Two things you can say about your South Carolina Republicans: they know how to stand up to federal oppression and they know how to party.
Back on Monday, former Republican state representative and now assistant Attorney General Roland Corning was on his lunch break when a police officer found him parked his Ford Explorer at Elmwood Cemetery with an 18 year old stripper from the Platinum Plus Gentlemen’s Club, a bag of sex toys and at least one dose of Viagra.
Local police were apparently on the look out because the cemetery had become a local hotspot for trysts and illicit drugs.
When the Officer Michael Wines came up to see what was shaking, Corning sped off. According to the police report, Corning “attempted to make a hasty retreat, spinning the tires in the driveway and accelerating rapidly.” But another cop soon stopped him and Wines caught up with them a few moments later. After Corning and the stripper gave conflicting stories about what they were doing in the cemetery, Wines proceeded to search the SUV and found Corning’s stash of sex toys and Viagra. To clear up any misunderstanding, Corning assured Wines he always kept them with him “just in case.”
In happier days, Corning was an ardent pro-life politician best known for introducing a law in the South Carolina legislature that would have made the subdermal contraceptive device Norplant mandatory for women on welfare. Even then though he was no stranger to controversy. In 1994, during a floor debate with pro-choice state Rep. June Shissias, Corning asked Shissias whether she herself had ever had an abortion. Later he admitted the remark was “probably insensitive” but said he was “sick and tired of the women representatives in this body acting like, just because we’re men and male, we don’t know anything about women.”
Corning and the unnamed stripper were eventually released without charges. But another woman — no, not the stripper — turned out to be his undoing. As Officer Wines was investigating the sex toy mystery, Corning volunteered that he worked at the Attorney General’s office and flashed his badge.
Well, it turned out Wines’ wife Megan worked there too. And he called her to find out if Corning was legit.
But Wines’ wife didn’t leave it there. She contacted her supervisor, Deputy Attorney General John McIntosh, who passed on the word to Attorney General Henry McMaster. McMaster apparently found out early Wednesday. And by the end of the day Corning’s employment at the AG’s office had come to an abrupt end.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.