It has been a while since we have commented on our lastest thoughts or happenings. I have been pretty busy working on a few other projects.
First, some changes we have made here at The Conservativist. Our old comments engine has been replaced. To help eliminate some comment spam and promote transparency, we have implemented Facebook’s commenting system. Secondly, I am moving anything that is not political over to my personal site. Only politics here from now on.
Also, my goal is to promote discussion, exchange ideas, and share opinions. Occasionally, we will do some investigative research and share some findings, but I want to change how this was working. I will continue posting press releases and the such as we have in the past. I’m glad to see our friends over at FITSNews picked up one of our popular trends.
Also, make sure you bookmark our events page. As the Presidential Primary season heats up, I will be updating this as often as possible. Use the contact form to get your event announced. Make sure you give us a decent notice to ensure your event gets posted in time.
Don’t forget to check out my other political news site, PoliticalVise.com. It’s a powerful news aggregator, only picking up blog political opinions, that is constantly growing. No opinions will be found there. Just news. We are constantly adding new blogs and states to the vise. So check it regularly.
Here are a few random thoughts and observations I have made over the past few months. Tell me what you think.
The Economy – Upstate, SC
Our elected officials can tout that we are business friendly and they support business etc all they want. But if you look at the job market in the Upstate, it does not appear to be as promising as they want you to believe.
Since the death of Mr. Milliken, Spartanburg politics has been in a spiral. The latest comes in the battle for the GSP Airport commission seats recently vacated, as mentioned in Jason Spencer’s recent blog.
From sources, we have learned that the jockeying is more so to keep one person off the commission as there is to getting on it. As it is, there have been four names submitted: Doug Cobb (current Spartanburg GOP Exec. Committeeman), Doug Smith (former SC House Speaker Pro Tem), Bill Barnett (former mayor of Spartanburg) and Elizabeth Carroll Belenchia (according to Google, an international real estate consultant).
Supposedly, a unnamed senator is lobbying to get Doug Smith on the board and keep Barnett off. Who does he want? Doug Cobb. This is supposedly about a power struggle between Smith and Barnett. And according to sources, this is almost a done deal.
I have seen this coming for some time now. Starting immediately with the formation of the Piedmont Republican Club after being defeated in April of 2009. Beltram has been linked to running for Spartanburg Country GOP Chair and SCGOP Chair. Although nothing has been made official. Not only that, he has started his own blog claiming transparency and no ads, eliminating an obligation to candidates, officials etc. I know Beltram well enough not to believe everything he writes or says…
Spartanburg Legislative Delegation Chairman
Sources have indicated that Representative Steve Parker (HD37) is working hard to become the next chairman of the Spartanburg delegation. A deal brokered in 2009 after a contest over rules and weighted voting resulted in the county delegation chairmanship alternating between the Senate and the House.
So, we’ve known for about a month or so that Karen Floyd would not be returning as SCGOP Chair in 2011. The front runners appear to be Patrick Haddon (Greenville County Chairman, SCGOP 1st Vice Chair) and Chad Connelly (Newberry County Chairman, Political Consultant). Rumors are abound that there is a potential third candidate. None of my sources have been willing to say any names for sure though.
As for me, I know Patrick personally and I have met Chad a few times. I know people close to Chad. I haven’t talked to them about their plans for the SCGOP and I’m not sure which way I will go.
The End of an Era – Per Say
Congressman Trey Gowdy was sworn into office on January 5, 2011, officially ending the era of former Congressman Bob Inglis. Inglis has been unrelenting on his criticism of the American people since his defeat in June 2010. He didn’t waste any time chiming in on the tragic events in Tuscon, making sure to place blame on conservatives nationwide. But this has been his call sign since he lost in June. Inglis fails to realize that he wasn’t ousted because he didn’t call Obama a socialist. Mr. Inglis’ votes and arrogance over several years led to his defeat.
This House race is one of the more important races on my radar, as it is my personal district. What I find interesting in this race is the renewed battle and controversy between Davenport and Parker.
Davenport held the seat for almost 22 years until Parker scored a victory in the 2008 GOP Primary. It was a land slide but as the democratic challenger, Eric Hayler, stated after the primary election, this was a referendum on School District Consolidation and not on Davenport.
In 2006, Parker lost the primary by a mere 9 votes, so this has always been a tight battle. In Boiling Springs, you either hate Parker or you love him. I guess you could say the same about Davenport.
Parker can be called to question on his stimulus support, as Gov. Mark Sanford called him and other legislatures out by name at the 2009 SCGOP convention. He can also be held accountable for campaigning on no new taxes, no targeted taxes, then turning around and supporting a cigarette tax hike. During his 2008 campaign, Parker told constituents he would not support “targeted” taxes because that would justify a tax on coke.
Davenport is the interesting case. He hasn’t campaigned much but most of his campaign signs read “Tea Party Approved”. Most people in the area tend to like Davenport more so than Parker.
Davenport’s disadvantage, he is running as a Constitution Party candidate after years of serving in the GOP. The question will be how many voters will go out and push the all “R” button or will they remember to vote for their old friend, Davenport on the Constitution ticket.
My biggest concern with Davenport is his enthusiasm and his past votes to use the government to ban items he knew nothing about. Has he changed in the last few years and did the Constitution Party look into this? Who knows.
Sources indicate that the Democratic candidate, Frazer, is polling in the high teens. Politically we don’t know much about Frazer, besides the fact she was a field organizer for the Obama campaign, according to Project Vote Smart.
According to Vote Smart, she wants to maintain the status of several tax rates in the state, but increase it on those high earners and also increase the alcohol, cigarette, and corporate tax rates. She doesn’t want state and local police to enforce federal immigration law.
For you gun enthusiasts, Frazer isn’t great either. She doesn’t want concealed weapons permits and she wants everyone licensed to own a gun.
You can read more at Project Vote Smart.
First of all, this is not an endorsement. Although everything appears to favor Parker’s re-election, I think Davenport will sneak in with the victory at 41%. Parker will finish 2nd at 39% and Frazer will bring in a little more than the strong D district percentage with 20%.
So besides the hours the House spent debating and voting on our ever important state budget, what did the SC State House of Representatives accomplish before/after 108 members saw it necessary to accept the stimulus money instead of doing what the rest of America is doing, trimming down the fat.
H.3673 was introduced and referred to committee. The resolution expresses “the opposition of the General Assembly of South Carolina to the Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009 [H.R. 45] recently introduced in the United States Congress.” Whew.
For those of you who don’t know, H.R. 45 (aka Blair Holt’s Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009) introduced by Congressman Bobby Rush (D -IL) would destroy our 2nd Amendment rights as we know it. What does it require? Here is a list just for starters.
- transferring a firearm to any person other than a licensee, unless the transfer is processed through a licensed dealer in accordance with national instant criminal background check system requirements, with exceptions;
- a licensed manufacturer or dealer from failing to comply with reporting and record keeping requirements of this Act;
- failing to report the loss or theft of the firearm to the Attorney General within 72 hours;
- failing to report to the Attorney General an address change within 60 days; or
- keeping a loaded firearm, or an unloaded firearm and ammunition for the firearm, knowingly or recklessly disregarding the risk that a child is capable of gaining access, if a child uses the firearm and causes death or serious bodily injury.
Did I mention this requires most ammunition to be bar coded?
We spoke with Congressman Bob Inglis (R – SC) a few weeks ago about the bill and he didn’t give us a warm fuzzy feeling. Bob Inglis is against the bill, but believes that Nancy Pelosi (D – CA) will push this through. Our best hope is that pro gun democrats like college football star Heath Shuler (D – NC) and others will stand up and buck the gravy train.
H.3673 was referred to the committee on Invitations and Memorial Resolutions. Be sure to contact your representatives and ask them to sponsor this resolution. We need to send this message loud and clear to Washington. Here are the committee members:
As for Spartanburg County, all but two Representatives had signed on as of 12:14am on March 10th. Those Representatives are Harold Mitchell and Joey Millwood.
I am happy to see our General Assembly fighting for our rights guaranteed by the US Constitution. I just wish these bills did more than just memorialize the US Congress. It is our understanding this process has very little effect influencing Congress. Maybe they will put some teeth into one of these bills and give the Attorney General the grounds to sue the US over this matter.
By the way, go to the NRA website and help them get on Congress’ case to not pass this bill.
UPDATE (5:04pm March 10):
Joey Millwood and Eric Bedingfield have also signed on to this legislation now.
Check out the excellent reporting by Jason Spencer at the Herald Journal. Be sure to comment and let him know that the people of Spartanburg want the truth and to see these articles in the paper.
Despite a snow-covered Spartanburg and the dangers of black ice on the road, the Spartanburg County Republican Party, at first glance, seems to have done well with its biennial precinct reorganization.
The blandly named “precinct reorganization” isn’t exclusive to party activists – Democrats and Republicans alternate the years they do it – but it is the front door to any registered voter who wants to have a say in county or state party leadership and/or present resolutions that could affect their state party’s platform.
Monday morning, when I was making calls about things I cover, trying to determine what was cancelled and what wasn’t, I was told that reorganization – advertised on the radio for the past week – would go on. Organization is largely a formal process, but a necessary one, to elect precinct officers and file the appropriate paperwork to become a county and/or state delegate – i.e. to have a vote at the county or state conventions, which are in April and May, respectively.
Read more here at Crazyworld
On February 26th, The SC State House passed H3509 which is a resolution to affirm the states rights guaranteed by the 9th and 10th amendments of the US Constitution.
Unfortunately, it appears the transparency bill doesn’t cover such resolutions. We spoke with Dan Hamilton (House District 20) of Greenville, SC who shared with us that the vote was unanimous in favor of the bill.
Some of the Spartanburg County legislatures signed on to the bill. They are as follows:
Be sure you call and thank them for signing on to this bill. Those who failed to sign on as sponsors are below:
The bill has been referred to the Senate. A similar version already exists, S424 in the State Senate, which the Spartanburg County Senators have already signed on as sponsors.