Local GOP forum focuses on school choice benefits

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 25, 2009
Contact: Tom Swatzel (843) 222-7456

PAWLEYS ISLAND- - Three dozen local activists and interested parents met at the Pawleys Island Library Monday night to discuss the state of education in South Carolina, the need for education options, the impact of school budget cuts, and a plan for encouraging parents to become more engaged in their children's education.

At the Waccamaw Neck Republican Club sponsored forum attendees heard from speakers about the growing race and income gaps in public school performance and learned how even South Carolina's most distinguished public schools remain far behind their regional and national peers.

Neil Mellen, communications director with South Carolinians for Responsible Government, provided a presentation about the benefits of school choice and debunked the myths surrounding it.

"School choice is a win-win for everyone, as is already being proven in fifteen other states. With family and government budgets tightening, the cost-savings offers a way to increase spending in public schools while providing parents with more options for their children," Mellen said.

The presentation highlighted the current $11,480 per public school student spending in the state and the fact that less than half of the funding actually gets spent on classroom instruction.

The national, state, and Georgetown County Republican Party platforms all express support for school choice.

"The GOP believes, and studies have proven, that empowering parents through school choice programs helps improve the academic performance of all students. And from a taxpayer point of view, school choice has the added benefit of actually saving the state money," Georgetown County Republican Party chairman Tom Swatzel said.

GOP candidates for Georgetown City Council and Mayor start filing March 9th

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 23, 2009
Contact: Tom Swatzel (843) 222-7456

GEORGETOWN--The Georgetown County Republican Party announced today that candidates for Georgetown City Council and Mayor can file with the GOP starting on March 9th.

Three city council seats, currently held by Democrats Brendon Barber and Jack Scoville, and Republican Paige Sawyer, are up for election.

The position of Mayor, currently held by Democrat Lynn Wood Wilson is also up for election.

All offices have four year terms.

"Clearly a lot of voters are frustrated with the Democrat Party-controlled city council and Mayor. They've taken extreme anti-business positions, such as in the Jeanette Ard case, where they allowed city bureaucrats to harass a business owner with the threat of almost a million dollars in ridiculous fines for simply complying with a city issued building permit," Georgetown County Republican Party chairman Tom Swatzel said.

"I expect the outrageous behavior of these incumbent Democrats will attract significant election opposition," he said.

The filing period will end at noon on March 27th.

City residents wanting to run for office as a Republican should call the county GOP at 527-3209 for filing forms and information.

Party primary elections, if needed, would be held on June 9th. The general election is November 3rd.

GOP blasts Miller's support for eliminating secret ballot in union organizing elections

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 16, 2009
Contact: Tom Swatzel (843) 222-7456

GEORGETOWN--The Georgetown County Republican Party today blasted Democrat Rep. Vida Miller for supporting a move by Big Labor bosses to strip employees of a secret ballot vote now guaranteed by federal law in union organizing elections.

Miller voted against a state House Resolution that expressed lawmakers' opposition to a proposed change in federal law that would eliminate the right of workers to have a secret ballot. The resolution opposing so-called "card check" legislation- under which a worker's vote on whether to unionize a workplace would be made public- passed the House Thursday 72 to 33, with only Democrats including Miller refusing to go on record opposing the union-backed scheme. Click here for House journal excerpt

"Since they gave thousands of dollars to her campaigns, Rep. Miller sided with union bosses who want to trample the privacy rights of workers and subject them to coercion and intimidation by union organizers. Polls show that even rank and file union households overwhelmingly oppose robbing workers of their secret ballot vote, but they can expect no help from Rep. Miller," Georgetown County Republican Party chairman Tom Swatzel said.

The resolution stated in part that legislators "find that so-called 'card check' legislation... is detrimental to the rights of South Carolina workers, is an offense against democratic principles, and urge all members of the South Carolina Congressional Delegation to support worker freedom by opposing the (legislation)."

First introduced in Congress in 2007, the misnamed "Employee Free Choice Act" would replace the current process of secret ballot union representation elections with a system called "card check", where workers sign cards authorizing union representation that would be made public to co-workers, union organizers, and their employer.

Unions have made the legislation a priority this year, while the National Right to Work Committee and business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Businesses have opposed it.

According to a McLaughlin & Associates national poll conducted in January, three out of four voters oppose the EFCA. Even among union households, 74 percent oppose the legislation with only 20 percent in support. The poll indicates strong bipartisan opposition to EFCA, with Republican and Democratic voters in opposition 77 and 73 percent respectively. Click here for poll details

"Rep. Miller stands not with most voters, most union households, or even most Democrats on the issue of protecting the privacy of a worker's ballot, but instead with union bosses she's beholden to and liberal Democrats like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi who champion this anti-employee legislation," Swatzel said.

According to Miller's campaign finance reports, she has accepted contributions from the AFL-CIO, and Steel Workers, Longshoremen, and Auto Workers union officials.

The House resolution has been referred to the state Senate committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry for consideration.

Georgetown GOP to hold precinct meetings in March; county convention in April

Contact: Tom Swatzel 843-222-7456

GEORGETOWN--The Georgetown County Republican Party announced today that its precinct reorganization meetings will occur on March 9th and its convention will be held on April 4th. S.C. Republican Party rules require all county parties to reorganize every two years.

"From a grassroots level this is the way to determine the future direction of the Republican Party," Georgetown County Republican Party chairman Tom Swatzel said.

"Most voters support our platform of lower taxes, limited government, a strong national defense, and the sanctity of life and traditional marriage, among others. I believe we need to reaffirm to the voters what we as a party stand for and make it clear that there are fundamental differences with the liberal tax and spend ways of the Democrats," he said.

On Monday, March 9th at 7 p.m. precinct reorganization meetings will be held throughout the county to determine precinct officers, delegates to the county convention, and members of the county executive committee. Only registered voters are allowed to participate in these meetings.

The precinct reorganization meetings will be held at the following locations:

Murrells Inlet Community Center- 4450 Murrells Inlet Road, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576

For voters in these precincts: Murrells Inlet #1 (Heavens Gate Church), Murrells Inlet #2 (Gordon AME Church), Murrells Inlet #3 (Brown's Chapel Church), and Murrells Inlet #4 (Murrells Inlet Community Center)

Waccamaw Neck Branch Library- 24 Commerce Drive, Pawleys Island, SC 29585

For voters in these precincts: Pawleys Island #1 (St. Paul's United Methodist Church), Pawleys Island #2 (Waccamaw Neck Branch Library), Pawleys Island #3 (Pawleys Island Community Church), Pawleys Island #4 (St. Mary's AME Church), and Pawleys Island #5 (Waccamaw High School)

Maryville Social Hall- 2009 South Frasier Street (Hwy 17), Georgetown, SC 29440

For voters in these precincts: Georgetown #1 (Georgetown Library), Georgetown #3 (Beck Center), Georgetown #4 (Georgetown Presbyterian Church), Georgetown #5 (Maryville Elementary School), Dreamkeepers (Dreamkeepers Center), Kensington (Church of Christ), Penny Royal-Winyah Bay (National Guard Armory), Spring Gully (McDonald Elementary School), and Black River (Georgetown Community Church)

Lambert Town Fire Station- 290 Windum Drive, Georgetown, SC 29440

For voters in these precincts: Lambert Town (County Fire Station #7), Santee (Santee Community Center), Sampit (Sampit Elementary School)

The Gathering Place Restaurant- 11361 Pleasant Hill Drive, Hemingway, SC 29554

For voters in these precincts: Pleasant Hill (Pleasant Hill Elementary School), Choppee (Choppee Regional Center), Brown's Ferry (Brown's Ferry School), Plantersville (Plantersville Community Center), Myersville (St. Paul AME Church), Carver's Bay (Carver's Bay High School), Folly Grove (Folly Grove Community Center), and Pee Dee (Pee Dee Community Center)

Andrews Library Community Room- 105 N. Morgan Avenue, Andrews, SC 29510

For voters in these precincts: Andrews and Andrews Outside (National Guard Amory), Bethel (County Fire Station #5), and Potato Bed Ferry (Community Center)

The meeting locations are also posted on the county GOP's website www.georgetowngop.org.

On Saturday, April 4th at 9:30 a.m. the county convention will be held at the Georgetown High School Auditorium to elect officers, delegates to the state and district conventions, the state committeeman, and to consider resolutions. The state GOP convention will be on Saturday, May 16th in Columbia at the Metropolitan Convention Center.

A new state party chairman will be elected at the state convention after Katon Dawson's announcement on Saturday that he would not seek another term as chairman.

Call the Georgetown County Republican Party at 843-527-3209 for more information.