Templeton takes shot at Charleston “fake news” outlet

Templeton takes shot at Charleston “fake news” outlet
May 22 18:36 2018 Print This Article

Gubernatorial candidate Catherine Templeton introduced her running mate Walt Wilkins at campaign stop in Mt. Pleasant. She took a shot at the (Charleston) Post and Courier for being a “liberal fake news” outlet. Templeton said that an unsourced article by the newspaper served as the basis for a negative ad produced by The Palmetto PAC. The ad showed an image of President Donald Trump pointing and shouting, “You’re fired!” The ad alleged that Templeton was fired by three state agencies. Former Governor Nikki Haley, who hired Templeton to head two state agencies, came to Templeton’s defense. She stated Templeton was not fired. ¬†Haley is now the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, which led to Lieutenant Governor Henry McMaster’s promotion to Governor. The Templeton campaign issued a cease and desist letter to television stations, asking them to pull the ad.

Templeton also attacked McMaster for being weak on public safety. She said, “Safety is the most critical function of government, and our Governor has been a failure on safety. We have prisoners jumping the fence,” referring to escaped inmates from an Orangeburg County detention facility, who are still at-large. A prison break occurred in a state-controlled maximum security prison in July 2017, with cell phone communications being used in the break-out. The prisoner was caught days later in Texas. Templeton blasted McMaster for failing to order the jamming of cell phone signals in state prison facilities, citing his campaign contributions from the cell phone lobby.

Wilkins has a distinguished record as a prosecutor. He served as the U.S. Attorney for South Carolina during the George W. Bush administration. He was involved in the prosecution of terrorist Jose Padilla, who was held for several years in the Charleston Navy Brig. He also coordinated a federal raid of a Greenville chicken processing plant in which 320 illegal aliens were arrested and eventually deported. The revelation that virtually all of the employees at the plant possessed false identities led to a more stringent South Carolina E-Verify law, which was written by Templeton while serving as Haley’s Department of Labor director in 2011. Wilkins was elected to the office of solicitor in 2010, representing Greenville and Pickens counties. He has prosecuted hundreds of crimes involving illegal immigration, gang crime, and human trafficking.

The 2018 election marks the first time the Governor and Lieutenant Governor will run on the same ticket. Templeton describes her team as a partnership and states that she and Wilkins share the same values and priorities. She anticipates Wilkins being heavily involved in all agencies which deal with public safety. Wilkins described his roll as “fighting crime and corruption on a daily basis.”

McMaster, Templeton and fellow Republican gubernatorial candidates Lieutenant Governor Kevin Bryant, former Lieutenant Governor Yancey McGill, and Greenville business owner John Warren will all participate in a Wednesday debate at 7 pm televised live on ETV. The primary election is set for June 12, and if no candidate receives 50% of the vote, a runoff will be held June 26. There are three Democrats also running in the June 12 primary – State Representative James Smith, political consultant Phil Noble and attorney Marguerite Willis.