Activists urge senators to vote on jobs bill

On June 30, union and community leaders gathered in front of US Sen. Jim Demint’s office in Charleston. They were among thousands of others across the nation sending a message to their Republican Senators: “Vote on the Jobs Bill Now!”

“On Thursday, June 23, the Senate again failed to get cloture on the Jobs Bill even after Democrats agreed to reduce the overall cost of the bill.” said Leonard Riley, ILA member and president of Carolina Alliance for Fair Employment (CAFE).

Riley was joined by leaders of the Charleston and Columbia Central Labor Councils(CLC), SC Alliance for Retired Americans (ARA), SC Progressive Network, ILA Local 1422, AFSCME Local 1199 and the SC AFL-CIO.

Jenny Patterson, president of the Columbia CLC, said, “We are tired of Senator Demint pulling the rug out from under unemployed workers in our state and our public health and safety just to score political points. His refusal to vote for funding to keep teachers, police officers and other workers on the job and to protect elderly residents from being tossed out of nursing homes is outrageous.”

Vic Rawl, former Democratic candidate for US Senate, was among those attending the action. Rawl was endorsed by the SC AFL-CIO.

Leaked memo offers A-Z strategies on obstructing health care reform

Will SC Sen. Jim DeMint embrace or denounce tactics that snub South Carolina’s 707,00 uninsured?

Yesterday, Sen. Judd Gregg circulated a “how-to” guide to all his Republican colleagues that outlines how Republicans can obstruct and hold-up needed health care reforms in the Senate.  Judd’s memo details all the archaic procedural tools that Senate Republicans can use in their single-minded attempt to hold-up and attempt to kill health care reform.

Up to this point DeMint has given no indication he is at all interested in supporting health care reforms that would help South Carolinians.  Will DeMint embrace the obstructionist tactics put forth by Gregg or will he do the right thing and denounce these purely political tactics?

“Jim DeMint has a choice to make: he can side with partisan leaders in Washington and use parliamentary maneuvers to block health care reform, or he can show some courage and stand up for South Carolinians,” said Democratic Senatorial Campaign Communications Director Eric Schultz.

“Gregg’s memo confirms that Jim DeMint and his Republicans colleagues are using every trick in the book to derail commonsense health care reform.  Will Jim Demint continue to go along with these obstructionist tactics or will he muster the independence to stand up to his party and do what is right for South Carolinians?”

Stop Sen. Jim DeMint

By Ryan Wilson

SC Pride

Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina released this letter addressed to Pastors and Religious Leaders on official US Senate letterhead. I mean I know I live in South Carolina, but seriously? I expected better! He talks about the separation of church and state which I feel he blatantly violates by sending this very letter.

Ironically, I wrote to the Senator just last week asking for his support of the Uniting American Families act and telling my story as a person in a bi-national relationship who’s partner is currently struggling with immigration in-equality. Guess I can be pretty certain I won’t have his vote.

This week South Carolina was a buzz with LGBT activity. Thursday the Sean Kennedy of Greenville, who would have no doubt been at the front of the Upstate Pride parade. Instead his still grieving mother Elke was forced to march in his place, knowing Sean’s murderer is set to be released in September, having served only 1 year for killing her son after calling him a “f*g”. Hate Crimes do happen, and people like myself, people like Sean, need the protection that the Matthew Shepard Act can provide and resources our local police departments need to investigate these crimes when they do happen.

So, Senator DeMint, it is not the Hate Crime bill or the LGBT Movement in South Carolina that needs to be stopped. We stand for progress; for equality. We stand for family values (all families, not just some). We stand for acceptance and tolerance. It is you, Sen. DeMint, who needs to be stopped! Stop quoting biased research by, of all places, the Family Research Council. Stop telling lies about the Matthew Shepard Act. Stop telling lies about LGBT persons. Stop telling lies about me!