COLUMBIA, SC — S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson prosecuted or instigated investigations of at least seven public officials since taking office in 2011 -- but none more powerful than the ethics case against House Speaker Bobby Harrell, one of the state's most powerful politicians.
Wilson is expected to run for governor or another big seat in 2018.
The State's Adam Beam writes:
"(Harrell's) Charleston political base is among the states wealthiest areas, allowing the speaker to raise $555,000 for a 2012 election that he won with 74 percent of the vote, hardly a tight contest that required big bucks to win. A political action committee that Harrell started but is no longer associated with, the Palmetto Leadership Council, raised another $1.6 million for the 2012 elections. It donated to every nearly Republican lawmaker in the state and Wilson.
Wilson widely is seen as a potential candidate for governor in 2018 or some other statewide seat. But if (former attorney general) Henry McMasters prosecution of a lesser former politician cost him $300,000 (in campaign contributions), what could the investigation of Harrell cost Wilson?
The process is fraught with peril for all involved, (political consultant Warren) Tompkins said.