Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. has not been subtle in his criticisms of Citizens for a Better Charleston, a political group that has been bashing the mayor online and in printed mailers. Because the group is not officially affiliated with any candidate (although it does seem to support William Dudley Gregorie), it is allowed to cloak itself in anonymity under state law.

Riley used some harsh words to describe the group’s members last week, charging them with “the cowardice of anonymity and the shamefulness of misrepresentation.” Last night, Riley’s campaign manager sent out an e-mail to supporters that accused Citizens for a Better Charleston of the sort of offense not often heard outside of 19th-century Baptist churches: devilment.

As you may know, last week a secret committee formed using a loophole in the ethics law that allows the group to receive and spend unlimited dollars anonymously. Their goal is to defeat our Mayor.

While they were getting into devilment, we’ve been identifying thousands of Joe supporters and we are about to launch the biggest GOTV effort we’ve ever had.

GOTV stands for Get Out The Vote — we think. Or is it Grovel, O Thou Villain?

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