Charlie Wilson: A throwback to Richard Nixon



Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Charlie Wilson
Charlie Wilson

With his latest Facebook rant, Vero Beach City Council candidate, Charlie Wilson, may well have opened himself to a lawsuit.  If I decide to take action, it will only be to make a point.  In terms of suing Wilson for damages, well, as they say, you can’t get blood out of a turnip.

Wilson is likely smarting over coverage about his unkept promises of the past and his unrealistic assurances of the present, coupled with frustrations over recent reporting on the outside money funding his campaign.

When he ran in 2009, Wilson told voters he could get the deal done in one year. Now, five years later, he claims to have a “plan” to complete the sale in another two years.

Wilson’s response to our reporting has been to attempt to discredit me by telling his Facebook followers I was “fired from Vero Beach 32963,” and allegedly for unethical behavior.  In court, I can certainly prove I resigned from 32963 in January 2010 in order to help Scripps launch the Newsweekly.  In fact, soon after plans for the Newsweekly were announced, 32963 publisher, Milton Benjamin, did no small amount of public complaining. It should be obvious, then, even to Wilson, that I was not “fired” from 32963.  My point, and it is a legal one, is that Wilson’s false accusation is not simply a mistake on his part.  He knows better.

Wilson also claims I was forced to leave Scripps as the editor of the Newsweekly. The record will also show that when I resigned from Scripps in December 2012, publisher, Bob Brunejs, asked me to reconsider, and then requested I remain on staff an additional month. That is not to say Brunjes and I did not have our differences. After all, my resignation from Scripps was prompted by Brunjes’ directive to me to cease reporting on Florida Power & Light’s effort to acquire Vero Electric. Brunjes, of course, is the husband of a key FPL executive.

Now that the power sale is unraveling, Wilson is being exposed for who he is, a politician who, like Richard Nixon, will say and do anything to get elected. Out of apparent frustration and desperation, the perennial candidate and wanna-be-mayor has taken to slinging mud at the press – again, shades of Richard Nixon.

This is not the first time Wilson has attacked me in order to deflect the attention for his miscreant behavior. Last year, Wilson tried to orchestrate an advertising boycott of InsideVero. Advertisers did not take well to being told by Wilson how and where to invest the advertising dollars. As a result, InsideVero is now stronger than ever.  Our next print edition, with 20,000 circulation, will be out Oct. 30, and our online edition,, has already had 48,150 page views in October. The truth will prevail.


  1. I think that you should indeed consider initiation of legal action. In far too many cases, attackers do not understand when they have overstepped their boundaries.

    I am also giving serious consideration to filing a law suit. Perhaps we could get a package deal from a reputable attorney.willing to address the issue of the unethical defamation of character.

  2. Mark, Charlie Wilson is out of control and has been for some time.What Mr Wilson has said in regard to your good reputation and his attempt to have your advertisors stop advertising on InsideVero is unconscionable. Something must be done .

  3. Charliegate is here? He does seem to have gone over the edge as far as public remarks/rants are concerned. For every action there is a reaction. Perhaps, out of compassion, we can give him a headstart out of the county?

  4. Mark,
    There are a couple of old aphorisms that apply.
    Don’t get in a mud-slinging contest with a pig. The pig enjoys the mud.
    Don’t argue with a fool in public. Those watching may not be able to tell the difference.

    Wilson is a fool. And those few who support him are dupes. Best let him rant away. The best retort to a liar, “Prove it.”

  5. Mark, You, Pat Lavine and myself. There would be three defamation lawsuits and Pat is right. Maybe we can get a lawyer and combine the suits. We have 15 days and hopefully Charlie aka Wlison Russell can stick to his face book and his face book followers and leave the rest of us alone. He has violated the cease and desist order from my attorneys. FDLE is investigating him for election fraud and he has a hearing on Oct 29th for his sign violation. He says he has 500 signs and he has made the correction on them, but I wonder if he meant 5 rather than 500? Maybe Russ Lemon can go around town and count them. I’ve seen one or two.

    His “no trespass warning” on me is laughable. I have no desire to be within ten miles of him and even that is too close. I have never been to his residence or business? His dislike of myself and you Mark is only because we have not bought into to what he is selling and that infuriates him. Your credibility is beyond reproach and his desperation to discredit both you and I has back fired on him and he has not realized at this point that the FAT LADY has sung. I do not feel that he will be celebrating on election day.

  6. At least Richard Nixon had what he considered the best interests of the country behind his actions.

  7. Right, Jim. To be fair, you have pointed to a fundamental difference between Mr. Nixon and Charlie Wilson.

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