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Columbia blogger claims responsibility for video mocking mayoral candidate Mark McBride

A Columbia-based blogger said he is responsible for a video that seemingly mocks Myrtle Beach mayoral candidate Mark McBride.

Will Folks, owner of Liber-TEA released a statement Wednesday afternoon on his website FITSNews. “One of my political companies, Liber-TEA, has gotten involved in coastal politics recently - running an ad that pokes a little bit of fun at McBride,” the statement reads, referring to Myrtle Beach mayoral candidate Mark McBride.

“Liber-TEA is no stranger to local politics, having engaged in Upstate legislative issues as well as some Midlands-area political disputes.”

Folks said that Liber-TEA hired a casting company to provide actors for the video.

The video opens, featuring a man wearing a black wig and a McBride for mayor t-shirt. The man begins by introducing himself as the “old mayor,” which is a typical opening McBride uses in his own videos. The man continues, pointing to his shirt stating, “I have a plan of 100 officers in the first 100 seconds.”

He goes on to say three main points for his campaign, 100 new officers, tackling city corruption and flesh-eating aliens.

For McBride, his main campaign points have focused on public safety and city corruption, mainly in the form of the Downtown Redevelopment Corporation, which purchased the Superblock properties.

The video seems to mock particular videos that McBride has filmed and placed on social media including one where he walks past the Superblock properties discussing how they were purchased. However, the video does not seem to be filmed in Myrtle Beach. WBTW reported recently that the video was filmed in Louisiana.

As for the motivation behind the video Folks said, “The ads poking fun at McBride, I think they’re funny - and let’s be honest, what is modern-day politics if not cheap entertainment? Politicians wishing to be taken seriously should try being serious. And politicians looking to get reelected should try doing to jobs people entrust them to do.”

Folks did say that McBride and Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes are “nice guys,” but that he does not like their politics.

“I’ve got five kids of my own now and I’m not gonna lie...I don’t feel safe bringing them downtown during the summer,” Folks said.

In the statement, Folks endorses mayoral candidate Brenda Bethune who wants to increase the Myrtle Beach Police Department, but also bring in hospitality officers to help the police.

The Sun News is working to find out more information about the casting company, actor, Facebook page and where the video was filmed.

In the statement Folks says, “To all the reporters grilling me over Liber-TEA and its donors, vendors and related financial particulars, I have never discussed these issues and have no plans to start doing so now.”

Megan Tomasic: 843-626-0343, @MeganTomasic

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