The South Carolina House of Representatives focused on money matters this past week. The state’s budget was up for consideration in the House and now moves to the Senate. The continued tightening is to hedge against unknown financial uncertainty created through the pandemic. The South Carolina House passed a very conservative budget to only fund necessary government services.
Overall revenue for the state is expected to increase as the number of positive cases falls and the spread of herd immunity gets society closer to normal operation.
“After hours of debate and hundreds of votes, we passed the $9.8 billion general fund budget that puts hundreds of millions in the state's rainy day fund as a hedge against the economy slowing again,” said Rep. Bill Taylor of Aiken. “The budget prioritizes the legislative dedication to improving education, funding needed resources for law enforcement and our prison system, and expanding broadband internet access, focusing on rural areas.”
State employee pay is addressed in the budget for the coming year. While the initial budget does not give all state employees a pay raise, the floor debate brought commitments from budget leaders they will make every effort to include pay boosts in the final spending plan. The preliminary budget does include $16.2 million for annual pay bumps and pay increases for South Carolina law enforcement officers and corrections officers.
Among the additions added during the budget debate was a provision to have the State Election Commission report on the number of election fraud investigations conducted in relation to the November 2020 election. The report would be due for completion by this August.
The Senate will be considering this budget and return it to the House while the Board of Economic Advisors prepares revenue estimates. As the economy continues to improve, there are indications there will be additional revenue forecasted, which will allow for other spending priorities.
In April, the House will decide how it plans to allocate the $2.1 billion in federal money from the American Rescue Plan Act. Also up for debate is the $525 million from the Savannah River Site settlement.
Today is a dark anniversary for America. On this day in the year 1981, President Ronald Reagan was shot by gunman John Hinkley, Jr. White House Press Secretary James Brady, Secret Service agent Tim McCarthy and Washington police officer Thomas Delahanty were also wounded.
Everyone survived the gunman’s attack. However, James Brady was permanently disabled due to brain damage from the wound. He later became a staunch supporter of gun control efforts.
President Reagan was seriously wounded in the shooting, which took place outside the Washington Hilton Hotel after a speech given by the president. His term had just begun only 70 days prior to the shooting.
Hinkley’s assassination attempt was actually caught on video and the footage was seen by millions through traditional broadcast news.There was no internet at the time.
Reagan recovered and went on to complete his term and win re-election in 1984. The public was not immediately made aware of the seriousness of his injuries. The surgeons reported the bullet entered Regan’s chest and stopped just one inch away from his heart.
Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity and was sentenced to a mental care facility. He was released from custody in 2016.
Former President Donald Trump is reported to be in discussions with a new and relatively unknown social media group called FreeSpace to create his own brand of social communication.
Trump’s senior advisor Jason Miller told Fox News that Trump would make a return to social media in the next few months, with his own platform.
The majority of the world’s social media sites have banned Trump for the last several months, starting in November 2020 around the time of the contested election. He was removed from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and many others in an attempt to silence his point of view and influence.
His consideration of FreeSpace would make this newcomer app top news. FreeSpace was just launched in February 2021 in the Google Play store and the Apple app store. As of now, FreeSpace has under a thousand users. The market dominator, Twitter, boasts over 192 million daily users.
Many Trump followers are anxious for the former president to return to the daily conversation and to find a new home on a social media site that doesn’t throttle free speech and ideas from opposing parties.
In a win for freedom of choice, The City of Rock Hill voted this week to rescind the mask mandate for their municipality that’s been in effect since last summer.
The Rock Hill City Council voted 5-2 in favor of cancelling the mask mandate. This action comes after South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster (R – S. C.) changed the statewide rules regarding the requirement of mask wearing for restaurants and government buildings across the state.
Members of the Rock Hill City Council voiced opposing views on the mask mandate, with John Black voting in favor of relaxing the rules as the numbers on COVID 19 continue to improve. However, Nikita Jackson believes that once the rules are relaxed, people will stop wearing masks and endanger people working at public businesses. “…if don’t nobody else speak up for those individuals we as public servants should address that and speak up for them,” Jackson said.
According to Councilman Black, “The numbers are going down and it’s time to take a mandate and let the citizens decide for themselves if it’s their need to protect themselves.”
West Columbia’s Primal Gourmet is offering a program for homebound meal delivery in the greater Columbia area.
In addition to the delivery program, this healthy food alternative has the opportunity for customers to buy in bulk sizes, individual meals or local produce, dairy, eggs, dry goods and snacks. Primal Gourmet is a market and meal service providing local items and freshly prepared foods from top quality ingredients.
The homebound meal delivery program offered by Primal Gourmet is delivered every Friday. They create a new menu each Friday and accept orders from Friday until the following Wednesday at 8:00pm. According to Primal Gourmet, “this service is ideal for those who are utilizing home health services, can no longer drive, have disabilities that make cooking difficult, expectant mothers, families with newborns, or folks who are going through in-home rehabilitation.”
The program offers two meal size options that are heart healthy, diabetic friendly, moderate to low sodium and geared for those who enjoy Southern cooking. In addition to the prepared meals, you may also add on extras from their market, including soups, salads, cookies, coffee and more.
Meals can be either delivered directly or picked up at one of two addresses:
Primal Gourmet’s West Columbia Kitchen and Market or Tres Leches Bakery in Irmo. Orders may be placed by phone or email.
A recent sampling of home delivery menu items included Greek roasted chicken tenderloins with new potatoes and brussel sprouts, shrimp gumbo and Irish roasted pork tenderloin with potatoes and cabbage.
The South Carolina House of Representatives passed the first major Second Amendment legislation in over 25 years. Forty-five other states have adopted firearm legislation similar to this bill. The "Open Carry with Training Act" is a critical step in bringing South Carolina in line with a vast majority of the country, including every neighboring state.
This bill (H.3094) allows individuals to openly carry handguns in SC, so long as they have a valid conceal carry permit (CWP). This advancement is good for safeguarding Second Amendment rights. Next up is the Constitutional Carry bill (H.3096). This bill has moved out of committee and will receive a House vote in a couple of weeks.
Representative Bill Taylor, House District 86, was a target of two gun-rights advocacy groups prior to the vote on the Open Carry bill, even though he is a supporter of the initiative. Taylor said, "My colleagues and I have each received hundreds of emails and phone calls triggered by these advocacy groups. I believe they purposely confuse the issue to stir up their followers. In reality, they are using these gun bills to raise money for themselves."
Taylor was a co-sponsor of both H.3094 and H. 3096. "Important legislation takes thoughtful strategy, not blunt force. My voting strategy is to advance gun rights, not kill them. We did just that this week in the House — we advanced. The Constitutional Carry bill will get my vote in a couple of weeks," Taylor confirmed.
On March 16 - 17, 2021, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) held its annual conference to discuss monetary policymaking for the coming year.
As of today, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact businesses and individuals, hurting the economy. It’s been one year since COVID restrictions were first implemented and thousands of businesses in the United States were put permanently out of business, leaving millions of Americans without jobs.
Vaccine rollout is in effect, and it's possible that the pandemic will be largely behind us in a matter of months. However, many reparations need to be done.
The Federal Reserve Board agrees that Americans are still in dire need of assistance, and our economy needs revival. Their plan for economic recovery contains the following.
Achieve Maximum Employment and Inflation Rate of 2%
Over the past year, inflation has been consistently running below 2% due to the economic harm caused by social distancing requirements, and this trend continues to persist. The goal of the Committee is to make up for the loss by achieving inflation slightly above 2% for a period of time, causing the average inflation rate to shift closer to an even 2%.
In order to achieve this goal, the Committee will execute monetary policy with an "accommodative stance," which means they will cut rates to redirect money into the economy.
Keep the Target Range for Federal Funds rate at 0 - 0.25%
The FOMC determines the federal funds rate, which is the target interest rate for banks lending and borrowing excess reserves from other banks. The rate of 0 - 0.25% - which the committee agreed to continue into 2021 – was established in 2020 shortly after the outbreak of COVID-19.
Lowering interest rates is a strategy to stimulate economic growth. When the federal funds rate is lower, banks have more freedom to lower interest rates for their customers, which gives Americans more buying power. Thus, the federal funds rate was lowered last year, and it will maintain a consistent rate until economic recovery is evident.
Continue to Increase Holdings of Treasury Securities
The Committee also agreed to "increase its holdings of Treasury securities by at least $80 per month and of agency mortgage-backed securities by at least $40 billion per month" until substantial economic progress is made. Increasing holdings in securities allows the government to borrow money without taxing the public.
Turning to Treasury and agency mortgage-backed securities during this time is a way to alleviate the tax burden on Americans who are struggling financially. This will allow American families to spend money at local businesses and take out loans from banks, directing money back into the economy.
Additionally, while unemployment rates are high and up to $10,200 in unemployment insurance per individual will remain untaxed by the federal government, the Committee must prepare for alternatives to taxation.
With vaccine rollout underway and these policy changes in place, it's possible that economic recovery is underway. That being said, risks and unexpected changes are always a factor, and policy must be altered accordingly when events like these occur.
"The Committee would be prepared to adjust the stance of monetary policy as appropriate if risks emerge that could impede the attainment of the Committee's goals," the press release states.
The Federal Reserve will continue to monitor public health, employment rates, inflation trends and geopolitical developments and make necessary changes to monetary policy.
"We understand that our actions affect communities, families, and businesses across the country. Everything we do is in service to our public mission. We are committed to using our full range of tools to support the economy and to help assure that the recovery from this difficult period will be as robust as possible," stated Fed Chair Jerome Powell in his opening remarks.
These policy decisions are aimed at restoring the U.S. economy, lowering unemployment rates and empowering Americans once again.
There has been movement in the South Carolina legislature since the start of the 2021 spring term, with several key pieces of legislation going forward.
The integrity of the state’s electoral process has been a focus of several legislators. The 2020 election showed that there are different election procedures in most of the 46 counties.
The South Carolina House passed legislation (H.3444) that empowers the State Election Commission to have better oversight and power over how counties conduct elections and internal election matters.
The vote approving the bill was 84-36, mostly along party lines. Governor Henry McMaster gave his approval in support of this election reform.
Another legislative initiative called the South Carolina Freedom of Religion Act passed the House by a vote of 86-29. This legislation (H.3105) gives a definitive determination of religious services as essential.
It is designed to protect citizens’ First Amendment right to worship, regardless of other circumstances, particularly during a declared state of emergency.
Public school teachers will be receiving an annual salary step increase of around two percent. The House agreed with the Senate’s amendment to H.3609 and the bill was forwarded to the governor for signature.
South Carolina has received federal approval to update visitation guidelines for nursing homes and community residential care facilities, announced the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and Governor Henry McMaster. These updated guidelines require facilities to use DHEC's percent positive by county data to help determine their visitation status. This update will result in more facilities who were previously restricting visitation based solely on a county’s percent positive rate greater than 10 percent allowing in-person, indoor visitation.
As of today, any facility that meets the following standards must allow in-person, indoor visitation:
• a less than or equal to 10 percent positivity rate in the county in which the facility is located, using DHEC’s data, and • no COVID-19 cases among staff and/or residents in the past 14 days, and • maintained CMS’ core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention
Prior to the change in guidelines, 177 facilities were not allowing visitation. Of those, 43 facilities specifically cited county percentage positive as the reason and are in one of the 40 counties that now have a percentage positive of 10 percent or less should be able to open to visitation if they otherwise meet the criteria above.
“Too many South Carolinians have been prohibited from visiting their loved ones in long term care facilities because of overburdensome federal guidelines,” said Gov. Henry McMaster. “Prioritizing the physical health and safety of our most vulnerable citizens is critically important, but we must also protect their mental and emotional health. These updated guidelines represent important progress and will result in many facilities opening for visitation, but there’s more work to be done and we will continue pushing federal agencies to allow expanded visitation.”
Vaccinations of Long-term Care Residents and Staff As of this week, 100 percent (193 out of 193) of the state’s nursing homes have had their first COVID-19 vaccination clinic completed and 86 percent (166 of 193) have had their second clinic completed, with additional clinics scheduled. A total of 98 percent (485 of 495) of the state’s community residential care facilities have had their first vaccination clinic completed and 86 percent (424 of 495) have had their second clinic completed, with additional clinics scheduled.
In total, more than 61,500 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been given to our state’s roughly 40,000 long-term care facility residents, and more than 36,700 doses have been given to the approximately 40,000 workers who care for them.
“When COVID-19 first spread across the country, long-term care facilities were devastated as the virus took its toll on nursing home residents who were among the most vulnerable to the virus,” said Dr. Edward Simmer, DHEC Director. “In South Carolina, efforts had been underway to prepare long-term care facilities for the arrival of the virus, and DHEC has worked with facilities to help implement disease prevention protocols. Still, we lost many loved ones to this deadly virus. That’s why we prioritized nursing home residents among the first to be vaccinated, and after a massive statewide effort, nearly all long-term care facility residents in the state now have had the opportunity to get their life-saving shots.”
“Allowing visitation to the greatest degree possible consistent with safety for residents, staff, and visitors, is extremely important to residents' mental and physical health and also for their families,” said Simmer. “The updated guidelines will help ensure as many residents as possible can have safe, in-person contact with family and friends.”
DHEC’s Percent Positive by County Data Until today, visitation guidelines for outdoor and indoor visitation at nursing homes and community residential care facilities (commonly referred to as assisted living facilities) have been based on percent positive data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). However, the data that CMS/U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) receives is based on several different data sources used to calculate percent positives. Today’s updated guidelines direct South Carolina’s long-term care facilities to instead use DHEC's percent positive by county data.
DHEC uses the tests-over-tests method for calculating percent positive, which is the same method used by the CDC. Therefore, the state-generated percent positive data is appropriate to use for determining visitation.
The county positivity rate is based on an average of the past 14 days and the report is updated on the DHEC’s website weekly, on Thursdays at 1 p.m. Additional details about the updated guidelines requiring facilities to use DHEC’s percent positive by county data include:
• The county positivity rate must be greater than 10 percent in order for facilities to use this reason for not allowing indoor visitation. • These guidelines replace the previous use of CMS data to determine visitation status for purposes of indoor visitation. • As of the most recent data, 40 of 46 counties have positivity rates that are less than or equal to 10 percent. This means the current county positivity rate shouldn't affect visitation except for the six counties (Allendale, Barnwell, Chesterfield, Lancaster, McCormick, and York) with rates higher than 10 percent. • Trends in county percent positivity rates can go up or down from one report to the next. This means, a facility’s visitation status could change from one week to the next, based on the data. • DHEC will continue to provide weekly updates on the current visitation status for all nursing home and congregate care residential facilities in the state.
Facilities with limited visitation because their county’s percent positive rate exceeds 10 percent should still encourage safe indoor visitation during compassionate care situations. Compassionate care situations aren’t limited to end-of-life situations; other examples include when a resident’s physical or mental health is declining, if a resident is grieving the passing of a loved one, if a resident needs encouragement with eating or drinking, or when a new resident is struggling with transition. These examples are not a complete list and facilities should allow compassionate care visits on a case-by-case basis.
Facilities should also continue to allow outdoor visitation, virtual visits, and window visits consistent with DHEC’s guidelines. The public is strongly encouraged to contact the nursing home or assisted living facility to confirm their visitation status and policies and procedures prior to planning to visit a loved one.
The Cayce City Council is considering a major change to parking rules for residences within its boundaries. At the March 2ndmeeting, an agenda item included discussion and approval of Ordinance 2021-07 amending Article 9 of the zoning ordinance to add a new section 9.11 concerning vehicular parking in yards in residential zoning districts.
Currently, Cayce’s zoning ordinance does not regulate parking vehicles in front yards. The city claims that it receives a large number of complaints and inquiries about parking vehicles in residential front yards. The new Ordinance requires front yard parking to be contained to an improved surface
The new section in the zoning ordinance will require each home to have a designated parking area covered with concrete, asphalt, bricks, crushed stone, gravel, mulch or other pervious materials. Tire ribbons of asphalt, brick, concrete, or some other hard impervious surface are permitted where the overall parking space meets the size requirements.
The March 2nd council meeting had the first reading of the ordinance, which would become effective 180 days after second reading approval.
Language from the ordinance will include: “No person shall park a vehicle of any description, including but not limited to automobiles, trucks, vans, buses, motorcycles, all-terrain or similar off-road vehicles, recreational vehicles, motor homes, campers or camping trailers, trailers, boats, and jet skis within the front yard of any property used for residential purposes except upon a parking space designed in accordance with this section. This section is not intended to prohibit the temporary parking of a vehicle upon a driveway.”
The amount of space taken up for parking at a residence will be defined in the ordinance as: “Parking spaces and driveway shall not occupy an area greater than 40 percent of the primary front yard or 500 square feet within the primary front yard, whichever area is greater. On corner lots, parking spaces and driveway may consume the above amount of area within either the primary front yard or the secondary front yard, but not both. On through lots, parking spaces and driveway may consume the above amount of area within only one primary front yard.”
Not everyone is happy about this proposed change in parking regulations throughout the city. Karen Fitch, a Cayce resident, has started a petition opposing the regulation on www.change.org.
Fitch states in her petition, “This petition is to stop the passing of Cayce’s proposed parking ordinance 9.11: Vehicular Parking in Yards of Residential Areas. Cayce is comprised mostly of single family dwellings with many residents not subject to mandatory HOAs. Cayce, as a whole, is not a planned unit development where rules, regulations and restrictions are imposed contingent upon the selling and buying of a property. Cayce is not the suburbs; we are not and should not be uniformed. Our city is rich in history; our homes are eclectic and charming; our residents are welcomed from all socioeconomic backgrounds.”
Fitch believes that the new rules will cause a financial burden on Cayce residents who will have to make improvements and changes to their yards to accommodate the requirements. “It is inequitable to ask homeowners now, especially during the country’s economical hardship, to add additional construction on their property when it was not required at the time of purchase or construction,” she said.
The petition is seeking two hundred signatures and has already reached 80% of the goal.
Today, a South Carolina legislative committee will vote on legislation to help stop drunk driving. The proposal, S.28, would make South Carolina the 35th state to enact an all-offender ignition interlock law.
Introduced in the S. C. Senate by Senators Hutto, K. Johnson, Climer, McLeod and Stephens, this proposed bill contains a number of provisions relating to driving under the influence.
Deaths in South Carolina caused by drunk driving claimed 285 lives in 2019. According to MADD Regional Executive Director for North and South Carolina Steven Burritt, laws like S.28 reduce drunk driving deaths by 16%.
The section of the bill that mentions the ignition interlock law is proposed as follows:
“(H)(1)In lieu of serving the remainder of a suspension or denial of the issuance of a license or permit, a person may enroll in the Ignition Interlock Device Program pursuant to Section 56‑5‑2941, end the suspension or denial of the issuance of a license or permit, and obtain an ignition interlock restricted license pursuant to Section 56‑1‑400. The ignition interlock device is required to be affixed to the motor vehicle equal to the length of time remaining on the person’s suspension or denial of the issuance of a license or permit. If the length of time remaining is less than three months, the ignition interlock device is required to be affixed to the motor vehicle for three months.
(2)The person must receive credit for the number of days the person maintained an ignition interlock restriction on the temporary alcohol license.
(3)Once a person has enrolled in the Ignition Interlock Device Program and obtained an ignition interlock restricted license, the person is subject to Section 56‑5‑2941 and cannot subsequently choose to serve the suspension.”
This bill is currently being reviewed by the Judiciary Committee.
Effective immediately, the Lexington Town Council has voted to suspend the ordinance that requires individuals to wear face coverings in retail establishments (grocery stores, pharmacies, big box stores, etc.) within Town limits.
Suspension of the face mask ordinance was announced on Friday.
Also on Friday, SC Gov. Henry McMaster announced that face masks would no longer be mandatory in government buildings.
By executive order McMaster rescinded mandatory face coverings in state government offices, buildings and facilities. The governor also said in a release, the process of returning the remaining state employees back to the workplace on a full-time basis, can begin.
“Now that the majority of South Carolinians are eligible to receive the vaccine, and infections and hospitalizations have dropped significantly, state agency heads may safely bring back the last group of state employees working remotely,” McMaster said.
Additionally, the executive order removes the previously mandatory face mask in restaurants rule.
Town Council continues to urge compliance with COVID-19 recommendations issued by DHEC and the Governor’s Office.
By Terry Ward – WestMetroNews – I’ve searched for a way to deal with the loss of my good friend, Bill Mooneyhan who passed away last Saturday. His funeral is at 2 p.m. Friday at Providence Presbyterian Church, Hummingbird Drive, West Columbia.
The death of Bill is not only my loss, but a loss to anyone who supports the well-being of West Columbia. Bill always promoted the place where he lived and those he cared about.
He touched many and they have expressed their affection for him on social media. Dealing with his death is a struggle, but writing about him helps.
First, I remember Bill’s generosity and how much it meant to me.
I knew him for about eight years. Former West Columbia Mayor Bobby Horton introduced me to Bill. As a news person, Bill was somebody I needed to know. But he was a giver, too.
In time, to thank me, Bill has given me and my wife, Lana, gift certificates to Cafe Strudel and Terra. He has given me tickets he’d purchased to Taste on the River, the West Columbia Beautification Foundation’s Tribute for Trees; the Greater Cayce-West Columbia Chamber Gala and the Airport High School Education Foundation dinner.
On top of that, Bill has given me a free oil change at Mooneyhan’s Repair Service. He gave us pancake suppers and a bar-b-que Boston butt from charity work he did with the Cayce-West Columbia Lion’s Club.
I never asked for, or required any of these gifts. Bill just gave them because he was generous. I know of many others who have told me that he has bestowed gifts upon them, too.
Also, as a businessman, Bill would refer me to the car repair shops of colleagues he was a mentor to, instead of taking the business himself. Because they needed new customers.
Bill liked to talk
Just last week Bill told me he called West Columbia Developer Joe Taylor. Joe was on the road and told Bill he had 45 minutes before he got to his destination and he was sure Bill would take at least that amount of time to talk. Close friend Steve Cohen would tell Bill his phone battery was dying, when he needed to get back to work. Bobby Horton knew his lunch hour would double to two, if Mooneyhan happened to catch him on the way out of Compton’s.
Many of us had the pleasure of Bill’s extended phone conversations. I’d go by Mooneyhan’s too, and listen to Bill. He always had something entertaining or informative to tell you. It’s why I sought him out. He knew what was going on. He loved to tell you about his family, too; past and present.
Bill would drop a name. But I didn’t think he was talking about anyone to build up himself. He usually did it as respect for that person. He wanted you to know they were somebody, in order to build their stature. And in the capacity of name-dropper, Bill served as a conduit for the community. He spread news, but it was in an effort to bring various segments together for progress.
Price, Williams, and Mooneyhan are the families about which Bill would share tales. Those stories would include Legendary Clemson Football Coach Frank Howard, his great uncles Earl and Billy, and his aunts (Aunt Lena as I recall) who lived in the New Brookland Mill Village. His cousin is Kathy Rish. She and her husband Mac, former West Columbia mayor, used to babysit Bill when he was a child.
One story was of Constable James Earle Price. Bill’s great uncle, who was shot and killed by a bootlegger in 1925 at the Gervais Street Bridge.
Bill’s New Brookland family included mayors, teachers, fire chiefs, city officials and a state representative. He was very proud of them all.
And no one loved his father as much as Bill loved Bob Mooneyhan, longtime football coach and and athletic director at Airport High School. He was proud of his mother, Anne Price Mooneyhan, who taught English at Brookland-Cayce High School.
And the family closest to Bill, he loved most. He was severely protective of his children. Emily, Michelle, Charlene, Bill Jr. and grandson, David. If anyone showed harm toward his children, they were going to have to go through Bill Mooneyhan to get to them. He loved his wife Laura, and made sure you knew how much he thought of her. Bill genuinely cared about his sister, Kathy and brother Robert, and all of his extended family. Bill would spend Sunday mornings visiting his elderly relatives at nursing homes.
As I age, I realize the importance of the legacy you build in your life. Bill’s legacy is one of fellowship, family and giving. Upon Bill’s death, I have lost a cherished friend. But I will remember Bill Mooneyhan, and the things he told me, for as long as live.
Bill Mooneyhan’s legacy is one that will live on after him. I know I have learned a lot from him.
Representative Joe Wilson (R - S.C.) has announced his legislative priorities for the coming year. As the House of Representatives member for the Second Congressional District, Wilson represents constituents from Columbia west towards the Aiken/Augusta area at the Georgia border.
"Every year, I announce my priorities as Representative of South Carolina's Second District," Wilson said. "I am grateful for the opportunity to share the 2021 Legislative Agenda with you. I look forward to putting these priorities in place and continuing to work for the people of South Carolina’s Second District."
Earlier this month, Wilson shared the 2021 Legislative Agenda with members of the community in West Columbia, Aiken, North Augusta, and Barnwell.
"As we move into 2021 and a new Congress, it is important to prioritize what is best for families," he said. "My legislative priorities this year include working closely with the Government of South Carolina to defeat the pandemic, creating jobs and economic growth, promoting conservative solutions, and safeguarding our military and veterans."
Many of us older types (and maybe a few younger ones) remember waking up in the morning to an America that was a bastion of freedom, positive energy, goodwill and common sense. It was an America where diverse points of view were celebrated and rewarded with an inherent and genuine regard for civility. Differing opinions would be enthusiastically offered with logical and intelligent discourse as the norm, not the exception.
Then, commencing in the 1950s, The Left gradually began to promulgate its concepts, mainly parroting the doctrines of the Soviet Communist regime. Through relentless perseverance and stealth it became entrenched in virtually all facets of American culture, education, media, jurisprudence and politics. Today, The Left has exerted its influence in ways most citizens never dreamed possible. Its goals were and still are concentrated upon ultimately controlling and then destroying American excellence and its unique time-tested values. The fact that it has been so thoroughly successful in such a relatively short time is both astonishing and frightening beyond comprehension.
As if its meteoric rise and influence are not concerning enough, The Left’s current policies are terrifying. For example, let’s examine the advocacy of allowing hapless men not intelligent enough to recognize their own sex to compete in women’s sports as “women.” Just a few years ago, this asinine notion would have subjected to the proper ridicule that it so deserves. Not now, not with The Left’s relentless pressure tactics.
Sadly, way too many businesses and CEOs have bought into the transgender hoax and even the moronic notion bizarrely called “gender fluidity.” (For those clueless few wishing to ascertain their gender, they need only to gaze into their pants.) Too many company leaders have fallen for the typical Leftist tactic of email bombs designed to indicate far more opposition than is actually the case. Hasbro and Mr. Potato Head, are you listening?
The American Left today mimics the same tactics as the most dictatorial regimes in history. It is considered a cliché to accuse a person or a group as being Nazi-like. Yet The Left, ANTIFA, Black Lives Matter, and the Democrat Party delight in doing so. However, the irony is the most vile and genocidal maniacs such as Adolph Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin, and Mao would LOVE the tactics of suppression of speech, communication and freedom currently practiced by The Left and their supporters.
They would completely approve of the Saul Alinsky-inspired disinformation campaigns waged by our bought and paid for pro-Left Wing Democrat PRAVDA press corps. They would delight in the efficiently organized Leftist rioters who have toppled revered American statues and monuments, murdered innocent citizens and policemen, and destroyed countless businesses and their owner’s careers and dreams.
The American Left is now by far the most dangerous encumbrance to ever infest America and its uniquely precious culture. The Left’s anti-America policies, its ongoing attempts to cancel that most marvelous proponent of human rights yet created by Man, The Constitution of the United States of America, and their relentless assault on our basic God-given freedoms, is the game-changer.
We are at war with the most cunning and potentially destructive force America has ever faced. We can no longer look the other way, pretend that this coldly calculated assault is not happening or succumb to their will. The time to act is now. The Left needs to be totally challenged at every turn. To do otherwise is to ensure that, as the U2 singer Bono so aptly put it, “the amazing and unique American idea” is over.
An anti-mask protest planned in front of the Target shopping center on Highway 378 in Lexington for Monday was cancelled. The organizer, who wishes to remain anonymous, posted the event on social media and received immediate backlash.
The organizer is a professional in the greater Columbia area who strongly believes in freedom. Her idea was to create a visible protest in front of Target on Highway 378 during the heavily travelled afternoon commute time between 5:00pm and 6:00pm. The extent of the protest was to stand on the sidewalk and hold signs protesting the mask ordinance and the requirements of masks for students in schools.
The Town of Lexington’s police department reached out to the organizer for more information on the structure of the protest. However, she had already decided to cancel the event due to fears for her personal safety, as well as that of her family.
The vitriolic comments targeted her business, encouraging people to boycott her professionally. The erosion of America’s constitutional right to freedom of expression is making it difficult for many to have their voices heard in the marketplace of ideas.
The organizer posted the following comment on social media. “Morning all, I need to let you all know what has been happening to me. With much regret, I had to cancel Monday's attempt at a successful strike against the masks. After creating a public event on FB, sharing to every outlet I know, I have become under extreme personal attack, bullying, and harassment.
“The "other side" is stopping at nothing to attack my family personally, financially, and psychologically, and have threatened financial and even physical death to our business and our family. I started by trying to delete negative comments, but they kept coming, and in force!
“The "other side" is relentless, heartless, degrading, and have no regard to what "free speech" is. They don't understand it's ok to disagree and they do not need to come to an event if they are not interested, but what I don't understand is when this world started thinking it was ok to start harassing the other side so badly for believing something different than them. If maskers want to wear a mask for the rest of their lives I am ok with that, but my family and I are being severely targeted by those who don't want us to have the freedom to choose! This is a huge problem! I hope we can find other ways to make a difference.”