S.C. GOP Wants Beer Money Back

South Carolina Republicans say the Democrats need to stop dragging their feet and return the beer money they are owed. Democrats say the check's in the mail.

The latest dispute between the two political parties began in April when St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch Co. (search) wrote a $5,000 check intended for the South Carolina Republican Party.

Instead, the envelope was addressed to the state Democratic Party, which promptly deposited the money.

Katja Zastrow (search), Anheuser-Busch's regional director of governmental affairs in Washington, said in an e-mail statement that the check went astray "through a series of administrative oversights."

She said they are working with both parties to resolve the situation.

Democrats say they have sent a refund check back to Anheuser-Busch.

"Nobody should expect us to write a check to the Republican Party," said Lachlan McIntosh (search), the Democratic Party's executive director.

The GOP said the refund came only after it threatened a lawsuit.

State Republican Party Chairman Katon Dawson said they want the money back and any further delays are unacceptable.

But McIntosh said a July 27 letter from Dawson to Democratic Chairman Joe Erwin was the first time the matter had been brought to the party's attention.

In the letter, Dawson wrote that "this careless error was made over three months ago and has yet to be rectified." McIntosh wrote Dawson on Tuesday, saying party officials "are in the process of refunding the money directly to the company," which would then send the Republican Party another check.

Zastrow did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment Friday.