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Mike Maddock, General Manager
2010-10-01 / News

Tea Party groups get practical

By Jessica Cross

Tea Party groups met Saturday to discuss practical steps to achieving their goals at an all–day Liberty Summit in Columbia.

Columbia Tea Party co–organizer, Cory Norris, Lexington 9-12 Project president; James Stout and S. C. Campaign for Liberty interim state coordinator; and Talbert Black Jr. organized and spoke at the summit. More than 50 activist leaders from across the state were in attendance.

With topics ranging from the philosophy of liberty to political strategy, the discussions were focused primarily on making a change in S.C. “If we look to Washington for our solution, we are going to be disappointed,” said Tom Moore, chairman of the Southern National Congress. “There’s enough energy, talent, and vision in this room to change this state,” he said.

S.C. Policy Council President Ashley Landess spoke about changes she said are needed within the General Assembly’s leadership and the Budget and Control Board. She said they should all agree the government should not be managing the economy. “We no longer want to hear politicians’ plans; we want to give them ours,” she said.

Moore also gave suggestions on avoiding potential federal tyranny by using nullification and interposition.

He mentioned the Real ID Act as an example of interposition. The federal law violated a state law that legislators passed in 2007, and Gov. Mark Sanford replied to the former Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Michael Chertoff to comply with state law.

When nullifying laws that are considered to be Unconstitutional, Moore said nullification rests on the power of consent. “Even tyranny depends upon consent,” he said. “We should not be intimidated by a failing empire.”

Black said mobilization is one method he said was key to influencing politicians and elections. He mentioned Grassroots Gun Rights, which mobilizes a small percentage of the population. By Black’s calculations, an activist group needs about three percent of the population to have a significant impact.

And Stout spoke on the benefits of groups working together. The Upcountry Coalition, an Upstate association of 20 groups such as the Tea Party and the RINO Hunt is an example of working together. Many of them worked together to fight a Greenville County Comprehensive Land Use Plan that RINO Hunt chairman, Harry Kibler said would have diminished property rights if passed. Kibler also spoke at the event, and Norris talked about political philosophy.

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