Some of you may have seen the following screen shot making its way around social media last week.

We were just as surprised as you may have been to see our name on this list, presumably (and incorrectly) connecting us with Joe Cunningham’s campaign. It is our understanding that SC GOP Chairman Drew McKissick shared this badly photoshopped image at the State Executive Committeeman meeting last weekend. I attempted to reach out to Drew to get the facts firsthand but at this juncture I think it is safe to say that he’s not going to make an effort to explain himself.

So, unfortunately, we are forced to rely on information gathered from others. Which is where it gets interesting. According to Harrison Musselwhite, Drew admits to having created the above document and sharing it at the statewide GOP EC meeting on Saturday, 2/4.

But why?

One report I heard said that MYSCGOP had purchased an e-mail list from Joe Cunningham and that all of the other groups had purchased those lists from MYSCGOP.

Not true. Palmetto State Watch has never purchased e-mail lists from anyone.

Another report, circulated at the monthly Aiken County GOP meeting by EC Jane Page Thompson flips the story on its head and claims that there was a ‘data breach’ and MYSCGOP had sold e-mail lists purchased from SCGOP to our organization and the others listed above.

Not true. See above explanation.

I spoke with another person who attended said EC meeting last weekend and asked if they recalled mention of a ‘data breach’. They did not. In fact, it was their understanding that the image above, along with another one that was shown right beforehand, which contained the logos of all of the above-named groups (the logo of the SC Freedom Fighters being displayed prominently at the bottom of the image) was shown to sway the EC’s to vote in favor of taking over the Greenville County Reorg that is happening next month. (This story jives with what Harrison’s understanding of the situation is.)

Having never heard of the SC Freedom Fighters, I looked it up and the only group I could find is one that has ties to BLM.

Palmetto State Watch has no ties to BLM. Or Joe Cunningham. Or his campaign. Before hearing that Drew had claimed authorship of the above bad photo-shopping job, I did call Cunningham and leave a message last Monday, to ask if he knew anything about this. He hasn’t called me back either.

Palmetto State Watch is a South Carolina First organization, interested in promoting government transparency, calling our leaders to a higher standard, and educating the public about pertinent issues around our great state.

It appears this smear campaign was just that, a desperate attempt to sow seeds of division among conservatives in South Carolina. Don’t fall for it.