CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — A slick political mailer with images of marijuana and bikini-clad women partying on the statehouse lawn landed in an estimated 100,000 mailboxes in South Carolina last week.
The over-the-top mailer included a photoshopped image of "Party Boy" Rep. Tom Davis (R )- Beaufort wearing a Hawaiian T-shirt and carrying a large bag of marijuana.
It accused him of wanting to turn South Carolina into “one big pot party."
Davis’ phone number was listed with the message: “Tell him to stop trying to turn South Carolina into California.”
Davis currently is sponsoring a bill that would make medical marijuana legal in South Carolina.
Davis said he’s gotten nearly 800 calls from South Carolina residents regarding the mailer.
However, he said the message backfired: more people were in favor of his medical marijuana bill and dismiss the flyer’s message.
“If anything, it raised awareness and let me talk to people about my bill,” Davis said this week. “Even people who had reservations about the bill agreed with the cowardly nature of the flyer and putting things in photoshop that were just offensive.”
It's not clear who was behind the mailer or who paid for it to be mailed statewide.
Davis said after some research, he found the mailer was possibly generated in Virginia and a delivered through an unknown P.O. Box in Columbia.
“South Carolina is one of the few states that allows ‘dark money’ for political advertising and you don’t need to put your name behind it,” Davis said. “I don’t know whether anyone broke state laws, but just from an ethical standpoint, if you’re going to put information out there, you should stand behind it.”
He also addressed the mailer on the statehouse floor.
“I said, ‘this is an absolute lie. I couldn’t get any of these women to attend any of my parties,’” Davis recalls telling fellow legislators.
Davis said he plans to call each person back who left him a message about the mailer.
“My bill would be one of the most tightly-regulated conservative cannabis bills in the country,” Davis said. “To go to this silly situation showing girls in bikinis dancing on the statehouse lawn, whoever sent this moved away from the merits of the bill just to try to confuse the issue.”