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."