SENATE DEMOCRATS SPAR OVER DOUBLE-DIPPING CAUCUS STAFFER
|| By FITSNEWS || S.C. Senator Darrell Jackson is a man of God … a pastor.
But he serves another master … a master whose top operative is facing criticism over alleged conflict of interest issues.
Antjuan Seawright – a longtime Democratic operative and CEO of Jackson’s Sunrise Communications – was recently named the executive director of the S.C. Senate’s democratic caucus. In that capacity, he’s supposed to advance the interests of the minority party in the upper chamber of the S.C. General Assembly.
Is he doing that, though?
Multiple sources familiar with Seawright’s counsel tell FITS he is using his position to effectively lobby on behalf of Sunrise and its clients – irrespective of whether those corporate and governmental interests mesh with the best interests of Senate Democrats.
Specifically, we’re told Seawright was lobbying hard on behalf of a proposed bond bill that would have benefited several of Sunrise’s governmental clients – even though the measure was not politically advantageous.
The bill was ultimately ruled out of order – meaning Senators didn’t get a chance to vote on it.
“But it’s really not about the bond bill – it’s about the general conflict of interest that exists,” one source tells FITS.
Several Democratic Senators declined to discuss Seawright’s “double-dipping” with FITS – on or off the record. But none defended him – or disputed the account we were provided.
This isn’t the first time Seawright has landed in hot water.
(Or was it cold water?)
It’s also not the first time Jackson has been associated with shady dealings related to the advancement of his business interests.
Does this really matter, though? Aren’t Democrats the “minority party?” Not really … with fiscally liberal Senate leader Hugh Leatherman able to count on roughly a dozen “Republicans” to support big government initiatives, Democrats are basically part of the majority in the State Senate.
And the S.C. House, for that matter …
That makes Seawright’s role more important than it might otherwise seem … and any conflicts related to it worth exploring further.