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Shrimp 'n Grits

“An excellent dress rehearsal” – in more ways that one!
Lee Walton

Tropical Storm Hanna almost gave Mayor J. Pericles Riley what he’s been “rain-dancing” to have for nearly two decades, but this little storm fizzled and turned north before his well scripted little “dog and pony show” could get much beyond the initial press briefings. With ruffled hair, upturned Polo shirt collar, and yellow slicker at the ready, Pericles was fully primed to be Charleston’s Modern Day Moses and again part the waters for his humble flock. Unfortunately for Pericles, Mother Nature had other ideas. Nonetheless, Greater Charleston TV viewing audiences did get a chance to see Pericles wheel out his trusty sidekick and successor-in-training, Napo-Leon Stabyourbackus for a public showing of progressive partisan togetherness.

One just has to wonder why on earth SC Representative Stabyourbackus would be fool enough to participate in such an obvious display of local partisan politics. He looked like a little court jester straining to peer over the EOC podium to sputter out a string of incorrect phone numbers that required the untimely interruption of Pericles to rectify. Regardless of Pericles’ intensions, this little televised show of force was not a good start for Napo-Leon’s reelection campaign this fall. From the looks and actions of Representative Stabyourbackus, Columbia hasn’t done much to polish his image as a leader or speaker who can think on his feet without a script.

Maybe Pericles is justified in also priming Council Member Notsolilly White, a.k.a. nephew of former City Pettifogger and life-long Pericles’ crony Bill Regan, as another possible protégé. Then again, following Pericles’ playbook of dirty tricks, he might be grooming one of the two to take the place of his quintessential, albeit aging and graying stalking-horse Jiminy Cricket. One thing’s for sure, Pericles has devious little plans for the future of either Napo-Leon Stabyourbackus or Notsolilly White as his handpicked successor.

Almost two years ago to the day, a Shrimp ‘n Grits commentary first broached the symbiotic political relationship between J. Pericles Riley and then County Council Chairman Napo-Leon Stabyourbackus. The last few paragraphs of that article are worthy or repeating as a refresher or primmer to those who missed the September 10, 2006 publication:

“Both Pericles and Stabyourbackus realize the value of a two-term stint in the State House as a way for Napo-Leon to broaden his political base as a “real player” in local politics while gaining recognition as a rising Young Turk in the local Democratic Party – much like Pericles did when he served his two terms in the State House before returning to Charleston to run for mayor. As a member of the Bar, and local practicing attorney, the four years in Columbia would provide Stabyourbackus with an almost identical professional and political resume as Pericles before running for his first term as mayor in 1975. The timing would be perfect; Pericles would complete his last term in 2011 just as Stabyourbackus would complete his second two-year term in the State House. Napo-Leon Stabyourbackus would enter for the 2011 mayoral race with the full support of Pericles, his notorious and well-funded political machine, the lower-state Democratic Party faithful, and the stable of deal-estate developers that Pericles created for his own benefit and financial support.

Napo-Leon Stabyourbackus would inherit the City-State of Pericles’ thirty-four year reign. It’s a neat, albeit very dangerous plan for the citizens of the Greater Charleston Area.

The City of Charleston needs a real change in its leadership and vision, which is long overdue. The politics of raw power, intimidation, and the politics of personal destruction of those who beg to differ with the City Administration should not be tolerated or allowed to perpetuate through the hands of a hand picked puppet of Pericles. Stop this madness now before it has a chance to succeed. Don’t let Napo-Leon Stabyourbackus advance one rung higher on the local political ladder. Using the infamous words of none other than James Carville – Cut him off at the Knees!”