By Paul Gable
Several times in the past week, including a Friday October 13th conversation with this reporter, S.C. House District 56 candidate Tim McGinnis denied receiving money contributions or support for his campaign from the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.
“I have not received any money from the Chamber,” McGinnis said.
The Chamber and its cronies supporting McGinnis in the House District 56 race is only a modest story. However, when McGinnis keeps denying any knowledge of this support, it becomes a big story, especially considering his former position as news anchor for WPDE television who also hosted a weekly political news show.
Television ads paid for by the “Citizens for Conservative Values” asking the voters of House District 56 to “Vote for Tim McGinnis, a conservative we can trust” began airing on local television and radio stations Monday October 9, 2017.
In my conversation with McGinnis, I asked him what he knew about the ads. McGinnis said, “I don’t know anything about those ads, I haven’t seen them.”
I asked McGinnis if the Chamber was responsible for the ads. He again denied any knowledge of the ads and repeated that statement several more times throughout our conversation to the point the statement sounded scripted.
I explained the following indisputable facts to McGinnis:
According to the S.C. Secretary of State website, Citizens for Conservative Values is a non-profit whose registered agent is Steve Chapman at 6000 North Ocean Boulevard, Myrtle Beach.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, whose information is derived from records released by the Internal Revenue Service, Citizens for Conservative Values files as a 527 Political Action Committee. According to those filings, the major contributor, in some years the only contributor, to Citizens for Conservative Values is the Grand Strand Business Alliance.
According to the S.C. Secretary of State website, the Grand Strand Business Alliance is a non-profit whose registered agent is Steve Chapman at 6000 North Ocean Boulevard, Myrtle Beach.
The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce (MBACC) website states the MBACC has a “direct organizational relationship” with the Grand Strand Business Alliance (GSBA) and a portion of its membership dues goes to the GSBA. In addition, the Chamber acknowledges it “also contributes to the statewide PAC affiliated with this organization” (GSBA).
It can be concluded MBACC money donated to the GSBA PAC is paying for the Citizens for Conservative Values ads.
After I explained those facts to McGinnis, he said he was a candidate trying to get elected and if somebody wanted to run ads supporting him, he appreciated the support.
I find it very disturbing that a candidate running for the S.C. House would not want to know who is running ads supporting his campaign. It bothers me that any candidate, especially one with his background, would not take the time to research an organization running ads asking people to vote for him, especially in these days of the internet.
However, after our Friday conversation, McGinnis does now know the facts about those ads. It will be interesting to see how he handles the question about Chamber support during the remainder of the campaign.