By Paul Gable
Reese Boyd is making a strong run for the open SC Senate District 34, enough that the Stephen Goldfinch campaign and its cohorts are resorting to absolute hypocrisy in these final days of the campaign.
Reese Boyd and Stephen Goldfinch are both seeking the Republican nomination for SC Senate District 34 in Tuesday’s Republican Primary voting.
If you are following politics at all in this primary season, you have seen, either in your mailbox or on Facebook, Reese Boyd being called a fiscal liberal.
These attacks are coming in mail and on broadcast media from something called the Citizens Alliance for Fiscal Responsibility, which, from everything I can determine, is run by Tom Swatzel of Swatzel Strategies LLC.
Swatzel Strategies has also received payment from the Stephen Goldfinch campaign for campaign consulting. There is an obvious direct tie between the PAC and the Goldfinch campaign.
If Citizens Alliance for Fiscal Responsibility is acting as an independent PAC, even under the Citizens United decision it must have no direct coordination with the campaign.
Why is Boyd being attacked as a fiscal liberal? Because Boyd has refused to sign Grover Norquist’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge.
I support Boyd in not signing Norquist’s bogus pledge, which has never been anything more than a gimmick for elected legislators to claim they are fiscal conservatives.
But, the hypocrisy currently being practiced by the Goldfinch campaign is much worse than just mislabeling Boyd because he wouldn’t agree to forfeit his decision making power if he is elected to the senate.
Once the attack mailers or ads hit, Rep. Alan Clemmons is blasting them all over Facebook in an attempt to get his buddy Goldfinch elected.
This is pure hypocrisy. Clemmons and Goldfinch were among the leaders in the SC House to get the enabling legislation for the one cent Tourism Development Fee (tax) extended.
Even though it’s called a fee, it is a one cent sales tax that provides the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce with over $20 million in public money to spend each year on marketing.
This is a transfer of cost from the hotels, restaurants and golf courses, who benefit from publicly funded marketing, to taxpayers who make purchases in Myrtle Beach.
To make things worse, this is the only local option sales tax (or fee if you prefer) in the entire state that does not require a referendum vote by the taxpayers affected. The legislation is crafted to allow the Myrtle Beach City Council to impose the tax by a two-thirds or more supermajority vote.
The city council chose the supermajority vote approach in 2009 to initially impose the tax and will do the same before 2019 to extend the tax.
They aren’t about to let this boondoggle be decided by the voters.
Clemmons and Goldfinch benefit by receiving campaign contributions from various local PACs who receive contributions from the Chamber and by campaign contributions from the ‘like-minded individuals’ among the Chamber membership.
Talk about crony capitalism!
And let’s not forget the trips to Israel by Clemmons and Goldfinch that are funded by their campaign chests.
Who is the real fiscal liberal here?
It’s not Boyd who doesn’t want to tie his hands by making some pledge just in case some type of natural disaster strikes the area that may require new revenue to help recovery.
I submit it’s those legislators, like Clemmons and Goldfinch, who want to legislate avenues for raising taxes without input from the voters.