GROUP WANTS ATTORNEY GENERAL TO INVESTIGATE …
The S.C. Club for Growth is accusing a sitting state lawmaker of using his government email address for political campaigning.
And of using campaign funds for personal expenditures …
And of violating regulations related to loans received by candidates …
Oh, and the group wants S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson to investigate the allegations (which, let’s face it, might as well be a punch line given Wilson’s habitual refusal to do his job).
According to the group’s executive director, R.J. May III, fifth-term S.C. Rep. Mike Gambrell has been “using state resources to conduct campaign business.” May also claimed Gambrell’s state ethics filings “look more like a personal ATM statement than a campaign disclosure.”
Additionally, May says a $50,000 loan Gambrell’s campaign received from his wife’s consulting business was in violation of a prohibition against such contributions.
“This entity is neither a commercial lending institution nor does it provide loans in the normal course of business,” said May. “Thus, it is subject to contribution limits.”
Gambrell has returned the loan, but May says that’s not enough.
“Only a lawmaker would think he could commit a violation, realize he’s getting caught, and get away with it scott-free,” May said.
The S.C. Club for Growth – which recently launched its bid to defeat liberal lawmakers – caused some controversy earlier this year when it released so-called “fiscal” report cards that leaned heavily on a lawmaker’s position on the Confederate flag. Many viewed these “flag-heavy” report cards as evidence that the group was carrying political water for S.C. governor Nikki Haley – whose rapid-fire conversion on the flag has been central to the resurrection of her national profile.
Haley is also closely tied to the national Club for Growth.
Anyway, Gambrell is running in a special election for S.C. Senate District 4 (map here) – a heavily-gerrymandered district which includes parts of Abbeville, Anderson and Greenwood counties. The seat became vacant in January upon the death of Billy O’Dell – a fiscally liberal former Democrat who had held the office since 1988.
Earlier this week, Gambrell won a “Republican” primary election to replace O’Dell – but since he failed to capture more than fifty percent of the vote, he is scheduled to face second-place finisher Rockey Burgess in a runoff election on April 5.
In a text message sent to The (Anderson, S.C.) Independent Mail, Gambrell referred to May’s allegations as “dirty political tricks done by out of state billionaires trying to concoct a story that is not there.”