SC

Crazy SC Coast: At It Again

SCANDALS APLENTY …  || By FITSNEWS || It’s been said there’s “something in the water” in South Carolina – a banana republic with abundant intellectual incuriosity and an itching inferiority complex.  And nowhere is South Carolina’s “special” brand of crazy more prominently on display than the Grand Strand – a…

SCANDALS APLENTY … 

|| By FITSNEWS || It’s been said there’s “something in the water” in South Carolina – a banana republic with abundant intellectual incuriosity and an itching inferiority complex.  And nowhere is South Carolina’s “special” brand of crazy more prominently on display than the Grand Strand – a tourism mecca for low-brow, low-income Americans affectionately regarded as the “Redneck Riviera.”

The only thing crazier than South Carolina’s coast?  The politicians representing it … many of whom were snared in a 2009 scandal known as the “Coastal Kickback.”  This brazen pay-to-play scam – in which hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign cash was funneled through a fabricated network of corporations to select politicians in exchange for their support of a local tax hike – remains unresolved.

We’re told there’s an ongoing federal investigation into the scandal – one which is set to blow at any moment – but we’ve heard that before.  Repeatedly.

Anyway, one of the politicians who took the dirty checks – former S.C. Rep. Thad Viers – pleaded guilty this week to an unrelated federal money laundering charge.

Last August, Viers pleaded not guilty after he was indicted on fourteen federal charges related to his business dealings with a shady paving contractor.  Now Viers is admitting to helping the contractor hide more than $500,000 worth of assets from an insurance company looking to collect on a $6 million debt in exchange for the feds dropping all but one of those charges.

Of course he still faces up to ten years in prison upon sentencing – which is scheduled for sometime in the next 2-3 months.

“I take full responsibility for my actions and offer no excuses,” Viers said in a statement issued through his attorney.  “Furthermore, attempting to place blame on my criminal client for his fraudulent and criminal conspiracy to defraud an insurance company is not a defense for my actions.  As a lawyer I should have known better, but instead chose to turn a blind eye and inoculate myself from fault.  As a man I must take responsibility for my actions and am doing so. Please keep me and my family in your prayers.”

Two years prior to his federal drama, Viers resigned his seat in the S.C. House after being indicted on charges related to his toxic relationship with South Carolina barbecue heiress Candace Bessinger.  He spent sixty days in jail related to that situation.

In other “crazy coast” news, a Myrtle Beach, S.C. city councilman – Bob Grabowski – shot and killed himself last week in the gun manufacturing facility where he worked as a purchasing manager.

According to our sources, Grabowski’s death is linked to one of the many political scandals swirling around the coast.

Obviously, we’ll keep our readers in the loop on what we hear …

***

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22 comments

shifty henry April 8, 2015 at 8:01 am

Obviously, we’ll keep our readers in the loop on what we hear …

It appears to me that the “loop” is now a NOOSE…..

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SCBlueWoman April 8, 2015 at 8:09 am

Well, actually, Grabowski did not shoot himself in the facility. He did it in a field behind the facility. That said, reading posts about him he was a wonderful civil servant. That was not my experience in dealing with him, however.

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Fecal Matters April 8, 2015 at 9:31 am

What dealings would that be? Pics or it didn’t happen.

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SCBlueWoman April 8, 2015 at 10:20 am

Bless your heart.

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TroubleBaby April 8, 2015 at 8:35 am

“my family in your prayers”

Was that him or his Kuato penis talking?

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TroubleBaby April 8, 2015 at 8:40 am

“gun manufacturing facility where he worked as a purchasing manager.”

Hmmm….if I’m that manufacturer I’m immediately going over every PO he was ever responsible for….

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Buz Martin April 8, 2015 at 9:22 am

I have issues with some of the statements in this post. Not that it really matters. But here goes:

Tourists of all income levels come to the Grand Strand. No, it’s not Hilton Head, but I say thank God for that! Do lower-income tourists dominate? Yes. But as someone who was born into a working-class family that went “upwardly mobile” thanks to the combination of government service and the the “tourist economy” here, and that for part of its income ran guest houses and summer-rental apartments, I appreciate a great many of those people. Then, now, and in the future. Snobbism is just not my thing.

Thad Viers is a friend, and a good person at heart. Obviously, I agreed with his stance on the “biker war.” And increasingly, as I learn more about how the system works, I’m not so judgemental about those who took the money in those envelopes. No … those who raised/bundled the money through illegal means, and distributed it in apparent expectations of quid quo pro — they are the ones who need to go to jail. Further, I believe that whatever culpability he had in regard to Candy (I will never claim he was blameless) was greatly trumped up in order to punish him for seriously challenging Tom Rice, the “chosen one.” Had he never done that, all would have been “fixed” for him, by those with the power to fix such things. If anyone cares to look at the field of Republican challengers for that seat when it first came open, they will see that, in one way or another, several of the others have been punished as well. It’s the way they roll down here.

As for the current situation, the plea to a lesser charge makes perfect sense, at least to my non-lawyer mind. And his statement could serve as a model of how to plead in such a case, and accept full responsibility. Compared to other stuff going on around these parts, what he admits to doing was just no big deal. Dozens who have done far worse continue to thrive, continue to practice law, etc. The difference? They have never “bucked the system” in any way. All my best to Thad, and I hope he serves as short a sentence as possible.

As for the death of Bob Grabowski, rumors are inevitable in a case such as this. I did not know him personally, but have been deeply grateful for much of what he has done in regard to the preservation of American Indian heritage in Horry County. His death at his own hands saddened me a great deal. Connection to that crazy mess mentioned? Dear God, I fervently hope there is nothing to that.

As for the “Coastal Kickback” investigation still being alive? I sincerely doubt it, unless it turns out to be part of something much bigger. Horry corruption, after all, is not unique. The entire state is riddled with it, and if any justice exists here at all, far bigger heads than any of our local pols need to roll. It’s my belief that if anyone does time for any of the chamber-related offenses five years back, it will far fewer than previously expected, and will amount to little more than a side-note to the larger federal bust. My opinion only.

I know I’ll be lambasted for some of the preceding statements. Eh. So what else is new?

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southmauldin April 8, 2015 at 9:40 am

I have to disagree, Boz. Viers is a top notch asshole as witnessed by his actions prior to associating with that floozy Bessinger. I’m sure he’ll be practicing law/chasing ambulances in a couple of years.
BTW, what has my buddy Wayne Gray been up to lately? I’ve been in MB twice in the past two weeks on business and that traffic was awful. 10X Worse than it was 20 years ago when I briefly lived there.

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Buz Martin April 8, 2015 at 9:47 am

I’ll have to print out a certificate of Agreement To Disagree for us on Thad.

As for Wayne, I have zero issues with him at this time, and agree with much of what he is doing on city council. Yes, traffic is awful. Some new initiatives are aimed at fixing that, such as much widening and improvement of 501, and taking it on a new route to 7th North. It will still be a couple of years before these improvements help the situation much, though.

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tomstickler April 8, 2015 at 9:47 am

And if you visit anytime during the next three years in the vicinity of the US 17/Glenns Bay overpass construction site, traffic will still be awful.

Your Ride II Penny tax at work!

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CNSYD April 8, 2015 at 9:42 am

Boz, never fear. The “investigation” results will be issued the day after Folks’ book on his relationship with Haley hits the stores.

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Buz Martin April 8, 2015 at 9:43 am

If you worked real hard on it, you might become a snarky cynic.

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CNSYD April 8, 2015 at 10:54 am

My cynicism was not for the goings on (or lack thereof) in the MB area. I am really not familiar with the issues. The cynicism is for the “tease” that Wil puts in that all hell is about to break loose. There are numerous times over the years where he sounded the same alarm and nothing ever happened, e.g. Wingo’s SAT. He could just as easily skipped the “click bait” but then I guess that doesn’t feed the bull dog.

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Buz Martin April 8, 2015 at 11:10 am

I hear what you’re saying. But he does add that he’s heard it before … as have we all. As for “click bait”, let’s look at how larger sites and blogs that are taken more seriously, some tied to the “legacy media” or “MSM”, do the click-bait thing as well, and have done it for years. Look at their Twitter feed and FB post teases for prime examples.

The basics of it even pre-date the Internet:

“A deadly new strain of Typhoid Fever may already be threatening your family … and a prison escapee who is a known serial killer is on the loose in our area tonight. …

” Film at 11.”

Click-bait, as in “Click the TV back to this channel at 11.”

story out 5 hours & no Tango? April 8, 2015 at 1:07 pm

he always has sounded the alarm on stories like that, or the Brad Scott paying off Sammy Watkins parents in the 5 star hotel in Florida, or the affair with Haley. (I only point it out because the only one you ever reference is the Wingo one to see if it happens to come out again) I know, just as you do, there is nothing behind any of these stories other than to get the same usual players to write replies for the extra clicks, but wanted to point out you left out a few.

Buz Martin April 8, 2015 at 9:53 am

The investigation was real — whether or not it is still going on, or nearing conclusion. Nobody with any sense at all doubts that. For an obviously intelligent person such as yourself to assert otherwise belies an agenda that is more than suspect.

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A sellout by any other name April 8, 2015 at 12:14 pm

Buz could you possibly be more of a simpering suck up? I don’t know who you are sucking up to the most the politicians in Myrtle or Will Folks. even if you say you object to some of what he says the sucking up is still there. what would Tom Rice and Brad Dean have to do or give to you for you to start sucking up to them too? Could maybe they funnel some Chinese money your way to at least shut you up? Put in your order today, sellout!

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Buz Martin April 8, 2015 at 2:08 pm

Not falling for the bait. Better luck next time.

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fall for this April 8, 2015 at 11:47 pm

Buz, I want to run for office from the Myrtle Beach area. Do I have to win to get blown, or will just running gets me a hummer? from you?

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Not craving approval April 10, 2015 at 12:38 pm

“And increasingly, as I learn more about how the system works, I’m not so judgemental about those who took the money in those envelopes. No … those who raised/bundled the money through illegal means, and distributed it in apparent expectations of quid quo pro — they are the ones who need to go to jail.”

Wait – you want to give a pass to the elected public servants who would TAKE bribes, but throw the book at their cronies who bundle the bribes?

You let yourself be co-opted all too easily.

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TontoBubbaGoldstein April 8, 2015 at 2:12 pm

Shouldn’t this post come with pics of the Bessinger Barbeque Baroness’s Bodacious Boobs?

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ELCID April 9, 2015 at 11:41 am

Looking for crooked Horry County politicians?
Then look no further than State Senator Luke Rankin.
What a trail he leaves every where he goes.
Just surprising that no one has looked into him so far.

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