The Conservativist – 2 Years Ago

July 6, 2009 by  
Filed under News, Sports

The Conservativist

The Conservativist

Believe it or not, 2 years ago this past weekend, The Conservativist began it’s ascension into the Blogdom of SC Politics.

Originally titled “A Conservative Voice”, The Conservativist was just a college project.  It sat in the obscurities of “blogger” for 3 odd years until a grumpy old man took the stage one hot May evening in Columbia.

A few weeks later I attended Congressman Bob Inglis’ Let’s Talk event at Wade’s Restaurant.  Me being the one who is not afraid to ask questions dropped one about that grumpy old man to Inglis and why he was so hated. Something along those lines anyways.

But before I left, Jason Spencer stopped me to ask me a few questions about the grumpy old man and Rick Beltram.  Jason informed me in the interview that Beltram had banned the grumpy old man from attending events and he asked my comments.  He was working on a bigger story than Inglis’ event that day.

July 4th, 2007, Jason Spencer’s article landed on the doorsteps of the people in Spartanburg, GOP maverick Paul shunned in Spartanburg.

The Conservativist immediately began building a readership with Ron Paul supporters. The first thing we wrote about was Beltram’s response to the article.  Some of those individuals who were already engrosed in the campaign picked up on it fast and forwarded it around.  I saw how much traffic we were getting and thought, traffic is good, lets write more about Paul.  10 of the first 11 articles we wrote in 2007 concerned Ron Paul and Rick Beltram.

It became an effort to post any press release we received.  Even if we disagreed with it, we would still run it just for coverage sake.  We may not write about the issues, but I believe people want to hear multiple sides of the story and we wanted to make that information more available.  I wanted to know when the candidates were going to be in town, I wanted to hear all of them speak.

I was also hoping to provide my daughter an opportunity that I did not get.  Being a Navy brat, we traveled a good bit and by the UCMJ, my father could not really attend any of the events.  I thought how cool it would be to be in Kindergarten and be able to say I have met the President of the United States.

A passion also began to develop.  I grew more concerned with our leadership and the direction of our State and Nation.  So we began expanding and getting involved in local politics.

It aggrevated me that things these candidates were saying never left the meetings.  You never saw it on the news or heard anything about it.  So it was time to start reporting on some of this.  We tried covering events when the candidates came to town, but our coverage was sporadic at best.

A lot has changed since then.  We have built up a network of contacts and people provide us with a lot of insight.  My job also allows me to take a little more time to contribute to the site, creating more content.

With all of that said, thanks for your readership for the last two years and if you have any information or would like to write for The Conservativist, let us know.

Beltram Out, Ryggs In as Spartanburg GOP Chairman

April 8, 2009 by  
Filed under News

The Spartanburg County Republican Party

The Spartanburg County Republican Party

Last night, the activists in Spartanburg overwhelmingly ousted embattled GOP Chairman Rick Beltram.

Beltram, supposedly known for his grassroots activism, seemingly failed to turn out his supporters and lost to LaDonna Ryggs 291 – 87, obtaining 77% of the vote.

We have since learned from the Palmetto Scoop, that Rick Beltram has announced his withdrawal from the State GOP Chairman’s race.

The closest race of the night was the Executive Committeeman’s race which required a second ballot.  Doug Cobb had a 63 vote lead after the first ballot, but was approximately 20 votes short of pulling off the win in the first ballot (Cobb 173, Dixon 95, Riley 110).

Doug Cobb ended up winning the second ballot with 63% of the votes (Cobb 157, Dixon 31, Riley 63).

Nic Lane handily won the Treasurers race (259 – 119, 69%).  Newcomer Case Chumley won the Corresponding Secretary seat.

Approximately 380 of the 550 delegates to the county convention turned out to vote.

The election results were not the only fireworks last night though.

Mike Dixon made an effort to remove the nominating committee and their recommendations.  He argued the fairness in the process since Rick Beltram formed and appointed the committees chairman.  Several argue that Robert’s Rules prohibit this, but it is up to the discretion of the parliamentarian, who in this case believed Robert’s Rules does not expressly prohibit this notion.

Mike’s attempt failed, but it definitely riled the crowd up.  I had many people approach me asking why the county party used the nominating committee.  I could only answer that it was a gray area in the rules and the county party has functioned in this manner for some time.

And last but not least, I would like to answer those who are arguing that the folks over at Upstate Update and I are dividing the party.

77% of the voters went against the establishment.

I believe that is unity my friends.

Clarifying the Chaos

April 1, 2009 by  
Filed under SC Politics

Roberts Rules of Order
As we told you last night, we would be digging a little deeper to find out what should have happened and what was legal and what was not.

In my initial research after the meeting, it appeared that the process of allowing people to pay the $10 to be placed on the state delegate ballot was completely legal.  I was able to confirm today that my research last night was correct.

The only thing that would prevent the addition of these individuals would be a deadline that was put in place for the printing of ballots, which Spartanburg currently does not do for state delegates.

When we spoke with a few parliamentarian specialists, we discovered that Beltram never had to ask the permission of the Executive Committee to add these delegates.  Beltram essentially granted authority to the committee which has no authority over that matter.

I would be willing to say that the days of what would appear to be a head nodding committee is gone. That’s just my observation though.

For those in attendance last night, I would say we are all a little antsy and we all need to continue reading our Robert’s Rules of Order.

So moving forward, I hope Beltram will publicly recognize his errors just like I have mine.  I am not going to get my hopes up though, it appears he’s already pinning it solely on the majority.

Rick Beltram e-mail 9:16pm on April 1, 2009
The procedure that the majority voted last night (to table additional nominees as state delegates was NOT correct procedure).

Chaos, Rick Beltram, LaDonna Ryggs

March 31, 2009 by  
Filed under SC Politics

It's not a stop sign, but get's the point across

After spending approximately 45 minutes explaining the convention process, defending himself against allegations made by Upstate Update, all the while campaigning (I am honestly amazed to see how he does this), Rick Beltram ran into a brick wall when 76+ people stopped an effort that would allow him to add nominees to the state convention ballot.

We have since learned that adding nominees to the State Convention ballot appears to be allowed (we are still waiting for final clarification).

I decided to take a further look to see if the process used tonight was even valid.  After browsing some Robert’s Rules of Order, I discovered that a motion to suspend rules to have a vote requires 2/3 vote of the executive committee.  I’m still validating, but I believe state rules or party rules over rule this to read 50%.  Either way, rules not expressly designated are to bound by Robert’s Rules.  We would like to point out a few things that went wrong.

  1. The meeting was never properly called to order
  2. A roll call was never taken to determine if a quorum was present to conduct business
  3. The quorum would have to be based on the 88 precincts organized in 2007
    1. The newly reorganized precincts do not have a voice until the county convention
  4. Votes to suspend the rules must be done via roll call vote

This is just a quick synopsis, we don’t know how many other rules apply to this.

Although there was not a properly organized meeting, some individuals in the crowd raised a few of these points and after three rounds of voting on a table motion, order began to be restored.   The vote synopsis is below:

  1. Voice vote to table the motion passed, Beltram decided to have hand vote because it was hard to determine.
  2. Tried to do a vote via hand count which was counted improperly.
  3. Final head count vote the tabled the motion 76-24

So now I am left in a precarious position, who do I support?  There are arguments that LaDonna Ryggs should be attending these meetings and debating Rick Beltram.  She attended the meeting last night at West View B but not the executive committee meeting tonight.  There are also allegations that Ryggs failed her duties as executive committeeman in the re-organization process.

Among the many arguments against Beltram, new arguments are being raised concerning whether or not he is following the rules.

We would like to ask you:

With seven (7) days remaining until county convention, leave a comment and let us know who you are supporting.

Responding to Rick Beltram

March 22, 2009 by  
Filed under SC Politics

If there is one thing I have learned since diving into politics head first a couple of years ago, you must learn how to win friends and influence people.  You also must know what battles to fight and which ones to let pass by.

In releasing my story about my experience with Rick Beltram and the corresponding audio tape, I have caught some heavy flak by a few individuals.  It would be very easy to fire back with more audio from the 58 minute conversation we had on that cold February 16 morning at the Skillet Restaurant to further prove my point, but I must ask, “At what cost?”

The fact of the matter is that Rick Beltram’s very own track record explains and validates my claims.

If we really want to see the members of our Grand Ole Party return to a true limited government, fiscally conservative, free market, and personal freedoms platform, we must remove those who hamper that cause.  We need leaders who are honest and ethical.  We cannot afford to have anymore talking heads that say one thing and do another.

As we move forward in the re-organization of our precincts and our party, I hope people will quit sitting on their hands.  We all have busy schedules, but we must be more involved.  Voting every two or four years will not fix the problems we have.

It starts here and your chance to make a difference is on March 23rd.  I will be there and I hope you will too.

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