Unethical Service

In April 2008, the Spartanburg Herald Journal published this article wherein Senate candidates Max Hyde and Shane Martin both requested Rick Beltram resign as Spartanburg GOP party chairman, citing his unethical selling of political services while serving as chairman.

Beltram’s company, B Square Enterprises, offers a variety of services, including automated calls, polling and call lists. Beltram said he has about 12 clients.

Beltram said he offered the same services in a memo to all local GOP candidates. But the memo was printed on county Republican Party stationery and makes no mention of B Square Enterprises.

Max Hyde, a Republican state Senate candidate, says it is unethical for county GOP Chairman Rick Beltram to sell political services and on Friday called on him to resign. “Anybody with a moral compass knows this is wrong,” Hyde said. “It doesn’t matter how much money was involved.”

“Where it bothers me is that Beltram is quizzing me about my polling, but he’s profiting from candidates running against me,” Shane Martin said.

Martin also said he believes Beltram should step down as party chairman.

“From my point of view, when the chairman is taking money from all sides that casts a negative light on the party, and that negative light should remove itself from the party,” Martin said. “He needs to resign for the good of our party.”

A follow-up article contains more details of the combined and questionable practices and monies exchanged between the Spartanburg Party and Beltram’s private business:

Last week, Beltram came under fire for selling a variety of services – including automated calls, polling and walking lists – through his company, B Square Enterprises. He runs the company out of the county GOP office, where he pays half the rent.

Beltram said he had about 12 clients, including state Sen. Jim Ritchie; House candidates Steve Parker and Ken Roach; and Spartanburg County Council candidates Jane Hall and Terry Knighton, both of whom are challenging incumbent Rock Adams.

Beltram said he offered the services at a 10 percent markup and that his goal was to make sophisticated campaign tools available at an affordable price. He offered the services in a memo to each Republican candidate, but the memo did not mention that the money would go to B Square Enterprises.

State Republican Party Chairman Katon Dawson on Thursday said it was inappropriate for Beltram to operate the business while serving as county chairman, and state Senate candidates Max Hyde and Shane Martin – who are challenging Ritchie – on Friday called on Beltram to resign. Beltram declined to step down, but on Saturday stepped out of providing the services.

It is disturbing indeed that at a time when he served as party chairman Beltram was running a priviate business out of the GOP office, and that the payment of rent was split between the entities.  Even more concerning is that the services (according to the first article) were offered on Republican Party stationery, yet the funds were paid to Beltram’s personal company, B Square Enterprises.  Katon Dawson, the State Party Chairman at the time deemed these actions so inappropriate that he also asked Beltram to resign.

At this time, the current Spartanburg GOP Chairman, Curtis Smith, has once again moved the party offices inside the business offices of Rick Beltram.  Curtis’ decision and affiliation with Beltram is politics of the very shady past that Spartanburg Republican voters should be alarmed at.