FEBRUARY 25, 2016
S.C. Senator Darrell Jackson
612 Gressette Building
Columbia, S.C. 29201
Dear Senator Jackson,
I am in receipt of the verbal warning you asked a South Carolina lawmaker to deliver to me earlier today – specifically that you are in the process of “hiring a lawyer” to file suit against me with the stated objective of “taking (me) for everything (I am) worth.”
I can only assume your threat – which would seem to indicate an intention to engage in malicious prosecution – is in regards to our recent story regarding allegations of your proximity to the illegal voting machine shortages that plagued Richland County, S.C. during the 2012 election (a.k.a. the “Richland County Robbery”).
My website has focused extensive coverage on this issue because we believe the will of the people was deliberately distorted – and their right to vote unconstitutionally suppressed.
Anyway, please be advised: In the future there is no need to issue such threats through members of the S.C. General Assembly – particularly those with whom I have no legal or professional association.
As you are well aware, one of my attorneys – S.C. Senator Tom Davis – is your colleague in the South Carolina State Senate. Next time please simply inform Senator Davis – or any of my other attorneys of record – whenever you feel like threatening to take me for everything I am worth.
As to the substance of your threat, I reached out to your subordinate – S.C. Senate Democratic Caucus director Antjuan Seawright, who also works for you at Sunrise Communications – several days in advance of the publication of our latest “Richland County Robbery” report seeking comment.
In fact I notified Antjuan five days before the story ran – and received no response from him.
Similarly, I have yet to receive any communication from you or your representatives attesting to which portions of our report you deem objectionable – to say nothing of libelous (or libelous with actual malice and reckless disregard for the truth, which as you know is the standard that must be attained in order for a public official to win a judgment on this point of law).
I am aware you do not like criticism. In fact in researching this story with my sources at the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED), I learned of your aborted attempt to have me arrested several years ago for communication you deemed to be inappropriate.
I am also intimately acquainted with your recent run-in with another reporter at The (Columbia, S.C.) Nerve – and how that case ended in a most unfortunate manner for the reporter in question.
Please do not mistake me for him.
As I have demonstrated on many occasions in the past, FITSNews offers any member of the S.C. General Assembly the opportunity to publicly proclaim their view on issues of interest – or reactively respond to any issue we write about.
Whether I agree with you or not – my microphone is your microphone, Senator.
In other words, you are invited – in your own, unedited words – to raise any issue you please on our pages, or to respond (again, in your own, unedited words) to any articles we publish. Many of your colleagues have taken advantage of this invitation – although some have certainly chosen to pursue the route you are threatening to pursue against me now.
It makes no difference.
Ironically, this website has actually written articles praising certain individuals who are suing us when we believe they are doing the right thing by citizens and taxpayers.
And that is how I will continue to treat you moving forward.
Founding Editor, FITSNews.com