Columbia, South Carolina (CNN) – The Republican gubernatorial primary in South Carolina took a nasty turn in its final weeks, but the subsequent two-week runoff between Nikki Haley and Gresham Barrett never turned into the no-holds-barred, mudslinging cage match that some thought it would.
But other down-ballot races in the state have been noticeably more contentious, namely the runoff for Attorney General between Leighton Lord and Alan Wilson, the son of Rep. Joe Wilson.
Case in point: A mysterious advocacy group called "The South Carolina Truth Squad" went up with a harsh television ad last Thursday hammering Wilson as a "Good Ole Boy" who once failed the bar exam and is piggy-backing off his father's name.
"The truth is, the only notable thing in Alan Wilson's background is being a congressman's son," the ad's narrator says. "Getting elected because of who your daddy is part of South Carolina's past, not it's future.
The Truth Squad has not disclosed its donors, but CNN has learned that the group is being funded by a South Carolina non-profit opposed to frivolous lawsuits called Citizens Against Litigation Abuse.
January's landmark Supreme Court ruling in "Citizens United vs. FEC," which loosened campaign finance rules for independent political groups, paved the way for Truth Squad's activity, said Todd Kincannon, the group's attorney and spokesman. "Citizens United is the basis for it," he said.
Kincannon called the Truth Squad "a new political action committee formed to support genuine conservatives and to oppose the Good Ole Boy system and politics as usual through independent expenditures."
He said the group's next target will be state Sen. Jake Knotts, a Wilson ally from Lexington County who infamously called Haley a "raghead" earlier this month.
The Wilson campaign filed a restraining order against the group, citing possible violations of state ethics laws, but their order was stayed by the state Supreme Court, pending a hearing on Monday.
The ad was pulled by television stations Sunday following the restraining order, but Kincannon said he is working with television stations to get it back on the air now that a judge has stayed Wilson campaign's request.
Wilson's campaign called the ad "a flagrant last minute dirty trick" and "an insult to the voters of South Carolina."
"All we know is a shadowy group was formed a few days ago for the sole purpose of attacking Alan Wilson," said campaign spokesman Adam Piper. "They are spending about $100 thousand dollars on TV ads with no public disclosure of donors, no street address and no accountability whatsoever. This is politics at its ugliest."
its a plant!!! not the kind in your garden.
The mysterious advocacy group has been set up by a joint cooperation to disrupt the U.S. from the N. Korean/Iran alliance
be ever viligent my friends, they are out there, and they are watching us
(cue X-files music and then fade to black)
"W" was elected on the same reason. Whose daddy was or rather the name also the current Secretary of State, it was mainly the name!
In all fairness, and I am by no means a Wilson daddy or son fan, MANY people fail the bar exam their first, second,sometimes third time out. What's all the hoopla? Was he practicing law PRIOR to passing the bar, then that's a different kettle of fish. If not, this was wated ad money IMO.
On the other hand, I like the point that Truth Squad is trying to get across, that being that "Whose Your Daddy" (nepotism) should have NOTHING to do with getting into office. But if Wilson Jr. chooses to opt for that angle then he should try to get a picture taking with the Shrub. Nepotism worked very well for Dubya first time out the box; the country's stupidity compounded by the Supreme Court's put him AGAIN.
Anythin Joe Wilson related should not be supported and, that is no LIE.
Let the games begin. Joe, Alan's Daddy, needs to look no further than his own household to find a liar.
What is it with the republicans and going to court to stop political free speech, if it is not true then he can prove it,but he can not stop people from criticizing him or expressing a negative point of view.
Shouldn't his son just show pictures of the guy he's running against, and cut in footage of his daddy screaming "you lie!" over and over?
The south is notorious for such practices....riding off daddy's or mommy's political coattails. In short..."the name game."
This seems like a pretty fair attack ad, if everything it says about his record is true. It's all verifiable.
Wonder if he will be like his father and tells the president he lies. Maybe he should team up with Sarah.
I believe that is the Texas way too...I mean bush jr ONLY became gov after his daddy bought it for him for his birthday. He destroyed Texas and then morons voted him in to destroy the US as well..
What is it about S. Carolina that lends itself to be made a joke.
hopefully they will start spending more money on education. Being a red state doesn't in itself give you the right to be stupid.
...and the Republicans support this form of politics. Hard to get angry when you get a taste of the consequences of your own policies.
Personally I DO believe ALL contributors should be identified. I DO believe that shadow groups have no business engaging in the free speech that individuals have. If one chooses to engage in the public discource either via petition or via TV, then they must take the masks (or hoods in some cases) off and identify yourself to the public you are trying to influence. Otherwise, you have no business in this business.
So he failed the Bar Exam once. So what? The Bar Exam is one of the toughest, most grueling tests in professional life. 30% of takers routinely fail it the first time, and of those that retake, 50% NEVER pass. Preparation is key, and some individuals, either by choice or by circumstance, can't take 2 months of time and dedicate 12 hours a day to studying, because they still have to put food on the table.
The "South Carolina Truth Squad" sounds like a MoveOn.Org type drive-by attack, spraying irrelevant information in an attempt to do damage before they get shut down or sued out of existence. It's a classic Liberal trick, right out of the Anarchist's playbook. If these are actually "Conservatives" running this, I'll be incredibly surprised.
Hey Wilson, it may be ugly....but if it's true, which I'm sure it is....then you are out of luck.
SC GOPers hate entitlement programs, except for the entitlement they feel each of their family members and close friends have of governing SC.
Well Joe, this is what you get when you have right-wing activist judges sitting on the Supreme Court.
Thank you SCOTUS for scerwing up American politics even more.
Chickens coming home already for the GOBP.