Conservatives of the Upstate:
1. Our original name was Conservatives of Pickens County and was changed to allow members from other counties.
2. We have had 4 presidents: Jim McDonald, Junius Smith, David Merck, and Johnnelle Raines. Junius Smith now serves as Acting President
3. We meet at the Blue Ridge Bible Church @769 Belle Shoals Road every second Thursday of the month.
4. We have had numerous successful projects:
A. We challenged the legality of the huge school construction, better known as the Greenville Plan. This required two trips to Columbia where we had a long session with the Governor and another with a large law firm in Columbia. Taking part in these trips were FM Caddell, Melvin Watson, Junius Smith, Carol Smith, and Jim McDonald. The Governor agreed with us but Senator Larry Martin refused to get us an audience with the Attorney General as recommended by the Governor. Later our information was used to get 7 school districts a free pass from paying for their new schools. Now we are paying for those schools through our sales tax.Thank you for viewing www.conservativesoftheupstate.com ~ receiving over 560,000 pageviews!
B. We challenged the over collection of revenue by the County and won their consent to stop the practice.
C. We worked individually for various candidates and were successful in getting the school board reduced to 6 elected members in conjunction with the Pickens County Tax Payers. On the day the Governor was to sign we organized a telephone barrage to the Governor and he signed the bill.
D. We worked individually to get three conservatives on the school board and were successful in helping Jimmy Gillespie and Ben Trotter get elected. This was the first time in a long time that conservatives at least had a tie in votes concerning school district taxation and spending.
E. We helped candidates get on the County Council and we helped some get off. We worked individually with candidates for Congress.
F. We held work shops on Agenda 21, and identified an Organization in Greenville, Upstate Forever, that was trying to push the Comprehensive Plan on us.
G. We helped Saluda River Roots when nobody else would. and brought it to the forefront of the County Council.
H. We held debates for Congress and County Council and allowed questions from the audience without being screened by the officers.
I . We helped candidates that were illegally thrown off the ballot in Pickens County to get back on by getting signatures at the Pickens County Flee Market. Rex Rice told me that it was the best event in their behalf.
J. We have filled the County Council chambers for special meetings numerous times.
K. We have helped the folks in Pickens and Oconee Counties to protect their property. Johnnelle Raines and I passed out flyers and interviewed folks about the bike trail between Pickens and Easley. Kathy Nix, Mrs. Wise, and Johnnelle Raines went door to door to survey the property owners.
L. Kathy Murphy Nix and David Merck organized the Tea Party meetings downtown Pickens.
M. We were the first among the Conservatives in the upstate region of South Carolina to have a website on the internet.