What's Up With Sanford, Burroughs & Chapin?
We here at FITS used to love Burroughs & Chapin, the Myrtle Beach real estate conglomerate that, well, owns the Grand Strand for all intents and purposes.
Of course that was before they tore down our favorite mini-golf course - the Jungle Caverns on Kings Highway - to build a bunch of condos.
Bad move, B&C.
Now it appears as if Burroughs & Chapin is backing Tommy Moore in the upcoming gubernatorial race.
Another bad move, in our opinion.
How do we know this is true?
Well, it turns out "Republicans for Tommy Moore" 4X8 signs (complete with the GOP logo) have been popping up by the dozen all along heavily-populated areas on the Grand Strand - and that the overwhelming majority of these signs have been placed on property owned by Burroughs & Chapin.
And what about Sanford signs?
Two sources have independently confirmed to FITS that Burroughs & Chapin specifically refused to allow Sanford for Governor signs on its property. One even indicated that First Lady Jenny Sanford asked Burroughs & Chapin to allow her husband's signs on its properties and was rebuffed.
So what, exactly, does Burroughs & Chapin have against Gov. Mark Sanford?
It's hard to say. Sanford has, after all, been one of the most aggressive governors in South Carolina history in terms of promoting our state's $15 billion a year tourism industry, and he even named one of the Strand's favorite sons (Chad Prosser) to lead the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.
Sanford has also gone to unprecendented lengths to involve coastal municipalities in his hurricane preparation and evacuation planning, which paid big dividends when his Department of Public Safety expertly managed a limited evacuation of the Strand two years ago.
So what gives with Burroughs & Chapin? Why are they permitting "Republicans for Moore" to blanket their properties with signs while refusing to allow the governor's campaign to do the same?
Maybe reporters Zane Wilson or Travis Tritten at The Sun News will do some digging and we can find out.
One Republican who is benefitting from the massive visibility afforded by placing signs on B&C property is none other that State Rep. Tracy Edge. In fact, if signs on land owned by Burroughs & Chapin were the sole indicator, you'd think Moore and Edge were running on a ticket (see one of many examples of the Moore-Edge sign clustering in the photo above).
Of course Edge is employed by B&C, so it's not surprising he's using his connections there to get dozens of signs placed in high-traffic areas. What is surprising is that most of these signs - as the photo above indicates - are right next to Republicans for Tommy Moore signs.
Not exactly the best placement plan for someone who claims to be a Sanford supporter.
B&C is by far and away the Strand's most influential corporate concern. They basically own the coast and are very aggressive politically.
Siding with Moore at this late stage of the game, however, would seem to represent a rare error in political judgment on the company's part - if that's indeed what's happening here.
Sanford's campaign is on cruise control, with $3 million in the bank heading into the final two weeks of the campaign.
What's the point of B&C alienating a governor who's clearly going to be around for another four years? Not to mention one who has treated the coast pretty well all things considered?
Burroughs & Chapin could score some easy points here by allowing Sanford signs on its property (to go with the Moore-Edge barrage).
Oh, and while they're at it, they could bring back our beloved mini-golf course.