Post Tagged with: "Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce"

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!

Read more ›

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.

Read more ›

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.”

Read more ›

An Open Letter to the Citizens of House District 56

October 22, 2017 5:03 AM
An Open Letter to the Citizens of House District 56

I would like to thank any media and individuals who have chosen to post this letter to allow it to be read by the citizens of House District 56.

When I first decided to run for political office, many of my friends and coworkers questioned my sanity wondering why I wanted to get into such a corrupt, dirty business.

I told them because I believed District 56 needed someone who cared about fixing the crime and road problems in the district and who wouldn’t let the needs of District 56 be ignored anymore.

I said I may not win, but I was not going to be outworked. I was determined to meet and really talk to as many citizens as possible to hear their comments and complaints.

Going door to door in a political campaign allows you to meet many people who you otherwise may never meet in everyday life. I want to say it has been a privilege to meet many fine citizens in District 56 who care about their homes, neighborhood and quality of life as much as I do.

What I didn’t anticipate, as a novice candidate, is the extent to which big money and special interests were willing to go to influence the outcome of the race. That money is effectively paying for the campaign of one of my opponents, not by contributing directly to him, rather by paying for television and radio ads and direct mail pieces encouraging people to vote for him.

Regardless of how my opponent has attempted to claim ignorance of what is going on and to distance himself from the ads, the Myrtle Beach Chamber and its associates can be tied directly to his campaign.

Read more ›

The Ongoing Saga of Television Ads for Tim McGinnis – Updated

October 19, 2017 11:35 AM
The Ongoing Saga of Television Ads for Tim McGinnis – Updated

Grand Strand Daily has published two articles regarding the television ad buy for Tim McGinnis in the S.C. House District 56 Republican Primary.

The second article was reprinted by myrtlebeachsc.com with credit to Grand Strand Daily.

As a result of these articles, Jackie Miller of Miller Direct Media, the business that makes considerable ad buys for the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and who made the ad buy for the McGinnis ads, sent an email to Brad Dean, President and CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and Billy Huggins, Station Manager at WPDE television on whose station the ads were broadcast.

According to Miller, she sent the email in response to misleading information circulating regarding the Tim McGinnis ads. The email was forwarded with an introductory comment by Brad Dean to John Bonsignor, co-host of Talking Politics. Bonsignor forwarded the email to Grand Strand Daily.

The rebuttal email with introductory comments by Bonsignor (1st para) and Dean:

“The Grand Strand Daily news article squabble relative to paid campaign ads in House Dist 56… I have received a rebuttal to Paul Gable’s article that I want to share with you… It is from Brad Dean”

“Thanks for acknowledging there are always two sides to the story.  And, as Paul Harvey would say, here’s the rest of the story (per an email from Jackie Miller, who placed the ad): Brad D”

From: Jackie Miller
Date: October 17, 2017 at 4:14:37 PM CDT
To: ‘Brad Dean’ , ‘William Huggins’
Cc: ‘Blaine Holland’
Subject: Response

Read more ›

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)

Read more ›

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.

Read more ›

Myrtle Beach City Council Hears Frustrations and Possible Solutions to Recent Violence

June 21, 2017 8:55 AM
Myrtle Beach City Council Hears Frustrations and Possible Solutions to Recent Violence

Myrtle Beach City Council hosted a raucous special meeting Tuesday with home and business owners voicing their outrage at recent shooting incidents on Ocean Boulevard and in other parts of the city.

It was a good move by city council, allowing the meeting to act as a pressure valve relieving some of the pent up frustration felt by citizens by having it voiced directly to council and city staff in a public forum.

That frustration ran from blaming city officials for ignoring the city’s problems and threatening defeat of the four incumbent council members up for reelection in November to calling for martial law to be declared in the city.

Many of the comments were rough and pointed, one citizen even asking John Rhodes if he would immediately resign as mayor. However, council took the criticism stoically because solutions are more important at this point than verbal jousting contests.

While many of the comments fell short of suggesting solutions for the violence problems in the city, several were on point.

Several citizens suggested using money from the one cent local option ‘tourism development fee’ (ad tax) to fund more police officers.

Former Mayor Mark McBride was most forceful in this line of thinking noting that the city’s police force had not expanded since he left office at the end of 2005.

To be fair, the city has installed over 800 cameras that are constantly monitored to help with public safety response and were very helpful during this past weekend’s incidents.

McBride called for 50 percent, approximately $10 million, to be redirected from the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce’s out of area advertising to funding additional police officers as well as providing raises for current officers.

Read more ›

Lessons From Atlantic Beach Bikefest

May 26, 2017 4:38 AM
Lessons From Atlantic Beach Bikefest

Atlantic Beach Bikefest time has come again and Myrtle Beach is in its usual frenzy.

Hundreds of thousands of visitors will be on the Grand Strand this Memorial Day Weekend to attend the Bikefest and related activities.

However, rather than appreciating the tourists that come to spend their hard earned dollars, the city treats this weekend like an invasion by ISIS.

Downtown Myrtle Beach looks like a third world Banana Republic for most of Memorial Day weekend with police, many in commando style gear, on every corner.

But, most of the people in town for the weekend are tourists who come to have a good time.

That’s the lesson that is escaping our supposed government leaders. The events of 2014, which gained national headlines for Myrtle Beach, were caused by a small group who weren’t here to have a good time. They were troublemakers and they caused trouble.

I saw the same thing 45 years ago when I was stationed in Scotland and used to go to soccer matches (especially ones like Rangers v. Celtic or Scotland v. England).

Many headlines the next day were about the “soccer hooligans” and the mayhem they caused. But, the overwhelming percentage of the crowd was there to support the respective teams.

And they were surprised by the “Yank” in their midst and very friendly to him.

The real lesson from Atlantic Beach Bikefest is that most of the people who come here want to have a good time and spend money. That’s what a tourist town is all about and presumably why over $31 million taxpayer dollars are spent on the advertising campaigns of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.

Read more ›

Budget Time for Local Governments

March 21, 2017 1:02 PM
Budget Time for Local Governments

This week will see several local governments, particularly Myrtle Beach and Horry County, in budget workshops as next year’s revenue and spending is considered.

If you have never seen the local budget process in action, you should consider at least watching some of the workshop meetings on local cable television or live streaming on the internet.

After all, it’s your money they are spending and services for you they are supposed to be providing.

Much of the discussion will be on the agencies’ respective general funds. Those are the funds that pay for public safety, public works, administration and so forth.

For each agency, approximately 65% of general fund expenditures are for personnel pay and benefits.

However, the respective general funds are not the only budget areas that affect local citizens.

The Horry County Solid Waste Authority, which is a component unit of Horry County Government, is asking for a $7 per ton increase on the cost of dumping municipal solid waste (household garbage) at the Highway 90 landfill.

If county council approves a rise in the SWA MSW tipping fee, every household and business in the county will be paying more for garbage disposal.

The City of Myrtle Beach parking fees, which go to the Downtown Redevelopment Corporation and are currently helping fund the taking of businesses through the use of eminent domain, are a problem for all county residents.

Read more ›