by William Moultrie
Charleston, SC – The debate on whether or not to extend Interstate 526 in Charleston County was ratcheted up to a new level today with the launch of a controversial campaign by Charleston Mayor Joe Riley.
The advertising campaign, titled “If We Don’t Build 526, This Puppy Will Die” is being hailed by supporters as innovative and compelling.
“This is an important project,” said Riley, “and we’ve found that people aren’t paying enough attention, so we’ve decided it’s time to scare the crap out of them. Obviously it’s not literal — this particular puppy won’t die. But somewhere, sometime in the future, there will be a dead puppy, and that puppy’s blood will be on all of our hands if we don’t build this road.”
This week, Charleston County Council backed away from an earlier decision to kill the project after the vigorous lobbying from project proponents.
“There’s clearly a majority of people who support extending I-526,” continued Riley. “They didn’t care enough about it to come out to speak up over the past several years at the dozens of meetings held about the project, but we know they’re out there, and if we have to go door-to-door and remind people how they feel about the project, then we’re willing to do that. We’re hoping, however, that this new campaign will save us some time by getting to all the animal lovers at one time.”
The ads will be appearing in the Post & Courier on Sunday and in community newspapers next week.