We are so blessed to have Sheriff Chuck Wright.
Spartanburg residents who spoke at a community forum Monday evening said they do not want to see whatâ€™s happened in Ferguson, Mo. happen here.
The forum with Spartanburg County Sheriffâ€™s Office officials was held on the cusp of Monday nightâ€™s grand jury decision in Missouri not to indict a white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black teen in Ferguson Aug 9.
Spartanburg resident Andre Smith said he came to Sheriff Chuck Wright with the intention of breaking down the barriers between residents and law enforcement officials.
If a similar scenario were to occur locally, Smith said he would hope that residents would not break out into the type of mass protesting seen in Ferguson following the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.
â€śWe came together for the idea of bridging the gap between the community and the sheriffâ€™s department,â€ť Smith said. â€śA lot of blacks feel that the police are out to get them. We want to get rid of that negative stigma.â€ť
Wright said if a disputed officer-involved shooting were to occur in Spartanburg, he would â€śfind out all the facts of a situation first and deal with it.â€ť
Wright said he is accustomed to making public statements to address concerns sooner than later if controversial instances arise. Being honest and not keeping officersâ€™ actions hidden is one way to curb potential outbursts from residents, he said.
State police have now released their investigative report into former House Speaker Bobby Harrell, nearly one year after its completion led to charges against one of the most powerful men in the Statehouse.
The final eight pages of the report are blacked out, which a State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) spokesman said was covered under state laws allowing law enforcement to withhold information that could eventually be â€śused in a prospective law enforcement action.â€ť
Previously, First Circuit Solicitor David Pascoe â€” whose office prosecuted Harrell this year â€” would not say if the investigation had been expanded into other lawmakers or Statehouse personnel. However, part of the ex-Speakerâ€™s plea deal would require him to act as an informant or witness in further proceedings.
EIGHT PAGES? whohoooo!!~!~~ perhaps more corrupt pols will fall soon.
It’s a great day in South Carolina.
Click the link above for more details.
The Spartanburg District 5 board of trustees voted unanimously Monday night to approve an addition at Lyman Elementary School, as well as additions and renovations at Byrnes High School.
The plans at Byrnes are essentially phase one of the plans that were put in front of voters during a bond referendum in September. The two projects will cost a total of $29.5 million, but will not impact taxpayers, unlike the comprehensive construction plans voted down in September.
A total of $21.2 million in bonds – $3 million in short-term bonds and $18.2 million in long-term bonds – will be issued by the district per its legal borrowing capacity, with the money coming from its debt service funds. The remaining $8.3 million will come from the District 5 local building fund.
The district plans to advertise for bids in March and award the construction contract in April, with on-site construction scheduled to begin in June 2015. The new portions of Lyman Elementary are scheduled to open in August 2016.
â€śThe growth in this district is real, and weâ€™re dealing with it,â€ť said Rick Eitel, chairman of the District 5 board of trustees.
I know there are folks keeping their eye on School District 5. Hopefully some of the suggestion that were offered are being considered in this new effort.
It seems that Beverly Owensby was not done when she recently sent an email complaining about me. You remember that, I posted it here.
Now Beverly has sent another email complaining about me to South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Matt Moore. Again, I have to caution … when you send an email like this and copy so many people ONE of them is going to send it to the person you complained about. Now … I counted 6 Spartanburg House Representatives copied on an email sent to Matt Moore about me. Don’t we have 7 Representatives? Ah. I see. Representative Bill Chumley must have been left off somehow. No Matter! I sent him a copy.
So, another batch of lovely sentiments from Beverly Owensby! (BTW … there have been more than 40 blogs about Gov. Scott Walker on our website. Really, don’t people read anything?)
Would like to make several comments regarding Karen Martin. While you consider her a friend, there are many in the Upstate that have a totally different perspective of Karen Martin. She lives in our county, so we have first-hand knowledge of how divisive and hateful she is to fellow Republicans on a regular basis. She is constantly spewing negative comments about anyone and everyone. She has publically criticized me and others on the Spartanburg Tea Party website for going to Wisconsin in June 2012 for a week to help Governor Scott Walker in a terrible recall election. The recall election in Wisconsin should have been important to every American because the unions were trying to flex their muscles and recall Governor Walker for trying to do the right thing. The unions wanted to prove that they could get away with anything. In other words, you canâ€™t mess with unions or they will destroy you. I felt extremely grateful to have had a small part in defeating the recall on Governor Walker and the destructive tactics of unions. Very disappointing to learn that Karen Martin had nothing better to do with her life than demonize me and others for trying to make a positive difference in Wisconsin. After all, I love America and the Republican Party. Maybe that is why, Karen criticized me.
Karen led a very mean-spirited campaign which included character assassination on six Spartanburg County Legislators over a School Choice Bill several years ago. These six legislators were duped The Gang of Six by Karen Martin and the Spartanburg Tea Party. These legislators were not against School Choice but couldnâ€™t support specific wording in the bill. Karen bullied them and tried to destroy their reputations just like the unions did Governor Walker in Wisconsin. Every year, she personally recruits candidates to run against at least two or three of them. It doesnâ€™t matter if they have a Report Card A rating from Governor Nikki Haley. This is not good enough for Karen Martin.
You made a reference that the Karen Martin article was before Mitt Romney was the Presidential nominee. Are you saying her derogatory comment was okay since it was before the Primary? Mitt Romney was a Republican Presidential Candidate when Karen Martin made the statement to a national newspaper reporter. To refresh your memory, this is what she said: Then our conversation turned to Mitt Romney, and Martinâ€™s sunny countenance darkened. â€śI donâ€™t know a single Tea Party person,â€ť she said, slowly drawing out her words, â€śwho does not despise Mitt Romney to the very core of their being.â€ť I searched her face for levity or compassion, but found neither.
This article was published in the New York Times, a liberal newspaper, and read by thousands upon thousands of people. Karen, the leader of the SPARTANBURG TEA PARTY, is saying that she and every Tea Party person she knows despises Mitt Romney. Why? Mitt Romney is a good man and was elected as our Republican Presidential Nominee later that year. As the Spartanburg Tea Party Leader, she can say whatever she wants. But if she hates Republicans so much, she should not involve herself in the Republican Party. In addition, the SCGOP should rethink their association with a person with such negative views of Republicans and the Republican Party.
Karen is the leader of the Spartanburg Tea Party and Tea Party Leaders are usually at odds with Republicans in general. The Tea Party was organized to push back against Republicans. Yet she is working hand in hand, side by side with SCGOP to do what. Recruit more tea party folks who can vote against Republicans. Karen recruits people all the time to run against good Republican elected officials. This is in direct conflict with what we are supposed to be doing as Republicans. She is doing major damage to the Republican Party and this needs to stop.
She apparently is held in high esteem by the SCGOP, because she was given an award two years in a row at the SCGOP Silver Elephant for her reorganization efforts. Karenâ€™s reorganization efforts in the Upstate have destroyed 85 to 90% of the Spartanburg County Republican Party. Congratulations SCGOP! Hope this makes you happy!
The majority of Republicans in our area have been extremely concerned as we watch Karen Martin conquering and dividing the Upstate and now the entire state while working in concert with the SCGOP. Karen must have read Saul Alinskyâ€™s book, Rules for Radicals. These tactics have been very successfully useful by Democrats and Communist to destroy anyone who gets in their way. Karen acts like a paid operative of the Democrat or Communist Party. Conquer and Divide!
You said that she is a hard worker. By all accounts this may be true, but the real question is for who or whom is she working. The question remains who is paying her and why? It is obvious to Republicans in the Upstate that she is not working for the Republican Party but using it as a tool to accomplish her mission.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today announced that Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) will continue his work as chairman of the Select Committee on the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya in the 114th Congress:
â€śOn September 11, 2012, four Americans were killed in a brutal terrorist attack in Libya. Two years later, the American people still have far too many questions about what happened that night â€“ and why. Thatâ€™s why I will reappoint Rep. Trey Gowdy and the Republican members of the House Select Committee to investigate the events in Benghazi in the 114th Congress. I look forward to the definitive report Chairman Gowdy and the Select Committee will present to the American people.â€ť
It’s become a tradition! Each year we post our “have a chat with family and friends during the holidays” blog.
Frank or Fran Family Member/Friend: “What a year. I’ve been so discouraged by the failure of the Republican party to win elections, or stand up for our platform/values. I just want to give up, ’cause really, what can we do?”
You: “I agree, we haven’t had many wins. We’ve had a few, but overall the Republican party isn’t doing everything I think we can to be assertive about protecting our Constitution, preserving our liberty, and doing practical things like cutting spending and saying NO to government overreach and regulations. Our candidates aren’t the ones we need to support to win in some cases. In others, just the dawdling and incompetency of some of those Republicans ‘in charge’ have got me fed up.”
Frank or Fran Family Member/Friend: “I know people who worked on campaigns or donated to campaigns did their best, but it doesn’t seem the party is listening to us. Some folks talk about third party, but I don’t think that’s the answer. I know those folks at the national level all have their hands out for consultant fees, they don’t really pay attention to the things happening here in our state or county. But our state and county is impacted from the top down! I’m not sure that even our state or county GOP party is doing what I think they should. Really I just hope they are and hope for the best, but I guess we’ll have to wait until the next election to speak up again.”
You: “Well that’s not true, and I think I have some information that may encourage you. You have the chance to have a voice at both the county and state GOP party. It’s pretty simple to get involved. Every precinct … the precincts are organized by the places you go to vote … every precinct has a number of openings for Precinct Delegates. Depending on how many voters are in your precinct you may have, say, 18 slots where voters like you and I can take one of those Precinct Delegate slots. A Precinct Delegate gets to vote on who runs their county’s Republican party, and has the opportunity to become a State Delegate. The State Delegates get to vote on who runs their state’s Republican party. It’s pretty easy to have a voice!”
Frank or Fran Family Member/Friend: “How much time does that take? Does anyone have a chance to be a Precinct Delegate, or only those ‘FAVORED’ by whoever is in charge?”
You: “It doesn’t take much of your time, just two meetings. Every two years a date is set for early in the year, probably February, and that date is called Precinct Reorganization. 2013 is the year! Everyone who wants to take part goes to their polling location that night for a short meeting, an hour at most. It is so simple, just fill out a piece of paper that night and you become a Precinct Delegate! Usually there aren’t even enough people to show up to fill all the slots. From the people who show up, you vote to elect a Precinct President and a Precinct Committeeman. They have just a bit more responsibility, and usually they are people who agree to attend the county GOP quarterly meetings. You don’t have to do that (unless you want to). If you DO want to be one of those positions, just bring people with you that night, family or friends who also live in your precinct who will vote for YOU! But just being a Precinct Delegate gives you the right to vote at the County Convention for your county officers in April.”
Frank or Fran Family Member/Friend: “Well that really doesn’t sound too bad. It sounds too simple in fact. How could showing up just that one night make a difference; I mean, I’m just one person. And I’ve never been very involved.”
You: “We have to start somewhere. If enough people like you and I show up on precinct reorganization night across our county, and fill up those empty delegate slots, think of the things we can accomplish. A new influx of conservatives who can vote together at the county convention and elect a proactive, conservative to lead our county! We definitely want to move forward, toward a more focused party in our state and county, and we will have the opportunity to decide who our county leaders are. The county Chairperson is the one who decides who sits on the different county committees, like the Rules committee. And beyond the county party, you have to be a Precinct Delegate in order to be a State Delegate, someone who can vote at the State Convention. Instead of waiting around to see who is our State Chairman, wouldn’t you like to have a vote? And if enough folks like us in county after county in South Carolina fill those Precinct Delegate slots at precinct reorganization night, we’ll ensure that our State Chair will be someone who represents South Carolina’s deep conservative values at the national level.”
Frank or Fran Family Member/Friend: “I really never knew all that. I admit I complain about why THEY don’t do this and why THEY can’t get that done. I didn’t think about becoming THEY. But isn’t that how we got where we are, assuming someone else would watch out for us, keep us on track, stay true to the platform and the Constitution. I know I hold a big responsibility for not paying attention. I think I’d like to begin having a voice. Will you let me know when the precinct reorganization night is so I don’t miss it?”
You: “I sure will. Now that you know, will you share this information with folks you talk to who are discouraged maybe, and are looking for something they can do? Anyone you know, they don’t have to live in your precinct, encourage them to go to their polling place that night at their precinct. If across our county, and across our state enough folks are willing to just take this first step, we won’t have to be captive to whatever the Republican party decides, WE will be the Republican party!”
Spartanburg County Administrator Katherine O’Neill and other county leaders responded Tuesday with a cool “no, thank you” to a S.C. House committee proposal counties take over maintenance of some state roads.
The House subcommittee, led by Rep. Gary Simrill, R-York, has been tasked with finding solutions for the state’s $40 billion revenue shortfall for infrastructure needs between now and 2040. One of the solutions suggested involves â€śdivestingâ€ť some state-owned secondary roads to counties for maintenance. In exchange, the committee has discussed sharing state revenues currently dedicated to infrastructure with the counties.
County officials who attended Tuesday’s meeting in Columbia, including O’Neill, said they are distrustful of state promises to provide revenue, and even if promises were kept, they were skeptical whether there would be enough money.
O’Neill said she is certain this would pressure counties to raise taxes. The state does not have adequate revenues for maintenance, or they wouldn’t be pursuing this solution, she said.
â€śThe reality is Spartanburg County is gun shy of a partnership where the burden invariably falls on local governments,â€ť O’Neill said.
O’Neill pointed out the state formula for local government has not been followed. About $344 million has been cut from counties and municipalities through the local government fund since 2008, including more than $17 million owed to Spartanburg County.
Lots of events and calendar activities coming up. Please mark your calendars – and call or email me if you have any questions!
We will NOT be having a Spartanburg Tea Party meeting in December. The Spartanburg County Republican Party will be participating in the Christmas Parade on Tuesday December 9 (which would have been our meeting date). PLEASE plan to attend or even better WALK in the parade with our local party! Call or text Bill Conley at 490.0845 for more info, and to let him know you’d like to walk/ride.
Regarding the parade, Bill would like our assistance on Saturday December 6 (location to be determined) in setting up the float. Can you help decorate? Call or text Bill Conley at 490.0845 and let him know he can count on YOU!
The Greenville/Spartanburg Republican Women will hold our Christmas Party on Monday December 8, from 6:30 to 10:00 PM. There will be a lovely dinner, DJ, and Dancing! The venue is The Davenport in Greer. Call or text Gaye Holt at 415.7927 or email GayeHolt@charter.net. The price is $18.00 per person.
The Spartanburg County Republican Party will be holding our Christmas Party on Tuesday December 16 at The Beacon, beginning at 6:30. This will be the quarterly ExComm meeting also. Come and enjoy the festivities!
Our speaker for the January Tea Party meeting is Jonathon Hill from Anderson who won his House of Representatives seat! Because the legislative session begins on the 2nd Tuesday of January, which would be our normal meeting date, we are moving our January meeting to Tuesday January 6, which is the FIRST Tuesday of the month. We’ll meet at The Clock on Reidville Road as always.
Finally, on Friday January 23 the Spartanburg Tea Party invites you to Movie Night! Cibby has ordered Atlas Shrugged Part III for us to watch. Parts I and II were shown in our local theater, but for some sad reason, Part II was not, so here’s your chance! There is plenty of time for you to catch up by watching I and II on your own. Mark your calendars for Friday January 23, details to come.
Jamie Murguia’s article at TheNerve.org continues the discussion of citizens being put under oath when testifying before the SC General Assembly. Jay Lucas indicated in our meeting this week that this was a proposed rule that should be revisited; I took that to mean he agreed it was a bit much.
From Jamie’s article:
In a column last month, I questioned the constitutionality of a proposed House rule sponsored by Rep. Kris Crawford (R-Florence) that would require any individual testifying before a House committee to meet extensive disclosure requirements about the organization he or she represents. During the subsequent meeting of the House Rules and Procedures Ad-Hoc Committee, several members expressed similar concerns about the proposalâ€™s constitutionality, and the it was withdrawn â€“ although not without a fight.
The proposal was withdrawn, however, only to be replaced by a similar proposal sponsored by Reps. Bruce Bannister (R-Greenville), Kris Crawford, and Alan Clemmons (R-Horry). That proposal would require all anyone testifying before any House committee to first be sworn in by the presiding officer of the committee. Further, the new rule would allow any individual who â€świllfully gives false, materially misleading, or materially incomplete testimony under oathâ€ť to be found in â€ścontempt of the General Assembly.â€ť The law establishing â€ścontempt of the General Assemblyâ€ť allows for â€śa person who is convicted of or pleads guilty to contempt of the General Assembly is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined within the discretion of the court or imprisoned for not more than five years, or both.â€ť
It is maddening… WHO THINKS THIS IS A GOOD IDEA EXCEPT A GENERAL ASSEMBLY WHOSE ETHICS HAVE BEEN UNDER SCRUTINY FOR YEARS NOW? Like Jamie asks … does anything thin the problem is that the CITIZENS are lying too much?
Jamie asked for my thoughts for her article:
Martin raised an excellent point I hadnâ€™t thought of. Basically it was this: Would the proposal apply equally to lawmakers? â€śIf there were penalties attached that do not also cover every syllable that any legislator utters, either in a committee or on the floor of their respective body,â€ť she said, â€śthen this is a higher bar for citizens than for legislators.â€ť
Thereâ€™s a practical unfairness about the proposal, too, says Martin. â€śCitizens donâ€™t have the luxury of being able to consult onsite, at the ready, taxpayer provided counsel to ensure there is no unintentional misstatement.â€ť
Now it’s your turn to have a say. Read and understand the proposed rule, then contact your legislator in the House and have a chat. They seem to be getting ready to do this. In addition to your representative, special outreach to Bruce Bannister (R-Greenville), Kris Crawford (R-Florence), and Alan Clemmons (R-Horry). Ask those 3 guys if citizens lying in Columbia is REALLY the problem.