The article states,
"As for the $100,000 consulting fee . . . Thurmond says . . . he was very careful not to violate any ethics laws. In fact, in a July 2011 e-mail provided by Thurmond, he asked the general counsel of the State Ethics Commission if he would need to register as a lobbyist since he had 'actively encouraged [County Council] to support this project.' Ethics wrote back to say that lobbying county councils, city councils, and school boards does not count as lobbying under state law."
That's not the entire story and doesn't explain why Thurmond got the S.C. Ethics Commission advisory letter.
Thurmond made an intimidating phone call to a government official whose cooperation Thurmond needed to complete the deal.
This government official "pushed back," told Thurmond that he felt uncomfortable talking with Thurmond because Thurmond was lobbying him, and would not continue talking with Thurmond until Thurmond showed him proof that even speaking with Thurmond did not violate the state's ethics statute. The government official then terminated the phone call.
Determined to get that government official's acquiescence, close the Bulow sale, and get that $100,000 "consulting fee," only then did Thurmond, reluctantly, ask for the Ethics Commission advisory letter. After Thurmond received the letter, he got back on the phone and "finished off" the government official who had refused to speak with Thurmond.
Yes, Thurmond is very persistent, very aggressive, and in my opinion, thoroughly unethical.
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