GOP calls for "boycott" of Sanderson campaign

Contact: Tom Swatzel 843-222-7456

GEORGETOWN--The Georgetown County Republican Party today sent a mailer to voters in County Council District- 2 calling for a boycott of Democrat James Sanderson's campaign.

The mailer states in part: "To protect Georgetown County's economy and jobs, boycott liberal Union Boss James Sanderson . . .To protect Georgetown County taxpayers' money, boycott liberal Union Boss James Sanderson." Click here and here to see mailer

County GOP chairman Tom Swatzel said, "It's important for voters to know who James Sanderson really is. He's a liberal union boss that threatens downtown Georgetown small businesses and jobs with an economic boycott, who gained county taxpayer money for the union's political use under false pretenses."

"The voters need to boycott James Sanderson at the polls because his election would be an economic disaster for the county. We don't need someone on county council that would both willfully hurt this area's economy and deceive taxpayers," he said.

The mailer focuses on Sanderson's threatened union boycott of Georgetown City businesses, and the fact that he was featured in a national publication on union corruption for misusing Georgetown County taxpayers' money to promote local Democrats.

According to the Georgetown Times, in 2003 Sanderson threatened a union boycott of downtown businesses unless they signed a petition supporting "Georgetown Steel and its employees." One downtown business owner called Sanderson's tactics "extortion."

According to the National Legal and Policy Center's 2001 Union Corruption Update, Sanderson deceived county officials and taxpayers by gaining a $3,000 county accommodations tax grant, along with contributions from area businesses, to pay for a 2000 Labor Day parade event under the guise of a supposed non-profit charitable group called the "Georgetown County Labor Council."

That group was later found not to be registered as either a non-profit or a charitable organization with the S.C. Secretary of State as required, and the tax monies and private contributions were actually deposited into the Steel Workers union's bank account. The funds were then used for a partisan Labor Day event that featured Democrat Party candidates and officials.

Then state Attorney General Charlie Condon said in a 2001 opinion on the matter that if the "purported nonprofit corporation involved is, in reality, a sham and . . . the public funds ended up in the account of a labor union . . . if these facts are indeed true, such would surely be an expenditure for a private, not a public purpose. If a labor union represented itself as a nonprofit association for the purpose of obtaining public funds, such would clearly be an improper use of public funds."

Sanderson faces incumbent Republican Ron Charlton on November 4th for the council seat.