As most of our readers know there are few contested elections this year – or any year – for seats in the S.C. General Assembly. The district lines aren’t drawn to create competition, they’re drawn to protect the status quo – and the rare instance in which races are contested, it’s usually because a lawmaker is bucking the established order.
Take S.C. Rep. Kirkman Finlay (R-Columbia) – who is being challenged this year by liberal trial lawyer Joe McCulloch. Actually there are two McCullochs on the ballot this year – Joe and his liberal wife, probate judge Amy McCulloch.
Anyway, Clan McCulloch has tried to put on a couple of fundraisers in recent weeks for Joe’s campaign and both events were – according to our sources – very poorly attended. The first McCulloch event was hosted by former fifth circuit solicitor Barney Giese at his palatial office.
For those not in the know, Giese’s office is fitted with an outside bar and a hot tub – which makes you wonder exactly what type of lawyering goes on there. And with good reason. Giese, of course, is the lawman who decided not to seek re-election after he was busted for driving under the influence in Charleston (with a female in the vehicle who was not his wife).
The video tape of the then current solicitor whining while he was under arrest is something to see.
He must not have seen Joe’s popular bumper sticker: “Don’t Blow, call Joe.”
Anyway, it appears not too many lawyers were interested in donating to Joe and his hard-partying crony. We hear this fundraiser barely drew double digits, which means not much cash was raised.
This week, McCulloch hosted another fundraiser at the Indigo Hunt Club, which we learned was also poorly attended. One participant said not a dozen people showed.
Of course if McCulloch doesn’t like his fundraising totals … he can always make up numbers as he sees fit.
Finlay, on the other hand, is hosting a fundraiser next week that has been sold out for weeks. Two days later he is having another event that should bring in between $50,000 to $75,000.
No wonder we’re hearing rumors that the liberal S.C. Trial Lawyers Association is thinking about bailing on this race – which McCulloch failed to win in 2012 even with the deck stacked against Finlay.