ANOTHER CAMPAIGN FINANCE SCANDAL TIED TO POWERFUL CONSULTING FIRM
|| By FITSNEWS || Incoming S.C. lieutenant governor Henry McMaster has been accused of taking more than $50,000 in excessive campaign contributions during his failed bid for governor of South Carolina four years ago.
The S.C. State Ethics Commission (SCSEC) will hold a closed door hearing on the allegations against the former two-term attorney general (and ex-SCGOP chairman) in mid-March – two months after he takes the oath as the state’s “second-in-command.”
Wait … a “closed door hearing?” Yup. This is South Carolina, where the system is almost always rigged in favor of those in power.
According to the complaint (filed by a Greenville, S.C. resident way back in April), McMaster “created a phantom general election in which he was not participating and solicited additional donations for that election in an effort to circumvent the law.”
Whoa … sounds kinda serious, doesn’t it? Indeed …
McMaster lost his 2010 race to S.C. governor Nikki Haley, but he won the “Republican” primary for lieutenant governor last spring over Haley’s handpicked No. 2, Patrick McKinney. Two months ago McMaster defeated Democrat Bakari Sellers to claim the lieutenant governor’s office – overcoming yet another round of controversy surrounding his association with various “whites only” social organizations.
McMaster is best known in Palmetto political circles for his nickname – “Foghorn Leghorn” – an homage to his thick Southern drawl and dubious intelligence.
Of interest? McMaster’s campaign finance problems are eerily similar to those experienced by Alan Wilson – the crusading prosector who followed him into the attorney general’s office.
In fact we filed this exclusive report last March delving into Wilson’s campaign finance issues – which also included excessive contributions.
According to our sources, such creative campaign accounting was standard operating procedure at Richard Quinn and Associates – the consulting firm which ran both McMaster and Wilson’s 2010 campaigns.
In fact one source familiar with the “playbook” used by Quinn told us excessive contributions were “routinely” received by candidates – and then disguised through clever accounting tricks.
“We go through at least a dozen steps before any mention is made of returning the money,” the source continued, adding that returned money is routinely “re-routed to the candidate through contributions from other campaigns.”