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Tom Young Discredits Special Interest Attack Mailer

May 28, 2008

Tom Young Discredits Special Interest Attack Mailer

(Aiken, SC) – Over the Memorial Day holiday, when Aiken County residents were spending time with their families, they were greeted by an unpleasant political attack on Republican State House candidate Tom Young. The negative mailer was full of lies accusing Tom Young of running to change existing law to make it easier to sue doctors and drive up health care costs. The mailer was sent by a group called South Carolinians for Responsible Government. (SCRG).

They may have ‘South Carolinians’ in their name, but they are anything but that. SCRG is one of many out-of-state lobbying groups funded by New York millionaire Howard Rich and operating in South Carolina. They are pouring hundreds-of-thousands of dollars into campaigns across South Carolina, threatening candidates and legislators, and attacking anyone who stands up for public schools. Although they spend more than most candidates do to influence the outcome of an election, they refuse to follow South Carolina ethics laws and disclose their donors and expenditures.

Most offensive about the attack mailer was a desperate attempt to tie Tom to Bill Clinton through a donation Tom received from his former law partner Pete Strom. Strom was a United States Attorney fifteen years ago at the time that Clinton was president. He was nominated as U.S. Attorney by Senator Strom Thurmond. Besides contributing to Tom, Pete Strom has contributed to Governor Mark Sanford, Senator Lindsey Graham, and Strom Thurmond, Jr.

Tom Young today denounced the negative campaigning. “When I announced my candidacy for State House, I made a Clean Campaign Pledge because most voters tell me that they are sick of negative politics. Over the last year, we have heard enough about political scandals. The last thing we need are special interest groups and lobbyists throwing their money around trying to buy elections.

Young also asked the other candidates to join him in denouncing negative campaign tactics. “Throughout this campaign, I have remained positive and talked about my plan to move South Carolina forward. My platform focuses on reducing health care costs and not increasing them. My opponents should join me in denouncing these attacks. Either they condone this type of behavior or they believe in clean, honest elections. Either they believe in disclosure and accountability or they believe that politicians can act in darkness. Either they stand with special interest groups and lobbyists or they stand with Aiken County families. It’s that simple.”

You can learn more about these out of state special interest groups at and


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