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Most GOP House Members Received Money From Harrell Super PAC Last Year

All donations were in the same amount and given only to Republicans.

Note: The Palmetto Leadership Council is not a Super PAC as previously indicated. It is a Leadership PAC. Super PACs are not permitted to give money directly to candidates.

The PAC affiliated with House Speaker Bobby Harrell donated money to almost all of the Republican House members in the last campaign cycle. The lawmakers each received $1,000 each.

All told, 68 of the 76 of the Republicans in the House received money from the PAC, known as the Palmetto Leadership Council. More than a dozen Senators also received $1,000 contributions from the group.

In the race for House 37, the PAC gave to both Republican candidates, Steve Parker and Donna Wood. Wood ended up winning.

The Palmetto Leadership Council has given millions to other politicians since its inception.

A bill proposed last week by Harrell’s fellow House member Beth Bernstein would make such PACs illegal.

Harrell, who has described the PAC as “pro-business” through a spokesman, has been under fire in the last several months on ethical grounds. In September, out of his campaign account for travel expenses incurred on his private airplane.

Last week, the South Carolina Policy Council, a longtime thorn in Harrell’s side, accused the speaker of using his position to benefit one of his private businesses, a charge which Harrell refuted.

Of the members of the Legislature who received money from the PAC, four of them now sit on the House Ethics Committee, which would be responsible for investigating ethics charges. Those members are: Jenny Horne, Michael Pitts, Tommy Pope and Murrell Smith.

The chair of the House Ethics Committee, Kenny Bingham, was one of the few lawmakers who did not receive any money from the PAC, according to figures obtained through the South Carolina Ethics Commission.

Bill Whitmire from House District 1, has already received a donation for his re-election effort in 2014.

When told of the breadth of the PAC’s influence, one Republican told Patch, “It looks like (Harrell’s) buying people off and that doesn’t look good.”

The complete list of recipients is below:

House Member District Amount Notes Rita Allison 36 1,000
Todd Atwater 87 1,000
Nathan Ballentine 71 1,000
Bruce Bannister 24 1,000
Liston Barfield 58 1,000
Eric Bedingfield 28 1,000
Don Bowen 8 1,000
Doug Brannon 38 1,000
Bill Chumley 35 1,000
Alan Clemmons 107 1,000
Derham Cole 32 1,000
Heather Crawford 68 1,000
Kris Crawford 63 1,000
Bill Crosby 117 1,000
Joseph Daning 92 1,000
Greg Delleney 43 1,000
Shannon Erickson 124 1,000
Raye Felder 26 1,000
Kirkman Finlay 75 1,000
Mike Forrester 34 1,000
Michael Gambrell 7 1,000
Craig Gagnon 11 1,000


Dan Hamilton 20 1,000
Kevin Hardee 105 1,000
Nelson Hardwick 106 1,000
William Herbkersman 118 1,000
Phyllis Henderson 21 1,000
Bill Hixon 83 1,000
Jenny Horne 94 1,000 On House Ethics Committee Chip Huggins 85 1,000
Ralph Shealy Kennedy 39 1,000
Dwight Loftis 19 1,000
Deborah Long 45 1,000
Phillip Lowe 60 1,000
Jay Lucas 65 1,000
Jim Merrill 99 1,000
Peter McCoy 115 1,000
Van Moss 30 1,000
Chris Murphy 98 1,000
Wendy Nanney 22 1,000
Phil Owens 5 1,000
Andy Patrick 123 1,000
Michael Pitts 14 1,000 On House Ethics Committee Tommy Pope 47 1,000 On House Ethics Committee Josh Putnam 10 1,000
Rick Quinn 69 1,000
Robert Riley 13 1,000
Samuel Rivers 15 1,000
Bill Sandifer 2 1,000
Gary Simrill 46 1,000
B.R. Skelton 3 1,000
Garry Smith 27 1,000
J. Roland Smith 84 1,000
Murrell Smith 67 1,000 On House Ethics Committee Mike Sottile 112 1,000
Edward Southard 100 1,000
Kit Spires 96 1,000
Tommy Stringer 18 1,000
Eddie Tallon 33 1,000
Bill Taylor 86 1,000
Anne Thayer 9 1,000
Mac Toole 88 1,000
Donald Wells 81 1,000
Brian White 6 1,000
Bill Whitmire 1 2,000
Mark Willis 16 1,000
Donna Wood 37 1,000

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Rich39 January 28, 2013 at 12:30 PM
Most of the money comes from the North. They still own the south.. or some of our politicans.
Paul January 28, 2013 at 04:19 PM
Good way to secure votes for Speaker.
Frank Sells January 28, 2013 at 07:21 PM
Term limits should be implemented-8 years maximum just like the governor-senators appointed by local councils. I think there is a great need to investigate both the senate and house-the I-526 spur is one reason-developers want it but locals do not-Harrell and McConnell pushed it-McConnell not so much since Lt Governor. I think there may be huge amounts of money infused into that PAC from outside interest. Money is gobbled up by these legislators to fund research like hydrogen fuel-and research chairs at the 3 major universities @ $30 million a year-USC has garnered $200 million thus far with little to show for it- a multistory tech building that has 1 floor filled with research stuff yet no one using it for the most part.
maizenbluedoc January 28, 2013 at 07:32 PM
Happens all the time at all levels of government. Unfortunately people continue to reelect the same people. As long as career politicians remain in power, nothing will ever change.
Greg Adams February 19, 2013 at 10:42 AM
What part of "political" is missing here?

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