It’s called "South Carolinians for Truth and Disclosure." The Spartanburg story left off the "disclosure" part, and yet that seems to be the main point of the exercise. Here’s the group’s raison d’être:
South Carolinians for Truth [hey, they left it off, too!] is a grassroots organization whose
purpose is to advocate for the reform of South Carolina’s current
campaign finance laws. We demand new laws requiring issue advocacy
groups that mention an elected official or candidate by name to follow
the same laws of disclosure that candidates and party organizations are
required to follow.
We are a watchdog group working to set the record straight when organizations misrepresent the truth.
What does that mean? Well, what I think it means is that organizations spending money to influence your vote should tell us where their money comes from. What is the organization most associated with not wanting to tell us where their money comes from? SCRG.
SCRG likes to holler that we’re trying to take away its First Amendment rights when we say it should disclose. This, of course, is a load of horse manure. We think SCRG should disclose, and we also agree with SCRG when it says the S.C. School Boards Association should disclose. Goose, meet gander.
S.C. TAD (I see that our friend Tim wrote about them and referred to them merely as "TAD" on second reference) seems like some good folks, with a good purpose. But I’m not endorsing them, on general principles. I have too much of a sense of irony. When I see a clickable tab on the TAD home page that says "The Truth About Third-Party Groups," I can’t help thinking, Aren’t you a third-party group?
But I don’t mean to play moral relativity games here. Is there a difference? Sure. The "third-party groups" being criticized here are financed by sneaky, out-of-state residents of the ideological fringe who are offended by the very idea of public schools. This newer group consists (as near as I can tell) of South Carolinians who want to maintain and improve public schools (that’s certainly what Bill Cotty has always tried to do), and don’t want them done in by misleading campaigns by outsiders.
So there are third-party groups and third-party groups. I just didn’t want you to think I missed the irony.
Oh, and speaking of our blog friends, several are involved with the items I linked to above. You’ll see Earl Capps is working with Mr. Cotty. And in the Spartanburg story, you’ll see a less-than-complimentary reference to our friend Joshua Gross.
And of course, let’s not forget Ross Shealy, author of the recently-revived (just in time for the primaries) "BBQ and Politics." More about that in a separate post, if I can get to it today…