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Mande Wilkes, Big Beer, And The Myrtle Beach Deep City

Local media personality Mande Wilkes went on Columbia, S.C.’s 100.7 The Point tonight to discuss downtown merchant owners who sell CBD oils in light of last week’s Myrtle Beach City Council meeting.  At that meeting Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune was quoted by the local Sun News as saying,

“We have stores on the boulevard right now who have cases of edibles and they are marketing to children,” Bethune said during the meeting. “They have lollipops, and if you open one of these jars, it looks and smells exactly like regular marijuana.”

Columbia, SC Talk Radio

THE POINT RADIO SHOW LIVE-STREAMED

Wilkes is a former, local T.V. personality. She also worked for the leading local newspaper. She is well known, highly regarded, and followed locally by thousands.

Mande was asked to speak on the radio after a post on her own personal Facebook page gained regional attention this past week.

Wilkes’ Facebook Post

Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune is the owner of Better Brands, an Horry County Anheuser Busch alcohol distributor.

Wilkes’ father, Tuvia Wilkes, is a downtown Myrtle Beach businessman who owns beachwear stores.  Downtown business owners have complained ongoing over the past many years about the assault on their businesses by local non-elected bureaucrats.

Wilkes stated on the air that the problem was what she called the “Myrtle Beach Deep City”.  Wilkes compared it to the Washington Deep State.  This comment was followed by the on air personality stating that Horry County was so corrupt, many of his attorney friends in Columbia, S.C. refused to take a case in Horry County.

The Myrtle Beach Deep City is best personified by Myrtle Beach City Manager John Pedersen.  Downtown business owners signed a letter of no confidence in the Myrtle Beach City Manager just last year.

Wilkes’ stated that the Myrtle Beach deep city used local policing as a sword. Local Myrtle Beach business owner Peter Kalbacher also called into the radio station.  He mocked the mayor, calling her “Budweiser Beth” and said that the real problem was John Pedersen.

MyrtleBeachSC news reported just this past Spring on one of  Pedersen’s bureaucratic uses of local police against those same downtown merchants. Our report can be found here:

https://myrtlebeachsc.com/myrtle-beach-police-chief-investigates-private-business-owners-employee-outfits/

City Manager John Pedersen then followed up with a response to us here:

https://myrtlebeachsc.com/2017-eminent-domain-2018-business-profiling/

THE MYRTLE BEACH DEEP CITY –  WHY BUREAUCRATS ARE THE REAL PROBLEM

Netflix features this month, All THE QUEEN’S HORSES,  the story of the city of Dixon Illinois.  The story lays out the actions of city bureaucrat Rita Krundwell.  Krundwell was a 20 year non-elected city bureaucrat who stole $53 million from the city of Dixon.  Dixon is the birth place of former President Ronald Reagan.

The story is relevant to the City Of Myrtle Beach in light of its own deep city bureaucratic ties to former Myrtle Beach Area Chamber C.E.O. Brad Dean [MBACC], City Manager John Pedersen, and Myrtle Beach City Council.

In a lawsuit filed earlier this year,  it was revealed, that MBACC C.E.O. and accountant Brad Dean worked to set up multiple LLCs with  former MBACC employees acting as the shell owners. Dean then used these LLCs to direct hundreds of millions of tax payer (Tourism Development Fee) dollars paid exclusively and directly to these same shell companies.   Local residents are in the dark as to what each shell company’s markup has been/is and who the real owners of businesses like Visibility and Conversions truly are.  We reported on this here:

https://myrtlebeachsc.com/myrtle-beach-residents-sue-city-horry-county-and-mbacc-over-millions-in-misspent-funds/

This DEEP CITY operation has the look, smell and feel of exactly what happened in the City of Dixon.  The main difference is that so many in the city, county, and state are involved in the S.C. affair.  Dean has left the position and found a similar one in Puerto Rico.  Meanwhile, Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune continues to remain intentionally ignorant as to who actually owns Visibility And Conversions.  Sources tell MyrtleBeachSC news that the named owner, Bill Rosenthal, may own as little as 3% of the company.  Visibility and Conversions has been paid over $60 million by MBACC in TDF dollars per the lawsuit filed by Mitchell.

The city did pass a half-hearted checks and balances measure on a small tax gift paid  to MBACC called the ATAX.  Meanwhile , the city continues to  intentionally ignore the glaring financial conflicts with the the structure of MBACC’s use of the TDF, along with ongoing shootings, beach water bacteria spikes and a county-wide Heroin epidemic.

The Myrtle Beach Deep City rather chooses to focus its pursuit on what Wilkes calls a harassing of downtown business owners who sell a legal product, CBD oils.

No Confidence in John Pedersen
Letter signed by more than 100 local downtown business leaders in 2017

In 2018, merchants are calling for the firing of City Manager John Pedersen, believing he is the central figure in all that is wrong with downtown Myrtle Beach.

We highly recommend our readers who subscribe to NETFLIX watch the movie ALL THE QUEEN’S HORSES.  We believe the parallels to Myrtle Beach City government clearly exist.

 

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About David Hucks

Born in 1961, David is a 12th generation descendant of the area we now call Myrtle Beach, S.C. David attended Coastal Carolina University and like most of his family, has never left the area. David is the lead journalist at MyrtleBeachSC.com

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