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Tom Rice
Rice political consultant was paid tourist tax monies

Rice Political Consultant Paid $24,935 In TDF Monies By MBACC

RICE AT I-73 GALA PUT ON BY THE MYRTLE BEACH AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Records turned over to Special Prosecutor David Pascoe’s state-wide corruption investigation and the FBI now show that Tom Rice’s political consultant, Walter Whetsell, was paid $24,935.66 in TDF (tourist tax) monies in 2011.

Earlier this year, the Pascoe team was also given records showing the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce paid $60,000 in TDF monies to indicted State Representative Jim Merrill’s political consulting family business.

SLED, Special Prosecutor Pascoe, and the FBI are conducting a state wide corruption probe that, to date, have netted former Speaker of The S.C. House – Bobby Harrell, Representative Jim Merrill, North Myrtle Beach area politician Tracy Edge, Political Consultant Richard Quinn, and his son, Representative Rick Quinn.

Tom Rice is a South Carolina U.S. Congressman from the 7th (Forence/Myrtle Beach) District with close ties to Brad Dean of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.

Walter Whetsell
Walter Whetsell, Powerful S.C. Political Consultant

With Richard Quinn now sidelined by Pascoe’s probe, Walter Whetsell is considered the most powerful political consultant in the state of S.C.

On November 18th, we sent Mr. Whetsell and Mr. Dean the below email. We followed up with a second request. Neither Mr. Whetsell nor Mr. Dean responded to our multiple requests.

_____________________________________________________________

Walter,

I am writing you this afternoon, as this matter has now been presented to the team supporting Special Prosecutor David Pascoe.  Please see the attached.
This invoice was paid with TDF – Tourist Tax monies.  As you know,  TDF funds must be spent only on out of market advertising.  Mr. Dean has stated in writing that this was the explicit purpose of  what these funds were used for.
  1. Do you have pictures, records, or any files you can provide of the campaign you created with these dedicated “out of market” tourism funding sources?
  2. Why did you NOT make the Bethune campaign aware of this matter when they discussed hiring you?
Mrs. Bethune has run, what I consider, a highly ethical campaign during this cycle.  Her integrity is above reproach.
Please provide your out of marketing materials used on this 2011 campaign so that we can clear this matter up.
Mr. Dean – Any comments you might have on this matter would also be most helpful.  We are told Mr. Whetsell is pegged to be the campaign manager for the re-elect Tom Rice campaign just ahead.
Mr. Dean, we would also appreciate any comments you might have as to why you would hire a political marketing consultant for a Myrtle Beach Targeted Tourism Promotion and pay the firm with TDF funding.
 
TO BE CLEAR:  AS WE VETTED THIS STORY, MRS. BETHUNE HAD NO KNOWLEDGE OF THIS ACTIVITY AND HAS NEVER PARTICIPATED IN SUCH.  HER CAMPAIGN WAS NEVER MADE AWARE OF THIS ACTIVITY. 
Whetsell Email
Actual Email Sent To Walter Whetsell

 

TDF WHETSELL
Invoice paid by MBACC

 

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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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