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*You can scroll beyond the COTU Twtter feed to read more in depth articles and see a decade + of COTU archived posts in the right side column

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A Hornet's Nest At The UN ...

First:  I unequivocally Stand with Israel.  Not the 1967 borders - but the current State of Israel and its claims to Jerusalem as well as the holy sites.

Second:  I am not a fan of globalist institutions such as the United Nations. (As a side note - the UN actually established the pathway for a Jewish State with Resolution 181 taking effect in May 1948).  

I wish Governor Nikki Haley (future UN Ambassador under President-elect Trump) well in her new future role.  I fear, however, that the Obama Administration has created a hornets nest for her and Trump with regard to the US' (historical) support for Israel.  I hope the US Congress will use the powers of the purse to effect change with regard to the UN.

Keep in mind that the US has a veto vote at the UN Security Council.  That vote should be used for maximum leverage, IMHO.

With regards to other globalist institutions, part of my (actually one of my biggest) objections to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was over the creation of a "TPP Commission" - a council of all of the TPP member countries with extraordinary power to amend the TPP trade pact and where each country has an equal vote - not a weighted vote.  The USA would be outnumbered by the other signatory countrys on issues like say immigration or allowance of other nations, who weren't a part of the original negotiations, to enter into TPP as "Member Nations".

President-elect Trump has the right idea:  let's put America and American interests first in our foreign policy and trade - while continuing to stand with the only democracy in the Middle East - Israel.

Jeff Duncan 
3rd U.S. Congressional District SC

Friday, December 23, 2016

The cycle wants to repeat ...

I want to quote Senator Rex Rice when he sent me his campaign promises,

"Pickens County deserves a leader who listens.  I will be a Senator who will sit on the front porch and listen to you.  Your Senator should be going to Columbia to represent your thoughts and beliefs, and that is exactly what I will do."  

We settled the 7th member on the School Board years ago.  It was necessary because the highly populated areas like Easley were running roughshod over the rest of us because they had multiple seats on the board.  

We (over 100 of us)  called the Governor (Sanford) and he refused to sign.  We also showed up in mass at the delegation meeting that January.  

We should not have to fight the Progressives like Collins every year over the same thing.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Rep. Neal Collins tries a 3rd time for 7th seat on Pickens School Board...

Collins words:

"Today, I'm highlighting H3346, co-sponsored by Reps. Clary and Hiott. It's the 7th seat bill. Despite the recent elections resulting in half the board being new, even board numbers is still not a good model. 

Similar to the bill that passed the House two years ago, this local legislation would expand the Pickens County School Board to an uneven 7 members. The state delegation would recommend a gubernatorial appointment to serve from appointment until the 2022 election. At that point, there would be 7 equal districts drawn into the 2021 redistricting. It also eliminates plurality voting starting with the 2018 elections."

Why not legislation for 5 seats if a tie is a problem, giving the district more $$$ savings.

All bills filed must state how it will be paid for. This is the angle we can use to continue to fight it. Former Senator Larry Martin and Rodney Allen at the Pickens County Election commission .. says the costs would be upward of $46,000 for redistricting/ $6000 annual costs.  I'd rather have something tangible.

When this came up before, COTU organized a call in to then Governor Sanford and we prevailed. If this gets through, it will mean that the Clemson and Easley area will control the Board forever because of population.  We will know what  good it did to elect Rex Rice. His leadership should nullify this in the Senate.  We should contact every conservative Senator and express our objection.  This is a change made by LOCAL election and each Senator will vote for this if they don't know what is about to happen.

Final electoral voting ...

Trump lost 2, Clinton lost 5 ... 

Trump nets 3 more electoral votes than from election night.

Round and round it goes ...


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Property taxes paid ...

I just got through paying my property taxes and spoke with County Auditor of Pickens County. I asked him what percent of my taxes I just paid went to the School District of Pickens County. His reply was 70 %.I think I pay enough taxes to the schools.. It is a proven fact that throwing more money at education has not increased academic performance. Concerned Citizens of Pickens County and the majority of the school board has this ideology, the benefits for the common good greatly outweighs the negative implications of a tax increase......That's Marxism people! I think that same ideology could be said about people who owned slaves! And that's what we are becoming...slaves to paying more taxes every year...local, state, and federal!

The budget problems of the schools is  with management of our taxes! The SDPC needs to find areas of waste. Maybe they need a time management study to find out which "administrative" jobs are not needed so more money can actually make it into the classroom! But no... I bet you they are going to be spending more money on a nice cozy Administration building for the pencil pushers...

One can always come up with "wants" to spend taxpayer money. It is always EASIER to tax the taxpayer more than to seriously look at the budget and find ways to be more efficient and frugal with other people's money.

I recently read an article by Walter Williams,a famous syndicated columnist in which he stated..."Whether a student is black, white, orange or polka-dot and whether he's poor or rich, there are some minimum requirements that must be met in order for him to do well in school. Someone must make the student do his homework. Someone must see to it that he gets eight to nine hours of sleep and ensure he gets to school on time and respects and obeys teachers."

Here's my question...Which one of those basic requirements can be accomplished by raising our property taxes? To quote Walter Williams, "If those basic requirements aren't met, whatever else that is done in the name of education is for naught."

• Johnnelle Raines
   Pickens, SC 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Trump pick questioned because of Russian ties?

In a sense, this should be considered a fake news story ...

ALL energy companies have to negotiate with Russia - they produce a lot of energy.

Consider this ... 

Duke Energy negotiated used nuclear missile cores with Russia. True statement.

The US Solar industry has to negotiate materials.

I question the pick because of the greed of the industry but not because of a perceived enemy - but China and Saudi Arabia are far far more dangerous and I'm positive Tiilerson has experience with them as well.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Maybe Trump is the one that should ask for the recounts?


Just sharing so you know this isn't a fake news story.

Costs at any cost?

Posted by US District 3 Congressman Jeff Duncan of South Carolina (representing Pickens County in Washington):

After reviewing a report that my office received, we found that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has moved $166,590,000 away from health programs in order to fund the flooding of illegal migrant children that have been coming across our unsecured southern border. The $166 million is in addition to the $1.3 billion that Congress had already appropriated for the migrant child issue.

The Obama Administration have transferred $14 million away from the CDC which includes funding for key programs like HIV/AIDS, Environmental Health, and birth defect studies.

HHS also moved $71 million away from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) which depletes money from programs like the National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Mental Health, Diabetes, and Neurological disorders, just to name a few.

I wanted to post this information for a few reasons:

1) Every year I have dozens of people travel up to Washington to meet with me to encourage Congress to allocate more money for medical research. You have the right to know that millions of that money has been diverted to non-citizens.

2) Over 50,000 unaccompanied children have crossed the southern border over the past year. Parents from Central and South America are sending their children here because they know how lax America's view of immigration enforcement is. This mentality needs to change immediately, both for the safety of these children and to preserve the sovereign integrity of the United States. We cannot incentivize people to come into this country illegally.

3) Our immigration enforcement and border security has a long way to go to get to where we need to be. I have long referred to our southern border as the soft underbelly of America. However, with President Elect Trump's selection of Gen. Kelly as DHS Secretary and Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, I am hopeful that we will finally start to move in a better direction.

How much did refugee resettlement cost SC in fiscal year 2016?

 * thank you Johnelle Raines for this info

Did the AHA really insure 20 million as claimed by the Obama Administration?

Thank goodness a repeal is in sight. 

A good read on the pitfalls of the promises made about Affordable Healthcare Act ...

Thursday, December 8, 2016

The majority ...

I still can't believe that this is being debated...

No one "won" the popular vote.

Majority=50% + 1

Hillary Clinton (48%) did not get that.
Donald Trump (47%) did not get that.
Gary Johnson (3%) did not get that.
Jill Stein (2%) will not get that.

The only person who won a majority of anything was Donald Trump and that was a majority of states, and a majority of electors.

Love Trump or hate him... At least he was able to get a majority of something. This isn't a post in support of either or any candidate. But don't claim you support democracy if you think that Hillary Clinton should get to be president because she got the "most votes."

Written by Graham Duncan 

Stick people ...


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Property Tax / Auctions / Conflict Of Interest ...

Pickens County Government and Property Taxes” 

Pickens County Property Taxes and Sales

1. Are people losing their properties due to property tax increase in Pickens County?

2. Are Pickens County Officials/Employees bidding/buying these properties at the Delinquent Tax Auction?


Pickens County is not responsible for loss of property due to tax increases, nor do county officials or employees buy delinquent properties at auction.


While other taxing jurisdictions, such as the school board and municipalities, have increased taxes, no property taxes have increased in Pickens County in over a decade. During that period, Pickens County has only increased fire fees in the Pickens and Pumpkintown Rural Fire Districts (the 2015 and 2016 total tax and fire fee amounts are attached to this document for further reference). 

Pickens County has over 68,000 taxed parcels throughout the entire county. Of those parcels, there was a combined total of 356 delinquent parcels in 2014. In the 2015 tax sale that followed, only 65 parcels were ultimately deeded away from the defaulting taxpayers. Mathematically, this is less than one tenth of one percent of the total number of parcels in Pickens County. Only three of these parcels were residential properties. Of the three residential properties, one residence burned down in 2014, the second was abandoned, and the last residence was not paid for by the estate after the owner passed away. Essentially, no one in Pickens County lost their home due to taxes.

Each year, a tax sale is held to auction off delinquent parcels to the highest bidder. While there is no law stating county employees are prohibited from bidding or buying delinquent properties, it is Pickens County Government’s policy that no employee shall be included in the bidding and sale of delinquent properties. In the interest of transparency, Pickens County Delinquent Tax Office records bidder/buyer information of each parcel sold at auction. Copies of bidder information are available to the public under the Freedom of Information Act. 

Summary of December 2016 Pickens County Council Meeting ...

Our contention is that the County Council is over collecting money and by 12-43-285 they are not entitled to keep the money and it should be credited to the taxpayers or paid back to them the year following.

Last night, I read them an email from Senator Martin that told me that this over collection should be fixed. I have appeared before the school board, the county council, and even the Pickens County Delegation every year to make my complaint. I have discussed this problem with every political subdivision -namely the Pickens County Sheriff, SLED, the Solicitor, the Governor of this State (Sanford), and the Attorney General. They all passed the buck back to me by advising me to sue with my money.

I contend that the Pickens County School Board and the County Council are violating the State Constitution laws 11-3 and 10-5. 

11-3 makes the State responsible for funding all of education, kindergarten through grade 12.

Article 10-5 requires the taxing authority to tell the people exactly what the money is to be spent on. 

Outgoing Easley Concilwoman, Jennifer Willis claimed that if they didn't spend the money like they told the people, that money was earned by the County Council and they could spend it on anything they pleased. They do this by putting it in the General Account slush fund; maybe a CAFR fund. 

The funds requested by Tri County Tech are supposed to be furnished by the State under Article 11 section 3 and the 8% allowance rule for borrowing against all of the appraised value of county property. The school board has already borrowed all that money.

Now that we have all that out of the way, it is very simple. If a mill is supposed to bring in $460,000 as determined by the Auditor for this years budget and it actually brings in $475,000 you have over collected $15,000 per mill. Say the budget is for 68 mills: then 68 mills x $15,000 = $1,020,000. Then if you say that you only have 98% collectability on a budget of $32,300,000 and you actually collect at least 100% then $32,300,000 x(100%-98%) = $646,000. So just these two items have yielded $1,666,000 and there are at least three more ways to add to this total - especially during reassessment. These figures are very close to ones that exist for certain County Council budget years and over the years have netted the County Council near $45 million dollars and the School Board $100 million dollars.

As you can see, this type of "penciling in" has been pushed upon the folks of Pickens County over the years. I have given my best to keep you informed. There is absolutely no regard for the Constitution at the County Level. The State should have been sued for failure to fund our schools and there are a half dozen ways that the State has underfunded our county. If we don't wake up, some well meaning council members are going to spend us into poverty.

Junius Smith
President. COTU

Deal ...


Monday, December 5, 2016

December 2016 COTU Meeting ...

Conservatives Of The Upstate will hold its December 2016 meeting at 6:30PM Thursday December 8.

Blue Ridge Bible Church
769 Belle Shoals Rd
Pickens SC 29671


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Saturday, November 26, 2016

The morning review ...

This morning I sat down and reviewed a number of the items that I have sought to get the County Council and Pickens County School Board to change directions on. 

They range from willful disregard for the SC Constitution on the matters of school finances (Article 11 Section 3) - unfunded by the State of South Carolina - and refinancing of general obligation bonds they did not own and could not own

The financing of buildings at Tri-County Tech funded by issuing general obligation bonds without even telling the people what they were for is also a violation the SC Constitution (Three readings, one reading with a public hearing required / Article 10 Section 5)

There are so many violations of the South Carolina Constitution that this space is too small to recount all the violations. It seems that Board and Council members don’t care about the law or the oath that they all took to preserve, protect, and defend both the US and the State Constitutions when they were sworn in and their hands were on the Bible.

I sat with the County Attorney and Administrator and gave them at least eight (and there are more) ways in which the County, School Board, and even the State, have over collected tax money to the tune of $145 million in case of the County and School Board and $1.6 Billion in the case of the State. I sat with the Sheriff, both the County Council and School Board, the senator of this County, the Attorney General, SLED,and the Governor of this State and explained in a very easy to understand way how all this has been perpetrated and most of them agreed that if what I said was true - it needed to be stopped. Instead of them stopping all this fraud of the people, they told me I needed to spend tens of thousands of my money suing all of them.

Where are the people of Pickens County while all this is going on: Sitting with their hand folded waiting for me to do something or complaining that they don’t understand what I am talking about. All they need to do is read the SC 
Constitution (Articles 10 and 11) and see for themselves. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Pickens County SC School Board Contact Info 2016 Updated

The next School Board meeting will be Monday November 28.... If you would like to reach out to your school board member and tell them what your thoughts are about the direction you would like to see you can Email them at: 

Betty Bagley (Clemson):

Phillip Bowers (Central):

Shannon Haskett (Pickens):

Brian Swords (Liberty):

Betty Garrison (Easley):

Henry Wilson (Dacusville):  

I would encourage you to keep these emails handy and please show up at their monthly meetings!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Yet the county elected RINOs & Progressives

Election results set a record for the Pickens County Republican Party with the largest percent Republican turnout of any county at 76.2%. Pickens County is one of only 17 counties voting greater that 50% Republican, and one of only six exceeding 60%.

In the presidential race, Trump received over 73% while Clinton received about 20%; a solid rejection of the Obama agenda.

Who is George Soros ...

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

To the best of their ability ...

Last night I attended the Pickens County School Board's swearing in ceremony. Dr. Bagley, Mrs. Garrison, and Mr. Hasket were sworn in. All of them swore to protect, defend, and preserve both the United States and the State Constitutions and Judge Cleary threw in "to the best of your Ability". Does the best of your ability mean that the Board member will read Article 11 Section 3 and the entire 10th article about taxation and finance and ask Columbia to fund our schools properly and quit hammering the people of Pickens County? I also challenge them to personally read the state ethics law before any of them vote to increase salaries for teachers or administration.

The people have spoken for these elected folks and we should give them a chance to do what is lawful and right.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Petition to electoral college ...

President-Elect Donald J. Trump is the duly elected 45th President of the United States. His historic performance during the 2016 Presidential Election resulted in Republican wins in key battleground states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, and most likely Michigan. President-Elect Trump won these key states by winning the support of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.

While people have the First Amendment right to freedom of expression, they are not entitled to their own set of facts. Donald Trump is the legitimately elected President-Elect of the United States, and to suggest otherwise or encourage the Electoral College to invalidate that result is irresponsible and Un-American. Furthermore, it is important to remind the public that 29 states and the District of Columbia have laws prohibiting members of the Electoral College from voting however they please, therefore to encourage people to do otherwise is to promote lawlessness.

Now is the time to pray for our country and come together as a united people, not riot in the streets because you may not have gotten your way. Please join me in supporting our next President, and reminding the Electoral College that they must fulfill their legal obligation to follow the process set up in the Constitution by our Founding Fathers.

Blessings & Liberty

Congressman Jeff Duncan SC-3

The two lines ...


Friday, November 11, 2016


"I'm just glad I'm seein' friends I haven't seen in a while ... You gotta watch what you say nowadays because there's a lot of people with love in their heart that'll kill ya if you don't have as much love in your heart as they do."

Dennis Miller on his reaction to the election.


Veterans Day ...


Businesses honoring Vets ...

Chicken Salad Chick – Free meal valued at $9-10

Chipotle – Buy one get one free for a small burrito, bowl or salad from 3 p.m. to close on Veterans Day. The deal applies to Veterans, military and military spouses.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store – Complimentary double chocolate fudge coca-cola cake dessert to veterans and guests who make purchases to support the United Service Organization (USO)'

IHOP – Free red, white and blue pancakes to veterans and active duty military from 7PM to 7PM

K&W Cafeterias – Free dinner including entrée, two vegetables, bread and a beverage for veterans and active military. The offer applies to dine-in or take-out from 4PM to closing.

LongHorn Steakhouse – Free appetizer or dessert (no purchase required, no restrictions) to anyone showing proof of military service. In addition, LongHorn Steakhouse will offer 10% off for guests that dine with Veterans on November 11.

Menchie's – Free 6oz frozen yogurt all day for veterans and military personnel with a valid ID or dressed in uniform.

O'Charley's – Veterans and active duty service members can get a free meal at any location on Nov. 11.

Olive Garden – Free entrée from a special menu (six feature items) to active duty military and veterans. The meal includes unlimited soup or salad and breadsticks

Red Lobster – Free appetizer or dessert from a select Veterans Day menu for veterans, active duty military and reservists

Red Robin – FREE Red’s Tavern Double burger with Bottomless Steak Fries on Veterans Day for all Veterans and active duty military. Red Robin is also donating $10,000 to the United Service Organizations (USO) to provide assistance to military service members and their families worldwide.

Wayback Burgers – Free Wayback Classic Cheeseburger at participating restaurants nationwide to all active and former military personnel in honor of Veterans Day on Friday, November 11. The deal is good with the purchase of any side and any drink.

Yardhouse  – Veterans and active duty military receive a complimentary appetizer. Offier is only valid for dine-in.

Stores & Services

Cabela's –  10% off all items, 5% off firearms offer for military, retired military, first responders, law enforcement.

Fred's – Active and retired military personnel, reservists and their immediate family members receive a 15 percent discount off their entire purchase

Great Clips – the salon is offering a free haircut card to all active, inactive and retired military members of any branch. Those can be used on Veterans Day or saved for later.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

November Meeting ...

There will be a meeting of the Conservatives of the Upstate Thursday November 10, 2016 at 6:30 pm at the Blue Ridge Bible church at 769 Belle Shoals Rd., just outside Pickens. 

We will be talking about strategies for the future operations of the organization. Please come and bring a conservative friend.

Junius Smith 
President, COTU 

You needed this ...

Here's some humor to break up your day ....

Saitta Loses School Board Bid ...

From Alex Saitta on Facebook:

I lost the school board race by 3%. It was close. We ran a positive campaign focusing on raising the graduation rate, keeping the public informed, targeting the money to the classroom, living within our means and keeping the public informed. In particular, I strongly opposed and voted against the school closing and eliminating teaching positions/ raising class sizes. 

I thank all of you who helped and supported me, and a special thanks to my wife and my two children Scarlett and Amber who waved signs, helped me knock on doors and making the videos and all. 

Generally, there was an anti-incumbent movement that we got caught up in that often doesn’t have a lot of discretion. As the economy gets better and as time has passed people want their government to spend more, tax more and borrow more. That’s not me, who believes in living within your needs. 

There also was a good amount of smearing going on by my some affiliated with and supporting my opponent. For instance, everyone in Holly Springs and AR Lewis did not want the schools to close. I voted not to close them and was strongly opposed it. That was easy to prove by my voting record and the numerous public statements I made in the paper, in the newspaper and on TV. Naturally, I should have won those precincts by large margins given everyone didn’t want the schools closed. I lost one precinct and won the other, but not by a large amount.

When we were talking to people up there, some would say, Alex voted to close the schools, or Alex really didn’t mean it when he voted to keep them open or he made a deal and just voted that way. We would ask, how do you know that is true? They’d say they just heard it. It was all made-up, and had nothing to support it and you saw this written on Facebook as well. It was a smear -- what I did and said on that issue was totally spun on its head by design.  

For example, I was greeting at the AR Lewis poll and Lori Durham (a teacher at Pickens Elementary) was greeting for my opponent too. I kid you not, she told this to scores of voters this: I’m Lori Durham and I was a teacher displaced by the closing of Holly Springs and we need to replace the school board that closed my school. We need to elect a new board member Shannon Haskett for a positive change. The same was said at other polls. 

The voters naturally thought his opponent (me), voted to close the schools when in fact I voted not to close them and argued strongly the closures. It was a scripted smear designed to mislead voters just before they walked in to vote. We heard this was going on, but it was stunning to hear someone doing this firsthand.  

Throughout the campaign I always had a choice to turn around and start making similar misleading statements about my opponent like most campaigns do. Then it turns into a food fight of false claims like we so often see in elections. I chose not to do that and focused on my record and any one helping me did the same. This put me at a disadvantage.   

I served on the school board 12 years. I enjoyed it and will land on my feet; I always have. We'll see what happens in the future. Thank you all again. I'll catch up with you in a few days. Plenty of signs to pick up and paperwork to fill out.

Trump wins U.S. Presidential Election but let's address the other elephant in the room ...

School board teacher and taxpayer champion Alex Saitta was defeated in his re-election bid for school board.

This is a huge loss to the community.

The Pickens County Election Commission failed to report proper (or accurate) election results and may present a protest vote opportunity during certification.

Congratulations to Donald Trump for a hard fought race and win.

 2 Chronicles 7:14 

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Summary of November 2016 Pickens County Council Meeting ...

Last night's County Council meeting was a real lively one. The big issue was the third reading of a $7.8 million dollar spending bond for general expenses I believe this to be questionable for capital expenses.. 

Article 10 section 5 says..... Any tax which shall be levied shall distinctly state the public purpose to which the proceeds of the tax shall be applied. I read this verbatim to the Council. They called on the Bond Attorney to clarify my position. He immediately said that there was no constitutional problem with what the Council was trying to do. Then he poured over their syllogism by saying that the money derived from the bonds could not be spent on anything but capital items which is not what the Council intended to spend the money on. This is a constitutional problem if I ever heard one. The Bond Attorney then lapsed into another "article of law" and that is the 8% limitation rule on general obligation bonds which allows the County to borrow some $35-37 million without going to the public for approval. The point that I think he missed was that the School Board has already borrowed all the authorized money for Pickens County and if the County Council wants to borrow more, they must have the people to vote on these bonds. When the Council realized that the Bond Attorney had misinformed them or at the very least had not explained the situation clearly, they tabled the third reading of this ordinance until they could "figure it all out."

I also explained to the council that the $23,000,000 reserved for the new jail did not belong to their jurisdiction because this money had been derived from over-collections using all of the 9 or 10 procedures that I had gone over with the County Attorney. My whole point in all of this is to show the County Council that we need to operate on the Constitutional authority when using the people's money. Millions of dollars have become as nothing to politicians and they rely on lawyers to tell them they are ok in their actions. Bond attorneys can make mistakes in procedure and council members need to read the law for themselves as well and not let folks who have ulterior motives make their decisions.

There has been at least &145 million dollars over collected in Pickens County for County, School operations and buildings, and maintenance. This is the people's money and should be returned to them or at the very least let them vote on the use of it. (Article 10 and 11, SC Law 12-43-285,SC Act 388)

I warned the county council about the contamination of the "Doodle Trail " and the potential for cancer victims in the future to sue for damages.

The next thing I noticed on the agenda was item 14 which was the resolution to let the State know we did not want any approval of refugees without our consent. It passed unanimously.

I want to thank all those Conservatives of the Upstate that took their valuable time to come to the meeting. They were Carol Smith, AP Laws, Steve Haynie, and Junius Smith. There might have been others and if so, I apologize.

Junius Smith
President of The Conservatives of the Upstate

Vote ...


Monday, November 7, 2016

November 2016 Pickens County Council Meeting...

The Pickens County Council will meet tonight at 6:30PM. Why don't you come and help fight the $7.8 million in general obligation bonds that are up for approval to be spent on current expenses. The money should come from the over-collected fund of more than $23,000,000 rather than make the people responsible for paying all this money back. This transaction violates Article 10 section 5 of the Constitution.

Junius Smith
President, COTU 

One vote ...


What is a crowd except a group of individuals?

One vote, your vote, matters and is important.

Congressman Jeff Duncan vows to pursue Clinton on charges ...

FBI Director Comey just sent a letter to Congress informing us that their initial review of the new Hillary Clinton e-mails taken from Anthony Weiner's computer has not caused them to change their prosecution recommendation. However, I want to make it unmistakably clear to everyone that this situation is far from resolved. In fact, from my perspective this is only the beginning. Every day, Congress and the American people learn more alarming details regarding Secretary Clinton's mishandling of classified information and unethical behavior connected with the Clinton Foundation. For months, I have been calling for a special prosecutor to be appointed to oversee this investigation. The appointment of such a prosecutor is needed now more than ever to assure the American people that this investigation is being handled fairly and impartially. The FBI's refusal to recuse agents with major conflicts of interest, highly questionable immunity deals for Clinton staff members, and the DOJ's refusal to allow the FBI to open an investigation on the Clinton Foundation all raise legitimate red flags for the American people.

Jeff Duncan
SC 3rd District Representative, U.S. House

If a democrat says it, it's ok ...

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Currently appearing in your 6th grader's classroom ...

This is 6th grade social studies book being used in SC ...

 It is revisionist /indoctrination history...they want students to think we are in a democracy and it is NOT accidental. 


Our government is  a Constitutional Republic not a Democracy!


Saturday, November 5, 2016

Clinton Supporters Agree With Her If They Think She Said It ...

Double standard?

It truly is sick that people will vote for Hillary Clinton because Trump said something off camera negative about women, but when Hillary purposely invites rappers with horrific expletive laden lyrics about abusing women (and calling them "hos") - her base loves her? Double standard?


See full video here:

(WARNING: Explicit Lyrics)

Friday, November 4, 2016

You could put this into local context too ...

I want to tell those of you still on the fence: The reason Hillary Clinton set up that private server was to make sure that any Freedom of Information Act request of the State Department would not reveal what she's doing, because the real news is that she and her husband were selling U.S. foreign policy.  Foreign entities, foreign governments, foreign wealthy individuals were paying big money for that.  That's what she was hiding; that's what's being investigated.

~ Rush Limbaugh 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Talk growing on social media for Bowers resignation...

Phillip Bowers, Pickens County school board member and County GOP leader has faced a lot of criticism over the past year as he's made a 180° turn on issues and voted with the liberal members of the school board on most issues.

Now Bowers is attacking the most inarguably conservative school board member, Alex Saitta right before Saitta's election. 

Saitta, a republican who has attended many monthly GOP meetings, and has supported conservative republicans all over the county for more than a decade, has been getting blasted by Bowers all over social media. Meanwhile, Bowers, who has dual hat as the director of The Pickens County GOP, promotes the most liberal candidates running for office in Pickens County - like Gary Clary. (Reminder: Clary supported a 7th seat on the school board, a move that the Pickens County Election Commission verified would cost upwards of $35,000 and that Senator Larry Martin stated would be illegal.)

From Facebook:

When asked who the "new" conservatives are on the school board who closed two rural schools against the WILL of the people... he replied ...

 "I did the other day, but here's a summary.  Basically everyone but Saitta. He has done nothing but talk incessantly for 12 years and accomplished almost nothing but chaos and a first class financial and educational mess of our schools system. For example, he neglected to work effectively with others and put a maintenance plan in place 12 years ago. That philosophy of neglect and short sightedness begot the Greenville Plan. Had your buddy Saitta worked with others to put real conservative policies and plans in place like I have the last two years, we potentially could have avoided all the debt his philosophy has left the taxpayers with. His legacy is the Greenville Plan and the MASSIVE amount of DEBT he hung us with....I am very very very happy with the progress we've made the last two years with a new conservative majority on the board. And I am also very very very happy the electorate agrees with me and the overall direction of the board. Not even one person ran to really change the direction the board has traveled the last two years, at a time when fully half the board is on the ballot . Very Very very happy am I."

To correct Bowers comments:

Alex OPPOSED each step of funding the building plan. If he had not been on the board. The debt total would most likely have been hundreds of millions MORE.

Just so you know, it's not a protest vote ...

In an interview Tuesday on MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show," Mr. Weld expressed support for, though not an endorsement of, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. The candidate also acknowledged the near-impossibility of a Libertarian victory in a highly unusual move for a third-party campaign that was always unlikely to get a real shot at the White House.

Weld, Libertarian VP, says he "vouches" for Clinton in MSNBC interview ...

Watch the video here:

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Be vigilant at the polls ...

Words of advice:


2) Do not post ANY photos of you beyond the door of the poll

3) ABSOLUTELY do not vote straight ticket. You will not be voting for the right people.

1) & 2) could result in your ballot being voided, a fine, or even jail time.

Who was on the republican ticket in 2012?

Who high up in politics has been against Trump?

If Hillary wins on Nov. 8th and then indicted after the election. Then the indictment results in Hillary not being able to serve as President. Kaine becomes President and Paul Ryan VP.


Thursday, October 27, 2016

Joke Of The Day: Questions From Kids For Hillary

Hillary Clinton goes to a gifted-student primary school in New York to talk about the world. 

After her talk, she offers to answer questions from the kids. One little boy puts up his hand. Hillary asks him what his name is. "Kenny," he says.

"And what is your question, Kenny?" she asks.

"I have three questions," he says.

"First -- what happened in Benghazi? Second -- why would you run for president if you are not capable of handling two e-mail accounts? Third -- what happened to that six billion dollars that went missing while you were Secretary of State?”

Just then the bell rings for recess.

Hillary tells the students that they will continue after recess. When they resume Hillary says, "Okay, where were we? Oh, that's right, question time. Who has a question?” 

A different boy -- little Johnny -- puts his hand up. Hillary points to him and asks him what his name is. "Johnny," he says.
"What is your question, Johnny?" she asks.

"I have five questions," he says. "First -- what happened in Benghazi? Second -- why would you run for president if you are not capable of handling two e-mail accounts? Third -- whatever happened to that six billion dollars that went missing while you were Secretary of State? Fourth -- why did the recess bell go off 20 minutes early? And, fifth -- where's Kenny?”

Public input?

If there's no public input at a meeting of public servants, it's basically the monthly reading of the seven laws of animal farm.


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Hillary laughs at removing "under God" from pledge quote ...

Why, as a "Tech guy" I cannot vote for Hillary Clinton and why as an extreme couponer, I'd vote for Alex Saitta & Joey L

Why, as a "Tech guy" I cannot vote for Hillary Clinton and why as an extreme couponer, I'd vote for Alex Saitta and Joey Lum 

by Rus Smith

Being a nerd about networks, I've studied how the Clinton campaign has dismissed the Wikileak's release of the infamous "deleted emails" and multitudes of others as faked, forged, and out of context information. Clinton campaign manager and former Bill Clinton aide, John Podesta is the main source of this denial. He's also responsible for putting the rhetoric into Clinton's debate talking points. 

It's an outright lie that the emails are faked, forged, or that their content is treasonous to read or disseminate (as CNN has so stereotypically, biased media reported), or that they were "deleted".

What's in those emails can be verified by markers known as a "raw header". If you analyze this info and verify it - it tells all sorts of information. It reveals everything from who sent and received the email, the exact tenth of a second it was sent, the character count (and word count), if it was read (or not), if it was part of a previous reply, and what type of device and email client sent it. In fact, it's even evident from Wikileaks information that the emails were purposely wiped with a hard drive erasure program. Not "deleted". Not "lost". Erased. On purpose. Maliciously. Criminally.

I've laboriously poured over this information. These emails contain everything from accepting illegal donations for favors to discussing "speaking fees" instead of having limitations on donations. Even Facebook's own top executives tried to "make deals" with the Clinton campaign  in barter for "shaping policy". Emails also discuss that the Clinton campaign knew everything about Benghazi and purposely covered it up - many emails discussing damage control or "that it should blow over". It truly is incomprehensible the amount of illegal and classified information that is discussed in these emails.

As an "IT guy" I cannot vote for Clinton.

I therefore choose Donald Trump. I do not endorse him. I am voting for him. Our country needs a businessman. Period.

Similarly, I recommend to all my friends that can and all my friends that can influence others to please vote for Alex Saitta. Alex has been a great resource for the School Board of Pickens County. Your property tax bill would be triple (or more) without him. There would be no prayer at board meetings and most likely the county - at any school function. He fought against the school closures. Even though Alex has never been in my district - I have always been able to get an answer from him - quickly - with facts. He listens and responds with well thought out, researched, eloquent action. Alex is a business guy - a financial guy - he is EXACTLY what the county needs. Like Trump, Alex isn't beholden to special interests like other board members. Alex's impact on every office in Pickens County is immeasurable.

For Liberty and Pickens residents, I recommend Joey Lum as your District 4 representative to Columbia. Joey has campaigned on the fact that finances and taxes in the area are out of control. But here is my absolute reason NOT to vote for his opponent, incumbent Davey Hiott - Hiott took money from the Veterinarian Association then sponsored a bill to rid the state of mobile pet vaccs. Friends, I love animals. I think a pet, even to lower income families, is an important part of a family. After coupons, I get Rachel Ray Nutrish premium dog food for free. I have food and care covered. Shots are a different matter. If mobile pet vaccs didn't exist - I most likely would have reconsidered purchasing my dog (Scruffy). That saddens me greatly. Not having mobile pet vaccs removes this integral part of family life from all but the wealthy. It puts the public at risk.  The sponsorship of the bill wreaks of corruption. And like Trump, I believe Joey Lum will not be beholden to special interests as Hiott is.

* The mobile pet vacc is an enormous economic boost too.

Monday, October 24, 2016

What does the SC Constitution say about Public Meetings?

Public Notice and Agendas
In response to the state Supreme Court’s ruling in Lambries v. Saluda County Council, the Freedom of Information Act, S.C. Code Ann. § 30-4-80, was amended in 2015 to require a written public notice and agenda for all meetings of appointed public bodies. S.C. Code Ann. §§ 5-7-250, 30-4-80(a)
This notice requirement applies to meetings of a quorum of school board or its appointed public bodies regardless of the name used to describe the meeting, including any special, called or rescheduled meeting. A copy of the public notice and an agenda must be sent to individuals, news media and organizations requesting notification of meetings.
For all regularly scheduled meetings, public bodies must give written public notice at the beginning of each calendar year. The annual meeting notice must include the dates, times and places of all regularly scheduled meetings pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. § 30-4-80(a) and (d). An agenda for regularly scheduled meetings must be posted on a bulletin board in a publicly accessible place at the office or meeting place of the public body and on the municipal website, if the municipality has a website, at least 24 hours prior to such meeting.
For any special, called or rescheduled meeting, a public notice, including an agenda containing the date, time and place of the meeting, must be posted as early as is practicable, but no later than 24 hours before the meeting, on a bulletin board in a publicly accessible place at the office or meeting place of the public body and on the district’s website.
If an unforeseen situation arises that requires immediate action, the board members may call an emergency meeting. The school district should hold emergency meetings only if there is a crisis and council must act with a sense of urgency (e.g., a natural or man-made disaster). The board and its appointed public bodies must exercise great caution when calling emergency meetings because they are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act’s public notice and agenda requirements for public bodies.

Pickens County School Board Holds Meetings Without Public Input ...

As reported by Ron Barnett, Greenville News:

    Two Pickens County School Board members and a charter school applicant are crying foul at the board chairman’s decision to cancel the board’s regular monthly meeting Monday night and hold it instead last Friday morning, with no opportunity for public input.
    Chairman Judy Edwards said she rescheduled the meeting because she planned to be out of town this week, according to trustee Alex Saitta, one of the two board members who are complaining that holding meetings at unusual times has become a pattern this year which they suspect is aimed at limiting public access.

    "Either there is a purposeful desire to have meetings when the public is unlikely to attend or there is a disregard for the public’s schedule and when they could attend," Saitta said. "It is not about the personal schedule of any one board member.

    Henry Wilson, vice chairman of the board, said he was unable to attend the Friday morning meeting because of his work schedule and wasn’t given adequate notice to make arrangements to be there.

    He said he also wasn’t asked if he could preside over the regular monthly meeting Monday in the chairman's absence.
    Since the beginning of the year, the School Board has held four Saturday meetings and five meetings that started at 7AM or before.
    Three of those Saturday meetings – at 6:30AM, 7AM, and 7:30AM, involved discussions of closing schools in the district
    Anna Gainey, a member of the group attempting to start a charter school in Easley called Clearview Collegiate Academy, said she was upset when she learned that Monday’s meeting would be canceled because she had intended to speak in support of its application during the public session. 
    Friday’s 9AM meeting didn’t include a public session, and the first item on the agenda was cancellation of the October 24, 2016 meeting
    The motion passed, 3-1, with Saitta opposing, and Wilson unable to attend the meeting.
    “Just like everybody else, I’ve got a job and I’ve got a schedule that’s a week or two out in advance,” Wilson told The News. “The last two times I’ve missed these meetings, it’s because they’re basically only letting me know two days beforehand.
    “Public schools is the business of the public and should be done in a public way.”
    Clearview Collegiate Academy has submitted an application to the district to operate a charter school in which students would be earning college credit in high school. It opted to try to get approval through the local district rather than the state Charter School District.
    “I have pulled myself away from my job and my family in order to fight for something I believe in and I don’t even get a chance to talk in public about it,” she told The News.
    Addendum Alex Saitta:
    When they called for a vote to cancel Monday's evenings regular meeting, I asked why are they cancelling the meeting? The chairman said she has scheduled this special meeting Friday at 9 am because she would be out of town next week. I then said, a chairman has never tried to cancel a regular Monday evening meeting because they were not going to be here. The vice-chairman has the job to run the regularly scheduled meeting when the chairman is out. I voted against cancelling the Monday night meeting. It passed 3 to 1. 

    The meetings are for the public, are scheduled when the public and the press is available to attend -- weekday evenings.

    I also object to the developing trend of regularly having meetings when the public and press is unlikely to attend. Look at these dates and times of many meetings this year.

    Jan 30, Sat 7 am,
    Feb 6, Sat 6:30 am
    Mar 12, Sat 7:30 am
    Apr 12, 7 am
    Apr 21, 7 am
    Jul 21, 7 am
    Aug 6, 12:30 pm
    Sep 23, 8:30 am
    Oct 21, 9 am

    Henry Wilson has not been able to attend the last two because they were during working hours.

    That’s 9 meetings this year on off-days or off-hours of the day. Either there is a purposeful desire to have meetings when the public is unlikely to attend or there is a disregard for the public’s schedule and when they could attend.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Is Big Brother far worse than we can imagine?

If we don’t speak up now, the days when we can walk around with our heads held high without fear of surveillance are numbered. Federal and local law enforcement across the country are adopting sophisticated facial recognition technologies to identify us on the streets and in social media by matching our faces to massive databases.

Read more here:

Saturday, October 22, 2016

What you do ...

I am baffled by the lack of interest by the people of Pickens County in the corruptness of their government institutions like the School Board and in a few cases the County Council. It even reaches to the various departments like the sheriff's office, SLED, and the solicitors office. The County treasurer and Auditor play their role in not following the laws of this State. The School Board members and all elected County officials take an oath to defend, preserve, and protect the Constitutions that govern us and them. This means that their every action they consider should be ruled by whether the action they are taking is Constitutional and then the statutory laws that follow agree in principle with the Constitution.

For instance the County Council recently considered a request from Tri County Tech for $6.5 million dollars for a student union building. It is clear that the State of South Carolina under Article 11 Section 3 is responsible for funding Tri County Tech needs. Even the other millage that exists for Tri County Tech operations expense is not within the Constitution. Yet, according to the County Council the President of Tri County Tech has threatened our students from Pickens County with a penalty fee because we did not give him the money. The School Board is guilty of such actions also.

Every year for the past 30 years, the School Board of Pickens County has over collected revenue by rigging the budget. They set the collectability per cent at less than 100% say 95% and collect more than is needed in the budget. They use at least 10 other ways to get money without a tax increase by setting the millage rate too high and collecting more money than is budgeted. 

Please go to (archives) to see some of these methods of over collection. This procedure has given them millions of dollars of extra money to spend on items that are not Constitutional; like teacher's salary increases (which should come from the State) capital items not voted on by the people. They have exceeded the capacity of many of the citizens of Pickens County to pay. Thousands of properties have been sold on the Court House steps. Then they close our northern elementary schools against their constituents wishes saying that they are wasting money, when it has been proven that elementary education is one of the most important pieces of the children's total education package. They have violated Article 11 Section 3 (Funding by the State), Article 10 Section 5 ( All taxes instituted must have a specific purpose) and SC law 12-43-285 (gives the procedure for setting millage and refunding over collection), and other laws. All this information was given to members of the school board, SLED, the solicitor, the Sheriff of Pickens County, the Governor of the State of SC, the Attorney General of SC, and others over the years.

In my opinion all this is a conspiracy to over collect and take money and property from the people of Pickens County. It is not against the law to over collect but to keep the money and do the same thing year after year is against the law and should be stopped and the people refunded as prescribed by law.

Junius Smith
President, Conservatives Of The Upstate 

Learn about Agenda 21 ...

So, it won't be rigged aye?


Watch this video of different Hillary campaign directors talking about how they will avoid letting republicans vote and register.

Friday, October 21, 2016

24 of 32 ...

Just take a second and think of this figure. If Hillary wins the election, at the end of her first term the same two families will have controlled the presidency for 24 years of the last 32!


~ Rep. Joshua Putnam / Powdersville

Pardon me ...

In case you missed it ...

At the recent press conference dinner that benefited charity ...

Trump quipped:

"Just before the debate, Hillary bumped into me, and she was very, very nice. She said, "Pardon me."

I said, "If I'm President, I won't."

The best way to watch the debates ...


Monday, October 17, 2016

For your consideration ...

Netanyahu condemns UNESCO maneuvers ...

On Friday, I spoke with newly elected UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. I shared with him the outrage of all Israelis following Thursday's UNESCO decision that once again denied the over 3,000 year old connection between the Jewish people and its holiest site in Jerusalem, the Temple Mount. This was the site of Solomon's Temple described in book of Kings in the Bible. It was the site of the second temple built by Jewish exiles who returned from Babylon some 500 years later. It was this second temple that was refurbished by King Herod and visited by Jesus as recounted in the New Testament.

Decisions like this distort historical truth that Jews, Christians and most of humanity know to be fact. These decisions also do nothing to advance peace. On the contrary, they only fuel the Palestinian fantasy of a Land of Israel with no Israel. They falsely teach Palestinian children that the Jews have no history and no rights here and therefore there’s no need to make peace with them.

Yesterday the United Nations further demonstrated its moral bankruptcy when it comes to Israel.

The Security Council discussed what it calls "Illegal Israeli Settlements.” According to the UN concept paper, the very presence of Jews living in Judea and Samaria, the West Bank, "seriously jeopardizes" the viability of two states.

That claim only makes sense if you ignore thousands of years of Jewish history, as UNESCO did this week.

That claim only makes sense if you accept the anti-Semitic Palestinian demand for a state free of Jews as somehow essential for peace.

Over a million and a half Arabs live in Israel as full citizens. Does their presence constitute a barrier to peace? Of course not. That some Jews live in Judea and Samaria is no more a barrier to peace than that.

No matter how often lies about Israel are repeated, this doesn't make them true.

The real barrier to peace is not the settlements but the persistent Palestinian refusal to recognize a Jewish state in any boundaries.

That's why the Palestinians attacked the Jews for half a century before there was a single settlement and continued to attack Israel after it dismantled all the settlements and withdrew from Gaza entirely.

The real barrier to peace is the outrageous idea that Jews cannot live in their ancestral homeland and need to be cleansed from it.
The real barrier to peace is terrorist regimes like Hamas that launch tens of thousands of missiles at Israeli civilians and call for genocide of all Jews.

But the UN, and the so-called peace groups that testified there on Friday, are too busy denying Jews our rights, spreading lies and distorting history to recognize and condemn the actual barriers to peace.

Until that changes, until the UN drops its double standards towards Israel and stops ignoring Palestinian terror and rejectionism, peace for Israelis and Palestinians will not come from the United Nations any more than security for Israel will come from the Security Council.

I said recently at the UN that there may be a storm before the calm in the coming months. We are in the storm. But I also said that "I have total confidence that in the years ahead the revolution in Israel’s standing among the nations will finally penetrate this hall of nations."

It will take some time, but that too will come, when most of nations of the world will decide to stop using the UN as a platform for lies and hate and it will reclaim its noble mandate to advance truth and peace.

Benjamin Netanyahu