Congressman Wilson Endorses Livingston for Adjutant General

February 17, 2010 by  
Filed under Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb. 15, 2010
CONTACT: Matt Nichols (803) 546-4177

Today, Republican Congressman Joe Wilson endorsed Major General Bob Livingston in his run to become the next Adjutant General of South Carolina.  The press conference took place at the South Carolina Republican Party Headquarters. Wilson’s endorsement follows the endorsement of current Adjutant General Stanhope Spears.

“General Livingston and I served in the Guard together; I visited him and the 218th every 3 months in Afghanistan. I have seen him demonstrate incredible leadership and judgment leading our troops. He is unquestionably uniquely qualified to be the next Adjutant General.”, said Wilson.

General Livingston went on to say, “This endorsement signifies that we are dedicated to taking care of our soldiers at home and abroad, as well as emphasizing quality family support at home.”

Today’s press conference is the most recent indication of Livingston’s broad base of support from National Guard members and the GOP establishment and grassroots communities. These factors, coupled with his substantial war chest makes him the clear front-runner for the GOP nomination.

Major General Bob Livingston is the President and CEO of Gregory Electric Co. In Afghanistan, he led South Carolina’s 218th Brigade and troops from 18 different coalition nations. Livingston currently serves on General Patraeus’ staff at Central Command.

ADJUTANT GENERAL SPEARS ENDORSES BILL CONNOR

February 17, 2010 by  
Filed under Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: FEBRUARY 16, 2010

ADJUTANT GENERAL SPEARS ENDORSES BILL CONNOR

WEST COLUMBIA, SC – Adjutant General Stanhope Spears today announced his endorsement of Bill Connor for Lieutenant Governor.

“Having spent the better part of 16 years as South Carolina’s Adjutant General, I have learned not to give endorsements too easily to a candidate for public office. However, one of those exceptions is Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor – Bill Connor.

“He is an Army veteran and has been deployed with the South Carolina Army National Guard in the ‘Global War Against Terrorism.’  Highly decorated, he currently holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserve.  He is a proven leader!

“Besides being a dedicated family man with three children, Bill Connor understands the business climate in our state and what needs to be done to promote job growth and economic stability.  He fully understands the concerns of our senior community in these difficult times but also realizes the tremendous potential and talent that resides in retirees.

“Bill Connor has all the traits – all the values – to make a great Lieutenant Governor.  I am pleased to support Bill Connor now, in the Primary and in the General Election.”

“It was my great honor and pleasure to serve in the South Carolina National Guard under General Spears both in peace and in war.  I am even prouder to have his support,” Bill Connor responded. “General Spears distinguished himself as a leader during the entirety his 38 years of service to the Guard, especially during his 16 year tenure as Adjutant General. I look forward to working with him as a voice for military retirees and veterans in our state.”

General Spears is the first current statewide office holder to endorse in the race for Lt. Governor.  He joins hundreds of veterans from around South Carolina as members of “Bill’s Brigade,” the Connor Veterans Coalition.  Other notable members of that group include Medal of Honor recipients Major General James Livingston and Colonel Chuck Murray.

Bill Connor is a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army Reserves who received the Bronze Star for his service in combat as the senior American advisor in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.  Bill is the first post-9/11 combat veteran to announce for South Carolina statewide office.   In addition to his Reserve duties, Bill serves as the Chairman of the Board of Orangeburg Christian Academy.  Bill is a graduate of the Citadel and USC Law School.

Livingston Officially Announces Candidacy

February 5, 2010 by  
Filed under Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb. 4, 2010
CONTACT: Matt Nichols: (803) 546-4177

PRESS RELEASE

Today Major General Bob Livingston announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for the office of South Carolina’s Adjutant General.

Livingston, the S.C. National Guard Major General who commanded 1,800 deployed S.C. National Guardsmen last year in Afghanistan, was surrounded by friends and supporters as he made his announcement in front of the Veterans Memorial on the Statehouse grounds in Columbia.

“Today based on the endorsement and encouragement of many retired general officers, retired senior enlisted officers, and active guardsmen, I officially announce that I am a Republican candidate seeking the office of the Adjutant General for South Carolina.” Livingston said.

At the announcement ceremony retired Colonel Steve Vinson read an endorsement letter on behalf of the current Adjutant General Stan Spears saying:

“The Guard today is in a great transitional period, a transitional period that requires not only leadership but a deep understanding of the core values that drive our brave soldiers and airmen. I know of only one man that can meet those high standards and that is General Bob Livingston. Now is the time for all of us to get behind his efforts and see him through the primary and General Election”

Livingston said, “General Spears’ endorsement means a lot to me, he was my battalion commander when I was a Scout Platoon leader with the 4-118th Infantry about 27 years ago.  His support represents a transfer of goals and desires between two senior military commanders.  I plan take the baton and continue the great work done by General Spears to take the South Carolina National Guard to its full potential.”

Livingston serves as President of Gregory Electric, a multi-state business with more than 350 employees.  He currently serves on General Patraeus’ Central Command staff coordinating with 60 different coalition nations.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dp39sorGCic

Change in Test Causes Spike in School AYP Scores

January 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Press Release

Contact: Neil Mellen
South Carolinians for Responsible Government (SCRG)
803.212.1051

Officials have released details of this year’s public school rankings and parents are in for a surprise.

While Adequate Yearly Progress (or “AYP”) scores for elementary and middle schools across South Carolina have risen slightly, higher levels of student achievement are not the cause.

“Most of the improvement we see is the result of changes to the testing and scoring system,” explained Randy Page, president of an educational watchdog organization in Columbia. “When the schools switched from the PACT test to the new PASS test standards were lowered, giving the false impression that achievement gains were made.”

“Teachers, parents, students, and just about everyone was happy to see the PACT test replaced, but the school administrators and school boards lobbied hard to include a provision that weakens the way the new test would be graded and reported,” observed Page.

Last year, national testing experts at the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) criticized the new PASS test standards “as among the bottom quartile in a recent cross-state comparison of proficient standards within 27 states.”

The NWEA report further noted that just switching from PACT to PASS, would bring about a “dramatic” increase in the number of students meeting the standards “even with no actual improvement on student performance.”

Officials at Data Recognition Corp (DRC), a Minnesota based firm with political connections to Superintendent Jim Rex, seemed to agree. DRC created and helps to administer the PASS test, and was the primary contractor on the PACT test that PASS replaced. Last year a DRC official admitted to the press that under the recommended PASS scoring benchmarks, more students would fall into higher categories, which would lead to higher scores. In other words, scores would automatically rise even if student and school performance were stagnant.

Page and others have made the case that increasing parental choice would strengthen the state’s accountability laws and free up more resources for public schools.

“An educational tax credit program would provide parents with real options and save local school districts over $5,000 in locally raised revenues for each child whose parents exercise a choice about where their child attends school” noted Page, who pointed to similar programs already in effect in Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Florida. “Educational tax credits would spur investment in education and give parents more of a reason to be engaged with their students education – that is something that standardized tests and AYP reports alone will never accomplish.”

Details of the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for local schools and districts can be found online at: www.ed.sc.gov/topics/assessment/scores/ayp/

Spartanburg YR to co-host Lt. Governor’s Debate

January 12, 2010 by  
Filed under Events, Press Release

(Spartanburg, SC – January 11, 2010) The College Republicans from Wofford College and the Young Republicans from Spartanburg County are teaming up to host a debate between the three republican candidates for Lieutenant Governor, Ken Ard, Bill Connor and Tim Scott.

The event will be held at 7:30pm on January 21, 2010. WORD’s Bobby McLain will moderate the event which will be held in Leonard Auditorium which is inside the Main Building on the Wofford College Campus. Entrance to the event is free and a limited number of sponsorships are available. Sponsors will be recognized in the program and have priority seating at the event.

The newly elected Chairs of both organizations, Ron Jolly for Spartanburg YR’s and Ellen Shrader for the Wofford CR’s are hoping to educate the public about the campaigns of each of the candidates as we lead into the 2010 primary season. “Each candidate has something different to offer and this will be a great opportunity for the local residents to make their choice before they head to the ballot box,” said SYR Chairman Ron Jolly.

For directions to the Wofford College and the Leonard Auditorium, please visit http://www.wofford.edu/visitors/directionsToCampus.aspx

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