So, is Harrell now an asset or a liability to a candidate?

Joe McCulloch, who is running against Rep. Kirkman Finlay III in a rematch of their 2012 contest, put out this release today:

Joe McCulloch calls on Kirkman Finlay to reconsider including Bobby Harrell as part of his Fundraiser Host Committee

Columbia, SC – House District 75 candidate Joe McCulloch called on his opponent, State Rep. Kirkman Finlay to reconsider Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell as a host for a fundraiser on his behalf on May 27th. Harrell is currently under state grand jury investigation for ethics violations. Representative Finlay recently introduced legislation that would strip the Attorney General of his authority to investigate and prosecute legislators such as Harrell.

McCulloch released the following statement:

“It is no secret that Kirkman Finlay has introduced legislation that obviously benefits Speaker of the House, Bobby Harrell. First, Kirkman introduced a bill to prohibit the prosecution of officeholders caught improperly spending campaign funds as long as the error was corrected within 30 days. More recently, he joined in sponsoring a bill that would strip the Attorney General of his authority to prosecute ethics violations, including Harrell’s. And now Speaker Harrell is a prominent host in a fundraiser for Representative Finlay on May 27, presenting the appearance of a quid-pro-quo and further demonstrating how blatantly flawed our political system has become. I call on Representative Finlay to do the right thing and show the people of our district that he works for them, not Bobby Harrell.”

Rep. Finlay was featured in Cindi Scoppe’s recent column entitled “How many more times will Harrell’s friends try to quash ethics probe?”

Which makes me wonder: Is it still an asset for a GOP candidate to have the speaker host an event for him? Or has he become a liability?

I mean, you know, totally apart from ethical considerations…

18 thoughts on “So, is Harrell now an asset or a liability to a candidate?

  1. Kathryn Fenner

    I was watching Mad Men and then The Good Wife whilst babysitting dogs so they wouldn’t disturb the guys working on my bathroom.

  2. Kathryn Fenner

    And for me, Bobby Harrell would be a liability, but I am not a GOP voter, although Alan Wilson could get mine

  3. Juan Caruso

    You have asked a questiion that should reveal the compos mentis of SC’s electorate. Challenger Joe McCulloch is a trial lawyer with political aspirations (just another opportunist). Finlay is an incumbent businessman with political experience (a career opportunist). The public loses either way. A woman should reformer should oppose both and give voters a realistic choice, in my opinion. How about it , KF?

    1. Kathryn Fenner

      I don’t live it that district, JC, and James Smith is my rep. He’s a great guy, IMHO.

      Bryan, non compos mentis? Never heard of it?

      1. Norm Ivey

        Why do lawyers use Latin so much? Is it more precise than our English equivalent? Or is it like in science where they use it to avoid confusion across languages and cultures?

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          I think it’s because our legal concepts took shape in a time when all learned pursuits were handled in Latin. And since fundamental concepts such as habeas corpus and nolo contendere and non compos mentis were first written about in those times, and millions of words have been written about them over the centuries since then, further defining and refining the ideas under those names, it’s just more precise to use those terms…

          1. Doug Ross

            Have you ever known a lawyer who wanted SIMPLIFY anything?

            There was an old joke about the only lawyer in a small town who lived in poverty until a second lawyer moved to town.

        2. Kathryn Fenner

          Latin terms are usually a term of art, shorthand for a whole concept. There are English terms of art, but they get confused with the standard English meaning. Due process and equal protection are two of those.

      2. Bryan Caskey

        I’ve heard it in passing maybe, but not enough to be familiar with the definition. I could fib and say i know it, but what would that accomplish?

        I’m secure enough to admit when i don’t know a word.

          1. Kathryn Fenner


            A first year law student from the Infilaw school in Charlotte wrote a letter to The State about how he was getting a first class education. As if a first year has a clue, or even a recent graduate of a school. It isn’t until you start practicing with grads from other schools that you realize how good or bad your education was. My Emory degree is as good or better than many schools’ but the University of Chicago grads really impressed me.

            And some lawyers never realize how poorly educated they are.

            1. Kathryn Fenner

              Not to mention trying to get a job in this market. You will have spent a lot of money, usually borrowed and not dischargeable in bankruptcy. A well-respected school’s degree will get you an interview, at least, a lot of times. Infilaw? Better figure out a phone number that spells something.

            2. Silence

              Not to mention that the Charlotte Infilaw student who wrote the letter to the State is a SC legislator…

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