Tag: tom rice

Russell Fry’s ‘Goofy’ Campaign for Congress

Filing closed Wednesday for this year’s June 14th Republican primaries. Normally the close of filing brings the beginning of ‘silly season’ in politics.
However, this year, the Russell Fry campaign to replace Tom Rice as the SC 7th Congressional District Congressman started ‘silly season’ early.
Fry waited until August 2021 to announce he was running for Congress until he was virtually certain that establishment pols like Henry McMaster and Drew McKissick could get his campaign endorsed by former President Donald Trump.
Fry also waited eight months to criticize Rice’s January 13, 2021 vote to impeach Trump. Now he can’t stop talking about Rice as a “Trump impeacher.” Fry is a little slow on the uptake.
Fry has used the term ‘committed conservative’ to describe his political voting stance. However, the American Conservative Union gives Fry a 58% overall voting record for his first five years in the SC House. Sounds more like a RINO voting record to me.
After the Trump endorsement last month, the Fry campaign ran its first political ad, a ridiculous cartoon style creation featuring paid actors to portray such characters as the Joker and the Devil.
Then, voters in the 7th Congressional District were treated to a Fry video announcing, “Damn, it sure is great to be a Gangster.”
Since filing for candidacy opened in the middle of March 2022, the Fry campaign has treated voters to two email messages. (see below)

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Russell Fry and His Cast of Cartoon Characters

You have to give Russell Fry credit, he and his campaign have come up with the most absolutely ridiculous political ad ever created.
For those of you who haven’t seen it, it is available for viewing on the Fry for Congress Facebook page.
Using a number of cartoon villains, the ad tries to paint a Tom Rice character as one of them, but fails in that message when they tell the Rice character to leave their Villains Anonymous meeting. The villains are obviously looking for a Rice protégé to support.
The use of a Lucifer character as one of the villains in the cartoon has drawn considerable criticism from the Christian conservatives in the district.
Fry has been notable for sending out numerous emails begging for campaign contributions while commissioning this ad, which was obviously filmed on a sound stage with professional actors and was not cheap.
Now, if the Fry campaign hires a professional script writer to come up with some sensible message to voters, maybe his next ads for television will at least make some kind of sense.
In the ad, Rice is portrayed as being against term limits because of his five terms in Congress. Now this is an interesting one. The normal proposed term limit amount for House members is three terms or six years. Fry is currently serving in his seventh year in the SC House, so he obviously does not believe in term limits for his current seat.
Fry says he supports term limits legislation. This is an old ploy used by many politicians. They will profess all day to be for term limits but never introduce or vote for a bill that would actually mandate term limits.

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Chamber I-73 Funding Loses Again in Columbia

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’s becoming obvious to all but the Chamber and its cronies that it would be easier to pass a camel through the eye of the needle than to get funding for I-73.
With all the excess money floating around in Columbia from federal Covid relief funds and excess state revenue, this was supposed to be the year the Chamber finally secured 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 upcoming budget, it was never going to get it. It didn’t.
Even with all the excess money floating around the state budget process this year, 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 so many years.
In Horry County alone, the needs for improvements on 90, 905, 501, 9, 319 and 544, to name a few, far outweigh the need for the I-73 spur road.
The Chamber counted on its preferred politicians, Tom Rice, Russell Fry and Henry McMaster to get the job done.

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Fake Fry, Fake Campaign

Last week the Russell Fry campaign sent out an email saying the campaign was “running red hot” but then went on to beg for money.
Nearly all political campaigns shade the truth and spin their message, but this email is a perfect example of just how much BS is coming from the Fry campaign.
If the Fry campaign actually gained momentum from the endorsement of Fry by Donald Trump, money would be pouring in. Obviously, it’s not.
Last week also saw a rumor begin making the rounds in Horry County that Ken Richardson was going to drop out of the race and endorse Fry. Nothing could be further from the truth. Richardson is not dropping out and he wouldn’t endorse Fry under any circumstances for any political office, let alone Congress.
And, an article appeared, authored by Audrey Hudson, which attempted to paint Fry as the only candidate in the race that has the leadership skills and conservative record to defeat Tom Rice in the upcoming June 2022 Republican Primary.
Hudson used examples such as Fry’s votes for the “heartbeat” bill and the “2nd Amendment” bill as proof of Fry’s conservative and constitutional credentials.
Of course, she didn’t mention Fry’s vote for the largest gas tax increase in state history, his attempt to have the state legislature dictate to Horry County that it must spend its hospitality tax revenue on Interstate 73 and his vote to allow extension of the Myrtle Beach Tourism Development Fee, which is nothing more than a giveaway of more than $30 million taxpayer dollars per year to the Myrtle Beach Chamber.
Hudson went on to smear Richardson with a completely inaccurate record of Richardson’s handling of restrictions and enforcements of mandates in Horry County Schools due to Covid. But why let facts get in the way of your spin in a story?

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Chamber Candidates Rice and Fry versus the Field in 7th Congressional District Race

When President Donald Trump ran for office in 2016, a major pledge of his candidacy was to “Drain the Swamp” of Washington, D.C., a phrase that attracted many voters.
Draining the swamp included key items like clamping down on the influence of lobbyists and ending the practice of politicians being the puppets of ‘big money donors.’ As was said at the time, big money controls politics, often at the expense of average citizens.
While Trump was able to partially drain some of the influence of the swamp, the idea that more draining must be done still rests in the minds of many voters, especially Republicans.
The special interests in Horry County, the lobbyists and big money donors, include the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, the Grand Strand Business Alliance and the cabal associated with them.
One hears an almost constant din from the Chamber, the GSBA and their allies about the need for Interstate 73 and the federal, state and local tax dollars needed to build it. Could it be because members of the cabal stand to gain financially from construction of I-73?
Interstate 73 has been the subject of recent Facebook ads by the South Carolina Taxpayers Association asking the voters of South Carolina to call SC Senate President Thomas Alexander and request the General Assembly to address the maintenance and upgrading needed on all the roads throughout the state rather than a ‘special interest’ project like I-73.
Rice went to Congress nearly 10 years ago with the promise to get the money needed to build I-73. It hasn’t happened. The Chamber, to date, continues to support a Rice reelection even after Rice’s vote to impeach President Donald Trump made him extremely unpopular with the majority of voters in the 7th Congressional District.
SC Rep. Russell Fry took eight months, after the impeachment vote, before he made any public remarks about Rice’s vote to impeach President Trump. It was only after Fry announced his intention to challenge Rice in the upcoming Republican Primary that he began to criticize Rice and the Fry criticism of Rice to date has been lukewarm at best, rather like criticizing a family member.

Richardson Profile Grows, Allen Exits 7th Congressional District Race

Four and one-half months to go until Republican Primary voting for the SC 7th Congressional District nomination and things are starting to heat up.
Ken Richardson, Horry County School Board Chairman and Congressional challenger to incumbent Tom Rice, made a big splash this week with the Make America Great Again supporters in an op-ed Richardson wrote challenging the results of the 2020 presidential election and support for true election integrity. Richardson’s article was a featured piece on Steve Bannon’s War Room podcast.
Because of his fundraising, continuous trips to speak throughout the 7th District and growing national attention, Richardson’s candidate profile continues to grow.
Richardson only began serious fundraising activities last week. As he said last week, if the race is going to be decided by money alone, he would just write a check. He put his money where his mouth is by loaning $500,000 to his campaign fund. In addition, Richardson raised approximately $200,000 last year and spent approximately $150,000 of that amount on various campaign expenses.
His campaign account currently boasts $557,030.08 with checks beginning to roll in from the over $200,000 in donation pledges Richardson solicited in the last two weeks.
Graham Allen, a conservative activist and media personality, who never lived in the 7th Congressional District, decided to suspend his campaign and concentrate on his nationwide appeal as a media personality.
Allen said he is currently working on forthcoming projects and issue advocacy with his media company and will continue to spread “a message of freedom, personal liberty and America First conservatism across the country…”

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Patience Pays Off for Richardson Campaign

Ken Richardson has prepared for the final five-month push to the Republican Primary where he expects to unseat Tom Rice for the nomination for the SC 7th Congressional District.
Since announcing his candidacy in February 2021, Richardson has spent the last year speaking throughout the district to over 100 groups of Republican voters.
“I wanted to spend one year talking to voters about what they think are the important issues facing the 7th Congressional District,” said Richardson. “The other candidates in the race were all about raising money. If representing the people of the 7th Congressional District was only about money, I would just go write a check.”
After a career as a successful businessman, Richardson owned the only Mercedes, BMW and Cadillac dealership under one roof in the United States, Richardson, after selling his dealership, entered politics in 2018 winning the Horry County School Board Chairman race.
From the beginning, being school board chairman was only the first stop for Richardson.
“I always had challenging Tom Rice in the 7th Congressional District in my sights,” Richardson said. “Initially I had targeted 2024 as the year, but, when Rice voted to impeach President Donald Trump on January 13, 2021, I moved my timetable up by two years.”
The SC 7th Congressional District is one of the most pro-Trump Congressional Districts in the nation. In his talks to voters over the past year, Richardson has found Rice’s vote to impeach the president is foremost in their minds.
“Tom Rice and his campaign manager both said over time the people would forget about Rice’s vote to impeach President Donald Trump,” Richardson said. “What I have found over the past year is not only have the voters not forgotten that vote, they also have not forgiven Rice for casting it.”

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Rice Fishes for Voters While Fry Fishes for Money

It’s been one year since Congressman Tom Rice’s vote to impeach former President Donald Trump.
That fateful January 13, 2021 vote marked the beginning of Rice’s rapid fall from grace with the Republican voters of the SC 7th Congressional District, who constitute a considerable majority of the total voters in the district.
The SC 7th Congressional District is one of the most pro-Trump Congressional districts in the nation. From a political standpoint, Rice could have done nothing worse than his betrayal of the president to the constituents he represents.
Shortly after Rice’s fatal vote, Rice’s political consultant, Walter Whetsell, the go to guy for the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, told news media that a week is like a lifetime in politics and the voters would forget about the impeachment vote in a couple of weeks.
Whetsell’s statement only goes to prove how out of touch Whetsell is with the realities of current day Republicanism in the 7th Congressional District.
Rice has chosen to run for reelection telling media representatives that the Republican Party must move on from Trump and that he (Rice) will run on his record of accomplishment for the nearly 10 years he has represented the 7th Congressional District.
But, Rice has no record of accomplishment in Washington. He went to Washington with two big goals – secure funding for Interstate 73 and bring “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs” to the district. Despite working with a Republican majority in the House of Representatives for his first six years there, Rice was unable to secure any significant funding for I-73.
While Rice likes to point to the Dillon inland port as an example of his ability to create jobs, that project actually owes its existence considerably more to former state Sen. Hugh Leatherman than anything Rice produced.
I-73 will probably be at the core of Rice’s reelection effort. It was the Chamber and the cabal of would be ‘movers and shakers’ associated with it that first got Rice elected to Congress and has been as the center of his reelection efforts since. The thought was that Rice and lobbying efforts in Washington would secure funding for the road’s construction.
Whetsell is firmly attached to the I-73 project as the “poll(?)” he conducted last year on the project for the Chamber demonstrates. And Whetsell represents Chamber candidates such as Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune, state Reps. Case Brittain and Tim McGinnis and will represent Mark Lazarus’ attempt to win back the county chairman position he lost in 2018, all with the idea that local tax dollars must be dedicated to I-73.

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Gov. McMaster Tries to Keep I-73 Project Alive

Gov. Henry McMaster requested the General Assembly appropriate $300 million, from American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds the state received from the federal government, to construction of Interstate 73 as one of the items in the executive budget he submitted to the legislative body earlier this week.
McMaster made good on the promise he made to the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce at an October 2021 press conference when he said he would request the I-73 funding from the General Assembly.
Traditionally, executive budgets submitted by governors of this state have received minimal consideration before being shelved and ignored when the SC House writes the budget. There is no reason to believe the same won’t happen with the governor’s request for I-73 funding.
McMaster presented a funding plan for the I-73 project which consisted of $800 million from the state, including the $300 million which is actually federal funds given to the state, an additional $450 million from the federal government and $350 million from the local governments in Horry County.
However, Chamber President Karen Riordan attempted to spin the governor’s remarks at the October press conference as a pledge that the I-73 project would receive $300 million from the state. She was joined in that spin effort by Rep. Case Brittain, who in his first year in the SC House was made president of the I-73/74/75 Corridor Association, which is a high-sounding name for a Chamber created entity.
In addition, Congressman Tom Rice and SC Rep. Russell Fry were prominent at the press conference and enthusiastic in their statements on I-73 funding. Fry, of course, announced in August that he was challenging Rice for the Congressional seat because Rice has been a failure to his constituents in the 7th Congressional District. GSD has said over and over that Fry is really a clone of Rice who hopes to gain Chamber support for his Congressional run should Rice continue to falter with voters.
Actually, the press conference and statements by the various elected officials was nothing more than an attempt to keep the I-73 project on some kind of life support.
What has happened since that October press conference?

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Fry Campaign Filled with Terminological Inexactitudes

The New Year begins a five-month sprint for the 7th Congressional District Republican nomination among 10 announced challengers to incumbent Tom Rice.
Much nonsense will be heard from the various campaigns as candidates attempt to attract the attention of voters.
However, to date, the campaign of state Rep. Russell Fry has been the King of Terminological Inexactitudes, to use a phrase first coined Winston Churchill in 1906 to describe lies in parliamentary debate.
Then, a recent video appeal for campaign donations, featured on his @RussellFrySC Facebook page, sounded absolutely desperate in its appeal for money. I have heard many comments about the video including how the timing was bad, the appearance was awful and the desperation in the plea for money was apparent.
In an effort to concoct some type of appealing image to voters, Fry’s campaign pronouncements have been full of catch phrases designed to appeal conservative voters.
It took Fry eight months after Tom Rice voted to impeach former President Donald Trump to first denounce Rice’s vote. To hear Fry tell it now in campaign videos, he is the prime defender of America First values to which Rice is a traitor.
But Rice and Fry are cut from the same cloth. Both have staked their political careers on catering to the whims and wishes of the Myrtle Beach cabal. Fry was very happy to share the stage with Rice several months ago during a Chamber staged event promoting Interstate 73.
No politician can possibly be true to conservative fiscal values and also support the I-73 boondoggle. But Fry has always been a Chamber politician, just look at his donors through the years. If Rice doesn’t win reelection, the Chamber would like Fry to be the one to replace him to keep an elitist Chamber agenda voice in Congress, even though that has not meant any significant federal money for I-73. A vote for Fry is as much a vote for the elitist Chamber agenda as a vote for Rice.

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