Campaign funds and the lax laws controlling them allow politicians the ability to do almost anything they want with donations they receive.
But, the donors and the voters have a right to know exactly what is being done with campaign funds just as they do with public money. How, why and to whom is it paid? What goal toward being elected or reelected is achieved by its expenditure?
This is why nearly $150,000 over a four year span from Rep. Alan Clemmons’ campaign fund to now Rep. Heather Ammons Crawford (she was only a SC House member for the final $2,250 of that amount) listed as contract and/or campaign services leaves many questions.
Clemmons had no opponent in either a primary or general election in 2008, 2010 and 2012 election cycles. Yet, Crawford was paid an average of $37,500 per year for four years from Clemmons’ campaign account.
The voters deserve to know exactly what work did Clemmons pay Heather Crawford for? Was it all associated with political functions?
Heather Ammons Crawford, her husband and current Horry County District 6 council member Cam Crawford and SC Rep. Russell Fry have a political consulting business called Crescent Communications.
By way of comparison to the Clemmons payments to Heather Crawford, three campaigns run by the firm for former Horry County Council chairman Mark Lazarus provide stark contrasts.
Crescent Communications provided consulting services for three Lazarus campaigns, a special election in 2013 and regular election in 2014 and 2018. In those three campaigns, Lazarus spent a total of approximately $300,000 from his campaign account, all for election purposes. Approximately $41,000 was the total sum paid to Crescent Communications for those three campaign cycles.