The 2015 race to replace Joe Riley is beginning to kick into gear, with long-rumored candidates finally entering the demolition derby for the most high-profile mayoral job in South Carolina, if not the entire Southeast. And while some candidates have effortlessly shifted into campaign mode (see, Leon Stavrinakis), a few others have gotten off to a shaky start.
Case in point, Ginny Deerin.
According to a Post and Courier report Schuyler Kropf, Deerin, a former campaign manager for Joe Riley and a 2014 South Carolina Secretary of State candidate, has filed paperwork with the state indicating that she might run for mayor.
But there’s one problem: Deerin lives on Sullivan’s Island. Or at least that’s where her long-time residence is.
Fortunately, Deerin has found a fix: she’s now renting in West Ashley. Kropf reports:
Deerin recently moved into the city from Sullivan’s Island, renting a townhouse in the Bees Ferry Road-S.C. Highway 61 part of West Ashley.
“West Ashley is the part of the city that I really need to learn and feel and experience,” she said. “I want to sit in traffic; I want to feel it.”
The question, of course, is exactly how often does she want to, as she puts it, “feel it.” I mean, does she plan to use the West Ashley abode as her primary residence or does she only want to use it as what a flight attendant might call a crash pad, a temporary place to lay her head before getting back in the air, or in Deerin’s case, walking the sandy beaches of Sullivan’s Island.
While I’m inclined to take Deerin at her word — I’m a trusting kinda guy — I have a feeling that some of you might not. Which is why I’ve got to share with you a curious bit of information: According to a Network Solutions’ WHOIS search, the domain name ginnydeerinformayor.com is registered to a Sullivan’s Island address that elsewhere has been noted as Deerin’s home address. The domain name was also purportedly purchased by Deerin on Jan. 29, 2015, or seven days after Kropf’s post,
Deerin isn’t the only candidate to hit a pothole on the road to City Hall. There’s Dick Elliott, the noted Maverick Southern Kitchens restauranteur. According to a Jan. 9, 2015 campaign disclosure filing, among the expenditures listed for Elliott are $4,521.30 in office expenses payable to Maverick and $2,500 for a 2015 Medal of Honor Bowl sponsorship.
Now, you might not find anything particularly strange about the office expense payment to Maverick, and that’s understandable. Who hasn’t bought a stamp or two from the office manager? But $4,000 bucks is quite a hunk of change. As for that sponsorship? Well, according to the Medal of Honor Bowl website, Maverick Southern Kitchens was a “corporate sponsor” of the game, but Dick Elliott the candidate apparently was not. What gives?
And so I called Mr. Elliott to get an explanation.
According to the restauranteur, he purchased a sponsorship for Maverick, but then decided to purchase a $2,500 sponsorship for his political campaign. Ultimately, the folks at the Medal of Honor Bowl decided that they didn’t want to do political ads, and so Elliott was left stranded on the highway. Today, the F&Ber says that Medal of Honor organizers are in the process of sending his money back to him.
Elliott also says that the matter of $4,521.30 in office expense has an equally simple explanation: On August 7, an employee came to work at Maverick Southern Kitchens. Not long after, Elliott decided this employee would be better suited to working on his campaign, and so the employee began working for Elliott the mayoral candidate. As a result, he says, that $4,521.30 was to pay back his restaurant biz for the employee’s wages and the like.
I don’t know about you, but despite my initial watchdog misgivings, I think I can buy that explanation. Hopefully, it doesn’t turn out to be lemon.
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