The Buzz: S.C. man races Chicago for his dad

abeam@ thestate.comOctober 12, 2013 

Jason Zacher, communications director for the S.C. House Republican Caucus, is running the Chicago Marathon on Sunday. He has raised more than $11,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in honor of his father, Richard, who was diagnosed with Leukemia last year. This photo comes from the Augusta Ironman 70.3.


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Jason Zacher is probably hating life right now.

Depending on when you are reading this Sunday morning, Zacher – the communications director for the S.C. House Republican Caucus – is somewhere along the 26.2-mile course of the Chicago Marathon. Zacher started running in 2005. Since then, he has run five marathons, two half-Ironman triathlons and at least two dozen half-marathons.

But all of those races were for him.

This one is for his dad.

Zacher’s father, Richard, was diagnosed with leukemia last year. He is doing well, but it was a shock to Zacher, who says he felt helpless.

So Zacher decided to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by running the Chicago Marathon with Team in Training, which raises money for cancer research. His goal was to raise $3,200. As of Friday, Zacher said he had raised $11,870, the second-highest of anyone raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

“Working in politics has made it easier for me. I have a large Rolodex of people who are used to being asked for money,” Zacher said.

Zacher said the fundraising gave him a big incentive to train hard.

“A lot of people are putting a lot of faith in me,” he said. “I really started feeling like I need to give it my all.”

Zacher already has been rewarded. When he arrived in Chicago on Thursday night, Zacher tried to purchase a ticket to the Chicago Bears game that night against the Giants. As Zacher was walking through the crowd holding up one finger, he said a man in a business suit stopped and gave him a ticket for free.

“It’s your lucky day,” the man said.

And the winner is ...

When it comes to fundraising at the State House, there’s Tom Davis – and then there is everyone else.

The Republican state senator from Beaufort reported raising $128,416.34 from July to September. Yes, $16,900 of that money was either Davis’ personal money, a loan or an in-kind contribution. But without that, Davis still raised more than $112,000 from donors – more than twice that of second-place finisher state Sen. Marlon Kimpson, D-Charleston.

Here’s the rest of the Top 10:

•  Sen. Marlon Kimpson, D-Charleston, $49,746.50. (While everyone else on this list doesn’t face an election until 2014 or 2016, Kimpson was elected Oct. 1 in a special election to replace former Sen. Robert Ford, D-Charleston, who resigned in the face of ethics charges.)

•  Sen. Shane Martin, R-Spartanburg, $45,337.83

•  Rep. Kirkman Finlay, R-Richland, $38,515.50

•  Rep. Nathan Ballentine, R-Richland, $20,633.13

•  Sen. Paul Thurmond, R-Charleston, $14,900

•  Sen. John Courson, R-Richland, $11,000

Rep. Tommy Pope, R-York, $8,800

•  Rep. Brian White, R-Anderson, $8,600

•  Rep. Todd Atwater, R-Lexington, $6,000

The Buzz counted 19 lawmakers who did not raise any money in the third quarter. And Buzz counted another 44 who, as of Friday night, had not yet filed their contribution reports. The reports were due Thursday by midnight.

S.C. is 19th most affected state in government shutdown

The federal government is shut down partially. (You might have heard about that.) Who does it hurt the most?, a “personal finance social network,” tried to answer that question last week. Virginia is the state most affected by the shutdown, while Iowa is the least affected state. South Carolina ranked No. 19.

That’s because South Carolina was in the top 10 of states that would be most affected by Social Security funding shortages. The Palmetto State also is No. 4 in the country in federal student-loan applications per capita. And South Carolina’s veterans’ population, per capita, ranks No. 9 in the country.

Even WalletHub’s study was affected by the shutdown as information from “key federal data sources – including the Census Bureau and the Small Business Administration – (has) been disrupted due to lack of manpower.”

Nevertheless, WalletHub said it was able to get the information from other public sources.

Buzz bites

•  Gov. Nikki Haley paid an ethics fine from her campaign account – which she is legally allowed to do – listing it as a “business expense” on her quarterly campaign disclosure, giving Democrats the chance to use the line that, for Republicans, “ethics violations are just the cost of doing business.” Haley’s campaign said Democrats “want to do what they can to distract from the fact that we have 3 times the cash on hand they do.”

•  Some state senators argued last week that South Carolina does not have an ethics problem, saying not one of their constituents has asked them about it, prompting Sen. Massey to quip: “If I were making my decisions here based solely on what people complain to me about, 95 percent of my time would be spent on federal issues.”

•  Christopher Lykes pleaded guilty last week to stealing the personal information of 228,000 Medicaid recipients, giving Republicans the chance to remind people Democratic gubernatorial candidate Vincent Sheheen once recommended Lykes for a promotion. Democrats called it a “desperate attack.”

•  A poll released last week by Public Policy Polling, commissioned by the liberal, identified 17 Republican-held U.S. House districts where a Democrat likely would win if the election were held today, enough to give control of the House back to the Democrats. How many of South Carolina’s seven GOP-held districts would flip Democratic, according to the poll? Zero.

Reach Beam (803) 386-7038.

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