Ed Carey Endorses Brenda Bethune in Runoff

November 13, 2017 4:24 AM
Ed Carey Endorses Brenda Bethune in Runoff

Though the final outcome of my campaign for Mayor last Tuesday didn’t result inmy election, I am forever grateful for the experience and want to extend a sincere “thank you” to all of you who supported me. I am very proud of the effort we expended. The lessons I learned, the people I met, the issues I advanced and the incredibly close 3rd place finish I achieved made the entire experience well worth the effort.

To those of you who supported one of the other candidates, thank you too for caring enough about the future of our community to make the effort to vote last week. I hope our campaign made a positive contribution in encouraging you to get involved and make the effort to vote.

While I truly believe that the success of our city depends on our residents coming together as one, I also believe that our strength is derived from our neighborhoods and communities and the unique characteristics of each.

During the campaign, I had the opportunity to interact and meet each of the other candidates running. I listened to each of their answers during our debates and forums. I watched each of them interact with voters who had questions and input. I saw how each of them dealt with contentious issues in high-pressure situations. The reason for my post to you today is to personally inform you that after factoring in all of those things, I have decided to endorse Brenda Bethune in the runoff election next Tuesday, November 21st.

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Fake News Dominates Close of Myrtle Beach Election Campaign

November 5, 2017 5:19 AM
Fake News Dominates Close of Myrtle Beach Election Campaign

For a man who has screamed “fake news” at media he doesn’t like, John Rhodes, his campaign and the fake organizations supporting him and the other incumbents are certainly filled with fake news as the end nears.

That’s no real surprise. Hypocrisy is always a mainstay in South Carolina politics.

We have a fake organization, “South Carolina  Industry Project”, sending out mailers supporting the tourism development fee (TDF.)

I suppose Citizens for Conservative Values, active in the 2013 and 2015 campaigns, outlived its usefulness after its recent mailings in support of Tim McGinnis considering all the verbal acrobatics (fake news) McGinnis went through to distance himself from knowledge of them.

One of those mailers asks “What do Geico, Go Daddy and Myrtle Beach have in common?”

I would say nothing.

Geico and Go Daddy are private corporations, Myrtle Beach is a public incorporated city. Geico and Go Daddy use earned revenue to advertise their products and services to potential buyers.

Myrtle Beach uses public tax dollars from a specially created sales tax to fund advertising for some member businesses of the Myrtle Beach Area of Commerce so those businesses do not have to spend revenue on advertising.

Geico and Go Daddy are businesses spending advertising dollars in the exercise of free market capitalism. Myrtle Beach gives the Chamber public dollars to use for advertising in a form of corporate welfare.

That’s what happens when you have a plutocracy rather than a democracy as your form of government!

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Myrtle Beach Election Season Mercifully Nearing Close

November 3, 2017 5:03 AM
Myrtle Beach Election Season Mercifully Nearing Close

Just a few more days remain until the first round of voting takes place in the 2017 Myrtle Beach city elections.

Mercifully, that means only a few days remain in this season of political speak which bears little to no resemblance to the truth.

We have heard Mayor John Rhodes and the two incumbent city councilmen running for re-election, Randal Wallace and Mike Lowder, tout how they passed the largest tax cut in the history of the state.

This is not true. They passed a one percent increase in the city sales tax, 80% of which pays the marketing budgets of the largest businesses in the tourism industry. As part of that legislation, the three incumbents and their cohorts on city council used most of the remaining 20% from that tax to give tax rebates on owner-occupied residences in the city, less than 25% of the total number of properties in the city.

The owners of the properties that benefit most from this tax rebate, those in the Dunes, Grande Dunes and Pine Lakes, are the same people who are the voting base and neighbors of at least five of the seven members of city council.

To sum it up, city council passed an increase in sales tax that is used to reduce the operating expenses of the largest businesses in the tourism industry and to reduce the amount of property tax paid by their neighbors and supporters.

And that sales tax increase is working, at least in the sense that it keeps getting the incumbents who voted for it re-elected.

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Mayor John Rhodes Hits New Low in Political Blame Game

October 30, 2017 4:10 AM
Mayor John Rhodes Hits New Low in Political Blame Game

Politics reached a new low in the current Myrtle Beach election campaign when Mayor John Rhodes trashed the firefighter who shot the video of the Father’s Day shooting on Ocean Boulevard during a recent mayoral candidate debate.

There is no doubt the mayor, city council members and the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce panicked when video of that shooting went viral on Facebook. It illuminated Myrtle Beach’s dirty little secret that crime is on the rise in the city for all of America to see.

The Father’s Day shooting was not an isolated incident, regardless of how much city leaders would like you to believe otherwise.

During this campaign, Rhodes has blamed “fake news” for giving the city a bad image on social media, thereby, potentially hurting tourism.

But, Rhodes really sank deep in the mud when he defamed the man who took the video from a hotel room on Ocean Boulevard.

“The gentleman who took the film was a fireman that was here on a firemen’s convention,” Rhodes said during the debate. “He was a sworn officer that was supposed to respond to people in trouble and injured. He was so busy taking the film that he never did what his job called for him to do and that was to respond to injured people on the boulevard.”

Here’s how clueless Rhodes is:

It is nationwide policy that emergency personnel WILL NOT enter an active shooter scene until the scene is cleared and secured by law enforcement personnel.

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Incumbents Want Status Quo in Myrtle Beach

October 28, 2017 4:26 AM
Incumbents Want Status Quo in Myrtle Beach

What I took away from the debate on Thursday night between three of the candidates for mayor and the debate among nine candidates for city council a week earlier is a vote for the incumbents in the upcoming Myrtle Beach city elections is a vote for the status quo in the city.

If the incumbents are re-elected, nothing will change including the secrecy and disinformation that surrounds so much of what passes for planning in the city.

Listening to Mayor John Rhodes during the debate and over several days prior to it, the city had its best year ever this year, everything is great in the city and the shootings on Ocean Boulevard this year were “fake news.”

As we know from the mindless tweets of President Donald Trump, fake news is a term used to attempt to discredit any news a politician doesn’t want to hear.

Rhodes definitely doesn’t want to hear news of crime and safety concerns in Myrtle Beach. Rather than attempt to solve those, his attitude seems to be blame the messenger.

One thing that definitely will not change is the Tourism Development Fee charged on virtually every sale in the city. Rhodes voiced strong support of the TDF, taking credit for creating the idea.

What Rhodes did not divulge is how those who benefit from the TDF work to keep the incumbents in place.

The Tourism Development Fee is a one percent tax (one cent on every dollar spent) on basically everything that is purchased in Myrtle Beach. It is paid by everybody who buys anything in the city.

The tourism industry essentially gets its advertising costs paid for it from these tax dollars.

This is roughly the same as if the federal government charged a one percent sales tax on every item purchased in the United States to pay for the advertising of Ford, General Motors, Microsoft and General Electric.

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Big Money vs Citizens in District 56 Election – Big Money Wins (Updated)

October 23, 2017 4:10 AM
Big Money vs Citizens in District 56 Election – Big Money Wins (Updated)

The special election for SC House District 56 has come down to a contest between a big money candidate on one side and a candidate for the citizens on the other.

I am calling this a two man race between the citizens’ choice Dwyer Scott and the big money choice of Tim McGinnis. With all due respect to third candidate Adam Miller, who will make a fine candidate in the future, he got caught in a vise in this election.

Scott has been endorsed by the Coastal Carolina Young Republican Club, the steering committee of the Make Myrtle Beaches Free, Clean and Safe (a group with 8,351 citizen members according to its Facebook page) and former Horry County Council candidate Ethan Leyshon.

McGinnis has been endorsed by the Coastal Carolina Association of Realtors (many of whom belong to the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce), the S.C. Education Association and the Carolina Forest Republican Club. The Carolina Forest Republican Club was disbanded in 2015 with no record of it officially being started up again.

The McGinnis campaign website advertised a meet and greet at McGinnis’ Carolina Forest restaurant with U.S. Rep. Tom Rice and McGinnis. In an email exchange with Scott, Rice said he was supporting McGinnis.

However, the elephant in the room, one that McGinnis has attempted to disclaim all knowledge of is the group paying for his television ads, radio ads, most of his direct mail and possibly some of his signs. That group is the Citizens for Conservative Values (CCV), a political action committee (PAC) registered with the IRS as a non-profit 527 committee.

When I asked McGinnis about CCV and the ads, he claimed to have no knowledge of CCV or the ads and said he hadn’t even seen them. He repeatedly made the same claim to various media and other groups when asked about the ads. As Shakespeare would put it, “Methinks he doth protest too much.”

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