By Paul Gable
Rep. Alan Clemmons campaign website has a link for visitors to make contributions to his campaign.
This is something most candidates do in an effort to help fund the costs of campaigning.
In the case of Clemmons campaign chest, one must ask what is this money used for?
A review of Clemmons’ campaign fund quarterly filings from the years 2008 – 2018 inclusive show that Clemmons raised a total of $460,409.23 in campaign donations. He had $231,224.62 on hand in his campaign account at the beginning of 2008, according to the records.
Over the same span, 2008 – 2018, Clemmons spent a total of $480,912.51 from his campaign funds. The 2008 – 2018 time frame includes six election cycles, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018, in which Clemmons was a candidate for he S. C. House. He was first elected in 2002, but records for his first three campaigns are not available online.
Raising and spending campaign contributions for election is what all candidates do.
However, in the six election cycles covered by these records, CLEMMONS HAD NO OPPOSITION!
He had no opponent in the primaries and no opponent in the general elections.
It must be asked, how and why does an elected official spend over $480,000 in six elections cycles, an average of $80,000 every two year election cycle, when he has no opposition in any of the races? You can’t make this stuff up, it’s too outrageous!
Part of the answer is in the globe-trotting Clemmons has paid for out of his campaign funds, including several trips to Israel and one to Egypt. He also paid for numerous trips around the United States out of the campaign account.
One interesting item in the Clemmons’ records is that between April 2008 and December 2012, Clemmons paid Heather Ammons Crawford a total of $146,830.69 out of his campaign account. He paid Crawford $2,000 per month from April 2008 thru April 2009 for “campaign” and/or “contract services” From May 2009 thru December 2012 Clemmons paid Crawford $2,500 per month for those services. There were also monthly payments to Crawford listed as expenses.
What campaign duties earn $2,000 – $2,500 per month for nearly four years when there was no opponent to campaign against? Uncontested elections require little to no effort to win.
Heather Ammons Crawford entered the S. C. House as a representative in January 2013. She and husband Cam, the District 6 county council member, have been regulars joining Clemmons on the Israel and Egypt trips.
While Clemmons and Crawford have consistently pushed for county (not state) funding for I-73 construction, I would submit they have done nothing, in 18 years for Clemmons and 8 years for Crawford, to benefit the citizens they supposedly represent.
They could try to convince voters they were studying flooding in the Nile Delta in Egypt in order to help flooding problems in Horry County, but few voters are gullible enough to believe that.
Both Clemmons and Crawford tout themselves as “conservative” politicians but there is nothing conservative about spending the amount of money detailed above in uncontested elections.
You could convince very few Horry County voters that it was necessary to spend over $480,000 or for someone to earn nearly $150,000 to win uncontested elections.
Considering the above record, how can Clemmons or Crawford look anyone in the eye and ask for a campaign donation with a straight face?