The SCGOP and the media proclaim that South Carolina is holding the “First in the South” Republican Presidential Preference Primary in mid January. Who are they kidding?

First of all, primaries are not elections; they are a method for a political party to select its candidate to participate in an election. It is true that all the candidates on the ballot will be Republicans seeking the party’s nomination to represent Republicans and challenge the incumbent Democrat. By Definition, in South Carolina, this is not a Republican Primary whereby Republicans select their candidate for President of the United States. Any registered voter in South Carolina, regardless of party affiliation can vote in this primary.

It could more properly be called a South Carolina “conglomerate straw poll.” To state it bluntly: current South Carolina law will allow all Democrats who are registered voters to vote in the Republican Party Presidential Preference Primary next month and help select the Republican candidate for President to challenge Barack Obama in November 2012.

In dirty secret is that South Carolina has been under control of the same Democrat Party machine since Senator “Pitchfork” Ben Tillman and his friends sent Gov. Wade Hampton III to Washington as a U. S. Senator. They promoted Hampton in order to get control of the state government and impose their will on the survivors and perpetrators of the “prostrate state,” suffering from the abuses of a decade of Congressional Reconstruction.

During the era of Goldwater and Reagan, a majority of the people of South Carolina became more identified with the platform of the Republican Party than with the Democratic Party of Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter. Voters in the Upstate, especially, were looking for Republicans to send to the Legislature in Columbia. Democrats by the dozens changed parties, and eventually lawmakers calling themselves Republicans made up the majority of both the State House and Senate. By the time David Beasley, a former Democrat, was elected Governor, the entire South Carolina Government was controlled by “Republicans.”

A closer look reveals that the state was controlled by a coalition of Democrats and Republicans in Name Only (RINOs).  Democrats in Republican districts had changed party, but many had only changed the label. They voted in a block with the Democrats and opposed the Republican Party Platform and Republican sponsored legislation.

The same holds true today. South Carolina has primary contests open to all registered voters because RINOs in the Legislature will not change the law to allow Republicans to have closed party primaries allowing Republicans only to choose their candidates.

RINOs oppose closed primaries because they could not defeat conservative Republicans in primaries and retain their seats without Democrat votes.

Despite strong opposition from Democrats, third party representatives and RINOs, South Carolina Conservative Republicans are taking several actions to correct the situation and draw clearer distinctions between the parties and their candidates.

The Greenville County Republican Party has filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the current state election law that denies the Republican Party the constitutional right of association of like-minded people to select their own candidates to participate in elections.

The Greenville County Republican Party is ensuring that all Republican incumbents and candidates for public office are aware that they are expected to support the Constitution of the United States and of South Carolina in accordance with their oath of office and with the S. C. Republican Platform, that includes support of closed primaries and registration by party.

RINO Hunt was formed in Greenville County and has spread statewide. It is identifying RINO’s, monitoring their voting records and recruiting candidates to oppose them in the 2012 election.

The South Carolina Policy Council Patriots Club was founded to create the freest state in America.

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Mike Scruggs