Fake News Dominates Close of Myrtle Beach Election Campaign

By Paul Gable

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!

Will Folks whose FitsNews spent years decrying what he called the “Coastal Kickback Scandal” of the 2009 city elections and only three months ago published a piece “Coastal Chamber Launches Fake “Grassroots” Group” has now joined the side of the fakers with hit pieces on mayoral candidate Mark McBride through the use of his Liber-TEA LLC.

If the source of funding, for the Liber-TEA video and mailed hit pieces on McBride, could be traced back to its origins, an almost impossible task since Citizens United, I have no doubt it would find Rhodes and the campaign consulting organization he hired to run his current campaign as the brains behind these hit pieces.

The Chamber tells us its publicly funded advertising “Is Working”. Horry County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus recently met the one-millionth passenger to arrive at Myrtle Beach International Airport this year. This received banner applause.

What nobody is saying is in 2000, when expansion of the airport was first proposed by Horry County Council and its Airport Department, the first year in which we would have one million arriving passengers was projected to be 2009. We are only eight years late in reaching that goal.

And, no one is saying how many millions of dollars the Chamber has spent advertising new airlines and routes to Myrtle Beach, in both U.S. and foreign markets, and, in one case at least, guaranteeing a profit to an airline so it would begin routes to Myrtle Beach.

Who cares? Its only tax dollars, it’s not like its real money.

The TDF piece tells voters to “Make no mistake, the future of the TDF … is on the ballot Tuesday.”

If that statement is true, it’s the first time voters have had the chance to weigh-in on the TDF because the Chamber had the law written at the state level to allow no referendum on the tax if the Myrtle Beach City Council instituted it with a super-majority vote. Council members happily complied and have been supported in re-election bids ever since by those businesses saving the most from transferred advertising expense.

The incumbents and the fake grassroots organizations supporting them have no respect for the voters in Myrtle Beach. They think they can win with this fake news. After all, it has worked marvelously in every city election since the TDF was passed in 2009.

Winston Churchill once said, “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”






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