Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thursday THRASH Award: Carolinians for Reform

Our first recipient was a no-brainer.

I say "no-brainer" because the winner, Carolinians for Reform, is most famous for being the temporary recipient of over $100,000 in public funds, directed from the Governor’s Office late last year … which anyone with a brain could’ve told the governor was a stupid idea. (Sanford is the honorary co-chairman of a PAC run by the same guys, called “Carolinians for Change.”)

UPDATE: Frank Zanin, director of Carolinians for Reform, is also a director of Reform SC. (pdf)

But that’s not the reason Carolinians for Reform gets the first THRASH Award. After all, they returned the siphoned funds to the state, and there’s no reason to think the governor is going to make a pattern of secretly benefiting his buddies like this.

The real reason Carolinians for Reform wins the award is this, from The State newspaper in December:

The group, Carolinians for Reform, has raised $216,600 since August, according to the records…

The biggest contribution to
Carolinians for Reform was $100,000 from Texas real estate executive Harlan R. Crow. Crow is also a founder of The Club for Growth, a D.C.-based advocacy group that has supported Sanford. In total, $127,000 came from out-of-state sources, including $10,000 from Fluor Government Relations and New York City resident Robert W. O'Neel III.

Fluor is a Texas-based company that does major infrastructure work. I’m thinking about using them for my back deck, but I'm still waiting on the other bids to come in.

The upshot of all this is that over half of “Carolinians” for Reform’s money actually comes from Texas.

It doesn’t seem like a “Texas” thing to do, especially considering that state’s well-documented aversion to imposter picante sauce. But then again, Texans are known for their genuine concern for the goings-on of South Carolina government, so don’t get carried away. There’s nothing untoward going on here.

We'll have to wait and see how much Carolinians for Reform and its PAC participate in the upcoming primaries, but you can bet whatever they do will be in the best interests of either Club for Growth millionaire Harlan Crow or actual Sandlappers.

Gervais says, for using the word “Carolinians” in its name while being bankrolled from Texas, Carolinians for Reform is the “lone star” of today’s awards show – and the first winner of a Thursday THRASH award.

The Howard Rich Advocacy & Shilling for Hire (THRASH) awards were created to honor "South Carolina" political advocacy groups that are controlled by, funded by, or specifically created by out of state interests under the guise of representing the actual interests and values of actual South Carolinians.


Anonymous said...

I think it is odd that the conservative SCRG has just hired the student that sued VMI to have prayer taken away from their mealtime. He and his allies at the ACLU were successful after seeing the case all the way to the Supreme Court.

Of course he has just come from working at the SC Policy Council…another group with wide spread Christian type support. Yes, an odd thing indeed.

Gervais said...

Odd, maybe, but not even close to being on topic.

Slim said...

Glad you are back! I look forward to your posts!

Anonymous said...

I'd like to nominate a guy named Will Folks for the next week's award if possible?