McMaster put on the spot regarding Howard Rich contributions

Originally uploaded by johnvierdsen

The struggle over NYC millionaire Howard Rich buying our government is heading into its next stage, after seemingly reaching a fever pitch during the primary season.

According to a story in yesterday’s Greenville News, Atty. Gen. Henry McMaster is being put on the spot by several public interest groups to halt these legal, but wholly unethical and democracy-subverting tactics by Rich.

Basically, what Henry Mac said was that his office had received numerous complaints, but they’re not doing anything about it. What a shock – considering how tight his consultants, Richard Quinn and Associates, are with Rich and his cronies, it would have involved an investigation into people politically closest to him.

But, that’s not stopping others from mounting an effort to re-level the playing field.

Also Thursday, John Crangle, head of South Carolina’s chapter of Common Cause, said the organization is considering a civil lawsuit against Rich that would seek a declaratory judgment on the legality of the donations. Crangle said the state board would review the issue at its September meeting. Common Cause seeks to limit the influence of money in politics.

McMaster declined to identify those making the complaints, but in June the Greenville chapter of the League of Women Voters released a letter asking him to “enforce our existing laws and investigate Mr. Rich and his numerous organizations, foundations and associations.”

In the letter, league president Jane Welch wrote that “we were very concerned recently to find information concerning… Rich … who according to the information I am enclosing, has contributed money to many candidates’ campaigns for the South Carolina House and Senate, and has also made a sizeable contribution to our governor, Mark Sanford.”

The information she sent consisted of Web sites and news articles outlining Rich’s donations.

But, considering McMaster’s feeling toward the situation is, “The information is out there somewhere. Meh. Whatever,” it’s doubtful his office will do anything.

State attorney general reviewing Howard Rich donations [Greenville News]


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