Peggy Moseleys misguided lawsuit
You’ve got to give it to Charleston County Auditor Peggy Moseley — she’s got moxie. Or maybe you’d prefer gall.
Despite losing badly in the Republican primary two months ago, the 78-year-old auditor is going the court route in an effort to retain the position she has held since 1992.
So much for the will of the people.
Mrs. Moseley contends that neither of her two primary opponents filed their ethics forms properly — the same issue that the S.C. Supreme Court ruled on, eliminating more than 200 candidates around the state. Of course, those candidacies were invalidated before the primary. The local auditor’s race wasn’t affected.
Fifty-one percent of those who voted in the Charleston County Republican primary in June cast their ballots for Paul Gawrych, who was declared the party nominee. Only 31 percent voted for Mrs. Moseley. David Engelman got 18 percent of the votes.
Unable to gain even a runoff, the incumbent now hopes to prevail on a technicality.
Mrs. Moseley has had ample chance to win the voters’ confidence. But her recent service has been less than confidence-inspiring — as reflected in her primary numbers.
As noted in our news reports, tax bills were sent out two months late last year; this year, more than 130 James Island residents who annexed into the city of Charleston received additional tax bills in error. Legitimate questions have been raised about the taxation of mega-yachts.
Over the years, there have been disputes between the auditor and the local school district, other county officials and County Council members, leading some to question her level of cooperation. For example, she initially refused to staff county satellite offices, designed to make it easier for citizens to pay their tax bills.
And there have been controversies over tax breaks she received for her Johns Island home, since rescinded, and over her use of a county car to drive to Republican headquarters to file for re-election.
Ultimately, Republican voters, who heretofore had supported her, decided they didn’t want her to be the candidate to face Democrat Peter Tecklenburg in November. The Republican primary results weren’t even close. And the executive committee of the Charleston County Republican Party reviewed her concerns and dismissed them. They declared Mr. Gawrych the Republican candidate.
The lawsuit is just the latest election year shift by Mrs. Moseley. First she decided she wouldn’t run. Then she changed her mind and filed for re-election.
And now she’s decided she just can’t take no for an answer. Not even from the voters of her own party, or the local GOP executive committee.
Maybe she will prevail in the court as other incumbents have in this nutty election year. If so, thwarting the will of GOP primary voters won’t be much to run on in the general election.