Harpootlian talks about ... campaign finance ethics?

Following Dick Harpootlian's efforts to bash Lt. Governor Ken Ard over campaign contributions and expenditures, calling Ard "not fit for public office", brings back some old memories of much bigger problems with campaign finances.

Some of our readers probably remember the 1998 elections in South Carolina, in which millions of dollars of funny money was channeled to help elect Democrats the last time Harpootlian led the state Democratic Party:

The video poker industry's latest trick was buying itself a governor. After Republican Gov. David Beasley tried and failed to ban video poker last year, the industry went to war against him. It spent at least $3 million--and almost certainly a lot more--to defeat Beasley's re-election bid. By one estimate, video poker supplied more than 70 percent of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jim Hodges' war chest, plus another million from a single poker operator on his own anti-Beasley operation, plus another million or more in soft money for the Democratic Party. (The chairman of the state Democratic Party is the leading lawyer for the poker industry.)

Dick Harpootlian: Pot, meet kettle.

As someone who was active in SCGOP circles during Harpootlian's last tenure as SCDP Chair, I remember seeing reports of more than one residence where each resident gave the max in spite of having low-wage jobs, no phones and sometimes no cars. I saw a state flooded with billboards attacking then-Governor Beasley and "Ban Beasley" stickers plastered all over the fronts of video poker businesses - all questionable expenses.

I wasn't the only one who observed these kinds of activities. The Augusta Chronicle summed up what took place that year quite nicely:

Overall, the Democratic Party expected to hit $1 million in contributions from video poker entities this campaign year. And contributions to Republicans for Hodges included $17,500 or more from a single upstate family whose business interests include Drews Amusements. Most of the other donors to Republicans for Hodges had ties to the gaming industry as well.

Compared to the millions in shady money we saw back then, a few thousand dollars is nothing. While Ard's campaign finance records may warrant examination, Dick Harpootlian is far from qualified to be asking these kinds of questions, much less attempting to judge.

Republicans should expect more of this kind of scrutiny - and voters should be ready for whatever real or imagined sludge the Democrats are prepared to sling, as well as the questionable tactics that may be used to sling it.

4 Response to "Harpootlian talks about ... campaign finance ethics?"

  1. Anonymous 19/7/11 10:25
    What a RINO fucktard you are. Did Bobby pay you to write this?
  2. Anonymous 19/7/11 16:30
    Against all the street money that filtered, with plausible deniability, through the SCDP in Harpo's day, including some a bagman lost to un un reportable hold up...

    well, like Tom Turnipseed, Dickiebird does spout some stuff.
  3. June Brailsford 19/7/11 22:06
    Evidently "Anonymous" doesn't remember the past. Maybe he/she is too young to remember, oops, that was only 12 1/2 years ago. I can't think of any other excuse they could use. Thanks,Earl, for reminding us of this.
  4. Anonymous 20/7/11 03:29
    Loser. Liar.

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