Anastopoulos hosting Clinton fundraiser

Hillary Clinton

Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton will headline her first South Carolina campaign fundraiser on Wednesday at the Charleston home of husband-and-wife attorneys Akim and Constance Anastopoulo.

Akim Anastopoulo is a bit of a celebrity in Charleston. He’s known for the advertising catch phrase “Don’t Scream, Call Akim!” and once hosted his own syndicated court TV show, “Eye for an Eye,” where he played the presiding judge.

Anastopoulo said he’s 100 percent behind Clinton in 2016. “We’re honored to have her come to our house,” he said.

According to the invite, the Clinton effort is seeking some large cash donations from those who attend.

“Event Hosts need to raise $10k (4 people at max contribution or any other denomination thereof) and Event Co-Hosts are asked to contribute $2,700,” the invitation said.

Clinton is making her first campaign appearance in Charleston earlier on Wednesday, before the 5 p.m. closed-door event.

Anastopoulo recently appeared as himself as the law firm boss to one of the cast members on Bravo’s “Southern Charm” reality TV show.

Bill-signings often happen with little or short notice because governors have busy schedules, and Gov. Nikki Haley’s schedule last week was packed. It included multiple trips throughout the state and a visit to Washington, D.C.

That’s why only a handful of lawmakers seemed to know late Tuesday that Haley was planning to sign the police body camera bill on Wednesday.

The lack of notice frustrated Rep. Wendell Gilliard, D-Charleston, who was an early booster of body cameras for law enforcement officers. Gilliard said he was taken aback when Haley didn’t invite him to attend Wednesday’s bill signing.

But Haley’s office stressed that everyone in the General Assembly was blasted with the same notification of the impending signing. And when she signed the bill in North Charleston, Gilliard was among those who got a ceremonial pen.

“Though we have philosophical differences, you have to give credit where credit is due,” Gilliard said. “You have to have Republicans and Democrats to make a bill like this succeed. ... That’s why this bill is becoming law. To push me aside is wrong.”

Gilliard first pushed for body cameras in 2014, before Walter Scott was shot in the back by a North Charleston police officer now charged with murder. Gilliard started getting bipartisan support for it then.

Scott’s April death helped make the bill a priority for the General Assembly.

Gilliard later gave the signing pen to Feiden Santana, who captured the Scott shooting on his cellphone.

The exact number of candidates seeking to succeed Charleston Mayor Joe Riley won’t be known until filing for city offices closes on Aug. 17. But City Councilman Mike Seekings is expected to announce this month if he will be joining the fray.

Currently, there are seven candidates who have announced and filed financial paperwork with the State Ethics Commission, including nonprofit founder Ginny Deerin, City Councilman William Dudley Gregorie, political newcomer Toby Smith, state Rep. Leon Stavrinakis, businessman John Tecklenburg, former City Councilman Paul Tinkler and former Councilman Maurice Washington.

In one sense, it’s still early in the process since the official filing period for city offices doesn’t open until Aug. 3.

In another sense, it’s relatively late. Two candidates, Charleston restaurateur Dick Elliott and former City Councilman Henry Fishburne, already have announced, raised money and then withdrawn from the race.

Riley has held the mayoral position since 1975, a record 10 four-year terms. His successor will get paid more. Earlier this year, City Council agreed to raise the mayoral pay from $162,816 to $180,000, effective once the new mayor takes office.

Retired Marine and media personality Oliver North returns to Charleston next month with the Concerned Veterans for America’s “Defend Freedom Tour” on July 11 at The Citadel.

The group says it is building a “movement of veterans, military families, and patriotic Americans to preserve the freedom and prosperity that we and our families so proudly fought and sacrificed to defend,” according to its press announcement.

Attendance at the family-friendly event of speakers and a patriotic concert is free. It will run from 6-9 p.m. at The Citadel Alumni Center’s Courvoisie Banquet Hall, 69 Hagood Ave. Admission includes a complimentary barbecue dinner.

North has visited Charleston in the past, including doing his radio show from here.

Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, who like Hillary Clinton is chasing the Democratic presidential nomination, will be in Charleston on June 21 at the ILA Union Hall on Morrison Drive for a town hall. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with a 7 p.m. start.

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham will be on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday morning. It will be his seventh Sunday morning news program appearance of the year, according to media tabulations.

From Post and Courier reporters Schuyler Kropf, Robert Behre, Andrew Knapp and Cynthia Roldan.