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Impeach President Trump? Columbia town hall will try to make the case

FILE - In this April 2, 2018, file photo, billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer is interviewed on Cheddar on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Michigan's two dominant utilities committed Friday, May 18, 2018, to increase the power they produce from wind and other renewable sources to 25 percent by 2030 under pressure from Steyer, who ended a ballot drive opposed by the electric providers in response.
FILE - In this April 2, 2018, file photo, billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer is interviewed on Cheddar on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Michigan's two dominant utilities committed Friday, May 18, 2018, to increase the power they produce from wind and other renewable sources to 25 percent by 2030 under pressure from Steyer, who ended a ballot drive opposed by the electric providers in response. AP Photo

Do you think President Donald Trump should be impeached? A California billionaire would like to explain to you why he should be.

Tom Steyer, a San Francisco hedge fund manager and liberal activist, will be in Columbia on Wednesday to hold a town hall meeting designed to drum up support for his campaign to have Congress act to end Trump's presidency early.

Steyer will be joined by former Democratic state Rep. Bakari Sellers — now a CNN pundit — at 7 p.m. at 1208 Washington Place.

Steyer is in the middle of a multistate tour promoting his "Need To Impeach" campaign. Steyer launched the $20 million drive to remove Trump because, he says, Trump has "brought us to the brink of nuclear war (and) obstructed justice at the FBI," among other accusations.

“With every day that goes by, Donald Trump erodes our democracy and puts the safety of the American public at risk,” Steyer said in a news release. “The American public needs strong leaders — Democrats and Republicans — in Congress who are not afraid to stand up to him and represent the will of the people who put them in office."

Steyer might not find much support for his position in South Carolina. Trump won 55 percent of the vote in the Palmetto State on his way to the White House in 2016, and 46 percent of S.C. residents approve of the way he's doing his job as president, higher than the national average, an April poll found.

In announcing Wednesday's event, Steyer noted that only one S.C. congressman — the congressional delegation's lone Democrat, U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn of Columbia — has voted to advance an impeachment resolution in the U.S. House.

SC gov ad wars: GOP version

With just three weeks to go until the June 12 primary, the TV ad wars are heating up.

Among the highlights:

S.C. TV stations aired — then quickly dropped — an ad saying Republican Catherine Templeton had been fired from her state government jobs, complete with clips of President Donald Trump saying, "You're fired."

The ad from the Palmetto PAC compared Templeton to a "bad contestant on the 'The Apprentice.' "

But Templeton disputed she had been fired from her jobs as head of the state Department of Health and Enviromental Control in 2015 and, later, a consultant for the Department of Revenue. After her attorney sent a cease-and-desist letter to TV stations Wednesday, most stopped playing it.

Templeton blamed Gov. Henry McMaster for the ad, which was paid for by a third-party group.

"Like President Trump said, there really is fake news," she said. "We just didn't expect it to come from a conservative."

A campaign ad featuring Donald Trump saying "You're fired," criticizes Catherine Templeton's campaign for Governor.



McMaster's campaign did swing at Templeton with an ad criticizing her for previously voting for a Democrat for governor.

GOP Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant of Anderson launched two ads.

In one, Bryant says a raise in the state's gas tax won't stop political favoritism in the state's road system, while tossing coins into a pothole. The other features Bryant's wife and daughter.

Greenville businessman John Warren dropped a new ad, his third ahead of the primary.

In the ad, Warren blames “politicians” for state government's woes, saying they “can’t even solve basic problems” before they snowball into disasters.

The state's Democratic candidates also hit the airwaves with two campaigns launching ads.

State Rep. James Smith put out an ad touting his military service in Afghanistan, and his endorsements from Vice President Joe Biden and Clyburn.

Democratic candidate for Governor James Smith released a campaign ad mentioning his military experience and his time as a state legislator.

Florence attorney Marguerite Willis put out her own ad, promising she "won't back down" in tackling South Carolina's problems and introducing her running mate, state Sen. John Scott, D-Richland.

The third Democratic candidate, Phil Noble, will be putting out an ad before the June 12 primary, campaign manager Brandon Upson said.

Endorsement update

  • Gov. Henry McMaster received the endorsement of the National Rifle Association's Political Victory Fund, the gun rights group's political action committee.
  • State Rep. James Smith, D-Columbia, picked up the endorsement of SC Equality, the state's largest LGBT rights organization, and the Columba-based progressive activist group Indivisible Midlands. Smith also was endorsed by state Rep. Russell Ott, D-Calhoun.
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