Chris Haire served as managing editor 2007-2014 and editor 2014-2016

Anybody who has ever covered politics for an alt-weekly knows that it’s a sweet gig. The sweetest. There is simply something so spiritually gratifying about reporting on the powers that be, and instead of serving as simply their transcribers as our friends at the dailies so often do, you get to gleefully skewer them. Aside from staring into the face of a newborn baby while snuggling with a puppy on the couch while nursing a freshly mixed Manhattan, nothing compares to knocking a politician down a notch or two. With all of that in mind, here’s a list of the politicos we’ve surely pissed off over the past 20 years.

Leon Stavrinakis

When Joseph P. Riley Jr. announced he wasn’t going to run for re-election, it must’ve been like Christmas Day for Leon. For years and years, Stavrinakis was Riley’s heir apparent, if for no other reason than that’s what everybody thought. But then something happened on the way to the big-boy chair at the Four Corners of Law — Leon had a fit that one of his mayoral opponents — Ginny Deerin — had the audacity to run an attack ad against him in the middle of a political race of all things. Stavrinakis freaked, holding a hastily assembled press conference in which he claimed that Deerin’s ad somehow offended the memories of the Emanuel Nine. It was a shameful moment, but it was not the most surreal moment of the campaign. That came days later when Leon went full Clint Eastwood and debated an empty podium. And that, ladies and gentlemen, that is how we ended up with John Tecklenburg as mayor.

John Tecklenburg

While Teck’s enthusiasm for Heineken is worth applauding, Tecklen-Me-Elmo seems far more interested in tickling the ivories than running a city. Seriously, has he done anything?

Jim DeMint

Before DeMint bolted his U.S. Senate seat mid-term for a big-money job as a D.C. think-tanker, the City Paper ran a cover featuring him blowing the Washington Monument right on over. The head: Jim DeMint is a blowhard. Man oh man, we wish you could’ve seen the original mock up. DeMint was doing a lot more than huffing and puffing. Classy.

Mark Sanford


Remember that time we ran a column about Sanford that was nothing more than an ASCII Art hand shooting the bird? Yeah. We did that. Oh… and we took Sanford’s breakup letter to his mistress and turned it into iambic pentameter. Good times.

Alan Wilson

Little known fact: But this writer and same-sex marriage opponent Wilson were engaged to be married. We even ran an invitation to the wedding in the paper. Sadly, nobody came. Not even Alan. Sigh … what might have been.

Nancy Cook

For Pete’s sake, she suggested sterilizing unwed mothers.

Chris Collins

If there’s a hot topic to be discussed at the Charleston County School Board and there’s a lot of material to be read, you can rest assured that Collins will be the single-most ill-prepared board member there.

Timmy Mallard

There was always something charming about Timmy, at least in that rapscallion, Little-Engine-That-Could sort of way. But at the end of the day, Mallard never seemed to stand for much of anything except standing in the way of Mayor Riley at every turn.

Joseph P. Riley Jr.

Look, it’s difficult to dislike Joe. He is truly one of America’s great mayors, if not the greatest living one. But toward the end of his reign, the dude got a little cranky when he didn’t get his way. The most notable fit came during a debate over completing I-526. Riley went full Alex Jones and started ranting about dead bodies floating in the streets and stuff. Wowsers.


Robert Ford

He bought male enhancement pills with campaign cash and he thought that was A-OK.

Keith Summey

We’re pretty sure Summey never forgave us for saying that North Charleston smelled like a wet fart from a chemo patient. Pretty sure.

Lindsey Graham

You’ve all heard the rumors. Well, we ran a big ole news feature on them. Today, it’s still one of the City Paper‘s most trafficked posts.

Arthur Ravenel

Cousin Arthur’s A Team tried to destroy public education in Charleston. They failed. Oh, and he reportedly called then-Superintendent Nancy McGinley a naughty word.

John Graham Altman

On second thought, maybe it wasn’t exactly nice to remember Mr. Altman by his deeds, but we did … and it didn’t paint a pretty picture.

Vic Rawl

We stand by this claim: In the days leading up to Rawl’s surprise loss to Alvin Greene, we never ever saw a single campaign sign for Vic. Not a single one.

Alvin Greene

We called his house and asked him to give college kids advice. He complied. It was funny. Now, we look back and think it was kinda sad.

Glenn McConnell

We could care less about McConnell’s Confederate cosplay. Have at it. But his support of segregationist Maurice Bessinger … yeah, that wasn’t going to fly. And those pictures with the two Gullah storytellers. Oy vey.


Mary Clark

For years Clark fought to have the Town of James Island officially recognized. Her efforts, and others, eventually prevailed. But in the end, her fiery personality — and, as her critics claimed, her despotic tendencies — turned many in the town against her.

Nikki Haley

If you’re interested in a political career, it’s probably not wise to enlist the services of political tabloid blogger Will Folks. That is, unless you’re Nikki. In the end, it worked out well for her, much to everyone’s surprise.

Thomas Ravenel

Years have gone by since T-Rav threatened to buy the City Paper, fire every employee, and give then-editor Stephanie Barna a good spanking, and the paper’s still kicking. More importantly, Stef’s bum has been spared T-Rav’s wrath.

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