Howard Rich’s Joey Millwood threatened by Doug Brannon (updated)

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Believe it or not, “journalist” Joey Millwood, the Republican nominee in S.C. House District 38, may well get his comeuppance against possible petition candidate Doug Brannon.

Brannon, a Republican, is the former mayor of Landrum and decided to mount an independent campaign after Millwood beat Rep. Bob Walker in the primary by 16 votes.

Of course, one wonders what would have happened if Walker had hired a firm beside Starboard Communications to run his race. Starboard already was working for several South Carolinians for Responsible Government and Howard Rich-backed candidates, so couldn’t use that connection to sink Millwood. The North Carolina sportswriter was the only one of the Sandlapper Group’s clients to win in the primary season. Sandlapper is run by SCRG board member Chad Connelly and Conservatives in Action spokesman Taft Matney.

Of course, Starboard employee and former S.C. Club for Growth executive director Josh Gross was doing Millwood’s mail (among others), so it would have behooved Walker to hire another firm.

Enter Brannon, who has been canvassing the district in the past few days to stop another subsidiary of Rich, Inc. from entering the State House.

Funding the public education system and fighting for additional property tax relief – relief that would be offset by a higher sales tax – would be two of Brannon’s top priorities in Columbia.

“The residents of House District 38 need a strong, vocal representative that isn’t pulled by out-of-state money or some other power,” Brannon said.

Of course, Millwood tried to spin how he’s a bought commodity, but it rings untrue:

“I’m not a good-ole-boy. I’m not a walking special interest. People see that. They see the freshness of what I represent,” Millwood said. “If someone is a true conservative, then cut that check – I’ll take it. That money I got from New York, they have no interest in South Carolina.

Tell us some more bullshit, Joey – we haven’t heard enough yet. According to his reports, Millwood raised 75 percent of his cash through late May from Rich and his people. Today, though, is the last day of the five-day grace period for the July 10 report, which should show the extent that he’s in Rich’s pocket. And, if he doesn’t send in his report today he’ll be (gasp!) in violation of the law. (See update below.)

If there’s one thing that’s going Brannon’s way, it’s that he’s pissed off Spartanburg County’s resident crazy Rick Beltram.

Spartanburg County GOP Chairman Rick Beltram last week dismissed petition candidates trying to claim the mantle of a second Republican on November’s ballot. On Sunday, Beltram said, petition candidates set a bad precedent for people who have a problem with the nominating process.

“They need to understand that just because someone runs as an independent/petition candidate doesn’t mean they’re entitled to anything from the Republican Party,” Beltram said. “In fact, it becomes something of an affront to our nominee.”

Beltram said he’s tried to recruit Brannon to run for a seat on Spartanburg County Council in the past, and that Brannon – by attempting to run as a petition candidate – could end up damaging his chances to get into the political game “the regular way” in the future.

Oh, that’s a shame, Ricky. Perhaps the best analysis of Beltram and his ways was penned by Rep. Doug Smith.

Most know Beltram as a self-absorbed media hound who has never met a news release he wouldn’t release. It is a pity hardworking Republicans have had to work in the shadow of someone who either doesn’t understand the damage he does to our party, or doesn’t care, or both.

A portrait of Ronald Reagan hangs in the S.C. House Chamber because of a resolution that I prepared and sponsored. I am normally a believer in Reagan’s commandment not to speak ill of a fellow Republican, but when it comes to an extreme case like our local Republican chairman, someone finally has to speak the truth.

What’s good is that the race to win District 38 ain’t over yet, and there’s someone that’s worth a damn working hard to win it.

UPDATE: Millwood’s July 10 report is in as of around noon today, July 15. No surprises here:

05/12/2008, 123 LaSalle Associates, 73 Spring St, NYC $1,000
05/14/2008, Bradford Management, 73 Spring St, NYC $1,000
05/16/2008, Alan Pomerantz, 767 5th Ave, NYC $1,000
05/24/2008, Paul Jost, 2640 Jockeys Neck Trail, Williamsburg, VA $1,000
05/24/2008, The Stonecreek Group, 2443 Fair Oaks Blvd, Sacramento, CA $1,000
05/24/2008, Paul Farago, PO Box 8907, Asheville, NC $1,000
05/24/2008, Joseph Stillwell, 26 Broadway, 23rd Floor, NYC $1,000
05/24/2008, Yvonne Rich, 2111 West Rd 1, Mtn Home, AR $1,000
05/24/2008, 4220 Broadway LLC , 73 Spring St, Rm 408, NYC $1,000
05/24/2008, 188 Claremont LLC, 73 Spring St Room 408, NYC $1,000
05/24/2008, 405 49 Associates, 73 Spring St Room 408, NYC $1,000
05/24/2008, 332 E 11 LLC, 73 Spring St, Room 408, NYC $1,000
05/24/2008, 4220 Broadway Inc, 73 Spring St Room 408, NYC $1,000
05/24/2008, 470 W 166 LLC, 73 Spring St Room 408, NYC $1,000
05/24/2008, Bayrich LLC, 73 Spring St, Ste 408, NYC $1,000
05/24/2008, 123 LaSalle Inc, 73 Spring St Rm 408, NYC $1,000
05/24/2008, 51 First Ave LLC, 73 Spring St, Rm 408, NYC $1,000
05/24/2008, Dayrich LLC, 73 Spring St Room 408, NYC $1,000
05/24/2008, Newrich LLC, 73 Spring St Rm 507, NYC $1,000
05/24/2008, Rich and Rich Associates, 73 Spring St Ste 507, NYC $1,000
05/24/2008, Rich Acquisitions LLC, 73 Spring St Ste 507, NYC $1,000
05/24/2008, Spooner LLC, 73 Spring St Room 408, NYC $1,000
05/24/2008, Silver and Silver, 73 Spring St Rm 408, NYC $1,000
05/24/2008, Secure Data LLC, 73 Spring St Ste 507, NYC $1,000
05/24/2008, Spring Incorporated, 73 Spring St Suite 507, NYC $1,000
05/24/2008, Rich and Rich LLC, 73 Spring St Suite 507, NYC $1,000
05/30/2008, Streetrich LLC, 73 Spring St, Ste 408, NYC $1,000
05/30/2008, Stilrich LLC, 73 Spring St, NYC $1,000
05/30/2008, West 14 & 18 LLC, 73 Spring St RM 408, NYC $1,000
05/30/2008, SpringRich, 73 Spring St Rm 507, NYC $1,000
05/30/2008, John Kirtley, 339 S Plant Ave, Tampa, FL $1,000
05/30/2008, Douglas Levine, 2760 N. Bay Rd, Miami Beach, FL $1,000

That’s $35,000 from corporations and people directly affiliated with Rich, when you include the three large from the pre-election report. Rich gave Millwood over half his total support.

Or so it would seem. Hey, kids, we forgot to add in the S.C. Club for Growth/Reform SC/Sanford Lowcountry Crony Association numbers:

06/08/2008, Chad Walldorf, 3112 Marshall Blvd, Sullivan’s Island $1,000
06/09/2008, Eighty-Six LLC, 710 Johnnie Dodds Blvd, Mt Pleasant $1,000
06/09/2008, Ben Navarro, PO Box 19019, Atlanta $1,000
06/09/2008, Kelly Navarro, PO Box 19019, Atlanta $1,000
06/09/2008, Bill Hewitt, 34 Prioleau Street, Charleston $1,000
06/09/2008, Laura Hewitt, 34 Prioleau Street, Charleston $1,000
06/09/2008, Mary Barter, 40 Shoolbred Ct, Johns Island $1,000
06/09/2008, SC CFG PAC, PO Box 11909, Columbia $1,000
06/09/2008, Bill Lowndes, PO Box 5042, Spartanburg $1,000
06/09/2008, Henrietta Lowndes, PO Box 5042, Spartanburg $1,000
06/13/2008, William Baker, 188 Ballybunion Dr, Kiawah Island $1,000
06/13/2008, Margaret Averyt, PO Box 1365, Ste SC 443, Columbia $1,000
06/13/2008, Emily Swanson, 615 Pitt St, Mt Pleasant $1,000
06/13/2008, Ruth Baker, 188 Ballybunion Dr, Kiawah Island $1,000
06/13/2008, Gayle Averyt, PO Box 1365 Ste SC 443, Columbia $1,000
06/18/2008, Steve Swanson, 615 Pitt St, Mt Pleasant $1,000

That’s about, oh, $16,000. So, between the people S.C. Club for Growth could get to pony up the cash (Rich is head of Club for Growth State Action, by the by) and the money flowing from Rich’s coffers, that’s $51,000. And what was the total Millwood raised in the campaign? $55,927.18.

Don’t bother getting a calculator, because I’ve done it for you – Rich and his handful of South Carolina allies funded 91 percent of Millwood’s operation. And, yet he says he’s “not a walking special interest?” He owes his entire political life on Rich and his people, and don’t think they’ll forget it.

Brannon pushing petition deadline to join House District 38 race [The Herald-Journal]
Focus should be on local Republican Party, not its self-absorbed chairman [The Herald-Journal]


4 Responses to “Howard Rich’s Joey Millwood threatened by Doug Brannon (updated)”

  1. 1 Sam
    July 15, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    Why does it matter where Millwood got his funding from? A lot of candidates get donations from people all over the country. In the end it’s the voters who choose, not the out of state donors. Last month they chose Millwood. In November they may choose Brannon or Chambers.

  2. July 15, 2008 at 11:46 pm

    Sam, could you be more naive? I suppose if it only took 15-20 members of the General Assembly to make gay marriage legal in South Carolina, and one person was bankrolling all of the candidates, you’d be pissed off about that. Don’t act like a fool.

  3. 3 Sam
    July 16, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    I could care less who gets married. The government shouldn’t be involved in it in the first place.

    The bottom line is that the individual voter is responsible for their decision at the voting booth, not a guy from New York or Timbuktu. If the American public is too lazy and stupid to properly research who they are voting for and rely solely on 30 second political ads and sound bytes then they deserve to get bent over by their government.

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