We wrote recently about a looming shakeup within the listless campaign of South Carolina governor Henry McMaster – which has been struggling to gain traction (and separation from its GOP primary rivals) for several months now.
Unfortunately for the incumbent “Republican,” that change hasn’t been made … yet.
Earlier this week, McMaster welcomed U.S. president Donald Trump to Greenville, S.C. for a major fundraising event – one McMaster donors claim raised $1.5 million for his struggling 2018 gubernatorial candidacy.
Is this figure accurate? We’ll have to wait and see …
Multiple McMaster donors have reached out to us this week, though, expressing their frustration over the way the Trump event in Greenville was mismanaged.
They’re fed up … and demanding change within McMaster’s organization.
“It was extremely – very haphazard,” one donor told us of the presidential fundraiser. “Literally it just didn’t make any sense the way they were doing it. People were standing and waiting for two hours – including VIPs that got the orange wristbands to get their pictures taken with the president.”
In addition to the lengthy wait times, another donor complained of “widespread confusion” on the part of event attendees regarding where they should go once they arrived at Greenville’s Embassy Suites.
(Click to view)
(Via: Embassy Suites)
“No one was providing any direction,” the donor said. “Everyone was confused as to where they were supposed to be. It was like the staff got there too late and was totally unprepared.”
“Several donors couldn’t get in,” another event attendee told us. “Others who were supposed to get pictures taken didn’t get them.”
At $21,000 per picture, that’s quite an oversight …
A 2016 Trump donor told us the McMaster event was a far cry from the well-organized mass rallies held by the president during his victorious campaign a year ago.
“I’ve been to many Trump events that were free – and they were five times better organized than this one,” the donor told us. “Trump rallies with 10,000 people are run on a single iPad. This thing had a tenth of the people but no one working it had a clue what they were doing.”
Apparently, the “widespread confusion” wasn’t confined to the event itself. Just arriving at the venue proved problematic.
“Parking was a disaster,” one donor told us. “People waited for twenty minutes only to be told they had no place to park. Then they had to park half a mile away and walk to the event.”
“It was as poorly organized an event as you could possibly imagine,” the donor said. “I fully support Trump. I fully support McMaster. My only misgiving is that he hasn’t done anything with this horrible staff. Trump was great, McMaster was great – but the staff behind them were so bad.”
McMaster is running his first campaign without his longtime political advisor Richard Quinn, whose firm is at the heart of an ongoing, multi-jurisdictional criminal probe into corruption in state government. Back in May, McMaster publicly disassociated himself from Quinn – hiring former S.C. governor Nikki Haley‘s campaign manager (and chief of staff) Tim Pearson to lead his reelection bid.
How has that decision worked out for him? Not well …
After Trump appointed Haley to serve as his ambassador to the United Nations, McMaster became governor of the Palmetto State back in January. His ascendency was supposed to clear the field for him in the 2018 “Republican” gubernatorial election – ushering in a “ten-year reign.”
That hasn’t happened, though … at all.
McMaster has drawn multiple credible challengers – most notably Lowcountry attorney Catherine Templeton, who actually raised more money than the incumbent during the most recent fundraising quarter. Compounding McMaster’s problems, his campaign has been badly damaged by several amateur hour attempts to blunt Templeton’s momentum.
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