During the first week of May, COTU sent out 4 questions and 2 Pledge documents to the 2022 Republican Primary Candidates listed below who would be on Pickens County voters' ballots.
1. Would you ever vote for a budget to include funding for Planned Parenthood and explain why or why not?
2. Would you ever vote to increase taxes and explain why or why not?
3. Under what circumstances do you think the government has the right to infringe upon a person's property rights?
4. Under what circumstances would you vote for legislation to allow biological males to compete in biological female sports or have access to women's restrooms or locker rooms?
The two pledges were:
Pledge #1 The candidate signs a pledge to oppose any efforts to increase taxes.
Pledge #2 The candidate signs a pledge that protecting an individual's Property Rights will be a first priority in government planning projects that could infringe upon their rights.
Below is a summary results of who responded to us:
McMaster: DID NOT RESPOND
Musslewhite: DID NOT RESPOND
Keith Blandford: DID NOT RESPOND
Mark Hammond: DID NOT RESPOND
Alan Wilson: DID NOT RESPOND
Question 1: No
Question 2: No. Government is over bloated, using resources unwisely.
Question 3: Not ever usually, limited exceptions but strict scrutiny, favoring the landowner.
Question 4: Never
SC House District 1:
Bill Whitmire: DID NOT RESPOND TO QUESTIONS BUT SIGNED BOTH PLEDGES
Wally Sparks: SIGNED BOTH PLEDGES
Question 1: No! I am firmly pro-life and would never vote for funding for Planned Parenthood. Psalm 139:v 13-14 states "For You created my inmost being. You knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. your works are wonderful I know that full well." Unfortunately my incumbent opponent, Bill Whitmire, voted to send funds to Planned Parenthood during this budget cycle.
Question 2: No, we do not have a revenue problem. We have a spending problem. Government continues to grow at just about every level.
Question 3: Only if it directly endangers others. As an example, if someone was dumping harmful chemicals that tainted a neighbor's water well.
Question 4: Absolutely under no circumstamces should that ever be allowed.
SC House District 4:
Davey Hiott: SIGNED BOTH PLEDGES
Question 1: I have always voted against Planned Parenthood. I have a 100% boting record protecting the voice of the unborn. I co-sponsored amendments and proviso to the budget which would defund Planned Parenthood.*** see special note below
Question 2: The current climate of the state of SC does not in any way require a tax increase. Our business climate is at an all time high and tax revenues are above estimates. The only time a discussion should be had about raising taxes should be when we are not able to provide the resources needed for our law enforcement and first responders to protect us. Then and only then, should we discuss raising taxes.
Question 3: The government has no right to infringe on anyone's personal property rights. There are laws on the books alredy that allow utilities to have easements in public right of ways, but they should not be allowed to exceed those guidelines.
Question 4: I voted this session to outlaw males from competing against females. This is one of the most perverted ideas ever talked about. This issue would have been stopped at the federal level, but since they chose not to pass anything, each individual state must pass legislation. SC is in the process of doing that.
*** Davey did admit he voted for the last budget even though it contained allotments for Planned Parenthood that included Federal tax dollars.***
Matthew Kutilek: SIGNED BOTH PLEDGES
Question 1: Conception, birth and life is a precious miraculous event. God alone, not man, is the creator of life (Genesis 1:1) and He created man and woman in His own image, (Genisis 1:27), with the intent of producing Godly offspring (Malachi 2:15) and He knits together and forms life in a mother's safe and secure womb (Psalm 139:13) Precious human babies, fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14) who have not voice or ability to protect themselves. Planned Parenthood is a false moniker. They actually destroy parenthood. Under good conscious and to be consistent in my beliefs, I will not vote for a budget that includes any funding for Planned Parenthood or other abortion providers until they stop performing abortions.
SC House District 5:
Neal Collins: DID NOT RESPOND
Dennis Bo Roberts: DID NOT RESPOND
Clay Hamlett: SIGNED BOTH PLEDGES
Question 1: While there is no doubt that some of the services Planned Parenthood provides are highly beneficial to the female population (breast exams, cancer screening, etc.) their ties to growing numbers of provided abortions makes funding such an organization a very slippery slope. Ultimately, I would not vote for a budget that allocated funding to Planned Parenthood. Many of the more positive services they provide could be funded through other organizations that don't prioritize abortion as a form of family planning.
Question 2: No, I would not vote for an increase in taxes. The state of South Carolina must learn to more wisely spend the money it already accrues before our citizens ever consider granting it more. My signing of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge is a reflection of this stance.
Question 3: The government only has a right to purchase someone's property at an adequate market value if it can be proven ahead of time that the land will be utilized for a public purpose. At that point, fair compensation must be provided as well as involving the property owner in all discussions related to planning. In addition, governments should only consider this tactic if no alternative is possible, thereby treating it as a last resort.
Question 4: Under no circumstance will I vote to allow biological males to complete in women's sports. With that being said, it is important to protect the inverse right: granting females the right to compete in men's sports. This ensures that females will not be hampered by a limited number of sports offered only to males (ex. football), while also providing them with the opportunity to compete in a different division if they so choose.
SC House District 10:
West Cox: DID NOT RESPOND
Thomas Beach: SIGNED BOTH PLEDGES
Question 1: No. I do not barter life for dole unlike my opponent, Rep. West Cox.
Question 2: No. Lawmakers like to give away $115,000,000 to Liberals who live in New Jersey and pay for 18 staffers and a director who makes a six figure salary to oversee tax money spent on Zumba classes and shared cooking recipe campaigns.
Question 3: Governments exist to protect the rights of life, liberty, and property. Unfortunately, i n the course of our history we have allowed the government to infringe on our rights through undue taxation. But it's up to us to vote out representatives who raise our taxes.
Question 4: I am 100% against the unfairness to our young ladies. My opponent, West Cox, is 100% for these things and he is recorded on video promoting "trans" athletes as well as hormone therapy for boys as young as 10. This is located on my facebook campaign page, beachforhouse.
Mark Durham: SIGNED BOTH PLEDGES
Question 1: No, I would not. Planned Parenthood is an evil organization that goes against my Christian values, this group exists primarily for the purpose of providing and monetizing abortion services. Any organization with the history tied to harvesting human tissue for profit should not receive one dime of your tax dollars for any kind of service. Any funding they receive will not have my vote.
Question 2: As a true Conservative, I firmly believe that lowering taxes benefits individuals, families, and businesses. Any fiscal problem we have at the state or local level can always be fixed by cutting spending. I will not support a tax increase of any kind. I will use 3 Core principals when making decisions on votes, (Does it increase taxes? Does it increase the size or power of government? Does it infringe on personal liberty or property rights? If the answer is yes to any of the above, then I will vote no.
Question 3: None, I believe the federal government has overreached way too much on property owners' rights.
Question 4: Under no circumstances is this acceptable. Was this question designed to make me cuss?
County Council District 2:
Phillp Bowers: SIGNED BOTH PLEDGES
Question 1: No. i would not. Innocent life must be protected.
Question 2: I can't think of a reason why that would be necessary given the increasing value of the mil funds on hand.
Question 3: Property rights should be a foremost priority. However, when conflicts arise between two or more parties, then the government typically steps in to mediate the situation. I don't disagree with that approach.
Question 4: I would not support such legislation.
Chris Lollis: SIGNED BOTH PLEDGES
Question 1: No. planned Parenthood, although marketed as a source for women's health care, is in the primary business of providing abortion services. It does about 350,000 abortions a year. As a Christian, I'm opposed to abortion completely and will not support any organization affiliated with this practice. The county tends to regularly fund two types of outside activities. 1) It collects hospitality and accommodations revenue (restaurants and hotels) and tends to give that to events and groups that generate or service tourism. The county gives some of that money to things like the Central Railroad Festival, Issaquena Festival or Mile Creek Park. 2) County recreation money is given to the rec departments of Six Mile and Central typically. Planned Parenthood would not qualify for either of those sources of funds.
Question 2: I am opposed to tax increases. Given that Pickens County currently has around $23 million in savings, has received an additional $20 million in Covid relief funding, and its revenue is growing naturally $3 million a year, I cannot imagine any situation that would create the need to increase taxes.
Question 3: Individual property rights are fundamental to what our country was founded on and continues to be one of the hallmarks of our freedoms today. I cannot see a circumstance that should allow the government to infringe upon a person's property rights.
Question 4: This would be something the state legislature or local school board would vote on because they control the sports that occur in our public schools.. However, I see no circumstances that I would support any effort to allow biological males to compete in female sports or to give access to women's restrooms or locker rooms. It is a biological fact that males and females are different and even if an individual identifies as another gender, that fact does not change. Allowing these things not only poses real challenges to the female athletes but also creates a safety concern for all women. I am also strongly opposed to drag queen story hour at the libraries, and the county does have a library system that it funds. That may be coming our way at some point and the council and library board will have to deal with it.
Voting will take place on Tuesday, June 14th. Choose wisely...Elections have consequences!