"Kevin Ryan has an understanding of state government that is almost startling"

"Kevin Ryan has an understanding of state government that is almost startling. A self-described 'policy nerd,' Ryan would fit in well with the reform-minded conservative legislators he admires."
Myrtle Beach Sun News editorial

GOP activists fight back against Mosteller

By Yvonne Wenger

Charleston Post & Courier- Friday, October 29, 2010

COLUMBIA — More than a dozen Republican activists have pushed back against social conservative Cyndi Mosteller and her group of Nikki Haley critics.

Jill Kelso, executive committeewoman for Georgetown County Republicans, has gathered GOP leaders from Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties, as well as from around the state, to call Mosteller and her group’s conservative credentials into question.

Mosteller organized Republicans discontented with Haley, GOP nominee for governor and a state representative from Lexington. The group named itself Conservatives for Truth in Politics and secured tax exempt status as a nonprofit advocacy organization.

Haley faces Democrat Vincent Sheheen, a state senator from Camden, on Tuesday.

Kelso said Mosteller’s group sounds more like Democrats than Republicans. She also said the group’s tax status with the Internal Revenue Service should be questioned, because she believes they’ve gone too far in election-time politicking.

The IRS allows organizations that exists for social welfare advocacy and civil work, and not for profit, to earn coveted tax exempt status. These groups can lose their tax designation for excessive lobbying and political campaigning.

“They are right at home using their group to promote Vincent Sheheen and the Democratic Party,” Kelso said in a statement.

Standing with Kelso are local Republican Party officials including Lin Bennett, Charleston County chairman; Jerry Black, Dorchester County vice chairman; Jordan Bryngelson, Dorchester executive committeeman; Tim Callanan, Berkeley County chairman; Carroll Duncan, Dorchester County chairman; and Lanneau Siegling, Charleston County executive committeeman.

Also joining Kelso locally are Mark Lutz, former 1st District GOP congressional candidate; and Pat McKinney, Charleston businessman and Republican activist.

Mosteller said she and her group’s other founder, Clemson University professor and Republican strategist Dave Woodard, are to the “right” of the “right” when it comes to their political ideology. She said the group does not exist to promote Sheheen’s candidacy, but rather to force Haley to answer questions about her past.

Unanswered questions put the party’s credibility at stake, Mosteller said.

“I think that truth should be a bipartisan issue, but I have always considered it definitely a Republican issue,” Mosteller said.

Mosteller declined to provide information about her group’s donors or how much money they’ve raised. Their tax exempt status shields them from complete public disclosure.

Mosteller said she would protect the group’s donors’ identities so as to ensure they don’t face retributions for crossing the Republican Party or Haley, should she become governor.

Conservatives for Truth in Politics has produced and aired radio and television advertisements and plans to air more between now and Election Day, calling on Haley to provide more information about herself.

Kelso said “something’s fishy” with Mosteller’s group.

“Almost all of their efforts have been in the form of attacks on Nikki Haley,” she said. “Their primary purpose seems election-related to me.”

Read more in Saturday’s editions of The Post and Courier.


Radio ad focuses on Vida Miller's liberal record

The Georgetown County Republican Party is running a radio ad that highlights Democrat Vida Miller’s extremely liberal record.

The ad focuses on her refusal to support the S.C. Marriage Protection Amendment, support for increasing the gas tax, votes for wasteful pork barrel spending, the fact that she sponsored a bill that would give state-issued, taxpayer funded debit cards to politicians to pay for their campaign expenses, and the big-name liberals who have contributed to her campaigns.

Here’s the script:

Female 1: Hey Sue, you get those postcards about Democrat Vida Miller's voting record?

Female 2: Yeah.

Female 1: Well, it's all true. I checked. Vida Miller did not support the Marriage Protection Amendment in South Carolina, even after 77 percent of voters voted for it.

Female 2: Is it true she wants to raise the gas tax too? That'll drive up the cost of gas and groceries, and anything else we get by truck.

Female1: True. Been pushing that for years. And get this, she sponsored a bill to give politicians a tax-funded debit card to pay for their campaigns.

Female 2: You mean taxpayers ... we would be forced to pay for politicians' campaigns, even ones we oppose?

Female 1: Right, plus she had the worst record in Columbia on pork-barrel spending, just like Obama.

Female 2: No wonder all the big-name liberals gave her campaign money: Jim Clyburn, Joe Biden, John Kerry, Howard Dean, John Edwards.

Female 1: Plus that multi-millionaire woman who bankrolled the campaign against protecting marriage.

Female 2: Well, I won't be voting for Vida Miller.

Female 1: Amen.

This message was paid for by Georgetown County Republicans, Georgetown GOP-dot-org

Click here to listen to radio ad

GOP calls on Vida Miller to return illegal campaign contributions from medical transportation firm

Miller forced to return illegal contributions from HMO in August


GEORGETOWN--The Georgetown County Republican Party on Wednesday called on Democratic state Rep. Vida Miller to return campaign contributions from a Georgetown based medical transportation firm that violate limits set by state law.

This after Miller had to return campaign contributions in August from a Charleston based HMO that also exceeded lawful limits.

"Rep. Miller appears to be a serial violator of state campaign finance laws in accepting multiple illegal campaign contributions from special interests. Rep. Miller cannot be above the law. We call on her to obey the law and return the money as soon as possible," Georgetown County Republican Party Chairman Tom Swatzel said.

According to campaign finance reports filed by Miller with the state Ethics Commission for the current election cycle, she accepted a total of $2,000 in financial contributions, $1,000 in April 2009 and $1,000 in September 2010, from TransMed, LLC, a Georgetown based company that does medical transports.

The contribution limit for individuals and businesses is $1,000 for an election cycle.

"Should Rep. Miller refuse to promptly return the money, the Georgetown GOP is prepared to file a complaint with the House Ethics Committee," Swatzel said.

In August Miller was forced to return a $500 contribution that violated state limits from Select Health of SC, a Charleston based HMO owned by AmeriHealth Mercy, a national managed healthcare company.

Miller is running against Republican Kevin Ryan on November 2nd for the House District-108 seat.

Click here for August Georgetown Times article

Swatzel's challenge to Vida Miller supporters

Published in the October 13, 2010 edition of the Georgetown Times

Supporters of liberal Democrat Rep. Vida Miller have characterized recent mailers by the Georgetown County Republican Party as “untrue” and containing “innuendo.”

We meticulously researched Rep. Miller’s record on various public policy issues and believe voters are entitled to know the truth about her actual voting record in Columbia.

Our postcards simply factually recite Rep. Miller’s documented record.

Here’s a synopsis of the issues raised in our postcards:

• Rep. Miller in 2005 refused to vote in favor of putting the S.C. Marriage Protection Amendment on the ballot, and in 2007 refused to vote to ratify the amendment even after 77 percent of her constituents voted in favor of it. The official House Journal recorded Miller as “present” but not voting in each case.

• Rep. Miller accepted thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from big-name liberals John Edwards, Joe Biden, Howard Dean, John Kerry, Jim Clyburn, and Dick Gephardt, as documented by official campaign finance reports.

• Rep. Miller from 2004 to 2008 voted to sustain the governor’s vetoes of excess government spending only 17 out of 473 times, consistently earning an "F" on the S.C. Club for Growth's yearly report cards for failing to stand up for taxpayers. She also voted for earmarks such as $10 million for a golf tournament in Hilton Head, $1.25 million for a center to try and teach politicians how to be ethical, and $1 million for a green bean museum. Documented by official House Journals and the Club for Growth.

• The Sun News reported that Rep. Miller “supports a gas tax increase, even though many people cringe at the thought.” The Georgetown Times reported that Rep. Miller said "the gasoline tax hasn't been raised in 20 years" and "it is critical” that the tax be raised.

• Last year Rep. Miller sponsored House Bill 3520, which would give political candidates a state-issued, taxpayer-funded debit card to pay for all of their campaign costs and expenses. Documented by official House Journals. Rep. Miller’s bill would allow even multimillionaires such as openly lesbian activist Linda Ketner, who bankrolled the campaign against S.C.’s Marriage Protection Amendment, to use our tax dollars for her future political campaigns.

Rep. Miller and her supporters are understandably upset by our exposing her extremely liberal record, one out of touch with the values of most county citizens.

So we issue this challenge to Rep. Miller and her supporters: if they can provide documented evidence that anything in our postcards is untrue, we'll immediately and publicly acknowledge any error.

Tom Swatzel- Chairman
Georgetown County Republican Party