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katon dawson

An email from former SCGOP Chairman Katon Dawson is rubbing some Republican activists the wrong way – starting with the fact that it was sent in the place.

Dawson blasted out an email Friday morning from his newly-formed public affairs firm urging S.C. Republicans to purchase a book written in memory of Austin Whetsell, the son of prominent Palmetto political consultant Walter Whetsell.

Austin died tragically on a church mission trip to Mexico two years ago.

The email directed recipients to two websites (here and here) where they could order the book.

“As we all begin to prepare our gift-giving plans for the holidays, I thought it might be appropriate to send you these two links,” Dawson wrote.

Several Republicans who received Dawson’s unsolicited email found it decidedly inappropriate, however.

“Using someone else’s family tragedy for self promotion should be illegal,” said one Republican who received Dawson’s missive. “I feel horrible for what happened to Walter and his family, my heart goes out to them, but that tragedy is certainly no excuse for Dawson to engage in this feel-good tour for his private firm.”

Numerous other Republicans expressed concern as to how Dawson had obtained their email addresses.

“The only link between my personal email address and Katon Dawson is the SCGOP list,” said one Republican. “How else would the former chair of the SCGOP have my personal email on his private business mailing list?”

Another Republican who received the email said that they had “never signed up for Katon Dawson’s emails nor given him permission to contact (them).”

When questioned about the email, a spokesman for the S.C. Republican Party had no immediate comment.

Obviously, if former GOP Chairmen are permitted to use the party’s email list at will, then that could have profound implications on the 2010 GOP gubernatorial race.  After all, S.C. Attorney General Henry McMaster – one of five GOP candidates – served previously as party chairman.

“We’re certainly concerned by the precedent this could create,” a GOP consultant for one of McMaster’s rival campaigns told FITS.

Oh well, we expect Dawson’s political mouthpiece (and McMaster’s mouthpiece) The Palmetto Scoop to offer a vigorous defense of the former Chairman any second now …

 for his private
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