted on by a governing body with some members who have been in office for well over twenty or thirty years.

"When the public speaks out and makes it clear what they want, it will happen," said Ervin.

Tougher lobbying laws, independent oversight committees, and campaign finance reform have been tried in the State House before and the proposals have come up short.

In 2012, Gov. Nikki Haley formed an independent ethics commission.

Independent commissions and lobbying rules were part of the ethics bill which died in the state house this year. Can Ervin succeed where others have failed?

"We have to find common ground," said Ervin. "I'll work with leadership and every member to solve these problems."

Ervin, a former judge and state legislator, has largely self-funded his campaign through an over $1 million personal loan. He's already used that money for several ads.

Ervin has already rankled state Republicans who want him to cease calling himself an "Independent Republican." They've even threatened to file suit against him unless he drops the moniker.

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