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IS AN EFFORT UNDERWAY TO SINK SOUTH CAROLINA’S SPEAKER?

Cui bono …

For those of you educated in a government-run school in South Carolina, that’s Latin. It means “to whose benefit?” It’s usually the first question asked whenever there’s a mystery or a conspiracy to unravel … and in Palmetto politics, it typically leads to the correct answers.

Will that be the case in the ongoing corruption saga involving powerful S.C. Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell (RINO-Charleston)?

First, to recap: Harrell has been caught red-handed committing a host of campaign finance abuses while attempting to leverage his influence for personal gain. That’s why his case is currently pending before a statewide grand jury.

Who referred the case to the grand jury? S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson – a likely candidate for governor in 2018 whose political fortunes are managed by Richard Quinn and Associates (a.k.a. “The Quinndom”).

In fact there are several ranking members of the S.C. House of Representatives affiliated with the Quinndom who would stand to benefit politically from Harrell’s indictment – including former S.C. “Majority” Leaders Kenny Bingham and Jimmy Merrill.

And let’s not forget about S.C. Rep. Richard Quinn Jr. – heir to the empire.

“Everyone thinks they are orchestrating (the Harrell probe),” one source said of the Quinndom.

In fact several State House sources tell FITS the Quinns have been emboldened by a recent alliance with S.C. Sen. Hugh Leatherman (RINO-Florence) – the most powerful elected official in the state.

“Leatherman and the Quinns bonded over their efforts to get (S.C. Lt. Gov. Glenn) McConnell named president of the College of Charleston,” one of our source explains. “They see this as a symbiotic offshoot of that.”

But why would Leatherman – a big government crony capitalist – want to take down Harrell, who shares his affinity for tax-and-spend fiscal liberalism?

“This is not about what either one of them believe – it’s about power and controlling the purse strings,” our source says. “Harrell is the only one in (state government) who can hold a candle to Leatherman. If he goes down, Leatherman’s power becomes almost absolute.”

That’s true … although there’s an argument to be made that Leatherman’s interests might be better served by keeping a scandal-scarred Speaker in office as opposed to embracing a new leader with such broad political backing.

Another factor pouring cold water on all of these theories is the perceived incorruptibility of Wilson – who has earned a reputation as a “boy scout” in discharging the duties of the S.C. Attorney General’s office. In fact Richard Quinn has told anyone who will listen that he and Wilson watched a football game together the night before the Attorney General announced his decision to seek an indictment against Harrell – during which time Wilson “never even hinted at” his looming decision.

That’s what it all boils down to: Any conspiracy theory involving a cabal of powerful politicos benefiting from Harrell’s downfall is entirely dependent on Wilson playing along … even if such involvement were limited to a ‘wink and a nod’ regarding the seriousness of the charges against the Speaker.

Thus far we’ve seen nothing to indicate Wilson plays that way …

Of course as one of our solicitor friends put it, “(Wilson) referred the case to the grand jury – how much more of a ‘wink’ do people really need in this case?”

That’s true …

And in so doing, put his reputation (and his future gubernatorial prospects) on the line … 

We should know within the next month or so what Harrell’s fate will be … although at this point none of the rumblings are especially good for the embattled liberal. And while we certainly hope Harrell gets what’s coming to him (we’ve been calling on him to resign for months), don’t expect his demise to change the left-leaning bent of government in the “reddest state in America.”