Charleston’s Choice: Law And Order Or Chaos?

Lowcountry solicitor’s race provides a stark contrast …

It is an incredibly tenuous time for Charleston, South Carolina. Under the “leadership” of its current mayor John Tecklenburg, the city has abandoned its core public safety obligations and dove headfirst into the new orthodoxy of the far left.

Lawlessness in the name of “equality” has become the new watchword … with tragic, costly consequences.

Tecklenburg and his über-liberal allies have been emboldened in their surrender to the mob (literally) by the increasingly left-leaning Post and Courier newspaper – which has gleefully excused recent disorder as part of a movement for “social justice.”

As if the theft and destruction of private property, assaults on life and liberty and the ongoing evisceration of the city’s tourism economy were defensible under any circumstances … or in any way synonymous with “justice.”

Make no mistake: The ongoing erosion of law and order we are witnessing in Charleston constitutes a clear and present danger to the city’s present and future economic viability. And combating it will require leaders committed to upholding true “justice.”

One of those leaders? S.C. ninth circuit solicitor Scarlett Wilson – who has spent the last two decades as the top prosecutor in Charleston and Berkeley counties.

(Click to view)

South Carolina ninth circuit solicitor Scarlett Wilson is pictured outside a court house in the Palmetto Lowcountry (via Scarlett Wilson for Solicitor)

“I’ve fought to keep repeat violent offenders off the streets,” Wilson noted on her campaign website. “Every day, I work with victims, advocates and other community leaders (regardless of their political leanings) so that we can keep safe.”

That work has sometimes put her at odds with powerful interests in the Palmetto State’s criminal defense community – but Wilson has never backed down from her responsibilities to those she serves.

When she was assailed a few years ago by a group of trial lawyers for being too tough, she fired back bluntly at her critics.

“Prosecution is a tough business and I am not going to cower in fear of offending some misguided criminal defense lawyers,” she said.

Earlier this year, Wilson once again proved her mettle when she announced that the suspects in a brutal slaying in downtown Charleston, S.C. would be tried as adults.

Wilson listed a number of factors in connection with her decision, but her bottom line was simple …

“The safety of our community is best served,” she said.

That has been Wilson’s bottom line ever since she took office … which is why she has earned a reputation as a tough but fair prosecutor against all manner of defendants, including “rogue law enforcement” officers and corrupt police leaders.

“My office aims to strike hard blows, not foul ones,” Wilson told us once.

Which is what she has done …

We have not always agreed with Wilson’s decisions – and have even criticized her office upon occasion – but we have always respected her. And we have always appreciated her deliberate, methodical and even-handed approach to the job.

Challenging Wilson this fall is Ben Pogue, a left-leaning Charleston personal injury attorney who has no criminal prosecutorial experience.

“We need a new set of skills to bring people together, keep them safe, and restore faith in the justice system,” Pogue wrote on his website. “We do this by bringing it back to the people. I will be a Solicitor who listens, who accepts responsibility and is accountable to our neighborhoods.”

That sounds well and good, but Pogue – who is raking in tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Oregon, California and New York – has articulated some troubling sentiments on the campaign trail.

For example, Pogue is on record in support of diverting resources from the solicitor’s office into social programs (which already receive a steady stream of local, state and federal dollars). And while Pogue has phrased this proposed funding shift as a “reallocation” aimed at providing for “front-end crime prevention,” it sounds an awful lot like defunding the police if you ask us.

Pogue is also advocating on behalf of racial quotas within the solicitor’s office – and hinted in a recent League of Women Voters forum that Wilson has been prosecuting black criminals in front of “all-white juries.”

Is that true?

“There has never been an all white jury in Charleston county while Scarlett has been solicitor,” one Wilson backer told us, adding that it made sense Pogue wouldn’t know that because “he’s never had a case in front of a jury.”

We believe the choice for Charleston and Berkeley county citizens is clear: Either they will place their trust in a seasoned prosecutor who has made public safety her top priority or they will install a Tecklenburg clone who is backed by liberal out-of-state interests and clearly intent on turning this office over to the violent mob.

Here is hoping they choose wisely …




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