Hugh Leatherman’s Gas Tax “Pincers”

SENATE LEADER BATTLES NIKKI HALEY FROM THE LEFT … AND THE RIGHT || By FITSNEWS ||  There’s a reason S.C. Senate president Hugh Leatherman is the undisputed ruler of South Carolina: He’s downright diabolical.  And devastatingly good at what he does. That’s obviously bad news for South Carolina taxpayers given…


|| By FITSNEWS ||  There’s a reason S.C. Senate president Hugh Leatherman is the undisputed ruler of South Carolina: He’s downright diabolical.  And devastatingly good at what he does.

That’s obviously bad news for South Carolina taxpayers given his leftward ideological leanings, but the unavoidable reality is that no one sees the chess board any better than this diminutive liberal.  In fact it’s not even close.

Leatherman – who completed his coup of state government last spring – is a hard-core statist.  A tax-hiking, big gubmint Democrat who switched parties when it became politically expedient for him to do so.  He’s also as wealthy as he is influential – often at your expense.

Anyway, it’s not surprising Leatherman is on board with the disingenuous push to raise the Palmetto State’s gas tax (which this website adamantly opposes).  It’s also not surprising the liberal S.C. Alliance to Fix Our Roads – which is lobbying hard for the tax hike – is loaded with Leatherman allies.

What is surprising?  The extent to which the “Little Digger” (as he is known around the S.C. State House) has managed to stay in the background on this issue … while at the same time covertly dropping the ax on those who have stuck their necks out and offered specific tax hike proposals.


Among them?  S.C. governor Nikki Haley – who was recently slammed for her tax swap proposal by a Columbia, S.C.-based group called “S.C. Citizens for a Free Market.”

Leading this group?  Kerry Wood, an Upstate “Tea Party” consultant whose personal life (most notably his messy separation from S.C. Rep. Donna Hicks) has made all sorts of headlines in the past.

According to our sources, S.C. Citizens for a Free Market is nothing but “a front for Leatherman’s interests.”  Meaning Wood and another Upstate “Tea Party” leader are in the tank for the powerful Senate leader.

“(Wood) and Spartanburg Tea Party chief Karen Martin manage the right wing for Leatherman and company,” our source explained. “Simple right wing stuff to keep the masses occupied.”

Neither Leatherman nor his left-leaning allies directly pay Wood or Martin, we’re told.

“There’s an intermediary in the state capital,” our source explained.  “Someone with long-standing ties to Leatherman and his operation.”

The goal of this effort?

To bloody Haley from the right while Leatherman’s status quo legions batter her from the left.  A pincers.  Or “double envelopment.”

“The (main goal) is to beat the Haley plan so as to ensure there is no reduction in general funds, and to put her on the sidelines, bruised,” our source added.  “Then Leatherman substitutes his straight up tax bill – an estimated twenty cents per gallon tax hike – in place of the two House bills. ”

S.C. House leaders have proposed their own tax hike plan … which we also adamantly oppose.

The only problem with Leatherman’s plan?  Haley is likely to veto any gas tax increase that does not contain the promise of future income tax relief – meaning two-thirds of both the House and Senate would need to support the tax hike Leatherman is proposing.

That’s not going to happen …

In fact House leaders say Leatherman’s plan won’t even reach Haley’s desk – because it “wouldn’t make it past the House.”

“He knows he’s going to have to negotiate down,” one House leader told FITS.

But Leatherman’s negotiating position with the House is dramatically improved if “Tea Party” forces are in his pocket.  Especially in the conservative Upstate region of South Carolina.

And if Leatherman and House leaders strike a deal, then the threat of Haley’s veto becomes far less menacing … meaning the likelihood of a gas tax increase becoming law goes up exponentially.

Pic: Travis Bell Photography


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shifty henry March 9, 2015 at 11:40 am

” A pincers. Or “double envelopment.” —– known otherwise as a NUTCRACKER?

jimlewisowb March 9, 2015 at 12:34 pm

In the world of T Rav and those who creep around the under belly of the Holy City it is known otherwise as … DOUBLE PENETRATION…

Guest March 9, 2015 at 11:59 am

Karen Marin and K-Flo are thick as thieves in this Leatherman nonsense.

Mark March 9, 2015 at 3:04 pm

And Karen is as establishment as it gets, especially when money is involved!

Guest March 9, 2015 at 4:50 pm

Oh yea, if there’$ money involved, K-Flo i$ in the mix.

ScrewedNSC March 9, 2015 at 12:36 pm

I say there my boy ..he done got your balls in a vice! Crafty little shit ain’t he. (Leatherman that is)

Mauldin Man #1 March 9, 2015 at 3:01 pm

I heard the same stuff from a couple of good sources.

I think Karen Martin is not in the printing business, but her friend Roger Nutt was, and Karen may have helped him though not sure about that. Kerry Wood’s daughter Heather ran the place, evidently into the ground as it is now closed. Roger used to work with Kerry in Dark Horse Strategies which is a scummy consulting firm that looses most every contested race it handles.

Karen and Kerry are very tight and they do lots of hush hush business. What that is, i don’t know. But taking money from Leatherman is certainly something Kerry would do.

Walkin Joe March 9, 2015 at 3:27 pm

I love how Karen Martin is going apeshit over the printing comment but does not mention the rest of the article. I was a police officer for 28 years, and when people act like that I always new they were guilty as hell.

I hope she enjoys her Leatherman money.

Mackey March 9, 2015 at 3:45 pm

Every parent has experienced that behavior with 8 year olds. They did not eat 3 cookies (they ate 4). The story IS about Kerry Wood and tea party people taking money from Leatherman’s people. I want to see her deny that, which will happen, but jay denial will also be “qualified,” just like the cookies!
The Tea Party is riddled with people making money off the establishment. They are as corrupt as the Democrats.

Tiger March 9, 2015 at 8:16 pm

Karen used to help Roger Nutt in his printing business. She does not own one now, but she did help him.

sparklecity March 10, 2015 at 11:44 am

Easy on “Queen Karen Martin” there law dog………..
Dark forces are afoot…………….
She’ll go with that “Why I’m just little ‘ol itty-bittie me” tactic and sic her minions (all 4 of them) on you.
They will bare their fangs (well actually dentures) and write nasty things about you and attack you personally.

bconley March 9, 2015 at 11:33 pm

Dumbest thing I ever heard. Neither Karen, nor Kerry would be caught anywhere near Leatherman. Get your facts from someone better than this rag.

sparklecity March 10, 2015 at 11:58 am

Very interesting………..
I did not know all this about Queen Martin, I just thought she is the “power behind the throne” of the Spartanburg GOP
No doubt her and Roger Nutt are as tight as ticks when it comes to politics in Spartanburg County and would like nothing better than make it their fiefdom
I did not know her influence went beyond Spartanburg County but maybe it does. Her organization has Lee Bright,Roger Corbin and Shane Martin by the short hairs and all 3 are senators representing parts of Spartanburg County so there you go

Dosen’t take a masters degree in political science to connect these dots……

Andy March 9, 2015 at 3:24 pm

Poor Nikki is going to have her gas tax filed killed and then she is going to lose on the big bond bill. Not going to be a good year for her. Unless she decides to join the tax and spend crowd.

Mickey March 9, 2015 at 3:34 pm

Kerry is a mess. He will take money from anyone by using his various front groups. He has been doing that for years. A quick look at the issues on his site and it is clear he is pimping for Leatherman

Has anyone seen the tax return for Citizens for a Free Markets? I can’t find them anywhere.

James March 9, 2015 at 5:10 pm

Tea Party people should never be in bed with the RINOS! That just weakens our arguments. We need people that will say no to money from these RINO pols!

GVille Gal March 9, 2015 at 6:51 pm

I am very disappointed in Karen.

Bconley March 9, 2015 at 11:29 pm

Stupid statement, because you don’t really know these people, and others on here believe anything you guys put out.

FastEddy23 March 9, 2015 at 4:13 pm

We are no longer amused by these taxsuckers.

Cal March 9, 2015 at 8:07 pm

Kerry is a crook. No two ways about it. F’ing cockroaches.

Knocking on the back door too? March 9, 2015 at 4:52 pm

You’d think Haley would love Leatherface slapping her with the Wood.

Don March 9, 2015 at 5:17 pm

This is not the first time Kerry and Leatherman have worked together. Leatherman has all the state’s money, so it won’t be the last!

Thomas March 9, 2015 at 6:49 pm

Kerry Wood and Karen Martin are not the only Tea Party folks that are making money. I hope someone investigates some of the other “leaders.” They are feeding at the trough like welfare queens!

Seth March 9, 2015 at 6:59 pm

Has Kerry and Karen denied this?

Ellen March 9, 2015 at 8:04 pm

Every time I start to look up to someone in politics I become disappointed. Karan Martin was supposed to be one of us. I guess money corrupts all these people in the end.

Sigh March 9, 2015 at 10:12 pm

I had the same feeling with Curtis Loftis when he was elected. How the perks of office can really change someone.

bconley March 9, 2015 at 11:32 pm

Yes, don’t believe everything you see, especially here. Know them personally, and this whole thread is about as stupid as it gets. Who is this supposed to be supporting? Someone has an ax to grind, and will lie to do it.

SCaro March 10, 2015 at 8:20 am

Kerry takes great pride in playing underhanded political games. It is practically his whole resume. I don’t know Karen good so I want go there but Kerry Woods makes money by doing crazy shit for politicians. Everyone knows that. It is not against the law to crooked shit for money and to hide it.

Squishy123 March 9, 2015 at 8:27 pm

Has Leatherman shit in his pants yet this session?

Patriot March 10, 2015 at 7:53 am

Neither Kerry Woods or Karen Martin have denied the main point of the story, and that is that they do Hugh Leatherman’s bidding for pay and in secret. They are in social media everyday therefore it would be easy for them to make a statement, something like ” we have never knowingly worked on behalf of Senator Leatherman or his people.”

Please Karen, Kerry. Make us proud. Make a statement and help us take the use back to the issue of freedom.

Chris March 10, 2015 at 8:13 am

Why not ask Leatherman to admit it because you have as much chance getting that as getting these clowns to admit it. People, political consultant take money form anyone, anywhere and anytime. It is their business model so don’t act surprised.

Paul March 10, 2015 at 8:54 am

Kerry pissed off a lot of people when they found out he was being paid “through the backdoor” by Leatherman and his people in the “out-of-state trash” campaign. The video below is a sham. He interviews his fright wing friends as if they are randomly selected, He uses the “Premium News Network” as if it were real news, not a advertisement placement service

The link to PNN he should have used is:

the group is a scam to collect under the table money for Leatherman and his establishment buddies.

Paul March 10, 2015 at 9:00 am

Check out this UBER report on Kerry’s site. Nowhere does the site mention the lobby/consulting firms, which are tied to Leatherman and paying Kerry, are fighting for UBER. That UBER drivers are not properly insured and their private insurance is cancelled when they are found out. That UBER drivers have repeatedly surcharged Carolinians by 100% with proper disclosure.

Using Free Enterprise to allow out of state billionaires to work SC drivers without proper insurance, and to overcharge our citizens pisses a lot of people off!

Paul March 10, 2015 at 9:02 am

Citizens For Fee Market. Where are its tax returns? I can’t find them online. Where are the tax returns?

Paul March 10, 2015 at 9:07 am

Go to Karen Martin’s Spartanburg Tea Party site to see all of Kerry’s articles in their various forms. They are definitely working together. Here is just one sample of the sharing.

Tom March 10, 2015 at 9:50 am

Look up all the lobbyist involved in theses Kerry Woods is involved in. That tells the story

Neil March 10, 2015 at 9:42 pm

Kerry is a peace of shit. He would rather lie than tell the truth. Follow the money!

Seth March 11, 2015 at 9:52 pm

Kerry is a double piece of shit. He took money from two opposing campaigns once. When he was found out he said he was confused.

M326 March 11, 2015 at 1:39 pm

I support Leatherman’s approach. A straight-up tax is transparent and places the burden on the users of the resource. Leatherman is a voice of reason.

Tim March 11, 2015 at 9:50 pm

Karen Martin has gone bonkers over these articles. Her behavior is whacko, just like some guilty crack head. She has done everything but deny the story, which is what an innocent person would have done. Fits may have gotten the print shop thing wrong (minor point of the story) but everything else is right on the money.

Karen, you are guilty as charged. Kerry is even guiltier. Both of you can rot in crook hell as far as I am concerned.


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