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Richard Quinn's complex web of relationships and influence

Created by
Emory Parker
Node Type Description Visible
Adam Piper Person
He worked as a political consultant for Richard Quinn & Associates between 2008 and 2011, serving as campaign manager for Alan Wilson's run for attorney general in 2010.

He worked as public relations director and executive assistant for Attorney General Alan Wilson after managing Wilson's successful campaign in 2010.
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AT&T Entity
AT&T is a telecommunications conglomerate, and a Fortune 500 company. The company is among the corporate clients of Richard Quinn & Associates. Sources have said state investigators requested information from AT&T in connection with the ongoing Statehouse probe but the company would not confirm those accounts.
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Attorney General Alan Wilson Politician
Before becoming South Carolina's attorney general in 2010, he worked as a lawyer in the well-connected Columbia law firm of Willoughby and Hoefer, which has earned millions from representing the state. His former boss, Mitch Willoughby, was chairman of a Lexington bank that provided Wilson with a $250,000 that helped him edge out his opponents in the GOP primary that year. 

Richard Quinn & Associates ran Wilson's campaigns for attorney general in 2010 and 2014. He has cotinued to pay Quinn for work on his 2018 re-election bid. He has paid RQA $471,000 since 2009 for campaign-related work. 

Published reports have identified Wilson as a founding member of the Conservative Leadership Project, a nonprofit led by his campaign director, Richard Quinn. Wilson is featured prominently on the group's website and he moderated forums it sponsored in 2015-16 to introduce voters across the state to the 16 GOP presidential candidates ahead of South Carolina's first-in-the-South primary. 
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Ben Mustian Person
Mustian, an attorney with the law firm of Willoughby and Hoefer, is Quinn's son-in-law, married to his daughter Rebecca. 

A former chief attorney for the House Judiciary Committee, Mustian was one of two lawyers with Willoughby & Hoefer chosen to represent the House in 2012 an ethics case involving allegations that Gov. Nikki Haley illegally lobbied while a state representative.Haley was later cleared of any violations.
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Bill Stern Person
The president of real estate company Stern & Stern is chairman emeritus of the ports authority board, which had paid RQA more than $2.6 million for services since 2009.

He was partners with State Rep. Rick Quinn until 2016 in a real estate company that owns land along the Congaree River In West Columbia where the Stone River events center is located. He said SPA general counsel Randy Lowell advised him that he had no conflict voting on contracts involving Quinn's father's firm, Richard Quinn & Associates.
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BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Entity
Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina is the Palmetto State's largest insurance company. The firm acknowledged in March that it had responded to a request for information from the grand jury investigating corruption at the S.C. Statehouse. The company has not provided details of that request. 
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Bobby Harrell Politician
The former House speaker, a Charleston Republican, paid Richard Quinn & Associates $15,907 between 2009 and 2010 for campaign work. Harrell resigned in 2014 after pleading guilty to using campaign cash for personal use. He also agreed to help with the ongoing corruption probe. 
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Brielle Applebaum Person
She worked as executive director for the Richard Quinn-led nonprofit that hosted forums with GOP presidential candidates.

She left the Conservative Leadership Project to become campaign manager for U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, stepfather of state Attorney General Alan Wilson.
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Charlie Condon Politician
Condon served as South Carolina's attorney general from 1995 to 2003 and ran unsuccessfully for governor. He hired Richard Quinn & Associates for campaign-related work, though the amounts paid were not readily available due to the age of the paperwork. 
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Conservative Leadership Project Entity
The Conservative Leadership Project is a Cayce-based nonprofit founded in 2012 with the stated mission of promoting discourse on constitutional matters, the rule of law and public policy issues. The group, led by veteran political consultant Richard Quinn, is best known for sponsoring a series of forums in 2015 with GOP presidential candiates. 
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Curtis Loftis Politician
The state treasurer has paid Richard Quinn & Associates $307,000 for campaign-related work since 2009.
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David Thomas Politician
The former Republican state senator from Greenville has paid Richard Quinn & Associates $37,500 for campaign related services. 
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First Community Bank of Lexington Entity
First Community Bank of Lexington opened in 1995 and how has 15 branches. The bank's chairman since 2009 has been Mitch Willoughby, founding partner of the Willoughby and Hoefer law fiirm. The bank provided a well-timed $250,000 loan to Alan Wilson in 2010 that helped him edge out GOP primary candidates on his way to becoming South Carolina's attorney general. 
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Friends of the Hunley Entity
The nonprofit set up to raise money to conserve the salvaged Confederate submarine has paid Richard Quinn & Associates $568,000 since 2013 to help with marketing and fundraising. 
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Glenn McConnell Politician
The former senate president pro tem and lieutenant governor, a Charleston Republican, paid Richard Quinn & Associates $170,000 between 2009 and 2013 for campaign-related work. He is now president of the College of Charleston. 

While chairman of the Hunley Commission, McConnell recommended RQA to Friends of the Hunley, a nonprofit set up to help conserve the Confederate submarine. The Friends have paid RQA to help with marketing and fundraising. 
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Gov. Henry McMaster Politician
McMaster is a longtime Quinn client, using Richard Quinn & Associates to help with his campaigns for attorney general and governor. He has paid RQA $376,000 since 2009 for those services. McMaster is no longer RQA for his campaigns.

McMaster has paid Mail Marketing Strategies $6,000 since 2009 for campaign-related work. The direct-mail company is owned by state Rep. Rick Quinn, son of political consultant Richard Quinn.

Quinn and his son, Republican state Rep. Rick Quinn, also employed a financial shell game in 2000 to help McMaster retain his hold on the chairmanship of the state Republican Party, according to a recently unearthed GOP audit. The companies of Quinn and his son Rick, a Republican state representative from Lexington, provided the lion’s share of an $85,000 donation to the cash-strapped party in May of that year. The infusion came just before members were to vote on a new chairman, masking sagging finances that had left the GOP in the red. McMaster was re-elected, and the party quietly refunded the Quinns' donations. 
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Jenny Horne Politician
The former Republican state representative and 1st District Congressional candidate from Summerville has paid Richard Quinn & Associates $23,682 for campaign-related services. 
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Jim Harrison Politician
The former Richland County representative has said he was called before the statewide grand jury to discuss his relationship with RQA, whom he paid $30,367 to perform campaign-related work between 2009 and 2010. He and others have said he is not a target of the probe. 

In addition to being a client, Harrison worked for RQA on statewide political campaigns, receving a biweekly salary, while serving as a lawmaker and chairing the House Judiciary Committee. 
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Kenny Bingham Politician
The former state representative from Cayce rented office space in his building to Richard Quinn & Associates.

Bingham, a former House majority leader, paid $41,011 to Richard Quinn & Associates between 2009 and 2015 for campaign-related work. 

Bingham rented office space in his building to state Rep. Rick Quinn's company, Mail Marketing Strategies. 
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Mail Marketing Strategies Entity
State Rep. Rick Quinn, a Cayce Republican, owns Columbia-based Mail Marketing Strategies, a direct-mail business that handles political fliers, among other things. Quinn, a former House majority leader, is the son of political consultant Richard Quinn. 
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Mark Plowden Person
He was a consultant/associate with Richard Quinn & Associates between 2002 and 2003.

He served as communications director during Quinn client Henry McMaster's tenure as attorney general. He also served as chief of staff during McMaster's time as lieutenant governor and became deputy chief of staff when McMaster became governor in 2017.
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Mayor Steve Benjamin Politician
The two-term Columbia mayor, a Democrat, has paid Richard Quinn & Associates more than $195,000 since 2009 for campaign-related services. 
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McAllister/Quinn Entity
McAlister/Quinn Communications is a partnership between veteran Columbia political consultants Richard Quinn and Bob McAllister, producing radio ads and such for clients. 
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Mitch Willoughby Person
Willoughby has been in practice for more than 38 years and his law firm has handled extensive business for the state. He is a longtime friend of Richard Quinn.

He serves as a member of the board of directors for the Conservative Leadership Project, a nonprofit formed by Richard Quinn, the group's president and secretary. The group's stated mission is to promote discourse on public policy issues.

He earned $7 million in attorney's fees as a result of the 2013 settlement of a lawsuit the state filed against New York Bank Mellon over alleged mishandling of state pension funds. Willoughby was recruited for the job during the tenure of former Attorney General Henry McMaster.

He was chairman of the board at First Community Bank of Lexington when Alan Wilson received a well-timed loan for $250,000 that helped his campaign edge out two challengers in the 2010 GOP primary for attorney general. The loan gave Wilson the appearance of financial strength, but records show he paid the money back two weeks later, giving him far less cash on hand than it initially appeared. Wilson and Willoughby have not responded to questions about what role, if any, Willoughby played in securing that loan.

His law firm has made more than a million dollars doing legal work for the State Ports Authority between 2012 and 2015. The firm was on retainer for the SPA in 2016 and earned $880,120. 
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Molly Spearman Politician
The Republican, who serves as South Carolina's superintendent of education, paid Richard Quinn & Associates $86,175 for campaign-related work since 2014.

Spearman also paid First Impressions $122,810 in 2014 for campaign-related work. The company also does business as Richard Quinn & Associates.
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Oran Smith Person
He was vice president of Richard Quinn & Associates between 1988 and 1999. He now heads Palmetto Family Council, which co-sponsored a Faith and Family forum for GOP presidential candidates in February 2016 with the Quinn-led Conservative Leadership Project. 
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Palmetto Health Entity
Palmetto Health is the largest integrated health care system in the South Carolina Midlands. Palmetto Health employs more than 1,000 doctors and operates seven facilities in the middle of the state. The hospital system has acknowledged using the services of Richard Quinn & Associates but has declined to discuss specifics or say whether state investigators have subpoenaed documents related to that work. 
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Phil Leventis Politician
The former state senator from Sumter has paid Richard Quinn & Associates $3,000 for campaign-related services.
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Quinn & Associates Entity
Political consultant Richard Quinn founded Richard Quinn & Associates in 1978 and has played kingmaker ever since. On the national level, his clients have included Ronald Reagan, Strom Thurmond, Lindsey Graham and John McCain. But the firm’s influence is much more pervasive on the state level — so much so that some Columbia observers have called Quinn and his candidates “the Quinndom.”
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Raegan Quinn Person
Raegan Quinn is Richard Quinn's daughter. She works at Richard Quinn & Associates and has been a spokesperson for Friends of the Hunley.
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Ralph Kennedy Politician
The former Republican state representative from Lexington has paid Richard Quinn & Associates $43,066 for campaign-related work.
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Randy Lowell Person
An attorney with the Columbia law firm of Willoughby and Hoefer, Lowell serves as vice president of the Quinn-led nonprofit with a stated mission of promoting discourse on public policy issues. 

Lowell is Willoughby and Hoefer's point person in Charleston, serving as general counsel for the State Ports Authority. The firm is on retainer for the SPA and earned $880,120 from its work there in 2016. Records show the firm earned $1.6 million providing legal services to the port between 2012 and 2015. 

Lowell, a 1999 graduate of the University of South Carolina Law School, is recognized as a leading attorney on environmental issues. 

Lowell has earned more than $1 million for Willoughby & Hoefer representing the state in two cases on behalf of State Attorney General Alan Wilson. 
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Randy Page Person
He worked as a senior associate for Richard Quinn & Associates between 2004 and 2005. Page now works as public relations director for Bob Jones University, which hosted a faith and family forum sponsored by the Quinn-led Conservative Leadership Project.
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Rebecca Quinn Mustian Person
She is the daughter of the Richard Quinn and reportedly works for RQA as a project manager. 

She is the wife of Ben Mustian, an attorney for the Columbia law firm of Willoughby and Hoefer. 

She is the treasurer for the Conservative Leadership Project, a nonprofit started by her father in 2012 to promote discourse on public policy issues. 
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Rep. Jim Merrill Politician
The Daniel Island Republican paid Richard Quinn & Associates $4,500 in 2013 for writing, consulting and a newsletter. Merrill, a former House Majority Leader, was suspended in December 2016 after he was indicted on 30 ethics charges in the probe. 
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Rep. Phyllis Henderson Politician
The Greenville Republican has paid Richard Quinn and Associates $19,192 for campaign-related work.
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Rep. Rick Quinn Politician
State Rep. Rick Quinn, a Lexington Republican and former House majority leader, is the son of political consultant Richard Quinn. He is the owner of a direct-mail company and a campaign consultant, according to his legislative biography.

He has paid his father's firm $63,000 for campaign-related services since 2009.He and his father are mentioned in a 2013 State Law Enforcement Division report that details leads in the corruption probe.

He paid his own firm, Mail Marketing Strategies, $41,000 for campaign mailings since 2009, saying "I find myself to be the cheapest mail marketing company I can find."

He was partners with State Ports Authority board member Bill Stern in SQ Investments, a real estate company that owns land along the Congaree River In West Columbia where the Stone River events center is located. 
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Rep. Weston Newton Politician
Palmetto Health is the largest integrated health care system in the South Carolina Midlands. Palmetto Health employs more than 1,000 doctors and operates seven facilities in the middle of the state. The hospital system has acknowleged using the services of Richard Quinn & Associates but has declined to discuss specifics or say whether state investigators have subpoenaed documents related to that work. 
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Richard Quinn Person
Quinn founded Richard Quinn & Associates in 1978 and has played kingmaker ever since. On the national level, his clients include: Ronald Reagan, Strom Thurmond, Lindsey Graham and John McCain. But the firm’s influence is much more pervasive on the state level — so much so that some Columbia observers have called Quinn and his candidates “the Quinndom.”

Between 2009 and 2015, at least 22 candidates for state offices spent more than $2.1 million with Richard Quinn and Associates, a Post and Courier analysis of campaign disclosure records shows.

Quinn established the Conservative Leadership Project in 2012 with the stated mission of promoting discourse on the rule of law and public policy issues. He serves as the group's president and secretary. 

Quinn has partnered on various projects, including radio ads, with fellow consultant Bob McAlister. 

Quinn is the father of state Rep. Rick Quinn, a Lexington Republican and former House majority leader. The pair were mentioned in a 2013 State Law Enforcement Division report that details leads in the Statehouse corruption probe.

Quinn is the father of Rebecca Quinn Mustian, who serves as treasurer of the Conservative Leadership Project.

Quinn is the father-in-law of Ben Mustian, who is married to his daughter, Rebecca. Mustian is an attorney with the Columbia law firm of Willoughby & Hoefer.
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SCANA Entity
Headquartered in Cayce, South Carolina, SCANA is an energy-based holding company that has brought power and fuel to homes in the Carolinas and Georgia for 170 years. SCANA is among the corporate clients serviced by Richard Quinn & Associates. The company would not say whether state investigators have requested SCANA documents in connection with the ongoing Statehouse corruption probe. 
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S.C. Association for Justice Entity
The SC Association for Justice, formerly the SC Trial Lawyers Association, is a professional association that, among other things, monitors legislation that affects the state's couirt system and piushes for legal reforms. The group has acknowledged using the political consulting services of Richard Quinn & Associates but has not released detaiils of the firm's work for the association or how much it has paid Quinn.
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S.C. GOP Entity
The state GOP dominates politics in South Carolina, holding all statewide elected offices, six of the seven congressional seats and decisive majorities in the state House and Senate. Gov. Henry McMaster served as chairman of the party from 1993-2002.
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Sen. Hugh Leatherman Politician
The senate president pro tem, a Florence Republican, paid $175,000 to Richard Quinn & Associates for work on his 2016 re-election campaign. 
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Sen. John Courson Politician
The Columbia Republican is accused of funneling money from his campaign war chest through Richard Quinn & Associates and then pocketing about $133,000 of those funds for personal use. He paid $549,850 to RQA for campaign-related services between 2006 and 2009.
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Sen. Luke Rankin Politician
The Conway Republican, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, paid Richard Quinn & Associates $270,000 in 2016 for campaign-related services. 
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Sen. Sean Bennett Politician
The Summerville Republican paid Richard Quinn & Associates $53,732 for campaign-related work. 
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Sen. Thomas Alexander Politician
The Walhalla Republican has paid hired Richard Quinn & Associates $1,850 for campaign-related work. 
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SQ Investments Entity
SQ Investments is a real estate company that owns land along the Congaree River In West Columbia where the Stone River events center is located. Until 2016, State Ports Authority board member Bill Stern was a partner in the venture with state Rep. Rick Quinn, owner of Mail Marketing Strategies. 
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State Ports Authority Entity
The ports authority has paid $2.6 million to Richard Quinn & Associates since 2009 for consulting work, communications and public relations advice. The ports' governing board voted in March to suspend further work with RQA until the corruption probe is settled. The special prosecutor leading the probe has subpoenaed SPA records about RQA's work. 

The SPA paid McAlister/Quinn Communications $232,367 for public relations work since 2014. The firm is a partnership between Richard Quinn and fellow consultant Bob McAlister.
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Tracy Edge Politician
The former Republican state representative from North Myrtle Beach has testified before the state grand jury involved in the Statehouse corruption probe. He and others have said he is a not a target. He paid $23,000 to Richard Quinn & Associates for campaign-related work between 2009 and 2010.

A former member of the influential House Ways and Means Committee, Edge worked part-time as a campaign consultant for Richard Quinn & Associates. 
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Trey Walker Person
He worked for Richard Quinn & Associates as a political consultant between 2000 and 2003.

He served as chief executive assistant to Henry McMaster during his tenure as attorney general. McMaster hired Walker to be his chief of staff when he became governor in 2017. 

He worked as a lobbyist for South Carolina's largest insurer during his time away from state government, between 2014 and January 2017. 

He worked as director of state relations for USC. 
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University of South Carolina Entity
USC paid Richard Quinn & Associates $491,900 between 2011 and 2015 for consulting work. Documents related to work have reportedly been turned over to investigators in the Statehouse corruption probe.

Two weeks after hiring RQA as a consultant, USC hired McMaster, then a private attorney, to serve as a fundraiser for the university's new law school building. The job came as McMaster was coming off a defeat in the 2010 Republican primary for governor, a race handled by RQA, his longtime consultant. 
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U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson Politician
The Republican congressman from South Carolina's 2nd District has paid Richard Quinn & Associates $91,434 for campaign-related services since 2009.

He is the stepfather of Attorney General Alan Wilson.

Wilson has paid Mail Marketing Strategies $116,000 since 2009 for campaign-related work. The direct mail company is owned by Quinn's son, state Rep. Rick Quinn, a Lexington Republican.
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U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham Politician
The Republican senator spent $505,068 on consulting services from Richard Quinn & Associates for senate campaigns and a presidential run in 2016.

The Republican senator has spent $948,204 for consulting services and radio ads from McAlister/Quinn communications since 2009. The firm is partnership between Richard Quinn and fellow consultant Bob McAlister. 
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Willoughby and Hoefer Entity
Willougby and Hoefer is a well-connected Columbia law firm with extensive background representing state agencies in regulatory matters. Founding partner Mitch Willoughby serves on the board of a conservative nonprofit run by embattled political consultant Richard Quinn. Attorney General Alan Wilson worked for the firm before taking office in 2011.
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Source Link Target Date
Adam Piper worked for Attorney General Alan Wilson
Adam Piper worked for Quinn & Associates
AT&T client of Quinn & Associates
Attorney General Alan Wilson founding member of Conservative Leadership Project
Attorney General Alan Wilson client of Quinn & Associates
Attorney General Alan Wilson worked for Willoughby and Hoefer
Ben Mustian works for Willoughby and Hoefer
Bill Stern business associate of SQ Investments
Bill Stern board member of State Ports Authority
Bobby Harrell client of Quinn & Associates
Brielle Applebaum worked for Conservative Leadership Project
Brielle Applebaum works for U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson
Charlie Condon client of Quinn & Associates
Curtis Loftis client of Quinn & Associates
David Thomas client of Quinn & Associates
First Community Bank of Lexington loaned money to Attorney General Alan Wilson
Friends of the Hunley client of Quinn & Associates
Glenn McConnell recommeded RQA to Friends of the Hunley
Glenn McConnell client of Quinn & Associates
Gov. Henry McMaster client of Mail Marketing Strategies
Gov. Henry McMaster client of Quinn & Associates
Gov. Henry McMaster former chairman of S.C. GOP
Jenny Horne client of Quinn & Associates
Jim Harrison client of Quinn & Associates
Jim Harrison worked for Quinn & Associates
Kenny Bingham business associate of Mail Marketing Strategies
Kenny Bingham business associate of Quinn & Associates
Mail Marketing Strategies donated to S.C. GOP
Mark Plowden works for Gov. Henry McMaster
Mark Plowden worked for Quinn & Associates
Mayor Steve Benjamin Quinn & Associates
Mitch Willoughby worked for Attorney General Alan Wilson
Mitch Willoughby board member of Conservative Leadership Project
Mitch Willoughby board member of First Community Bank of Lexington
Mitch Willoughby founder of Willoughby and Hoefer
Molly Spearman client of Quinn & Associates
Oran Smith worked for Quinn & Associates
Palmetto Health client of Quinn & Associates
Phil Leventis client of Quinn & Associates
Quinn & Associates donated to S.C. GOP
Raegan Quinn spokesperson for Friends of the Hunley
Raegan Quinn works for Quinn & Associates
Raegan Quinn daughter of Richard Quinn
Ralph Kennedy client of Quinn & Associates
Randy Lowell worked for Attorney General Alan Wilson
Randy Lowell gave legal opinion to Bill Stern
Randy Lowell board member of Conservative Leadership Project
Randy Lowell worked for State Ports Authority
Randy Lowell works for Willoughby and Hoefer
Randy Lowell
Randy Page worked for Quinn & Associates
Rebecca Quinn Mustian married to Ben Mustian
Rebecca Quinn Mustian works for Conservative Leadership Project
Rebecca Quinn Mustian daughter of Richard Quinn
Rep. Jim Merrill client of Quinn & Associates
Rep. Phyllis Henderson client of Quinn & Associates
Rep. Rick Quinn founder of Mail Marketing Strategies
Rep. Rick Quinn client of Quinn & Associates
Rep. Rick Quinn son of Richard Quinn
Rep. Rick Quinn business associate of SQ Investments
Rep. Weston Newton client of Quinn & Associates
Richard Quinn founding parter of McAllister/Quinn
Richard Quinn founder of Quinn & Associates
SCANA client of Quinn & Associates
S.C. Association for Justice client of Quinn & Associates
Sen. Hugh Leatherman client of Quinn & Associates
Sen. John Courson client of Quinn & Associates
Sen. Luke Rankin client of Quinn & Associates
Sen. Sean Bennett client of Quinn & Associates
Sen. Thomas Alexander client of Quinn & Associates
State Ports Authority client of Quinn & Associates
Tracy Edge client of Quinn & Associates
Trey Walker worked for BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
Trey Walker works for Gov. Henry McMaster
Trey Walker worked for Quinn & Associates
Trey Walker worked for University of South Carolina
University of South Carolina client of Gov. Henry McMaster
University of South Carolina client of Quinn & Associates
U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson relative of Attorney General Alan Wilson
U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson client of Mail Marketing Strategies
U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson client of Quinn & Associates
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham client of McAllister/Quinn
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham client of Quinn & Associates
Willoughby and Hoefer worked for State Ports Authority