SOUTH CAROLINA “REPUBLICANS” COULD BE IN TROUBLE …
|| By FITSNEWS || Last week this website reported that U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles – who was appointed in 2010 by Barack Obama as the Palmetto State’s top federal prosecutor – would not be in his current position much longer. We also reported that David Pascoe – the South Carolina first circuit solicitor who made a name for himself prosecuting former S.C. Speaker Bobby Harrell – was in line to replace him.
Our view on Nettles? “Eh.” Aside from his widely known personal issues aside (which led to the breakup of his “power marriage” with local attorney Zoe Sanders) he didn’t do all that much. And when he did make arrests, he tried to cut deals – not put people away.
Our view on Pascoe? Also, “eh.” He didn’t really do the legwork on the Harrell case (S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson‘s office did that) and his handling of a recent racially tinged small town shooting left a lot to be desired.
Still, if our sources are correct, Pascoe’s rumored ascension to the U.S. Attorney position could bode poorly for South Carolina “Republicans.”
According to our sources, Pascoe’s nomination is being aggressively pushed by U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn and former S.C. Democratic Party chairman Dick Harpootlian.
These two Democratic heavyweights – both of whom have the “ear of the White House” – are reportedly disappointed with the progress of the ongoing federal-state corruption investigation at the S.C. State House. They believe Pascoe will be far more aggressive than Nettles in pursuing this corruption – and making sure those responsible are put behind bars.
Obviously Clyburn has his own corruption issues to deal with, both he and Harpootlian are keenly aware that a massive anti-corruption sting in “Republican-controlled” South Carolina (which is clearly long-overdue) would take down far more “Republicans” than Democrats.
And they view Pascoe – who flirted with a campaign for attorney general against Wilson last year – as their man.
The only problem? The “Republican-controlled” U.S. Senate could hold up any Obama Justice Department nominees – especially in light of the contentious battle over the nomination of U.S. attorney general designate Loretta Lynch.
If Pascoe does get the job, he and Wilson – reelected to a second four-year term as state attorney general last November – will certainly have their work cut out for them.
For the past year Wilson has branded himself as a modern-day Eliot Ness (the crusading prohibition-era lawman who took down Chicago gangster Al Capone). And he certainly deserves credit for pursuing the Harrell prosecution against extreme odds.
But his work is not done …
For example Harrell’s misdeeds – while serious – pale in comparison to those committed by S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley (whom Wilson inexplicably declined to prosecute). Dozens of other state officials have committed clear violations of state ethics law – yet continue to evade accountability for their actions.
Some of Wilson’s staunchest supporters are beginning to question whether his probe has petered out.
“Starting to lose faith in (Wilson)’s assurances that they were going to clean up,” one well-placed anti-corruption advocate told FITS. “Doesn’t seem like they are.”
Lobbyists at the S.C. State House confirmed to FITS that “no one at the State House is talking about the investigation anymore.”
Wilson’s backers urged patience …
“I know they are still interviewing folks,” a source close to the investigation told FITS.
As we’ve said from the beginning of this drama, we don’t care who occupies these prosecutorial positions … or who (or which party) gets the credit for cleaning house in this state. All we care about is that those who are abusing their positions of public trust be held accountable for their actions.
And that right soon …