Grand Strand Daily would like to thank Brad Dean, President of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and Jackie Miller, owner of Miller Direct Media for providing the following emails to answer questions listed in the story below:
|to:||Paul Gable <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
|date:||Thu, Oct 19, 2017 at 2:32 PM|
|subject:||RE: response requested|
Thank you for the opportunity to answer your questions. You are correct that Jackie Miller is a contractor working for the MBACC, and she is correct that the Chamber is not purchasing (and has not purchased) any advertisements for the SC House District 56 race. Any local advertisements that Miller Direct purchases are paid for using funding from the private sector, not public funds. As to the other questions about Miller Direct and WPDE, I cannot answer those as I was not involved in that process. Thanks for the opportunity.
|to:||Paul Gable <email@example.com>,
|date:||Thu, Oct 19, 2017 at 3:05 PM|
|subject:||RE: response requested|
CCV is a new client “to me.” My husband, founder of Miller Direct Media, passed away in September 2015. Evidently he placed business for CCV previously. The point I was trying to make is that my WPDE media rep had only provided ME with schedules/RFPs that applied to MBACC. Hence she used the same form and simply didn’t delete the line at the top of the schedule. Unfortunately I didn’t’ catch the mistake until after it was sent back for approval. As for the lump sum of $30k plus, my bookkeeper pays each invoice via an online portal. I can only assume that the total was for several invoices. I will have to look at my statement to see but cannot get to it at this time. Thanks for the opportunity to reply.
—————————————–original story below———————————————–
By Paul Gable
Grand Strand Daily has published two articles regarding the television ad buy for Tim McGinnis in the S.C. House District 56 Republican Primary.
The second article was reprinted by myrtlebeachsc.com with credit to Grand Strand Daily.
As a result of these articles, Jackie Miller of Miller Direct Media, the business that makes considerable ad buys for the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and who made the ad buy for the McGinnis ads, sent an email to Brad Dean, President and CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and Billy Huggins, Station Manager at WPDE television on whose station the ads were broadcast.
According to Miller, she sent the email in response to misleading information circulating regarding the Tim McGinnis ads. The email was forwarded with an introductory comment by Brad Dean to John Bonsignor, co-host of Talking Politics. Bonsignor forwarded the email to Grand Strand Daily.
|The rebuttal email with introductory comments by Bonsignor (1st para) and Dean:
“The Grand Strand Daily news article squabble relative to paid campaign ads in House Dist 56… I have received a rebuttal to Paul Gable’s article that I want to share with you… It is from Brad Dean”
“Thanks for acknowledging there are always two sides to the story. And, as Paul Harvey would say, here’s the rest of the story (per an email from Jackie Miller, who placed the ad): Brad D”
From: Jackie Miller <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: October 17, 2017 at 4:14:37 PM CDT
To: ‘Brad Dean’ <email@example.com>, ‘William Huggins’ <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: ‘Blaine Holland’ <email@example.com>
Brad & Billy,
In response to the misleading information circulating regarding the Tim McGinnis ads, I posted the following response to applicable social media sites. Whether they allow the response to remain is yet to be seen. My apologies for any inconvenience or misunderstanding that this incident has caused.
As the media agency that placed the Citizens for Conservative Values (CCV) ads that are in question, I’d like to set the record straight.
The Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce (MBACC) has not and will not pay for the ads related to the Tim McGinnis campaign.
I do place ads for the MBACC. I requested a proposal for CCV for the amount of $1500. This was a new client for me, as well as the station. The media rep pulled a template Request For Proposal and spelled out the details of the schedule within this template. I approved the schedule via my signature.
After sending the signed document, I noticed that the template had MBACC at the top of the form and requested a corrected document which I signed . The incorrect document was inadvertently uploaded to public files. Beyond the incorrect heading on the RFP, the rest of the documents is an accurate reflection of the media purchase.
With respect to the above email sent by Miller, Grand Strand Daily is offering the following commentary/questions. I invite Brad Dean, Jackie Miller or both to respond to the commentary and questions by email to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can really get the rest of the story in writing, on the record. A response, if any, will be posted, unedited as the above email is, on Grand Strand Daily website for all readers to view.
Beginning with the third paragraph – How can Miller make such an emphatic statement on what the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce (MBACC) will not do? She is not a spokesperson for the MBACC, indeed not an employee at all, but merely a contractor who places ad buys as requested by the MBACC.
The fourth and fifth paragraphs deal with how the form for approval of the ad buys with WPDE was headed “Proposal for Myrtle Beach Chamber”. The ads were paid for by Citizens for Conservative Values (CCV), according to the broadcast, but that information is unclear.
In the fourth paragraph, Miller states that CCV is a new client for her business and the television station.
This is untrue.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics and its website opensecrets.org, Miller Direct was the top vendor for CCV in 2012, the year CCV was established. CRP derives its information directly from IRS open records on what are known as 527 Political Action Committees.
CCV placed a number of ads on WPDE through Flagship Media/Starboard Communications in 2015.
CCV was not a new client to either Miller Direct or WPDE.
In the fifth paragraph, Miller states that she initially signed a template proposal form with Myrtle Beach Chamber at the top for the McGinnis ads. After noticing MBACC at the top, Miller states she requested a “corrected document”, which she also signed.
Miller next states the incorrect document (the one with MBACC at the top) was inadvertently uploaded (by WPDE to the internet public file required by the FCC).
However, Grand Strand Daily did not acquire the proposal form from the internet. I personally visited WPDE offices on Friday October 13, 2017. That day I requested and received a copy of every document in the public file regarding the Citizens for Conservative Values ad buy for Tim McGinnis. The only proposal form in the public file was the one with Proposal for Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce on the top. October 13th was 18 days after September 25th when Miller claims to have made the correction. Yet the only proposal form in the public file at that time was headed Proposal for Myrtle Beach Chamber at the top.
The upload to the internet of the WPDE public file was made on October 17, 2017, according to records, after the second story about the McGinnis ads was published on Grand Strand Daily.
(Pictures of the two forms are attached to the bottom of this article. Note both forms are signed on 9/25/17. The only difference between them is the line reading Proposal for Myrtle Beach Chamber has been removed.)
Nowhere in Miller’s email does she address the American Express Credit Card payment with an approval amount of $32,100.70.
The cost of the McGinnis ads on WPDE was $1,500, according to records.
Was the payment for the McGinnis ads lumped with other payments to WPDE by Miller Direct? If so, what were these other payments for and do they or do they not involve ads for the MBACC? If they are for ads by MBACC were any paid with revenue derived from tourism development fees?
Grand Strand Daily has personally spoken to three campaign consultants with a total of over 75 years in the business regarding payments for political ad buys. Each stated they were required to make individual payments for each ad buy. All three said lumping together payments was not only not allowed but also may be in conflict with South Carolina campaign laws.
A link to this article is being sent to Brad Dean and Jackie Miller. We await their response.