Tag: Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce

New Developments in Coastal Kickback?

A lot of buzz is going around the Grand Strand business community that new developments in the Coastal Kickback scandal will be made public shortly.

Coastal Kickback spread $239,500, in campaign donations of questionable legality, to state legislators and Myrtle Beach city council incumbents after passage of a local tourism tax that brings approximately $18 million to the coffers of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce annually. It has been the subject of an over two year investigation by the FBI and IRS.

The talk includes references to an imminent public statement by the U.S. Attorney’s office, possibly as early as today or the beginning of next week.

Light Goes Out at CASA

I was saddened last week to read that SLED is investigating Citizens Against Spouse Abuse for misappropriation of funds.

My first thought was ‘there goes another point of light, extinguished through the selfishness of public policy.’

On second thought, I realized this has nothing to do with public policy, because in today’s political environment, there is no public policy. There is government policy, business policy, even wine policy but the public doesn’t deserve a policy.

President George H.W. Bush warned this was coming in his inaugural address nearly 24 years ago:

Republican Debate Turns Into Brawl

MB Republican Debate Disaster

The rough and tumble nature of Horry County politics was on display for all to see Thursday night at the debate for 7th Congressional Republican candidates.

Sponsored by the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, Grand Strand Business Alliance, WMBF-TV and WPDE-TV, the debate turned into a shouting match when five of the candidates felt they were being ignored by the questioning media panel.

The candidates were apparently split into two groups by some entity controlling the questions. The top four polling candidates, Andre Bauer, Chad Prosser, Tom Rice and Jay Jordan, received the bulk of the questions during the first hour of the debate while the remaining five, Randal Wallace, Katherine Jenrette, Jim Mader, Renee Culler and Dick Withington, were virtually ignored.

After the apparent questioning trend was set in the first half hour of the debate, Wallace cut in to complain, “I filed to run for Congress and I’d like to answer a question.”

Taxes, Coastal Kickback and the Primaries

Two of the most extraordinary events I have ever seen occur so close to an election happened this week in Horry County.

The Myrtle Beach city council announced early in the week it will seek to have state legislators eliminate the sunshine provision on the one cent tourism promotion tax so that it can continue indefinitely. Did you ever see politicians want a tax to end even when sunshine provisions are included with it?

One day later, lobbyist Mark Kelley, who includes the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, Coastal Carolina University and the Horry County Board of Education among his clients, sued the Sun News for reporting Kelley’s proximity to certain events in what has become known as the “Coastal Kickback Scandal.”

Patriot’s Day Brings Tourism Tax Questions

The third Monday in April is celebrated as Patriot’s Day in Massachusetts and Maine. This is a state holiday that commemorates the battles of Lexington and Concord, April 19, 1775, the first two military engagements of the Revolutionary War. Maine, at that time, was part of Massachusetts.

The underlying tensions that resulted in the conflict were taxes levied on the colonies from Great Britain, most specifically the taxes on lead, paper, paint, glass and tea. Taxation without representation was the cry of the colonials. The Boston Tea Party of December 16, 1773, resulted with the British closing the port of Boston.

After 20 months of tension between the residents of Massachusetts and the British army garrisoned in Boston, the British sent regular forces out from Boston on April 19th to capture weapons stores of the colonial militia. The colonial “Minutemen” resisted beginning the struggle for independence.

MBACC Cancels Sun, Fun and Tourism

The surprising announcement by the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce two days ago ending the Sun Fun Festival appears to be one more step away from tourism along the Grand Strand.

Coming as it does on the heels of another attempt by county council chairman Tom Rice to end the Harley Davidson May bike rally, it means that the two longest running festivals associated with Myrtle Beach tourism are being sent to the scrap heap by those who see themselves as the leaders of the local business establishment.

“The MBACC board of directors has made the decision to suspend certain events this year that are not self-sustaining.