By Thomas Ravenel || I believe Senators should represent the people who elected them. They should put your needs first as opposed to the needs of government bureaucrats, lobbyists or Washington, D.C. special interests.

Unfortunately, South Carolinians have gotten the short end of that stick when it comes to Senator Lindsey Graham.

Last year the Center for Public Integrity reported that Graham ranked second in the entire U.S. Congress when it came to receiving political contributions bundled by lobbyists. And last month we learned how willing Graham is to trade political favors for campaign cash when he introduced an online gaming ban for Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson.

In addition to Graham’s $8 million campaign war chest, special interests are going to pump millions more into his reelection bid through shady attack groups – including a big chunk of money aimed at targeting my independent candidacy. Graham’s special interest wannabes are already attacking me through earned media – auditioning for their roles in his general election hit squad.

Here’s what I want to know from Lindsey Graham: What kind of deals is he having to make to finance this attack machine? How many more billions of dollars from tapped out taxpayers will be wasted on crony capitalist handouts? And how many more of our sons and daughters will be put in harm’s way in needless wars?

And here’s my question to South Carolina taxpayers: Is this sacrifice of blood and treasure worth it? All so a politician can continue to rake in the money he needs to play pretend conservative on television and attack credible independent challengers like me?

Lindsey Graham and his special interest army can buy all the attacks they want. When it’s all said and done, the people of South Carolina are going to know who paid for them.

They’re also gone to learn that Thomas Ravenel doesn’t need any of that D.C. money. Unlike our current Senator, when it comes to putting our free markets and individual freedoms first – I cannot be bought off with Washington bribes.

Thomas Ravenel is a former statewide official residing in Charleston, S.C.