Tag: Donald Trump

As Trump Runneth Again, Whither Goest Fry?

The Red Wave that was expected to bring the Republican Party a 40 or so seat majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and control of the U.S. Senate failed to materialize.
The Republicans will wind up with a very small majority in the House, but control of the Senate is gone for at least another two years.
Donald Trump planned to ride atop the red wave to an announcement of his candidacy for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination gloating over victories by his endorsed candidates for House, Senate and governorships. Most of those, especially the ones in swing states, lost, drawing into question whether Trump can win the upcoming 2024 presidential contest.
Questioned about his candidates before last week’s election, Trump said, “If they win, I should get all the credit. If they lose, I should not be blamed at all.” The statement comes as no surprise as Trump always wants all the credit, but doesn’t take the blame for anything including his loss in the 2020 presidential election.
The losses among many of Trump’s endorsed candidates, the failure to gain control of the Senate and the probability of only a small majority in the House have caused some Republican officeholders, party officials, strategists and conservative pundits to question whether they should support a Trump candidacy again.

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Lazarus Election Appeal Violates State Law

After failing to get the Horry County Election Commission to violate state law by not certifying the special primary election for Horry County Council Chairman last week, Mark Lazarus has filed an election appeal with the Horry County Republican Party, where he will, presumably, ask the party to violate state law.
Lazarus’ argument is based on the initial mailing of Democratic ballots to some Republican voters, a mistake that was corrected as soon as it was discovered and was corrected before election day. Lazarus has claimed in media reports late arriving absentee ballots should be counted because of the initial mixup.
The following is a direct quote Lazarus gave to one of the media outlets in the county: “If anyone had any doubts that election integrity was not an issue in this country, what happened here in Horry County is a perfect example of what Donald Trump warned us about,” Lazarus said.
The story went on to say: “He (Lazarus) said his objective is not personal and his goal is to make sure that the ballot of every voter who intended to vote absentee is counted.”
Actually, what Donald Trump warned us about for years was the dangers of allowing any absentee ballots to ever be counted. Trump told us that absentee ballots are subject to fraud and the only votes that should be counted are those cast by voters in person at the polls on election day.

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Dr. Oz, Russell Fry – Where are Trump’s MAGA Candidates?

Former President Donald Trump’s weekend endorsement of Mehmet Cengiz Oz (Dr. Oz) for the U. S. Senate from Pennsylvania makes one wonder how Trump has drifted so far from his Make America Great Again base.
Most of Trump’s MAGA supporters in the S C 7th Congressional District have been pondering that question for more than a month since Trump endorsed Russell Fry, a bona fide member in good standing of the Horry County ‘Swamp’.
How does a man (Oz) who was born in the United States of Turkish immigrant parents, who still holds dual citizenship (U.S. and Turkey) and who served in the Turkish Army (but not the U.S. Army) in order to maintain his Turkish citizenship get an America First endorsement? Oz has said he will renounce his Turkish citizenship if he’s elected to the Senate, but, apparently not if he loses.
(As a veteran of ten years of active duty service in the U. S. Navy, I find it offensive that a candidate for U. S. Senate would even consider keeping dual citizenship, or, put another way – split allegiance between two countries.)
How does any of this fit into Trump’s ‘America First’ mold?
And the above doesn’t consider Oz’s support of the transgender movement, including voicing support for biological males who are now competing in women’s sports, a No-No for MAGA conservatives.

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Voter Opposition to Fry Endorsement Hardens in 7th Congressional District

Signs opposing the candidacy of Russell Fry for the Republican nomination for the SC 7th Congressional District are going up all over Horry County today.
The order for the signs was made by businessman Drexel Drew after Fry’s candidacy was endorsed by former President Donald Trump last week.
“I am a long time Trump supporter and will probably vote for him if he runs again,” said Drew. “But the endorsement of Fry is just politics as usual around here. Fry is nothing but Rice 2.0.”
Drew said he doesn’t believe most of the Pro-Trump people in the 7th Congressional District will buy into the Fry endorsement.
“If it’s not right for the people,” Drew said. “You don’t have to vote the way you’re told to. Trump was not given good information about local politics. It wasn’t a smart decision on his part to endorse Fry.”
Drew said he is tired of the same old buddy system and the attempts by the Myrtle Beach Mafia to control local politics.
“Putting out the signs was something I wanted to do to help get the truth out there,” said Drew.
Drew does not stand alone in the Pro-Trump, Anti-Fry camp.
According to sources with knowledge of the Fry campaign, the Trump endorsement has not immediately increased fund raising to anywhere near the level the campaign expected and a Fry campaign event held last week after the endorsement only drew a minimal number of people in attendance.
Local political activist and social media influencer Chad Caton was present at an event at the Mar a Lago Trump Resort on the day the Fry endorsement by Trump was announced.

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Trump Joins the Swamp with Fry Endorsement

Donald Trump, the man who promised as president to go to Washington and ‘Drain the Swamp’, has instead jumped right into the middle of the SC 7th Congressional District swamp by endorsing Russell Fry for Congress.
Trump apparently made this endorsement without ever meeting any of the candidates. It was evidently enough that a few establishment politicians like Gov. Henry McMaster and GOP Chairman Drew McKissick, RINO’s to most South Carolinians, spoke up for Fry. The swamp also had former candidate and carpetbagger Graham Allen ready to immediately chime right in on Fry’s behalf.
It was a neatly staged production to get Fry the endorsement, but it didn’t work with most voters. The true conservative base and most MAGA devotees in the 7th District immediately took to social media to express their dismay that Trump would endorse Fry.
One popular post shared numerous times read, “I stand with Trump but not this time. No to Fry.”
When is Fry going to stand up and publicly declare he agrees with Trump that the 2020 presidential election was stolen? And when is Fry going to publicly agree with Trump that Lindsey Graham is truly a RINO?
When is local Red Hat leader Don Bowne going to publicly demand Fry stand with Trump and make those declarations?
Fry will gain a few votes from those who allow Trump do their thinking for them, those who would immediately book tickets to Jonestown and drink the Kool Aid if Trump told them to. But they are a very limited group in the 7th Congressional District.

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Graham Allen Postpones Campaign Event in Myrtle Beach

Graham Allen, the carpetbagger from Mississippi via Anderson, S.C. running for the SC 7th Congressional District Republican nomination, postponed a campaign event scheduled for Myrtle Beach last night.
Campaign events, especially for candidates attempting to raise their name recognition, are rarely postponed except because of exceptional circumstances.
However, according to a posting on Facebook, this one was postponed because the event’s apparent headliners, Republican House members Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene were unable to attend.
Was the Allen campaign afraid nobody would show up if Gaetz and Greene weren’t there?
Does Allen have no message to convey to people he wants to represent in Congress without the help of Gaetz and Greene?
According to the most recent campaign filings with the Federal Election Commission, Allen has raised a total of $642,000 for his Congressional run with almost none of that amount coming from 7th District voters. The amount does not include a $92,000 loan from the candidate to his campaign. The report also shows a total of $435,000 has been spent by the campaign so far with barely a flicker of a rise in Allen’s name recognition among 7th Congressional District voters.
The only thing really known about Allen is he is running against incumbent Tom Rice because Rice voted to impeach former President Donald Trump and Allen vows to save America from the Communists in Washington.
Even if he just addressed those two issues, does Allen not have enough to say about them to convince the segment of Republican voters he is attempting to attract to vote for him?
Apparently not as the message said the event would be rescheduled for a time when Gaetz and Greene could attend.

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Rice Struggling to Re-invent Image While Fry Attempts to Find One

It is just under seven months until Republican primary voters will nominate a candidate for the SC 7th Congressional District election next November.
The two candidates most closely tied to the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, incumbent Tom Rice and state Rep. Russell Fry, are still searching for an image to project to voters in order to gain popularity and votes.
Rice is hampered by his January 13th vote to impeach former President Donald Trump. Trump support was strongest in 7th Congressional District among all the congressional districts in South Carolina. Rice won easy re-election, in the November 2020 general election, to his fifth term in office on Trump’s coattails.
Then Rice cast “THE VOTE” to side with Congressional Democrats in the House to file Articles of Impeachment against Trump.
As we all know, Trump was never going to be removed from office by an evenly split Senate (it takes a two-thirds vote from senators to impeach), especially considering Trump was due to leave office on January 20, 2021, and the Senate trial didn’t take place until after Trump was out of office.
What makes Rice’s vote to impeach even more incredible is that twice in the days before the actual voting on the Articles of Impeachment, Rice made public statements that he was NOT going to vote to impeach Trump. THEN HE DID!
One would have thought, after spending four full terms as a Congressman on Capitol Hill, Tommy would have absorbed, even if only by osmosis, enough political savvy to understand that his vote to impeach Trump would be a betrayal to the vast majority of people he represents in South Carolina’s 7th District.
Now Rice is trying to create a new image of himself as a faithful servant of Trump during the former president’s four years in office, citing a 94% voting record supporting Trump initiatives. Rice further claims he was defending the Constitution when he voted to impeach Trump, calling Trump a “very divisive man”, and claiming Trump’s actions (or inactions) incited a riot at the U. S. Capitol building on January 6, 2021.
What Rice is avoiding trying to explain is why twice, between the January 6th events and the January 13th vote to impeach, Tommy publicly stated he would not vote for impeachment, then did.
Rice claims a ‘new vision’ for the Republican Party that embraces everything Trump except Trump the person. He also claims he will run on his ‘record of accomplishments.’

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Where is Mayor Bethune?

Last week, Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune missed two opportunities to answer questions from voters about why she should be reelected.
Instead, the Bethune campaign put out two emails extolling the virtues of spending local tax dollars on the construction of Interstate 73 and what she had done to address crime issues in the city.
Had Bethune taken the time to actually talk to voters, she may have learned that crime is still the number one issue concerning residents of Myrtle Beach and constructing I-73 ranks very far down on the list.
And Bethune’s message was countered by a story about Myrtle Beach being the third most dangerous city, per capita, in the nation. The story could be found on the website of Coastal Law, the firm with which Congressional candidate Russell Fry is associated.
Interestingly, Fry and Bethune both support the construction of I-73 in Horry County with local tax dollars.
Talking to and listening to voters is not high up on the list of things to do for most politicians today. They certainly want to be elected and reelected but they prefer to do it with slick mailers and emails as well as orchestrated messages in television and radio ads. These messages hit what politicians consider to be a few hot button issues for voters.
Then, if they fool enough voters to be elected or reelected, many of the politicians will go on to serve their own self-interests or those of the big donors to their campaigns. In some cases, such as Interstate 73, these politicians try to make it a hot button for voters with outlandish promises of what it will do for voters while it is really meant to serve the interest of their donors.
I-73 will permeate many election races through the Republican primaries in June 2022 and those politicians promoting it as a good idea are not working in the best interest of voters.
Fry joined Bethune and incumbent Congressman Tom Rice at Gov. Henry McMaster’s press conference about funding I-73 in Myrtle Beach last week.
Fry is running a rather schizophrenic campaign attempting to be a clone of Rice sometimes, then running away from Rice at other times when he (Fry) tries to wrap himself in the Donald Trump cloak.

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The Trump Factor in 2022 7th Congressional District Primary

Former President Donald Trump left no doubt over the weekend that he will be a factor in the 2022 off year elections for the U.S House of Representatives and Senate.

Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Sunday, the former president called out the names of all 10 Republican representatives, including the 7th Congressional District’s Tom Rice, and seven Republican senators who voted for his impeachment. “Get rid of them all,” Trump said.

Trump indicated he will oppose all 17 Republicans who voted against him when they come up for reelection and back candidates who subscribe to his “Make America Great Again” agenda.
Incumbency normally works to a candidate’s advantage. However, in the case of Rice and the others who voted to impeach Trump, it will lose its significance.

Horry County School Board Chairman Ken Richardson already has a campaign in place to challenge Rice in the 2022 Republican Primary. He has opened a campaign account, filed with the Federal Election Commission hired campaign staff and is making the rounds of Republican events in the district to introduce his candidacy.

Richardson stated publicly that he would not have voted to impeach the former president when he announced his campaign opening. Political insiders who know Richardson know he was one of the first in the area to support Trump’s candidacy in 2016 and Richardson’s wife traveled the southeast supporting and raising money for Trump’s 2020 reelection bid. Both are firmly in step with the MAGA movement.

Two state legislators, Rep. Russell Fry and Rep. William Bailey have indicated they are studying whether to get into the primary race. Neither has taken a position on Rice’s vote on the impeachment question.

Rice Continues Stuck in Quagmire of Trump Impeachment Vote

Congressman Tom Rice (R-SC7) is sinking deeper into a quagmire of his own making as he attempts to explain his way around his vote to impeach former President Donald Trump.

Since voting to impeach Trump a month ago, Rice has been subjected to a continuous stream of criticism from voters in his Congressional District and suffered censure from the state Republican Executive Committee.

Even supposed allies of Rice such as state representatives Russell Fry and Heather Ammons Crawford, who never missed a photo opportunity with Rice in the past, have failed to offer support of Rice when given the opportunity by local media. Likewise, neither has come out with condemnation of Rice’s vote putting them at odds with most other members of the Republican Party as they attempt to hold firmly to the position of ‘fence sitters.’

Fry is reportedly considering a challenge to Rice in the 2022 Republican Primary for the nomination for the 7th Congressional seat. If he decides to challenge Rice, Fry is going to have to get off that fence.

In the month since his impeachment vote, Rice and his advisers have tried to tamp down criticism of his action. But they don’t seem they understand the local sentiment.

In his statements to media and votes in Congress Rice has flip-flopped on the impeachment question. Rice told local and national media that, in the days following the January 6th Capitol insurrection, the more he learned, the more upset he became with Trump’s actions before and during the insurrection.

However, on January 11th Rice issued a statement to local media outlets saying he did not support impeachment of Trump. On January 12th, Rice voted against two resolutions in the House, one calling for using the 25th Amendment to temporarily suspend Trump from the presidency and the other a procedural resolution to bring the resolution of impeachment to the House floor.

Less than 24 hours after voting against bringing the impeachment resolution to the House for a vote, Rice voted for the resolution to impeach the president. What really caused this 180 degree turn in Rice’s actions?