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Showing posts with label Tom Swatzel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tom Swatzel. Show all posts

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Punish Putin, But Not at the Expense of South Carolina’s Business Community

By Tom Swatzel

South Carolina has a strong tradition of supporting our national security, and no one embodies that heritage more than Sen. Lindsey Graham. His efforts to crack down on Russia for election interference and other bad behavior are motivated by the best of intentions.
But economic security is an increasingly important part of national security, especially in this era of cross-border travel and trade. Unfortunately, a bill in Sen. Graham’s committee — the Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act — would imperil our economic security, especially in South Carolina.
DASKA does the opposite of its stated purpose: it would actually target U.S. companies instead of the Kremlin. As it is written, DASKA would force many of the nearly 3,000 U.S. companies doing business in Russia to leave joint ventures with Russian firms or exit the Russian market. The Russians would then take over those projects, enriching them at our expense, or partner with other U.S. adversaries like China.
How does that help our economic and national security?
Even worse, DASKA’s effects would ripple down the global supply chain, disrupting and damaging the tens of thousands of small U.S. businesses that equip major companies with supplies and parts. Many of those companies are in South Carolina.
Take Boeing suppliers, for starters. Boeing’s decision in 2009 to choose South Carolina for its first commercial airplane assembly plant outside of Washington state was a huge development. 
The aerospace giant has since followed through by investing more than $2 billion in South Carolina, building a vast presence that includes a 787 Dreamliner assembly and delivery facility; a research and technology center; and a decorative paint facility.
But DASKA would undo much of that economic progress. With Boeing having also invested billions of dollars in Russia, the legislation would make it much harder for the company to acquire crucial titanium needed to build its planes, since Russia is the source for the vast majority of that titanium.
That would mean negative effects for Boeing and for the nearly 300 South Carolina firms that are Boeing suppliers and vendors. Among them are Safran Electrical and Power Charleston, which doubled its square footage and moved into a new facility to accommodate Boeing work, and Composite Resources, a 50-employee Rock Hill-based Boeing supplier that has hired new workers in recent years.
Why would we hurt vital South Carolina small businesses in the name of punishing Vladimir Putin?
Aerospace is not the only crucial South Carolina industry that DASKA would target. The bill would also severely damage the agribusiness sector, especially firms such as Cargill, which has a major presence in Russia.
As employers across our state know, agribusiness is “the true homegrown industry of South Carolina,” with an annual economic impact of more than $41 billion. Cargill is among the agribusiness players in South Carolina which in 2016 purchased a Columbia-based beef processing plant, then invested further in the same facility.
As if all that weren’t alarming enough, DASKA would also significantly harm U.S. energy companies that employ hundreds of thousands of Americans and help ensure our energy security. Among them are ExxonMobil and other American energy companies, which have extensive business in Russia. 
That won't help the largest energy economy in the eastern United States - located right here in the Carolinas.  With South Carolina’s economy booming and the state’s unemployment rate significantly below the national average, it makes little sense to put at risk all we have accomplished with a well-intentioned but deeply flawed sanctions bill. Congress can and should fix DASKA. We need to sanction Putin, not U.S. companies.
Tom Swatzel is a former Georgetown County councilman and county Republican Party chairman who lives in Murrells Inlet.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Republican Consultant Blasts Noble and SC Democrats for Supporting “Union Boss Intimidation Tactics” Against State Convention Delegates

 New Democrat Party “reform” still denies Democratic delegates a secret ballot

On the eve of the state Democratic Party convention in Columbia, campaign consultant and former Georgetown County Republican Party Chairman Tom Swatzel Friday sent a statement to candidate for state Democratic Party chairman Phil Noble, taking Noble to task for a blog post Thursday praising a new Democratic Party rule that will still force Democratic convention delegates this weekend to identify themselves by name when voting for party officers.
“Phil, you claim – apparently with a straight face -- that a new Democrat Party ‘reform’ requiring that all convention ballots must be signed to be counted will prevent the voter intimidation and strong arm tactics you admit rank and file Democrats have had to endure at their past conventions,” Swatzel said. “The obviously misleading nonsense of such a claim shows just how out of touch current Democrat Party bosses and even alleged ‘reformers’ such as you are with the actual democratic values of South Carolinians.”
Swatzel pointed out in his statement that “consistent with the state Democratic party’s own internal intimidation tactics, party officials last year opposed a state constitutional amendment – supported by 86 percent of voters nonetheless on the November ballot -- that constitutionally guaranteed South Carolinians the right to vote by secret ballot when voting in the workplace on whether to be represented by a labor union.”   

Monday, April 25, 2011

Tom Swatzel Schools Dem Leader in Political Basics

Tom Swatzel
As readers of this website know, one of the brightest, most effective political leaders in South Carolina is the former Georgetown County GOP Chairman and now President of his own political consulting firm, Tom Swatzel. We have highlighted Tom's extraordinary ability to use the media to his advantage and win races against the most daunting odds.

He has shown Republicans throughout South Carolina how to take on entrenched Democrats and win. One would think that after suffering so many humiliating losses at the hands of Tom Swatzel, Georgetown Democrats might have learned a thing or two along the way, or at least would know enough not to tangle with him. But like the symbol of their party, Democrats can be stubborn critters.

When Tom Swatzel launched his new political consulting firm, Swatzel Strategies, he included comments from friends and foes attesting to his political savvy and effectiveness. As former Chairman of the Georgetown County Democratic Party, Jamie Sanderson was one of those foes who has publicly acknowledged what a political master he was up against. Sanderson is quoted as saying:  
"He (Swatzel) had a playbook, he ran it and he won repeatedly.” 
Sanderson also complained about the media coverage Swatzel earned when he asked:
“Isn’t it a fair question to ask why every single press release Swatzel manifests makes breaking news or front page headlines?… What makes Swatzel’s press releases so dire, so important, so needful that it has to make the front page?”
 Apparently though, the frustrated Sanderson hasn't learned some basic political lessons -- what you say can come back and bite you, and the importance of picking your battles.

Sanderson fired off a demand to Swatzel:

Remove my quotes. They are not intended to be a testimonial in support of your endeavors. You neverasked for my permission to use as such nor do you have my consent. Thank you.

Jamie Sanderson
Swatzel responded:
Hope you are doing well.

Your quotes are part of the public record and thus available for citation by me or anyone else without your consent or permission.

Perhaps you should seek legal counsel, which no doubt would be a newsworthy item.
Sanderson took the bait and threatened legal action:
In other words, you are saying it's ok to take snippets from a person's writing to benefit you. I got it. You may want to review Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act.

Under Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act, false endorsement occurs when a person's identity is connected with a product or service in such a way that consumers are likely to be misled about that person's sponsorship or approval of the product or service. While most of these cases arise in the context of a popular celebrity, some courts have held that celebrity status is not a necessary prerequisite for a successful false endorsement claim under the Lanham Act. See, e.g. Hauf v. Life Extension Found., 547 F.Supp.2d 771, 777 (W.D. Mich. 2008) and Ji v. Bose Corp., 538 F.Supp.2d 349, 351 (D. Mass. 2008); 540 F.Supp.2d 288, 306 (D.N.H. 2008)
And in response, Swatzel sent a copy of that Sanderson e-mail to all the media in the Grand Strand.  When Sanderson began getting media calls, he realized Swatzel had already beaten him in the media and he backed off his threats.  Swatzel underscored his point to Sanderson:
On my website your quotes from the public record are cited under the banner "What People are Saying about Tom Swatzel."

My recent news release about the launching of Swatzel Strategies said this about your quotes:

"He said the website will include a description of the new firm’s services and also testimonials to Swatzel’s past effectiveness, including from political opponents as well as allies.
Former Georgetown County Democratic Party chairman Jamie Sanderson is quoted as saying of Swatzel, “He had a playbook, he ran it, and he won repeatedly.”
Sanderson’s unintended tribute to Swatzel’s effectiveness even took the form of a complaint: “Isn’t it a fair question to ask why every single press release Swatzel manifests makes breaking news or front page headlines?… What makes Swatzel’s press releases so dire, so important, so needful that it has to make the front page?”

“Often times the best testimony to effectiveness comes from those who aren’t happy about it,” Swatzel said."

You disseminated those quotes concerning my "past effectiveness" far and wide via various blogs and in some instances, as opinion pieces in newspapers.

Are you now arguing that your words should be stricken from the public record just because I've started a campaign consulting business?
Sanderson had  been shown, once again, the very media savvy for which he had praised Swatzel in the first place.  

The moral of this story:  just because the great ones make it look easy, that doesn't mean that it is. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Former Georgetown GOP Chair Tom Swatzel Launches Campaign Consulting Firm

Tom Swatzel
Tom Swatzel stepped down this past weekend after two extraordinarily successful terms as Chairman of the Georgetown County Republican Party.  We profiled just one of his many political wins here last November.  And South Carolina political leaders took note of his many accomplishments in a flood of congratulatory messages as his service to the Georgetown GOP came to an end.  But the good news  is that those winning political skills will now be available to Republican candidates throughout South Carolina and beyond.

The two-term party chairman, who honored a term limit pledge by not seeking reelection Saturday at the county party convention, Tuesday announced the formation of Swatzel Strategies, a campaign, issue advocacy, and public and media relations consulting firm.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Georgetown GOP's Swatzel Uses Hard-Hitting Mail Campaign to Oust Entrenched Incumbent

Could he do the same to RINO Lindsey Graham?

Georgetown GOP Chairman Tom Swatzel Addresses School Choice Rally at South Carolina State House in 2007.
(This story was not written at the behest of, or with the collaboration or knowledge of Tom Swatzel, the Georgetown Republican Committee, or any other state or local party official. It is based entirely on information provided by political insiders with intimate knowledge of the behind-the-scenes story.)
With Republicans gaining more state legislative seats nationwide than at any time since 1928, it is easy to overlook the gain of a mere 3 state house seats in South Carolina. However, one race in particular – that of South Carolina House District 108 – is a primer on how a clear, bold, uncompromisingly conservative message, coupled with savvy party leadership, can dislodge even the safest, most entrenched incumbent.

Representative Vida Miller, D-Pawleys Island, a local gallery owner, former school board member, and 14-year state House incumbent, was probably confident of an eighth term in Columbia when her only Republican opponent turned out to be Kevin Ryan, a 22 year-old grad student and political neophyte who still lives at home with Mom and Dad.

While Ryan did the things that successful candidates do – spent hours on the phone calling voters and walking door-to-door throughout the district -- political experts in Columbia believe it was a powerful postcard campaign crafted by Georgetown County GOP Chairman Tom Swatzel that defeated Miller, who had represented the district since her opponent was 8 years old.

Despite liberal associations and a decidedly liberal voting record, Miller had passed herself off as a “conservative” Democrat, winning by large margins every two years regardless of how her party fared in state or federal elections. This time, Swatzel was determined to put an end to any misunderstanding about Miller’s record and political leanings. Targeting swing precincts, Swatzel drew striking contrasts between what voters assumed about their state representative and Miller’s extensive voting record.

The Marriage Postcard

The county party's mailing on South Carolina’s Marriage Protection Amendment pointed out that on the 2006 ballot, 77 percent of South Carolinians had supported defining marriage as only between ONE MAN and ONE WOMAN. Yet when the House voted 96 to 3 to put a Marriage Protection Amendment on the ballot in the first place, Miller abstained, and even after voters overwhelmingly supported the measure, including in her own district, Miller abstained again on a 2007 motion to ratify the people's vote.

The double sided postcard
included a photo of Miller “with multi-millionaire lesbian Linda Ketner, who bankrolled the campaign against South Carolina’s Marriage Protection Amendment.”

Even though every statement on the card is true, including the characterization of Ketner as an openly lesbian activist, Georgetown County Democrats manufactured as much outrage as they could in response, and predictably, squishy and squeamish “moderates” among the Republican ranks began wringing their hands over Swatzel’s hard-hitting postcard campaign, some even demanding that he cancel mailing the remaining postcards.

Swatzel deftly outmaneuvered the outraged Democrats, challenging them in a guest commentary published by local papers to point out anything in the cards that wasn't true -- they couldn't, with former county Democratic chairman Jamie Sanderson even admitting on his blog that "nobody questioned whether (the postcards) were true or not." Swatzel just as effectively bucked up or ignored the hand-wringing Republicans, and the rest of the entire series of postcards made their way as planned, one every three or four days, to voters' mailboxes.

Swatzel recognized that motorists, facing the highest gas prices in several years, would not appreciate Miller's support for higher gas taxes and the resulting increased cost of groceries.

South Carolinians love pork barbecue, cooked low and slow, but pork-barrel spending is quite another thing. The Club for Growth had compiled a list of 50 of the state's most egregious pork projects - tens of millions for local festivals which Columbia politicians have used to buy votes. Swatzel made sure that voters in District 108 knew that "Vida Miller supported all fifty — the worst pork record in the state House!"

Swatzel knew that a state reeling from budget deficits, out-of-control spending, and high unemployment would not appreciate Miller's support for taxpayer funded political campaigns. This mailing was sure to sway more than a few voters. This card also featured a photo of Miller and lesbian activist Linda Ketner, but this time with a one-two punch message: it reminded voters once again of Miller's refusal to support the overwhelmingly popular Marriage Protection Amendment, but also pointed out that under Miller's taxpayer-financed campaigns scheme, even a multi-millionaire such as Ketner, an unsuccessful 2008 Congressional candidate, could force taxpayers to finance her future political campaigns, including voters who disagree with her left-wing political ideology.

National left-wing politicians such as John Edwards, Joe Biden, Howard Dean, and John Kerry, among others, are not particularly popular politicians in South Carolina, but they all have one thing in common: they've all financially supported Vida Miller's political campaigns, and Swatzel made sure that voters in Georgetown County knew it. This card featured photos of all of them and, once again, Ketner, also pointing out how Miller had suported policies in Columbia pushed by the all but openly admitted socialist Obama Administration.

Perhaps the most powerful mailing of all was this card -- targeted only to households identified by the county party's voter identification surveys as being pro-life -- summing up the pro-life position and exposing Vida Miller's record of support for a culture of death and campaign support from national abortion industry PACs.

As you can see from the postcards themselves, it was not just their hard-hitting and factual content that proved effective, but their clever eye-catching and in some cases humorous design and graphics. On a local online forum, former Georgetown mayoral candidate Marty Tennant wrote after receiving one of the cards: "Anyone seen today's mailer? I am now officially shocked. I've never seen this kind of activity. The local party wants to get rid of Vida, and BAD! The person designing them is a genius in my opinion. Let's hope it sticks on Election Day.”

In the last week of the campaign, Swatzel and the Georgetown GOP reinforced its postcard campaign by running this very effective radio ad.

And on election day, it did stick.

Fellow blogger Earle Capps wrote that even in a GOP tsunami election, the result was shocking: "Democratic Rep. Vida Miller had held onto this GOP-leaning district since 1996 through good years and bad, so her upset at the hands of CofC graduate student Republican Kevin Ryan, who carried 52% of the vote, stunned just about everyone."

Besides the obvious -- the election results themselves -- there's even more definitive proof of just how effective Swatzel's postcard campaign was in swaying voters to produce the stunning outcome.

At the end of September, before the postcards were mailed, a candidate preference phone survey was conducted of registered voter households in Georgetown County.

At the end of October, after the postcard campaign, the 680 voters previously I.D.'ed as supporting Miller were resurveyed. (Note that in the interim, the campaign materials circulated by 22-year old GOP challenger Kevin Ryan's campaign focused exclusively on providing voters a strictly positive message about his well-meaning but -- simply because of his age -- somewhat limited qualifications for the office. None of Ryan's material contained any criticism of Miller's voting record, campaign finances, or ideology.)

Of the 376 previously ID'ed Miller supporters who responded the second time:
13% had switched from Miller to Ryan.

45% had moved from Miller to undecided.

Less than half remained committed to Miller!
Given that in political races featuring a long-time, well-known incumbent, self-professed "undecideds" really mean they're no longer comfortable voting for the incumbent, these results indicate Swatzel's dramatic success in persuading even those previously identified as definitely supporting Miller to vote against the Democratic incumbent.

In his last election cycle as GOP county chair, Tom Swatzel proved himself again to be one of the most savvy and effective political leaders in the state of South Carolina. He was a Shrine Bowl football standout, licensed U.S. Merchant Marine officer, and respected longtime marina and deep sea sportfishing business owner in Murrells Inlet before entering electoral politics for the first time in 1994, when he became the first Republican elected to Georgetown County office since Reconstruction, winning 62 percent of the vote to oust a two-term incumbent Democratic county councilman. He helped other Republicans win office thereafter, and when he honored a self-imposed term limits pledge after two terms on county council, he helped his longtime business partner win the seat to replace him. By 2008, under Swatzel's chairmanship, the county GOP captured a majority on the county council for the first time in history.

He is a prominent statewide leader in the School Choice movement, having served for five years as chairman of South Carolinians for Responsible Government, a statewide organization dedicated to improving public education and parental choice by financially empowering Palmetto State parents, including low-income and minorities, to be able to choose the best and safest schools for their children.

He was just renominated by the governor and reappointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to a second term on the federal South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council, which earlier this year -- over Swatzel's objections -- unveiled a plan to ban fishing of certain fish populations off the coasts of N.C., S.C., Georgia, and Florida. Swatzel is credited by some observers as having literally saved South Carolina's coastal fishing, tourist, and restaurant industries after he successfully orchestrated a grassroots, political, and media campaign demanding that South Carolina be removed from the federal fishing ban. He authored resolutions adopted by both the General Assembly and numerous city and county councils along the coast objecting to the ban, then remarkably succeeded in shepherding through the fisheries council itself a motion to exempt South Carolina, and South Carolina only.

Unfortunately for the Georgetown GOP, and after having ousted Miller, one of the top goals he outlined when he agreed to serve as chairman four years ago, Swatzel this week will announce that he'll once again honor a self-imposed term limits pledge and won't run for reelection as county chairman. Having sold his sport-fishing business, it's expected he'll announce the launch of a political campaign, public relations, lobbying, and consulting firm to, at least for a while, make a living doing what he's previously done effectively as a volunteer.

However, given his proven ability to produce public policy results and win voter support with clear, hard-hitting, fact-based campaigns, we can't think of a better challenger to take on South Carolina's rogue RINO Senator Lindsey Grahamnesty in the 2014 GOP primary.

We relish the thought of what Tom Swatzel, the Georgetown giantslayer, might do with an incumbent who has called South Carolinians "racists" for opposing amnesty for illegal aliens, and who has supported the nationalization of US banks, massive new taxes under cap and trade legislation, the fingerprinting and imposition of ID cards for law-abiding Americans, and the appointment of Marxist lesbians to the US Supreme Court.

What might he do you ask? Just ask Vida Miller.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Steelworkers President Explains 'Why I Switched', Supports Right to Work, Opposes Card Check

Georgetown GOP chair Tom Swatzel has warmly welcomed James Sanderson, Jr. to the Republican Party.

Sanderson, President of the United Steelworkers of America local in Georgetown, S.C., has signed a statement declaring his support for the state GOP platform, including support for Right to Work and opposition to stripping the secret ballot in union elections.

We salute Mr. Sanderson and predict that he will be shown to be the true representative of working men and women in South Carolina who are so eager to flee Obama-socialism that they'll do the unthinkable this fall: embrace the GOP.

In the following column from Wednesday's edition of The Augusta Chronicle, Mr. Sanderson explains his reasons for joining the Republican Party:

Why I switched to Republican: We need jobs