Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

H. K. Edgerton to Seek Presidential Pardon for Ron Wilson

Posted in Memory by Andy Hall on December 3, 2012

http://deadconfederates.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/hardwickedgerton.jpg?w=720

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Much to my happy surprise, H. K. Edgerton responded to my recent post about Ron Wilson. He’s going to be requesting a presidential pardon for South Carolina con-man, because, um, too many people hold high regard for Abraham Lincoln, or something:

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I am deeply grieved about what happened to the Honorable Ron Wilson and to those who were hurt by his actions. And I pray for them and for Ron equally. There are not many men who have not made serious mistakes in their lives. I shall never falter in my love and respect for Mr. Wilson, and shall never see him as a racist, or the other unkind things that take away from the content of his character that shall always deem him to be an Honorable man. If one chooses to make an Honorable man of Abraham Lincoln, then one should choose to seek a Presidential Pardon for Ron, and one for young Candice Yvonna Hardwick that I have already asked him for. And I care less about the unkind words spoken here about me. Christ and General Nathan Bedford Forrest had to endure worst.

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HardwickFor those who don’t know, Candice Hardwick (above and right, via Mugshots.com) is a young woman from Latta, South Carolina. In 2006 she was suspended twice from school for wearing a Confederate flag shirt. She sued, and her case became a cause celebré among heritage groups. Just a few months ago, Edgerton participated in a ceremony presenting Hardwick with a medal for her heritage activities. Nonetheless, her case was dismissed in March and three months later, in June, she burglarized a home in Latta and stole eight firearms. In August she was sentenced to six years in prison, but will likely be out in three.

Hardwick’s story is a sad one, and I’m not unsympathetic to it, but it’s not one that represents a gross miscarriage of justice. There are lots of people serving longer sentences, for lesser crimes, than either Hardwick or Wilson. And the notion that Ron Wilson is “an Honorable man” who simply made a “serious mistake” that should not reflect on “the content of his character” is one of the more preposterous things Mr. Edgerton has said over the years.

As to the “unkind words spoken here” about Mr. Edgerton, it’s actually more serious than that. I’ve directly challenged claims made by Edgerton and others that his organization, Southern Heritage 411, actually holds non-profit status, or that contributions to it are tax-deductible. I can find no evidence that either of these things are true. I’m no lawyer, but I can’t help but think that if Southern Heritage 411 is, in fact, the for-profit corporation that it claimed to be in filings with the Georgia Secretary of State, Mr. Edgerton has made a very “serious mistake” of his own.

As always, of course, Mr. Edgerton is welcome to provide documentation that I’ve got this non-profit stuff all wrong. But I don’t think I do.

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15 Responses

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  1. Bummer said, on December 3, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Andy,

    Bummer can always count on getting a chuckle on Dead Confederates. Where do you glean all of this far out press. Maybe it should be your secret, it’s probably trouble for this “old guy.” Every day above ground is a victory, trouble finds Bummer without looking for it. Keep on digging.

    Bummer

  2. Jeff Bell said, on December 3, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    You might say that Mr. Edgerton has embarked on another lost cause. Perhaps Jesus Christ and N.B.F. aren’t sufficient references.

    • Andy Hall said, on December 4, 2012 at 12:03 pm

      I was impressed with his ability to put himself in their company by insisting that he’s not like them. That takes skill, man.

  3. Michael Lynch said, on December 3, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Did he just say that he’s asked the POTUS to pardon somebody for a burglary in South Carolina? He does know that presidential pardons only apply to federal crimes, right? It’s a bit ironic to see a dedicated Confederate petition the federal government to intervene in a matter of state law when the presidency has no authority to do so.

    If Mr. Edgerton is reading this, I suggest he contact the South Carolina Board of Probation, Parole, and Pardon (http://www.dppps.sc.gov/apply_for_a_pardon.html) on Ms. Hardwick’s behalf. You won’t have much luck asking the White House to get somebody out of a state prison system.

  4. Freeman said, on December 3, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Shooting one’s own foot is mistake.
    Shooting one’s own foot while firmly implanted in one’s own mouth is “a serious mistake”.

    Posting a request on this site does constitute a formal request because the President’s men read every word.
    And just because there is no legally reason that would allow the President to pardon someone convicted of a State’s law does not mean our POTUS won’t do it anyway.

    • Andy Hall said, on December 3, 2012 at 4:06 pm

      There actually is a formal procedure for requesting a presidential pardon, though I doubt Mr. Edgerton has bothered to look that up. If he had, he’d know that only federal offenses are eligible, and even then only after a five-year waiting period.

      And just because there is no legally reason that would allow the President to pardon someone convicted of a State’s law does not mean our POTUS won’t do it anyway.

      For the life of me I cannot imagine why he (or any other president) would.

    • Michael Lynch said, on December 3, 2012 at 4:43 pm

      “And just because there is no legally reason that would allow the President to pardon someone convicted of a State’s law does not mean our POTUS won’t do it anyway.”

      Um, yeah, it does, at least if our POTUS has a rudimentary grasp of government. The POTUS cannot pardon someone who has been convicted of a state crime. He only has the power to issue pardons for federal crimes. If I understand her case correctly, Ms. Hardwick did not violate any federal laws.

  5. Woodrowfan said, on December 3, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    One conman trying to help another.

    • Andy Hall said, on December 3, 2012 at 9:41 pm

      As the most recent Chief Financial Officer of record for Southern Heritage 411, it would behoove Mr. Edgerton to document his claims about the group being a non-profit organization. No one’s in a better position to do it than he, and it’s in his (and Heritage 411′s) interest to do so.

  6. Cotton Boll Conspiracy said, on December 3, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    That’s an interesting opening sentence: “I am deeply grieved about what happened to the Honorable Ron Wilson and to those who were hurt by his actions.”

    Putting the con man and his prey on an equal footing seems, at best, a gross insult to the latter. If Mr. Edgerton is “deeply grieved” about Wilson’s decision to take advantage of people by running a ponzi scheme, he should find a way to express that grief in a manner that doesn’t make Wilson and those he scammed equal victims. Let’s not dance around the facts: Wilson is responsible for the loss inflicted on his victims.

    • Andy Hall said, on December 3, 2012 at 8:27 pm

      Absolutely. It’s just something that “happened” to Ron Wilson. Of course, if I’d spent the last decade sharing the dais with Ron Wilson, publicly endorsing him for public office, and cheering on his leadership on heritage issues, I’d be tempted to say something like that, too.

      Still doesn’t make it true.

      • Cotton Boll Conspiracy said, on December 3, 2012 at 8:33 pm

        Indeed. It would appear Mr. Edgarton may need to brush up on the pardon process for his own use at some point down the road.

        • Andy Hall said, on December 4, 2012 at 11:13 am

          Edgerton has had his detractors, even within the SCV:

          Now, Edgerton is more infamous than popular. Elijah Coleman, a prominent activist in the Georgia SCV, wrote a widely distributed E-mail in early March accusing Edgerton of selling hundreds of SCV-provided battle flags at a NASCAR event and pocketing the funds. Coleman also claimed that Edgerton was demanding huge sums for a new car, even after he was offered one costing $3,000.

          “I began to see a new H. K. obsessed with money as he spoke of everyone ripping him off on past visits by him to Florida and other states. Money was the main thing on his mind,” wrote Coleman. “I realized he was now in the heritage fight only for the money.”

          In response, Edgerton sent out an open letter announcing that he was leaving the movement after more than a decade and complaining of his treatment. Edgerton insisted that he received few funds from his compatriots, having selflessly given away his time and impoverished himself only to be called “a money grubber.” Edgerton said he would shut down his neo-Confederate group, Southern Heritage 411, on April 14.

          My suggestion is that, if Edgerton doesn’t want to be perceived as a “money grubber” who’s in the heritage fight to line his own pockets, he might want to stop telling people he charges $20K for a personal appearance — plus mileage.


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