What Happens to the Conservative Reform Agenda

June 25, 2009 by  
Filed under SC Politics

Mark Sanford and reformers Joey Millwood, Shane Martin, and Lee Bright

Mark Sanford and reformers Joey Millwood, Shane Martin, and Lee Bright

Besides our concern for Sanford’s family, we also mentioned our concern over the Conservative Reform Agenda in South Carolina politics.  So we took to the phones and called some of the state legislators and operatives to see what they think may come of the Conservative Reform Agenda.  We want to know, was Sanford the kingpin pushing this agenda and will it survive?

Joey Millwood – House District 38 – Landrum
Joey campaigned against Bob Walker who was the education and public works chair to win this seat in 2008.  He didn’t receive much support from Sanford during the campaign but his campaign was based on the same general principles.

“If there is one thing the establishment has proven in South Carolina, it is that the Governor has no power.  It is with the General Assembly.  Until the leadership in the House and Senate changes, none of the conservative reform agenda will progress.”

Kerry Wood – Strategist – Dark Horse Strategy Groups
Kerry Wood ran Shane Martin’s campaign that knocked out incumbent Senator Jim Ritchie.  DHSG founds itself of the conservative reform movement and only runs candidates that are favorable to the movement.

“The movement is not one person.  The movement does not begin or end with Gov. Sanford.  It will go on regardless.”

Eric Bedingfield – House District 28 – Mauldin
Eric has been a champion of the movement for some time now.  He took up the mantle fighting for immigration reform and pension initiatives over the last several years.

“The reform movement will not disappear, especially with Senator Larry Grooms running for Governor.  His leadership will continue to progress the reform movement.”

Carl Clegg – Public Relations Director for SCFYR
One of the key organizers of the original Tea Party in Greenville, SC, Carl has focused his work across the state to promote the conservative reform agenda.

“Though Gov. Sanford was the public face of the conservative reform movement, he was not the entire movement.  The movement will continue on with new faces leading the charge.”

Nikki Haley gives her thoughts on the Conservative Reform Movement on her website.

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  • James

    I’d love to get some thoughts on Nikki Haley and how all of this affects her candidacy. Gary I believe you have blogged in the past about your possible support for her. I consider myself likely to be supporting her in the primary as a dynamic and exciting candidate in the mold of the “conservative reform agenda”.

    Sanford was making it clear who he was going to be supporting in the primary. He gave on-the-record favorable comments about her candidacy when she announced, and recently send out an email to Republicans across the state encouraging people to take a look at Nikki. He basically unofficially endorsed her already. He tied his name to her knowing that he had the potential to become politically cancerous to her campaign.

    Nikki was hoping to be the “Sanford candidate” which would propel her among many conservative primary voters. Now she is losing someone who could have been a great stump partner and fundraiser for her.

    Or maybe I am overblowing this? Maybe many of those Sanford “tea party” conservatives still love their governor and he is still an asset to Nikki. My gut tells me though she is going to have to take up the conservative reform agenda without relying on (or wanting)the help of Mark Sanford. There are going to be too many Republican voters who want to move on from him. I just wish Sanford would have thought of what he was doing before he tied himself to Nikki’s campaign early on. I am assuming neither Nikki nor Jon Lerner (who probably set up a lot of this cross-support) knew what the last two days would have done to Sanford.

  • Sandra

    Notice something wrong with the photo above….all men!!!!!!!!!!!!!!