Lindsey Graham agrees to debate GOP primary challengers

Reported by Jamie Self at TheState.com:

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-Seneca, has agreed to debate his June Republican primary challengers in an event hosted by S.C. Educational Television in collaboration with The State newspaper, The Greenville News and other state newspapers.

ETV announced Thursday that Graham will join the debate, which will take place at 7 p.m. on June 7.

Graham faces six Republican challengers in June’s primary as he seeks re-election to a third term. Det Bowers, a retired Columbia pastor, S.C. Sen. Lee Bright, R-Spartanburg, Easley businessman Richard Cash, Orangeburg attorney Bill Connor, Columbia attorney Benjamin Dunn, and Charleston PR executive Nancy Mace are running against Graham for the GOP nomination.

It is unclear how many of the challengers will join Graham in the debate.

The event, three days before the June 10 primary, will mark the first time Graham has debated any of his opponents.

April 24, 2014   Posted in: Uncategorized  No Comments

Citizens for Efficient Government meeting Tuesday

Citizens for Efficient Government will meet to eat at 6:00 PM

Meeting begins at 7:00 PM

Tuesday, April 29, 2014 At FATZ
Located behind Fuddruckers on Hwy. 295

Our speaker
Senator Shane Martin

Topic: Senate Up-Date

April 24, 2014   Posted in: Uncategorized  No Comments

NO SPARTANBURG TEA PARTY MEETING IN MAY!!!!

We’ve established a few Spartanburg Tea Party traditions in our short history. One of them has been to NOT hold a tea party meeting the month before the primary election.

Instead we urge you to find a campaign to help for that night you would have been at our monthly meeting. May 13 is the date we would have held our May meeting. DO NOT SHOW UP AT THE CLOCK … we will not be there.

Instead pick a candidate and contact them and ask what you can do to help.

Justin Bradley’s campaign will have a sign wave on May 13 and YOU are invited to join! CLICK HERE for Justin’s website, and/or contact him at justin@justinbradleyforsc.com to volunteer. You can also walk door to door with him.

Gaye Holt’s campaign will have a sign wave on May 13, and she invites you to help! CLICK HERE for Gaye’s website, and/or contact her at Gaye@gayeholt.com to volunteer. You can also walk door to door with her.

If your campaign is holding a volunteer event on Tuesday May 13, email me at info@spartanburgteaparty.org … I’ll send a reminder as the date gets closer.

April 24, 2014   Posted in: Uncategorized  No Comments

Spring Fling. will you volunteer?

Carol Martin is heading up our Spring Fling booth. Thousands of Spartanburg residents will be walking by. This is a great opportunity to reach out.

We know we always need more people being active and being aware. It could take a simple conversation you have at Spring Fling to find folks who want to get involved but just didn’t know where to start.

You remember how we all were when WE first began figuring out this “politics” thing!

Carol will be needing volunteer help. We have a booth on Saturday May 3 and Sunday May 4. The hours we need to fill are 9 to 5 on Saturday and 12 to 5 on Sunday.

We have all the “stuff” … table, tent, chairs, giveaways. We need folks to man 2 or 3 hour shifts.

Will you assist us at Spring Fling? Contact Carol at advantagemartin@gmail.com and tell her when you can help. thanks!

April 23, 2014   Posted in: Uncategorized  One Comment

last night’s Spartanburg County Council meeting

Felicia Kitzmiller reports on last night’s Spartanburg County Council meeting:

It’s going to be another year of cuts in Spartanburg County as administrators try to shave about $6.5 million from budget requests totaling $91 million.

County Administrator Katherine O’Neill told council this year’s estimated revenue is about $84.5 million, an increase of about $2.5 million over last year. O’Neill said that increase is a result of future fee adjustments, increased building activity and improved tax collection rates.

“That’s good news for us,” O’Neill said. “We’re starting to see increased building permits, residential and commercial… Our collections are also up, which is an indication of an improved economy as well.”

While there’s an uptick in revenue predicted, Chairman Jeff Horton pointed out there’s still a considerable deficit from 2009 when the county budget was $92 million. Most of that shortfall is a result of cuts to the state’s local government fund.

Our legislators are NOT looking out for our county in Columbia. Every one of them voted FOR the budget which contains a proviso keeping our County money. Our county council, and our taxpayers, are the hostages of those legislators’ vote.

The $91 million also includes a 2 percent to 2.5 percent pay increase for all county employees. While $6.5 million needs to be trimmed from the budget, O’Neill said council made it clear some kind of across-the-board pay increase will be a priority.

County employees received no pay increase in the 2013-2014 budget year.

First reading of the budget was slated for May 2, second reading and public hearing for May 19 and third reading for June 16.

Calendar those dates. If these are the only County Council meetings you attend so far, it’s a good start.

May 2 is a Friday so I’m assuming this will be a morning workshop. May 19 and June 16 are regular council meeting dates.

April 22, 2014   Posted in: Uncategorized  3 Comments

Immigration and the GOP

Artie Brito has a Letter to the Editor in todays’ SHJ:

As the son of an immigrant from Cuba (1951), a vice chairman in the Spartanburg County GOP and a friend to and employer of a number of first-generation immigrants to the U.S., I believe I possess a unique insight into the immigration debate discussed in Sunday’s Perspective section.

My father came to America seeking opportunity, not entitlement. He sought to escape the dictatorial, bureaucratic policies of the Batista regime for life in a nation that he believed limited the power of government with its written Constitution. Although proud of his Cuban heritage, he is an American, not a “Cuban-American.” He honorably served his country as a Navy Seabee during the Vietnam War.

Those coming to America today with similar goals are welcome. Our immigration laws are a bureaucratic tangle of red tape and injustice, even for those who come here legally. Inexplicable federal court decisions that force states to provide illegal immigrants with government subsidies and automatically bestow citizenship to children born to parents with no allegiance to the U.S. cannot be justified in a nation of law or the court of common sense.

I believe these policies and judgments attract people whose primary goal is a handout, not those seeking opportunity and a better life. That is illogical and a danger to our national security and our form of government.

But the question remains: What do we do with the millions who have come to the U.S. outside proper channels? In my opinion, “illegal” immigrants who are in the U.S., have displayed the desire to assimilate to our culture and have been productive members of their community should be provided with a means to remain here legally. But I stop short of providing them a path to citizenship or the right to vote. Actions do have consequences.

Aristides M. Brito

Fourth vice chairman, Spartanburg County Republican Party

April 22, 2014   Posted in: Uncategorized  One Comment

Greenville County Parks and Taxes

by Kerry Wood

There has been some misinformation spread about the Greenville County Recreation District. In particular, there are some in the city of Greer claiming they are on the receiving end of a tax increase, put upon them by a couple of select legislators. So what are they talking about?

The Greenville County Recreation District has a declining revenue stream because they collect taxes for parks from county residents but not from those who reside within municipalities. So as the municipalities continue to grow, the tax base for the Recreation District continues to decline. The way it was set up initially, county residents would get free use of the parks for paying in taxes and residents of municipalities were supposed to pay when they actually utilized the parks, which hasn’t happened, and city residents are basically just getting free use of the parks.

In an unusual move, the Recreation District has offered to dissolve itself. Their proposed solution is to equalize the taxation for parks across all county residents regardless of where they live. This would mean a tax decrease for the overwhelming majority of residents, but a slight increase (approximately $15 per year on a $125,000 home) for residents within a municipality.

The Recreation District first approached legislators with this proposal. The legislators decided, and rightly so, that home rule should apply here and this should be a matter for the Greenville County Council and not a matter decided by Columbia.

If this goes through, this will mean less government and fewer taxes for most of the county residents. Those on the receiving end of a slight tax increase will be those who were supposed to have been paying to use in the first place. If I were one of the few I may not care for the increase either, but maybe their blame should lie with the Greenville County Recreation District, County Council, or perhaps their fellow residents who haven’t been paying to use the parks.

We understand that some people love the Recreation District and some people hate it, but at the end of the day, this is an issue that must be decided on the county level, not the state level.

Article Posted from Citizens for a Free Market

April 21, 2014  Tags: , ,   Posted in: GUEST BLOGGER  6 Comments

A view on DSS and Lillian Koller

Guest blog by my good friend Monica Hill. Who is as informed as anyone I know on this subject, and is a FIERCE advocate for children! Know that as you read …

==================================

I have been watching the DSS stuff lately and have been hesitant to weigh in. But now I think I can add a few things from my perspective as a citizen. I thank Nikki on a regular basis for naming Lillian Koller as the director of DSS. Things have changed “for the good” in a major way since she took over. DSS is a bloated government agency that will never be perfect. I wish it would go away. I wish it COULD go away. Lillian hired people to work for her to manage the Child Welfare system. Lillian is of course where the buck stops, but she hired people who were experts in their fields. It’s been painful for DSS to change their policy and procedures. I have seen people say we are talking about children and not numbers. True, but the only way to say there has been change for the better is to measure, which means numbers.

Let me point out here that the people responsible for the deaths of children are THE ONES WHO BEAT THEM OR STRANGLE THEM OR BURN THEM TO DEATH. A child is returned home WITH COURT APPROVAL, never on DSS’s whim. A judge reviews each case with DSS recommendations and the recommendations of the Guardian Ad Litem. Sometimes they all disagree but it is the JUDGE who rules. Yet, we have Chief Justice Toal back at her spot with Katrina’s vote…interesting. Family Court is also not perfect, though there are judges coming on board who are listening to the new laws and the children’s advocates. So when a child is returned to a toxic situation, where are the family members who want to take their grandchildren in? Where are the neighbors who know the situation next door? Where is law enforcement who have made multiple visits? People are screaming for children to be removed from bad situations, yet relatives are a huge part of the problem. They enable, perpetuate, or ignore the problems. Or that is how they were raised and what is so wrong with that???

DSS has been forced to think in a new way and change is not easy. There are counties that are trying hard to do better. There are counties who haven’t yet gotten it. There had been a hiring freeze at DSS until recently, so when a caseworker left that person was not replaced. So there were case workers with 50-70 cases. One child=one case. A caseworker is required to see each child once a month, plus do the paperwork required, plus arrange and see that family visits are done timely and monitor those visits. Then the child needs to be taken to therapy, transported for various reasons, and the foster parents need DSS support. Plus keep track of the various parents’ locations and make sure they have court notices and notices of other meetings in a timely fashion. Even I can do the math on this one. 70 children means multiple visits several days of a month and the children are spread out in multiple counties. This visit is the most important thing a caseworker does.

So, back to Lillian. She is not the most personable person I have ever met (as in her awful testimony she gave Wed). She hires people to handle the “people” side of DSS. She manages the dollars. Things changed for the better at DSS when she was hired as director. Yes, there are problems, always will be. Yes, children have gone home who shouldn’t have. Children have not come into care who should have. We will always have this problem. Let me add that DSS doesn’t remove children, law enforcement does it. DSS doesn’t return children, the Family Court judge does. So let’s look at the Family Court system, too. Let’s put this passion to fight for children in all the areas it’s needed. Are any of you signing up to be a foster parent? Are any of you signing up to be respite care for foster parents? Do you have any skills that can help an agency train and encourage and teach parents lacking in skills? Do you donate money to the Foster Parent Association? Do any of you look at the SC Heart Gallery so you can step up and adopt a child who needs a family?

April 18, 2014   Posted in: Uncategorized  One Comment

Do You Know Tom Corbin?

Senator Tom Corbin represents a portion of Spartanburg County; we are so fortunate to have him in our delegation!!! If you like Lee Bright’s votes, if you appreciate Shane Martin’s subtle and comical put downs of scamps like Larry Martin, you will love and respect Tom Corbin, one of the Back Row Boys! Here’s an opportunity to get to know him a little better.

MEET & GREET BBQ

Your State Senator
TOM CORBIN
District 5

APRIL 28 – MONDAY
5:30 – 7:30 PM

Old Train Depot
100 North Shamrock Avenue
Landrum, SC

$25 PER PERSON
Children under 18 Free
with Accompanying Adult

RSVP to LaDonna Ryggs
864-906-5574
ladonna@thepalladiangroup.com

Paid for and endorsed by Tom Corbin for State Senate. If received by a registered South Carolina lobbyist, please disregard. Maximum contributions allowed by South Carolina Law is $1,000 per individual per election cycle. Contributions are not tax deductible for IRS purposes. South Carolina does not permit cash donations.

April 18, 2014  Tags:   Posted in: Uncategorized  One Comment

Spartanburg County Council Meeting Monday 4/21

Monday at 4 PM the Committee meetings begin, where all the good stuff is discussed and presented.

General meeting begins at 5:30 PM.

Location Admin Building on Church Street.

Perhaps there will be leftover hats!

If you would like receive a copy of each month’s agenda ahead of the meetings, email Debbie Ziegler …

dziegler@spartanburgcounty.org

April 17, 2014   Posted in: Uncategorized  No Comments