Latest Lexington SC Tax Hike Rumblings

Chip Felkel – an Upstate “Republican” consultant who seems to specialize in self-promotion as much as government expansion – was recently rejected as the lead consultant on a Lexington County tax hike campaign. From talking to insiders, the leaders of the movement did not feel as though Felkel had the…

Chip Felkel – an Upstate “Republican” consultant who seems to specialize in self-promotion as much as government expansion – was recently rejected as the lead consultant on a Lexington County tax hike campaign.

From talking to insiders, the leaders of the movement did not feel as though Felkel had the right type of political experience – having admitted in a meeting his lack of experience in winning capital project sales tax campaigns.

There’s a bigger, more interesting at work though.

Our sources tell us Felkel was recommended by individuals involved with the uber-liberal S.C. Association of Counties – a glorified taxpayer-funded lobby group.

You may ask: Why does the S.C. Association of Counties care who runs a Lexington County tax hike campaign? Good question.

Bill Banning, who is currently seeking re-election to his Lexington County council seat, was reportedly the one pushing Felkel. In fact Banning may have been pushing Felkel in order to receive his own piece of the action.

Felkel recently produced a television commercial for the S.C. Association of Counties (in cooperation with the Conservation Voters of South Carolina) because these groups were losing a lobbying effort before the S.C. General Assembly on an unrelated issue.

The Conservation Voters group is run by liberal Democrat Ann Timberlake – whose organization has had its share of credibility issues in the past.

FITS is planning on sending a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) letter to both groups regarding this expenditure – but we’re not holding our breath for these people to disclose what they did.

We suspect these groups used your tax money to subsidize their liberal agendas. In fact we are hearing reports that the S.C. Association of Counties may have spent as much as $500,000 to purchase its television ads.

Anyway … several of the local chamber executives were concerned that Felkel did not have a feel for the area and his proposal. And so they rejected his bid – despite the political pressure to hire him.

In addition to Banning, these sources tell FITS Joe Mergo – Lexington County’s administrator (and the son-in-law of State Sen. Nikki Setzler) was also pushing the county to hire Felkel.

Mergo and the Council have already committed to spend around $450,000 with a Rock Hill outfit, Reliance Engineering, to work on this issue.

Stay tuned … we will continue to report on this project, and on other so-called “Republicans” getting hired (or trying to get hired) to run tax hike campaigns.

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jimlewisowb March 31, 2014 at 12:54 pm

Let me see if I have this straight

The Conservative Republican County Council is spending $450,000.00 of taxpayer’s money to convince the same taxpayer’s to give them $300,000,000.00 more taxpayer’s money by way of raising the sales tax

Fucking Cockroaches

shifty henry March 31, 2014 at 2:19 pm

Senator’s son: “I’m going to take “ Political Economy” at university.”

Senator: “That’s a useless course. Why learn to economize in politics? It’s just not being done.”

JimBo March 31, 2014 at 3:25 pm

Who has called the Lexington County Council “conservative”?

jimlewisowb March 31, 2014 at 3:44 pm

They label themselves to be conservatives
They promote themselves to be conservatives
Their campaign material states they are conservatives
The media refers to them as conservatives
Their Political Party refers to them as conservatives
Their friends tell me they are conservatives
Hell, even the Governor calls them conservatives

On second thought I should have gone with Lexington County Council Liberal Fucking Cockroaches

Lakeman March 31, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Hell, we all know Banning and Jeffcoat are Dems. This isn’t news. . . .

Johnny Turncoat March 31, 2014 at 10:18 pm

None of those, other than campaign materials, refer to them as conservatives.

Justme March 31, 2014 at 12:56 pm

Merge is where the rel action is here. Dig deeper see where slick Nikki’s other son in laws work. At least two of them are on the tax payers dime. Mergo went from police detective to county adminisator. Now I am not genius but something is not right there

Yay! March 31, 2014 at 1:07 pm

Republicans & Democrats, two sides of the same coin.

Bob's My Name March 31, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Somebody answer this question for me: why are the non-profit “Shambers of Commerce” out using my money to lobby for a tax hike? Who from Irmo and West Metro Chamber are involved in this crap?

Lakeman March 31, 2014 at 4:00 pm

From their websites, it is GREG PINNER (Joe’s boy) at West Metro and TIFFANY BOICE at Irmo. (She used to work for Halfacre). RINO Rep. Chip Huggins, Bob Brown from City of Irmo and one of the First Community Bank boys whose CEO Mike Crapps is ringleading the tax is on the Irmo board of directors!!!!! I don’t know why chamber groups are out to raise taxes?? Their members need to RESIGN IN PROTEST for their membership dues being paid to RAISE TAXES and then run all these clowns and any other tax and spend chamber people out of town!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

GrandTango March 31, 2014 at 3:03 pm

Obama got reelected despite his total failure…so its hard to predict. But this tax may be more despised than Obama in Lexington County. It is a complete case of tone deafness by CC…

Richland County is a hellhole of failure. Why emulate them when people are fleeing?

CorruptionInColumbia March 31, 2014 at 3:16 pm

Thank You Fits, for keeping this on the burner. I keep expecting LexCo Council to draft Lillian McBribe for her expertise in these matters, any day now.

Bob's My Name March 31, 2014 at 5:59 pm

Hey FITS, while you are working on the FOIAs, add Mergo and county staff to see if anyone can find the STATE-MANDATED Requests for Proposal for the sweetheart deal Alliance got! I know from several engineers in my neighborhood that their firm never received one and they are on the county’s on-call list. They have asked for the RFP to be presented and have been completely shut out.

I also would love to trace the $450K – how much you want to bet some made it to Mergo, Banning and Johnny Turncoat’s account?

Thomas March 31, 2014 at 11:14 pm

Lexington already has a 7% sales tax. State sales tax is 6%. What Lexington County needs are shopping centers. Shopping at Harbison gives Richland County our sales tax revenue. Shopping across the Congaree River gives Richland County our sales tax revenue. Use the terrain as a unique force multiplier on 378 instead of filling it in. Allow access roads from 378 to go down a few grades to major shopping while tunneling under 378 to access both sides of 378. Only a moron would advocate to fill in a 30 foot drop in grade stretching for miles from the main road that could be an amount of back fill equal to size of Mt Everest.

Lakeman April 1, 2014 at 10:20 pm

Now, why is West Metro chamber head Greg Pinner out leading the charge for a penny TAX INCREASE for his members and everyone else in Lex County and then posts on his personal facebook page that the CHAMBER IS NOT IN FAVOR OF THE TAX INCREASE?? Hypocrisy, Grego. Or else you lie. This WILL come up at the next monthly chamber meeting and you WILL have to answer for using chamber dues money and the time and salary we pay you to spend on Chamber matters to advocate for a TAX INCREASE that hurts our members. Shame on you. If you want to be like daddy and shill for money go do it elsewhere. You’re time gathering dust at the chamber office is about up anyway.


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