Friday, September 09, 2005

South Carolina Republican Party: "Hey, brother, can you spare 75 bucks?"

The South Carolina GOP is planning a barbecue to raise money for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Hahaha, just kidding, of course. The SCGOP is doing no such thing.

It is, however, fixing to use the grounds of the South Carolina Governor's Mansion to raise money for itself.

A $75-per-person Republican Party event next month on the grounds of the
Governor's Mansion has Democrats criticizing Gov. Mark Sanford for allowing the
grounds to be used in the same manner that created a firestorm for former Gov.
David Beasley in 1997.

Last month, the GOP announced the Victory 2006 Election Kickoff Beach Music
and BBQ Reception, telling the party faithful they would get invitations in the
mail and that Sanford would be on hand for the event.

How unseemly. But hey - for only $75.00, you can mingle with our rich, lean, aristocratic governor. Shake his hand. Give him a big ol' bear hug. Slap him on the back. He loves to mingle with the common man. Don't forget to wear your Club Gitmo T-Shirt. Actually, this oughta be good. I'm tempted to pony up the $75.00 myself, just so I can go up there and take pictures of all the confederate battle flag T-shirts and caps that are gonna be adorning the party faithful as they dine on pork barbecue on the Mansion lawn.

Naturally the state's lone Democrat is critical:

State Democratic Party Chairman Joe Erwin says Sanford is breaking with the
standard [former Democratic governor] Hodges set after [former Republican
governor] Beasley left office. Sanford has "reverted back to the good ol'
boy cash and carry politics of yesterday" and "has no problem with
auctioning off the Governor's Mansion to highest political bidder," Erwin

Governor Sanford says it depends on what the meaning of "solicit cash money" is:

Sanford says there's nothing wrong with having a political fundraising event on
the mansion grounds as long as cash does not change hands there. Sanford says he
was critical of the Beasley's use of the facilities in 1997 and he has upheld
the principal of keeping political money from changing hands at the Governor's

Governor Sanford thinks the Mansion belongs to the people!

The facilities should be "available to anyone in South Carolina that wants to
use" them, such as the Salvation Army or Boy Scouts, Sanford said.

Fine. How 'bout the State Democratic Party using the grounds for a Dem. fundraiser? As long as no cash changes hands . . . Because that would be illeeegal:

Accepting money at the GOP event would break a 1991 state law aimed at
keeping politicians from taking campaign cash at the Statehouse or Governor's
Mansion, said Herb Hayden, the director of the S.C. State Ethics Commission.

"They can have the fundraiser, but they can't accept contributions on site.
But they can accept contributions by mail," Hayden said.

Don't worry, law and order fans - the South Carolina Republican Party will adhere to the letter of the law!

"We will not accept any money on the grounds of the Governor's Mansion,"
said Scott Malyerck, the state GOP's executive director.

He would not rule out taking cash on the sidewalks surrounding the

So help me Bejus, I'm not making that last line up. Go read for yourself. (scroll down to 3d story)


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