S.C.'s Newest Senator Expecting Change

On how S.C. campaigns are funded

Patrick Gentry
November 26, 2018 - 4:14 pm

A lawsuit by South Carolina's newest state senator could change how Statehouse campaigns are funded in South Carolina.

Democrat Dick Harpootlian has sued the Republican state Senate Caucus, saying the group spent too much money on ads for his opponent in this year's special election.

Harpootlian's lawyer says ethics laws limit the amount legislative caucuses can spend to $5,000. Harpootlian told The Post and Courier to allow caucuses to spend more gives too much power to big corporate donors.

The South Carolina Supreme Court declined to overturn a lower court ruling temporarily stopping the spending until the lawsuit can be heard.

Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey is fighting the lawsuit. He says it will discourage candidates who aren't independently wealthy from running for Statehouse seats.

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