By Paul Gable
Despite putting a smiling face on all her campaign advertising, Jenna Dukes politics are proving to be the ugly, anything goes type of campaign that avoids reality like the plague.
Funded by the development and tourism interests, Dukes tried to play the nearly $100,000 in campaign donations that jump started her campaign as a signal that the citizens want a change in Horry County Council District 1.
The citizens have little to do with that amount. A campaign disclosure report filed with the SC Ethics Commission shows them to be the development and tourism industries, the Cabal as I call them, to be the ones who want incumbent Harold Worley defeated.
The first mailer from the Dukes campaign to voters appears to be a product of polling that identifies issues that most concern voters. So, a mailer is designed that promises to address these identified issues even though half of them do not fall under the purview of county council.
She promises to ‘fight’ for additional funding to raise teacher salaries and to provide students with safe and effective learning environments, both of which are issues for the Horry County School Board, not county council.
Dukes also promises to coordinate with healthcare providers to increase healthcare services throughout the county, even though its county council she’s running for, not applying for a job with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.
Why not address real issues that actually concern many of the voters in District 1 and throughout the county?
What is your position on using county tax dollars to fund I-73 construction?
What is your position on impact fees?
What is your position on allowing unrestrained development in areas that do not have the necessary infrastructure to support it, such as along Hwy 57?
Your opponent (Worley) has never voted for a property tax increase in 20 years on council. How do you propose to do better in your promise in keeping taxes low?
What is your position on unrestricted development, including a rumored possible casino, in the Little River Neck area?
If Dukes is not aware that schools and healthcare are not issues for county council, she has no business running for council. If she is aware, then her campaign is exposed for what it is – say anything to get elected then vote as the special interests who are funding her tell her to.
The Dukes campaign is even demonstrating some proficiency in the ‘dirty tricks’ area by putting out road signs to block those of Worley.
An email, including several pictures, was sent to the Dukes campaign by a private citizen who saw this activity.
A copy of the email provided to GSD read, “Ms. Dukes, I just wanted you to know that I was at the intersection of Hwy 9 and 57 when I seen and actually got photos of a guy in a white truck placing your signs in front of Harold’s (Worley).”
The Dukes response, a cute attempt to shift blame to Worley with a denial and unsubstantiated allegations, read, “Thank you for bringing this to my attention. This person was told to avoid installing any signs that would block another candidate’s sign, regardless of what race. It seems that someone from Mr. Worley’s camp is attempting to remove my signs from supporter yards in Cherry Grove. I had several calls from my supporters that someone on a golf cart was driving around picking up my campaign signs. It is unfortunate that these things happen during campaign season. Everyone on my campaign team knows that this behavior will not be tolerated.”
The Dukes campaign is avoiding the real issues that concern the voters of District 1 while addressing issues that don’t exist for county council or ones, such as low taxes, infrastructure and police and fire salaries and staffing, that have already been addressed on the council dais by her opponent.
In short, the Dukes campaign is attempting to block the voters from seeing her position on the real issues facing council just as it is attempting to block sight of her opponent’s signs.