A Democrat running for the U.S. Senate in South Carolina can be heard calling for “sleeper” Republican candidates and “dope boy money” campaign contributions in a leaked telephone call with a prison inmate.
The audio, obtained by Project Veritas, features Krystle Matthews, who currently serves as a state representative, discussing illegal and unethical political strategies with inmate David Solomon Ballard on a recorded prison line at Perry Correctional Institution.
Ballard, 37, was arrested and charged with threatening the life of a person, family or public official in January of 2018 after he threatened an Aiken County Sheriff. He was also charged with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature after injuring a law enforcement agent after he was arrested.
During the phone call, Ballard asked Matthews what “we” can do to help her campaign. She replied, “we need some secret sleepers. Like you need, we need them to run as the other side, even though they for our side. And we need them to win.”
The state rep. explained what she meant by “secret sleepers.”
“We need people to run as Republicans in these local elections,” Matthews said. “This is the only way you’re gonna change the dynamics in South Carolina.”
She said these candidates would have to be “a little bit polished” and unknown to most people because they haven’t been politically active. And once elected, she explained, Democrats could “battle” them in public while knowing they are actually working toward the same goals.
Matthews used racially charged language to describe her own ability to blend into different “circles.”
“Now, can I talk intelligently? Can I- I could be. Listen, I can move in all kind of circles, but I’m a ni—er at heart. I love black people. I feel safest around my people,” she said. “So for me, I feel like y’all, we need sleepers … we need some folks that can wear all black at night and take they f—king yard signs down, when they, when they sleeping.”
She told Ballard that Democrats would have to be quiet about the sleeper cells just like they are when someone drops money, and they pick it up.
“You pick that shit up and keep walking,” Matthews said.
She went on to say that when they’ve elected enough of these “sleepers,” they could “wreak havoc” from the inside.
“When we get enough of us in there, we can wreak havoc for real from the inside out,” Matthews told Ballard. “Then we can flip some shit from the inside out.”
Matthews then appeared to advocate using “dope” money and straw donations to boost her campaign.
“I still got to struggle to raise money for my campaign, where the f—k is my black people with money? I don’t care about no dope money, give me that dope boy money!” she said. “Where the duffle bag boys? Get you – find me somebody from your family that don’t even know you donating to my campaign and put that s—k under they names.”
According to U.S. federal election law, straw donations (political contributions made to candidates under another name) are illegal under 52 U.S.C. § 30122.
Matthews garnered 32.2 percent of the vote in the S.C. Democratic Senate Primary, qualifying her for the S.C. runoff election against Democrat Catherine Fleming Bruce. If she wins the runoff, she’ll face incumbent Republican US Senator Tim Scott in the general election.
In a recent interview with ABC News 4, Matthews said that it was essential to work with Republicans to get things done in the Senate.
“It’s okay to disagree but I think there is always a compromise that can be made when two cooler heads prevail and people are really focused on the needs of those they are helping and not themselves,” she said.
Matthews held a press conference last week to announce a “coalition of influential endorsements,” that included State Rep. Wendell Gilliard, Pastor Thomas Dixon and other politicians and community organizers.
In a recent interview with Fox 24 News Now, the candidate touted her ability to work with Republicans to pass legislation in the S.C. House.
In response to this story, the S.C. Republican put out the following statement:
From her mouth to the legislature’s ears. Krystle Matthews brazenly calls for Democrats to run as Republicans to ‘flip some s*** from the inside out.’ She knows that Democrats can’t win in South Carolina because of their radical ideas and failed agenda, so her only option is to recruit ‘secret sleepers’ to try and trick voters. We’ve been saying it for years, but her plan is further proof why we need partisan registration and closed primaries in South Carolina. Conservative grassroots activists across the state agree-84% of Republican primary voters voted YES to partisan registration on our primary ballot two weeks ago. We hope the General Assembly is listening.
In an audio recording, Democrat State Representative and candidate for U.S. Senate @kmforsenate calls for Democrat "secret sleepers" to run as Republicans and encourages Democrats to fund her campaign with "dope money." See below for Chairman @DrewMcKissick's full statement: pic.twitter.com/jcn5od1QR7
— South Carolina Republican Party (@SCGOP) June 27, 2022
Sen. Scott told News Radio 94.3 WSC after the story broke that it is important to vet candidates in S.C. because Democrats know it’s difficult to get elected in the state.