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Monday, May 20, 2024 - 07:40 AM


First Published in 1994


House GOP Caucus Senior Advisor Helps Dark Money Attack Conservatives

Saturday afternoon while many of the South Carolina Freedom Caucus members were door knocking and connecting with constituents on issues that matter to them, a bombshell story broke concerning the inaccurately named, special interest-funded, dark money group, “Palmetto Truth Project.”

As you probably remember, Palmetto Truth Project was established in March of last year after South Carolina Freedom Caucus members pushed the woke Left and RINO establishment to their breaking point through conservative amendments and exposure of the RINOs’ own voting records. The establishment was especially incensed that we targeted DEI funding and wasteful pork in the 2023 budget. Days later, PTP began a relentless attack on all SCFC members because we were standing up and fighting for conservative values - and winning! 

From the beginning, many suspected RINO House Leadership was behind the formation and funding of this dark money, Democrat-connected, lie-spewing group, but not until this past Saturday were those suspicions confirmed. 

First reported by FitsNews, the Senior Advisor to the SC House GOP Caucus (and consultant for many of its members), Walter Whetsell, admitted that he has in fact been helping Palmetto Truth Project.

Whetsell’s company, Starboard Communications, offers a host of services to clients including mail and website design, strategic messaging, mass text messages, and more. He represents not only a number of “Republican” incumbents including the Speaker and the Majority Leader but also a number of challengers to members of the Freedom Caucus. We are shocked but not surprised to learn that the senior advisor to House Leadership is behind the blatant falsehoods being levied against the most conservative members of the SC House, and at the same time working to oust those conservative members.

To make matters worse, federal ethics laws prohibit any form of coordination between campaigns and political action committees (PACs).

Has Walter Whetsell been flouting federal ethics laws by running both of these operations out of the same business? Did the Speaker of the House Murrell Smith and Majority Leader Davey Hiott know? And did the left-of-center challengers to Freedom Caucus legislators know about these shady dealings before taking Walter on as a consultant?

Today, we demand that Speaker Murrell Smith and Majority Leader Davey Hiott condemn the actions of Walter Whetsell, Starboard Communications, and Palmetto Truth Project and call for it to halt all operations in the state of South Carolina. If Starboard and Whetsell refuse to comply, the House GOP Caucus must immediately fire Whetsell and find an advisor who prioritizes passing conservative legislation and promoting conservative members, not using dark money groups to spin outrageous lies about the few conservatives who are currently serving in the State House. 

Call to Action:

  • Call Speaker Murrell Smith (803-734-3125) and Majority Leader Davey Hiott (803- 734-3138) and demand they condemn their de facto consultant’s actions.

  • Call Walter Whetsell (803-730-9580) and tell him to stop attacking conservatives and suspend all operations at the Palmetto Truth Project.

  • Call your House Rep, ask them if they use the shady Starboard Communications for political consulting, and if they do, demand they terminate the relationship immediately. You can find your Representative’s number here: https://www.scstatehouse.gov/legislatorssearch.php

Lies and misrepresentations of this caliber are unacceptable for any political operative, let alone for a “Republican” consultant to wield against the most effective conservatives in the House.