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Meka Childs for Education Superintendent

I am proud to endorse Meka Childs for State Superintendent of Education. Meka, years before the outrage we see now, voted AGAINST the adoption of the Common Core Standards while she served on the Education Oversight Committee in 2010. She knew then and she knows now that education is an issue best addressed by parents, teachers, and local leadership, not bureaucrats in Washington. Her dedication to ensuring South Carolina standards for South Carolina students is unquestionable.

Meka’s steadfast commitment to empowering parents to make effective educational decisions for their children by allowing true educational freedom and real school choice is a voice of reason in this election that we desperately need. I have no doubt that with Meka leading the Department of Education, every child that receives a diploma in South Carolina will be ready for work or college, and citizenship.

Meka has my full support and I will do all I can to ensure her victory in the June 10th primary. Read more about Meka Child’s campaign here.

wooly mammoth creation debate

imageThis site has received a more than ordinary amount of discussion. I appreciate the participation from every one. I’ve always welcomed any thoughts on any issue as this has always been an open forum. We are blessed to have free speech.

I must note that the personal, vulgar attacks on me are acceptable, I am an elected official. I’m disappointed in those that cast vile, mean spirited attacks on my wife and children.

This evidence clearly indicates a hatred for God; proving Romans 1:21 to be true: “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.”

As commanded by Christ in Matthew 5 (“I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,”) we are to pray for our enemies. We are doing just that. I beg you to consider what God says about his Son in Colossians 1: “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.”

SC House rejects Creator & state symbol moratorium amendments

20140411-105731.jpgI’m disappointed in the recent vote by the SC House. The House struck the Senate amendments (unanimously adopted) which recognize the Creator and adds a moratorium to state symbols on h. 4482, the bill designating the Columbian Mammoth as the state fossil.

here’s the vote: H. 4482–NONCONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS
The Senate Amendments to the following Bill were taken up for consideration. H. 4482 by Rep. Ridgeway: A BILL TO AMEND ARTICLE 9, CHAPTER 1, TITLE 1 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO STATE EMBLEMS, BY ADDING SECTION 1-1-712A, SO AS TO DESIGNATE THE COLUMBIAN MAMMOTH AS THE OFFICIAL STATE FOSSIL.

Rep. RIDGEWAY explained the Senate Amendments.

The yeas and nays were taken resulting as follows:

Yeas 30; Nays 72 Those who voted in the affirmative are: Bales, Bannister, Barfield, Bowers, H. A. Crawford, Crosby, Delleney, Felder, George, Hamilton Harrell, Hayes, Hodges, Jefferson, Kennedy, King, Knight, Limehouse, Loftis, Lucas, W. J. McLeod, Norman, Norrell, Owens, Pope, Putnam,Ridgeway, Simrill, Skelton, Williams Total–30

Those who voted in the negative are: Alexander, Allison, Anderson, Anthony Atwater, Ballentine, Bedingfield, Bernstein, Bingham, Bowen, Branham, Brannon, G. A. Brown, R. L. Brown, Clemmons, Clyburn, Cobb-Hunter, K. R. Crawford, Daning, Dillard, Douglas, Edge, Erickson, Forrester, Funderburk, Gagnon, Gilliard, Goldfinch, Hardee, Hardwick, Henderson, Herbkersman , Hiott, Horne, Hosey, Huggins, Long, Mack, McCoy, McEachern, M. S. McLeod, Merrill, D. C. Moss, V. S. Moss, Munnerlyn, Murphy, Nanney, Newton, R. L. Ott, Parks, Patrick, Pitts, Quinn, Riley, Rivers, Ryhal, G. R. Smith, J. E. Smith, J. R. Smith, Sottile, Spires, Stavrinakis, Stringer, Tallon, Taylor, Thayer, Toole, Weeks, Wells, White, Willis, Wood
Total–72 The House refused to agree to the Senate Amendments and a message was ordered sent accordingly.

s.1100 exempts business officers from ui taxes and benefits

tax-cutsDear SC Business Owners,

I am pleased to report that yesterday our Bill S1100 was vote upon favorably by the Senate! Perhaps favorably is not the word….41 Ayes and 0 Nays!! We also picked up another sponsor in Tom Young, (R, Aiken.) He joined our bill champion and fellow business owner Kevin Bryant, (R, Anderson) and Vincent Sheheen (D, Camden.) You did it!!! You made this happen!

S1100 will now move to the SC House for approval. I have been on the phone for days in anticipation of this with house members. I need your help with this. Everyone that I have talked to has been in favor of this bill; but I have not been able to talk to everyone. Please call or email house members now. You can find their information at http://www.scstatehouse.gov/ Then, go to the House of Representatives tab. Call yours as well as all of the others on this list. Things are looking very, very good; but we can’t stop with the push and take anything for granted!

Deedee Vaughters
President, SC Business Owners Association

RSIC (retirement system investment commission) report

scOn April 1st, our special Senate Finance Subcommittee (Bryant (ch), Lourie (ch), Jackson, Cleary) reported out our report. Click here to view the full report, here’s the summary;
Report of the Special Subcommittee to Review the Investment of State Retirement Funds
Senators Bryant, Lourie (co-chairs), Jackson and Cleary
Senator Bryant Presentation:
Task
Chairman Leatherman tasked the Special Subcommittee to review:
 Inspector General’s Report.
 Investment Management Fees.
 Investment Diversification.
 Securities Lending Agreement with the Bank of New York – Mellon.
 Consider whether legislation was warranted to change the System.
Process:
 The Subcommittee met seven times from December 5th through March 4th.
 The Subcommittee received over 12 hours of testimony.
 The Subcommittee received numerous documents.
 All documents and recordings of testimony are available for viewing on the Finance Committee location of the legislative website.
Findings:
 The Inspector General’s Report is an accurate roadmap for understanding the history and current status of the Retirement System Investment Commission and its interaction with the State Treasurer. The attached Appendix lists the Inspector General’s findings from his investigation.
 Communication between the Commission and the State Treasurer is dysfunctional.
 Fiduciary roles are currently muddled and need to be streamlined and clarified.
 Based on testimony received, accusations of criminality at the Investment Commission by the State Treasurer are unfounded.

Senator Lourie Presentation:
 Operational infrastructure to ensure due diligence was sorely lacking during the nascent stages of the Investment Commission. In recent years, operational infrastructure has markedly improved and continues to improve as the Investment Commission is authorized more resources.
 The investment strategy of the Commission is purposely weighted towards alternative investments to minimize risk. The Subcommittee is somewhat uncomfortable with this approach but recognizes the legitimacy of the strategy. By the nature of alternative investment structures, fees related to those investments are higher than traditional bond/stock portfolios. Further, the Investment Commission’s disclosure of fees may be the most transparent among its peer group, so any comparison of fees with peers should be carefully reviewed.
 The State Treasurer’s settlement with the Bank of New York Mellon over the administration of a securities lending contract was procedurally acceptable but managerially perplexing. The State Treasurer’s responsibility to serve as custodial banker for the Investment Commission is organizationally misaligned.
 The Special Subcommittee recommends that its assignment continue so that the Funston fiduciary audit be received, reviewed and translated into legislation for consideration.
 The Special Subcommittee recommends the immediate consideration of legislation to add members to the Investment Commission. These new members would be chosen from among the constituent groups the Investment Commission is designed to serve and they would hold qualifications. This proposed change should help reduce the fear these groups of public servants are experiencing from the acrimony exhibited at Commission meetings and in the media.

Romans 1: God clearly seen in creation

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For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. (Romans 1:18-25 NKJV)

US Senate Debate 04.21.2014

senate

h. 4482 wooly mammoth

H. 4482 designates the wooly mammoth as the official fossil of South Carolina. I attempted to recognize the creator as an amendment, however, the amendment was ruled out of order

24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

I’ve rewritten the amendment: BILL NO: H. 4482 (Reference is to S. Printed 3/25/14–S.)

Senator BRYANT proposed the following amendment (4482R008.KLB):
Amend the bill, as and if amended, page 1, by striking lines 35-36 and inserting:

/ “Section 1-1-712A. The Columbian Mammoth, which was created on the Sixth Day with the other beasts of the field, is designated as the official State Fossil of South Carolina and must be officially referred to as ‘the Columbian Mammoth’, which was created on the Sixth Day with the other beasts of the field.”

s.1100 Unemployment tax exemption for business owners

tax-cutsSC Business Owners,
S1100 is now in committee. As a refresher, S1100 is the bill which allows business owners to opt out of having to pay unemployment tax on themselves. Thanks to Senator Kevin Bryant, from Anderson for his leadership on this issue. It appears that he has also been able to gain bi-partisan support on this in that Senator Vincent Sheheen as joined on as a co-sponsor! This means that the likelihood of this happening is quite real!!
The bill is on the agenda for the Senate Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee meeting tomorrow. It is now time for action!! Please call or email the committee members and ask that they support S1100!
The committee members are listed below and their contact info is at http://www.scstatehouse.gov/ under Senate. THIS IS IMPORTANT!!!!! FINALLY A BILL THAT BENEFIT BUSINESS OWNERS!
President, SC Business Owners Association Deedee Vaughters

Judge Sharp supports constitutional marriage

marriageAs a judge in Anderson County’s Summary Court, Dan Sharp sometimes has been honored to officiate a couple making the ultimate commitment, marriage. The Probate not only grants a marriage license, but has the happy occasion to perform ceremonies at the courthouse. Judge Dan Sharp does not take this duty lightly and is committed to marriage and the understanding from couples that the vows taken during a wedding are a covenant between a man an a woman before our creator. It is interesting how closely our traditionally spoken vows mirror the biblical scripture from its origin in Matthew.

4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. Matthew 19:4-6

Sadly, some activist with an agenda will try to use the court as a staging ground for protest and newsmaking as in other counties in South Carolina. This is only a distraction for court operations and is counter to the state’s contitution admendment on marriage.