By Paul Gable
There is a distinct choice between the two candidates for the Republican nomination for House District 61, the new S.C. House district in Horry County.
Carla Schuessler is currently office manager of a full-service law firm. She is a former chairman of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
John Cassidy is a small business owner in Conway with a successful printing business over a number of years.
One significant difference between the two candidates that stands out from their campaign disclosure reports is where they spend their campaign money.
Schuessler sent out a mailer recently promoting her qualifications for office.
While claiming to be an advocate and leader for the local area, Schuessler’s mailer points out how Horry County continues to be a donor county to the state government. One sentence is particularly striking in its content:
“We need a leader and an advocate who will make sure that more of our tax dollars are spent at home and invested in our communities.”
Studying Schuessler’s pre-election campaign expenditures shows a total of $29,238 spent in round numbers. Of this total, a whopping 85% has been spent with out of area vendors.
Of Cassidy’s $26,529 spent on his campaign, a total of 82% has been spent with local vendors.
That is a stark contrast.
Which candidate actually invests in the local community and which candidate talks about it but doesn’t do it?
The answer is obvious from the expenditure reports.
The simple question for voters is do you vote for Cassidy who demonstrates by his actions he supports and works to improve the local business community?
Or, do you vote for Schuessler who only talks about it?
Schuessler is not the only one. Russell Fry and Tom Rice are using out of area vendors for the bulk of their campaign expenditures.
It is estimated that Fry and Rice will each spend at least one-half million dollars on television advertising bashing each other before next Tuesday’s voting.
There is no special skill needed to place an order for television ads, which draws a 15% commission from the television station. That alone means $150,000 (if $1 million is spent total) is going to out of area vendors when the job could easily be accomplished locally with the commission dollars helping local business.
Schuessler’s is the most disturbing case, however. With her Chamber connections, she is the candidate preferred by the cabal.
Additionally, Chambers of Commerce are supposed to help local businesses, especially small ones.
Voters have become used to politicians breaking their campaign promises after being elected. But Schuessler is starting early by breaking a campaign promise before election day.