Republicans called a last-minute press conference Wednesday morning to discuss the race for Governor.
SCGOP Party Chairman Matt Moore kicked off the conference saying over the last few weeks, "we have learned" of Sen. Vincent Sheheen's legislative record.
"We've been doing our research and sadly there's more," said Moore, adding Sheheen was "the lead Senate sponsor on a bill that would have given convicted criminals the right to have their records cleaned and expunged."
Following the press conference, The Post and Courier learned the piece of legislation was a House bill sponsored by Rep. Todd Rutherford, D-Columbia, the House minority leader. In a follow-up conversation, Moore insisted that "from our research the bill changed with (Sheheen's) input" and "it became poisonous."
Rutherford was not pleased with the allegations and said they didn't make any sense.
"He would be stupid," Rutherford said of Moore's allegations. "We amend bills in subcommittees all of the time. It doesn't make us sponsors of the bill."
Moore's allegations were not a surprise to Kendra Stewart, a political science professor at the College of Charleston.
"When you see races where there is competition between candidates, it's not unusual for candidates to stoop to any level to portray their opponent in a negative light," Stewart said.
To be fair, the Democrats called a presser on what turned out to be a typo and a non-requirement a few weeks ago.
In late April, the chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party said there were new instances of "unethical activity" by Gov. Nikki Haley. The party insisted Haley's campaign was hiding something by failing to publicly disclose the occupation of a handful of donors.
Within a few hours of the presser, however, the state ethics commission said one was a typo and the other was not required.
At the time Moore mocked the Democratic Party's allegations, calling them "pure political theater."
Ah, election season.
In other news:
Senate Ethics Committee to fine Robert Ford for new campaign fund misuse charges, refers case to state attorney general (The Post and Courier)
Charleston's Ford, Harrell cases shine light on ethics issue (The Post and Courier)
Dust up over powdered alcohol in SC: Should it be banned? (The State)
'Jaidon's Law' crackdown on SC drug-abusing parents clears hurdle (The State)
S.C. Democrats Square Off Against Outsider Senate Candidate (Free Times)
In a Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2009 file photo, Rep. Todd Rutherford, right, speaks during a meeting with the House Judiciary Committee.×
Gov. Nikki Haley×