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media letters

Apr 28 2014

Meeting Summary - Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce/Local Media Companies

You may recall that back in October of 2013 I began a dialog with the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce (HHIBCC) in an attempt to find a “high-road” solution to grievances local media companies have with the HHIBCC.  My first letter was sent to the HHIBCC Chairman, Tom Upshaw on October 24, 2013.  Our first meeting was held on December 5, 2013 and the follow-up (and likely final) meeting was held March 18, 2014.  The HHIBCC gave a blanket denial of our requests during yesterday’s meeting.

Click here to download the summary of the meeting.

Click here to download the first letter to Tom Upshaw.

Mar 3 2014

We need to know!

Subject: information needed for 57m and all three Chambers/CVBs Charleston/Myrtlebeach/HHI only

I need the following for our report we are writing, detailing our analysis of the effectiveness of your current 57m contract with BFG to promote the entire state. I am calling on experts to add their comments. In my opinion after attending the Governors conference on tourism BFG does not have enough knowledge about Destination marketing and fact no prior background or track record of success for this.

I need a complete detailed breakdown of how much is being allocated to each media and where. Billboards, radio, TV, cable, Internet, Google, Facebook etc etc  please just keep it simple and specific to just this.

I need again the total ad revenues and list of all advertisers in each of Scprt publications and all websites for last 3-5 yrs.

I need the same and all info for SCDNRs new full color magazine produced out of state by another media company. Breakdown of all ads and how much revenue generated from each. Complete details on this public / private publishing for profit media side venture. All bid info? Please forward this on to send all to this entire list.

Sep 3 2013

Who can help explain this?

I am sending this email to the directors of PRT and DNR asking how and under what current laws can the State sell advertising in competition for those ad dollars with State and national media companies who pay taxes? As some of you know or don't know there is a huge issue on non profit non government entities namely local Chambers /CVBs entering the ad sales media business unfairly competing against all local media  and not paying taxes on this income and doing so in complete violation of current IRS 501-c6 tax codes.

All non government/non profit entities 501-c6 , 501-c3 , 501-c4 etc have to file IRS form 990s so its easy to see some of the abuses and violations. A FOIA request was submitted to the local Hilton Head, SC Chamber and they refused to provide financial info and our company has filed a lawsuit to force transparency as an entity who receives tax dollars. SC law is clear on this.

States being government entities do not file a form 990 but on the other hand unlike a Chamber can not deny FOIA by attempting to quote some non related past case and force litigation. The question is how can a state sell advertising, pay no taxes, compete for ad dollars with SC tax paying for profit media companies and justify this is fair trade, competitive and business practices.

Am I to assume as a SC for profit media I can stop paying SC taxes and be perfectly legal or have good grounds and argument to do so??  Does this case need to be heard in a SC tax court to fully understand all?

All I want to know is what are the fair set of rules of the game to survive and prosper as a for profit tax paying company in SC? This certainly seems to be a reasonable request? Who can help explain this to me and everyone else?

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Send your responses to and state if you wish to be private or if your email can be published to this website.

You've Raised Very Serious Questions

I feel that you have raised some very serious questions about how our Chamber is being run and where the money is being spent to market our island and the businesses that support our Chamber.

Additionally, your questions raise the possibility that the Chamber board is a "hand-picked" board that continues to perpetuate the abuses alleged in your complaints. As such, an independent committee, made up of chamber members, needs to be chosen and convened to address your concerns immediately.

Those are my thoughts and you may advertise them as such.....

Kim D.