National GOP cash pouring into SC races, airwaves - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

National GOP cash pouring into SC races, airwaves

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - As we enter the final weeks of the campaign, political ads are flooding the airwaves. The money for many of those ads is coming from outside the state. While Republican nominees seem to be getting a lot of national support, some Democrats say the dollars just aren't as strong for their candidates.

We've known for years that if there's one guy in South Carolina politics who's always willing to lob grenades at the other side, it's former Democratic Party Chair Dick Harpootlian. Over the weekend and on Monday on a national Fox News show, Harpootlian was in full attack mode.

This time, however, the targets included leaders of his own party. The core of his complaint was what he says the national Democratic organizations are not doing to win the race for south Carolina governor.

The ad starts with a shadowy image against an apocalyptic background. Then that image flips around, linking the president to the Democrat running for South Carolina governor. The attack ad began running last week, taking direct aim at Senator Vincent Sheheen. But it was produced by the Republican Governor's Association, not the campaign of Sheheen opponent Nikki Haley.

Harpootlian thinks the spot is encouraging, in a way. "The RGA put $750,000 in South Carolina for those misleading ads last week," said Harpootlian. "If Nikki Haley had this thing in the bag, they wouldn't be spending that kind of money. They know what we know."

Harpootlian says the ad is evidence that Republicans are worried about the shrinking gap between Haley and Sheheen. But over the last few days, the former state party leader has blasted national Democratic organizations for failing to respond with money that could help Sheheen. "They're not abandoning South Carolina, but they're not giving us the kind of assistance we merit," said Harpootlian.

That's nonsense, according to current Democratic Party Chair Carol Fowler. "Dick Harpootlian loves to be on TV, but he doesn't speak for the South Carolina Democratic Party," said Fowler. "He doesn't speak for South Carolina Democrats. He is speaking for himself."

Fowler says it's possible the Democratic Governors Association and Democratic National Committee might match the financial support provided to the Haley campaign, but she's not complaining. "I'm thrilled with what they have done for us and continue to do for us," said Fowler. "The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has just been of immeasurable help to us."

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