Wednesday, May 30, 2007

open enrollment offers very few choices

H. 3124 is Jim Rex's plan for open enrollment. I agree with the concept, but have a problem with the notion that this is being referred to as a school choice plan. Today, we considered an amendment to expand the options of children in a failing school. this amendment would offer a voucher to the child that meets the following criteria. 1-the child is below the 200% poverty level 2-the child is currently enrolled in a failing school & 3-the child has been denied access to seat in a passing school. Unfortunately, the amendment failed. The bill's current status is this: A child trapped in a failing school may be granted access to a passing public school. This is an infinitesimal baby step in the right direction. Unfortunately, children will have to wait for meaningful school choice.

Here is a misleading portion of the bill:
(B) In establishing these programs, it is the objective of the General Assembly to make the South Carolina public school system the most choice-driven public school system in the nation by increasing student participation in and student access to public school educational opportunities both within and outside of their resident school district, regardless of where they may live or their socioeconomic status. It is therefore the intent of the General Assembly that this chapter be construed broadly to maximize parental choice options and student access to public school educational opportunities that are now not available to their children.

click for the full text of H. 3124

Bible Bill


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

CWP Reciprocity S. 3212

A few weeks ago Senate Judiciary passed S. 3212, legislation giving reciprocity to Concealed Weapon Permit holders from other states. I have a CWP from South Carolina but it is not recognized in Georgia. I also have a reciprocated New Hampshire License that Georgia does recognize. If this bill passes, a SC CWP would then be recognized in Georgia. Out of the 54,000 CWP’s that have been issued, none have been involved in a crime. This is about law abiding citizens protecting themselves.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Award: Legislator of the year for Children's Rights

On Thursday (05.24.07) I was presented an award from Paul's Center for Children's Rights. Pictured with me is Wendall White, Paul Bradley & Paula Owens.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

LCI sub: pawnbroker regulations

My LCI (Labor Commerce & Industry) subcommittee is assigned a bill dealing with Pawn Brokers. I have some concerns with this bill:
1-increases limit of 2,000 to 10,000
This increase will be automatically adjusted to inflation, so we won't need to revisit the limit in future years. I support this increase yet I don't see a need for a limit at all. Why does government need to tell a pawnbroker how much he can loan? Last time I checked it is the shop's money and they are taking the risk.
2-gives pawnbrokers ability to loan on titled items
Currently, a pawn shop can loan money on any item unless it is a titled item. This bill would allow the shop to loan money on titled items as well. I would think it would be fair to allow the pawning on anything the shop can impound whether it is titled or not. I support this portion of the bill.
3-requires finger printing & back ground checks
Big bro will get a background check on owners and all employees. Someone that has been convicted of a felon is not allowed to work in a pawn shop. An employer would not be allowed to give someone a second chance. This bill gives you another example the safety squad mentality in the legislature. Protecting you from yourself. Now, don't you feel better?

Thursday May 24th Fundraiser

Next Thursday on 5/25 we're having a fund raiser in Anderson.
to see my sponsors click to see invitation

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Ethan wins awana award

Pictured here is my 7 year old with his awana derby car. Ethan won first prize for design. It didn't go too fast, we'll try to figure that out next year.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

1978 vote republican 3

In 1978 Sen. Glenn McConnell, President Pro Tempore was chairman of the Charleston County Republican Party. This is the 3rd of 5 tv commercials produced.

Monday, May 21, 2007

is this cool or what?

On Christmas Day (12.25.06) this flag was flown in the F-15 cockpit of Captain John Basel, USAF over Afghanistan. John & his wife Meredith were in town to see us this weekend and he presented us this gift.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

spend too much or taxed too little?

It all boils down to answering a simple question. Do you believe the Government spends too much or do you believe the people are not taxed enough? With the new certified money last week, this year’s budget is beyond $7 & ½ billion and the new money is close to $ 1 ½ billion. Since virtually all of your money is spent, now they want to raise the cigarette tax. Last week the Finance Committee approved a 45 cent per pack increase in the cigarette tax.

Being a pharmacist, I witness daily the health problems caused by smoking. Smoking costs the taxpayers millions of dollars a year and I feel that this extra cost is unfair the non-smoking taxpayer. For this reason I would support the 45 cent increase IF matched with tax relief elsewhere. Currently, the bill is a net tax increase.

I must stand with my conviction, however, of not supporting a tax increase, especially with all the dollars in the kitty. Without matching tax reductions, the cigarette tax will not get my support.

Friday, May 18, 2007

1978 vote republican 2

In 1978 Sen. Glenn McConnell was chairman of the Charleston County Republican Party. This is the 2nd of 5 tv commercials produced.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Campsens Surf in Mid-Atlantic Championships

The Campsen brothers (George, 9th grade, and Boyce, 6th grade) have qualified to compete in the Mid-Atlantic Surfing Championship in Nags Head, North Carolina, on May 18-20. The Eastern Surfing Association invited George and Boyce to participate in the championship on the basis of their performance in local, state and regional competitions last year. Top surfers from Delaware to Georgia, and Puerto Rico, will vie for coveted invitations to the East Coast Surfing Championship and USA Surfing Championship, to be held later this fall.

George and Boyce will surf in both shortboard and longboard divisions for their age groups. George has also qualified to compete for the overall Mid-Atlantic Championship crown against all-comers in the Open Shortboard division. George and Boyce’s father, Chip Campsen, will surf as well in the shortboard division for his age group.

Last year Boyce advanced through the Mid-Atlantic Championship to the East Coast Championship at Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. He finished in the top 15 for his age group in shortboard competition, with surf conditions generated by Tropical Storm Helene exceeding 10’.

Ultrasound bill passes Senate

H. 3355 passed the Senate on Thursday, May 17. My original bill required the review of the ultrasound, which in my opinion, did not force the review. After several wrangling over language, the bill was amended with new language. click here to see the full text
the Senate version:
-requires physician to describe the ultrasound procedure and inform the patient she has the right to view it
-at her request, the patient is allowed to view the ultrasound images
-if the ultrasound is chosen, the physician is required to give her a medical description of the images which must include the dimensions of the child and presence of external members and internal organs
-the patient must be given a list of healthcare providers that offer free ultrasounds (mostly crisis care centers)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Wednesday, 5/16 House vs. Senate Softball

Senate 22 House 5

dot bill passes Senate

A compromize was reached today on the DOT reform bill:
Executive Director
-appointed by the Governor with advice & consent of the Senate
-Serves at-will to the Governor
Department of Transportation Board
-7 (congressional & 1 at large)
-Elected by congressional district legislative delegation on proportional voting
-hires chief highway engineer & internal auditor
-all members must be from different counties
-creates STIP (state transportation improvement plan) with public input
-4 year staggered terms
Joint Transportation Review Committee
-Screen Board appointees - must state either qualified or unqualified within 30 days
-Annual review of activities of the Board and the Department
-Review Methodology of STIP
Chief Highway Engineer
-hired by the Department of Transportation Board
-may be removed for cause
-must sign off on expenditures $10 million or less

Debate prediction: Bannister & Pitts make call!

Before the debate last night, I was in a conversation with Rep. Ted Pitts (R-Lexington ) and Rep. Bruce Bannister (R-Greenville) My question was this: Who will have the best one-liner tonight? Both agreed that it would be Gov. Mike Huckabee. He said something like “Congress has spent more money than John Edwards in a beauty parlor”

Monday, May 14, 2007

judicial candidate lies to my face

As you probably know, there are 3 vacancies in the courts of South Carolina with 8 candidates. I'm disappointed to make it known that one particular candidate told me several untruths in a conversation. Why would a candidate find the need to be dishonest about his/her record? Why would a judicial candidate be dumb enough to tell untruths that can be easily verified? Or does this person think we are too dumb to check the records. It is sad that elections of this magnitude have found such desperation. Like Ronald Reagan always said “trust but verify”!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

last inning, tied up, 2 outs, 2 strikes,

Ethan, our 7 year old, was up to bat in the last inning of the ballgame (they don't go into extra innings in his league). There were 2 outs, he had 2 strikes with the winning run on 3rd. Ethan pokes a single through the infield to allow the winning run score. Good job E! Go Tigers!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Congratulations Judge William Steele

This week Summary Court Judge William Steele was awarded Anderson County Employee of the month. Also, his son Gregory, just returned from a mission trip from China delivering Bibles. Anderson County is fortunate to have citizens like Judge Steele's family!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

1978 vote republican 1

In 1978 Sen. Glenn McConnell was chairman of the Charleston County Republican Party. This is 1 of 5 tv commercials produced.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

in honor of PFC Satieon "Tee" Greenlee

Pictured here is the Greenlee family, relatives of PFC Satieon "Tee" Greenlee. Tee, a SFC in the U.S. Army, was from Pendleton and gave his life in Iraq. Words cannot express our gratitude for those that put our freedom over themselves and paid the ultimate sacrifice for this great country. There was a lunch to honor the families of lost veterans in Columbia on Wednesday (05.09.07)

school choice proposal

Thursday 05.03.07 we held a press conference offering our proposal for an amendment to Jim Rex's open enrollment plan. This proposal calls for a limited voucher for children in the following circumstances:
1-at or below 200% poverty level
2-enrolled in a failing public school
3-does not have access to a satisfactory public school

Children is this category will be given a voucher to attend an independent school. The voucher may be as high as $3900 and will come from the state portion of funding. Federal and local funding remains in the local school, so in essence, per pupil funding will increase, giving these failing schools extra funding to improve. Everybody wins!

Also present were members of an organization called Clergy for Educational Options and Senators: Larry Grooms (R-Berkeley) Jakie Knotts (R-Lexington) David Thomas (R-Greenville) Lewis Vaughn (R-Greenville) Danny Verdin (R-Laurens)

On Tuesday 05.08.07 the Senate voted to put the open enrollment bill on special order. This amendment will be offered and hopefully attached to the bill.

Sen. Grooms holds 25 year record chaw spittin

Officials at the annual "Hellhole Festival" in Berkeley County have discontinued the tobacco spitting contest. Interestingly, the 1982 record was set by Sen. Larry Grooms (R-Berkeley). 25 years ago he hurled a Beachnut wad 27 feet to break the record of Richard Campsen, brother of Sen. Chip Campsen (R-Charleston). Members of the William Wallace Caucus (Verdin, Grooms, Campsen, Bryant) go way back; who would have thunk? Personally, I never cared for Beech-nut, I was a Red Man man, but I have also learned much about the low country redneck.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Campsen catches 50 pound Wahoo

George Campsen IV, son of Sen. Chip Campsen reeled in a 50 lbs Wahoo this weekend. I'm told this fish will feed a dozen or so, invitations for supper to follow!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

hail to the speaker & chairman

House to Senate: Its our way or the highway! In a bold move for the taxpayer, the SC House Leadership is playing some serious hardball.

House Speaker Bobby Harrell, (R-Charleston), and Ways and Means chairman Dan Cooper, (R-Piedmont), said they might hold up final budget negotiations in an attempt to get the Senate to deal with Transportation Department reform and a cut in the state income tax rate.
Both Harrell and Cooper said DOT reform and the income tax cut are important enough to members to take the action. I wholeheartedly agree!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The week in the Senate: political blogs

Thursday morning (05.03.07), I am the guest on the ETV show "This Week in the Senate" with President Pro Tempore, Sen. Glenn McConnell. The topic is what's happening in the blogsphere. click here to view

James Dobson on taxes & spending

Recently, the Focus on the Family Action Newsletter written by Dr. James Dobson mentioned the pork and barrell spending at the Federal Level. Normally, groups work on either fiscal policy or moral issues. Then again, taxing and spending are at an immoral level, this action is very appropriate.
"How foolish and self-serving it is, given the financial burden that rides on the shoulders of today’s young parents, that the Democratic Party is seriously considering a series of sweeping tax increases that will make parenting even more difficult. Their proposal calls for an elimination of every tax cut in the past seven years, totaling $400 billion.3 It would be the largest tax increase in U.S. history. It would slash the child tax credit in half, reducing it from $1,000 to $500. Death taxes would rise to the highest level ever, and tax brackets would increase substantially in every bracket, even for low-income families."


"We were given an eye-popping look at their priorities in March when the House and Senate tacked $20 billion and $18 billion respectively in spending onto the bill to fund our troops in Iran and Afghanistan.5 It was an old fashioned “pork fest.”

click here to read the full article

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Amazing Grace movie trailer

try to see this movie as it will move your soul

dot reform bill looking better

On Tuesday (05.01.07) we’re considering an amendment to the DOT reform bill. This may improve the bill that I can support.
Chief Highway Engineer
-Hired by the Department of Transportation Board
-May be removed for cause
-Must sign off on expenditures $10 million or less
Executive Director
-Appointed by the Governor with advice & consent of the Senate
-Serves at-will to the Governor
Department of Transportation Board
-7 (congressional & 1 at large)
-Appointed by the Governor with advice and consent of the Senate
-Hires Chief Highway Engineer
-All members must be from different counties
-creates STIP (state transportation improvement plan) with public input
-4 year staggered terms
Joint Transportation Review Committee
-Screen Board appointees - must state either qualified or unqualified within 30 days
-Annual review of activities of the Board and the Department
-Review Methodology of STIP

2004 Bryant for SC Senate DVD 7.47 minutes

This is an 8 minute video sent out during our campaign in 2004