The June 2022 primaries were a big win for Horry County’s political powerhouse, the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.
We detailed the big wins earlier today as can be read in the link above.
Journalists are now caught in an ongoing conundrum. 100% of our readers care about the role and actions of government. However, only 21% of our readers have any interests in political articles. Readers view these as divisive, as well as, partisan. Just 16 percent of voters turned out state-wide for yesterday’s primary.
Those same readers care deeply about articles written on the actions and functions of government. So when we write a story about dredging in Little River, as we did today, our readership is high and highly regarded.
NOT SO WITH POLITICAL ARTICLES
However, when MyrtleBeachSC News writes an article about the position of a candidate running for office, or his or her ties to the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, our readership is low.
Conspiracy theorists, political self promoters, and charlatans actually claim we are paid to write such articles. MyrtleBeachSC News does not run political ads for candidates, nor do we take any monies from political candidates. We make NO money covering politics.
We have provided this as a free service to our readers so as to maintain an informed, local electorate.
PEW SURVEY ABOUT JOURNALISM IS CONCERNING
Yet a survey of journalists published yesterday, of which we participated in, concluded that just 14% of journalists surveyed say they think the U.S. public has a great deal or a fair amount of trust in the information it gets from news organizations these days.
Is it wise for a news organization to invest its time informing locals about politics? It is much easier for us to simply report the actions of government instead.
The problem remains that politicians decide the actions of government. Once elected, we are at their mercy.
However, with interruptive, high tech solutions to running campaigns, the ongoing beatings journalists now must take to report local politics are being weighed by news agencies across America, including ours.
HIGH TECH RACES
Candidates, like Russell Fry, are avoiding debates altogether and employing high tech campaign solutions. Fry won against incumbent Tom Rice last night. The Trump endorsement was overwhelming, however, Fry’s team employed a disciplined strategy that secured his win when others predicted a runoff.
Fry used targeted political messaging through Geo Fencing. Geo Fencing creates a virtual geographic boundary around (an area) by means of GPS or RFID technology, enabling software to trigger a response when a mobile device enters or leaves the area. So, if you live in Dillon, Fry was able to send a targeted message just to that area based on your preferences, culture, and ideology. 80% of conservatives in Dillon County voted for Fry.
The same geo fencing strategy held true for every area in District 7.
Door Knocking has gone high tech as well
High tech door knocking strategies employed by Nancy Mace (R-SC 1st District) in and around Charleston overcame Trump’s endorsement of her challenger Katie Arrington. The race was actually called by her campaign team two weeks ago.
Nance’s campaign team pulled their door knockers and reached out to several Horry County contenders at a discount. The campaign teams of those Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce opponents declined to hire Mace’s team.
The technology is so sophisticated, door knockers practically know everything about you before they arrive at your door. The tactic is highly successful and among the most effective campaign tool in today’s America.
WHO IS USING THOSE TOOLS?
Unfortunately, special interests are using those tools almost exclusively. Resident focused candidates and their campaign teams are entirely behind the curve on these new strategies.
While MBACC connected political consultant Walter Whetsell lost the Rice campaign, his team was able to get Jenna Dukes elected in District 1, Carla Schuessler elected in District 61, and Mark Lazarus in a runoff for Horry County Council Chair.
TRIBAL LOCALS AND LOCAL INFIGHTING
UNITY VERSUS DIVISION
While special interests on the coast are united, local county resident groups are tribal.
This secures an opportunity for a group of 18 families in the tourism and development industries to set the agenda for 350,000 local residents.
Watching locals “banter about” on social media, (along with those paid by the establishment to create chaos), is much like watching the movie Braveheart.
Each self promoting “media sensation” tribal lord works to build his own credentials so as to land a “new streaming technology channel gig”. Locals are left fired up, but confused and not knowing what to do other than rant.
These media lords rarely invest in the community by serving on a local community board or planning board. They will, however, gladly head an organization that they can have political control over, especially one that promotes their own personal agenda.
Practically no political organizational efforts are made to intelligently get out the vote on election day. No effort is made to work together for a common understanding of what is truly at stake for local residents.
Meanwhile, the greatest recipient of $50 plus million annually in corporate welfare is highly organized, stays on message, clever in their approach, while controlling the entire county through disciplined organization and leveraged technology.
Perhaps the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and its allies will continue to wield power in Horry County for an additional 30 years.
They certainly will continue to do so, if key resident focused constituencies are unwilling to come together for a common understanding and united effort.