New Documents Tie Chamber Directly to McGinnis Ads

October 17, 2017 5:01 AM
New Documents Tie Chamber Directly to McGinnis Ads

New information uncovered since our previous article on the campaign of House District 56 candidate Tim McGinnis unquestionably demonstrates the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce was directly involved in ad buys for the McGinnis campaign from the beginning.

According to the public file of political broadcast documents associated with the McGinnis television ads, a proposal was prepared for the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce scheduling television ads for McGinnis on WPDE television. (see form attached to end of this story IMG)

The proposal was approved September 25, 2017, by Jackie Miller of Miller Direct, a media marketing firm the Myrtle Beach Chamber uses for out of area marketing ad buys normally associated with funds from tourism development fee revenue.

Those ads began running on October 9, 2017, asking voters to “Vote for Tim McGinnis on October 24th.”

The National Association of Broadcasters political broadcast form (PB 18), filed with WPDE, again has Miller, on behalf of Tim McGinnis, requesting station time and certifying McGinnis is a legally qualified candidate for the House District 56 seat as a Republican in the October 24th primary. The requested station time is exactly the same as the above proposal. (see form attached below IMG 0001)

The PB 18 includes a page on which it was represented payment for the requested ad broadcasts “has been furnished” by Citizens for Conservative Values. On September 27, 2017, Steve Chapman signed the representation as Treasurer of Citizens for Conservative Values. (see form attached below IMG 0002)

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McGinnis Denies Chamber Support, Records Indicate Differently

October 14, 2017 7:44 AM
McGinnis Denies Chamber Support, Records Indicate Differently

Several times in the past week, including a Friday October 13th conversation with this reporter, S.C. House District 56 candidate Tim McGinnis denied receiving money contributions or support for his campaign from the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.

“I have not received any money from the Chamber,” McGinnis said.

The Chamber and its cronies supporting McGinnis in the House District 56 race is only a modest story. However, when McGinnis keeps denying any knowledge of this support, it becomes a big story, especially considering his former position as news anchor for WPDE television who also hosted a weekly political news show.

Television ads paid for by the “Citizens for Conservative Values” asking the voters of House District 56 to “Vote for Tim McGinnis, a conservative we can trust” began airing on local television and radio stations Monday October 9, 2017.

In my conversation with McGinnis, I asked him what he knew about the ads. McGinnis said, “I don’t know anything about those ads, I haven’t seen them.”

I asked McGinnis if the Chamber was responsible for the ads. He again denied any knowledge of the ads and repeated that statement several more times throughout our conversation to the point the statement sounded scripted.

I explained the following indisputable facts to McGinnis:

According to the S.C. Secretary of State website, Citizens for Conservative Values is a non-profit whose registered agent is Steve Chapman at 6000 North Ocean Boulevard, Myrtle Beach.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, whose information is derived from records released by the Internal Revenue Service, Citizens for Conservative Values files as a 527 Political Action Committee. According to those filings, the major contributor, in some years the only contributor, to Citizens for Conservative Values is the Grand Strand Business Alliance.

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The Bizarre Twists in Myrtle Beach Politics

October 11, 2017 5:21 AM
The Bizarre Twists in Myrtle Beach Politics

Two campaign events this week highlight how bizarre the current election season in Myrtle Beach politics has become.

An open candidate forum on Sunday October 15th has been scheduled over a month. The event is open to all candidates for the upcoming city elections.

It will be held at the Myrtle Beach Recreation Center at Market Commons. City council candidates will be up first beginning at 2:30 p.m. with mayoral candidates following at 4 p.m.

As has been the trend throughout the fall campaign, incumbent mayor John Rhodes and incumbent council members Randal Wallace and Mike Lowder have indicated they will not participate in the above mentioned event.

Instead, Rhodes, Wallace and Lowder have scheduled a closed campaign event at the same venue on Thursday October 12th. The event will be by invitation only and is limited to Market Common residents.

In this instance, we have three incumbents seeking re-election holding a campaign event on city property and limiting that event to only certain residents in the city.

You may ask why the incumbents didn’t join the challengers in a candidate forum open to all city residents at the same location only three days later?

The answer that comes to mind is that the incumbents, Rhodes, Wallace and Lowder, who are seeking re-election on November 7th, are apparently afraid to speak to voters except in circumstances totally controlled by themselves.

How bizarre is that?

In the atmosphere that surrounds city elections this year, the bizarre has become quite normal.

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October is Italian American Heritage Month

October 8, 2017 5:00 AM
October is Italian American Heritage Month

October is officially designated as Italian American Heritage Month thanks to a bill passed in the SC General Assembly in March 2015.

The bill added Sec. 53-3-200 to the SC Code of Laws designating October of every year as Italian American Heritage month.

Sen. Ray Cleary chaperoned the bill through the SC Senate and former Rep. Nelson Hardwick performed the same duties in the SC House. It was signed into law by Gov. Nikki Haley on March 27, 2015.

The bill recognizes the many vital contributions of Italian Americans to the state in the political, social and economic systems of South Carolina.

Horry County resident Fred Nesta was recognized as the catalyst behind the effort to pass the bill. A member of Grand Strand Lodge 2868 of the Order of Sons of Italy in America and a past national state deputy of the order.

“This legislation is to recognize the efforts of all Italians and Italian-Americans who sacrificed to give future generations a better life,” said Fred Nesta. “Over the past decade, a heightened interest in our roots has come about, where we came from, what we stand for, recognition of the contributions of Italians and Italian-Americans and their influence in the world…this drives us to seek and learn more about our roots and share in the joy of our heritage with our entire community.

Nesta said members of local chapters of OSIA and other Italian clubs and organizations in South Carolina embody these interests and values which include giving back to the community through monetary donations and services and to share their Italian heritage through local and national Italian festivals and other endeavors.

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Increased Crime, Poor Planning as Myrtle Beach City Elections Near

October 4, 2017 5:06 AM
Increased Crime, Poor Planning as Myrtle Beach City Elections Near

Five weeks remain before voting begins in the Myrtle Beach city council elections and it looks like the incumbents don’t want to face the public in other than a completely controlled environment.

Two years ago, we were told the city was safer than ever. There was an ad campaign complete with thousands of mailers claiming so. We know that claim was incorrect when it was made and things have only gotten worse since.

National crime statistics just came out showing Myrtle Beach had a double digit increase last year in violent crimes.

The recent shooting incident near Futrell Park puts an exclamation point on a situation which has been basically ignored by city officials.

Mayor John Rhodes recently blamed the iphone for hurting the image of the city by spreading negative pictures and comments about it. What Mayor Rhodes forgets is iphones and the people who use them can only show what is happening and comment on it. They do not create the incidents that are shown, at least not yet.

This is exactly the type of detached thinking and denial of what is happening that is hurting the city.

Or am I wrong? Was there really no shooting on Ocean Boulevard, or at Futrell Park? Was this just something an iphone made up and spread throughout the internet?

Eighteen months ago, Bennie Swans, Jon Bonsignor and Tim McCray went before city council to ask for help with problems around the Futrell Park area. They were basically called traitors and told their words would hurt tourism in the city.

However, a problem doesn’t go away when it is ignored. Maybe, if the city council had listened to rather than attacked what was being said, a young pregnant girl would not have been shot in a car last week killing her and her unborn baby.

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Bucksport Marina Issue Moving to Resolution

September 28, 2017 4:54 AM
Bucksport Marina Issue Moving to Resolution

The Bucksport Marina issue arising from a racial incident over Memorial Day Weekend that resulted in personal injury, racial epithets and serious concern from community members appears about to be moving toward resolution.

A quick review of the incident:

On May 28, 2017, Curtis Hendrix was working for the “Waccamaw Getaway Music Festival” hosted by the restaurant on the Bucksport Marina property. One of his duties was to shuttle visitors to the festival to their cars or campsite at the RV resort on the marina property.

While performing those duties, a cart in which Hendrix was riding was forced off the road and into a ditch by Jeffrey Weeks. Weeks was operating the marina and RV resort under a sub-lease with E.D. LLC, the lessee of the marina, resort and restaurant property. E.D. LLC was leasing the property from Grand Strand Water and Sewer Authority.

After forcing the cart off the road, Weeks stopped his vehicle and began yelling at the occupants of the cart, using racial epithets such as “f—–g niggers”, according to the police report of the incident.

According to several sources familiar with various talks and negotiations among involved and interested parties over the last several weeks, neither E.D. LLC owner Ed Waters nor Weeks will be returning to the marina property.

According to those sources, the final details of a termination agreement between GSWSA and E.D. LLC are in the works and new operators will be taking over the marina and RV resort businesses.

Removing both from any association with GSWSA is the only proper solution to the act perpetrated by Weeks over Memorial Day Weekend.

However, it took approximately four months between the incident and the final termination. When I first spoke to Fred Richardson, CEO of GSWSA, about the incident, it seemed he wanted to do the right thing, but attorneys advising GSWSA were urging a wait and see approach because Weeks was only charged with a crime, not convicted. Additionally, there were some contractual considerations with the lease between Waters and GSWSA.

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