Earlier this year we reported on efforts by “Republican” leaders at the South Carolina State House – who are wasting tax dollars at a record clip – to target fiscal conservatives in the S.C. Freedom Caucus.
Crazy, right? The party which purportedly stands for limited government and lower taxes is trying to take out conservative lawmakers who are actually standing for those principles.
Surprised? Don’t be … such behavior is probably to be expected from a General Assembly which has been ranked the most liberal “Republican” legislature in America three years running.
Anyway, backers of new House speaker Murrell Smith have made it clear they want to get rid of pesky right-of-center lawmakers like Josiah Magnuson, a Republican from Spartanburg County who is currently serving in his fourth term in the S.C. House.
Take a look …
(Click to view)
That’s right … any GOP lawmaker refusing to fall in line with the fiscally liberal supermajority is apparently a “clown.” Or at least that’s what “South Carolinians for Common Sense” would have you believe.
Seriously … “South Carolinians for Common Sense?”
More like “Liberal Establishment Dark Money Goon Squad.” Or “Stalinist Purgers.” Remember, approximately twenty members of the Freedom Caucus (including Magnuson) were expelled from their party caucus earlier this year after they refused to sign a ‘loyalty oath.’
While not as slick or nifty as the last round of attacks against conservative members, this latest mail drop at least had the decency to include a traceable claim of responsibility. And I was very interested to learn where that “trace” would lead.
The lawyer behind this mudslinging? It is none other than Columbia, S.C.-based shyster Butch Bowers – who as I noted recently has a “reputation for dirty pool” and a history of repping politicos who find themselves under ethical clouds.
Bowers, readers will recall, was paid $60,000 by convicted killer Alex Murdaugh to us his “connections” to get Murdaugh’s surviving son, Buster Murdaugh, readmitted to the University of South Carolina law school. Buster was booted from the school at the end of his second semester in 2019 after being accused of plagiarism, according to a September 2021 report in The Wall Street Journal.
It is not entirely clear what Bowers did for that money, but as of this writing Buster Murdaugh has not reenrolled at the school.
In addition to his association with the Murdaughs, Bowers – who hails from Estill, S.C. – has made national news for his political affiliations. On the recommendation of U.S. senator Lindsey Graham, he was hired by former U.S. president Donald Trump as he prepared to mount his second impeachment defense. Bowers’ employment with Trump was short-lived, however, because he allegedly failed to disclose his close relationship with former S.C. governor Nikki Haley.
At the time, Trump and Haley were sparring. More recently, however, the two seem to have formed an alliance of convenience ahead of the upcoming 2024 GOP presidential primary.
Perhaps most notoriously, Bowers was one of the South Carolina politicos mixed up in the Two Kings Casino Resort scandal in North Carolina. Along with Haley’s husband, Michael Haley, Bowers and others received secret shares in a slot-machine leasing company tied to the casino.
“The stakes held by the politically connected people were masked from public view through several layers of corporations and limited-liability companies,” according to senior editor Mark Maremont of the Journal.
Graham was also mixed up in that scandal …
Is there a lower life form in the primordial Palmetto political ooze than Bowers? Probably … but his résumé for unethical associations lengthens with each passing year.
Ideally, GOP leaders like Smith, Tommy Pope, Bruce Bannister and Davey Hiott would condemn Bowers for associating himself with an organization bent on attacking authentic conservatives. Unfortunately, these “Republicans” (and the status quo interests propping them up) are probably far too busy raising money for these dark money groups behind the scenes.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.
WANNA SOUND OFF?
Got something you’d like to say in response to one of our articles? Or an issue you’d like to proactively address? We have an open microphone policy here at FITSNews! Submit your letter to the editor (or guest column) via email HERE. Got a tip for a story? CLICK HERE. Got a technical question or a glitch to report? CLICK HERE.