After years of influence, GOP kingmaker’s future uncertain

In this May 2004 photo shows Columbia attorney Richard Quinn at an unspecified location. Quinn, a veteran GOP powerbroker whose client roster includes a "who's who of politics" dating to the days of Strom Thurmond and Ronald Reagan, has come within the crosshairs of a growing probe of possible Statehouse corruption in South Carolina. Richard Quinn hasn't been charged with any crime, but the millions of dollars he's collected and spent on behalf of his clients have become central to an investigation that began with the 2014 prosecution of then-state House speaker. ( Erik Campos/The State via AP)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – South Carolina political strategist Richard Quinn boasts a client list that includes GOP notables like Lindsey Graham and John McCain.

Quinn’s indictment this week on criminal conspiracy and illegal lobbying charges could mean tough times for the remaining Republicans who still rely on him for advice.

Quinn began his consulting business in the late 1970s, helping flip South Carolina from blue to red and advising GOP presidential contenders including Ronald Reagan and McCain. Graham has been his client for more than 20 years.

Now, the 73-year-old Quinn stands accused of trying to influence state lawmakers’ votes without registering as a lobbyist and could face prison time.

Two clients have pleaded guilty in a wide-ranging corruption investigation. Several others, including Quinn’s son, have been charged.