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Charleston Mayoral Candidate’s “Hotel Hypocrisy”




To be clear: We don’t care who wins the Charleston, S.C. mayoral runoff race between fifth-term S.C. Rep. Leon Stavrinakis and local businessman John Tecklenburg.  We won’t be endorsing in the November 17 showdown … nor do we have any real affinity for/ aversion to either candidate.

We’re far more interested in the latest Southern Charm drama, to be honest.

There is a story out about Tecklenburg that gives us cause for pause, though.

It appeared in last week’s editions of The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier – and involves his support for a one-year ban on new hotel construction on the Charleston peninsula.

“I just feel like we need to ask the question: When is enough enough in terms of hotel rooms on the peninsula?” Tecklenburg told the paper. “I really feel a need to make sure that Charleston has diversity within its economic development and future.”

Mmm-kay …

Ordinarily, we’d be content to offer some token criticism of this blatantly anti-free market position … something along the lines of “government has no business discriminating against certain types of businesses” or “capping the growth of hotels clearly isn’t a core function of government.”

“It’s bad enough government is involved in economic development in the first place,” we might have written.  “But now it wants to dictate ‘diversity’ in those efforts?”

Yeah … something like that.

But Tecklenburg’s command economic nonsense deserve an additional helping of scorn and derision.

How come?  Well, prior to announcing his support for a one-year moratorium on new hotels (which Stavrinakis opposes, by the way), Tecklenburg’s firm was the lead developer of a brand new 305-room Hyatt located … wait for it … in downtown Charleston’s historic district.

“In the vibrant historic district in downtown,” to be precise, according to the hotel’s website.

In fact the hotel opened less than three months ago …

So let’s get this straight: After making bank developing a new hotel in downtown Charleston – now Tecklenburg suddenly feels compelled to ask if there are too many hotel rooms on the peninsula? 

Now he wants “diversity in economic development” in downtown Charleston?

Sheesh … sounds more to us like someone wants to abuse an office he hasn’t yet been elected to in an effort to crowd out the competition.

Astoundingly, none of the three Post and Courier reporters who contributed to the paper’s story bothered to call out this hypocrisy – meekly noting that “Tecklenburg’s employer had a role in the hotel boom.”

Ya think?

Again, we don’t have a dog in this fight (which at the moment is Tecklenburg’s to lose) … we just think the new frontrunner’s proposed hotel ban is shameful self-dealing.

Is it seriously too much to ask for a politician in this state to campaign on free market policies – the kind that provide no special benefits whatsoever to themselves or their employers but rather promote fairness and prosperity for all?

Apparently so …