Politics

Adam Emrick Sign Czar

An apparently out of control city administrator in Conway may be starting a war over political signs that he cannot win.
According to a story in the Horry Independent last week, Conway city employees collected “more than 400 political signs” that were allegedly placed in locations they are not allowed.
Emrick reportedly told Conway City Council members last week he is tired of the great expense to the city of picking up political signs placed in the wrong place. What Emrick is apparently talking about here is signs placed in public rights of way.
The alleged illegally placed signs have been removed and placed in a city warehouse rather than being destroyed, according to the story.
However, Emrick told city council members he is ready to impose fines of up to $1,100 per sign, supposedly allowed by city ordinance, when someone comes to pick up the signs from the warehouse, according to the story.
Emrick also has a plan to bill the candidates whose signs have been picked up, according to the story.
As a point of reference, Horry County Government employees also pick up political signs that are placed in public rights of way. Those signs are disposed of in a county dumpster and candidates are free to remove their signs from the dumpster if they choose.
What Emrick proposed to city council is government overreach at an extreme level. One could call it a violation of the 14th Amendment protections of the U.S. Constitution with respect to due process.

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Why Won’t Rice and Fry Agree to a Second Candidate Debate?

Word has reached GSD of an attempt by the Myrtle Beach Republican Women’s Club to organize a debate among all seven candidates for the SC 7th Congressional District Republican nomination.
According to information received by GSD from those trying to arrange the event, neither Tom Rice nor Russell Fry want any part of another debate (one was held in Florence two weeks ago). Rice, reportedly, claimed a scheduling conflict with the proposed May 27th date for the event, but declined to specify what that conflict was.
Fry, reportedly, said he would debate, but only if Rice was included.
It makes one wonder if the campaigns of Rice and Fry are colluding behind the scenes to ensure a second debate does not take place. One claims a scheduling conflict while the other sets a condition he will not show up without the other.
Former President Donald Trump, of course, wants to see incumbent Rep. Tom Rice defeated for the 7th Congressional District Republican nomination because of Rice’s January 13, 2021, vote to impeach the former president.
Trump endorsed state representative Russell Fry, in the SC 7th Congressional District race, apparently without vetting any of the other candidates in the race, merely on the recommendations of Gov. Henry McMaster and SCGOP Chairman Drew McKissick.
However, in picking Fry, Trump endorsed a politician just as mired in “The Swamp” of Horry County politics as Rice on the recommendation of two other “swamp” politicians, McMaster and McKissick.

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Dukes Campaign About Misdirection Not Ideas

Horry County Council candidate Jenna Dukes appears to be running a misdirection campaign in her challenge to County Council District One incumbent Harold Worley.
Dukes’ picture is on everything her campaign does – billboards, yard signs and mailers.
It appears the campaign strategy of Dukes and her consultant Walter Whetsell is to concentrate on the picture and confuse the message.
A Dukes mailer came out last week. Its message, in a word, is unbelievable.
The mailer promises as a member of county council Dukes will:
Coordinate with state health officials, hospitals and healthcare providers to increase services and recruit new providers.
Fight for additional funding to raise teacher salaries
And
Collaborate with the school board to provide safe and effective learning environments and plan for growth to avoid overcrowding.
All that sounds wonderful and is designed to attract the votes of what I call casual voters at the ballot box.
However, none of the above has anything to do with the issues considered by county council and all of those could be considered an attempt at extreme government overreach by Dukes if she actually carried out those initiatives in the event she is elected.

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Rice, Fry and Myrtle Beach Chamber Lose Big in HCGOP Straw Poll

(Drain the Swamp Thumbs Up from Donald Trump)
The members of the HCGOP are following Donald Trump’s ‘Drain the Swamp’ mantra even when Trump makes the mistake of endorsing a Swamp candidate as he did with his endorsement of Russell Fry in the 7th Congressional District race.
Friday the Thirteenth has been known as an unlucky day since Friday October 13, 1307, when King Philip of France ordered the arrest of all Knights Templar in France as a threat to his throne. The arrests and subsequent killing of the Knights Templar effectively ended the order’s political and financial influence throughout Europe.
A similar conclusion about the influence of the Myrtle Beach Chamber cabal and its candidates can be drawn from the results of the Friday May 13, 2022 Horry County Republican Party straw poll.
While straw polls are not scientific polling, they are a clear reflection of the mood of the nearly 300 local political activists who attended the event. The straw poll results established that, just as the political influence in local elections of Burroughs and Chapin 20 years ago, the Chamber cabal’s influence in local elections is clearly on a steep decline.
Incumbent Gov. Henry McMaster, the Chamber’s last, best hope of getting state funding for Interstate 73, received 47% of the votes cast while his opponent Harrison Musselwhite took 53%.
The Chamber’s two candidates for the SC 7th Congressional District had dismal showings with Tom Rice getting a miniscule 4% of the vote and Russell Fry only managing 12%. Both trailed co-leaders Ken Richardson and Garrett Barton who tied with 36% each.
Incumbent Rice was not expected to poll many votes since he is considered a traitor by the HCGOP since his vote to impeach former President Donald Trump.
Fry’s is a story of a campaign that can’t gain any traction. Despite the event attendees being overwhelmingly supportive of Trump, (I would estimate Trump would have received nearly 100% of the night’s votes if he were on the ballot), Fry, who Trump has endorsed in this race, could only manage 12%. This is an indication that Trump supporters do not automatically vote for candidates Trump endorses, especially in the case of Fry who they know to be a RINO in the Chamber Swamp.

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HCGOP Midterm Straw Poll Event at Barefoot Resort

The Horry County Republican Party will hold its midterm Straw Poll event Friday May 13, 2022 at the Conference Center at Barefoot Resort from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m.
Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn (USA-Ret.) will be the featured speaker. Other VIPs from the Clay Clark ReAwaken America Tour, which will be in Myrtle Beach over the weekend, are also expected to make an appearance.
Many candidates who will be on the upcoming June 14th Republican Primary ballot will be in attendance and straw poll balloting for these candidates will be the feature of the night.
However, even if you are new to the area and know nothing about local politics, this is an event to attend. It is retail politics at its best where you can mingle with the candidates and speak to them one on one throughout the evening rather than being subjected to a bunch of canned speeches that say nothing.
“This will be a great opportunity to meet the local candidates,” said Chad Caton, the host of the national podcast “I’m Fired Up”, a member of the HCGOP and one of the organizers of the event. “We will have the room set up for mingling and we have gone all out with the food for everyone’s enjoyment.”
“We are actually trying to do events now that will get more people involved in local politics,” Caton said.
Those of you who remember political events at the Conway Armory in the 1980’s and 1990’s will recall the festive air that those events presented. I believe this year’s straw poll will bring back that atmosphere for the first time in several decades.

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Dukes Campaign Tests the Bounds of Voter Credulity

The Jenna Dukes campaign against incumbent council member Harold Worley for the Republican nomination for Horry County Council District 1 is stretching the bounds of the credulity of voters beyond the breaking point.
According to the S. C. Ethics Commission, the only thing which has to be true on campaign literature is who paid for it. Everything else can be false.
In the case of Dukes’ mailers, everything else is false in the apparent hope that enough voters will believe the falsehoods.
It has been discussed by various media outlets, and can easily be confirmed by studying Dukes’ Campaign Disclosure filings with the Ethics Commission, that her campaign is being funded by the special interest development and tourist cabal. (see attached picture below)
In a recent mailer, Dukes promises to address strains on public resources, manage growth, a citizen task force to address infrastructure and fight to preserve wetlands, rivers and waterways.
Those are exactly the principles that Worley has fought for over the past 20 years he has served on council and the same ones that has Dukes’ backers determined to replace Worley on the council.

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Primary Election Strategy for Obtaining I-73 Funding

The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce propaganda blitz for I-73 funding failed to secure any money for the project in next fiscal year’s state budget.
It is now obvious to all but the Chamber and its cabal cronies that it’s easier to pass a camel through the eye of a needle than to get funding for I-73.
With all the excess money floating around in Columbia this year from federal Covid relief funds and excess state revenue, this was the year for the Chamber to finally secure some funding to construct at least a portion of I-73.
The thought around the Chamber was, if it couldn’t get I-73 funding in the budget this year, it was never going to get it. The Chamber didn’t get it.
The reality, something the Chamber avoids like the plague, is it’s difficult to convince legislators that a new, 66-mile spur road from I-95 to Briarcliffe is a priority over all the existing roads and bridges in the state that have been ignored for decades.
Over the last six months, the Chamber did its best to put a positive spin the I-73 story.
In late October, the Chamber hosted a press conference featuring Gov. Henry McMaster, Congressman Tom Rice and Rep. Russell Fry where it was predicted the General Assembly would dedicate $300 million to construction of I-73.
The Chamber sent an email chastising Horry County Council for not voting to immediately provide funds for I-73 construction.
The Chamber put on its annual legislative reception extravaganza in Columbia to lobby for funding for I-73.
And none of that worked. The General Assembly did not earmark any funds for I-73 construction.

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Another Begging Plea from Fry Campaign

Yesterday the Russell Fry campaign sent out another urgent plea for money. This time it was the “Lawn Sign Resupply Fund” that needs a boost, according to a Fry email.
Honestly, this constant begging for money from a candidate for Congress is getting ridiculous.
“I’m asking for you to pitch in a few dollars to help us replenish our supply of lawn signs before we run out so we can reach the voters we need to achieve victory over Tom Rice.”
The above is a direct quote from Fry’s latest begging email request. The utter contempt that the Fry has for any supporters he may have is disgusting.
And Fry is forgetting, before he beats Rice he has to beat Ken Richardson who is second in money raising and first in speaking events with voters. Fry has less money, less of an organized campaign and less of a ground game than either Richardson or Rice. Is he just trying to keep the truth from his voters while he begs for more money?
If Fry somehow manages to win the election, a result that stands extremely little chance of becoming reality, will he send out an email begging for gas money to get to Washington? And will there be monthly emails begging for rent money to live in the D. C. area?
Based on the history of his campaign to date, I would expect such emails.
Fry is not interested in the voters who he is asking to give him money and to vote for him. Fry is only interested in himself.
One of the constant comments about the few campaign appearances Fry has made throughout the district is “he does not really interact with the people.”
That’s because Fry is not interested in the voters, other than to beg for money from them.

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Fry and Rice Preach Conservativism to Voters but Don’t Practice It

Russell Fry has coined the phrase ‘common sense conservative’ as his campaign moniker, but his performance does not seem to match the utterance.
Twenty years ago, politicians could get away with that type of nonsense, calling themselves conservative while voting very differently, because their voting records were not readily accessible to the general public.
In his most recent campaign video, Fry said, “It’s important to keep taxes low…Keeping government small and lean and keeping your taxes low benefits the economy.”
No conservative would argue with those statements. However, saying it and practicing it are two very different things and the devil is in the details for Fry.
The American Conservative Union rates Fry’s overall conservative voting record in the South Carolina House of Representatives on all issues from 2015 -2020 at 57.41%.
More importantly, Fry’s voting record on “Taxes, Budget and Spending” is listed among his weakest issues (those with the lowest conservative voting record), according to the American Conservative Union.
Just a few years ago, Fry voted in favor of the largest gasoline tax increase in state history and followed that vote up with voting to override Gov. Henry McMaster’s veto of the gasoline tax increase legislation. The gasoline tax is among those taxes that hit average working families the hardest.
Fry has been a strong supporter of the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce advocacy of having local governments in Horry County help fund construction of the Interstate 73 project.

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Ken Richardson is the Only Candidate Who Can Beat Rice

Seven weeks remain until the Republican Primary to nominate a candidate for the SC 7th Congressional District.
At this point, the race basically breaks down to a contest between incumbent Tom Rice, Horry County School Board Chairman Ken Richardson and state Rep. Russell Fry, the three top fundraisers in that order.
Rice has been targeted for defeat by former President Donald Trump because of Rice’s January 13, 2021 vote to impeach Trump over his involvement in the January 6, 2021 events at the U. S. Capitol. Rice recently was endorsed by former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, although how that helps in a South Carolina election is beyond my comprehension.
Horry County School Board Chairman Ken Richardson is the only candidate in the race routinely speaking to groups of voters multiple times each week. Richardson is seeking the only endorsement that counts, that of the 7th District voters on June 14th.
Richardson has spent the last 14 months, since he announced for the race, meeting voters in a nearly continuous series of meetings throughout the 7th District.
Trump, in another of his recent virtually unexplainable endorsements, chose to back Fry at the behest of Gov. Henry McMaster and SCGOP Chairman Drew McKissick. Fry is basically an unknown outside of his small S. C. House district. But, Fry is a solid member of the RINO Republican establishment in the state. The Trump endorsement has failed to raise Fry in the polls or give any type of significant help in fundraising.
More to the point, Fry has been called Rice 2.0 by many Republican voters in the 7th District. Both are uninspiring speakers who rely on canned talking points, which is why voters have seen more television ads from the two rather than much actual face to face time. Both are tied to the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce and the insistence on using local tax dollars to help fund the Interstate 73 project because they can’t get any from the federal or state governments.
Yet, with all the federal and state money thrown around during the Covid epidemic, neither Rice nor Fry was able to get more than a few million for the over $2 billion I-73 project.

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