Business leaders give $287,500 to pro-Haley group

April 22, 2014 

State of State

FILE PHOTO: South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, right, arrives to give her State of the State address to the joint session of the legislature on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014 at the Statehouse in Columbia, S.C.

RAINIER EHRHARDT — AP

The pro-Nikki Haley political group, The Movement Fund, raised $287,500 during the first three months of the year but spent $400,000, mostly on a television ad promoting the governor’s education plan, according to an Internal Revenue Service filing.

The fund had about $61,000 on hand as of March 31.

The group, known as a 527 organization under the federal tax code, is key in helping Haley win re-election in November. The fund can accept unlimited donations. State law caps individual contributions at $3,500 per election cycle.

Florida pharmaceutical entrepreneur Raj Mantena gave another $200,000 to The Movement Fund in February, bringing his total contributions to $500,000 over the past 11/2 years, according to documents filed with the IRS.

To start the year, the group also received:

•  $25,000 from Alice Manufacturing of Easley, led by Smyth McKissick, who sits on Haley’s campaign fundraising committee

$20,000 from Rosen Associates, the Miami developer of the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research in Greenville

•  $20,000 from Nelligan Sports Marketing president Tim Hofferth and his wife, Lisa, who live in Chapin

•  $10,000 from Walbridge Corp., a Detroit construction firm that built the ZF Transmission plant in Gray Court

•  $5,000 each from a pair of Midlands corporate executives – Zeus Manufacturing president John Worley Jr. and TEC Thermal Engineering founder W.H. Best

•  $5,000 from Myrtle Beach real estate investor Donald Leonard, whom Haley reappointed as chairman of the S.C. Transportation Infrastructure Bank

The Movement Fund started airing ads last month supporting Haley’s $175 million education plan. The fund aired spots a year ago criticizing Democratic gubernatorial challenger Vincent Sheheen’s support for expanding Medicaid in the state under the Affordable Care Act. Haley has rejected the expansion.

The group spent $300,000 with a California media-placement firm, Target Enterprises, during the past quarter, according to its IRS filing.

Most of the other expenditures went to consultants in the Washington, D.C.-area including political consultant Jon Lerner’s Red Sea; Columbia Haley adviser Tim Pearson’s Salt Box Strategies; fundraiser Marisa Crawford’s MJC Consulting; and the Bowers Law Office, run by Butch Bowers.

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