BUT THERE’S A CATCH …
Embattled S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson reported raising $117,000 during the second quarter of 2017 – keeping his available cash on hand barely above the $1 million mark as he eyes a third term in office.
That’s the good news for the scandal-scarred statewide official – who was viewed as a leading candidate for governor prior to his recent implosion in the face of an ongoing anti-corruption investigation.
The bad news? A whopping 42 percent of Wilson’s quarterly haul came from the South Carolina “Republican” Party, which contributed $50,000 to his campaign on June 30 – the final day of the quarter. Had Wilson not received this last-minute infusion of party cash, he would have considerably underperformed his lackluster first quarter – which saw him raise roughly $91,000.
Also, Wilson’s current fundraising difficulties are compounded by a brewing campaign finance scandal from his past …
Wilson’s real problems, though, center around his failed efforts to obstruct #ProbeGate – an ongoing investigation into influence peddling and other alleged misconduct in and around the S.C. State House.
Wilson aggressively championed this investigation when its focus was one of his political rivals – former S.C. Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell – but his tune changed dramatically when investigation began targeting some of his political allies.
In fact, he did a 180-degree turn when it became clear the political empire of his longtime advisor – Richard Quinn – was at the heart of the inquiry.
Last March, special prosecutor David Pascoe was preparing to convene a grand jury for the purpose of handing down indictments in connection with this investigation – efforts which were supported by S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) chief Mark Keel and presiding circuit court judge Clifton Newman.
Without offering an explanation, though, Wilson barred Pascoe access to the grand jury. Then he fired him – and tried to replace him with a different prosecutor (one who declined to take the job). Next, Wilson clumsy attempted to politicize the case – angrily and baselessly attacking Pascoe’s integrity.
Pascoe took Wilson to the Supreme Court – and won. Since then, his investigation has produced multiple indictments of sitting elected officials – with more likely to come.
Meanwhile Wilson’s promising bid for governor of South Carolina collapsed – and he began attracting a host of potential challengers for his current seat. So far, no top tier “Republican” has filed paperwork to run against Wilson, but our guess is it won’t be long until that happens.
Also, if there were a statewide office that South Carolina’s long-suffering Democratic Party might be able to poach … this is it (assuming Wilson is his party’s nominee next fall).
SCGOP payment to Wilson questioned …
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