Lawrence is taking a well deserved day off this week … so we thought we would bring you another 21 minute, 44 second video which demonstrates the clear need for JUDICIAL REFORM here in South Carolina.
Judicial Reform is the talk of political circles now … and folks will be pushing it hard in 2024 from both the Right & the Left. (October 4th, 2023 – FITSNews – HERE)
FITSNews (10/04/2023): HERE
Where It Started
Where “judicial reform” started for us was in 2014 when the SC Department of Revenue (SCDOR) under then Director Rick Reames (HERE) and then Governor Nikki Haley “TARGETED” us personally and Palmetto Kids FIRST Scholarship Program, Inc. for a South Carolina tax “audit”.
We all know how Lois Lerner (HERE) and the Internal Revenue Service under the Obama administration targeted TEA Party Groups back in 2013 (HERE) … well guess what … it happened right here in South Carolina too, just in reverse … and it was conservative Republicans targeting other conservative Republicans.
Imagine, opening your mailbox one day in 2014 and you have three “NOTICE OF AUDIT” letters from the SCDOR against yourself, your wife (we are married but filed our taxes separately at the time) … and a children’s non-profit helping special needs kids. I’m a tax attorney / CPA and been waiting my whole life to be audited … but is was still disturbing given the obvious political targeting we were already suffering from powerful people we did not even know.
We did not understand it at the time … all we wanted to do was raise money and give scholarships to K-12 kids with “special needs” in our spare time … and live our “retirement” life at the Isle of Palms … but it was all “political” and all over MONEY & special interest … and this evil is why we are involved in this movement to this day.
School Choice is not fixed here in South Carolina yet and we are sticking at it until it is done … no matter what it takes … and no matter “who” needs to be EXPOSED!!! The kids deserve it, and South Carolinians deserve better as well. The corruption that is dragging down South Carolina and our children must be STOPPED!!!
[NOTE: Spoiler alert, the ultimate outcome of the “audits” after a year and a half and tens of thousands of dollars in legal expenses … (#1) I personally did not have a tax return filing requirement in South Carolina at the time, (#2) my wife Olga was completely cleared as all she had was two W-2s and a standard deduction … and (#3) nothing was ultimately found wrong with the non-profit Palmetto Kids FIRST as the SCDOR published a huge “faux” report full of errors and then mysteriously dropped the audit without finalizing the matter or correcting their obvious errors. It was a complete political targeting by SC State Government and certain politicians.]
LEGISLATORS CALLING JUDGES: We had faith in the system back then, but to be safe we did hire one of the biggest law firms in South Carolina … and specifically the head tax partner to handle our case. He was a referral from another prominent family / attorney here in SC.
After the first meeting the attorney had with Director Reames and other top officials at the SCDOR … the attorney told us this:
(#1) You are definitely being “targeted” and there is something much bigger / higher-up going on here. YES, the lawyer seemed scared as you don’t want to cross the SCDOR as they will ruin your career and take it out on your other clients. And in follow-up he told us …
(#2) It is not uncommon for a legislator to call a Judge and tell him/her how they want the case to turn out.
Are you kidding me?!?!?
As a USC Law School graduate / attorney myself I was FLOORED as such communications are a HUGE breach of judicial & lawyer ethics … but what was most troubling was the attorney did not seem to have a problem with it. It was “just the way it is” here in South Carolina.
NO, it is not acceptable as “just the way it is” … and JUDICIAL REFORM, specifically lawyer legislators picking judges in South Carolina, became a hot button issue for us personally.
But, enough of that background, let’s get back to the Davis v. Leupp case appeal and video …
(Duplicative cases not allowed … unless “political”?)
OK, so know that there is a reason for everything … and there is a very important “Rule of Civil Procedure” (HERE) in court cases that says you can’t file a case in one jurisdiction and go file the same case in another court, and another court, and another court. If someone does that it is easy to have the case dismissed under SC Rules of Civil Procedure, 12(b)(8).
Defenses – Rule 12(b)(8): “another action is pending between the same parties for the same claim.”
But the cases have to be identical. Same parties and same claims / facts.
Operative word … “SAME”!!! It is right there in the Rule.
But my Greenville case against Nate Leupp, my predecessor as Chairman of the Greenville County Republican Party, was dismissed under Rule 12(b)(8) even though it involved DIFFERENT parties … and different FACTS. Some facts and events in the Greenville case happened AFTER (as Court of Appeals Judge Blake Hewitt noted in the video) the events in the Richland case. It’s crazy town to say the two cases are the same!!!
So … how can a Greenville case with different parties and different claims, for events that happened AFTER a Richland case, be dismissed under Rule 12(b)(8) as duplicative?
Welcome to a “Banana Republic”!!! (HERE)
Banana Republic (defined): A country (or state like SC) with an economy of state capitalism (like selling out the SC Citizens & Taxpayers to Volkswagen for $1.4 Billion in 2023), whereby the country is operated as a private commercial enterprise for the exclusive profit of the ruling class (like our “legislators” and their monied special interest).
(and purposeful delay & distraction)
Realize, this original case was filed on November 12th, 2019.
It is now October 6th, 2023 … almost FOUR YEARS later … and this case was dismissed under Rule 12(b)(8) so nothing has been done for FOUR YEARS … except for HUNDREDS & HUNDREDS of manhours spent fighting this one clear issue!!!
Do we think the trial court Judge in Greenville made a simple mistake? Rule 12(b)(8) is only TWELVE WORDS … it is about as simple and basic of a Law School 101 class as you can get.
Or, do we think some “lawyer legislators” may have made a call to the Judge and told him how they wanted the case to turn out? Like the Columbia big firm partner told us its “just the way it is” here in South Carolina.
Watch this appeal video … and YOU decide.
Start – 9:51: Appellant Davis’ Case
9:52 – 18:49: Respondent Leupp’s Attorney
18:50 – End (21:42): Appellant Davis’ Reply / Closing Argument
Record on Appeal (all the case filings): HERE
Appellant Davis’ Final Brief: HERE
Respondent Leupp’s Final Brief: HERE
Appellant Davis’ Final Reply: HERE
Dum spiro spero
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Jeff Davis is co-founder of mySCGOP.com . Jeff is a ’89 graduate of The Citadel and in 1993 received his Law/MBA from USC. A tax attorney / CPA licensed in Georgia, Jeff is an uncompromised school choice advocate for K-12 children with special needs. Originally from Charleston, and having practiced in Atlanta, Jeff and his wife Olga now live in Greenville. Jeff completed his two year term as Greenville County Republican Party Chairman and is currently serving as GCRP State Executive Committeeman.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, silence in the face of evil
Silence in the face of Evil is itself Evil
(Feb 4th, 1906 – April 9th, 1945)
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (HERE) was a German Lutheran pastor, theologian and anti-Nazi dissident. His writings on Christianity’s role in the secular world have become widely influential; his 1937 book The Cost of Discipleship (HERE) is described as a modern classic.
Apart from his theological writings, Bonhoeffer was known for his staunch resistance to the Nazi dictatorship, including vocal opposition to Adolf Hitler’s euthanasia program and genocidal persecution of the Jews. He was arrested in April 1943 by the Gestapo and imprisoned at Tegel Prison for one-and-a-half years. Later, he was transferred to Flossenbürg concentration camp.
Bonhoeffer was accused, tired, and convicted (with no evidence) of being associated with the July 20th, 1944 plot to assassinate Hitler … and hanged on April 9th, 1945 during the collapse of the Nazi regime.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer is certainly someone in history to know (HERE). We need more like him today.
Bonhoeffer Wikipedia Article: HERE
None of this political stuff is complicated. Politicians and others make it complicated in an effort to avoid the HARD decisions … and to do what they want vs. what they know in their heart is right.
Talk long enough … analyze a situation long enough … and otherwise rational and Godly individuals can “justify” anything. Group think and the echo chamber so many politicians seem to enjoy as they play their political games and try to climb the ladder is what got America in this problem … while following simple principles of right vs. wrong are the only thing that can get us out of this mess.
“Silence in the face of Evil is itself Evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to Speak is to Speak. Not to Act is to Act.”
We were introduced to Bonhoeffer’s above simple principle when we first got involved in politics and school choice advocacy … and it has been a guiding principle in all we do and how we MEASURE others.
How many people in the face of obvious evil speak up? How many politicians are silent when they see obvious wrongs? Children suffer while folks that can fix it fail to act. What type of person would do that?
Do we promote these people, or do we expose them for who they truly are?
Bonhoeffer died for his beliefs. It was the ultimate price, and he paid it because he remained TRUE while others failed to speak up and act out due to their own SELF-INTEREST and FEAR.
History … and God … will not hold us guiltless. ACT!!! SPEAK!!!
Illinois Democrat Supermajority Kills School Choice
Will SC Do Better?
This past week the Illinois Democrat Supermajority failed to renew 5-year, $75 million per-year, school choice tax credit program serving 9,600 low-income children each year.
This was only the second state to “go backwards” … SC being the first in 2016 when the government took over the $8 million Exceptional Needs program making it the first 100% government run school choice tax credit program in the Nation – and now the worst rated private school choice program in the Nation as well. But Illinois is a SUPERMAJORITY Democrat legislature … both their House & Senate … so it is no real big surprise. The only real surprise was Illinois passed it in the first place back in 2017.
Center Square Article: HERE
Even the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board stepped into the conversation calling out Democrat Governor J.B. Pritzker (of the Hyatt family – see HERE) and the national and state teachers unions for killing the program.
9,600 low-income children in the program … 20,000 low-income kids on the waiting list … and the DEMOCRATS and a billionaire Governor kill it?!?!?
Wall Street Journal Editorial: HERE
Our SC Legislature will however have the opportunity to do better … better than an Illinois Democrat Supermajority … and put South Carolina at the top of the list in School Choice when they go back into session on Tuesday, January 9th, 2024.
What will SC House Leadership do? What will your SC House Rep. do?
It is going to be a very educational legislative session … and the first indicator will be the PACE / ACE Scholarship Bill (S 285).
Stay tuned … and call your personal SC House Rep to ask them what they think. It is a great opportunity to speak with your SC House Rep.
Find your legislators HERE.
PDF Copy: HERE
Where to Find Election Results?
Where in the heck do we find election results?!
Election Results from SC Votes: HERE
First of all … congratulations to all your candidates that won their elections yesterday (or moved forward to a run-off) … and for those of your candidates that did not make it … just remember that it is easier to surrender than to fight the battle. #NeverSurrender!
Consider too that most of the elected officials you know today … the ones that seem so “in control” and just “could not lose” … check their electoral history. Most lost their first election, and maybe even their second. Don’t throw away the knowledge and experience you have gained even in a lose … RUN AGAIN!!!
Imagine the world today if Winston Churchill & Great Britain had decided to surrender to Nazi Germany …
Sept. 1, 1939 – Germany Invades Poland
Sept. 3, 1939 – England declares war on Germany
May 10, 1940 – Chamberlin resigns & Churchill becomes Prime Minister
June 4, 1940 – Churchill’s NEVER SURRENDER Speech
Dec. 11, 1941 – US Declares War on Germany
Now … where in the heck do we find election results?!?!?! One would think that it would be easy to find results, but it really isn’t.
(1) INTERNET SEARCH / SOCIAL MEDIA: Don’t trust it, verify everything … but the fastest and easiest route is a quick internet search, or “X” (fka Twitter), or your local news agencies. We hate to even suggest it, but as you will see below there is no consolidated and easy “official” route to find elections results here in South Carolina.
Millions & millions, actually tens of millions in tax dollars spent on elections … and no centralized and official one-stop-shop resource in South Carolina to find all election results. If they can’t do the simple things right, it really makes you wonder if the hard stuff is being done right.
[NOTE: It should also be noted that RESULTS ARE NOT OFFICIAL generally until they are certified by their respective Board of Elections, usually on Thursday or Friday after election day. These certification meetings are official and open to the public … you should go and watch.]
(2) SCVotes.gov: Our best statewide official resource is the SC State Election Commission (SEC) located at www.SCVotes.gov. There is tons of information there and if you are involved in politics in any form or fashion you should know this website backwards and forwards.
The ELECTION RESULTS are specifically located HERE. But be prepared, it is not as intuitive as it should be, so expect to have to “hen peck” around to find the specific races you are looking for … and even then, some municipalities & towns don’t report through the state website. Geez … wouldn’t it be interesting to know the “drama” behind that why.
(3) Local County Board of Elections: If the information is not on SCVotes.gov … like Greenville, Horry, Chesterfield, and the towns of Iva, Jamestown & Coward … check with your local County Board of Elections. You can find contact information for all 46 County Boards HERE.
As with the SC State Election Commission website which we should all know backwards and forwards … we should all know our local COUNTY Board of Elections website backwards and forwards as well. Knowledge is Power!!!
Have other suggestions? Let us know at team@mySCGOP.com
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