UH-OH, HENRY McMASTER …
S.C. governor Henry McMaster continues to fly pretty close to the fire as it relates to his embattled neo-Confederate political allies – specifically state representative Rick Quinn and his father, powerful establishment Republican consultant Richard Quinn.
Both Quinns are reportedly at the heart of an ongoing investigation into public corruption at the S.C. State House. In fact the elder Quinn (above, left) was reportedly summoned to testify before a statewide grand jury last month.
Prior to that, as this website exclusively reported, the pair were named in the still-secret pages of a December 2013 investigative report prepared by the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED). That document formed the basis for the current investigation, which seeks to determine whether state lawmakers have been abusing their positions of public trust for personal gain.
Despite this scrutiny, McMaster and his generously compensated chief of staff, Trey Walker, have provided the Quinns with high-profile access to the new administration.
Last month, for example, McMaster invited the Quinns over for drinks at the S.C. Governor’s Mansion – his first gathering at the taxpayer-funded residence since taking office.
This week, McMaster and Walker joined the Quinns courtside to watch the University of South Carolina’s home basketball finale against Mississippi State University.
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Not only that ESPNU – which was providing national television coverage of the game – actually mistook Quinn for McMaster when it zoomed in on the group during its telecast, referring to him as the “governor of South Carolina.”
McMaster’s troubling proximity to the Quinns – which has burned him in the past – is nothing but an insider issue at the moment. It’s not hurting him politically because most South Carolinians have no idea who the Quinns are.
Also the last time we checked, ESPNU ratings weren’t exactly through the roof – especially for a game that coincided with U.S. president Donald Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress.
Still … perceptions matter. And McMaster’s latest display of public chumminess with the Quinns strikes us as exceedingly ill-advised.