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.

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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:

CANON 7 A JUDGE SHOULD REFRAIN FROM POLITICAL ACTIVITY

  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

April Polling Results – Fourth Congressional

May 4, 2010 by  
Filed under SC Politics

SC 4th Congressional Poll Results

SC 4th Congressional Poll Results - April 2010

The results are in from our poll on the 4th Congressional District through the end of April.  As you can see the front runners in our poll has become even more clear compared to our previous poll, which had a three way tie for 2nd.

Some polling data that has been floated our way from the campaigns appears to match up with what our readers are saying (of course that is every source besides the Jeffrey campaign who is the anomaly).

What I find most interesting in this poll though is the lack of support for Jeffrey.  Her team has been flooding our website with comments, but as the case in campaigns back, just because your the loudest doesn’t mean you have all the support.

We also know that Congressman Inglis’ crew doesn’t really care for The Conservativist.  I supposedly write scurrilous things about him here, which may be deflating his support, but that does not explain the the trending from our sources.

With that said, here is a quick update on the campaigns and a few opinions, in alphabetical order.

Trey Gowdy

We have started seeing Gowdy’s television ads in the evenings and he appears to have the lead in signage placements (if you consider that a determining factor).  The tit-for-tat between Inglis & Gowdy appears to be heating up more so and with several key debates left (forums, we don’t have real debates), I only expect this to intensify.

Bob Inglis

If our polls are any indication, Inglis $43K outdoor advertising campaign is flopping.  Inglis claims he has always knocked on doors, which he has, but never to the extent he has this election cycle.  Inglis was in Boiling Springs this past Saturday.  Unfortunately, I was unable to see what kind of turn out he had at the Clock to go door knocking during the afternoon hours (Wife had places she wanted to go, couldn’t hang around an extra 15 minutes after lunch).

Christina Jeffrey

She may be the biggest whiner in the contest.  Constantly playing the victim card every time we turn around, it is getting a little old.  I guess that is common sense politics for the “Common Sense Grandma.”

The most recent is an incident the night before the Tea Parties where she claims she was prevented from attending a ticketed event and “a fix was in” comment by the organizing individual, Roan Garcia-Quintana.

We’ve heard both sides of the story and honestly, it appears the two parties need to get their panties out of a wad.  You can read about it on SCHotline, here and here, but I suggest you remember the 2008 Doug Wavel incident before continuing to read these stories.

Jim Lee

Jim Lee’s candidacy is a tough one to figure out.  Pure grassroots, little money and a big name supporter.  Col. David Hunt from FOX News came to the upstate to campaign for Lee.  Sources say it was pretty successful.

Concerning Jeffrey’s latest claims that Lee was in attendance at the alleged event above, Lee told us that was not possible.  He was hosting a dinner with Col. David Hunt that night for the duration of the event.

David Thomas

David Thomas’ campaign is out there. I have not had the opportunity to speak with him much, but he was helpful in getting me some information about an issue in Fountain Inn recently.  What most disturbs me with Thomas is his position to mandate that all new houses be equipped with a sprinkler system.  According to the Post & Courier, Thomas stated that there would be potential insurance increases on the people in the state if this mandate is not passed.

At first glance, I’m very skeptical of a sprinkler mandate, but I will be curious to see how the other campaigns take his position and run with it as an infringement on our personal liberties.

4th Congressional 2010 April Filings

April 16, 2010 by  
Filed under News

Ladies and Gentleman, the first quarter of 2010 has come to an end.  Look and see how your candidates are doing and vote in the poll below!

Bob Inglis

Donors: 132 itemized non-PAC donors $67,136.82
Contributions:  $103,837.82
Expenses:  $163,306.26
Cash on Hand:  $246,810.15

Inglis received a ton of money from PAC’s this quarter including CH2M Hill, Boeing, Caterpillar, Microsoft and the NRA.

Inglis also spent $81,000 at Brains on Fire in Greenville for various marketing strategies.  One of those expenses was for his outdoor marketing campaign ($49,000) that, in my opinion, sucks.  You see a billboard but don’t even know who it belongs to because his name is so small.  Inglis’ wife also pocketed $6,233 from the campaign as her salary.

Trey Gowdy

Donors: 200 itemized donors contributed $83,163.39
Contributions:  $97,297.39
Expenses:  $113,220.00
Cash on Hand:  $188,727.13

Gowdy’s largest expenses went to Warren Tompkins associates in Columbia; First Tuesday Strategies, On the Mark and Under the Power Lines collected $41,354.

If you are looking for a money battle for this seat, it is between Gowdy and Inglis.

Christina Jeffrey

Donors: 12 itemized donors  ($3,810)
Contributions:  $7,176.10
Expenses:  $16,539.55
Cash on Hand:  $6,897.83

Jeffrey spent $9,000 with Mountain Media based out of NJ for her radio ad and a survey.  Other expenses went to the Boiling Springs Tea Party (Upstate Printing & Publishing) in the amount of $1,541 and filing fees with the SCGOP.

Jeffrey has caught a lot of hell this quarter.  From her lying about who she voted for President in 2008 to being called about by another former campaign manager who claims she is now on #6.  Number six by the way is Dean Allen, who was unsuccessful at raising money for his run at Adjutant General.

Needless to say, she is sliding fast, only 3 of her listed donors this last quarter were from within the district.

Jim Lee

Donors: 18 itemized donors ($8,250)
Contributions:  $10,780.00
Expenses:  $12,887.08
Cash on Hand:  $2,039.65

Fundraising for the Lee campaign has picked up some with Jeffrey’s relevations coming to light.  With that said though, Lee only has $2,000 on hand and has debt due to Dark Horse Strategy Group for $7,767.

Most of Lee’s expenses were paid out to Dark Horse for consulting and materials ($7,661) and the SCGOP for his campaign filing fee.  They announced the hiring of a fundraiser earlier this quarter and Col. David Hunt has come to visit to.  Lee needs to pick up his fund raising efforts to help earn attention or he is in serious trouble.

David Thomas

Donors:  48 itemized donors ($27,900)
Contributions:  $29,390.00
Expenses:  $73,740.08
Cash on Hand:  $46,823.58

As we suspected earlier this year, Thomas spent a ton of money on advertising with WHNS, WYFF and WSPA.  How much?  $41,743  Considering the contributions he pulled, it doesn’t look like his Olympic advertising was all that successful.  Thomas has about $3,000 in loans out due to himself as well.

On the questionable front, Thomas received donations from Larry Marchant ($2400) who has been in some heat recently for, say drunk driving?  We don’t know Marchant personally but we have seen his name in the blogs recently.  Don’t know how this will affect Thomas in the end though.

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