Jun 14, 2012
Typical Politician Tom Rice Is Another Rubber Stamp for Lobbyists
Typical politician Tom Rice (SC-07) does special favors for lobbyists instead of standing up for Horry County families. Rice allowed a special presentation by a campaign contributor and lobbyist in front of the City Council but refused to allow the fire chief or police chief to testify.
Rice voted to slash funding for the police and fire department which could slow response times to emergencies. South Carolina families are tired of typical politicians who are ready to protect lobbyists over hardworking middle class families.
“Even in his first elected position, typical politician Tom Rice put his relationships with donors and lobbyists ahead of Horry County families,” said Stephanie Formas of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Washington Republicans would have a rubber stamp with Tom Rice to protect special interest loopholes and tax breaks for millionaires, big corporations and companies that ship American jobs overseas. How can hardworking South Carolina families trust Rice to fight for them when he is already beholden to lobbyists?”
County Council Budget Meetings Featured Rice Donor and County Lobbyist. According to Grand Strand Daily columnist Paul Gable, John Napier, a county lobbyist and major contributor to Tom Rice, was allowed to make a presentation to the Horry County Council during the panel’s budget retreat. Napier was allowed to make his pitch even though the Council had not yet personally heard from the police and fire chiefs. “Why is Napier’s appearance so important to be a separate presentation item while the fire chief and police chief budget increase requests are not?” asked Gable. [Grand Strand Daily, 4/26/12]
Rice Voted for Budget Reducing Emergency Services Funding. In June 2011, Rice voted for Horry County’s FY2012 budget, which according to Assistant County Administrator Paul Whitten, reduced the public safety budget by more than $800,000. The fire and police department were not immune from the cuts. “There’s a potential that response times will be slowed, as an average, because of the scheduling issues,” warned Whitten. [Myrtle Beach Online, 6/10/11; Horry County Council, Ordinance 23-11, 6/21/11]
Horry County Council Meetings Moved to Different Site To Accommodate Rice’s Campaign for Congress. Grand Strand Daily columnist Paul Gable speculated about whether the decision to move the Horry County Council budget retreat to a new location was influenced by Tom Rice’s congressional campaign. “One wonders this move has more to do with the flagging Tom Rice for Congress campaign than anything to do with the county budget,” wrote Gable. “Maybe it’s more important for him to be in close proximity to the Coastal Uncorked event in Myrtle Beach this week- an event funded by his friends and donors at the Chamber and attended by his buddies and donors from the Dunes Club card room. Clinking glasses with them at night may be more important than the county budget.” [Grand Strand Daily, 4/26/12]