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SC Judicial Candidate Supporters Decry “Set-Up”




Supporters of S.C. chief administrative law judge Ralph King “Tripp” Anderson are crying foul regarding his treatment in the upcoming race for the S.C. Supreme Court.  They’re also pressing to have his name cleared – and placed back on the ballot for this coveted judicial seat.

As we reported earlier this week, Anderson was booted from the ballot for next year’s judicial election – although he is lobbying members of the S.C. Judicial Merit Selection Commission (JMSC) furiously to be reinstated.

What happened?

To briefly recap: Last month this commission “screened out” Anderson and two other judges – meaning it found them “qualified” to stand for an election within the 170-member S.C. General Assembly.

South Carolina is one of the only states in the nation in which lawmakers picks judges – an infinitely corrupt process that leads to all sorts of political inbreeding.

As we’ve stated repeatedly, lawmakers have proven time and again that they simply cannot be trusted to discharge this responsibility honorably.  From the selection of candidates to the actual legislative voting – the entire process is rigged and must be replaced.

Anyway, a few days after Anderson’s name was approved as a candidate our website broke this exclusive report about him allegedly using a lobbyist (one hired with government funds) to advance his Supreme Court candidacy.  Anderson was also under fire for showing up uninvited to a recent S.C. Senate Democratic caucus event – basically campaigning for his seat at a time when such lobbying efforts are expressly prohibited.

Sources close to the judge have responded indignantly to these allegations – especially the suggestion that he is using a $20,000-a-year contract with a powerful liberal lobbyist to advance his candidacy for the Supreme Court.

“This money is for the administrative law division. Period. Any suggestion that this has anything to do with a judicial election is demonstrably false,” one lawmaker supporting Anderson’s candidacy informed us.

The lawmaker also accused Anderson’s “enemies” at the S.C. State House of setting him up regarding the Democratic Senate caucus event he attended last month.

“He had been trying to get a meeting with (S.C. Senator) Darrell Jackson for some time on another matter and got a call from his aide that said he was ready to sit down,” the lawmaker said.  “The judge asked where he was supposed to meet him and the aide asked him to come to the caucus event.”

“They set him up,” the lawmaker concluded.

Interesting …

Circuit court judge Diane Goodstein of Summerville, S.C. and circuit court judge George C. “Buck” James of Sumter, S.C. are the other two candidates “screened out” in this race – which will fill a vacancy created by the looming retirement of chief justice Costa Pleicones.

It’s not clear yet whether Anderson will be reinstated as a candidate or whether another judge (perhaps circuit court judge Keith Kelly) will be installed in his place.

Stay tuned … we’ll let our readers know what we’re hearing …

(Banner via Sic)