Vida Miller's out-of-state campaign money

From the April 30, 2009 edition of the Pawleys Island Coastal Observer

By Carole Faulk

Former county Democrat Party chairman Richard Smith’s recent defense of liberal Democrat Rep. Vida Miller’s state house bill that would force taxpayers to fund the political campaigns of candidates for the General Assembly and state offices is a masterpiece in deception.

Never did he acknowledge the fact that Miller’s proposal would cost taxpayers millions of dollars to pay for the campaign expenses of politicians and for the administration of the proposed law.

At a time when the state budget is extremely tight and cuts in essential services are likely, apparently using our tax dollars to pay for the campaigns of politicians is a spending priority for Smith, Miller, and the other liberal Democrats that have sponsored this bill.

Nor does Smith admit that beyond the support of liberal Democrats for Miller’s bill, the primary supporter is the South Carolina Progressive Network, a far left special interest group that supports gay marriage, is pro-abortion, and anti-right to work.

Smith wants to talk about Sen. John McCain’s and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s support for taxpayer funded elections in their states and how Jill Kelso is at odds with the two Republicans on the issue.

Kelso, a Republican, represents the best interests of already beleaguered taxpayers in South Carolina, not big-name politicians in Arizona and California, regardless of their party affiliation. She believes Sen. McCain and Gov. Schwarzenegger are wrong to support forcing taxpayers to pay for political campaigns, and she's not afraid to say so just because they happen to be Republicans. And I agree.

While Smith wants to take issue with campaign contributions that Miller’s opponent, Kelso, received from supporters from around the country of limited government, lower taxes, and education reform, he fails to mention the special interest groups that Miller is financially beholden to.

These are just some of the out-of-state special interest groups that have financed Miller’s campaigns:

Pay day lender TitleMax- Savannah, Georgia; Bank of America- Charlotte, North Carolina; hospital operator United Health Services- Toccoa, Georgia; nursing home operator National HealthCare Corporation- Murfreesboro, Tennessee; pro-abortion PACs Emily’s List (they endorsed her) and the Women’s Campaign Forum- Washington, DC; labor union PACs from the steelworker’s, longshoremen and autoworker’s and the AFL-CIO.

Smith fails to mention that Miller’s liberal voting record in Columbia has attracted a number of fans: big-name liberal Democrats Joe Biden, John Edwards, Howard Dean, John Kerry, and Dick Gephardt, nationally-recognized liberals who funneled $4,000 from their out-of-state PACs to Miller’s campaigns because they like the liberal way she votes.

And let’s not forget some of the in-state special interest groups that have contributed to Miller:

SC Trial Lawyers Association; both the SC Beer and Liquor Wholesaler’s Associations; the convenience store operators via the SC Petroleum Marketers Association; and the pro-abortion SC Reproductive Health PAC, which endorsed her candidacy.

If Smith and Miller want to champion spending our hard earned taxes to pay for political campaigns, that’s their right. But let’s be very clear about the costs and effects on the state budget.

Let’s also be very clear that this is an attempt by liberal politicians to force taxpayers to financially support the election campaigns of candidates that they do not agree with.