By Mike McCombs
The Beaufort TEA Party of S.C., is unhappy with Sen. Lindsey Graham. And it is letting Graham, and everyone else, know. Following in the footsteps of the Republican Party of Aiken and York counties, the Beaufort TEA Party is censuring Graham.
In an email dated Oct. 7, Beaufort TEA Party Chair Ann Ubelis wrote:
“It was after careful consideration and at the behest of members of the Beaufort TEA Party, SC, that we issued the attached Censure of our South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham.
Since assuming the office of Senator for the State of South Carolina, we, the people of South Carolina have endured his waffling between Republican and Conservative values and that of a Republican In Name Only (RINO). Time and again, we voiced our displeasure.
It is with deep regret, that we find the need to take this measure. We can, no longer, remain silent. We join The Aiken County Republican Party and the Pickens County Republican Party in the Official Censure of Senator Lindsey Graham.”
Attached to the email was the actual resolution censuring Sen. Graham. (The resolution, unlike Ubelis’ letter, mentions a York County GOP censure of Graham. Any recent action of this sort by the Pickens County GOP could not be found.)
A censure is a formal admonishment or statement of displeasure. Since they carry no formal penalties, censures are often no more than political statements. But they can carry a lot of weight.
Ubelis, who lives on Lady’s Island, said the process of censuring Sen. Graham began back in August.
Members of the Beaufort TEA Party of S.C., an informal group with as many as 500 to 600 members approached Ubelis at the August meeting about censuring Graham.
“They asked for it,” Ubelis said. “I looked into it, and we decided to go forward. This is an independent thing that we are doing.”
The group has not censured anyone other than elected officials. Ubelis said the tipping point was Sen. Graham’s vote in favor of the infrastructure bill known as The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
“The size, the breadth and the items in the infrastructure bill, … when they throw all this pork stuff in there,” Ubelis said, “He allowed this to come out of committee and go out on the floor. He had the ability to clean this up and send it back and say, ‘Bring us a clean bill.’ He had the ability to do that and he didn’t. As a Senator, he’s not doing the will of the people of this state.”
The official resolution censuring Sen. Graham was signed and dated Sept. 11. Early this month, according to Ubelis, it was both emailed and mailed to Sen. Graham, sent to several newspapers, as well as the state and Beaufort County Republican Parties.
The South Carolina Republican Party has not (as of press time Tuesday night) responded to a message asking for a response or comment.
Sen. Graham responded in a letter to Ubelis on Tuesday, Oct. 12. Though Ubelis said Sen. Graham still doesn’t account for the “pork” in the bill, the Senator explains his position and vote on the bill.
Part of Sen. Graham’s letter reads as follows:
“Thank you for contacting me regarding H.R.3684, The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Repairing our nation’s infrastructure has long been an area of bipartisanship within Congress.
I joined my Senate colleagues in drafting a bipartisan infrastructure package focused on our nation’s traditional infrastructure needs, such as roads, highways, bridges, waterways, ports, and airports. A facelift for American infrastructure would benefit the American people as well as businesses across South Carolina and the country.
On August 10, 2021, The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed the United States Senate. This legislation would provide South Carolina $4.6 billion for federal-aid highway programs, $274 million for bridge construction and repairs, $366 million for public transportation improvements, $510 million for water infrastructure improvements, a minimum of $100 million to increase broadband coverage, and $161 million for airport improvements over five years.
This infrastructure legislation does not make changes to our immigration system, include the controversial Equality Act, Critical Race Theory, or the Green New Deal.
On August 11, 2021, I voted against the reckless $3.5 trillion tax and spend blueprint proposed by Senator Schumer and others, which will lead to increased taxes, radically transform our economy, and drastically expand social programs. The $3.5 trillion Budget Resolution, which passed on a strict party-line vote with only Democrats in support, will also promote increased inflation in our economy.
As the Senate considers further action on infrastructure investments, I will keep your comments in mind.
As your United States Senator, my primary job is to understand and represent the interests of all South Carolinians. The opportunity to hear from you about the issues confronting our nation is not only essential to representative democracy, but allows me to better serve the people of South Carolina. We will not see eye-to-eye on every issue; however, I promise to always give your concerns the consideration they deserve.”
Mike McCombs is the editor of The Island News and can be reached at TheIslandNews@gmail.com.