1/28/2009

Blackmail & Beatdowns in South Carolina

South Carolina State Capital, Christmas 2006, ...Image via WikipediaMy home state seems to be living up to its history of political secrets, extortion and midnight shenanigans.

A story is beginning to come to light of a blackmail plot against a high ranking GOP official in South Carolina. According to the sketchy details available thus far it appear a blackmailer asked for cash in exchange for damaging information but instead received a massive beating from South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) officers.

It's not surprising that SLED delivered a beating rather than an arrest since they have functioned for years as the de facto enforcers for the Republican Party in the state.
Last year, an unidentified blackmailer allegedly went to the home of S.C. Republican Party Chairman Katon Dawson with information of a highly personal and sensitive nature involving a prominent South Carolina Republican official.
Details from BlogActive and FITS:
Law enforcement officials are trying desperately to apprehend - and save the life of - an alleged blackmailer who supposedly met with a bloody rebuke at the hands of state law enforcement officers after attempting to extort $200,000 from a prominent S.C. Republican official, multiple sources have confirmed to FITS.

In addition to these sources, a senior agent at the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) has confirmed details of the alleged extortion drama to FITS, and sources even closer to the top at SLED tell us that the agency has been in contact with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) requesting that they look into the matter.

Rumors of the alleged drama have been making their way through South Carolina political circles in hushed tones for several months now, first reaching our ears last November.

We initially dismissed the accusations as too far-fetched to be true, however we began to dig deeper after sources at SLED confirmed details of the alleged incident to us.
Now for my disclaimer. Reading the original article at Fits News I would be highly skeptical. Their claims of being targeted by nebulous rogue agents for daring to report the accusations seem far fetched. However, as other people have been able to at least substantiate the bare bones of the story, I am inclined to believe something went on that wasn't kosher even if I'm not inclined to believe quite the whole "men in black" scenario.

Now, as for my speculations being from that state of what it could be that is so bad? There's only one thing left in South Carolina that is so taboo that it'd be worth that kind of dough to keep it quiet and worth bringing in the SLED enforcers to shut someone up.

Let's see: sex with a black woman? Nope. Strom Thurmond had it covered 50 years ago and it was the worst kept secret in the state. It's not taboo and never really has been.

Doing drugs? Nope. Long history of that in the state starting with the Jenrettes and continuing to recent State Treasurer and Trust Fund kid, Thomas Ravenel.

Drunk driving, lying to police about an emergency, impersonating a police officer, misuse of a police frequency, reckless driving? Nope, all covered by Lt. Governor Andre Bauer who even got reelected after all that.

Public sex on the Capitol steps? The lovely John Jenrette and wife, Rita again.

Hit and Run while drunk? None other than the Chief Justice of the SC Supreme Court, Jean Toal.

Bribery? Half the elected officials in the state during ABSCAM and Operation Lost Trust were caught up in some type of illegal bribery activity.

So, what does that leave? Well, about the only thing in South Carolina that will get you tossed out of office with no hope of redemption is picking up a gay hustler and having sex with him. A close second would be having a homosexual affair with a page or intern.

Now, that said, the only other scenario I would see would be someone bedding a teenage girl. Actually, that might be a more reliable scenario since SLED wouldn't technically find that abhorrent while the gay angle might make them think twice, based on their culture, of helping to keep it quiet unless they had a big financial stake in the doings.

Anyway, interesting to consider and this story will be one that bears watching to see if the blackmailer turns up alive or if he's already rotting at the bottom of a salt marsh.

BTW: Thanks to SChotline for the mention!

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