Meet Henry McMaster: 5 Reasons He Needs Trump to Bail Him Out…Again
Corruption and Scandal Define McMaster’s Career
Tonight, Donald Trump is heading to South Carolina once again to prop up Henry McMaster’s reelection campaign. This is the second time Trump has had to bail out the McMaster campaign in less than a year, and it’s all because the governor can’t escape the damage from his corruption in Columbia.
Since the day he took office, McMaster’s administration has been defined by pervasive corruption and embarrassing scandals. It’s why all of his primary opponents have lined up behind his opponent John Warren. So ahead of the Trump visit tonight, we thought it was worth looking back at a sampling of McMaster’s most disqualifying episodes during his short time in office.
- The Statehouse Corruption Probe: Columbia has been roiled by a statehouse corruption scandal that has taken down a number of high profile officials, including the indictment McMaster’s former top political adviser Richard Quinn. His ties to the Quinn probe have been an issue in the campaign for over a year, and will continue to be a problem for him as long as he remains in public life.
- SCANA Nuclear Scandal: There is no better example of McMaster’s failure to deliver results on behalf of his constituents than the nuclear energy debacle. The failed project has cost South Carolinians roughly 2 billion dollars and it is still unclear if anything will be salvaged. Unsurprisingly, as the project was secretly unraveling, the company showered McMaster with campaign donations and flattering letters. In return, McMaster ran interference for the company as his opponents tried stop them from continuing to collect fees from ratepayers. Taxpayers were left holding the bag while McMaster got serious cash – a perfect description of his entire career.
- All White Country Club: One of McMaster’s first moves in office was to announce that he would be remaining a member of his all-white country club. McMaster was criticized for his membership in his last campaign too, but he didn’t seem to care. It certainly isn’t helping fight his “good ol’ boy” image. After previous governors – including Nikki Haley – worked to portray South Carolina as open to business, McMaster’s membership in an all-white country club threatens to harm the state’s economic brand.
- The Pool ‘Joke’: Fresh off the country club scandal, McMaster further cemented his “good ol’ boy” brand with a sexist joke at a party at the executive mansion. According to a report in The State, McMaster was hosting a group of sheriffs and their spouses and allegedly offered $100 to anyone who jumped in the pool, and would give another $100 it was a woman with her clothes on.
- School Bus Veto: South Carolina’s fleet of school busses were so old, they were literallycatching on fire on hot days. Ignoring pleas from lawmakers of both parties, McMaster vetoed funding to update and replace some of the fleet, and used the moment to grandstand and raise his own profile. McMaster’s veto was unanimously overridden, but his stunt delayed the funds for six months – time where South Carolina students were still forced to ride in unsafe busses.
“Even as the Trump circus comes to town, Henry McMaster’s corruption is still the main attraction in this race,” said DGA Deputy Press Secretary Alex Japko. “The fact that he needed Trump’s help once again shows just how politically damaged he really is. Not even an endorsement from Donald Trump can erase 40 years insider dealings that define Henry McMaster’s political career.”