OUT OF HIS CAMPAIGN ACCOUNT … RIGHT BEFORE ISSUING A HUGELY CONTROVERSIAL RULING …
S.C. attorney general and presumed “Republican” gubernatorial candidate Alan Wilson paid a whopping $28,000 out of his campaign account late last year to former Democratic minority leader James Smith – a state lawmaker and prominent liberal attorney in Columbia, S.C.
Wilson and Smith did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment on why such an unusually large sum of money was transferred – or why the payment was made from Wilson’s campaign account.
According to S.C. State Ethics Commission (SCSEC) filings, the questionable disbursement – which accounted for nearly two-thirds of Wilson’s total quarterly expenditures – was listed as having been made on November 24, 2015.
That’s two weeks before Wilson’s office released a hugely controversial opinion in response to a request from Democratic first circuit solicitor David Pascoe relating to an ongoing investigation into public corruption at the S.C. State House.
Coincidence? Our sources think not …
“The powerful Democratic lawyer was probably hired to talk to the Democratic solicitor,” one source close to Pascoe’s office told us.
Wilson was supposed to be leading the State House anti-corruption investigation – but recused himself last summer citing undisclosed conflicts of interest.
He didn’t stay away from “the probe” for long, though.
Wilson’s December 11 opinion – obtained exclusively by this website – clearly sought to steer Pascoe’s investigation in such a way as to benefit elected officials belonging to the political stable of his neo-Confederate consultant, Richard Quinn.
The opinion was so flagrantly self-serving, in fact, that we’re told it has attracted the attention of some of the same federal investigators who were originally working with Wilson’s office in an effort to identify which State House lawmakers were on the take.
Incidentally, Wilson’s campaign paid Quinn’s firm – Richard Quinn and Associates – nearly $11,000 in three separate payments during the fourth quarter of 2015, according to SCSEC documents.
How cozy …
This website has taken an increasingly dim view of Wilson in light of his ongoing failure to do the job he was elected to do – a job he promised us two years ago that he would do.
“Once viewed as a crusader against public corruption, it’s now readily apparent Wilson has engaged in selective prosecution in an effort to benefit his political allies – many of whom are far more corrupt than the handful of politicians he’s prosecuted,” we wrote earlier this month.
We’re not alone in that view, either …
Despite failing to make good on his promises to root out the rampant corruption in Columbia, S.C., Wilson is being groomed as Quinn’s gubernatorial candidate of choice for 2018. In fact Wilson and Quinn held a strategy session recently which included wealthy Columbia, S.C. businessman Bill Stern and S.C. Manufacturers Alliance president Lewis Gossett – two prominent political insiders likely to take leadership roles in his upcoming race.
Can he overcome his growing baggage and mount a credible campaign? Or will Quinn toss him overboard in favor of a politician who is making much smarter moves at the moment?
We shall see …