Legislators, fundraisers and special interests

05/26/2010

Politicians have a number of ways of raising money. There is, of course, the cold call, in which a politician or their representatives contact supporters or potential supporters and essentially beg for money. Direct mail is also popular, though it seems to irritate as many folks as it attracts.

There’s also fundraisers, particularly those predicated on reaching out to specific segments, such as individuals with an interest in a certain industry, cause or piece of legislation.

With the latter we get such events as that put on last week by the South Carolina Association for Justice for state Sen. Gerald Malloy. Here’s how SCAJ President Kirk Morgan’s invitation read: 

Dear SCAJ Member:

In the South Carolina General Assembly, the trial bar could not have a more stalwart friend than Senator Gerald Malloy. A true trial lawyer, Senator Malloy was the first President of our Association to be a sitting legislator and remains a defender of the rights of citizens and of those dedicated lawyers who fight for the public good in courtrooms across this state.

While he has always been his own man, he has proven over the years to be a friend to the trial lawyers through his work. Tomorrow he has a fundraiser. In my private capacity as a trial lawyer, I would like to take the opportunity to encourage you to attend this reception for Senator Malloy and express your appreciation.

WHERE: The Inn at USC
WHEN: May 18, 2010
TIME: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Please do not let this opportunity pass by to thank Senator Malloy for his years of service.

Sincerely,

Kirk Morgan

For those who don’t know, Sen. Malloy represents District 29, which includes parts of Chesterfield, Darlington, Lee and Marlboro counties. He was first elected to the state Senate in 2003.

Morgan’s letter, while typical of many fundraising missives, contains interesting nuggets that are better understood when one reads between the lines:

“In the South Carolina General Assembly, the trial bar could not have a more stalwart friend than Senator Gerald Malloy.”

Translation: When trial attorneys need someone to do their bidding, Sen. Malloy is always there.

“A true trial lawyer, Senator Malloy was the first President of our Association to be a sitting legislator and remains a defender of the rights of citizens and of those dedicated lawyers who fight for the public good in courtrooms across this state.”

Translation: Sen. Malloy has not only made a pretty penny from being a trial lawyer ($371,798.56 in workers’ comp fees alone over the past two years), he was able to curry a great deal of influence for our lobby by being elected to the legislature. He’ll defend most anyone who’s got money to line his pockets.

“While he has always been his own man, he has proven over the years to be a friend to the trial lawyers through his work. Tomorrow he has a fundraiser.”

Translation: Malloy puts his own interests first, but he’s also been happy to place the needs of our organization before those of the citizens of South Carolina as a whole. Now, it’s time to pay him back.

“In my private capacity as a trial lawyer, I would like to take the opportunity to encourage you to attend this reception for Senator Malloy and express your appreciation.”

Translation: As president of this organization, I’m telling you it’s time to pony up with some cold hard cash for Sen. Malloy.

“Please do not let this opportunity pass by to thank Senator Malloy for his years of service.”

Translation: Having a former association president in the General Assembly is a gold mine for our organization. We don’t want to lose one our biggest advocates in the General Assembly, so bring your checkbooks.

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