Local merchants believe Citizens For Better Roads is simply a front for the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber
A hastily formed political action group called Citizens For Better Roads has been spending hundreds of thousands of dollars promoting a 1% local tax initiative called RIDE III. The initiative is on the ballot tomorrow. State wide polling indicates the votes of “no” versus “yes” are as close as any in recent history. While hundreds of thousands have been spent by Myrtle Beach insiders to ensure the bill’s passage, and no opposition monies were ever raised, the initiative could still be voted down as many county residents oppose giving another non-accountable funding mechanism to local operatives.
The initiative has the support of Myrtle Beach insiders that include Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes, Myrtle Beach Chamber President Brad Dean, County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus, Corporate Insiders Burroughs & Chapin and Brittain Resort Hotels, City Councilman Wayne Gray, and U.S. Congressman Tom Rice.
RIDE III has an array of pork barrel projects scattered throughout Horry County to ensure that every resident has some vested interest in voting yes. Locals have told our team the vote is more about money and control and less about roads.
Curiously, the PAC – Citizens For Better Roads – was just formed this past September 19th, as can be seen below from the SC Secretary of State’s Office. All information associated with mailers we have on this group shows the group’s official address as the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, whose C.E.O. is Brad Dean.
CITIZENS FOR BETTER ROADS
DOMESTIC / FOREIGN:Domestic
STATE OF INCORPORATION
/ ORGANIZATION:SOUTH CAROLINA
REGISTERED AGENT INFORMATION
REGISTERED AGENT NAME:KARL S. BOWERS, JR.
ADDRESS:1419 PENDLETON ST.
The registered agent for Citizens for Better Roads is Columbia, S.C. Attorney Butch Bowers. We reached out to Attorney Bowers and asked how the group, which was only founded on September 19th, marshaled the large amount of funding spent area wide in just over 30 days. We also asked how the media buys, including coordinating billboard, radio, and direct mail, was purchased, organized and put out to the public in less than 40 days in total.
As of our publication date, Mr. Bowers has not returned our emails nor our calls.
The official mailing address for the direct mail pieces sent out by Citizens For Better Roads is the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce 1201 North Oak Street, Myrtle Beach, S.C. 29577