After much thought, I am standing for election to another term in the South Carolina House. Representing Blue Ridge, Greer and Taylors remains an honor and a responsibility that I do not take lightly.
You, as a citizen planning to vote in the approaching Republican Primary, determining what candidate most closely identifies with your personal political beliefs becomes more difficult with each passing day. Time is not on your side as your mailbox fills with oversized postcards supporting or criticizing various candidates.
Oftentimes, relying upon a candidate’s list of bullet points listed on a postcard from his official campaign is all of the information about him that you will receive. Most of the official Republican campaign mailers read alike:
- Pro-2nd Amendment
- Pro-Family Values
- Pro-Limited Government
- Anti-Tax . . .
While reflective of traditional Republican platform positions, bullet points cannot explain why the candidate decided that he personally supported any of those positions.
As a conservative and a Republican, I support all of the above positions. Below are the reasons why and what I have done to advance or defend them.
My political principles rest on America’s foundational statement of liberty written by Thomas Jefferson almost 250 years ago, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
“Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” was not a slogan created by a Madison Avenue focus group or a word jumble generated from an artificial intelligence. In these words and those that followed in our Declaration of Independence, Jefferson created a uniquely American worldview that represented the truths derived or reaffirmed during the Age of Enlightenment. Jefferson drew inspiration from Locke, Bacon, Newton, Montesquieu, Voltaire and Bolingbroke just to name a few.
I list these as my political principles to reaffirm where my conservatism derives. These are not biased words from a faded past of dead white males as some of the Negationist New Left would have us believe. (Negationist New Left might be better called the Etch-A-Sketch Left. They just shake their heads and all historical facts are erased.) Faced with an increasing number of peddlers of fake news and deniers of historical fact, it is best to affirm, at every opportunity, the truths of our first principles.
My political principles directly determine how I vote and what I say as your representative in the South Carolina House.
I believe in the sanctity, dignity and individuality of human life, from conception until death. Over my five sessions in the South Carolina House, I have voted consistently to protect the lives of unborn children. I believe that an unborn child’s right to life is unalienable starting at conception. I also equally believe in the same right to life for mothers. I am currently questioning a bill going through the General Assembly with little opposition that will drastically shift how our Do Not Resuscitate Orders are handled for children in South Carolina.
Beyond my voting record supporting life, I have required audits of our state agencies that oversee abortion clinics to ensure that these agencies are following state law. I am a member of the House Legislative Oversight Committee that reviewed these audits along with South Carolina’s relationship with Planned Parenthood. The audits revealed various problems that needed correcting. The corrections were made and the agencies in question remain under the Committee’s oversight.
I believe in individual liberty. I strongly support our right to speak our opinions openly – whether I agree or disagree with them, to assemble and protest peaceably, and to practice religion however we may wish. I have voted consistently to protect our 2nd Amendment right to arm ourselves as we see fit. I believe that the 2nd Amendment is the Constitutional guarantor of the 1st Amendment.
I believe that citizens deserve a small limited efficient government in exchange for the taxes that government collects. As a member of the House Legislative Oversight Committee, we examine the spending habits of state agencies. Our audits have found waste and inefficiencies and we have started the reform of these agencies as needed.
I spent a good part of the last decade introducing tax reform bills to eliminate sales tax loopholes, flatten income tax rates, and lower property tax rates. Since our state tax laws are tied to federal tax laws, tax reform can be difficult to achieve.
South Carolina’s working middle class bears the brunt of tax payments to state government. They received a much needed income tax break from Congress this year. Our Republican controlled General Assembly must ensure that the federal income tax break continues to flow through to our workers on the state level in the years to come. I will actively participate in that oversight.
As one of two accountants currently elected the House and the only one who specializes in pension accounting, I was appointed to serve on the Joint Committee on Pension Reform. South Carolina’s state retirement system is underfunded by approximately $24 billion. The debt owed to our state employees has been growing dramatically since 2008. The Committee has already introduced a reform bill that was passed by the General Assembly and signed by the Governor.
A second reform bill remains unfiled that would shore up the retirement systems assets and chart a path to modernize the current retirement plan options offered to state employees. Personally, I am drafting a bill that specifically addresses reducing the $24 billion debt.
I remain, as I have from the beginning, conservative in my voting record, devoted to our Constitution, protective of our First and Second Amendment rights, and defender of the unborn. As importantly, I remain committed to this beautiful place that we call South Carolina and especially to my neighbors in Blue Ridge, Greer and Taylors.
I would appreciate your support in the June 12th primary.