Call to action: Richland and Lexington Republicans

If you live in Richland County and consider yourself a Republican, I hope you’ll join me for the Richland County Reorganization Meeting on Monday, March 18th at the Bluff Road Armory (1255 Bluff Road) starting at 6pm!

The Richland County Convention will be held Saturday April 20th starting at 10 am at the American Legion Post 6 (200 Pickens Street; intersection of Pickens & Whaley Streets)

If you live in Lexington County, please visit the Lexington County GOP website for locations of your meeting, TOMORROW, March 4th starting at 6:30pm.

The Lexington County Convention will be held April 13th starting at 10am at Meadow Glen Middle School Auditorium (440 Ginny Lane, Lexington, SC 29072)

Your precinct reorganization is where it all starts! I remember years ago attending my first reorganization meeting and jumping right in to help elect Republicans in Richland County, our state, and our country! Hope you will take an active role this year as well!

The State of the State Address

Filmed inside the Chamber of the SC House of Representative shortly before Governor Nikki Haley’s State of the State.

To read the full text of Govenor Haley’s address, click here .

As mentioned in the video above, here is the 2013 SC House GOP Legislative Agenda.

Personnel changes needed at Richland Election Commission


Photo courtesy of wistv.com

From Friday’s The State (@adambeam)

RICHLAND COUNTY, SC — State Rep. Nathan Ballentine, R-Richland, said Friday officials should fire elections director Lillian McBride.

“If the other members of the Richland Delegation and the County Election Board listen to our citizens, I believe they will come to the same conclusion,” Ballentine said in a news release.

He is the first member of the county’s delegation to publicly call for her dismissal.

McBride has been criticized for her office’s handling of the Nov. 6 general election, after a balloting mess that prompted lawsuits, intervention by a circuit court and the state’s highest court and triggered election protests. Some Richland County voters had to wait in line for up to seven hours to vote and, in some cases, cast their ballots well past midnight. Other voters, faced with massive lines, left polling places in frustration without casting ballots.

It took Richland County elections officials more than a week to certify the results. In one race, County Council District 9, officials initially ruled incumbent Val Hutchinson had won only to discover later she had lost to Democratic challenger Julie-Ann Dixon.

It is unclear who has the authority to fire McBride: the Richland County legislative delegation, to whom she directly reports, or the county Election Commission. An Attorney General’s opinion earlier this week said a court likely would side with the county election board. Thursday, Election Commission members voted to accept that opinion.

Ballentine suggested other changes he said would help future elections.

“Personnel changes are simply not enough however, and I believe my colleagues and I should consider legislation that will directly hold local election commissions more accountable,” Ballentine said. “Additionally, I think we need to reduce the size of each precinct in our county. As a state official, I will work on legislation to do just that.”

Video courtesy of ABC Columbia

The long wait at Dutch Fork Middle School

Thanks to a constituent that sent me this video showing the long lines at Dutch Fork Middle School last Tuesday.

As you know, voting in Richland County was a mess last week and I am still waiting on answers as to how and why this happened.

Thanks to you on Election Day, I was able to work to get four more machines to DFMS; however, this didn’t happen until late in the afternoon after many people had left the line to go back to work or go home.

I was told that afternoon that we have 2,900 voters at this precinct and only 4 voting booths were sent. I quickly asked the Elections Director to send more and personally went out there to be sure that was done.

Still, that does not excuse the fact that this precinct obviously was not properly equipped for this election. Everyone knows election day requires patience and people expect waits of one to two hours; but not four to five.

As I learn more, I will obviously share with you.

Related Stories:

SC Patch: Officials to Investigate Richland County Voting Troubles

The State: Richland Voting Mess Violated the Law

2012 Presidential Debate at Richland County Public Library

From http://scetv.org/electionblog/

Brad Warthen moderates a bipartisan panel debate on the hot issues of this year’s presidential campaign. Panelists include: Matt Moore, SC Republican Party Executive Director; Amanda Loveday, SC Democratic Party Executive Director; Representative Nathan Ballentine; and Representative Bakari Sellers. This program is co-sponsored by the Central Carolina Community Foundation and Richland County Public Library. Recorded at the Richland County Public Library in Columbia, S.C. on October 23, 2012.

7th Annual Irmo Community Prayer Breakfast

Talking RNC with Cynthia Hardy – On Point!

Always good to speak with constituent, Cynthia Hardy! Whether on TV or radio, she always keeps her audience informed of current issues.

These segments aired Sunday, August 26, 2012 the day before the Republican National Convention began in Tampa, Florida.

Please vote today for Autism Academy of South Carolina!

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Please click here to vote and help Lorri donate $100,000 to the Autism Academy of South Carolina!
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I’ll always remember one of my first bills as a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives. A bill commonly called “Ryan’s Law” that was the first step in providing assistance to families in South Carolina with autistic children, and as of today, more than 30 other states around the country!

Were it not for Lorri Unumb, this never could have happened!

Lorri (who lives in Lexington) is one of only four finalists nationwide for the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award presented by the NASCAR Foundation.

Please take two minutes to watch her video above and VOTE for Lorri and Ryan’s Law . Your vote(s) can help her win the award and see her donate $100,000 to the Autism Academy of South Carolina !

For more information, read today’s story in The State

Additional information from NASCAR.com/award:

For the past 25 years Lorri Shealy Unumb has impacted thousands of children with special needs. As a mother of three, Lorri was deeply impacted when her oldest son, Ryan, was diagnosed with severe autism in 2003 and was devastated to learn that her insurance would not cover the cost of treatment. As a result, the 44-year-old Lexington, S.C., resident founded the Autism Academy of South Carolina, a non-profit organization that she now manages.

Driven by the thought of other families that could not afford the treatments, Lorri who was a law professor at the Charleston School of Law at the time, took action and drafted a bill in her home state of South Carolina to require insurance companies to cover treatment for children with autism. Through a grassroots campaign, the bill passed in its second year of consideration and “Ryan’s Law” went into effect in mid-2008. The bill has led 31 other states to enact autism insurance reform laws.

Lorri and her husband, Dan, also saw a need to improve community- and school-support programs to meet the needs of kids like her own. Once again, they took matters into their own hands and set out to build a state-of-the-art autism school. In August 2011, after three years of research, fundraising and recruitment, the Autism Academy of South Carolina opened its doors.

The Unumb family are NASCAR enthusiasts and attending Darlington Raceway races is a family tradition. During college, Lorri won the title of Miss Southern 500 and spent a year representing the sport at Darlington-based races. If Lorri wins the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award, she will donate the $100,000 to the Autism Academy of South Carolina.

National and State Politics

From the Republican National Convention

Last week, Karen and I were in Tampa at the Republican National Convention. I was able to film this short video clip just outside the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

You can also view photos from the convention by going to my Facebook albums:

Republican National Convention: Day One

Republican National Convention Day Two and Three

Republican National Convention Night Three 3

As you can see, I was very excited to attend my first convention and enjoyed having Karen there to experience it as well! Obviously the highlight of the week was having Governor Romney stop to speak with us on the way to deliver the biggest speech of his career!

As specials thanks to the SC Republican Party for putting on a very busy and successful week. Having several speakers personally visit the SC delegation gave our activists, party leaders and officials a better chance to hear more about the person instead of just the brief time we hear officials on TV.