DCPolitics

Lee Bright Goes “Boom”

Call it a case of spontaneous political combustion … As we predicted (here, here and here), S.C. Sen. Lee Bright’s campaign for the United States Senate went “boom” with the long-awaited release of his personal financial disclosure information to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) The filing of this report –…

Call it a case of spontaneous political combustion …

As we predicted (here, here and here), S.C. Sen. Lee Bright’s campaign for the United States Senate went “boom” with the long-awaited release of his personal financial disclosure information to the Federal Election Commission (FEC)

The filing of this report – repeatedly delayed by Bright – revealed he owed at least $1.4 million to creditors as a result of his failed trucking business, On Time Trucking. Bright’s obligations could exceed $3 million, though.

(To view a .pdf of the form, click here).

Those figures are dramatically worse than the $318,000 referenced in this 2012 report on Bright’s personal finances.

Bright is also facing a transparency problem.  In 2013, he participated in a voluntary income disclosure project organized by the S.C. Policy Council – which along with other groups is pushing for expanded income disclosure at the state level in response to abuses by S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley and others.

On the Policy Council’s form (.pdf file here), Bright failed to list income earned as a “business development” consultant with BBD LLC – a company owned by his campaign consultant, Michael Stevens.

Bright filled out his Policy Council form in 2013, while his association with Stevens’ firm began the previous year.

It’s not clear what kind of “business development” Bright is doing for Stevens’ firm, although a candidate working for a company owned by his political consultant (particularly one who already holds an elected office) would seem to raise a host of ethical questions.

Critics might allege Bright is turning campaign contributions into personal cash, for example.

Bright is one of four candidates challenging liberal U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham in next year’s Republican primary election for the Senate seat Graham has held since 2002.  The others are Lowcountry businesswoman Nancy Mace, former congressional candidate Richard Cash and Orangeburg, S.C. attorney Bill Connor.

This website has repeatedly given Bright the benefit of the doubt regarding problems with his personal finances – arguing that times are tight and people everywhere are struggling.  Obviously Bright’s issues are much bigger than we ever expected, though, and there certainly appear to be some issues regarding how forthcoming he has been related to his problems.

Bigger picture? Bright is now crippled as a candidate. For example, it’s next-to-impossible for him to adopt aggressive policy positions on deficit reduction – or at least do so with a shred of credibility.

UPDATE: Here’s Bright on Bright.

Pic: Travis Bell Photography

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46 comments

? December 13, 2013 at 8:44 am

Great, another cockroach living off his campaign funds.

What makes this even worse is all the “fiscal responsibility” bullshit talk from him.

“Do as I say, not as I do.” Pffft….no credibility what so ever.

It’s one thing to have failed at business, even filed bankruptcy and having to start over….it’s another to commit outright and ongoing fraud.

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Smirks December 13, 2013 at 8:47 am

Maybe he needs the six figure income that comes with being a US Senator if he’s ever going to pay off his debts.

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Trucker 1 December 13, 2013 at 10:06 am

The income as a senator would hardly put a dent in his debt. He is working hard on other ventures to pay off the debt.

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SparkleCity December 13, 2013 at 11:26 pm

Fuck a bunch of lee Bright

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George December 13, 2013 at 2:05 pm

The Teapublicans are always looking for a government check. They can’t make it in the real world, so they want the taxpayer to bail them out. But they don’t want to call it what it is. Welfare, because they have to bash people on welfare to get elected.

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Frequent Guest December 13, 2013 at 8:53 am

Hope full the SC Senate will hound him out of the Senate, and hold him to the same standards as they did Robert Ford. Merely having a “receipt” for an expense that does not involve Viagra or blow up dolls, does not make it legal. This cockroach along with Keckstrum should be tarred and feathered, carried out of tone Statehouse on a pole. Need so,e reform in Columbia.

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SCBlueWoman December 13, 2013 at 9:17 am

He’s just like his cohorts in the Senate. Let’s hound them all out and start fresh. It couldn’t hurt.

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The Colonel December 14, 2013 at 2:04 am

Wanna bet?

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Smirks December 13, 2013 at 11:11 am

Merely having a “receipt” for an expense that does not involve Viagra or blow up dolls, does not make it legal.

It does, however, make it far less hilarious.

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Mike at the Beach December 13, 2013 at 8:57 am

He was already “crippled as a candidate” for several reasons, he just didn’t know it.

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No name December 13, 2013 at 9:08 am

Unbelievable. I’m really at a loss for words here.

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Nölff December 13, 2013 at 9:13 am

If eyes are the window to the soul, he’s crazier than a box of frogs. Those are some crazy looking eyes.

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nitrat December 13, 2013 at 9:17 am

Good grief, son, we elected Nikki Haley when she, her family and family business, when she was the bookkeeper, had a long history of NOT paying any kind of taxes on time and preferring to accrue fines rather than do so. We knew this months before the general election in 2010.
But, YOU did YOUR job and distracted the voters with SEX.
SC voters don’t care about the personal financial incompetence, irresponsibility or lawlessness when they cast their votes…even, if they had the concentration to pay attention when SEX rears its ugly head.

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CNSYD December 13, 2013 at 9:40 am

You have caught Sic Willie trampling down any opposition to his girl Mace. I even heard she was the first female graduate of The Citadel.

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Will Folks aka Sic December 13, 2013 at 9:51 am

Maybe I’ll have to have sex w/ her then ;)

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CNSYD December 13, 2013 at 11:41 am

Damn, you must be slipping. You haven’t already?

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euwe max December 18, 2013 at 2:40 am

I thought I was the only hold-out.

scarolina December 13, 2013 at 9:54 am

Really!? Tell me more about this “first female graduate of The Citadel”! I had not heard of such a thing.

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Trucker 1 December 13, 2013 at 10:09 am

He has a prefect voting record. When will people wake the fuck up and pay attention to that kind of thing??

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nitrat December 13, 2013 at 4:42 pm

Does anything he votes for pass?
If very little does, you have someone who is as ineffective as Mark Sanford has been every day of his political career.

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SparkleCity December 13, 2013 at 11:22 pm

Just like Hitler with his perfect voting record!!!

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The Colonel December 14, 2013 at 2:06 am

Did you really just throw out the Hitler card!?!

Barker December 13, 2013 at 9:17 am

Karma is a bitch. The list is incomplete.

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There's more??? December 13, 2013 at 9:19 am

What’s missing?

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What about December 13, 2013 at 9:48 am

His largest source of income is the state government!? Come on people. We have to stop supporting candidates just because they scream “liberty” the loudest. We must find credible and electable candidates.

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Trucker 1 December 13, 2013 at 10:07 am

Have you looked at his voting record? It’s perfect. He doesn’t take the easy way out like most other representatives do! When will you idiots actually give a shit about a voting record??

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Wake up December 13, 2013 at 10:33 am

He’s committing fraud by living off his campaign funds. Does that even matter to you?

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Rep TJ December 13, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Show me…

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Wake up December 13, 2013 at 12:05 pm

I’m not sure I’ll have to. If he doesn’t have friends on the ethics committee he’s screwed.

But then again, if he wants to give everyone a rundown on what $22k of “business development” is in the name of transparency, and so people don’t think otherwise, well then, I would have respect for him.

I don’t think I’ll be changing my opinion of him anytime soon. I suspect, just like this filing, that he was avoid the topic entirely for as long as possible..

Rep TJ December 13, 2013 at 12:17 pm

It isn’t enough that you can see where every dollar is spent throughout the campaign?

Wake up December 13, 2013 at 1:55 pm

And how exactly does that qualify for “business development” and how does it relate to his campaign?

SparkleCity December 13, 2013 at 11:19 pm

Fuck a bunch of that crook Lee Bright

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euwe max December 13, 2013 at 9:57 am

Oh, shit! … but… but… his *voting record* … *sob*

Should it really matter if he’s a nit wit, moron, Cornuto contento as long as he believes in a young earth, abortion begins at conception, and taxes are right up there with approaching oxen unnaturally, taking guns away from the mentally ill and early voting?

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SMH December 13, 2013 at 10:50 am

It looks like the form is a range, it could be up to $3 million. Crazy he thinks he can win a US Senate race, not to mention he talks out of both sides of his ass, I mean mouth.

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Trucker 1 December 13, 2013 at 10:05 am

You’re so full of shit. For someone his age to have a business grossing $10 million a year, that’s pretty remarkable. Where is your trucking business? It’s easy to point fingers when you’re on the sidelines. He addresses his business here: http://www.brightforsenate.com/lee-bright-on-business-failures/

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Wake up December 13, 2013 at 10:34 am

His business is still operating?

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Trucker 1 December 13, 2013 at 10:57 am

His brokerage business still is.

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SparkleCity December 13, 2013 at 11:23 pm

Fuck a bunch of lee Bright

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SparkleCity December 13, 2013 at 11:24 pm

Fuck a bunch of Lee Bright

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jimlewisowb December 13, 2013 at 10:59 am

Cockroachshit

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Rep TJ December 13, 2013 at 11:58 am

“Critics might allege Bright is turning campaign contributions into personal cash, for example.” Intelligent voters might want to see some kind of proof for such an accusation.

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Carl December 13, 2013 at 2:02 pm

So he lists his per diem (and $10k salary) as a state senator as the majority of his income the last two years, and he owes as much as $3 million to creditors. The excuses page on his website is full of horrible business mistakes HE made. US Senators are far too susceptible to bribery with debt like this.

I actually do love his voting record but seriously?

Thanks but no thanks

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Bill December 13, 2013 at 2:09 pm

Loser/ taker looking for a taxpayer bail out. I need a check. Show me the money.

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TroglodyteSuperFreak December 14, 2013 at 2:26 pm

and in his story printed elsewhere on this site, he blames everyone but himself for his downfall………GROW UP ! Because he needs the salary money of a congressman, he will say and do whatever he can to get elected. I bet those welfare queens he recently chastised and which got national press are laughing at him now. At least they have a Cadillac to show for their efforts. Lee? no so much.

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OK December 15, 2013 at 1:47 pm

This group of comments sure do approve of the numbers in which South Carolina stands. It shows that the people of SC love being in the bottom 40. People do not understand that the only thing a candidate carries is trust, character, and integrity every situation an elected faces is different. I don’t care that my neighbor went bankrupt, gay, or likes blowup dolls, but just don’t want them representing me in government. I am very tired of the people not caring how this state is run. I love the state and family been here since 1702. The voting history of the register voters is what I rest my case on. Not the crap that is running the state and I say that because of the positions the state holds in about every category. The industry head is tourism. So much for the education. Rich get richer and you know the story. The Republican party loves the way things are run in this state. Red State means what it is, IN THE RED. The political parties run the nation and it shows in the voting turnout. The political arena wants you spoiled and stupid. My thoughts and opinions are from what is happening and the numbers. It does not have to be my way but abide in the laws of the land and people. For a candidate to bring to the table the poor me just ain’t going to cut it for me. If I can’t trust them with my children’s future then they are not even a consideration. I am a conservative and do not like government being in charge that is why there was a revolution from the start of this great nation.

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Bill Bledsoe June 9, 2014 at 11:37 am

Fits News is Nancy Mace’s trash website.

Being a “Soldier of Fortune” up in Washington is a high paying job. Sen Graham is now worth over $18,000,000, by causing endless wars, and was given over $8,000,000 for his campaign. I wonder how much of Sen Graham’s campaign money went to Nancy Mace’s PR firm and her Fitsnews? This information won’t be released until long after she’s lost the election.

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