The S.C. Policy Council raised an estimated $1.4 million in 2009 – the year leading up to its launch of a new media venture that has spectacularly flopped.
The on-again, off-again supporters of S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley spent $1.2 million that year – twice what they spent in 2008. That total included a $114,001 salary for president Ashley Landess, but it also included more than $752,000 in “other expenses” – nearly three times the 2008 total of $262,000 for this category.
It’s obvious that the organization invested heavily in the creation of The Nerve, a new media website that promised to ““drill a big, fat peephole into closed door politics” in South Carolina.
Sources tell FITS that The Nerve – which employs at least three full-time reporters on its staff – was funded with grant money from the Koch Foundation, which supports libertarian and conservative causes across the country. How much money?
“High six figures,” one source told FITS at the time.
Within six months, it was already clear that The Nerve was a colossal failure – a descent that has only intensified this year. In fact, the website received an anemic 131 unique visits in July.