By Paul Gable
Political campaigns always create special moments and one occurred Friday night when Horry County Council chairman candidate Mark Lazarus denied there was a good ole boys system in the county.
Speaking during a candidate forum at Big Mike’s restaurant in Myrtle Beach, Lazarus said he had steam coming from his ears hearing of the good ole boy system in Horry County.
“I’m sick of hearing about good ole boys,” Lazarus said. “There’s no good ole boys, just good people who volunteer their time to help the county.”
Candidate and former county council chairman Liz Gilland jumped on the Lazarus utterance.
“Maybe there’s no good ole boys system,” said Gilland. “Maybe it’s called something else. But, if you want to know what really goes on in the county, just see who owns the land and who gets the infrastructure and building contracts when the big dollar contracts come before county council.”
Lazarus’ statement was eerily reminiscent of former county chairman Tom Rice saying he never heard of the ‘Myrtle Beach Mafia’ and denying its existence to Florence Morning News reporter John Sweeney during last fall’s S.C. 7th Congressional District campaign.
It also brought to mind the statement about “legitimate rape” that cost Republican Todd Akin the Missouri Senate election last fall.
Needless to say, Lazarus’ stance on the good ole boys system was the talk of the audience after the forum was over.
Maybe Lazarus’ statement will not hurt his chances of being elected. After all, Rice went on to win the congressional election and now represents the 7th Congressional District in Washington, D.C.
Maybe there is no good ole boys system in Horry County.
Maybe the FBI and IRS are not investigating a Coastal Kickback scandal and Lazarus didn’t feel the need to publicly deny any knowledge of how some of the alleged kickback money was tied to several LLC’s he is associated with.
Maybe there was no tie in of special interests to the ill-fated Project Blue and maybe Lazarus didn’t advocate for the project to county council members.
Maybe my memory of all this is faulty, but I doubt it.