Bob Walker: Special Interest Superhero

Like a seasoned NASCAR veteran, Bob Walker of Spartanburg knows that a checkered flag and a first place finish on Sunday isn’t the key to real success. In order to really win -both personally and professionally- you need to be a master of product placement.

In NASCAR this takes the form of drinking milk or Pepsi on camera during an interview, and covering every inch of your car with brand logos. The more a driver wins races, and gets the product on television, the more the sponsor is willing to pay him for the advertising he provides.

With Walker, corporate sponsorship is for more than free air time, it is pay-to-play politics. Big companies, most based far outside his Spartanburg district, channel thousands of dollars to Walker in the form of direct hard money contributions toward his reelection. On the chamber floor, he “places” their products by drafting, introducing, and carrying legislation that rewards them with huge contracts, subsidies, and preferential regulations.

A dramatic example of this is his close connection with Data Recognition Corporation (DRC), a Minnesota-based testing company that has made millions of the dollars selling and reselling South Carolina the PACT test. Walker took DRC money both directly (a hard money donation) and through a leadership PAC (a soft money donation) and then introduced a bill that would have virtually assured DRC an enormous contract to replace PACT.

Walker’s most recent contributors list reads like an appendix to the major bills he has sponsored:

Medical and Pharmaceutical (H.4628); Sumter Medical Supplies $1,000; Takeda Pharmaceuticals $1,000; Beam Pharmacy $1,000; Blue Cross/Blue Shield $1,000; Timmonsville Drug Inc $500

Automobile and Insurance (H. 4622); State Farm AAP $1,000; Friends of the Farm Bureau PAC $1,000; Property and Casualty Insurance $500; Braddy Insurance $100

Telecommunications (H.4428); AT&T SC PAC $750; Verizon Communications SC PAC $250

So, does Bob Walker represent the people, or corporate interests? You decide.


12 responses to “Bob Walker: Special Interest Superhero

  1. Voice,
    You are right, Walker is bought an paid for. But the direct DRC money is just the start. Keep on digging…

  2. “So, does Bob Walker represent the people, or corporate interests? You decide.”

    Well, if even part of what you say is true, there isn’t much to decide. Using his position to whore out for special interests is low, but exactly what I expect from someone who has been sitting around columbia for that long.

  3. ProudPalmetto

    This guy is the House Education Committee Chairman?! Wow, no wonder SC schools are the shame of the nation!

  4. There are many of us in his district who know exactly what Bob Walker is interested in…himself. I’m spreading the word in my neighborhood and through my business. If he stays in office so he can remain a lap dog to special interests, it won’t be because we are not doing our part to stop him.

  5. This is offensive to NASCAR drivers – atleast they work hard and give their fans something of value. Walker has no reguard for anyone but himself

  6. I see this as bribery. Spartanburg County needs an overhaul, and booting out the bribe takers and vote traders like Walker is a good way to get started

  7. Campobellomello

    DISGUSTING! Vote Walker OUT!

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  9. P.R. Johnston

    What about that makes him a superhero? More like
    Super Sell-Out or SuperSleaze

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