State election officials opt to delay election in Bobby Harrell’s old House seat

Jeremy Borden reporting at The Post and Courier:

The State Election Commission has decided to delay the Nov. 4 election for former Speaker Bobby Harrell’s House seat to give the Republican party time to nominate a new candidate.

Harrell stepped down earlier this month after pleading guilt to six counts of misusing his campaign funds for his own benefit. As part of his plea deal, he will serve three years on probation and may not seek office again until 2017.

Election officials previously said that the District 114 House election would continue between Democrat Mary Tinkler and Green party candidate Sue Edward – and that a vote for Harrell would not count. However, today’s decision reverses that position.

The Democrats indicated they would quickly petition the S.C. Supreme Court to intervene the reverse the commission’s decision.

Republicans argued state law calls for delaying the District 114 election to give them a shot at nominating a new GOP candidate in the heavily Republican district, which runs form West Ashley into southern Dorchester County. Harrell signed an affidavit earlier this week saying his stepping down was done for nonpolitical reasons – a requirement under the law.

Democrats argued that Harrell’s resignation was political, and it would be unfair to voters to delay the election.

October 30, 2014   Posted in: Uncategorized  No Comments

Road Trip? THIS is something to celebrate!

Go if you can. Hope it’s the first of many citizen legislators winning seats!

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In June Jonathon Hill won his House primary against the incumbent.

On Saturday, November 22nd 2014, Jonathon will take the oath of office to represent District 8 in the South Carolina House of Representatives.

Clerk of Court Richard Shirley will administer the oath of office at 1 1am at Double Springs Baptist Church at 535 Double Springs Rd in Townville, SC. There will be a reception afterwards.

This event is open to the public and anyone wishing to attend may RSVP by November 19th by calling 864-245-5885 or emailing jonathon@votehill.com.

South Carolina House District 8 covers the northwestern quadrant of Anderson County, including the Townville, Mt. Tabor, Centerville, Center Rock, Lakeside, Sandy Springs, and Williford communities.

Jonathon Hill won the Republican primary election on June 10th, 2014 and faces no opposition in the general election.

CLICK HERE for the Facebook Invite.

October 28, 2014  Tags:   Posted in: Uncategorized  No Comments

What Hillary said. and THEN what she said after.

So you may have heard this pearl of economic wisdom from Hillary the other day (reported at TheBlaze.com):

Hillary Clinton recently told supporters at a campaign rally, “Don’t let anybody tell you that… it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs.”

See the video at the link above.

Emily Zanotti at The American Spectator has a follow up story:

Clinton herself was concerned enough about the coverage her statement got that yesterday evening, she tried to iron everything out. She didn’t succeed. But she tried.

On Monday at a campaign event for New York Rep. Sean Maloney, a former aide to President Bill Clinton, Clinton went for a do-over, saying, “Let me be absolutely clear about what I’ve been saying for a couple of decades: Our economy grows when businesses and entrepreneurs create good-paying jobs here in an America where workers and families are empowered to build from the bottom up and the middle out — not when we hand out tax breaks for corporations that outsource jobs or stash their profits overseas.”

Apparently, she “short-handed” her remarks earlier. When she got the chance for a re-do, she actually confounded the statement more by adding in some stuff about the minimum wage and overseas tax havens, and an odd, nonsensical metaphor about building things. Which I mean to say, she watered her original statement down with a bunch of nothing, which, as a politician, is the best you can hope for: that people are so confused by the buzzwords you string together that they take little to no notice of any actual content.

October 28, 2014   Posted in: Uncategorized  One Comment

‘Reform’ Effort Would Squelch Right to Petition

Do they NEVER EVER learn/listen?????

Jamie Murguia writing at TheNerve.org with the latest lamebrain, and kinda quite evil plan by SC legislator(s):

Some state lawmakers still think ethics reform is some sort of “gotcha” game. Last year, they used the public demand for ethics reform as a way to loosen ethics laws, this year they want to use the issue as a way to silence their critics.

Or maybe I shouldn’t say “they.” Maybe it’s just one lawmaker I’m talking about.

At a recent meeting of the House Rules and Procedures Ad-Hoc Committee, Rep. Kris Crawford (R-Florence) proposed a rule that would require any individual testifying before a House committee to meet extensive disclosure requirements about the organization he or she represents. For the representative of a nonprofit organization to testify – if this rule were to pass – the House committee would demand the names, addresses, and phone numbers of individuals or corporations that donate to the organization or group; and the source, type, and amount of donations received in the previous twelve months.

Mind you, the scope of this committee is limited to the House rules – internal House rules. To try to interfere with private citizens’ right to petition their government – and to try to do it through an internal rule which would only require one vote by the 124 lawmakers of the body – is both absurd and unconstitutional. Under the First Amendment, citizens have a right to come together to petition their government without fear of retribution. (“Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”) Clearly, forcing citizen organizations petitioning their government to reveal their financials and donor lists would be an easy way to make the representatives of those organizations think twice before testifying. It would be like handing hostile politicians a list of your supporters and saying, “Here, guys. Use your power and influence to get these people to stop supporting us.”

Unfortunately, though, there’s more going on here than a lone politician trying to prevent citizens and organizations from formally and publicly addressing their government. The problem isn’t so much the politician. It’s the mindset he typifies. Does he think the role of elected officials is to hand down laws and regulations to the common folk, and that the common folk, if they want to raise questions, need to ask permission first? At a time when the leader of the very body Rep. Crawford represents was facing a nine-count indictment for violations of the Ethics Act – and subsequently pled guilty to six counts – one hopes not.

In fairness, some elected officials on and off this ad hoc committee are genuinely interested in reform. But it’s difficult to give lawmakers the benefit of the doubt when this isn’t the first time lawmakers have attempted to squelch free speech through an effort of “reform.” Earlier this year the omnibus “ethics reform” bill would have forced the same types of group leaders to register as lobbyists prior to testifying before a legislative committee.

I suspect – and hope – that the unconstitutional nature of Rep. Crawford’s proposal will prevent the ad hoc committee from approving this recommendation. The House Rules and Procedure Ad-Hoc Committee will have its final meeting Thursday, when members will consider this and other proposals. You can watch this meeting live on the State House website.

Jamie Murguia is Director of Research at the S.C. Policy Council

October 27, 2014   Posted in: Uncategorized  2 Comments

Evert’s Electables

always a good read! very long so CLICK TO READ MORE when you get to the bottom and see the link.

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Evert’s Electables
General Election
November 4, 2014

About Evert: I consider myself to be a conservative Republican, and as such you will see that most of the people I support are Republicans. I care about both social and fiscal issues.

PLEASE NOTE—
• For candidates already in office, my comments reflect their voting records over the course of their tenure.
• For those who have never held office and who claim a position, I will state their claim; but understand that I have little by which to verify that claim. If they have run before, I have gone back to see what their statements and positions were.
• Stating that I am voting for a candidate does not mean I endorse them. In the General Election you have to vote FOR someone. If I endorse someone, I will state it.

If there is no liberal running in the General Election––vote for the candidate that most closely matches your own viewpoints. I do try to ascertain if a challenger has given sufficient reason for me to change my vote from the incumbent or if the incumbent has failed to live up to his conservative campaign promises.
U.S. SENATE
Lindsey Graham INCUMBENT www.lindseygraham.com
He is probably the most controversial candidate in South Carolina. He is center-right; not as conservative as Tim Scott and Jim DeMint. A sidekick of John McCain throughout his entire tenure in the Senate. Relatively conservative voting record except for major discrepancies on some major issues to conservatives—cap and trade, immigration, and Supreme Court nominees. Sen. Graham has always been a fighter for issues he cares about. While we cheer when he’s on our side (ObamaCare, Benghazi, gun rights, Right to Life, strong military, traditional marriage, support for veterans), he has a tendency to poke his finger in the eye of his detractors in the Republican Party, especially when it comes to immigration and cooperating with Democrats. 100% ranking from the National Right to Life. “A-“ NRA ranking and endorsement. The GOA (Gun Owners of America) gave him a “C” ranking, although 3 of Graham’s votes they counted were in reference to a cloture vote (to stop debate) on an ObamaCare vote. Very strong supporter of veterans; he fought very hard to ensure the benefits veterans had already earned were honored when other Republicans in D.C. wanted to renege on the promise to our veterans and to retroactively and substantially cut retirement benefits—veterans will come out and support him. Endorsed by Nat’l Right to Life PAC, SC Citizens for Life PAC, Sen. Mike Fair, Lisa Van Riper, Charlie Condon, Dee Benedict, Roberta Combs, Holly Gatling, and Alexia Newman.

Brad Hutto – Democrat http://bradhutto.com/
He is a current state senator from Orangeburg. He is your typical Washington-style liberal Democrat—tax-and-spend, big government. He is one of the Senate Democrats who have been aggressively pushing for S.C. to adopt all forms of ObamaCare and Common Core State Standards (CCSS); wants to increase the minimum wage; pro-labor. On gun rights, he refused to answer the NRA’s questionnaire. He also did the same with GOA (Gun Owners of America which is to the right of the NRA). He’s pretty hostile to the 2nd Amendment (right to bear arms). He has been a champion for abortion rights—in fact has led the opposition to every single pro-life bill that has ever come to the floor in the State Senate. This past 2-year cycle he was successful in stopping the pain-capable bill which would have outlawed abortions after 22 weeks gestation. He is so much a champion for abortion rights that Planned Parenthood gave him their endorsement. As far as I can tell, he is the only person to receive their endorsement in this state. He would be Pres. Obama’s champion in the Senate. He is extremely intelligent; he knows the rules and he knows how to use them to good effect. He has been a thorn to conservatives in the State Senate. As much as I’d like to get him out of the State Senate, I don’t want to put him in the U.S. Senate!

Thomas Ravenel – Petition http://thomasravenel.com/
Running as an independent candidate. Formerly ran for U.S. Senate and lost. Ran for State Treasurer in ’06 and won, then was removed from office after being convicted of felony cocaine use/distribution. After he got out of jail, he publicly renounced his citizenship, although he never followed through on the paperwork. In general, he’s a cad. He was able to gain access to the federal ballot only because our Constitution gives only 2 requirements to be a senator (that the candidate reside in the state he’s running in and be over the age of 30); he would not be able to gain access to any office in the state of S.C. because of his felony conviction—at least not for another 14 years. He is running more as a left-of-center Libertarian. He refused the GOA’s questionnaire. He has stated that social conservatives should not be elected to office. Favors gay marriage. He has in the past been a supporter of pro-life legislation; but he hasn’t stated his current position on his website, so I don’t know if it’s the same or not. Favors the legalization of drugs and is a true Libertarian when it comes to national security (isolationism and a much smaller military). I will say that he is the most conservative on economic policy but lacks the other 2 legs that have defined conservatism since before Reagan (social issues and foreign policy). The last poll showed him at 8%.

Victor Kocher – Libertarian http://www.victorforsenate.us/
Economically conservative. On his website he clearly defines a pro-life decision. Is a limited government Libertarian. I don’t know where he is on the other issues—he dealt only with pro-life on his website. Currently at 3% in the polls and as such will not affect the overall election.

Evert: As I’ve stated above, whenever a liberal is on the ballot, I will always choose the most conservative candidate that has a chance of winning. I cannot support nor can I encourage any person to vote for Thomas Ravenal—not even based on his issues; in my opinion his name shouldn’t even be on the ballot; and, if he were to win, the U.S. Senate could refuse to seat him based on his renunciation of citizenship and felony conviction. Although I’d have preferred a better choice in the Primary, Lindsey Graham is a center/right candidate on life issues, marriage, gun rights, foreign policy, and supporting our military; he has seldom been wrong on those issues. Therefore, Graham is the most conservative candidate that has a chance of winning this race.
I am voting for Sen. Lindsey Graham.
Read the rest of this post »

October 27, 2014   Posted in: Uncategorized  5 Comments

Nikki Haley Tours the State

Saturday, November 1
4:30 PM: Greenville
Tommy’s Ham House
214 Rutherford Street, Greenville

Sunday, November 2
12:30 PM: Spartanburg
The Beacon
255 John B. White, Sr. Boulevard, Spartanburg

CLICK HERE for the full schedule beginning October 29

October 26, 2014   Posted in: Uncategorized  One Comment

Sens. Campbell, Grooms advocate for statewide gas tax increase

Here it comes, and “conservative?” Republicans lead the way.

Liz Segrist reporting at Charleston Regional Business Journal:

Sens. Larry Grooms and Paul Campbell both advocated for an increase in the state’s 16-cent gas tax to help increase funding for state infrastructure.

During the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce’s infrastructure panel this morning, Campbell proposed increasing the gas tax by 10 cents this year, and Grooms proposed increasing it by 2 cents annually over the next decade. The Charleston chamber advocates for a 25-cent increase.

“This will be an uphill battle and I expect a lot of pushback, but if we don’t fund these roads and bridges in our state, they will get worse,” Campbell said. “If we don’t make a significant jump this year, we start losing ground and fall further behind.”

Grooms advocated for his “2-for-2” plan, which would increase the gas tax by 2 cents every year for 10 years while decreasing the income tax by two-tenths of a percentage point every year for the next 10 years.

Within 10 years of passage, the gas tax would increase by 20 cents, to 36 cents, and the state income tax would decrease from 7% to 5%.

“We get closer every year,” Grooms said of raising the gas tax. “The plan I have been pushing, the ‘give me five,’ I never quite had a majority signed onto it. Had ‘give me five’ passed when I proposed it, we would have an additional $350 million of recurring money to the DOT this year — but it didn’t pass.”

October 26, 2014  Tags: , ,   Posted in: Uncategorized  8 Comments

Down memory lane with Bobby

My friend Monica began a discussion on Facebook with this:

“My favorite Bobby Harrell memory of when he was Speaker of the SC House? Stripping our destined-to-be Governor then House member Nikki Haley of her committee chairmanships. Why? She had the gall to push for transparency in government and voting on record. And there were “solid conservative Republicans” who supported him in teaching her a lesson. Anyone else have a fond memory?”

So I dug back into the archives and came up with some replies for Monica…

Oh I’ll play! How about the time he sent a letter to the pharmacy board on official speaker’s office letterhead and then said he wasn’t seeking special treatment for his business … Palmetto State Pharmaceuticals?

Well, who couldn’t have seen the ethics violations writing on the wall there, huh?

How about “Bobby Bucks” … liberally dispensed Palmetto Leadership Council (PLC) funds, the political action committee affiliated with House Speaker Bobby Harrell … which were used to exceed campaign-finance restrictions, dole out personal favors and wield enormous influence. Particularly egregious when used in primary races to protect incumbents.

Nothing wrong with keeping your sycophants all funded up for their next election right?

Or … what about that bill in Spring 2014 that fantastically appeared overnight which would remove the attorney general and other officials from prosecuting certain ethics and public corruption cases.

Bobby had been a co-sponsor on the Fair Tax bill for quite a while, and that bill has never had a floor vote, yet this bill just FLEW through the process. Funny that.

Or back in early 2013 when he bragged about having ““the lowest tax rate in the nation” when in actuality the report he was citing said SC has the “lowest tax collections per capita.” … which really means SC doesn’t charge less, it collects less. And the reason it collects less is because a) SC incomes are low and b) politicians exempt so many special interests. Quite a difference eh?

Smoke and mirrors at the expense of the SC taxpayers.

Then Joyce Zandri wanted in…

My favorite was when he was campaigning for election against John Steinberger and was asked what he thought about the FairTax. This after having been a co-sponsor of the SC Fairtax Act for several years. His answer? “It might be fine for the federal government but it won’t work at the state level”.

Yep. Way before the phantom airplane trips, Bobby Harrell was bad news for SC citizens.

October 24, 2014  Tags:   Posted in: Uncategorized  3 Comments

Vet Bill – What? Private vets are being “subsidized” for spay/neuter surgeries?

Almost every proponent of “doing something about those spay/neuter clinics” recited the same phrase in the recent AWLS hearings. They insisted that these clinics are “subsidized by tax dollars”.

And yet, speaker after speaker who stood and spoke about what their organization is providing for their community announced “We do this through donations. We do this with private grants. We do not receive any taxpayer dollars.”

We recognize that there are some counties who contract with private animal welfare organizations to house, adopt, or euthanize stray animals brought in from Animal Control or county residents. And those contracts are paid in the same way any contract with a county is paid, whether it be a landscaping contract, an electrician contract, or a print shop contract. Services are provided and invoices are paid.

But because of the relentless mantra of “IT’S NOT FAIR!!!!”, let’s take a look at one county who has chosen to use money from their budget to be proactive about trying to solve their problem of too many stray/unwanted dogs and cats.

Oconee County, like most of the smaller or less affluent counties in South Carolina, does not have the big Humane Society Building, with prominent board members, wide lawns, comfortable kennel space which accommodates a couple hundred pets. They don’t have a spay/neuter clinic. But they have made some decisions about the best solution for their county’s unwanted cats and dogs that is better than rounding them up and killing them all.

Recognizing that if you prevent the births you can prevent the deaths, the local government officials have set up a county fund of $60K to be used to spay/neuter dogs and cats, both shelter animals pre-adoption, and owned pets. In addition, animal welfare volunteers have worked extremely hard to secure PRIVATE GRANTS of slightly more than $50K to help pet owners.

Since they don’t have a spay/neuter clinic in Oconee County, who does these surgeries? Local veterinarians in private practice. Local vets work with the county and with humane society volunteers to facilitate surgeries. What, then, will Pat Hill and SCAV and the vets who have complained in the hearings about the clinics that are subsidized with tax dollars have to say to Oconee County’s pet owners and veterinarians? Local governments are closest to the problems in their communities, and their solutions should not be dismissed by legislation from Columbia. Or scorned or second guessed by lobbyists from Columbia or Charleston.

Do they substitute their judgment and assert that they … from miles away and across the state … know better how to resolve the pet overpopulation problem in a smaller, more rural, less affluent county? What about other small counties who have stray and unwanted animals but do not have the resources to support a spay/neuter clinic? If legislation is passed that harms the efforts of Oconee County vets and their collaboration with local government and volunteers, these other small counties will lose their opportunities to follow Oconee’s example and determine for themselves the best use of their animal control funding – reaction vs. prevention.

Counties who direct money from their own budgets to facilitate local solutions know best. Those decisions should not be interfered with through nagging by veterinarians who don’t face the challenges of the smaller counties. Tax dollars are allocated by those folks who understand the situations their residents face. If county money and volunteers and veterinarians are working together proactively on solving their local problem – even though Pat Hill and veterinarians from other places in the state complain about ‘subsidizing’ – let them continue without legislative interference.

October 24, 2014   Posted in: Uncategorized  2 Comments

After Harrell

I may have posted this before, but even if … great article by House Representative-elect Jonathon Hill:

It begins …

Sometimes, I’m a pretty embarrassed South Carolinian. Though we could be described, at least here in the Upstate, as “the buckle on the Bible Belt,” we have a way of frequently making unpleasant political headlines.

It started with a former Governor, now Congressman, who said he “hiked the Appalachian trail” when he was actually visiting his “soul mate” who was not his wife (a saga that is still playing out like a soap opera), to a Lieutenant Governor forced to resign in disgrace after multiple campaign finance violations (in the private sector, this is known as “embezzlement”), to 8 Sheriffs in the last 4 years indicted or investigated for a variety of fraudulent behavior, including racketeering and bribe-taking, finally climaxing in the indictment of Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell just days ago for violations that dwarf those of former Lieutenant Governor Ken Ard.

But what you won’t hear in the media is the greatest corruption of all: our very system of government is compromised.

Oh, we make a show of the three-branch balance of power that our founders bequeathed to us. Yet, as Lawrence Lessig put it, “We inherited an extraordinary estate. On our watch, we have let it fall to ruin.”

Well worth your time to click the link above and read the entire article.

October 23, 2014   Posted in: Uncategorized  No Comments