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1501, 2018

Herlong to Hold Corrupt Politicians Accountable

By |January 15th, 2018|Featured, Politics, South Carolina, State, Statewide|0 Comments

From William Herlong:

Yesterday morning I officially announced my candidacy for SC Attorney General. In my announcement, I outlined the core principles for reforming the office of Attorney General and cleaning up the widespread level of ethical corruption in the State House.

Current State Attorney General Alan Wilson recused himself from the ethics probe that has already led to three top state elected officials pleading guilty and many other indictments. If our state government is to function properly, honestly, and fairly, we must have an Attorney General who is honest and independent, someone with experience and good judgment, and most importantly someone who recognizes that the good ol’ boy network is not really any good at all. Unfortunately, our current Attorney General does not meet any of these tests.

The Attorney General is a critical position in our form of government. The AG is the State’s chief legal counsel, chief securities officer, and chief prosecutor. The AG is responsible for protecting the public interest and holding everyone else accountable. The AG’s office has over 200 employees, including nearly 75 attorneys, and a budget of almost $60 million.

I have prosecuted and defended cases of every size, length, and degree of complexity on both the plaintiff and defense sides as part of law firms big and small (Covington & Burling in D.C. and the Wyche Firm and later Nelson Mullins in Greenville) and for the last 13 years on my own. I have also worked pro-bono in the 13th Circuit Solicitor’s office as part of a docket reduction project.  Outside of law, I served two terms on the Greenville County School Board where I promoted operating schools more like a business.

I am convinced the first antidote to corruption is to elect a new […]

1612, 2017

William Herlong enters race for SC Attorney General

By |December 16th, 2017|Politics, South Carolina, Statewide|Comments Off on William Herlong enters race for SC Attorney General

The following email went out the Republican Party rank and file this week:

 

Friends,

I am writing to let you know that I have decided to seek the Republican nomination for Attorney General (AG). In South Carolina, as in most other states, the AG is elected and runs separately from the Governor to ensure independence. The Republican primary will be June 12, 2018, and the general election will be November 6, 2018.

I plan to make an official announcement in early January but I wanted to let you know now. If you have time to read a few more paragraphs, I’d like to offer a short explanation.

The AG is a critical position in our form of government. The AG is the State’s chief legal counsel, chief securities officer, and chief prosecutor. The AG is responsible for protecting the public interest and holding everyone else accountable. The AG’s office has over 200 employees, including nearly 75 attorneys, and a budget of almost $60 million.

A competent AG must be dedicated, honest, fair, and trustworthy. He must be a successful, independent, seasoned professional and must know where politics belongs and where it does not. He must be relentless and utterly unafraid to challenge the “powers that be.”

I am 59 years old. I’ve practiced law for 32 years. I have prosecuted and defended cases of every size, length, and degree of complexity on both the plaintiff and defense sides as part of law firms big and small (Covington & Burling in D.C. and the Wyche Firm and later Nelson Mullins in Greenville) and for the last 13 years on my own. I’ve even worked pro-bono for about ten months in the 13th Circuit Solicitor’s office as part of a docket reduction project.

Frankly, […]

3110, 2017

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

By |October 31st, 2017|Politics, South Carolina, Tea Party|Comments Off on Spartanburg Party Leaders Unify Around ‘Penny Tax’ in Joint Press Conference

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|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.
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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.