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#SC2018: Candidate Accuses Consulting Firm Of Stealing His Platform

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A candidate for statewide office in South Carolina is accusing his former consultants of ripping off his platform and giving it to another candidate.

Joshua Putnam  – a fourth-term state representative who is running for secretary of state – alleges that First Tuesday Strategies took “countless hours of research” he prepared over the last seven months and turned it over to Nelson Faerber of Greenville, S.C.

Faerber announced his candidacy for secretary of state last week and retained First Tuesday Strategies just days after the firm severed its ties with Putnam.

“There is no question that all my research and campaign strategies have now been given to our recently announced opponent,” Putnam said in a statement.  “It is disappointing to myself and especially my supporters across the state to have someone else pass our work off as their own.”

According to Putnam, he is contemplating legal action against First Tuesday Strategies.

“We have spoken to our lawyers and have sent communication to First Tuesday Strategies that they are in breach of our contract,” Putnam told us.  “We hope they work to protect what’s left of our work.  We will stay focused within this race but are pursuing every legal avenue to make sure a candidate’s work will never again be sold to the highest bidder.  We are prepared to subpoena witnesses’ testimonies and communication from FTS and their new client. The people of this state deserve better.”

Luke Byars, First Tuesday’s managing partner, told us Putnam’s characterization of events is inconsistent with the facts.

“Representative Putnam did approach us last year regarding his current secretary of state campaign,” Byars told us.  “However, we came to no formal agreement and his campaign underperformed in every way since.  Representative Putnam is not a client of First Tuesday Strategies and it would be inappropriate for me to comment any further.”

Putnam, Faerber and Upstate political consultant Kerry Wood are all running for secretary of state against incumbent “Republican” Mark Hammond in this spring’s GOP primary election.

Hammond has been dogged by controversy in recent months over his failure to perform one of the few duties of his office – affixing the “Great Seal of the State” to acts and resolutions passed by the S.C. General Assembly.  Without this seal, acts and resolutions lack the “force of law” – and Hammond has failed to affix it to hundreds of acts and resolutions (a development which was exclusively reported by this news site).

Hammond’s mistake was publicized by Putnam – who has since worked to help unearth the error.

This news site has been largely supportive of Putnam and his candidacy on account of his stellar voting record as a member of the S.C. House of Representatives.

Obviously we will keep a close eye on this story as it continues to develop …

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