POLITICS: How much could the Bobby Harrell case cost AG Alan Wilson?

Posted by ANDREW SHAIN on January 19, 2014 

SC Attorney General Alan Wilson and SLED Chief Mark Keel, seen here announcing the indictment of Lt. Gov. Ken Ard, signed the request to send the investigation of House Speaker Bobby Harrell to the State Grand Jury.

C. ALUKA BERRY — caberry@thestate.com Buy Photo

— 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 state’s 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 McMaster’s 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.

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