Tag: Mark McBride

School Mask Mandates – Who are the True Conservatives?

This week’s controversy about whether to require students, teachers and staff to wear masks in public schools gave us another chance to see who are the real conservative political leaders and who are the politicians that only give voice to conservatism to get elected.
Put another way, who truly promotes individual liberty and limiting government overreach and who doesn’t?
The longest serving legislative member in Horry County, Sen. Luke Rankin, joined forces with Democrats throughout the state and Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman to call for the repeal of a state budget proviso that currently makes it illegal for local school boards to require masks to be worn in schools.
What makes this extremely absurd is it’s only two months since the proviso became law with the passing of the state budget and both passing the proviso and repealing it are examples of government overreach by the state legislature.
Government overreach by the state legislature is almost a requirement in a General Assembly filled with mostly pseudo-conservative politicians who enjoy exercising power over others. And many in the Horry County legislative delegation excel at government overreach by dictating to local governments and citizens.
At the very most, decisions on whether students should be required to wear masks in school should be left to the local governing school board, but one which should be exercised only in extreme circumstances. The decision on whether a child wears a mask to school or not should be left to the parents of the child as a normal course of action. Otherwise, what does individual liberty mean?
The controversy over masks quickly entered the political discussion in the 7th Congressional District race.
School Board Chairman Ken Richardson has said repeatedly in media reports that state law currently forbids school boards from legislating masking requirements and that he believes it is a decision that should be left to the parents.
Former Myrtle Beach Mayor Mark McBride took Rankin to task in a video rebuttal to Rankin’s call for a mask mandate. In that rebuttal, McBride said he believes the decision to wear a mask to school or not should be left to the parents.
State Rep. Russell Fry, who launched his campaign declaring he was a true conservative Republican, has been strangely quiet on the issue.
However, Fry has not been timid about being in the middle of government overreach by the General Assembly on other issues.

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One Year Until Republican Congressional Primary, Is Rice Toast?

One year from today, June 14, 2022, voters will go to the polls for primary elections to nominate candidates for the November 2022 general election.
The most closely watched race will be the Republican primary for the S. C. 7th Congressional District. Will five term incumbent Tom Rice survive his vote to impeach former President Donald Trump and win the Republican nomination?
Incumbents have a few advantages over challengers especially name recognition and the ability to raise money from the many PACs around the country looking to gain access to legislators.
However, since Rice’s vote to impeach former President Trump, the 7th Congressional District is being treated like an open seat by challengers. Ten challengers to Rice had filed with the Federal Election Commission as of the March 31, 2021 required filing date. When the June 30, 2021 filing is complete, we may see a couple more challengers have emerged.
The same March 31st filings show Rice raised $404,000 for his campaign chest, nearly all from out of state PACs. Horry County School Board Chairman Ken Richardson raised $154,000 generally from donors within the 7th District. The other nine Republican candidates raised just over $3,000 total among them.
It is estimated a campaign chest of at least $2 million will be needed to fund a serious challenge to Rice. Only Richardson, among the challengers, is on track to raise that kind of money to this point.
But it takes more than money to win elections. A look back at a little history of Horry County and the former S.C. 6th Congressional District, most of which now comprises the 7th Congressional District, may help to put the 2022 primary in perspective.
Former Congressman John Jenrette, the only other person than Rice elected to Congress from Horry County, said when he beat 17 term Congressman John McMillan in the Democratic primary of 1972 (back in the days when nearly everyone in South Carolina was a Democrat), “McMillan had the money but I had the people.”
McMillan was an old style, Jim Crow Southern Democrat who failed to connect with the many new voters brought into the electorate since 1964. Jenrette served four terms in the S. C. House as an at-large representative from Horry County. Jenrette had already connected with those new voters and many of the older ones who also voted for McMillan.

Brittain Cruises to District 107 Primary Win

Case Brittain is the new Republican nominee for the SC House District 107 seat in the upcoming November general election.

Brittain cruised to an easy victory over former Myrtle Beach Mayor Mark McBride by a 70% – 30% margin.

To call the voter turnout light is to be generous. Brittain garnered less votes in winning than he accumulated on June 9th in a losing effort to then incumbent Alan Clemmons.

The total vote cast in this special primary was approximately one-half the number of voters in the regular primary.

Approximately 5.25% of the registered voters in the district cast votes for Brittain making him the nominee.

The Brittain victory completes a successful primary season for the Myrtle Beach cabal. Every one of their incumbents, Dennis DiSabato, Cam Crawford and Gary Loftus on county council, Heather Crawford and Clemmons, now Brittain, in the House and Luke Rankin in the Senate, won renomination. Brittain became the cabal’s choice after Clemmons resigned his seat in the House.

The coronavirus outbreak made things easier by holding down voting somewhat. When the average voters fail to turn out, the cabal’s core of voters can determine elections.

The normal tricks were pulled out to help Brittain win, Walter Whetsell and his Starboard Communications as consultant, bogus third party PAC to smear McBride and endorsements by other Whetsell clients to make it look like Brittain was earning the endorsements of local elected officials.

What this means is the cabal can set many of the political agendas for the next two years.
Development will continue to run rampant in the county, seriously outstripping the public safety and infrastructure resources needed to support new sub-divisions, all in the name of profit.

Myrtle Beach Cabal v. McBride in District 107 Primary Voting Today

Voters in House District 107 will again go to the polls today to determine who will be the new Republican nominee for the South Carolina House of Representatives seat from that district.

The special primary was made necessary when former representative Alan Clemmons resigned from his House seat five weeks after being nominated for his tenth term in office.

Clemmons had been looking for another government job for the past two years with no luck so he took the default position of raising campaign donations and running for nomination for his tenth term. It has been obvious that he would bolt from that seat when prospects of a much higher paying job was potentially in the offing. When he learned the Master in Equities judge position would be available next July, he resigned from the House to secure the one year lapse, required by state law, from service in the General Assembly to appointment to a judgeship.

There is one way Clemmons can prove me wrong with my above conclusion. I challenge Clemmons  to come out publicly with a statement that his affidavit to the S. C. Election Commission was truthful about resigning his seat in the House and his nomination to another term for non-political reasons, as stated in the affidavit, and that under no circumstances will he seek nor accept the position of Horry County Master in Equity, which would be a political appointment.

As soon as he decided to resign, Clemmons, in his own words, called his opponent in the June regular primary, Case Brittain, to notify Brittain of his decision and start the process that would make Brittain the choice of the Myrtle Beach cabal in the special primary.

Brittain was reportedly advised by Clemmons and Mark Lazarus to hire the cabal’s go to political consultant Walter Whetsell and his Starboard Communications for the special primary.

The choice tomorrow is between the cabal’s candidate, Brittain, and former Myrtle Beach Mayor Mark McBride.

Clemmons did the bidding of the cabal, securing passage of the enabling legislation for the Tourism Development Fee in 2009 and amending the original legislation to eliminate the ten-year sunset provision so the fee could be continued ad infinitum.

Clemmons was also a major voice pushing I-73 at the state level but was wholly unsuccessful in obtaining any construction grants from the state for the road.

Phony Group Hits McBride with Illegal Mailer

Negative campaigning hit the special primary race for District 107 yesterday with a hit piece on Mark McBride sent by a phony group with no regard for South Carolina election laws.

The poorly designed and messaged mail piece looked like an attempt by rank amateurs to smear McBride with sensationalist messaging such as “evidence” on the “real Mark McBride” and the virtually required “fake news” moniker, while providing physical proof that the only fakes were the blithering idiots who designed and funded the piece.

South Carolina law requires only two statements on political mail pieces to be accurate and truthful – the name and address of the sender.

The hit piece on McBride failed in both statements.

The purported sending organization, “Americans United for Values”, is not registered with the South Carolina Secretary of State and the address of the sender is a vacant storefront in Surfside Beach.

Can’t get any more fake than that.

And it’s not the first time that some made-up group has attacked McBride with the same or similar messaging in the last 15 years.

Negative hit pieces are almost a requirement in South Carolina politics since the rise of the late Lee Atwater 40 or so years ago. At least Atwater was original and sometimes comical in his messaging – I’m thinking of “jumper cables” here.

Why waste money on negative mailers filled with slanted and false messaging? Because they can be effective with the voter who is not familiar with the politics involved. And there are plenty of relatively new voters, especially in the Market Common area, which is the area that may decide this election.

In addition, it has been a favorite tactic of the Myrtle Beach cabal over the last 15 or so years in its ongoing attempts to direct public dollars into preferred projects and issues, such as the tourism development fee that uses tax dollars to fund advertising for private properties, with the help of political officeholders it helped elect.

Brittain has Clemmons, McBride has Answers

In this strangest of all election seasons, the voters of SC House District 107 are going to the polls next week to vote in what may be the strangest of all – a special primary election to nominate a Republican candidate for the November general election.

Case Brittain, the defeated candidate from the June Republican primary for District 107, and former Myrtle Beach Mayor Mark McBride are the candidates on the ballot for the special primary.

Only two months ago, Alan Clemmons won the regular Republican primary for nomination to what would have been his tenth term as representative for District 107.

Five weeks later, Clemmons resigned from the House and sent an affidavit to the SC Election Commission citing the necessity of concentrating on his family and law practice as reasons for removing himself as the Republican candidate.

It is important to note here that Clemmons affirmed to the election commission, under penalty of perjury, that his dropping out as the nominated candidate was for “non-political reasons”, a requirement for the party to conduct a special election to nominate a replacement candidate for the general election.

Nowhere in Clemmons’ statement did it mention the widely circulated story that Clemmons expects to be selected as the Master in Equity judge for Horry County when the position becomes vacant next July. South Carolina law requires a member of the General Assembly to be out of office for a minimum of one year before they can become a judge or a lobbyist. The Master in Equity position currently pays approximately $180,000 per year. State funded pensions are based on a person’s highest three years of salary.

Shortly after resigning from the House, Clemmons received the appointment of the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee to serve on the three member South Carolina Board of Economic Advisers, a position that supposedly “specific working knowledge and experience in economics, revenue forecasting, and the state budget process,” according to state law. The position pays $8,000 per year and, more importantly, qualifies for state funded benefits such as health insurance and retirement.

Myrtle Beach City Council Hears Frustrations and Possible Solutions to Recent Violence

Myrtle Beach City Council hosted a raucous special meeting Tuesday with home and business owners voicing their outrage at recent shooting incidents on Ocean Boulevard and in other parts of the city.

It was a good move by city council, allowing the meeting to act as a pressure valve relieving some of the pent up frustration felt by citizens by having it voiced directly to council and city staff in a public forum.

That frustration ran from blaming city officials for ignoring the city’s problems and threatening defeat of the four incumbent council members up for reelection in November to calling for martial law to be declared in the city.

Many of the comments were rough and pointed, one citizen even asking John Rhodes if he would immediately resign as mayor. However, council took the criticism stoically because solutions are more important at this point than verbal jousting contests.

While many of the comments fell short of suggesting solutions for the violence problems in the city, several were on point.

Several citizens suggested using money from the one cent local option ‘tourism development fee’ (ad tax) to fund more police officers.

Former Mayor Mark McBride was most forceful in this line of thinking noting that the city’s police force had not expanded since he left office at the end of 2005.

To be fair, the city has installed over 800 cameras that are constantly monitored to help with public safety response and were very helpful during this past weekend’s incidents.

McBride called for 50 percent, approximately $10 million, to be redirected from the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce’s out of area advertising to funding additional police officers as well as providing raises for current officers.

Ignoring Problems in Myrtle Beach

I saw a Facebook post by former Myrtle Beach mayor Mark McBride yesterday that highlights why the city will continue its downward slide.

During the recent Myrtle Beach City Council elections, McBride was targeted by a third party group with hit pieces to keep him from being elected.

The Myrtle Beach Mafia was successful in its attempt to keep McBride from gaining a seat on city council.

The problem is the message was false, as is normal with hit pieces on a candidate. One said “Mark McBride is back and preying on voters.”

Actually, it’s the Myrtle Beach Mafia that preys on voters, at least those in the south end of the city.

During the campaign when challengers for city council seats were talking about rising crime in the city, Mayor John Rhodes donned his rose colored glasses and looked north to claim that crime was at its lowest level in 20 years.
It probably is in the Dunes Club and Pine Lakes areas. The south end is a different story.

McBride quoted some crime statistics collected by neighborhoodscout.com, which is really a real estate resource website to help those searching for homes.

Changes Needed From City Elections

City elections in three local municipalities could bring much needed changes to the way those communities work for their citizens.

Those three communities are Conway, Atlantic Beach and Myrtle Beach.

Below, we have highlighted the candidates we believe are most likely to bring new ideas that will lead to much needed positive change for those municipalities.

Conway

Mayor and three council seats up for election.
City council member Barbara Blain-Bellamy is continuing to build momentum in her attempt to unseat incumbent Mayor Alys Lawson.
Blain-Bellamy is well known to Conway voters. She has been elected to city council three times and has led the ticket each time. This is not an outsider attempting to unseat an incumbent mayor.

Blain-Bellamy’s message of finding new ways to ward off the influence of gangs and crime in Conway’s neighborhoods and listening to the concerns of citizens throughout the city highlight her message.