The Curious Case of #SC01 and the “Mysterious Political Consultant”

Ali Akbar, founder of the National Blogger’s Club and convicted felon, has been trying to stir up some support for a man named Curtis Bostic, a Republican candidate for the Special Runoff election in SC01, South Carolina, scheduled for April 2nd, 2012.

In the past 24 hours, Ali has been propping up some hashtags meant to smear conservative candidate Mark Sanford, who has been a controversial candidate since he left his wife for his mistress. Ali’s been calling for people to #TrustBostic and #TrustCurtis… But it wasn’t too long before people had a more important question for the campaign. Where the heck did this Texan come from, and why is he inserting himself into South Carolina politics?

Ali Akbar

At first glance, it appears that he’s trying to pass himself off as a bonafide SC resident. After all, he IS tweeting under the #sctweets hashtag, a tag created to signify the voice of South Carolina residents.

Quickly, however, Republican opposition took note of his carpetbagger status, as well as his criminal record. Wesley Donehue, apparently a consultant for the Sanford campaign, took aim at Mr. Akbar. (I kind of imagine he’s chuckling to himself at his luck – what’s worse? Campaigning for an adulterous politician, or having a convicted felon turned political operative throw stones from his very fragile glass house?)

Taking aim at Ali Akbar

The outcry on social media has become, “Why should we trust Ali Akbar to tell us what to do?” And the answer has come soon enough: Trust Ali Akbar, because he was young, and we didn’t pay him. An article quickly appeared on the SC Patch Politics website.

Mysterious consultant Ali Akbar

The article debunks that Ali Akbar is working directly for the Bostic campaign, but it doesn’t really answer any questions. In fact, they stick with Ali Akbar’s consistent narrative that he was a “punk kid” at the time, and his felony record is a result of a three-month drinking stint.

Screen shot 2013-03-26 at 12.30.17 PM

What they fail to mention is that Ali Akbar was charged with two separate felonies, as seen below. His “version of events” was hardly remorseful or explanatory. Plenty of 20-somethings go on drinking binges without breaking into cars or stealing credit cards.

Ali Akbar criminal convictions

And while Ali may not be paid by the Bostic’s campaign, it’s very possible that he is working “without coordination” for a PAC or SuperPAC that has a vested interest in seeing Bostic elected. In fact, he’s worked for PACs in the past, and his “expertise” is in social media.

If I were placing bets, it would be on a SuperPAC called the Coastal Conservative Fund, who has already invested upwards of $10,000 in campaigning for Bostic.

Coastal Conservative Fund

The Coastal Conservative Fund is also bankrolled by an out-of-towner, James Willard Kinzer , a Tea Party supporter and natural gas executive who, along with a little help from his friends, has shelled out over $30,000 to date to try to elect Bostic to Congress.

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