- John O’Connor has a story in The State today on how much money DC Republicans forked over to prop up Nikki Haley in the general election — almost a million dollars, including most of the television advertising at the end of the campaign.
The largest donation to the two pro-Haley accounts, set up by the Republican Governors, came from cigarette-maker Reynolds American, which contributed $125,000 to the RGA South Carolina IE, or independent expenditure, PAC. That group filed its initial paperwork with the State Ethics Commission just days prior to the election. It spent about $205,000 on media.
The large Reynolds American donation, and four others to the RGA South Carolina IE PAC, took advantage of a federal judge’s September ruling that struck down campaign contribution limits on PACs and other third-party groups in South Carolina. Efforts to reach Reynolds American were unsuccessful.
Haley and Sheheen were on opposite sides of the state cigarette tax debate last year. Sheheen supported the 50-cent-a-pack tax hike that became law last year; Haley opposed it. As governor, she has pledged to oppose any tax hikes.
A second Republican Governors fund spent almost $700,000 on Haley’s behalf.
It received donations from some of the biggest names in business: conglomerate General Electric, oil company Exxon Mobil, retailer Wal-Mart, carmaker Nissan, drugmakers Eli Lilly and Pfizer, restaurant operator Waffle House, cable company Comcast and Baltimore Ravens owner Steven Bisciotti.
Now that Haley’s on a crusade to gut Medicaid, I’m betting Eli Lilly and Pfizer are wishing they’d considered donating to her opponent. It is pretty weird that a Republican candidate in South Carolina needed so much help financing a top-of-the-ticket campaign. People like donating to campaigns that are likely to win, and a Republican nominee in a Republican state in a Republican tidal wave year, well…
- 15 year old Midlands doggie, Jonnie Girl, woke up her owner by licking her to alert the owner that their house was on fire. They escaped safely.
- Greg Hambrick of the Charleston City Paper takes on Senator Jim DeMint for DeMint’s assault on Sesame Street.
- A Spartanburg woman was arrested after stealing copper vases from graves in a cemetery. Police chased her into a briar patch. Owwwwww. (Pretty sure there’s an Uncle Remus joke in there somewhere.)
- Is Haley’s honeymoon with the legislature over? Last week the Senate Judiciary Committee voted down Haley’s preferred legislation on her signature issue of stricter on-the-record voting measures after she made the unusual move of attending the committee meeting to make her case for her preferred bill. An observer relayed to me that the committee’s vote seemed to have more to do with rebuffing Haley’s finger-wagging and borderline belligerent tone than it did anything to do with their unwillingness to agree to more stringent on-the-record voting rules. (I wasn’t there, so I have no idea whether or not that was the case. I’m all for more transparency in government, but I also don’t think it’s the most pressing issue at hand right now.)