If Peggy Moseley wins re-election this year, she may want to thank David Coe.
That might seem strange to anyone who has been following this vitriolic — and often highly amusing — feud between the Charleston County auditor and her biggest critic.
These two are like Ahab and Moby Dick.
But Coe has so relentlessly piled up charges against the auditor these past few months that some people actually feel sorry for Moseley.
Clearly, Coe is getting to his target. In Saturday's Post and Courier, Glenn Smith wrote about a man — hilariously identified in the Sheriff's Office report only as “Peggy Moseley's husband” — showing up at Coe's house last week and threatening to stick Coe's head in a crab pot.
The rest of his body would apparently be elsewhere at the time.
Now what could possibly drive anyone to say such a vicious thing?
Uh, David Coe.
Even Coe admits he can be a “royal pain,” as he described himself last year when the former county administrator asked him to stay away from county employees.
Allen O'Neal said Coe was “loud, demanding and belligerent.”
Even in the Sheriff's Office incident report last week, Coe is described as being “demeaning” — twice.
Given the stuff deputies deal with, that's saying something.
But Coe has directed most of his considerable charisma toward waging war on Peggy Moseley.
It started years ago, when he claimed Moseley didn't do enough to tax yacht owners. Lately, it's gotten worse.
Coe has called the Department of Transportation to report seeing Moseley campaign signs where they shouldn't be. He filed an Ethics Commission complaint about Moseley allegedly using her county car for campaign purposes — and then blabbed to the press, violating ethics laws himself.
And he's tried to get local media to write about some auditor's office staffers attending a GOP luncheon with Moseley. So? County employees don't get a lunch break?
Gee, it's hard to imagine what could have sent “Peggy Moseley's husband” off the deep end.
Coe obviously isn't from around here.
If so, he'd know that in the South you get more with honey than vinegar. And also that it's poor form to pile on, to kick someone while they are down.
Moseley has gotten more than her share of bad publicity over alleged preferential tax treatment for her property. Bringing up some of this piddly stuff — like the GOP luncheon — undermines whatever serious complaint Coe may have.
Moseley faces two challengers in the Republican primary this June. There is no question that, thanks in part to Coe, her name recognition is at an all-time high. And you know, voters love an underdog, someone who can claim she's being picked on.
So Coe had better take a chill pill.
If he's mad now, imagine what a “royal pain” he'll be if Moseley gets re-elected.
Reach Brian Hicks at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @BriHicks_PandC.