Tag: Bill Howard

The Cabal or the People, the Choice for County Chairman

The primary runoff between incumbent county chairman Johnny Gardner and challenger Mark Lazarus is a contest for who will control county decisions for the next decade – The best interests of the People or the best interests of the Cabal.
Will it be Gardner, the candidate who attempts to look out for the interests of the People? Or will it be Lazarus who is funded heavily by the Cabal because, in the past, he has always worked for the Cabal?
How do you spell Cabal politicians – Bethune, Rankin, Brittain, Vaught, Howard, DiSabato, Lazarus
Who endorsed Mark Lazarus – Bethune, Rankin, Brittain, Vaught, Howard, DiSabato
That should be reason enough for citizens, who do not want to see the county entirely run by the Cabal, to know why not to vote for Lazarus on Tuesday for chairman of Horry County Council.
There are other reasons.
Lazarus endorsed Tom Rice for reelection. The citizens soundly rejected Rice in the first round of the primary.

click on headline above to read more

Cabal Flooding Dollars to Defeat People’s Candidates in Tuesday Primary Elections

There are reasons hundreds of thousands of dollars are being spent by candidates hand-picked by the development and tourism cabal for county council and other races in Tuesday’s primary elections.
Those reasons are not to improve Hwy 90 or 905, improve flood mitigation efforts or increase public safety resources.
Those reasons are to control enough votes on county council to pass cabal favored issues such as local funding for Interstate 73 and several upcoming development schemes that will net cabal players tens of millions of dollars in their pockets.
The old saying ‘you have to spend money to make money’ is in play – spend money on the campaigns of certain candidates to make money when the votes go in the right direction.
The last time I remember this level of spending, especially on county council races, was in the elections prior to the push for approval of the Burroughs and Chapin Multi County Business Park development concept over 20 years ago. Some of the same players involved with campaign funding of preferred candidates then are back again in this round of campaign financing.
The most contributions to individual campaigns are those of Mark Lazarus for Horry County Council Chairman and Jenna Dukes for Horry County Council District 1.
The belief is Horry County Council Chairman Johnny Gardner and Horry County Council District 1 member Harold Worley have to be removed from office for cabal plans to go forward.

click on headline above to read more

Howard Spreading False Narrative of his Record in Campaign for Reelection

Horry County incumbent District 2 council member Bill Howard is another spinning creative reworking of history to influence voters in next week’s Republican Primary.
Howard tries to present himself as a council member who works for the people, but reading his campaign disclosure reports it is apparent that Howard is funded by the same developer and tourism cabal interests who also fund Mark Lazarus, Jenna Dukes, Johnny Vaught and Carla Schuessler to name a few.
In a recent mailer, Howard listed among his accomplishments, “Working hard to keep the budget balanced and keeping property taxes low. No increase.”
Howard is on record voting for the largest tax increases in Horry County history – 7.2 mils plus stormwater fee and road maintenance fee increases in 2015 and 7.5 mils and another stormwater fee increase in 2021. This is hardly the work of a council member bragging about “no increase.”
Howard listed another accomplishment as being “proactive in addressing flooding problems.” However, it its rating of the voting records of county council members on flood mitigation legislation , Horry County Rising rated Howard and Vaught tied for the bottom position.

click on headline above to read more

Gardner, Worley Receive Top Grades from Local Flood Group

Horry County Rising, the group committed to strengthening local standards to help mitigate flooding, yesterday released its rankings of local county council members seeking reelection in contested primaries.
The mission of Horry County Rising is to establish stronger wetland protections, increase investments for stormwater infrastructure and fund flood mitigation projects to protect our communities from flooding.
The group based its rankings of the incumbents on four criteria:
1. Level of engagement
2. Level of cooperation
3. Level of action
4. Level of preparedness
Horry County Council Chairman Johnny Gardner and Horry County District One council member Harold Worley received top grades from Horry County Rising.
Horry County District Eight council member Orton Bellamy placed third while Horry County Council member for District Two Bill Howard and current Horry County Council member for District Eight and candidate for chairman Johnny Vaught were tied for the lowest ranking.
Horry County Rising thanked its members for their engagement with elected county officials in the past several years, which resulted in Horry County Council passing the strongest flood protection standards in the state in December 2021.
However, there is more work to be done at both the state and local levels to further mitigate the potential catastrophic damages caused by flooding as the county experienced in 2016 and 2018.

click headline above to read more

Lazarus and Vaught, the Siamese Twins of the Cabal’s ‘Reality Politics’ Show

The Myrtle Beach cabal and its chosen candidates are staging their very own political reality show during this campaign season. As with any reality tv show, it has nothing to do with reality.
Nor does it have anything to do with issues or the interests of the voters.
The programs on reality tv need conflict and tension to give them public appeal. This plotline is being recreated in the political arena by having the history of cabal candidates and their opponents rewritten.
What is at stake in this election cycle is whether the gains made in the last four years for the citizens will be allowed to continue or whether kowtowing to special interests will again be the order of the day.
Four years ago, when Horry County Chairman Johnny Gardner defeated Mark Lazarus, Johnny Vaught acted as a Lazarus surrogate attending the functions Lazarus didn’t attend and speaking for Lazarus at those events.
This time around, Vaught and Lazarus are both challenging Gardner’s reelection. Again, both carry similar false messages about what the county needs. They do not attend the same functions around the county and they are known to be meeting periodically, apparently to discuss campaign strategy.
Joined at the hip to give special interests an ally in the county chair, Lazarus and Vaught are the Siamese reality twins of this election cycle attempting to sow confusion, conflict and tension into the campaign for county chairman.

click on headline above to read more

Rice, Fry and Myrtle Beach Chamber Lose Big in HCGOP Straw Poll

(Drain the Swamp Thumbs Up from Donald Trump)
The members of the HCGOP are following Donald Trump’s ‘Drain the Swamp’ mantra even when Trump makes the mistake of endorsing a Swamp candidate as he did with his endorsement of Russell Fry in the 7th Congressional District race.
Friday the Thirteenth has been known as an unlucky day since Friday October 13, 1307, when King Philip of France ordered the arrest of all Knights Templar in France as a threat to his throne. The arrests and subsequent killing of the Knights Templar effectively ended the order’s political and financial influence throughout Europe.
A similar conclusion about the influence of the Myrtle Beach Chamber cabal and its candidates can be drawn from the results of the Friday May 13, 2022 Horry County Republican Party straw poll.
While straw polls are not scientific polling, they are a clear reflection of the mood of the nearly 300 local political activists who attended the event. The straw poll results established that, just as the political influence in local elections of Burroughs and Chapin 20 years ago, the Chamber cabal’s influence in local elections is clearly on a steep decline.
Incumbent Gov. Henry McMaster, the Chamber’s last, best hope of getting state funding for Interstate 73, received 47% of the votes cast while his opponent Harrison Musselwhite took 53%.
The Chamber’s two candidates for the SC 7th Congressional District had dismal showings with Tom Rice getting a miniscule 4% of the vote and Russell Fry only managing 12%. Both trailed co-leaders Ken Richardson and Garrett Barton who tied with 36% each.
Incumbent Rice was not expected to poll many votes since he is considered a traitor by the HCGOP since his vote to impeach former President Donald Trump.
Fry’s is a story of a campaign that can’t gain any traction. Despite the event attendees being overwhelmingly supportive of Trump, (I would estimate Trump would have received nearly 100% of the night’s votes if he were on the ballot), Fry, who Trump has endorsed in this race, could only manage 12%. This is an indication that Trump supporters do not automatically vote for candidates Trump endorses, especially in the case of Fry who they know to be a RINO in the Chamber Swamp.

click on headline above to read more

Primary Election Strategy for Obtaining I-73 Funding

The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce propaganda blitz for I-73 funding failed to secure any money for the project in next fiscal year’s state budget.
It is now obvious to all but the Chamber and its cabal cronies that it’s easier to pass a camel through the eye of a needle than to get funding for I-73.
With all the excess money floating around in Columbia this year from federal Covid relief funds and excess state revenue, this was the year for the Chamber to finally secure some funding to construct at least a portion of I-73.
The thought around the Chamber was, if it couldn’t get I-73 funding in the budget this year, it was never going to get it. The Chamber didn’t get it.
The reality, something the Chamber avoids like the plague, is it’s difficult to convince legislators that a new, 66-mile spur road from I-95 to Briarcliffe is a priority over all the existing roads and bridges in the state that have been ignored for decades.
Over the last six months, the Chamber did its best to put a positive spin the I-73 story.
In late October, the Chamber hosted a press conference featuring Gov. Henry McMaster, Congressman Tom Rice and Rep. Russell Fry where it was predicted the General Assembly would dedicate $300 million to construction of I-73.
The Chamber sent an email chastising Horry County Council for not voting to immediately provide funds for I-73 construction.
The Chamber put on its annual legislative reception extravaganza in Columbia to lobby for funding for I-73.
And none of that worked. The General Assembly did not earmark any funds for I-73 construction.

click on headline above to read more

Will Cabal Money Overcome Citizen Interests?

The main story of the 2022 Republican Primary election campaigns in Horry County is going to be one of how the developers and tourist interests of the Myrtle Beach cabal pour money into campaigns of their preferred candidates in hopes those candidates will defeat the candidates who represent the interests of the citizens first.
Several stories have been written in local media over the past few days detailing donors to cabal favored candidates Jenna Dukes, Mark Lazarus and Carla Schuessler.
Dukes is challenging Harold Worley in Horry County District 1. Worley is the longest serving member on county council and one whose signature is to often urge the council to “Do the right thing for the people of Horry County.”
Lazarus, a former Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce board president, is challenging Horry County Chairman Johnny Gardner, who took the chairmanship from Lazarus four years ago, a defeat that Lazarus has yet to get over.
Schuessler, a former Chamber board president, is vying with Conway businessman John Cassidy in the new House District 61 seat in the county.
All three cabal candidates, Dukes, Lazarus and Schuessler were the recipients of the campaign donation largesse of cabal members and associates in the development and tourism industries as the stories in local media documented.
Dukes and Lazarus tried to paint their fundraising as coming from a broad range of donors who are anxious for change from the respective incumbents they are running against. In neither case is that narrative true. Neither has support that extends beyond the limited numbers of cabal members who can’t get their own way with Worley and Gardner and want them replaced.

click on headline above to read more

Council Member Bill Howard Cost His Constituents Two Years in Their Attempt to Prohibit Discharge of Fireworks in Their Neighborhoods

Horry County Council, at its regular meeting Tuesday night, referred Ordinance 155-2021, dealing with the establishment of “Fireworks Free Zones” in the county, back to the county Public Safety Committee for further study before considering third reading of the ordinance.
If the ordinance ever passes third reading, it appears inevitable it will be struck down by state courts because of the legally settled Doctrine of Preemption.
State law, section 23-35-175 (c), states “an owner, a lessee or managing authority of real property may establish a Fireworks Prohibited Zone by (1) filing a Discharge of Fireworks Prohibited Agreement with the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the subject property.”
The Doctrine of Preemption simply stated holds if the law of a higher government authority, in this case S. C. Code sec. 23-35-175(c), preempts the law of a lower government authority, in this case Horry County Ordinance 155-2021, then the law of the lower government authority is declared invalid.
Or, in this case, it appears the procedure for establishing a “Fireworks Prohibited Zone” in sec. 23-35-175(c) of state law preempts the procedure for establishing a “Fireworks Free Zone” in county Ordinance 155-2021.
Why has county attorney Arrigo Carotti not informed council of this probable result during council discussions of the ordinance?
It would seem stopping the ordinance now, since the procedure for fireworks prohibition already exists in state law, would be preferable to passing third reading of the ordinance only to see it struck down in state court after thousands of dollars of taxpayer money is spent trying to defend the indefensible.

click on headline above to read more

County Council to Consider Third Reading of Illegal Fireworks Prohibition Ordinance

Horry County Council has a final chance to stop passage of an illegal fireworks ordinance at its regular meeting Tuesday night.
If a majority of council insists on voting to approve third reading of Ordinance 155-2021 “providing for the regulation of the discharge of fireworks within the county by the way of establishing county no fireworks areas”, as the agenda item reads, council will have accomplished nothing other than opening the county up to another waste of taxpayer dollars lawsuit that it will lose.
This proposed ordinance has received no better legal scrutiny than the one that saw council unilaterally eliminate the sunset clause on the county’s original hospitality fee legislation under the urging of Mark Lazarus. The county lost every court ruling in the lawsuit challenging that action before coming to a settlement with the cities that challenged the ordinance.
GSD has contacted representatives of the fireworks industry who have said the association will immediately challenge the legality of the ordinance in court, if it is passed.
The state fireworks association is already seriously considering challenging the fireworks prohibition ordinances in Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach, which are also illegal under state law.
Readers should note Surfside Beach recently made major amendments to fireworks prohibitions within the town limits similar to those in place in Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach. Discussion among council about removing fireworks prohibitions in Surfside Beach centered around the illegality of the prohibitions.
Why would county council consider passing an ordinance that so clearly ignores the requirements outlined in state law for establishing fireworks prohibited zones?
Why would county staff draft an ordinance that clearly ignores state law?
Political considerations apparently outweighing obeying state law in this case.

click on headline above to read more