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Sunday, July 21, 2024 - 02:38 PM


First Published in 1994


SC Rep. Jason Elliott Hired Private Investigator Phil Carter, Who Had a GPS Tracker Placed on Opponent’s Truck Without His Knowledge

Illegal Tracking 293603295

The Post and Courier has brought to light a contentious issue here in South Carolina, reporting that State Rep. Jason Elliott and his associates have allegedly hired a private investigator to conduct surveillance on his District 6 opponent, Ben Carper, in an Upstate South Carolina state senatorial primary election runoff.

The article states that Elliott's team provided The Post and Courier documents alleging that Carper had illegally changed his driver’s license address and registered to vote at a rental property he owns inside District 6 despite living at another home in District 7.

Elliot’s attorney, Sloan Ellis, accused Carper of committing “voter fraud” and requested 13th Circuit Solicitor Walt Wilkins to investigate whether Carper committed a crime. It is yet to be determined if the Solicitor’s office has started any investigation at this time.

Carper vehemently denies any wrongdoing or illegal activity. In an interview with The Times Examiner, he clarified that his mother is the owner of the property in question and that he has claimed residence there for four years, with multiple vehicles registered at that address. He also stated that he receives mail at this location.

Carper, who, as a taxpayer along with his mother, owns multiple properties in District 6, has made it clear that he has followed the letter of the law and has not done anything illegal or unlawful regarding “voter fraud.” The true meaning of “voter fraud” is voting multiple times in an election. Therefore, this alleged case has nothing to do with “voter fraud.” Their term “voter fraud” is a semantic ploy to tap into voters who are already highly concerned and emotional about recent voter fraud on the federal level and election integrity in recent presidential elections.

Carper asserts that the state of South Carolina determines his residency based on his driver’s license information, a requirement he claims to fulfill. He further emphasizes that one can only vote with one residential address, whether owned or rented. The property in question, he states, is his legal, lawful residence, which places him voting at the last two election cycles at Wade Hampton Precinct. Even SLED has confirmed that as of June 13th, there were no active investigations into this matter.

We have been told by Carper's campaign that Elliott’s private investigator, Phil Carter of Sierra Consulting, beginning sometime in April 2024, used in-person deceit and a disguise as a supporter, as well as a GPS surveillance tracker of Carper’s truck on the right-hand passenger side rear 10 inches above the back wheel fender.

Carper expressed concern about how far this could have gone if the tracker had not been discovered. He was worried about someone breaking into his office, stealing computers, and losing his real estate's digital business paperwork and legal records.

Interestingly, Phil Carter recently aspired to become a SC Legislator, himself. About six months ago, he announced that he would run for Adam Morgans' SC State House District 20 seat, who recently ran against 4th Congressional Rep. William Timmons in the primary. Even though Carter created a campaign website, www.votephilcarter.com, he apparently abandoned it and did not follow through. There is no record of him filing.

Also, another legislator, SC Sen. Josh Kimbrell, who apparently defends Jason Elliott, appeared on Charlie James’s talk show on WORD, 98.9 last Friday to give what he called “the flip-side” of what is going on.

Kimbrell says that “if” anyone put a surveillance tracker on Carper's vehicle, it is not from anyone in the SC Senate Republican Caucus. He called it “crazy talk.” But James defended Carper by saying that Carper never claimed that anyone from the Senate did it – that the Elliot campaign did it, which the Senator denied was done, claiming he knows who runs Elliott’s campaign and no one told anyone to place a tracking device on Carper’s vehicle.

This is a lead photo of SC Senate District 6 candidate Jason Elliott with Dan Nickles, a former candidate in the same race, and Senator Josh Kimbrell at a press conference published by The Post and Courier. Click HERE for reference.

As you listen to this discussion between the Senator and Charlie James, it becomes obvious that the Senator plays a major role in Elliott’s campaign. Additionally, the lead photo of The Post and Courier article also shows together Sen. Kimbrell with Jason Elliott and former candidate Dan Nickles, who endorsed Elliott after coming short of Carper and Elliott in the primary. You will have to logically assume that Sen. Kimbrell is involved in this complaint against Carper being part of the campaign and admitting on the show that he saw prior to the announcment the documents regarding Carper's residence. James questioned why wait until now to disclose it if it was illegal.

Carper has proof of the tracker, and we also have a published article in which Phil Carter’s report says GPS surveillance was used on Carper’s vehicle. The evidence is high that a surveillance tracker was used, but the Senator kept denying it on Charlie James’s show.

Sen. Kimbrell made it very clear to James that the issue of residency was more important than tracking private citizens without their knowledge. Charlie James clearly disagreed.

As much as we appreciate what Sen. Kimbrell has done in Columbia, we cannot condone his desire to support the idea that tracking citizens without their knowledge is secondary to anything he claims Carper has done.

As for tracking being legal or illegal, some say that the SC Code of Law says it is unlawful for any tracking device to be used against another without their permission. However, some private investigators are saying that a tracking device can be put on a vehicle when parked or stationary on public property.

Since this complaint has been made and whether one believes it to be lawful, public opinion agrees that tracking someone without a warrant, court order, or the person's knowledge is unethical and should be unlawful if not already.

Front and Back of GPS Tracker on Carpers truck
The front and back of the tracker that was found on SC State Senate District 6 Candidate Ben Carper's truck placed by his opponent SC State Rep. Jason Elliott.

Allowing GPS tracking of Elliott's opponent is not a good strategy and provides bad optics for a current state legislator running for another office.

See SC’s Code of Law for further research: SECTION 17-30 (https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t17c030.php),

It appears that election intimidation by candidates already in power has become a standard, especially during this election cycle. It attempts to send a message to anyone who dares to challenge them. We have the constant lawfare that is going on with Trump on the federal level, where his opponent, Joe Biden, and his supporters are falsely charging Trump with many litigations to intimidate, keep Trump off the campaign trail, and stifle Trump’s campaign effectiveness.

Within 24 hours of Trump's conviction on 34 felony counts in his “hush money” trial, he and the Republican Party raised $52.8 million.

This surveillance tactic may also backfire on Elliott. Voters do not trust legislators spying, especially where emotions are running high regarding the current presidential race. Spying on your opponent while vying for the electorate’s vote is not a good mix and is a risky gamble for sure.

The Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution says:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

There may be some litigation to come, not only by Elliott’s hand as threatened and reported, but by Carper, who is already working with lawyers to investigate what they call illegal spying and electronic surveillance tracking without Carper’s knowledge. It is yet to be determined if any charges will be filed at this time.

When a candidate ambitiously goes this far to unethically skirt the law to win an election primary runoff, what will he do when he becomes our SC State Senator that gives him more power to possibly pass laws that will allow South Carolina citizens to be trailed, surveilled, spied on, and have their privacy rights violated, as what has been reported in this case?

The question is what concerns the voters more: Carper choosing to use one of his or his mother’s property as his legal residence where he can vote and file for candidacy, which is legal within South Carolina, or would you vote for someone who obviously is willing to allow violation of your privacy, and when given the power, possibly pass laws to do so?

It is time for the South Carolina electorate to wake up and realize that the establishment in Columbia had just spent millions to unseat SC Freedom Caucus congressional members and not only lost the effort, but the SC Freedom Caucus just got bigger at their expense. We will soon find out this coming June 25th if the electorate of District 6 is awake and watching!

Carper has vowed to support the SC Freedom Caucus from the opposite chamber, the Senate floor. It has been made clear that some of the established Republicans in Columbia will do everything they can to stop anyone from getting in their way after such a great financial loss. They are desperate, ambitious, and willing to unethically do what it takes to get what little they can that is left, and how dare Carper get in their way.