Richard Eckstrom is seeking a third term as the state's Comptroller General in the upcoming June Republican Primary.
When first elected in 2002, he promised to use his experience as a CPA to scrutinize the state's finances, as well as his position on the Budget and Control Board to question how state government has spent tax dolllars. Time and time again, he's kept his promises to show leadership and vision in modernizing the office and setting new standards for fiscal stewardship in government.
The Blogland supported Eckstrom for re-election in 2006, and based upon his record, once more endorses him for a third term.
Several years ago, Eckstrom was criticized for his decision to attempts to stop the state from rolling over it's last months' finances into the following year. While he initially lost, the Legislature ultimately plugged that hole.
Last year, Eckstrom's warnings of budget shortfalls and calls for caution were vindicated by continuing tight revenues.
Eckstrom's biggest accomplishment - and his most important contribution to good government in South Carolina - has been his push for putting government finances online. Every state agency's checkbook is now online, and his transparency crusade has also been embraced by local government leaders of both parties across South Carolina, as well as looked at by other states. A lot of politicians talk about accountability and transparency these days, but Eckstrom is one of the few who can show tangible results on this imporant issue.
Four years ago, Eckstrom fell short of landing the support of the Grim Reaper for his willingness to protect his employees from asbestos. While we're not sure the Reaper will change sides this year, we're not sure if he will get involved in this race this time around (although we understand Mr. Reaper will be involved in some races).
As an aside, we believe making this office an appointed office would be inadvisable. Such a move would remove this office's ability to serve as an independent watchdog of the state's finances. Eckstrom has certainly shown how this office can serve as a watchdog and as long as future Comptrollers follow his lead, the office should remain an elected one.
Richard Eckstrom isn't the loudest politician out there, but he has worked hard to create a vision for higher standards in government, as well as serve as a committed voice for fiscal restraint and a passionate fiscal watchdog. This earns him the Blogland's appreciation for a job well done, as well as our endorsement for a third term as South Carolina's Comptroller General.