We got this email in our inbox at Conservatives Of the Upstate from the SC Campaign For Liberty:
Dear Friend of South Carolina,
Wow. Things sure happen fast when you turn up the heat! I’m writing to make you aware of Senator Larry Martin’s opposition to H3047 and of what happened to H3047 in the Senate chamber Tuesday morning. This is the bill that will require recorded votes on every new law that is passed.
First, let me say to keep up the calls and emails to Senator Glenn McConnell today and ask him to do all in his power to see that H3047 gets an up or down vote on the Senate floor ASAP with no amendments.
Next, call your state senator and tell him the same thing! We want an up or down vote on the Senate floor without delay! You can find your senator and his contact information by clicking here and entering your zip code.
Make no bones about it, this will be a tough battle! But, it is one we can win, because all the senators know that they cannot credibly oppose putting their votes on the record. That is exactly what H3047 will do.
I’ve heard the senators use all kinds of convoluted ways of explaining their opposition, while trying to look like they support transparency. We simply must not let them fool us! If they oppose this bill, the real reason is because they want to protect their backroom dealing.
The most ridiculous excuse I’ve heard so far is that it is unconstitutional! And they simply must follow the Constitution!
Of all the preposterous reasons, this one takes the cake! Just how gullible do they think we are?
Well, Senator Larry Martin, of Pickens County, must think we are all fools!
To a couple of writers, Senator L. Martin responded that this bill might violate the South Carolina Constitution. His exact words, and I quote, “I'm determined to follow the Constitution and not vote for a House bill that does otherwise.”
Shoot... if the South Carolina Constitution is standing in the way of transparency, then Larry Martin should be clamoring to change the Constitution instead of hiding behind its supposed flaw!
This law must be passed right away. Then, if it is challenged as unconstitutional, and if a judge rules against it, we can start the work of changing the Constitution.
But who is going to challenge it? A Senator? A member of the House? That would be his political death knell! Can you picture the newspaper headlines? “Senator Larry Martin sues to keep his votes secret." Who could win the next election with that in the hand of his challenger?
No. Once passed, it won’t be challenged in court. That is why they are working so hard to keep it from an up or down vote on the floor of the Senate.
To another writer, Senator Larry Martin replied, “I am pleased to share with you our Senate rule regarding Roll Call voting, which I believe makes our process in the Senate very transparent.”
Really, Senator Martin? The facts are clear! According to the South Carolina Policy Council, they have voted with anonymous voice votes 87% of the time this year. Is that good enough for you?
I think South Carolina deserves better than that! It is your right to know how your senator votes!
Next, let me tell you what happened in the Senate Tuesday morning as they received H3047 from the House.
Lt. Governor Andre Bauer was presiding, so he got to decide which committee the bill went to!
As a candidate for governor, this was his opportunity to show he supports transparency! I saw a ray of hope when the clerk read H3047, fresh from its unanimous passage in the House. Surely Lt. Gov. Bauer would refer it to a friendly committee!
That ray of hope was extinguished when I heard Andre, as he handed over the bill, say, “Judiciary.” Dang it! That is Senator Glenn McConnell’s committee. McConnell is the one who buried an identical bill in an unfriendly subcommittee early last year.
Bauer had a chance to hit a home run for transparency, but instead, he struck out!
I tell you these things not to dash your hopes of getting this passed, but to strengthen your resolve!
It will pass, because most of the Senate is smart enough to know that a vote against this bill is a vote for their own retirement.
No politician can credibly go on the record against this bill and win his next election. That is why it passed unanimously in the House once it made it to the House floor.
That is why it will pass when it hits the floor of the Senate.
Keep up the calls to your senator and to President Pro Tempore, Glenn McConnell, and let them know that you expect nothing less than their full support for this bill.
These senators think they can operate in the dark and kill this bill without being noticed. We must let them know that we are watching!
So call and email Senator Glenn McConnell today and ask him to do all in his power to see that H3047 gets an up or down vote on the Senate floor ASAP with no amendments.
Next, call your senator and tell him the same thing! We want an up or down vote on the Senate floor without delay!
You can find your senator and his contact information by clicking here and entering your zip code.
We need this bill on the governor’s desk right away!
Can we afford any more secret votes in the State House?
One more request... the lobbyists and corporate fat cats that oppose our work are well funded. In order to fight back, we need your donations! If you can, donate now to help bring accountability to South Carolina’s legislators by clicking here.
See the latest updates and action needed at www.opensouthcarolina.org.
See a very polite letter to South Carolina Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn McConnell letting him know in no uncertain terms that he will be held responsible for the passage of this bill by clicking here.
Talbert J. Black, Jr.
Interim State Coordinator
South Carolina Campaign for Liberty
How much longer can we afford secret votes by our state legislature?
Your help is needed now to stop this insanity. H3047 will require a recorded roll call vote on every new law that gets passed. We’ve passed the House and now must get it through the Senate.
Contact Senator McConnell today and tell him you want him to do everything in his power to get this bill passed with no amendments!
Call your Senator today and tell him to support H3047 without amendments. Tell your senator that a vote against H3047 is a vote for his retirement.