Tag: Republican Party

Is Fry Sandbagging Rice’s Reelection Effort Because of Special Interests?

(Above picture L-R: Tom Rice, Heather Crawford, Seth McKinney, Brenda Bethune, Mark Lazarus, Cam Crawford and Russell Fry)
Ever since Tom Rice cast his vote to impeach President Donald Trump last January, political talk around Horry County has been about whether Rice could survive a challenge to reelection next year.
Almost immediately nine challengers announced they would challenge Rice in next year’s June Republican Primary for the nomination for the SC 7th Congressional District seat. Eight of the original nine remain to date.
Tomorrow night, another challenger, Russell Fry, long expected to throw his hat in the ring, will hold his campaign kickoff event.
Fry’s entry into the race is probably a signal that at least some of Rice’s past supporters no longer believe he is electable.
Both Rice and Fry have drawn from the same base of support in the county during past elections – the Chamber crowd and associated PACs (the special interest crowd), local business owners and the ‘old guard’ members of the HCGOP.
A number of the names listed as sponsors for Rice’s September 14, 2021 Campaign Kickoff event at the Dunes Club also show up as donors to past Fry campaigns, according to filings with the South Carolina Ethics Commission.
The close ties between past Rice and Fry campaigns are best demonstrated by two of Fry’s initial donors in his first special election for the SC House District 106 seat in 2015. One of those donors is none other than Wrenzie Rice, wife of Tom Rice. The other is Doug Wendel, the man probably most responsible for Rice first running for the new 7th Congressional District seat in 2012.
Both Rice and Fry have been strong supporters of Chamber’s number one goal the Interstate 73 project, although neither has been able to bring any significant funds, federal or state respectively, to the project. Both attempted to pressure Horry County Council to provide funding from local hospitality fee collections to completely fund construction of the road to the county line (approximately $500 million additional funding).

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Random Thoughts on Presidential Primaries

Voters will go to the polls in five states today to cast a ballot in Republican and Democratic presidential primaries.

At the end of the day, Hilary Clinton will probably be very close to securing the number of delegates needed to win the Democratic nomination for president.

On the Republican side, Donald Trump is expected to win all five states. However, his nomination will still be in doubt because of party rules and a last ditch effort between the other remaining Republican candidates, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, to stop his nomination at all costs.

Here is a sample of the rhetoric we have heard in the last several days:

A vote for Cruz or Trump is a vote for Hilary Clinton – Kasich

John Kasich has no path whatsoever to the Republican nomination – Cruz

If you collude in business, if you collude in the stock market, they put you in jail. But, if you collude in politics, because it’s a rigged system, that’s okay. – Trump

It takes two guys, long time politicians, to get together to try and stop Trump and they’re way behind. These two guys have to collude in order to stay alive. And they’re not doing very good. They’re way behind. – Trump

Pennsylvania demonstrates the Republican system. It will send 71 delegates to the Republican national convention. If Trump has a big win in Pennsylvania, as he is expected to do, he will gain 17 pledged delegates. The remaining 54 will be unpledged going to the national convention.

This is why Cruz and or Kasich still have hopes of gaining the nomination. They don’t have to win with the voters. All they have to do is stop Trump from gaining a majority of delegates on the first ballot to force the convention open to second and further ballots where the results from the voters will be largely ignored.

As the rhetoric rises and the games being played are brought to light, it becomes more obvious to voters that they really don’t matter that much to the Republican insiders who are trying to stop Trump from gaining the nomination.

Republican Party Trumped in New York

Every time the Republican Party elders think they are regaining control of their party, Donald Trump sticks another finger in their eye.

Donald Trump did it again last night with an overwhelming win in the New York Republican Primary. And, there are lots more to come in the Northeast, Middle Atlantic and Pacific Coast regions in the next six weeks or so.

This primary season can basically be described as a two part saga. Nearly every time the voters have their say in primaries, Trump comes out on top. When the party establishment can work its back room tactics in one type of caucus or another, someone else wins.

The quick conclusion that can be drawn from this is that the people want Donald Trump while the Republican Party establishment doesn’t.

Exit polls among Republican voters in New York say the same thing – 61% of those voting in the Republican primary (remember this was a closed primary limited to registered Republicans) said they wanted an outsider as the party’s nominee. At the same time, 69% said they felt the candidate who captures the largest number of delegates in the primaries, even if it isn’t a majority of delegates, should be the party’s nominee.

This is important. It is the voters who go to the polls in November who will elect our next president, not a bunch of party hacks trying to twist and turn the rules to their advantage.

And, if we’ve learned one thing during the primaries, it’s that Ted Cruz doesn’t excite a large number of voters.

If the Republican Party movers and shakers want to guarantee a loss in November, all they have to do is work their back room deals to nominate Cruz in July.

Republican Presidential Primary Saturday

After nearly two weeks of non-stop mudslinging, Republican presidential primary candidates can sit back and see whose negative ads were most successful.

Or maybe not.

Voters will go to polls Saturday February 20 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to vote for the Republican of their choice. The Democratic presidential primary is Saturday February 27.

Those voters who cast a ballot in the Republican primary are not eligible to also vote in the Democratic primary.

Acceptable forms of ID to vote are driver’s license or other DMV ID, passport, military ID, or SC voter registration card.

I have spoken to several staunch Republicans in Horry County who plan to forego their own party’s primary in order to vote for Bernie Sanders in a week. As a group they support Donald Trump and feel confident in their favorite’s ability to win the South Carolina primary without their vote. Instead, they are in a “stop Hillary” frame of mind.

If polls are to be believed, Trump is on his way to a second straight primary victory. Ted Cruz is currently polling ahead of Marco Rubio for second with Jeb Bush, John Kasich and Ben Carson rounding out the field in that order.

Personally, I see Trump winning with Rubio scoring a surprise second and Cruz third. Rubio remains the choice of a majority of the Republican establishment while the Bush campaign continues to founder.

But, it looks more like a brokered convention is in the offing for the Republicans, the only hope that keeps the Bush candidacy alive.

General Assembly Failing Citizens Again

It’s a Great Day in South Carolina?

It’s a great day in South Carolina!

It has to be.

Gov. Nikki Haley was reelected to a 2nd term in office by a 57% to 40% margin and incumbents around the state were swept back into office.

Many of the incumbents didn’t even have opponents to worry about in the general election.

Myrtle Beach Forced Annexation Referendum Today

The vote on whether the City of Myrtle Beach will be successful in forcing at least 12 businesses into the city limits, with accompanying city taxes, will be held today.

The forced annexation of these businesses is part of an overall annexation referendum of approximately 640 acres. The initiative started with the Bridgeport community desiring annexation into the city to, hopefully, initiate road improvements.

State law prohibits forced annexation of property into city limits. One of the reasons is the additional level of taxation the properties will experience.

However, Myrtle Beach believes it has found a loophole in state law that allows the addition of commercial and undeveloped property to annexation petitions for residential property.

Residents to Horry County – “Raise Our Taxes”

Faced with the possibility of a 3.5 mill tax increase, for those living in the unincorporated areas of Horry County, residents descended on county council chambers last night to beg for an almost double tax increase than was initially proposed.

Speaker after speaker came to the microphone, during public input on the county’s budget deliberations, to beg for higher taxes, higher even than the politicians were considering.

When the issue was settled, council voted 7-5 to raise taxes by 6 mills in the unincorporated areas of the county to fund improvements in fire services, mostly in the rural western part of the county.

Chad Connelly and the SCGOP

A heated battle for the chairmanship of the South Carolina Republican Party has brought some interesting details to light as the contest enters its final days.

Last week, current SCGOP chairman Chad Connelly and the party were named defendants in a lawsuit alleging Connelly slandered Cherokee County GOP member Brian Frank in an e-mail and during a speech to upstate party members. Frank has been active in supporting Sam Harms, Connelly’s challenger in the upcoming chairman’s election at the SCGOP convention Saturday.

An e-mail from Harms claimed he was denied access, by SCGOP headquarters, to the list of county delegates to the state convention from 44 of the state’s 46 counties. Apparently this denial was in the hope that Harms’ campaign for chairman would be hurt by this denial.

An e-mail from Connelly, allegedly endorsed by 90 county party officials and members, claimed to “set the record straight” on Connelly’s record in his two years as chairman. However, while claiming facts about Connelly’s actions while chairman have been distorted by his opponents, Connelly’s e-mail contains its own distortions.

Brian Frank – Chad Connelly’s Chosen Villain

As a result of a controversy created by Chad Connelly as he seeks to be re-elected as state party chairman at next week’s SCGOP convention, I decided to take a closer look at Connelly’s designated antagonist Brian Frank.

As we reported yesterday, Connelly viciously attacked Frank through e-mails last week and during the Cherokee County GOP meeting Monday night (captured on video).

The only apparent reason for these attacks is that Frank has been actively supporting Connelly’s opponent for the post of state party chairman, Sam Harms, primarily through the use of You Tube and Facebook.

During Connelly’s diatribes, he has inferred Frank is similar to the recent ‘Boston bombers’, accused him of “rant(ing) endlessly hateful stuff” and said Frank “has threatened me and my family.”

It is interesting to note that Frank attended the Cherokee County GOP meeting Monday night without speaking to Connelly. When Frank was prevented from taking video of Connelly’s speech, he chose to leave the meeting. It was only after Frank’s departure that Connelly, pointing to Frank’s empty chair, gave his 47 second rant against Frank, which was captured on video by another individual.