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3110, 2017

Spartanburg Party Leaders Unify Around ‘Penny Tax’ in Joint Press Conference

By |October 31st, 2017|Politics, South Carolina, Tea Party|0 Comments

Early Monday morning, a curious alliance of Spartanburg’s political spheres presented their unified support for the new “Penny Tax,” a temporary 1% increase in the county’s sales tax, being offered for the consideration of the voting public. The funds obtained via the new tax would be used solely for the purpose of building a new courthouse.  Standing in the cold air in Morgan Square was Allen Smith, President of the Spartanburg Chamber of Commerce; Shelly Roehrs, chairman of the county Democratic Party; Josh Kimbrell, Chairman of the county Republican Party; and Karen Martin, president of the county’s Tea Party organization.

 

The condition of the court house has been a looming problem for over a decade, put off and kicked down the road one year after another, culminating in today’s multitude of issues including overcrowding, hazardous mold in the walls and floors, and the security hazard presented by proximity of jurors and citizens involved in family court with individuals considered dangerous. It seems that almost everyone agrees on the need for a new courthouse structure.  The question is:  how will we pay for it?

Proponents of the 1% sales tax argue that the need for funding is urgent and that it is necessary to a core government function. The bill has been written so as to provide a few reassurances:  it directs the additional revenue specifically to the courthouse project and it has a ‘sunset’ date built in, at which time the tax rate will return to its present level.

There are, however, those standing against the measure. Those opposed to the tax increase have argued that the county could cut costs elsewhere, adjust business tax rates, or hold court in an existing building that could be bought or […]

1710, 2017

Greenville County Sheriff Will Lewis Accused of Sexual Assault

By |October 17th, 2017|Featured, Politics, Sheriff, South Carolina|Comments Off on Greenville County Sheriff Will Lewis Accused of Sexual Assault

PNN – Greenville County Sheriff Will Lewis has been accused of both sexual harassment and sexual assault in a newly filed lawsuit. These accusations echo those made last year by former Greenville County Sheriff Steve Loftis, who produced documents outlining a 2011 internal investigation into then-Deputy Lewis’ behavior towards female officers. Lewis resigned shortly thereafter–a move that Loftis insists was done to avoid the firing that Lewis knew was eminent.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of former Greenville County Sheriff Department employee Savanah Nabors. Nabors served as Lewis’ assistant starting shortly after his election to the position last year, and she continued on until April. In the lawsuit, Nabors alleges that Lewis began his inappropriate behavior almost immediately, starting with remarks as early as December, before culminating in a physical assault in March, which led to Nabors’ eventual resignation in April. Nabors believes that Lewis added some form of drug to her drinks on the evening of the alleged assault, as she lost consciousness and awoke to find Lewis on top of her. Nabors claims that she was assaulted once more the following evening, despite Lewis’ insistence earlier in the evening that the behavior would not reoccur.

Following the assault, Nabors claims that Lewis acted obsessive. According to Nabors, Lewis was instructing her to avoid dating, prying into her personal affairs, and making excuses to come by her home. Nabors offered up her resignation with a two week notice on April 24th, but was instructed to cease working there immediately by Lewis. Nabors claims that Lewis then contacted her on the following day to beg for her to return as his assistant, going so far as to offer her a raise. Nabors declined this offer and […]

2508, 2017

Recent Arrest of Anti-Statue Activist

By |August 25th, 2017|South Carolina, State|Comments Off on Recent Arrest of Anti-Statue Activist

Nothing like prefacing a “peace rally” with “TAKE IT DOWN” followed by three exclamation points. Bit of a mixed message there.
A group calling itself FIT (Fighting Injustice Together) seems to be advocating the desecration of a cemetery, along with the removal of another statue, in their flier:

What makes this even more interesting, is that FIT founder, Bruce Wilson, was arrested two months ago and charged with kidnapping, domestic violence and three counts of child neglect. But yet, it is statues which are apparently offensive, not how you allegedly treat women and children.

According to WSPA:
Greenville County sheriff’s deputies say Wilson assaulted the victim multiple times and held her against her will before she managed to flee the home and drive to the Greenville County Law Enforcement Center.
In a statement released from Greenville County Sheriff:
Deputies learned that while operating the vehicle, the children were not restrained and Wilson did place the children in danger by driving erratically in an attempt to stop the victim on the roadway.
The victim referred to is apparently Wilson’s wife as another arrest was immediately made seemingly in conjunction with this incident, where a man by the name of  Joseph Bledsoe (referred to in a story by WSPA as the boyfriend of Wilson’s wife) was accused of ramming Wilson’s car.

In a bizarre twist in the second arrest, Bledsoe held a press conference about the incident, in which Derrick Quarles (founder of Upstate Black Lives Matter) attended and was arrested on the spot for “Failure to Appear in court on charges of Obtaining Goods Under False Pretenses.”

Yes, the problems in our society would be so few and far between if only statues were removed from cemeteries. The so-called peace rally to be held tomorrow […]

1508, 2017

Shot Across the Bow

By |August 15th, 2017|Politics, South Carolina|Comments Off on Shot Across the Bow

The City of Aiken, South Carolina saw a surprising victory play out on Tuesday, August 8th as their City Council Republican primary races came to a close and it became clear that the citizens of Aiken wanted some fresh talent in their local government. In District 4, incumbent Reggie Ebner had decided to step down and Ed Girardeau walked into his seat unopposed. In District 5, it was a three way race to replace retiring incumbent Steve Homoki, which was ultimately won by Andrea Gregory. In District 6, incumbent Philip Merry tried and failed to defend his seat from local businessman Ed Woltz, who came away the victor, unseating Merry after just one term on the City Council. While Woltz has a Democratic opponent in the upcoming General Election, Gregory and Girardeau do not, and all three are likely to take their new seats on the Council with little difficulty. This is a replacement of half the council.

Most summer races get little attention and the candidates find themselves struggling to raise awareness, but things were different this year in Aiken, as several issues were coming to a head. The current City Council has been attempting to develop a parking garage in the center of downtown Aiken as part of their Renaissance Project. Also up for construction is a new municipal building, which would house 60 employees if completed. Between these two ventures alone, the Renaissance could cost millions of dollars, and many people in Aiken were concerned with both the price tag and the City Council’s inability to prove the need for these new additions. There were calls for a referendum on the Renaissance Project, for the entire thing to be decided by a vote […]

608, 2017

Phillip Merry – For It before Against It

By |August 6th, 2017|Politics, South Carolina|Comments Off on Phillip Merry – For It before Against It

All politics are local… or maybe they should be. A look at a small town race where something very typical is going on; developers interests are seemingly being put before the interest of citizens.
Tensions are rising in Aiken, SC, as the District 6 City Council race heats up ahead of this Tuesday’s Republican Primary Election. One of the most hotly contended issues has been the Renaissance project, which seeks to significantly alter the downtown area by adding an unnecessary parking garage in place of a historical landmark. Republican candidate Ed Woltz has been strongly against the garage and his campaign has reflected that. In response to Woltz’s continual call to halt the Renaissance Project – and thus the garage – the incumbent, Phillip Merry, has been vociferously denying that he was ever in favor of the parking garage, going so far as to send out a piece of mail listing his former support of the garage as “false news.”

There’s just one problem:  Anyone can easily look back at old news articles in which he was cited as clearly in favor of the project.

Back on April 27, 2015, the Aiken Standard ran an article in which they discussed the then new – and now controversial – hospitality tax in Aiken. According to the Standard, the tax was introduced by Merry himself with the explicit intent of using it to fund the parking garage.

(http://www.aikenstandard.com/news/council-swear-in-klimm-vote-yes-on-new-tax-public/article_dd6bea1d-23b9-5eb1-8407-5c75236015be.html).

The same mailer in question also claims that Merry has not supported tax increases—another blatant mistruth, as evidenced by Merry’s decision to not only vote for but to suggest the hospitality tax. Further examinations of Merry’s other recent campaign activities and public appearances give the impression that he would like to distance himself from […]

3005, 2017

Senate 3 Strike 3: Dems Are Out!

By |May 30th, 2017|Politics, South Carolina, State, State Senate Races|Comments Off on Senate 3 Strike 3: Dems Are Out!

As, of this writing, with 42 of 43 precincts reporting, Richard Cash wins with 82% of the vote; 3,034 votes to 679 write-in votes.
For the third time in a row, the Democrats attempt to swipe the SC District 3 State Senate seat from conservative Republicans, and for the third time, they failed.

Last year, during the normal election cycle, the Democrats were busing out in support of Carol Burdette, nearly overcoming a 17 point deficit at the last minute.

In the Special Election this year, it was Burdett again who went into a Republican Runoff Election with Richard Cash and again, there was a large push for Democrats to vote in the republican’s selection process but they fell short again.

With no Democrat on the ballot for the Special General Election, and typically a very low turnout for any election with no opposition on the ballot, the Democrats mobilized for a third time in a year, to undermine the process and elect Burdette via a write-in campaign. There is a sore-loser law in place to prevent such campaigns from being launched by someone who has lost, but that law applies to the individual who lost and not to anyone else who may want to organize such a campaign.

Implementing Registration by Party would go a long way to resolving the shenanigans that go on in races like this.

1205, 2017

Senate Passes Resolution to Stop GHS

By |May 12th, 2017|Health, South Carolina, State|Comments Off on Senate Passes Resolution to Stop GHS

Resolution to Stop GHS Passes Senate with Unanimous Consent
Entire Senate body is in agreement that Greenville Hospital System has violated Act 432 and should cease its activities until the lawsuit against GHS is settled.
Greenville, SC – State Senator Tom Corbin introduced the resolution on Thursday, May 11, which reads as follows:

S.726 – A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION: TO OPPOSE THE RECENT ACTIONS OF THE GREENVILLE HOSPITAL SYSTEM.

Whereas, the Greenville Hospital System has recently engaged in an effort to restructure; and

Whereas, this was done in secret behind closed doors without notice or notification; and

Whereas, neither the citizens of Greenville County nor the Greenville County Legislative Delegation were informed of the closed door meeting; and

Whereas, the Greenville Hospital System is attempting to transform from a public not-for-profit organization into a private organization; and

Whereas, the members of the Greenville Legislative Delegation feel that this is in direct violation of Act 432 of 1947, which created the Greenville Hospital System; and

Whereas, if this goes through, the newly created Greenville Hospital System private boards, which will control the hospital system, will have absolutely no oversight by the people of Greenville County from which it was created; and

Whereas, members of the Greenville County Legislative Delegation, as well as some members of the public, have filed suit to stay this action; and

Whereas, this resolution would cause the Greenville Hospital System to cease its action until the lawsuit is settled. Now, therefore,

Be it resolved by the Senate, the House of Representatives concurring:  That the members of the General Assembly, by this resolution, oppose the recent actions of the Greenville Hospital System.
# # #

Citizens for a Free Market is a 501(c)4 non-profit
 

1105, 2017

The Gas Fee (Tax) Debt Bomb

By |May 11th, 2017|Politics, South Carolina, State|Comments Off on The Gas Fee (Tax) Debt Bomb

Why swapping one three-letter word for another is a BIG deal.
I can’t recall ever seeing such a groundswell of opposition to anything greater than this new 12 cent gas tax being shoved down our throats in Columbia.  By now, many know that the new tax will fund college tuition and many things other than the roads we’ve so desperately wanted to be repaired, but what about them changing this from a tax to a fee?
WARNING: Continuing to read will likely cause a serious increase in blood pressure.
If it had remained a gas “tax” then those in Columbia would be prohibited from using an incoming tax as leverage for more money, but if it is a “fee” then they are allowed to leverage into more money. In other words; they are already planning to use the billions more they are taking from us to BORROW money and put the people in debt billions on top of those billions!

Governor Henry McMaster was obviously complacent in all this or he would have held his vote for the five days and used his bully pulpit to back down a couple more senators. Instead, he quickly vetoed and returned knowing they barely had the two-thirds majority in the senate to override him.

2404, 2017

Driving Democrats and Invoking Jeff Duncan’s Name

By |April 24th, 2017|Politics, South Carolina, State Senate Races|2 Comments

From driving Democrats out to vote in a Republican Primary Election to invoking the name of the very popular Congressman Jeff Duncan:
Political campaigns in South Carolina can rival dirty politics anywhere else in the world (nothing to brag about).
In Carol Burdette’s last run for South Carolina District 3, she was 17 points behind incumbent Senator Kevin Bryant. Her campaign made up most of the difference by driving democrats out to vote in the Republican Primary Election, closing the gap to almost nothing using this unscrupulous (but not illegal) tactic.

Bryant ascended to Lt Governor following the appointment of Nikki Haley as Ambassador to the United Nations and the ascension of Lt Governor McMaster to now Governor. This chain reaction generated a need for a Special Election for the vacant seat in Senate District 3 and Burdette is running again.

Things aren’t looking good for Burdette this round either, so in the last hours of campaigning a robo-call goes out across the district from Friends of Jeff Duncan, encouraging folks to vote for Carol Burdette. Just a minor little problem; Congressman Jeff Duncan had nothing to do with it and with the speed of social media, everyone is learning of it via this Facebook post from Congressman Duncan:

Uhhhhh…

With the Runoff Election taking place from 7AM to 7PM on Tuesday, April 25, the Burdette campaign has been pulling out all the stops.  They also triggered this mailer:

The mailer is blasting Richard Cash for saying that Burdette “Isn’t pro-life.”  The campaign was already reeling from the blowback on this one because Richard Cash had actually defended Burdette as being pro-life which can be seen in the following video.

For the Record

Some people have asked about Carol Burdette’s negative attack ad. It was as best egregiously deceptive or at worst a flat out lie. To set the record straight this is a video of the only statement I have made about Carol Burdette’s pro-life or second amendment record.

Posted by Richard Cash for SC Senate on Saturday, April 22, 2017

 
But… for the record, we asked the following of Ms. Burdette when she […]

1604, 2017

We Didn’t Light It but We’re Trying to Fight It

By |April 16th, 2017|Politics, South Carolina|1 Comment

When you look at county party politics, there’s always a lot going on which leave’s one scratching their head and wondering “why?”
Why would anyone want to be elected to run a local party (or any other elected position)? I believe there are two reasons someone wants such; (1) They truly have a desire to serve others, or (2) They truly have a desire to serve themselves.

Over the last eight years, after a small group lost control over the Spartanburg County Republican Party they have been constantly taking shots at all who have since served. The attacks and rhetoric have remained the same even though the people serving have changed out quite a bit. This reminds me of a saying:

If you meet a jerk every now and again it’s one thing, but if you meet a jerk every morning, a jerk every afternoon, and a jerk every evening, then you are the jerk.

Rick Beltram held the position of Spartanburg County Chairman for a decade, losing in a landslide in 2009. In many ways, Beltram was a good chairman; he was very active politically and did a good job handling the press, but it was the things he wasn’t so good at which brought an end to his service. During the 2009 reorg, he refused to share information with anyone he thought might oppose him – an accusation he, and those associated with him levied at each of the three administrations that have since served.

Other accusations made in regards to our last three administrations have been in regards to party funds and fundraising, so let’s have a look at Beltram’s regime:

Collections of Bronze Elephant never totaled over $3,880 in one year.  The only Bronze Elephant member list […]