Rep. Doug Brannon Substituted for Rep. Rita Allison Invited by RINO Hunt

Doug-BrannonState Representative Doug Brannon, who represents House District 38 in Northern Spartanburg County, is an attorney, however, he found himself a defendant before a roomful of RINO Hunt members acting like prosecutors at Denny’s in Greenville, Friday night.

Brannon is one of the “Spar-tanburg-Six,” a group of Spartanburg County Republican House members who joined with Democrats and voted to table and kill the school choice bill supported by the SC GOP Platform. The six Republican House members provided an ideal “textbook” example of what is wrong with the Republican Party and must be corrected if the party is to regain credibility with voters.  In this instance, six Republicans from one county were able to destroy several years of work by South Carolina Republicans and provide a key victory for Obama Democrats with one vote.

The bill would provide tax credits for home and private school attendees and create private school scholarships from private donations for students whose parents could not afford private school tuition.

The South Carolina Republican Platform approved by delegates from across the state reads as follows:

Parents should be able to decide the learning environment that is best for their child. We support choice in education for all families, especially those with children trapped in dangerous and failing schools, whether through charter schools, vouchers or tax credits for attending faith-based or other non-public schools, or the option of home schooling.

The Spartanburg Six are Rita Allison, Doug Brannon, Derham Cole, Mike Forrester, Steve Parker and Eddie Tallon. All six are Republicans who have been identified as RINOs “Republicans in Name Only” by RINO Hunt and supporters of school Choice.

Thousands of taxpayer dollars would be saved for each student choosing other than public schools under the bill, according to its proponents.

RINO Hunt Leader Harry Kibler had invited Rep. Rita Allison to the meeting to answer questions and explain why she and five colleagues had opposed the Republican Party Platform and voted with Democrats to kill the school choice bill, however, she was unable to attend and sent Rep. Brannon.

Being obviously careful to be truthful and honest when answering questions, Brannon confessed up front that, “I am the one who made the motion to table H. 3407,” the SC School Choice Bill.

Brannon said he was attending the RINO Hunt meeting  to explain why he opposed the school choice bill and proceeded to explain his rationale.

The audience respected his honesty, but challenged him frequently on his statements.

He drew strong responses when he said he was not present when the Republican Platform supporting school choice was adopted, and assumed no responsibility to comply with the platform of his party.

“You violated the Republican platform,” responded Kibler.

RINO Hunt was created to identify and oppose elected Republicans who claim to be conservative Republicans, but ignore the platform that defines conservative Republicans.

Brannon confessed that he accepted a $1,000 campaign donation from the South Carolina Education Association. He saw no conflict because they shared his support for public education, he said.

Retired and active teachers present had strong comments critical of the NEA affiliate SCEA. One teacher challenged the SCEA campaign financial support.

“As a public school teacher here in Greenville County, I could be a member of the SCEA,” the teacher in the audience said. He said the organization might be beneficial providing legal support if needed.

“There is no way that I could be a member, considering their support for the NEA, a godless organization. I don’t see how you can stand there and say that you accepted $1,000 from SCEA. I don’t understand that! It doesn’t align with being a conservative.”

One of the reasons Brannon opposed the school choice bill was because he did not believe a choice he made should cost anyone else. Kibler asked that if that were his belief, why he would vote to appropriate funds to subsidize the purchase of solar panels and vote funds for the conservation bank to buy private property.

Spartanburg County resident Kerry Wood bristled when Brannon said students would not be allowed to pray in Christian schools that accepted scholarship students under the proposed school choice bill. “That is not true!” Wood insisted.

Following a heated debate between the two men, Wood concluded by commending Brannon for being willing to face the public and discuss tough issues in a civil manner.

On Saturday, RINO Hunt joined a coalition of Tea Party groups to campaign door to door against the Spartanburg Six in their   districts.

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Mike Scruggs