The nasty war of threats and intimidation by Clarendon County Democrats continues as they struggle to hold onto the vacant District 64 state House seat in Clarendon and Williamsburg Countiesseat in an upcoming special election.
Recently, Sanders sent a FOIA request to the Town of Manning where Johnson serves as mayor, requesting records about his expenses. Johnson threatened legal action against Sanders, telling the Manning Times newspaper:
Mayor Johnson was accused of several things, some of which are defamatory and libelous and may lead to legal action.
Our sources have reported the lawsuit threats were also directed at Clarendon County Republicans who forwarded the media release via email. Todd Kincannon, a Columbia attorney who has represented various Republicans and GOP organizations in legal matters around the state is planning to assist in defending against Johnson's threats:
Johnson's attacks are a typical response from someone who thinks they're entitled to an office. They don't like working to get elected and they hate it when they get attacked - especially when it's true. Sanders must be doing something right if Johnson responds like this. I look forward to working with Clarendon County Republicans to help them stand up to these kinds of last-minute legal bullying tactics.
Sanders responded to Johnson's threats, explaining what actions were taken and why:
I want everyone to know I have run a 100% positive campaign. My campaigns, nor I, have ever made ANY negative attacks on Mayor Johnson. I did not make ANY comments that where defamatory or libelous as my opponent alleges. I have been focused ONLY on the issues that are important to District 64. I challenge my opponent to produce one time where I have said anything negative about him. I have not accused Mayor Johnson of anything.
Here are the facts.
A letter was sent to the city of Manning requesting the reimbursements Mayor Johnson received from the city of Manning. (Mayor Johnson has been on the Manning city council from 1994 until 2000. In the year 2000 he became Mayor of The City of Manning.) The City responded stating it would take a little over two months to produce the information. See both letters below.
Dear Records Request Officer:
Pursuant to the state open records act, I request copies of all reimbursements records for Kevin L. Johnson for the years from 1994 through 2011, for any but not limited to our of town trips, mileage reimbursement, hotel costs, plane tickets, home phone, or cell phone.
I will pay reasonable fees for copies.
If my request is denied in whole or part, I ask that you justify all deletions by reference to specific exemptions of the act.
Thank you for your assistance.