Post Tagged with: "Heather Ammons Crawford"

County Council Votes Hospitality Tax Funds for Public Safety and I-73

July 27, 2018 4:10 AM
County Council Votes Hospitality Tax Funds for Public Safety and I-73

Last Tuesday’s special meeting of Horry County Council provided some interesting insights into ongoing deliberations about the future use of hospitality tax revenue.

Technically called a hospitality fee by Horry County Government, the two and one-half percent tax is collected on all tourist accommodations, prepared foods and attraction tickets sold throughout the county. The revenue is split with one cent per dollar going to the jurisdiction (municipality or unincorporated county) in which it is collected.

The remaining one and one-half cent per dollar goes to the county to pay off Ride I bonds. Those bonds are expected to be paid off in the first half of calendar year 2019.

A sunset provision was placed on the one and one-half cent per dollar tax, when legislation implementing the tax in Horry County was passed, providing that portion of the tax would end when the bonds were paid off.

County council voted in Spring 2017 to remove the sunset provision and extend the tax indefinitely. The one and one-half cent per dollar tax is expected to generate $41 million revenue in calendar year 2019.

When the sunset provision was removed by a three reading ordinance of county council last spring, council chairman Mark Lazarus stated he would like to use the revenue to fund construction of Interstate 73. The projected revenue would have allowed the county to bond approximately $500 million for a 20-year period to help fund the I-73 project. It is expected completion of the I-73 portion from I-95 near Dillon to U.S. 17 in Myrtle Beach will cost approximately $1.2 billion.

This spring, Johnny Gardner challenged Lazarus for the Republican nomination for council chairman on the November 2018 general election ballot. During the primary campaign, Gardner focused on the public safety and infrastructure needs of the county, proposing using a portion of hospitality tax revenue to help meet those needs. Gardner won the nomination in June 2018 primary voting.

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Richardson Rolls To GOP Nomination

July 18, 2018 7:16 AM
Richardson Rolls To GOP Nomination

Ken Richardson was the heavy favorite of voters Tuesday as he captured 71 percent of the vote in the Republican primary special election for Horry County School Board Chairman.

Incumbent school board member Janice Morreale gathered 20 percent of the vote to finish a distant second with former Patricia Milley completing the field at 9 percent.

Richardson will face political newcomer Democrat Heather Johnson in the November general election.

Richardson’s campaign centered on safety in the schools, transparency of board decisions and strict oversight of the school district budget.

The Richardson victory continues a recent trend of incumbents with serious opposition in the primaries falling by the wayside.

Last month challenger Johnny Gardner bested incumbent Mark Lazarus for the Republican nomination for Horry County Council Chairman and William Bailey defeated incumbent Greg Duckworth for the GOP nomination for  SC House District 104. The Richardson victory completed the Trifecta Tuesday night.

What is particularly interesting is all three incumbents had significant help from other incumbents during the primary campaigns.

Lazarus had the endorsement of at least 10 of his 11 fellow county council members as well as endorsements from the coastal mayors and members of the county legislative delegation. State legislators Heather Ammons Crawford and Russell Fry ran the Lazarus campaign.

Duckworth had the active support of fellow legislators Alan Clemmons, Greg Hembree, Fry and Ammons Crawford, as well as North Myrtle Beach Mayor Marilyn Hatley, contacting voters to push Duckworth reelection.

Morreale, the current school board member for District 5, had a group of her fellow school board incumbents actively contacting voters to push her candidacy.

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Heroes or Thugs – You Decide

June 10, 2018 7:37 AM
Heroes or Thugs – You Decide

The reactions surrounding Mark Lazarus walking out of the Burgess Community Forum Thursday night rather than face tough questions from the audience highlight the completely different approaches to governing of the two candidates for the Horry County Council chairman Republican nomination.

Lazarus and Rep. Heather Ammons Crawford, a Lazarus campaign consultant, immediately attempted to label as “union thugs” those who put Lazarus on the spot with questions and jeered his walking out. Ammons Crawford even speculated they weren’t from Horry County, which just shows how little they are in touch with the constituents they presume to represent.

Let me tell you a little about the two “union thugs” who asked difficult questions that seemed to offend Lazarus and that he used as an excuse to not “stand here and be abused by these guys”:

One is Chad Caton, a former Horry County fire fighter/EMT who is now on disability from injuries suffered on the job. Caton is married and a resident of Horry County. He was a volunteer fire fighter for Horry County Fire Rescue for five years and a full time fire fighter for HCFR for three years before suffering injuries. Caton is not a member of the International Association of Fire Fighters local fraternal organization.

The other is Casey Canterbury, a veteran Horry County Police Department officer who is a native of Horry County and a graduate of Socastee High School. He has served approximately nine years as a police officer in Horry County, five of those years with HCPD. He is the President of the local Fraternal Order of Police fraternal organization.

Neither the IAFF nor the FOP are collective bargaining union organizations in Horry County or the State of South Carolina. Lazarus and Ammons Crawford know this. However, they apparently believe use of the term “union thug” will discredit the men in the eyes of the public and make the elected officials objects of sympathy.

In 2014, when he last ran for reelection as county council chairman, Lazarus sought and received the endorsements of both the IAFF and FOP.

This year, Lazarus again sought those endorsements but they went instead to his opponent Johnny Gardner. One presumes the act of not endorsing Lazarus this time around changes rank and file Horry County police officers and fire fighters from “nice guys” to “union thugs.”

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Changing the Guard in Horry County Republican Politics

March 28, 2016 5:04 AM
Changing the Guard in Horry County Republican Politics

We are seeing a changing of the guard in Republican politics in Horry County. The last election cycle brought some new faces to the fore as some of our older incumbents chose to retire.

That trend is continuing in 2016.

I asked my good friend and former television partner John Bonsignor to help me produce eight thumbnail sketches of some up and coming office holders and candidates in the Republican Party.

The Republican party is beginning to welcome with open arms, into the political arena, young, talented, and desirable new faces to replace their old guard. As many of the elected old timers, having been in office for many years, feel it’s time to move on and give way to the new blood of talented candidates coming up.

Jeff Johnson – completing his first term as representative for SC House District 58, Johnson has consistently supported small government, conservative issues. He is a strong believer in family values and believes the state has an obligation to maintain its existing infrastructure that is so vital to small business.

Heather Ammons Crawford – finishing her second full term as representative for SC House District 68, fiscal responsibility, pro life and second amendment issues are at the top of her goals. Ammons Crawford is also South Carolina National Committeewoman for the Young Republican National Federation engaging young people across the country.

Russell Fry – our newest representative to the SC House, he has served SC House District 106 since winning a special election to fill an unexpired term last fall. Fry’s goals are working for a “prosperous South Carolina for our kids, ensuring they got a good education and a strong foundation.”

Tyler Servant – representing Horry County Council District 5 since January 2015, Servant seeks to bring new and innovative thinking to Horry County Council including waste cutting plans. He looks hard at road improvements needed in District 5 and has been successful in acquiring a federal grant for beach renourishment on the South Strand.

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Cam Crawford Wins County Council Primary

June 30, 2015 9:00 PM
Cam Crawford Wins County Council Primary

Cam Crawford won the Republican primary special election for the Horry County Council District 6 nomination.

Crawford gathered 547 votes (53%) to 482 votes (47%) for opponent Kirk Hanna. The totals are uncertified at this point. They will be certified by the Horry County Election Commission Thursday July 2, 2015 at 10 a.m.

Hanna topped Crawford by 31 votes in the first round of the primary two weeks ago, but Crawford reversed that result to win by 65 votes in the election that counted.

Still to come is the special general election on August 4, 2015 where Crawford will be the only name on the ballot as there is no Democratic nominee. However, a write-in challenge to Crawford is always possible.

However, a successful write-in campaign is extremely unlikely, which means Cam Crawford should be the next Horry County Council member from District 6 after the August election formalities.

The election heated up in the last few days as revelations that Peter Bishop, a one-time employee of Hanna’s construction company Hanco of SC, was arrested on June 11, 2015 for submitting nine fabricated and forged soil compaction reports to Horry County Code Enforcement while working at Hanco.

Over the last 36 hours of the campaign, a mail piece intended to be negative to Cam Crawford, surfaced in some District 6 mailboxes.

Both campaigns denied any knowledge of the large postcard size mailer. However, as the alleged sender, the LGBT Association of Horry County, does not exist, those claims, for one camp, appear to be false.

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Towering Political Egos

June 14, 2015 5:10 AM
Towering Political Egos

Towering political egos are the bane of sensible political discussion and of the ability of a politician to take a reflective look at him or herself.

It doesn’t take long for the average politician to believe that anyone criticizing them is wrong by definition and that any criticism of them is a mean-spirited personal attack.

Too often this attitude is the result of an inner insecurity that is masked by a false confidence and arrogance.

No, this isn’t meant to be a column on the psychology of politicians. The above is merely an expression of my conclusions over many years of observing the political scene, criticizing many statements, decisions and votes and watching the reactions of those politicians involved.

Word has reached me that I bruised a few egos again this week.

Evidently I hurt some feelings when I called Cam Crawford the stealth candidate for dodging candidate forums in the current Horry County Council District 6 Republican special primary campaign.

I have even been told Crawford’s wife, Rep. Heather Ammons Crawford, was making statements about being mad not only at me, but also at political consultant Donald Smith.

Mad at me for writing that Cam should not be a political candidate if he was unwilling to answer questions from the public and engage voters and the other candidates and mad at Smith for not stopping me from writing those statements.

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Consider the Source

February 17, 2013 7:00 AM
Consider the Source

I write to you today regarding a situation that I believe must be brought to your attention and for you to consider the source. Last week I received an interesting survey that was delivered to my State House office. This “survey” entitled “GREENVILLE TEA PARTY VETO SCORECARD 2012” was sent to every House and Senate member. While it looks real fancy with its red and green marks to indicate how our Representatives “voted,” there is at least one huge flaw…They included me in the survey – displaying 74 votes that I supposedly made. As many of you remember, I was elected to the SC House of Representatives on July 24th of last year, which was after the SC House took their votes on the Governor’s vetoes. I did not make one single vote during last year’s legislative session since I was elected after the session had adjourned.

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Depressed Voter Turnout is Primary Story

June 13, 2012 5:59 AM
Depressed Voter Turnout is Primary Story

South Carolina held elections Tuesday and almost nobody bothered to show up. Voter turnout, or lack of it, was the story of Tuesday’s primary elections. Less than 10 percent (9.88%) of registered voters statewide bothered to come to the polls.

Low turnout was expected as continuing stories of candidates being struck from the ballot over the last two months dominated the news, but, under 10 percent is horrible. The old Communist Bloc in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union had more voter excitement in the past than this election generated.

Even Horry County with the new 7th Congressional District, four contested House races and one contested Senate race to vote for barely broke through the 10 percent voter turnout threshold.

In the new 7th Congressional District, Gloria Bromell Tinubu may have avoided a runoff and won the Democratic nomination outright after nearly 8,000 votes for Ted Vick were tossed out of the ballot count. Vick dropped out of the race two weeks ago when he was arrested for DUI and weapons possession in Columbia.

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Florence Blinks, More Candidates Eliminated

June 7, 2012 9:02 AM
Florence Blinks, More Candidates Eliminated

New developments in the election filing controversy that won’t go away saw more candidates eliminated from Tuesday’s upcoming primary ballots and a potential for more candidate challenges after the voting.

The Florence Republican Party requested a clarification from the S.C. Supreme Court yesterday on whether candidates who were incumbents in one office, but running for a different office in this election cycle, were to be treated as new candidates with respect to filing a Statement of Economic Interests at the same time and with the same person that they filed their Statement of Intention of Candidacy.

The Supreme Court refused to provide a clarification. Some took this to mean that the Court felt it had already answered the question with its May 2, 2012 and June 5, 2012 rulings.

This led an already gun shy Florence party to make the decision that such candidates were to be treated as new candidates and were subject to state code Section 8-13-1356(B).

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