CWP class

The local Masonic Club is putting on a CWP class, it’s open to the public.

On Oct 21, 2017 the AFM Club of Spartanburg will be hosting a CWP Class at Top Gun Shooting in Boiling Springs, SC.

Time: 730am

Cost: $35 per person

Location: Top Gun Shooting 557 Seay Rd, Boiling Springs, SC 29316

Class Capacity: 34
Please bring your pistol, box of 50 rounds, eye and ear protection. If you currently do not a firearm Top Gun Shooting can provide up to 8 pistols with ammunition for an additional $15 per person.

 

Please contact Jeff Honeycutt to signup for the class.
Phone: 864-809-0866

Email: fatbaby@bellsouth.net

This is open to anyone wishing to get a South Carolina CWP

By |September 15th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Special Election coming up September 26 for House District 31!

According to SHJ:

A special election will be held Sept. 26 to fill the state House District 31 seat recently vacated by state Rep. Harold Mitchell.

After 13 years in the South Carolina Legislature, the Democratic lawmaker decided to resign for health reasons. He had previously been granted a medical leave in April.

The filing period for the seat opens at noon May 26 and closes June 3, according to Henry Laye, Spartanburg County Registration and Elections director.

The primaries are over and we head to special election on September 26.  Mike Fowler is running on the Republican ticket, you can visit his website here.  If you can help out – volunteering, talking to your neighbors, you know the drill – contact Mike via his website!  He’s an Army veteran and small business guy – it would be great to have another Republican from Spartanburg in Columbia!

 

 

By |September 13th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Bug Out Bag Class Sunday 9/17

Have you wanted to learn how to put together a bug out bag ? (a bag you stash in your car or closet that you can grab and go if you have to get out of your house in an emergency – what you need to survive for a week).

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have our minds on “what if…?” and a bug out bag gives you a lot of surety in a potentially nerve wracking situation. I’m going to host a small class led by my friend Brian Adams Sunday afternoon 9/17 here in Spartanburg. No charge, just a good neighborly thing. email karenmartin_1@charter.net – Message me on Facebook or call me 864.384.7558 to get on the list and get details!

By |September 10th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Laurens school tax hike defeated 77% margin!

Our friend Dianne Belsom reports:

Last night we showed what WE THE PEOPLE CAN DO when we work together! In spite of being out-spent on a massive scale, plus being slandered repeatedly, and many who were threatened and bullied or otherwise intimidated, not to mention all of our sign and banner theft, we still pulled off an incredible win of the Establishment vs. the People. (For those outside of Laurens County, we voted down by a 77% margin a massive tax hike Bond Referendum to build a new high school.)

And a news spot from FoxNews:

Residents in Laurens County School District 55 overwhelmingly voted no on Tuesday to a bond referendum that would have issued up to $109 million in bonds for the construction of a new high school.

The school district’s board of trustees held a press conference in late August to speak out in support of the referendum.

Those in support said the funds for the new school will reduce overcrowding and provide a “21st century educational environment” for ninth through twelfth grade students.

The trustees said if the new school is constructed, Laurens Middle School will be rededicated as a new elementary facility. Some of the district’s existing school would “have a new home in separate areas of the current high school campus,” a trustee said.

There are three possible locations on the table for the new high school: property across from the current school on Highway 76, property off Raider Road, and property adjacent to the Bi-Lo shopping center. The trustees said there are additional properties that meet their needs if they cannot secure one of these at a fair price.

The trustees said the bonds, if approved, will cost the average family approximately $20 per month in home and personal property taxes.

Unofficial results released shortly after 8:45 p.m. revealed a failed bond referendum. Officials say 1,961 voted in favor and 6,559 were opposed.

By |September 6th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Tom Davis NOT running for SC Governor

From Tom’s FB page:

I had promised to announce what my plans would be for the 2018 gubernatorial race right after Labor Day, so I am – though I feel a bit self-conscious making such a political statement at a time when so many South Carolinians are terrified of Hurricane Irma and the havoc it might bring. In that regard, I will continue to do whatever I can to assist others in preparing for that storm and be prepared as I have in the past to help them recover from whatever it might bring.

As for the 2018 gubernatorial race, I want to start by thanking all of the people from across the state who took the time in recent weeks to offer a word of support or advice; I am truly humbled and honored. But I’ve concluded the timing simply isn’t right for me to run a statewide campaign. From a family standpoint, a business standpoint and a personal standpoint, I’m just not in a position to undertake an endeavor of this magnitude. This became evident to me during conversations with my family, friends and constituents over the past few days.

From a political standpoint, in thinking about this, I’ve tried to be honest about where and how, at this particular point in time, I can do the most good for our state. And the answer to that lies in this: South Carolina government is dominated by the legislature, and recent history has shown that reform-minded governors without legislative support can’t get much accomplished.

I don’t want to tilt at windmills; I want to get things done, and I’m in a unique position in the State Senate to impact public policy on behalf of individual liberty and free markets – in some cases to a greater degree than if I were in the governor’s office. The role I played in shaping the recent debates on pension reform, the gas tax, and highway spending is evidence of that.

I think there’s an argument to be made that taxpayers are better served right now by having me exactly where I am, especially if we can get more reform-minded lawmakers elected in 2018 and 2020. And so that’s where I will be for the foreseeable future. There’s a lot of hard work ahead for all of us, but together we can get it done.

By |September 6th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Cathy Rogers takes action!

So proud that my friend Cathy Rogers participated in some individual activism this week at her local school board meeting, speaking up on behalf of her community!

From SHJ:

After a lengthy discussion from both residents and Spartanburg District 7 trustees Tuesday night, Drayton Mills Elementary School still has its name.

As with the vote that gave the new elementary school its name, board members voted 5-4 against a motion to rescind the school’s name and continue with further discussion. The motion to rescind was made by Vernon Beatty and seconded by Rick Gray.

At the August meeting to name the school, the four African American trustees on the board expressed dismay at using the Drayton name because of the Drayton family’s ties to slavery. Beatty said inclusion of the Drayton name in any form was unacceptable.

“I do challenge my colleagues, which one of you will say we didn’t get this right, we didn’t do this right, let’s start over,” Beatty said Tuesday. “Which one of our colleagues will be like John McCain and do the right thing.”

“I would hate for my granddaughter to look up at me and say, ’Papa, what were you thinking 10 years ago,” Gray said.

Several trustees who supported the Drayton Mills Elementary name stood their ground. They argued that Drayton Mills Elementary is enough of a distance from the Drayton family and any possible connection to slavery.

“You certainly know I’m not a racist. My parents taught me all people are equal in God’s eyes. This is not a racial issue, it never was,” said Andy Hayes. “We made an intention to make that detachment from that man, from that name. That’s the effort we did with the name.”

The trustees’ discussion was preceded by about 45 minutes of citizen comments about the name issue.

Nine residents spoke, with some supporting the school name and others urging trustees to reconsider it and unanimously choose a new name.

Cathy Rogers said she had lived in the Drayton Mills community her whole life and her family had a long history there.

“I appeal to you, please do not change the new elementary school’s name. We were so proud when we saw that,” she said. “This name gives us a wonderful sense of community, the community where we live.”

GO CATHY!

There a bit more to read at the link above.

By |September 6th, 2017|Uncategorized|1 Comment

So you want to put together a Bug Out Bag?

Have you wanted to learn how to put together a bug out bag ? (a bag you stash in your car or closet that you can grab and go if you have to get out of your house in an emergency – what you need to survive for a week).

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have our minds on “what if…?” and a bug out bag gives you a lot of surety in a potentially nerve wracking situation. I’m going to host a small class led by my friend Brian Adams either Sunday afternoon 9/17 or 9/24 here in Spartanburg. No charge, just a good neighborly thing. Message or call me to get on the list, details to follow!

By |September 5th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Will Convicted S.C. Representative Bring Down State-Wide System?

MyrtleBeachSC.com links up some names from Friday’s guilty plea from Jim Merrill …

After telling everyone in the S.C. House of Representatives and the S.C. Senate that the charges against him were flawed and indicated he planned to fight the allegations, a former S.C. House majority leader walked into court this past Friday, September 1st and announced to all that he had been co-operating undercover with the F.B.I. and the State Law Enforcement Division since March 2017 as an informant against other corrupt S.C. legislators.

“I plead guilty, sir,” the Charleston Area Representative (and powerful state political consultant)  Jim Merrill told Judge Robert E. Hood on Friday.

Merrill’s sentence will have him serve just one year in jail, but he has agreed to the same co-operation promised by Harrell.  Harrell’s cooperation lead to both Merrill’s conviction and the indictment of Rep. Rick Quinn, of Lexington, S.C.  Quinn is also one of the most powerful lawmakers in the state.

Merrill is accused of failing to report money he received from companies, not for profits (example: Chambers of Commerce) and groups that lobby legislators, using his office for financial gain, failing to file reports of campaign-related spending from the House Republican Caucus and overcharging for his work.  Had he not pleaded,  Merrill was looking at serving 30 years in prison.

The article goes on to tie Merrill to other state pols, including:

Rep. Rick Quinn

S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson

Santee Cooper chief executive Lonnie Carter

S.C. Governor Henry McMaster

HUGH LEATHERMAN, President Pro Tempore of the South Carolina Senate

LUKE RANKIN, District 33 S.C. Senator

ALAN CLEMMONS Myrtle Beach Area S.C. State Representative

 

 

By |September 4th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

GSP Republican Women meeting Sept 11 – Senator Tom Davis!

Men welcome to attend!  Please mark your calendar … September 11, 6:30 dessert social, 7:00 meeting

Pelham Batesville Fire Dept.

2761 South Highway 14, Greer

 

By |September 4th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Corruption seems to be the currency in Columbia. Catch up.

I recently found a series of 4 articles written by Phil Noble that lay out some recent history with corruption in Columbia.  Worth reading if you want a bigger picture of how we got where we are.

It is hard to really grasp if you come into this new, from another state, or just have not been keeping up.

Check out Phil’s webpage where you can sign up to receive all his columns.

S.C. Political Corruption, Part 1: Jim Merrill

Political Corruption, Part 2: How We Got Here

S.C. Political Corruption, Part 3: Courson, McMaster, and the Quinns

S.C. Political Corruption, Part 4: Image, Ethics, Business and South Carolina’s Future

 

By |September 3rd, 2017|Uncategorized|1 Comment

Ex-SC Rep. Merrill agrees to be witness for FBI/SLED

Reported by TheState.com:

Former House Majority Leader and Republican insider Rep. Jim Merrill will help the FBI and SLED in an ongoing corruption probe targeting his colleagues in the S.C. State House.

Merrill, 50, who represented Berkeley County, pleaded guilty Friday to using his office for personal profit. His plea to one count of misconduct in office, a misdemeanor, came shortly after 11 a.m. at the Richland County courthouse in Columbia.

The plea agreement, signed Thursday, requires Merrill to help the FBI, prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s office in Columbia, agents with the State Law Enforcement Division and special prosecutor David Pascoe in their investigation involving members of the South Carolina General Assembly.

Merrill had been facing 30 criminal counts and accused of pocketing more than $1 million. Under the charge to which he pleaded guilty, he could have been sentenced to up to one year in prison.

In return for his guilty plea on the one charge, Merrill:

▪  Will have 29 counts of various criminal charges against held in abeyance while the public corruption probe continues. If Merrill provides “subtantial assistance” to state and federal prosecutors, those charges will be dismissed at a later date. If Merrill doesn’t live up to the plea agreement, he faces prosecution on those charges.

The charges, made in December in separate indictments, include specific counts of taking money from various groups to influence legislation on their behalf and using his office to make money. The charges date to 2002.

▪  Resigned the S.C. House seat he has held for 17 years. His resignation was effective just before Friday morning’s hearing. Merrill had been suspended since his December indictment.

▪  Agreed to testify before grand juries and in court proceedings.

▪  Agreed to submit to lie detector tests.

Read more at the link above.  Bobby Harrell made his plea deal in 2014. Hopefully it won’t take THREE YEARS for justice to roll out after Merrill’s plea deal.

 

 

By |September 1st, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

SC Rep. Merrill resigns

WHY are these things taking so dang long?

TheState.com reports:

Former House Majority Leader S.C. Rep. Jim Merrill submitted a resignation letter to the House Speaker’s office on Thursday, a day before a hearing during which he might plead guilty in an ongoing public corruption probe.

In the letter, provided to The State newspaper by the House Speaker’s office, Merrill said his resignation would take place Friday at 10 a.m.

That is an hour before a hearing for Merrill, a Berkeley County Republican, at the Richland County courthouse.

Merrill, 50, was indicted in December on 30 criminal charges of various ethics violations and misconduct in office dating from 2002.

Since 2002?  How deficient is our ethics situation here in SC, that 15 years later, there is action?

Guilty pleas in state court are usually the subject of intense behind-the-scenes negotiations between prosecution and defense and are only revealed at a public hearing.

Another possibility in the case is that Merrill might be making some kind of motion at Friday’s hearing.

As a consummate insider with knowledge of how money fuels politics in the Palmetto State and ties to the workings of the Legislature and lobbyists, Merrill is in a position to give prosecutors plenty of information about how to convict his fellow lawmakers who might have committed criminal offenses.

Well, let’s hope so.

 

By |August 31st, 2017|Uncategorized|2 Comments

Who should pay for SC public employees’ retirement?

Good read by Cassie Cope at TheState.com.  Complicated issue, but I really have ZERO faith that our current legislators can do anything … they are so hopeless at solving and really hopeless at getting out of the way 🙁

S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster wants to offer only a 401(k)-style retirement plan for new state workers, making those employees — now covered by the financially troubled state pension system — primarily responsible for saving and investing for their retirement.

In a letter made public Tuesday, the Republican told a special panel of House and Senate members that he wants to abolish the state’s current pension systems.

The benefits those systems promise have put the state and its taxpayers on the hook for paying billions in underfunded pensions for state and local government workers, including teachers.

But advocates for state workers warned that ending one of the few perks for underpaid workers would lead to an exodus of employees at already understaffed state agencies.

“Our state workforce is already fragile,” said Carlton Washington, director of the S.C. State Employees Association, adding, “Pay is extremely low. Too many critical jobs are going unfilled.”

The current pension systems have promised to pay roughly $20 billion in retirement benefits that the state does not have on hand.

To reduce that debt, the House-Senate panel earlier this year approved increasing the money that public-sector workers and their employers — state agencies, local governments and school systems, funded by S.C. taxpayers — must put into the pension system.

Now, that same panel is deciding what further changes need to be made to shore up public workers’ retirement.

Ending the pension system?

McMaster urged the special panel to cut off the state pension plans to new employees.

Now, the S.C. Retirement System provides pension benefits to retired state workers, local government workers and S.C. teachers. The separate Police Officers’ Retirement System pays pension benefits to retired law enforcement officers.

The pension systems guarantee a set retirement benefit to public workers. If payments into the pension system — by workers and their employers — and profits from the system’s investments do not cover those benefits, S.C. taxpayers are on the hook to make up the difference.

McMaster wants the state to shift to a 401(k)-style retirement plan, where more of the responsibility to save for retirement would be on the employee.

“I strongly believe that we must maintain our commitment to the 11.5 percent of South Carolina’s population that relies on SCRS and PORS (the current pension systems), while protecting taxpayers from bearing any additional financial burden caused by inaction or indecision,” McMaster wrote.

McMaster also urged the House-Senate panel to consider closing the state retirement plan to local government and school employees, saying those workers “may find more suitable defined contribution plans through the free marketplace.”

There’s a bit more to read at the link above.

By |August 30th, 2017|Uncategorized|2 Comments

Event: Feisty and Feminine A Rallying Cry for Conservative Women

Please look at your calendars and plan to attend this event on October 25 in Spartanburg … MEN are welcome!

Are you tired of the left being the voice for ALL women? Then please join us for a fabulous lunch and the amazing CEO of Concerned Women for America, Penny Nance. We will be kicking off the state-wide initiative of Feisty and Feminine…A Rallying Cry for Conservative Women.

Wednesday, October 25 at 12 PM – 1:30 PM

The Piedmont Club

361 E Main St, Spartanburg, South Carolina 29302

Here’s what the Concerned Women for America are planning:

Feisty & Feminine workshops are to help encourage women to stand up, be heard and make a difference in our culture. Speaking out against the left’s narrative and keeping our femininity intact is precisely what is needed to ensure we are not intimidated by those whose values are clearly destructive to women and our country. We need to learn to speak up with authority and engage a culture desperate for a redemptive message.

We cannot allow the left to define what a conservative woman is. Our views are not welcome in the media and we need to change the narrative. We are up against a heavily funded agenda that knows no boundaries. These workshops will teach women and men how to engage our culture intellectually without being disrespectful. When we speak fact based instead of emotionally charged, we win.

What does it mean to be Feisty? Knowing your beliefs and speak up when it is uncomfortable to do so.

What does it mean to be Feminine? Knowing how God made us and being proud of it. Our Feisty and Feminine workshops will embrace our God-given femininity, intertwined with a little feisty, to deliver a message of strength and redemption. We must not allow ourselves to be marginalized any longer because of our beliefs or values. God has gifted each of us with unique talents, ideas and passions, and it is our duty to be empowered and deliver a message that combats the destructive message from the left.

Together, our voice will be one of courage and purpose. We will serve future generations both by the difference we will make and the example we set by standing courageously for ideals in which we believe. We want to inspire other women, whom we believe have been given a tremendous amount of influence, to greatness, and to empower them to become a voice for conservative women.

By |August 27th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Charleston Accord

If you missed it, there was a monumental joint press conference last week in Charleston with James Bessenger and Shakem Amen Akhet.  Bessenger chairs a Confederate heritage party and Akhet leads a local black nationalist movement.  Here’s a quick article on it by … wait for it … NBCNews.

Bessenger cherishes Confederate monuments, such as the Robert E. Lee statue at the center of the Charlottesville furor, but he was “disgusted by the platforms” of some of the neo-Nazi and alt-right groups who violently clashed with activists protesting racism on Saturday. Akhet, for his part, worried that similarly ugly confrontations could come to Charleston, a city already riven with anger and anxiety since the massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in 2015.

“We respect each other,” Bessenger, the chair of the South Carolina Secessionist Party, told NBC News in a separate phone interview Tuesday night. And so the two men decided to team up on “The Charleston Accord,” an agreement to foster dialogue between their communities and encourage peaceful protest.

But there’s nothing like watching it for yourself.  Please the time to do that.  24 minutes.  You’ve got that.

 

 

By |August 27th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Rally for removal of the Greenville County Confederate Monument Saturday

Greenville Online reports:

Local civil rights group Fighting Injustice Together plans to hold a peace rally Saturday to call for the removal of the Greenville County Confederate Monument in downtown, the organization announced Thursday.

The rally is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the monument at Springwood Cemetery at 410 N. Main St. The monument of a Confederate soldier stands near the entrance of the cemetery.

Travis Greene, president of Fighting Injustice Together, is asking the public to come out and peacefully request that the monument is removed because of its “racist premises.”

“We feel like it is a symbol of oppression for African Americans here,” Greene said.

The Greenville Sheriff’s office is very aware of this organization…

Upstate activist accused of kidnapping, domestic violence, child neglect

Bruce Wilson, the founder of FIT (Fighting Injustice Together), has been charged with kidnapping, domestic violence and three counts of child neglect.

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. They say she reported the incident there around 1:30 a.m. Monday.

Wilson is charged with child neglect because deputies say three children were in the vehicle when he pursued the victim.

If you attend this event, please BRING YOUR PHONES / VIDEO CAMERAS and use them.

By |August 25th, 2017|Uncategorized|2 Comments

Judge in tea party case orders IRS to disclose employee names, reasons

Hooray!!!!

WashingtonTimes.com reports:

A federal judge on Thursday ordered the IRS to name the specific employees the agency blames for targeting tea party groups for intrusive scrutiny and said the government must prove it has ceased the targeting.

Judge Reggie B. Walton also said the IRS must explain the reasons for the delays for 38 groups that are part of a lawsuit in the District of Columbia, where they are still looking for a full accounting of their treatment.

Judge Walton approved another round of limited discovery in the case and laid out six questions that the IRS must answer, including the employees’ names, why the groups were targeted and how the IRS has tried to prevent a repeat.

At a hearing earlier this week, Judge Walton said it was time to get everything on the table.

“Lay it on the line. Put it out there,” he told attorneys for the IRS, who are continuing to fight some tea party groups’ demands for full disclosure.

The targeting scandal burst open in May 2013 when the IRS admitted it had been pulling conservative-leaning groups’ nonprofit status applications out of the usual processing queue and subjecting them to extra scrutiny and extraordinary delays because of perceived political activity.

 We all remember this, our friend Dianne Belsom in Laurens County actually traveled to Washington DC to testify ag a Congressional hearing.
Read more on this at the link above.
By |August 23rd, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Henry McMaster is adamant about keeping agency head re: nuclear plant

TheState.com reports:

The speaker of S.C. House Wednesday asked for the resignation of the director of the state agency tasked with looking out for utility customers, hours after that official testified before a House panel on the failed V.C. Summer nuclear expansion project.

But S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster is adamant Office of Regulatory Staff executive director Dukes Scott won’t leave his job.

House Speaker Jay Lucas, R-Darlington, says Scott should quit after two S.C. utilities abandoned their plans to complete two nuclear reactors, a move that could cost South Carolinians billions of dollars.

Lucas can not fire Scott. That authority lies with McMaster, who met with Scott Wednesday about Lucas’ request. McMaster told Scott that he would not accept his resignation, the governor’s office said.

“Gov. McMaster is focused on getting reactors built at V.C. Summer or getting ratepayers their money back,” McMaster spokesman Brian Symmes said. “Dukes Scott is an invaluable member of a team that has met with some of the largest utilities in the world, and these potential buyers must be confident that South Carolina has the regulatory stability and institutional credibility necessary to justify their investment.

WHAT??????  Billions of failed dollars later, do you think we have ‘regulatory stability’?  Only a fool would think so.  Henry Mac … being that fool.

Scott frustrated legislators by testifying that his office recommended in 2008 that the S.C. Public Service Commission approve the Fairfield County nuclear project and, then, did not oppose any of nine rate hikes that Cayce-based SCE&G’s was granted to pay for it.

Those hikes have cost SCE&G customers $1.4 billion so far.

“He is a very important man and has been for years in this state as it relates to energy policy,” saud state Rep. Todd Rutherford, D-Richland. “If he tells us it’s a good idea, we vote for it.”

Well there ya go.

More at the link above.

By |August 23rd, 2017|Uncategorized|2 Comments

Tom Davis reports on the failed nuclear plan hearing

From Tom’s FB page:

Takeaways from SC Senate committee’s just-completed six-hour inquiry into VC Summer debacle:

1) SC’s rate-raising process does not provide for an effective advocate for the ratepayers. The ORS is supposed to be that advocate, but its executive director, Duke Scott, testified that it actually has three competing and often conflicting objectives: a) to look out for ratepayers; b) to ensure sufficient base load capacity for economic development; and c) to do what’s best for the power company’s financial health. A regulatory process that fails to provide a non-conflicted advocate that is charged solely with looking out for the ratepayers’ best interests is seriously flawed.

2) Both Santee Cooper and SCANA failed to properly react when conditions material to the economic viability of the nuclear plants changed. Both claim the collapse in natural gas prices was a major reason for the VC Summer project’s downfall; however, the drop in the market price for natural gas from $12 per thousand cubic foot (the price they were counted on to make the project viable) to about $3 occurred in July 2009, when breakthroughs in fracking technology drove the cost of natural gas dramatically down. But despite those price realities being known eight years ago — changed conditions that clearly indicted the expensive nuclear-production project was not going to be competitive — both companies stayed the course and continued. This failure to react to changing market realities is in part due to SCANA’s investment risk having been shifted to ratepayers by the Base Load Review Act; the company was legislatively insulated from the risks posed by these changing market conditions. This socialization of investment risk has to end.

3) Absolutely no attention was paid at today’s hearing to the failure of legislative oversight in this matter. No mention was made of the Public Utility Review Committee — the legislative panel, composed mostly of lawmakers, that is supposed to oversee the PSC and to perform annual evaluations of its members; it also selects the ORS director. The PURC performs (or is supposed to perform) an executive-branch function and ought to be directly accountable to the governor; however, the members of the PURC are appointed by just two legislators — the House Speaker and the Senate Judiciary Chairman. This is a prime example of SC’s peculiar governmental structure dysfunction– that is, a few lawmakers being given control over a statewide executive-branch function. This too must change.

4) SCANA’s “Abandonment Analysis” on its handout today revealed a lot. The bottom-line loss shown by that analysis is $2.2 billion, and its executive director said something along the lines of “this what we need to recover from ratepayers,” as if it was a given that a private company has the right to stick ratepayers, as opposed to its shareholders, with the economic cost of its very bad investment decision.

By |August 22nd, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

DOJ Ends Operation Choke Point

If  you are aware and watchful, you continue to see the Trump administration keep promises and restore liberty despite the bombastic cacophony of the media and the left with their dangerous attacks on America.

We have talked about Operation Choke Point many times here …

Mulvaney speaks about Operation Choke Point

What is Operation Choke Point?

Operation Choke Point right here in Spartanburg?

Square Reader – anti gun?

In essence, the Obama administration used the DOJ to pressure banks to drop customers who buy or sell firearms, tobacco and other goods considered “not acceptable” by the Obama administration, in an attempt to destroy their businesses and those industries.

Now, it is with great satisfaction that, according to FreeBeacon.com:

The Department of Justice announced in a letter on Friday that it had ended all activities associated with Operation Choke Point.

In a written letter to the House Judiciary Committee, Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd called the program “a misguided initiative conducted during the previous administration” and promised the DOJ was no longer pursuing it.

“All of the Department’s bank investigations conducted as part of Operation Choke Point are now over, the initiative is no longer in effect, and it will not be undertaken again,” Boyd said.

The DOJ went on to say it would no longer engage in investigations motivated by “political preferences” and specifically said it would not target the financial dealings of otherwise lawful members of the short-term lending and firearms industries.

“The Department is committed to bringing enforcement actions only where warranted by the facts and the applicable law, without regard to political preferences,” Boyd said in the letter. “This approach honors the Department’s fundamental obligation to focus on the lawbreakers that deserve our undivided attention, and thereby protect the American public from fraud and other criminal activity. We reiterate that the Department will not discourage the provision of financial services to lawful industries, including businesses engaged in short-term lending and firearms-related activities.”

House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte (R.,Va.) cheered the DOJ’s decision and blamed the Obama administration for creating the program.

“We applaud the Trump Justice Department for decisively ending Operation Choke Point,” he said. “The Obama administration created this ill-advised program to suffocate legitimate businesses to which it was ideologically opposed by intimidating financial institutions into denying banking services to those businesses. Targeted industries, such as firearms dealers, were presumed guilty by the Obama Justice Department until proven innocent, and many businesses are still facing the repercussions of this misguided program. This is no way for law enforcement to operate and runs counter to principles enshrined in our Constitution.”

 

By |August 20th, 2017|Uncategorized|1 Comment

SLED. The FBI. Special Prosecutor. I’m READY for some jailings!

While I am eager for some decisions and consequences to begin to roll out from the Statehouse Probe, it is devastating to contemplate SC citizens being so betrayed, so swindled by some elected officials.  The consequences which may come cannot begin to make up for the potential harm to our state of such a corrupt governance existing for so long … much of it not even hidden.  Take a look at some excerpts from this article, then click to read more.

Andy Shain reports at PostandCourier:

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson is accusing the state’s top law enforcement official of providing misleading statements to the state Supreme Court in a 2016 sworn affidavit about the Statehouse corruption probe. In that sworn statement, Keel said he received “no specific direction” for months from the Attorney General’s Office into examining allegations leveled against lawmakers listed in a redacted portion of a SLED investigation report. One of those legislators, according to news reports, was Wilson’s long-time friend, state Rep. Rick Quinn. As a result, the investigation effectively stalled for nine months, Keel indicated. Rick Quinn’s father, Richard, is Wilson’s campaign consultant and a central figure in the probe.

Pascoe, who completed another round of Statehouse probe grand jury testimony earlier this week, declined comment for this story. But in an April 2016 filing with the Supreme Court, Pascoe stated that he remained unaware of any further investigation conducted by Wilson’s office after the Harrell plea, despite concerns the solicitor expressed to them about potential ethics violations and criminal activity noted in the SLED report.

“No one from the Attorney General’s office every seriously looked into this matter,” he wrote in his filing.

Wilson said he could not have stopped communicating with the Quinns after receiving the SLED report in 2013 because that might have tipped them off that they were in possible legal trouble.

Last week, McMaster’s chief of staff Trey Walker, a former lobbyist for two Richard Quinn clients, and University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides, whose school hired Quinn, testified before the Statehouse probe grand jury. The heads of AT&T in South Carolina and Palmetto Health, both of which worked with Quinn, also testified, The State newspaper reported.

Wilson said he should not have shared a piece of legal work with his political consultant.

“It was a mistake to communicate with Mr. Quinn,” he said.

This is just a small portion of the article, and really could be just the beginning of the long-awaited unraveling of the cesspool of Columbia.

By |August 19th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

How the S.C. Legislature paved the way for nuclear mess

This is how things work in SC.  Note this …

“… requiring my neighbor to pay my home construction costs would lower my mortgage interest payments. But that doesn’t make it right. And it’s not right to make South Carolinians underwrite new power generating capacity so that utilities will pay less interest, and future residents will have lower power bills.”

Who voted FOR this bill from Spartanburg:

Rita Allison – current House Representative (Note: have seen her name as voting for, also as not voting)

Ralph Davenport – no longer serving

Keith Kelly – no longer serving at statehouse, current circuit court judge

Joseph Mahaffey – no longer serving

Harold Mitchell – no longer serving, resigned from office

Scott Talley – current State Senator

Bob Walker – current county council

Sen. Chip Campsen at Post and Courier:

As a freshman senator I voted against the now infamous Base Load Review Act (BLRA) and urged my colleagues to do likewise. Unfortunately it wasn’t so infamous back then. I lost by a vote of 21 to 1 in the April 3, 2007, Senate Judiciary Committee meeting. I lost by an even larger margin via voice vote on the Senate floor. My disapprobation was so vehement a former colleague recently recounted it, now 10 years later.

The BLRA has been instrumental to the V.C. Summer Nuclear Plant project undertaken by SCE&G and Santee Cooper. It authorized SCE&G’s nine rate increases totaling almost 20 percent to fund plant construction. Ten years and $9 billion later they recently pulled the power plant’s proverbial plug. The cost of completion has become uneconomic.

SCE&G has sought Public Service Commission authorization under the BLRA to abandon completion of the plant and recoup $5 billion from customers over 60 years. Santee Cooper recently retracted its most recent proposed rate increase — for now.

Shockingly, the utilities seem to have just recently discovered that no critical construction path for the plant was in place. So much for project management and oversight. It is an unmitigated disaster, enabled by the BLRA.

So how did the BLRA enable it all? Before the BLRA utilities recouped plant construction costs only after plants were online. Customers paid for plants they actually used. The BLRA authorized utilities to charge fees for construction costs during construction. Customers pay for plants they don’t actually use or need. The need arises from people migrating here in the future.

If all goes well, the BLRA’s charge-as-you-go policy means utilities pay less interest, earn greater returns, and have less debt on their balance sheet. It’s a good deal for utilities.

But it’s not a good deal for utility customers. Ever-increasing BLRA fees inflate monthly power bills. And these fees don’t build generating capacity for the customers paying them. Current customers already fund generating capacity they use through regular monthly power bills. The BLRA fees are used to build new generating capacity for future customers — for people who don’t live here yet.

So current customers pay twice. Once through their regular rates for generating capacity serving them. And a second time through BLRA fees for new capacity to serve future customers. The first payment is reasonable. The second is unconscionable.

How did BLRA lobbyists respond to this argument? I remember vividly because I found it so offensive. They argued utility interest expenses would be lower if existing customers pay construction costs for new capacity to serve people who move here in the future.

I responded, they were correct. It is also correct that requiring my neighbor to pay my home construction costs would lower my mortgage interest payments. But that doesn’t make it right. And it’s not right to make South Carolinians underwrite new power generating capacity so that utilities will pay less interest, and future residents will have lower power bills.

The BLRA also shifts risk from utility shareholders and creditors to customers. Compliance risk is the risk that regulatory enforcement will materially impair a project’s economic viability. Performance risk is the risk a project will not be completed on time or on budget due to mismanagement or external factors. All projects have compliance and performance risk, especially nuclear power plants.

When I raised risk issues, utility lobbyists countered that there was little. The reactors were virtual “off-the-shelf, cookie-cutter reactors” entitled with substantial regulatory approval. Now six years behind schedule and billions over budget, it appears that was not the case.

I suggested a performance bond to mitigate performance risk. They countered it wasn’t necessary. They had a guarantee from Westinghouse. We know how that turned out. Westinghouse is now bankrupt, taken down by compliance and performance risk associated with V.C. Summer and a similar plant in Georgia.

This shifting of risk to customers, when coupled with guaranteed returns up to 11 percent on construction costs, created a perverse incentive to spend big dollars building risky plants. The more utilities spend, the more money they make. Customers underwrite it all, even if a project fails.

How did such a bill ever pass the General Assembly? The principle of concentrated benefits and diffuse or abstruse costs. When the benefits of a bill are significant and concentrated in a few, beneficiaries lobby the General Assembly assiduously for its passage. When costs are diffuse, abstruse, or both, no one is motivated to lobby against it. Members sense a lot of support and no opposition. The bill typically passes.

In this case utility lobbyists descended upon the General Assembly like the plague of locusts in Exodus 10. And what of the opposition? Instead of locusts, it was crickets chirping. Opposition was essentially nonexistent.

What should a lawmaker do when the principle of concentrated benefits and diffuse or abstruse costs is in play? What he should always do. Receive information from lobbyists with a grain of salt, realizing they are advocates. Analyze the impact upon others, even if you never hear from them due to lack of awareness. Exercise independent judgment as to is what is fair, just and reasonable. Then vote your conscience with conviction.

Ten years ago I applied that analytical paradigm and found the BLRA woefully lacking. As I made my case against the BLRA in Judiciary Committee I encountered opposition approaching indignation. How dare this freshman think he is right, and everyone else is wrong! Well, look who’s indignant now – the citizens whose interests we are elected to protect.

Chip Campsen is a Republican representing Charleston, Beaufort and Colleton Counties in the South Carolina Senate.

By |August 19th, 2017|Uncategorized|1 Comment

Should Antifa be recognized as a terrorist organization?

If you think so, click here and sign the White House Petition.

The way these petitions work is if there is a specific number of signatures the WH must respond.  This petition needs 88,379 signatures by September 16, 2017 to get a response from the White House.

So … in addition to signing, make it your goal to get 10 other signatures from friends/family.

That’s activism!

By |August 19th, 2017|Uncategorized|2 Comments

Clay Shooting~ Spartanburg GOP and Sheriff’s Benevolent Fund! 10/13!

How fun will this be!!??? Mark your calendars now!

 

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, text

By |August 19th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

ACTIVIST OPPORTUNITY: Have you EVER attended a County Council meeting?

The Spartanburg County Council meets every 3rd Monday of the month.  Your elected council members sort out the issues that are closest to you as a voter in your community.  The meetings are public. Much information is disseminated in the committee meetings.  There is a opportunity during the general meeting for any citizen to speak on any issue.

Have you ever attended a County Council meeting?

Monday night is our next council meeting, the committee meetings begin at 4:00 PM (where all the information and discussion happens) and the general meeting begins at 5:30 PM (where the votes are taken and the public has an opportunity to speak).  Every month an agenda is emailed out ahead of time (you can request to be put on that email list via dziegler@spartanburgcounty.org.

OR visit the Spartanburg County website, scroll down and click on Agendas and Minutes and you can see current and past agendas and minutes.  Below are some items on Monday’s agenda.  These meetings happen every month, whether you are there or not.  May  I suggest you attend for the next 4 months to get a sense of how your local government works, and perhaps you can have a voice and an impact?  There are county boards and commissions that are not full, looking or citizens volunteers.  The meetings take place at the County Admin Building 366 N Church St.
Spartanburg, SC 29303.

A few agenda items:

Receive information and take desired action in reference to a Resolution to dissolve the Commission created pursuant to the Capital Project Sales Tax Act, Title 4, Chapter 10, Article 3 of the Code of Laws of South Carolina 1976, as amended; and to provide for other matters realted thereto.

Receive Parks Department Activities Update.

Receive information and take desired action in reference to a Sheriff’s Office Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) to be used to replace their current Spectrometer with a new up-to-date model and to purchase one handheld narcotics analyzer.

To consider an Ordinance authorizing the execution and delivery of a Fee In Lieu Of Tax Agreement by and between Spartanburg County, South Carolina and Carbon Conversions, Inc. (Project Flex/NIA), with respect to certain economic development property in the County, whereby such property will be subject to certain payments in lieu of taxes, including the provision of certain special source credits; and other matters related thereto.

By |August 17th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments
Load More Posts