On the same day that Dick Harpootlian appears on The Brad Show, his opponent in the SC Democratic Party chairman race, Phil Noble, comes out of his corner swinging at him:
Statement by Phil Noble, Candidate for Chair of the SC Democratic Party
Harpootlian Gave Over $15,000 to
SC Republican Candidates
Noble Calls on Harpootlian to Withdraw
In public he gives them Hell; in private he gives them money.’
Over the past few years, I have been encouraging people in South Carolina to look at where money for the Republican Party and its candidates is coming from. But even I am amazed to learn that my opponent – Dick Harpootlian – is actually the source of some of that money.
According to public records published this morning on a well-regarded South Carolina political blog, the Politics of Jamie Sanderson, Dick Harpootlian has given over $15,000 in campaign funds to Republican candidates and elected officials across South Carolina.
If this is true, as it appears to be, he should immediately withdraw from the race for SC Democratic Party Chair. After all, how can he credibly lead the Democratic Party if he’s giving money to the other side?
When I announced that I was running for Chair, I did so because I believe we have to set a new course. If we want to convince voters that we deserve the chance to lead again, we have to stop doing what we have always done and expecting the outcome to be different.
Many Democrats around the state think of our party –- their party — as being run by a club of well-meaning insiders in Columbia without a clear strategy for winning or even moving forward. Of course, they have great sound bites for the media and put clever things on their websites… but in the evening it’s back to the politics of you-scratch-my back-I’ll-scratch yours.
And apparently we are not just talking about any Republicans. We’re talking about those whose politics are diametrically opposed to those of mainstream Democrats, and most likely the mainstream of people of our state.
In public he gives them Hell, in private he gives them money.
Jake Knotts is loose cannon whose public statements often echo our state’s racist past. He routinely embarrasses himself and South Carolina in the national news media – including making racial slurs about President Obama. What in heck is Harpootlian doing writing him campaign checks?
Henry McMaster could not be more of a partisan right-wing Republican. Why in the world would Dick be giving him money?
So far, we have only heard about $15,000 in direct contributions from Dick to SC Republicans running for office. However, I imagine that is only a partial list. The truth is, we have no idea how much he might have raised for any of these Republican campaigns from among his family, friends, and associates.
This year we got Nikki Haley to finally start paying her taxes. Now, apparently, we need to make the same kind of effort to convince the leaders of the Democratic Party in Columbia to stop giving money to our Republican opponents.
Therefore, I am calling on Dick to end his campaign for party chair and apologize to Democrats for his support of our opponents. I especially think he owes an apology to those Democratic candidates who have run against these Republican friends of his, and the rank-and-file campaign people who walked precincts and made phone calls for them.
I have never given or raised money for a Republican candidate – ever – not one red cent. And neither has my wife, my children nor any of my businesses – and I make a commitment that I never will. Now I challenge Dick to make the same commitment.
This whole episode represents precisely the kind of cozy, insider politics that Democrats in this state are sick and tired of. And if I am elected Chair of the Democratic Party, we’re going to start putting a stop to it on Day One.
Shocked? Well, I’m not. I knew Dick had given to Jake. (Actually, “knew” may be too strong a word. It sounded really familiar when I read it.) Dick and Jake are pretty tight, ever since Dick forgave Jake for throwing him over a counter at the solicitor’s office. As the story goes, Dick was mouthing off to him, which is entirely believable. And of course, a lot of folks who wanted to stop Mark Sanford from stacking the Legislature in his favor were giving to Jake in the last election.
The others I don’t know about. But I’m not shocked. In fact, as you know, I like people who will support candidates across party lines, because I don’t think there should BE party lines to start with.
But I’m not your typical Democratic Party convention voter, am I? So with some, this is likely to do Phil some good. We’ll see.