The National Federation of Republican Women (NFRW) held its annual fall Board of Directors meeting in Charleston, S.C. last weekend – a decision the organization is likely regretting after several controversial pictures from one of the meeting’s sponsored events began surfacing on the internet.

One of the pictures shows S.C. Senate President Glenn McConnell –  who FITS readers will recall enjoys dressing up as a Confederate General – posing in his Rebel garb with a pair of African-Americans dressed in, um, “antebellum” attire. So this is how Republicans party?

The event in question – dubbed “A Southern Experience” – was held last Friday evening at the Country Club of Charleston. Hosted by the South Carolina Federation of Republican Women, it was included on the national conference’s official itinerary.

In addition to McConnell, S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford attended (and spoke at) the event – although it was not listed on his weekly public schedule. S.C. Republican Attorney General nominee Alan Wilson also attended.

Invited speakers to the NFRW conference included U.S. House Minority Leader John Boehner, Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, RNC Chairman Michael Steele, Rep. Joe Wilson, House Speaker Bobby Harrell, former U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins and GOP gubernatorial nominee Nikki Haley.

Below are several pictures from the festivities that were publicly posted on Facebook …

(Click to enlarge)

UPDATE: We’ve contacted the head of the S.C. Federation of Republican Women seeking comment on these pictures.

UPDATE II: We’ve gotten a few calls wondering why we haven’t expressed an opinion on this matter. Frankly, we could care less if Republican (or Democratic) officials like to “play Confederate” in their spare time. It’s when they waste millions of tax dollars pursuing their Confederate fetishes (and then lie about it) that we get pissed off.

UPDATE III: A source in Sanford’s office tells FITS that the governor was on hand to present the organization with a “Certificate of Appreciation.”

UPDATE IV: Somebody freshen our mint juleps … Ben Smith at The Politico has just linked to our story!

UPDATE V: McConnell has responded to the controversy surrounding the pictures.