Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Voucher Week, pt. II: Undue Out-of-State Influence

So what does Gervais mean when he says that South Carolinians for Responsible Government's legislative candidates are funded “almost entirely” by the “out-of-state” voucher lobby? Is it just rhetoric? A little embellishment? Or is it fact?

I’ll let you decide.

A good place to start would be last year’s GOP primary in House District 7, in Abbeville & Anderson Counties. In that contest, now-Representative Mike Gambrell defeated a SCRG-backed candidate named Dan Harvell by about 200 votes.

Who is Dan Harvell? I have no idea, other than almost a legislator. But a quick look at Mr. Harvell’s campaign disclosure shows that something was amiss over in House District 7 last year. From April to July, a span which included the June primary, Mr. Harvell raked in $29,025 in campaign contributions.

Of that $29,025, how much was from out-of-state supporters of the Put Parents in Charge voucher bill?

$25,000. Out of $29,025. That’s 86%. Take a gander at the disclosures if you don’t believe it:

Four maximum contributions from the 73 Spring Street, NY, NY address of millionaire libertarian Howard Rich:

Howard Rich: $1,000
Ashborough Investors: $1,000
Spooner LLC: $1000
West 14 & 18 LLC: $1,000

Four more maximum contributions from a Denver, Colorado address:

Alex Cranberg $1000
Long Canyon, LLC: $1,000
Azimuth Energy, LLC: $1,000
Aspect Energy, LLC: $1,000

And $1000 checks from the following voucher enthusiasts, among others:

Eric Brooks of Pennsylvania
Donna Brooks of Pennsylvania
Paul Farago of Oregon
Janine Yass of Pennsylvania
Kermit Waters of Nevada
Joe Stilwell of New York
Arthur Dantchik of Pennsylvania
Joseph Rich of New York

Take note of these names - chances are you'll see them again soon.

In all, Harvell for House cashed twenty-five $1000 checks from out-of-state - or about $20 for each voter who ultimately pulled the lever for Mr. Harvell.

Where were SCRG’s alleged 200,000 grass roots supporters during this influx of out-of-state cash? MIA? AWOL? Some other military acronym?

I don’t know. But this is what Gervais means when he says a candidate is funded almost entirely from the out-of-state voucher lobby. 86%. I’d be worried if these folks provided even a third of a candidate’s funding, but 86% is just ridiculous.

Bogus grass-roots groups, duplicitous donations, and undue out-of-state influence. Folks, this ain't how our political system is supposed to operate.

But if you think 86% is bad, well - to quote Bob Dylan - "Now ain't the time for your tears." It gets worse.

Find out how much worse tomorrow, when Shark - er, Voucher - Week continues. (Go to Part Three)


Earl Capps said...

Good homework. Sounds like what I found last year with Cotty-Gunn-Letts scrap in the Midlands.

Swamp Fox said...

Gervais, Gervais

You waved the flags on the beach and got our hearts jumping out of our chest trying to get ashore and away from all the "v"s in the water.

And now you say those evil, out-of-state moneybags almost had a legislator in their pockets.

all that huffing and puffing for almost. You meant the majority of voters in that election didn't fall for their dirty tricks.

I'm disappointed... and really sandy.

believeitnot.news said...

Gervais - you're a great American! We have you on out Christmas list. Keep up the good work. We will be sitting at our computer waiting for the next installment of Voucher Week!!


believeitnot.news said...

Patience Swamp Rat.

We expect in the next few days Gervais will show us more "v"s in the water than you can shake one of your favorite bought and paid for politician at.


Anonymous said...

Excellent... Just excellent. Can't wait for tomorrows episode!


Silence Dogood said...

My wife and I read it twice with wine and pop-corn, but I jumped and was startled by the fact he lost by only 200 votes and spilled some on the floor. Gervais at least play some deep-toned music that slowly gets faster for the reader as we get closer to the scary parts so I don't ruin my carpet again. Good stuff and keep diggin. At this pace SCRG is going to storm past your office (all 20 or so strong from statewide!)

Anonymous said...


There's also the possibility that the voucher crowd couldn't care less about this blog's "expose." If you and your wife are that hard up for entertainment, maybe Gervais can recommend some good books or movies? Or he could go back to photoshopping Joshua Gross, those were definitely worth wine and popcorn.