4th Congressional Pre-Primary Filings

June 4, 2010 by  
Filed under SC Politics

One thing I have learned, the winners in this race are Brains on Fire and Creative Communications, who have taken in $235,493 and $170,000 respectively.  They have pocketed some serious dough.  Below is the last run down on the candidates financial situation and our weekend poll leading up to the primary on June 8th.

Bob Inglis

Donors: 55 itemized donors, 39 In District ($46,750.00)
Contributions:  $61,263.56
PAC: 9 PAC ~$11,500
Expenses:  $168,498.53
Cash on Hand:  $139,600.81
COH Change:  -$107,209.34

Bob’s campaign staff has been promoting Jim Lee over the past few weeks while tearing down everyone else in the race.

Either way, we find a few of the individual contributions a little strange.  Inglis has taken in $4,800 Marshall Saunders and $4,800 from Pamela Saunders, both from Coronado, CA.  Marshall’s occupation/employer is listed as the Citizens Climate Lobby.  My understanding of federal election law states that the max contribution is $2400 per person.

Other expenses of note.  Inglis paid the “National Right to Life” committee for campaign advertising (Your thoughts please?).  Inglis’ marketing partners pocketed another $110K and his wife made another $4,000.

Trey Gowdy

Donors: 123 itemized donors, 115 unique, 108 in district ($63,299.91)
Contributions:  $68,043.91
Expenses:  $217,767.83
Cash on Hand:  $39,003.21
COH Change: -$149,723.92

WOW!  This is the most surprising of all the campaigns thus far.  In the last 45 days, Gowdy has spent all but $39,000 that he has taken in this election cycle.  In total, he has spent close to $400,000.  Of course, this does not differentiate him much from  Inglis who has spent over $500,000 during this election cycle.

During this reporting period, Gowdy spent $146,956 with Creative Communications Inc on media placements.  That is on top of the ~$23,000 he has spent previously with them (~$170,000).  Another $41,113.50 was sent to his consulting firm, First  Tuesday Strategies for polling, 2 or 3 commercial productions and consulting expenses.

I realize Gowdy is trying to win an election, just like everyone one else in this race, but to spend $217,000 in 45 days is insane.

Christina Jeffrey

Donors: 11 itemized donors, 9 Unique, 7 in-district  ($6,400)
Contributions:  $7,130.00
Expenses:  $6,043.04
Cash on Hand:  $7,984.79
COH Change: $1,086.96

Jeffrey’s campaign appears to be tanking.  Her fundraising has been dismal.  Biggest expenses were office rent ($2,000), mailings ($1,800) and another $550 to Upstate Printing & Publishing (Boiling Springs Tea Party).

Jim Lee

Donors:  22 itemized donors, 22 unique, 21 in district ($10,410)
Contributions:  $13,534.00
Expenses:  $9,893.05
Cash on Hand:  $4392.60
COH Change $2,352.95
Debt:  $13,650.97

Lee had better fund raising performances than Thomas and Jeffrey, but has managed to incur debt in the amount of $13,650.  Jim’s largest expense is to Dark Horse Strategy Group who is responsible for all mailings, advertising and campaign materials, approximately $5,600.

David Thomas

Donors:  8 itemized donors, 6 unique, 2 in district ($4,300)
Contributions:  $9,920.00
Expenses:  $57,642.54
Cash on Hand:  $39,101.04
COH Change:  -$7,722.54
Debt:  $44,643.83

David Thomas must be pretty confident in his chances to win.  He has loaned his campaign $43,000 since entering the race last summer.  The most recent loan was in the amount of $40,000 on May 14.  In other words, Thomas’ campaign was broke at the time of filing.  Thomas has also spent $33,967 on television advertising between the major networks.

[polldaddy poll=3299958]

The Ads – Jim Lee for Congress

June 3, 2010 by  
Filed under SC Politics

Jim Lee, Candidate for Congress, SC-4

We will be publishing candidates YouTube ads on our site for your convenience. No portion of this article or the following articles in this series represents an endorsement made by Gary Coats or The Conservativist.

Jim Lee, 48, earned degrees from Hibert College in NY and Phoenix University in data processing and information science.  He has been married to his wife Laurie, for 29 years, and has 5 children.  Jim is a reservist in the USAF and has ~30 years experience in information technology, ranging from software development to leadership and consulting positions.

Sen. David Thomas Staffer Appointed Magistrate

June 3, 2010 by  
Filed under SC Politics

James F. Hicks III, (source Facebook)

Sen. David Thomas policy and communications director James Hicks, who was recently appointed to be a Greenville County magistrate, was nominated on April 28th, 2010, while he was still serving on Thomas’ staff, according to documents we have received from the governors’ office via a FOIA request.

According to the SC Judicial Department, no judge or candidate shall endorse or publicly oppose a candidate for office, makes speeches on the behalf of a candidate and many other stipulations.  You can read more of the rules at the SC Judicial Department website.

What further drives questions into the nomination is the lead signature of David Thomas on the nomination form, Hicks employment with Thomas’ law firm and the glaring omission of his involvement/employment with Thomas’ congressional campaign.

It’s not like Thomas’ didn’t know about his involvement, he was being paid by the campaign and sent out communications as late as May 14th, 2010.

Thomas Campaign Payments to Hicks

We have outstanding calls with Thomas’ congressional campaign and to Magistrate Hicks that have yet to be returned and have requested meeting minutes to determine who actually nominated Hicks from the Greenville Delegation meeting.

Spokesman Ben Fox told us yesterday that the Governor’s office was consulting with their legal teams to determine what should be done with the appointment given the violations made by Hicks.

Related Documents:
Hicks Nomination
Hicks Application Page 1
Hicks Application Page 2

Related Articles:
Congressional Campaign Employs Magistrate Judge

Congressional Campaign Employs Magistrate Judge

June 1, 2010 by  
Filed under SC Politics

Sen. David Thomas, Candidate for Congress, SC-4

Sen. David Thomas, Candidate for Congress, SC-4

Effective May 25, 2010, Sen. David Thomas’ congressional campaign was employing a magistrate judge.

Jame F. Hicks III has been acting as Thomas’ political and communications director since June of 2009 for his congressional campaign.  Which means during this time, his nomination was pending.  We are still researching to find when Hicks was nominated and name submitted to Sanford’s office for approval.

Why is this a problem?  It is a a direct violation of judges code of conduct.  Hicks should have known for some time that he was nominated and probably should have ceased his political activities.

According to the Judges Code of Conduct, Canon 7:


  1. A judge should not:
    1. act as a leader or hold any office in a political organization;
    2. make speeches for a political organization or candidate or publicly endorse or oppose a candidate for public office;
    3. solicit funds for or pay an assessment or make a contribution to a political organization or candidate, attend political gatherings, or purchase tickets for political party dinners, or other functions.
  2. A judge should resign the judicial office when the judge becomes a candidate either in a primary or in a general election for any office.
  3. A judge should not engage in any other political activity; provided, however, this should not prevent a judge from engaging in the activities described in Canon 4.

Hicks website was taken down since his appointment on May 25th..  A cache of his website remains on the Google servers showing his political activities.  You can view our screen capture here.  Hicks collected $2400 in the first quarter of the year from the Thomas campaign according to FEC records.

We have a call outstanding to the campaign, in particular Mr. Hicks concerning his appointment. At the time of publication, Mr. Hicks did not immediately return our calls.

Related Information:
Senate Journal of Hicks Appointment

Related Articles:
Sen. David Thomas Staffer Appointed Magistrate

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