Post Tagged with: "tom rice"

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.

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Tom Rice and Private Equity Tax Increases

April 29, 2017 4:38 PM
Tom Rice and Private Equity Tax Increases

(The following is a op-ed piece sent to Grand Strand Daily. Pictured above is the writer.)

By John Bonsignor

Recently, Rep. Tom Rice caught flack for his support of certain tax increases being discussed in Washington D.C., and rightfully so.

He rebuffed those claims, stating in a McClatchy news article “that his goal was to tackle tax code changes by making the American economy competitive without increasing taxes.”

A specific example of this is his support of increasing taxes on private equity partnerships’ carried interest. Carried interest is currently taxed at a capital gains rate. Rice, along with many Democrats, want to raise it to the level of ordinary income rates. It’s currently (and appropriately) taxed at the capital gains rate due to the long-held nature of the investment and the sweat equity poured into a business, all principles that are the cornerstone of our American economy.

Rice is a real estate investor and tax accountant. While his tax increase wouldn’t impact his investments, it would hurt private equity investors and their ability to reinvest into our economy.

Is Rice looking out for the economy? Or himself?

It appears Rice is in love with tax increases when he should be against them.

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Final AvCraft Chapter?

June 16, 2016 6:16 AM
Final AvCraft Chapter?

The Horry County Transportation Committee voted earlier this week to write off $113,687 in unpaid rent from AvCraft Technical Services that the county will never collect anyway.

AvCraft filed for bankruptcy in March 2015 after an 11 year history of failing to make good on its promises to Horry County.

This should be the final chapter in the saga of local and state politicians, especially Horry County Council, looking at AvCraft through rose colored glasses in the name of economic development.

Since arriving to much hoopla in 2004, AvCraft was consistent in only two areas – it consistently failed to meet job goal promises and it consistently requested and received rent reductions on the three hangars at Myrtle Beach International it rented from the Horry County Department of Airports.

After eight years of failing to meet goals, Horry County Council tried one last time in January 2012 to help AvCraft save itself with the recommendation of the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation.

One of the main items in that agreement was a $1.25 million reduction in rent on the county hangars over a five year period. This came after three earlier rent reductions, agreed to by the county, failed to make AvCraft profitable.

The following four comments made after the 2012 incentive package was approved demonstrate how far from reality politicians and their economic development arms exist from reality:

“I am thankful for the company’s commitment to Horry County and proud of our economic development team for this terrific announcement.” – Rep. Tom Rice.

“It’s another great day in South Carolina, and we are going to celebrate AvCraft’s decision to expand and create 150 new jobs in Horry County.” – Gov. Nikki Haley.

“AvCraft is a tremendous asset to our community, and this project is just the beginning for aviation-related businesses locating and expanding in the Myrtle Beach region.” – Doug Wendel, MBREDC board chairman at the time.

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Potential Buyer Looking at PTR Industries

April 28, 2016 7:16 AM
Potential Buyer Looking at PTR Industries

(Above Gov. Nikki Haley with a special edition assault rifle presented to her by PTR Industries}

A firm from New York state is reportedly looking at the possibility of buying PTR Industries, a deal that could save the company’s operations at Horry County’s Cool Springs Business Park.

PTR Industries was recruited to relocate from Connecticut to Horry County in 2013 by the Myrtle Beach Regional Development Corporation. This was touted as a major coup by MBREDC as Horry County was a successful bidder over several other states in landing PTR Industries.

A package that included an approximately $1 million upgrade of a county spec building at Cool Springs Business Park and incentive based job creation credits was put together by MBREDC and the SC Department of Commerce for PTR Industries.

The company brought approximately 21 workers with it from Connecticut and promised to create an additional 145 jobs in Horry County within three years.

PTR Industries commenced operations in Horry County in January 2014 and hired approximately 28 additional employees in the first months of its operations.

However, it quickly fell behind in its rent payments to Horry County for the Cool Springs Business Park building that is its headquarters and manufacturing location. One week after a Grand Opening celebration, in July 2014, that included appearances by Gov. Nikki Haley and local Congressman Tom Rice, PTR Industries laid off some workers and instituted a 10% across the board pay cut to those remaining.

Since then, PTR Industries has struggled. According to several sources, Horry County Council restructured its rent deal with PTR Industries last fall in order to help the company become current.

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7th Congressional District GOP Convention Report

April 11, 2016 4:40 AM
7th Congressional District GOP Convention Report

The 7th Congressional District GOP Convention held in Florence on Saturday April 9, 2016, to select a new 7th C D Chairman, Vice Chairman and Secretary as well as Republican National delegates (6) to the National Convention in Cleveland on July 18-21 2016 at the “Q” Arena, was hectic.

There is no question Horry County who had 39 voting delegates with 3 alternates (42 total) who attended, came home with only 2 elected National delegates–Alan Clemmons delegate and Gerri McDaniel alternate.

Meanwhile Florence County, who only assembled 23 attending delegates, received the lion share of National delegates and an alternate. There’s no question that the members of the delegation from Florence out maneuvered Horry County as they pooled their votes, having only 6 people running and had 3 delegates making it to the top.

Horry County had 19 delegates running, which cut into its vote count. Consequently no one received more than 20 votes. Hard ball won the day. The other National delegate went to Jerry Rovner of Georgetown who is the present chairman of the 7th CD. With regards to Clemmons and McDaniel they had the good fortune of getting some votes from other delegates.

Some of Horry’s convention attendees are blaming Chairman Robert Rabon for the blow out. To be fair it is NOT Rabon’s fault, and anyone suggesting or saying it is just doesn’t know the facts. Prior to the meeting Chairman Rabon urged the Party members who were going to go to Florence, to only select 6 delegates and as such with 39 voters; the 6 that were chosen would have won handily.

Rabon tried to caution the delegation about this, but it landed on deaf ears. Hopefully, Horry County will learn from this experience and be better organized in the future; no one enjoys losing especially when they are holding all the aces.

At the opening of the meeting at 10:15 AM the chairman of the 7th C D Jerry Rovner gave a extra-ordinary powerful message, one of which was right on point, the essence of which was:

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Bubba Owens Camp Requests Investigations

November 15, 2015 7:20 AM
SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

The Bubba Owens campaign team is requesting investigations into the attempted bribes and illegal robocalls that have plagued the Horry District 3 special election.

After receiving opinions from two respected attorneys of good standing with experience in the workings of both state and federal election law in particular, the Owens camp is in the process of turning over to authorities all information it has with respect to the Bob Kelly campaign’s attempt to get Owens to drop out of the primary runoff.

According to the Owens camp, this information will include the key November 6, 2015 voicemail that enunciates the bribe along with other supporting voicemails, emails and other documents.

After reviewing the November 6th voicemail sent by Kelly campaign consultant Jim Wiles to Owens campaign consultant Donald Smith, and other evidence, both attorneys came to the same opinion. They stated there is no other way to interpret the November 6th voicemail than that it was a clear attempt to induce Owens to drop out of the race in exchange for receipt of something of value.

A portion of that voicemail states, “… give Kelly a shopping list of what they (Owens and his consultants) want for downtown Myrtle Beach in exchange for Bubba dropping out…”

Both said to say there must be an exchange of money to constitute a bribe, as a college professor opined in a local media, is to totally misunderstand the law. The laundry list for Bob Kelly to commit to represents value in their opinion.

Kelly told several local media outlets that he knew nothing of the Wiles voicemail until it was reported in the media. However, other voicemails and emails included in the evidence appear to contradict that position.

Kelly and his campaign consultant are complaining of recent robocalls, made by a group calling itself “Friends of Bob Kelly”, as being negative hits on him.

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Extra Courts Planned for Atlantic Beach Bikefest

May 10, 2015 6:00 AM
Extra Courts Planned for Atlantic Beach Bikefest

Increased numbers of bond hearings are being planned for as the Atlantic Beach Bikefest over Memorial Day weekend draws near.

Part of planning for the weekend includes special bond hearings beginning at 6 a.m. Friday morning and convening every six hours thereafter through Sunday night.

The only conclusion that can be drawn from these preparations is that many more arrests are expected this year.

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A Lesson from the AvCraft Experience

March 1, 2015 8:00 AM
A Lesson from the AvCraft Experience

The final curtain is coming down on AvCraft Technical Services in a couple of weeks leaving behind an important political lesson that will soon be forgotten.

That lesson? Never, never, never believe a politician’s (or their associates’) claims about economic development and/or job creation.

AvCraft was first introduced to Horry County in 2003 by, then, Horry County Council candidate Joe DeFeo.

AvCraft had just forfeited economic development incentive payments for failing to reach job creation promises at its location in Tyler, Texas and was looking for fresh government dollars. DeFeo was looking for an issue that could help him win election to Horry County Council District Three.

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A Christmas Gift for AvCraft?

December 10, 2014 6:00 AM
A Christmas Gift for AvCraft?

It’s two weeks til Christmas and Horry County Council is in the gift giving mood to AvCraft again.

This is an act that plays in December almost as regularly as “A Christmas Story.”

And every time it plays it provides another lesson about everything that is wrong with the concept of giving incentives to companies in the name of economic development.

What it really boils down to is corporate welfare.

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Voters Push Brent Schulz Write-in Vote

October 30, 2014 6:00 AM
Voters Push Brent Schulz Write-in Vote

Horry County Council District Two member Brent Schulz will have at least one more day at the polls in next week’s general election thanks to a write-in campaign organized by supporters in his district.

Schulz, a two-term incumbent, narrowly lost the Republican nomination for the District Two council seat in the June 2014 primary to Myrtle Beach businessman Bill Howard. Howard, who has lost twice in Myrtle Beach mayoralty contests and once for Myrtle Beach city council, won by a total of 19 votes.

The result stunned Schulz’ supporters, many of whom thought he was a shoe-in for a third term and were admittedly lax about voting in the primary.

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