S.C. Special Prosecutor David Pascoe’s state probe (that many are now calling “Operation Lost State”) approaches two years in the making with growing indictments monthly. Practically every S.C. Representative and every S.C. State Senator has concerns of being named in the probe. Sources tell MyrtleBeachSC.com that among those most concerned include local Senator Luke Rankin.
Few locals, however, are even aware of the state-wide probe. The probe has ensnared key S.C. elected leaders including former S.C. Speaker of the House – Bobby Harrell, S.C. State Representative Jim Merrill (who is now cooperating with the FBI), S.C. State Representative Rick Quinn, and his father Richard Quinn – who owns the largest political consulting firm in S.C.
Richard Quinn is considered among the most powerful men in S.C. just behind Florence area S.C. Senator Hugh Leatherman and Brad Dean, C.E.O. of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.
Last year, (at the prosecutor’s request) MyrtleBeachSC.com provided SLED and the Pascoe team records showing that Brad Dean and the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce used $60,000 in TDF (tourism tax dollars) to pay PLUFF MUD, a Merrill related consulting firm. Merril has since become an informant for the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and the FBI in a plea agreement concerning this ongoing investigation.
Local news has rarely covered the matter, until Tracy Edge, North Myrtle Beach local and former S.C. House Representative, became embroiled in the ongoing State House corruption probe. Edge was allegedly on the payroll of Richard Quinn, the S.C. top political consultant. Quinn is accused of using legislators to pad the pockets of his clients, prosecutors told a court in Columbia at a bond hearing on October 24, 2017.
Merrill’s information helped lead to the charges now labeled against Edge.
HOW DOES THAT PLAY LOCALLY?
The tourism lobby, represented by Brad Dean and Steve Chapman of the Grand Strand Business Alliance, has been working overtime to ensure their candidates get re-elected this Fall. The group had a successful win in District 56 with the election of Tim McGinnis.
The group is now working nonstop to ensure that city of Myrtle Beach incumbents, including Mayor John Rhodes, Councilman Randal Wallace and Councilman Mike Lowder, get re-elected.
If those incumbents should fail, and the TDF monies are somehow re-allocated, the entire, corrupt state-wide system could be entirely compromised.
LOCAL ELECTIONS MATTER MOST
DARK RECENT HISTORY OF LIES
Among eight suspicious trips to China, a shady golf course purchase, barricades on the boulevard, private property issues in the Superblock, a library that was coming – but now may not be, and attacks on tourists – including one who videoed a shooting what are political websites and friends of the local tourism lobby (who support Mayor Rhodes) attempting to put our attention on during this election?
WILL FOLKS’ FAKE NEWS VIDEO MOCKING MB MAYORAL CANDIDATE
Last night, friends of the tourism lobby quickly put up another mocking video on a second fictitious Facebook page called NOT ED CAREY. That video and the fake page were quickly taken down. This afternoon, it was back up again. However, after MyrtleBeachSC.com reached out to Facebook attorneys, the video was permanently removed.
It is curious to many that both of the candidates who were mocked are questioning if advertising dollars should continue to be spent instead of re-allocating some of those funds for making city-wide brand improvements.
Will Folkes of Fitsnews, who orchestrated the McBride video stated, “Finally, to all the reporters grilling me over Liber-TEA and its donors, vendors and related financial particulars, I have never discussed these issues and have no plans to start doing so now.” Folkes was paid to create the video and set up the fictitious Facebook page called “The Real Mark McBride” by a hidden group of political financiers and administrators. Folkes is now hiding behind the (PAC) Citizens United law to shield the group actually responsible for this pettiness and evil.
GRACE BEYOND DENIAL
For over 12 years now, the writers of MyrtleBeachSC.com have asked whether the leaders of Myrtle Beach are in denial about the issues concerning tourists and residents? Or whether residents are uninformed about the issues that concern Myrtle Beach? Or whether the media and “off year elections” keep residents out of touch with how far Myrtle Beach has fallen behind our neighbors in North Myrtle Beach and Pawleys Island?
INCOMPETENT CHAMBER OF COMMERCE?
While the surface arguments continue around whether the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber (MBACC) should be funded over $32 million annually in tax subsidies, no one ever questions if the monies are being spent wisely.
1900’s PUSH MEDIA VERSUS ENGAGEMENT MEDIA
City of Myrtle Beach leaders are still trapped in a 1990’s paradigm of one sided message marketing.
MBACC continues to spend millions in Google pay per click ad buys and traditional T.V. ad buys with one sided, self promoting messages that say things like “Our Beach Is Awesome”
MBACC has only recently been willing to begin to wade into the world of Engagement media, allowing two way and more conversations.
Engagement media is the king of all things advertising and will be so forever forward. The MBACC mocks engagement media, as well was what they call “those nuts on Social Media”, demeaning groups like Make Myrtle Beaches Free, Clean and Safe.
Meanwhile they have taken the forum of social media and attempted to turn it into one sided conversation platforms. Examples: Keeping Myrtle Beach Safe, Make Myrtle Beach Positively Perfect and especially MBACC’s own Facebook page Visit Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. This page is brought to you by the taxpayers of America.
Try to have a two sided or three sided or six sided (as is common today) conversation thread on this site asking questions about things like ocean water quality or gun violence.
Those “nuts on social media” just happen to be Myrtle Beach’s customers. The consumer’s opinion of a brand is paramount. Brands are now required to come alongside the consumer working together to build the brand.
A big part of that requires listening.
Merchants and residents have asked MyrtleBeachSC.com privately – Can an organization really listen when they have so much to hide?
The MBACC receives more tax welfare than any other entity in the state. An S.C. activist named Skip Hoagland currently has a case against the Beaufort, SC Chamber requesting that they be required to open up themselves to FOIA as the largest percentage of their monies are provided by tax payers. MBACC joined that lawsuit on behalf of the Beaufort Chamber. If Hoagland should win, the secrets will come to an immediate end.
YOUR THOUGHTS – SHOULD YOU VOTE ON TUESDAY? – WHY?
Should the Chamber be more transparent? The state’s highest court will decide.