Sheheen (and Knotts — yeah, Jake) going after “leadership PACs”)

Got this yesterday, thought I’d pass it on:

Dear Brad —

People say that “money is the mother’s milk of politics.”

It seems that no matter how many rules we put into place to regulate the flood of money and influence in our elections, politicians too often find ways around these rules.  Here in South Carolina, one vehicle for getting around campaign contribution limits imposed by law is through entities called leadership political action committees or “leadership PACs.”  Some politicians operate “leadership PACs,” which enable them to accept larger contributions from their cronies and then, in turn, dole out money to other candidates.  This creates a culture of politicians whose coffers are flush with money being able to exert influence over others through their “leadership PACs.”

The end result?  Corruption and unfair influence.  I’m writing today to for your help in putting a stop to this practice.

It has not been the custom in the South Carolina Senate for members to operate “leadership PACs,” but recently Sen. Jake Knotts and I proposed and passed a new rule explicitly banning the practice among senators.  We are hoping that this will put pressure on our colleagues in the South Carolina House of Representatives to follow suit.

I’ve sponsored a bill this session that, if passed, would ban PACs organized by or on behalf of any statewide officeholder or member of the General Assembly.

Will you call or email your legislators today and urge them to support S. 633? You can look up your members of the South Carolina House and Senate by clicking here.

The editorial board of The State newspaper published an editorial this week urging members of the legislature to pass this bill.  I’ve included this editorial below.

Not sure how the Sheheen/Knotts team-up happened. I guess it’s just a coalition of the willing. In any case, 38 other senators have signed on. Of course, as Cindi noted in the edit, that’s probably because “leadership PACs” are a House, not a Senate, phenomenon. You probably know that historically, the divide between House and Senate has been much sharper than that between Democrat and Republican. As the edit noted:

For the record, the only ones we’re aware of are controlled by House Speaker Bobby Harrell, House Ways and Means Chairman Dan Cooper, House Labor, Commerce and Industry Chairman Bill Sandifer, House Democratic Leader Harry Ott and Reps. Jim Merrill, Alan Clemmons and Gilda Cobb-Hunter.

2 thoughts on “Sheheen (and Knotts — yeah, Jake) going after “leadership PACs”)

  1. Doug Ross

    So the be clear, Sheheen and Knotts are calling Harrell, Cooper, Sandifer, Ott, etc. corrupt?

    I’d like to see Sheheen have the guts to say that specifically instead of playing word games.

  2. Doug T

    He wasn’t the first, but Fritz said it well heading out the door. It’a all about raising money and getting reelected.

    The former Gov of LA Buddy Roemer was at a GOP thing in Iowa the this past week. Said the very same thing. You could almost see Newt squirming in the background.

    GOP, Dems, it’s all the same.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *