Stamper recently insinuated that he pulled this prank only on Republicans, but Rep. Lloyd Levine was Democrat. And in a news article regarding that incident, he told the Los Angeles Times that "Republicans and Democrats are both complicit in fostering an atmosphere of bigotry."
He reportedly then tried to sell rights to the domain names on eBay, which would have cost those persons much more than a standard purchase, and which caught the eye of Ohio's attorney general.
Trying a new field in 2006, Stamper started his own investment firm, Federal Savings, that only one year later was chased out of Illinois, got a "Cease & Desist" from his home state of Washington, and earned a guilty judgment on three felony charges from a Nevada court.
He continued other questionable deals, too. In 2009 Stamper launched PersonRatings.com, a site on which visitors could anonymously post negative information about others, and without any recourse. After immediately getting negative reviews, the site appears to have been quickly pulled. (The domain name was last registered by a British company in Jan. 2013; www.personratings.com now offers tabloid news on stars.)
Both Stamper's blog page about the site and its Twitter account are still online, but haven't been updated in almost five years, which is long before he moved to South Carolina. The last entry on the blog from May 2009, however, refers to South Carolina attorney general Henry McMaster. That makes me wonder; for just how long has he been plotting this?
A Questionable Campaign
Stamper announced his campaign against Sen. Lindsey Graham almost immediately after he first moved to South Carolina from Washington State in Feb. 2013. (Both his first and second FEC filings say his wife was still residing in Seattle at least through April 5 of that year, please note.)
My initial suspicion was triggered when I first met him in Sept. 2013. At a function of my county party, he openly told me he was approaching Libertarian groups in the state, with whom he said he felt some affinity. He alluded that same sentiment to the Daily Beast last year, too: "I am confident I can pick up a lot of conservatives who have a libertarian bent(.)"
That brought back memories of Bob Conley, the Libertarian (and sometimes Republican) who ran as a Democrat against Graham in 2008.
Other news I learned of shortly after (his previous political antics and felony conviction) only dug Stamper's image a deeper hole to dwell in. After learning that many active in the party had concern about him, Stamper publicly claimed he was being attacked by Democrats, and because of his (supposedly) liberal leanings. He even tried to tarnish the reputation of state Sen. Vincent Sheheen, the party's candidate for governor who holds a more centrist stance on some issues.
And after a more prominent Democrat (state Sen. Brad Hutto) entered the same race, now Stamper's campaign appears to be attacking his primary opponent with misleading -- even blatantly false -- claims.
Much of the mudslinging is on Facebook, where a page called "SC Democratic Sweep 2014," launched in January, featured little but pro-Stamper and anti-Hutto statements. (The page was removed on April 7.)
I recently challenged a very misleading claim on the page, which directly accused Hutto of being against any minimum wage increase. I replied with link to the Hutto-sponsored bill that not only establishes a minimum wage in the state (South Carolina still doesn't have one), but that increases it more than the national level. After a weak and irrelevant reply, the page's operator (who never responded when asked to identify him- or herself) deleted my statements, and then blocked me from further comments on the page.
Same Ol', Same Ol'
South Carolinians are used to these antics, unfortunately. For example:
In 1990 Republican campaign consultant Rod Shealy paid an unemployed black man to run as a Democratic candidate for congress, and specifically to generate improved white voter turnout to aid other GOP candidates. After the primary, in which the Democrat was uncontested in a race perceived to be unwinnable against the Republican incumbent, it was leaked that the candidate had recently been arrested for drug possession. Shealy was convicted for the antic two years later, but of only a misdemeanor offense with just a $500 fine.