Author: Paul Gable

Council Approves AvCraft Incentives

Horry County Council approved a $100,000 incentive package and reduced rental on three hangars at Myrtle Beach International Airport for AvCraft Technical Services, Inc., during its regular meeting Tuesday night.

The vote was 8-3 with council members Jody Prince, Carl Schwartzkopf and Marion Foxworth voting nay and council member James Frazier absent.

The incentive package calls for AvCraft to add 150 employees within the next five years. This is the first job development package introduced by the newest version of the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation and its CEO Brad Lofton. When Lofton was hired in April 2011, he signed a contract to produce 500 new jobs in 18 months.

Chad Prosser Announces for Congress in SC-7

Former Sanford Cabinet Member and Horry County Council Chairman Looks to Change Washington

Chad Prosser announced today that he will seek the Republican nomination for South Carolina’s new 7th Congressional District. Prosser is a proven leader, job creator and conservative reformer who is tired of what is coming out of Washington.

Prosser served as the director of the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism under Governor Mark Sanford. Serving under the most fiscally conservative governor in a generation, Prosser brought accountability and efficiency to the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.

Prosser followed Governor Sanford’s no-nonsense approach to fiscal conservatism and public accountability, reforming the agency and discarding notions in favor of sweeping changes. Prosser’s reforms saved taxpayer dollars and increased tourism, helping small businesses and creating private sector jobs.

Council Votes on AvCraft Incentives Tuesday

Horry County Council will vote on approving a $100,000 incentive package and formalizing a reduced rental agreement for AvCraft Technical Services, Inc. at its regular meeting Tuesday night.

Council reconsidered the $100,000 incentive package after initially approving it for a code named company. When AvCraft was named as the recipient in late December 2011, some council members moved to reconsider the approval based on AvCraft’s past employment history.

The new incentive package calls for AvCraft to add an additional 150 jobs to its current work force, which is approximately 57 full-time employees.

Gingrich Rebounds in South Carolina

If Newt Gingrich should go on to claim the Republican presidential nomination, he will fondly remember Myrtle Beach as the place his success began.

Coming into the Myrtle Beach presidential debate last Monday, Gingrich had suffered two significant defeats at the hands of Iowa and New Hampshire voters and learned that opponent Rich Santorum received the endorsement of a group of 170 social conservative evangelical leaders.

However, Gingrich parlayed two strong debate performances and a week’s worth of sound bites into a convincing victory from South Carolina conservatives Saturday, defeating closest rival Mitt Romney by a 40 percent to 28 percent margin. Santorum came in third at 17 percent with Ron Paul claiming 13 percent.

Gingrich Character Again Under Attack

The final debate before the First in the South Republican Presidential Primary last night provided plenty of fireworks as the four remaining candidates, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul, tried to separate themselves from the others in the minds of voters. However, it was the issue of Gingrich’s character that provided the most fireworks and leaves the most questions.

The exit of Rick Perry yesterday morning makes these candidates the final four of the contest. You could tell the tension level was higher and the candidates showed a clear willingness to mix it up on stage trying to elevate themselves in the eyes of the voters. There was an attitude that the man who scored the most verbal jabs last night was demonstrating his readiness and ability to take on Barack Obama in the fall. It was difficult to determine who landed the most verbal punches, but it was Gingrich who was on the receiving end of the heaviest blows.

Perry Out, And Then There Were Four

South Carolina has been tough on marginal Republican presidential candidates. Jon Huntsman left the race before Monday’s debate in Myrtle Beach and Rick Perry has reportedly told supporters he will leave the race today.

There are reports, unconfirmed, that there is behind the scenes maneuvering to reduce the number of social conservative candidates to one so that branch of the party can coalesce around one candidate in a stop Romney attempt.

That’s a shame because I rather liked Perry’s debate one-liners Monday and was looking forward to more from the CNN debate in Charleston tonight.

Myrtle Beach Republican Presidential Primary Debate

Watching a presidential candidate debate is a subjective experience leaving impressions that strike each viewer differently. Each question was not asked of every candidate, so responses were not comparable on every question.

Below are my impressions of the candidates, their positions on some issues that stood out and their performance as it struck me during the Fox News debate at Myrtle Beach Monday night. I’m sure you will disagree with some, maybe agree at times and hopefully found out more about the candidates along the way.

My initial impression is Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry received the most applause and gave the clearest, most direct answers. Mitt Romney spent much of the evening defending himself against various attacks, often receiving only lukewarm applause. Rick Santorum often gave too technically involved, almost convoluted answers. Ron Paul sometimes struggled to get his points across.

Keetowa Indians Take Second Look at Casino

An Indian tribe that considered building a casino in Horry County several years ago is now looking at a location in Hardeeville, S.C. for the state’s first full gambling casino.

The United Keetowa Band of Cherokee Indians is planning to build a large gambling and entertainment complex just off Interstate 280 in Jasper County near Hardeeville, according to a report by the Associated Press news service. The complex would include a 400 room hotel, gambling casino and 2,500 seat event center.

According to the report, the Hardeeville City Council approved a resolution Thursday night to move forward with the project.

Game On Santorum vs. Romney

After finishing in second place by an eyelash to Mitt Romney in the Iowa caucuses, Rick Santorum told his supporters “game on.”

The game became much more interesting yesterday when Santorum received the endorsement of 170 socially conservative Christian leaders representing various politically active organizations and financiers at a meeting in Houston.

Each candidate, with the exception of Jon Huntsman, had a representative who addressed the group. Three rounds of voting followed the speeches.

The first round saw Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry receive what was described as measurable support. Romney drew very little support.

Political Bloodsport

Having lived in Horry County for over 28 years, I fully understand that politics is a sport, often a full contact sport where truth and reality are lost in the scrimmage.

There are no requirements for truth or fact in political speech and political advertising. In fact, virtually any truth or fact that finds its way into the political discourse is by mistake not design.

We are now inundated with presidential candidates who hope to convince voters to support them in next Saturday’s Republican presidential primary. Below is a piece by College of Charleston professor Christopher Lamb who does a great job of describing what we have to look forward to over the next seven days.