Alex Murdaugh, former SC Democrat, knew how to ‘play political game’ in red state: GOP consultant

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Once a prominent Democrat in South Carolina’s Lowcountry area, Alex Murdaugh and his family have made hundreds of thousands of dollars in political donations over the years. The now disgraced attorney’s website ran deep, as contributions had gone to anyone from local municipal election candidates to previous presidential nominations from Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton.

Murdaugh “knew how to play the political game,” Michael Mule, a Charleston-based GOP political consultant, told Fox News Digital, explaining that Murdaugh primarily donates to Democratic candidates, including former U.S. Representative Joe Cunningham, but also to many Republicans in the traditionally red state.

The allegations against the prominent lawyer “may an image of this guy who really thought he could do anything and get away with anything,” Mule said, describing how local Hampton residents – with a population of about 2,500 people – and the surrounding area wants justice for a growing list of alleged victims, whose names include Gloria Satterfield, Mallory Beach, Connor Cook and Stephen Smith.

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“Murdaugh gave money to Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Joe Cunningham, among other Democrats,” Mule told Fox News Digital. “But he also donated to Republicans in our Red State. The guy knew how to play the political game here. In politics, all too often, money is power.”

“Hundreds of thousands of dollars tied to Alex Murdaugh in political donations show he is no different. His influence, especially in the Lowcountry, was unmatched,” Mule continued. “The donations went from as local an office as possible to the top of the ticket. A total between him, his wife, his father, his brother, the law firm, you’re talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Fox News Digital verified these claims through the Federal Election Commission, as well as the South Carolina State Ethics Commission public disclosure websites. FEC records show that Alex Murdaugh donated $ 2,700 to Biden For President in April 2020, as well as a donation of $ 2,700 to Hillary For America in June 2015. At the state level, SEC records show a total of around $ 140,000 in donations made between Alex Murdaugh, his wife, brother, father, and law firm over the past decade in House and Senate races of the State, the Mayor of Charleston and the Local Clerk and City Council.

“The feeling of the locals is that there are still several grieving families in the Lowcountry who want answers,” Mule said. “They want justice. I hope that one day these families will get just that. Answers to the questions they have and, quite frankly, justice for their loved ones.”

Alex Murdaugh sits during his bail hearing on Thursday, September 16, 2021 in Varnville, South Carolina.
(AP Photo / Mic Smith)

Mule, who recently worked as a public affairs specialist in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina, said he couldn’t say if a case had been opened by federal prosecutors linked to Alex Murdaugh or the members. from his family. As the current chairman of UPT Strategies, a Charleston-based Republican political consulting firm, Mule agreed to speak more broadly with Fox News Digital about the political influence Murdaugh had in the lowcountry area of ​​the state.

“South Carolina is a place where, through one connection or another, you really know everyone. Especially in the Lowcountry this hometown feels like. The degrees of separation are very limited,” he said. declared. “Everyone has some kind of connection with each other. And that’s why again, it’s important to share the feeling of what people are saying here.”

On what would be Stephen Smith’s 25th birthday, his mother, Sandy Smith, announced to local media on Wednesday a new fundraiser for his grave at Gooding Cemetery to be a suitable headstone. Rumors and speculation surrounded his death on July 8, 2015, when the body of the 19-year-old was found on Sandy Run Road in Hampton County with deep gashes to his head.

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It was not until June that the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) opened an investigation into Smith’s death “based on information gathered during the investigation into the double murder of [son and wife] Paul and Maggie Murdaugh. “The agency did not disclose the connection between the two cases. Alex Murdaugh dialed 911 to report his return home to find his wife and 22-year-old son shot dead in the hunting grounds family in Colleton County on June 7. No one has been named as a suspect.

“He loved the beach. So we’re going to do it like a beach scene and then have his picture there,” Sandy said, describing the design she represents for her son’s gravestone. Pay new attention to the case, she said a stranger contacted her after noticing Smith’s grave only had a simple marker and had started fundraising through Steedley Monument Works .

“I was so happy. I couldn’t even cry for hours. I was in shock,” Sandy told WCIV upon learning of SLED’s investigation years after her son’s death. “I know Stephen. He wouldn’t have been on that street. He had his phone on him. He would have called.”

Meanwhile, the Murdaugh family reportedly never paid for the funeral of Gloria Satterfield, a 57-year-old housekeeper and nanny who had worked in their house for two decades. She died in hospital on February 26, 2018 – weeks after allegedly sustaining a head injury while tripping and falling on dogs and descending the steps of another Murdaugh-owned house in County of Colleton.

The Satterfield sons on Monday asked a judge, in a new petition, to have Murdaugh held in civilian custody until he hands them the alleged millions of dollars he embezzled them after their mother’s death. Murdaugh and others are said to have obtained $ 505,000 and $ 4.3 million in insurance claims, and although they are entitled to $ 2.8 million of that money, Satterfield’s sons have not seen a dime, depending on the record.

A separate file released a week ago describes how Alex Murdaugh allegedly pressured Connor Cook to shut up following a boat crash in February 2019 that resulted in the death of 19-year-old Mallory Beach, in Beaufort County. A miner, Paul Murdaugh, was reportedly severely drunk and driving when he crashed the boat onto a bridge, sending several passengers into the water. But Alex then launched a “whispering campaign” in the area, spreading rumors that Cook, who suffered a broken jaw and other injuries after the crash, was the one driving, according to the filing.

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Murdaugh was released on bail earlier this month, allowed to return to an out-of-state rehab facility to treat alleged opioid addiction for decades. In another case, he is charged with insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and filing a false police report after allegedly plotting his own death so that his surviving son, Buster Murdaugh, 26, could touch a life of $ 10 million. insurance policy. The alleged September 4 shooting occurred days after Hampton-based law firm PMPED called for Alex Murdaugh’s resignation, alleging he had embezzled at least $ 1 million in funds from the practice founded by his great-grandfather.

Murdaugh told law enforcement that he paid Curtis “Eddie” Smith, his former legal client and suspected drug dealer, to shoot him on a rural road, but Smith reportedly missed it, grazing only the head. Smith’s attorney, Jarrett Bouchette, recently told The State, a Columbia, South Carolina-based newspaper, that his client was being used as a ‘fall man’ and was unaware of Murdaugh’s scheme. .


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