By Paul Gable
The race for the Democratic nomination for the new 7th Congressional District heated up recently when Horry County’s Preston Brittain took a swipe at S.C. Rep. Ted Vick of Chesterfield County.
According to recent polling date, Brittain and Vick are the front runners in a field of five that also includes Gloria Bromell-Tinubu, Parnell Diggs and Harry Pavilack all from Horry County.
Brittain has been traveling in the western part of the district this week. He picked up an important endorsement from Florence Mayor Steven Wukela early in the week.
“Preston hasn’t been part of the problem in Washington — he has spent his career standing up to power for real people.” Wukela said. “Right now, Tea Party extremists have taken over Congress, putting even the most fundamental things like Medicare at risk.”
One day later, the Brittain campaign issued the following press release slamming Vick for his affilitation with the American Leadership Exchange Council:
April 25, 2012 Press Release
Brittain Says Vick’s ALEC Resignation “Too Little, Too Late”
Democrats throughout the 7th District today criticized State Representative Ted Vick for his American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) membership and for taking money from rightwing and controversial sources.
“Now that Ted Vick is running in a Democratic Primary, he is following the pack and renouncing his membership to ALEC, but this is too little, too late.” said Preston Brittain. “For years, Ted Vick has been part of this organization that has advocated for an extremist agenda that has jeopardized even basic promises like Social Security and Medicare.”
ALEC is an organization that gets major corporations and conservative legislators together to create one-size-fits-all laws and programs that hurt working families across the Pee Dee and our country. Recently, Democratic advocacy groups pressured Democrats who are associated with ALEC to end their affiliation with the organization.
Advocacy groups are calling for an investigation of ALEC for using tax-free status despite conducting political and lobbying activities.
“I’m outraged that Ted Vick contributed to ALEC funding extreme and detrimental legislation across the country,” Brittain said. “He should return his contributions from PACs and lobbyists associated with ALEC, the Koch Brothers, the Republican Party and former U.S. Representative Bob Livingston’s lobbying firm who represented Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in Libya.”
Representative Ted Vick has been a member of ALEC for eight years, since he entered the South Carolina legislature in 2004. ALEC was the driving force behind South Carolina’s Voter ID law, which would have disenfranchised thousands of voters in the state.
Though the political tides have forced him to resign his membership, Representative Vick has taken several contributions from ALEC’s corporate funders and individuals associated with other conservative groups, including the lobbyist for Koch Industries, a leading contributor to SuperPACs trying to defeat President Obama. He has even taken over $2,000 from the Republican Party.
Brittain recently released his FEC Report showing that he has the momentum in the race for Congress. Brittain raised $253,944 from individuals, compared to $69,000 for Vick. Vick has taken over $22,000 from corporate and DC PACs, as well as contributions associated with Koch, an ALEC funder.
“I would never join an organization like ALEC who put the interests of major corporations ahead of the voters of the Pee Dee and Grand Strand,” Brittain said. “With associates like ALEC and Koch, Vick can’t bring the new direction our district needs.
Brittain is an attorney and first-time candidate who promises that he will shake things up in Washington. He is focused on being a problem-solver who will work to get jobs back in the district for our working-class families.
The Democrats haven’t had much fun in Horry County and the Pee Dee since the late 1980’s. Maybe times are changing.