“BABY MOMMA” IDENTIFIED …

Former South Carolina lawmaker and influential infrastructure appointee Chip Limehouse is facing a further escalation of his “baby momma drama” after pictures of his  infant daughter surfaced on the social media page of his teenage daughter Eliza Limehouse over the mother’s day weekend.

Who cares, right?  Right.

Except for this: Limehouse’s elder daughter is a budding reality television star – having appeared in several episodes of the Bravo TV show Southern Charm.  Also friends and family members of the baby’s mother – Melissa Mims of Aiken, S.C. – are furious over what they see as the “exploitation” of the young child.

More fundamentally, Mims’ supporters tell us they have become increasingly concerned that her ongoing refusal to discuss the case with the media – or even confirm her identity to reporters – has allowed Limehouse to exploit the situation to his advantage.

Specifically, friends and family of Mims say they want her name out in the open so that she can start defending herself – and defending her daughter.

What does Mims think about all this?

Over the past few months, she has steadfastly refused to comment to us about the case – referring us on repeated occasions to her attorney, Helen Ann Thrower of Columbia, S.C.

She declined to comment again when we reached out to her today, although she acknowledged that her identity had become widely known through the coverage of the case and that she understood if we felt compelled to reveal her name.

“I’m not going to stop you,” she said. “But I’m still not going to talk to you.”

Fair enough …

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Mims is a “Frontier Girl,” according to her friends.

“She hunts, she rides horses, she loves the outdoors,” one source told us.

Most importantly, her friends describe her as a dedicated mother who has already raised one upstanding young adult daughter – and who does not deserve to be “muscled” by a powerful politico as she seeks to raise another daughter.

Obviously there is more than one side to every story – and we’re sure Limehouse has a perspective on this situation, too.  He has been most unwilling in the past to share his perspective, though.

Hell, during his tenure as a lawmaker he even attacked this website after we defended him on an issue related to his legislative career.

If Limehouse or his allies ever do decide to offer their thoughts on the situation, we’ll be more than happy to incorporate those viewpoints into our future coverage – or simply turn over our microphone and let them say their piece.

Why cover this issue any further?

A couple of reasons.  First of all, Limehouse – as we’ve previously pointed out – was a Holier-than-thou, social conservative “Republican” during his tenure as a state lawmaker.  Ordinarily we don’t care about politicians having affairs – or even having children with the women they’ve had affairs with – but when there is an element of hypocrisy like that associated with the story, we believe it is worth pointing out.

More relevant to our current purposes, though, Limehouse has repeatedly sought to avail himself of legal privilege not afforded to the vast majority of the populace – which is a big “no-no” in our book.  The extension of sealed record status to powerful politicos is a common occurrence in South Carolina – something we’ve consistently maintained is unfair to those of us who don’t benefit from such protections.

“If you screw up, everybody can read about it,” we wrote recently.  “If a wealthy politician or political appointee messes up?  They get the judges they appoint to protect them from embarrassment.”

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