Category: Liberty

315 State Reps. Call For End To COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

From the Daily Caller:

December 09, 2021

More than 300 members of state legislatures around the country have signed onto a letter calling for President Joe Biden to end his COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

The letter, first circulated by South Carolina State Rep. Stewart Jones to other members of the South Carolina Republican Party, has been signed by elected officials representing 42 states. It will be submitted to the White House on Thursday, Jones told the Daily Caller in an interview.

“I’ve been writing these letters for various issues, and it’s incredible to see the impact,” Jones said. He noted a previous campaign culminating in the South Carolina School Board Association leaving the National School Board Association (NSBA) over a letter calling on the Biden administration to consider terrorism charges against individuals participating in local school board meetings. (RELATED: Majority Of School Board Associations Have Distanced Themselves From National Organization)

“Last month, I got the state out of the NSBA with a letter, and this month we’ve been sending Biden this letter, and it’s grown. We passed it around to a couple states, and they sent it to some other members,” he explained.

Jones did not intend to seek signatures on a national level, he said, but a Kansas lawmaker saw the letter and circulated it to representatives in other states. He suspects that a broad interest in American constitutional principles made the letter more appealing to other representatives.

“There’s really something there, taking back the idea of federalism, like the Founders intended,” Jones said. “A lot of it goes back to precedence in the courts. 1905, Jacobson v. Massachusetts went to the Supreme Court, and that was about the policing powers of the states. This is a state issue, and I think the majority of states would strike a mandate down.”

The letter notes that courts at the federal level have already begun to strike down the mandates. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a District Court block of the mandate targeting private businesses in November, while a District Court judge on Tuesday blocked a mandate targeting federal contractors.

South Carolina is currently considering a bill that would ban private, as well as public, vaccine mandates.

COLUMBIA, SC – JUNE 24: A sculpture of George Washington stands infront of the State Capitol Building before South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford held a press conference at the State Capitol June 24, 2009 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by Davis Turner/Getty Images)

The Senate also passed a bill Wednesday night as part of the Congressional Review Act that would overturn the mandate, but it is unlikely to become law. Democrats Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Jon Tester of Montana voted with all 50 Republicans in support of the bill.

Jones said that he has heard from some Democrats, in addition to Republicans, who support his efforts.

“People are very supportive for the most part,” he explained. “Back in May, I was able to put a lot of amendments in our state budget, banning masks in K-12, masks in colleges. I’ve been fighting against COVID tyranny since March 2020.”

“It’s primarily been Republicans, but there are a lot of Democrats out there that have come up to me and said they support what I’m doing 100%. They really think they should have the ability to choose.”

Read article here:

Can Liberty Survive the Marxist Purge?

Appeared in the Abbeville Institute:

While mobs continue tearing down monuments and shaming elected officials into removing statues of historical significance — from Christopher Columbus to Gen. Robert E. Lee and even Thomas Jefferson and George Washington — Clemson University (which receives over $100 million annually from the State of South Carolina) quietly decided to remove John C. Calhoun’s name from its honors college. Never mind the fact that Calhoun’s family donated the land on which the college now sits — and that it is named after Calhoun’s son-in-law.

It’s no secret that, on both the federal and state levels, tremendous sums of government funding support education. In my home state of South Carolina, K-12 and higher education comprised a total of $5.5 billion in fiscal year 2019-20. Much of this is being used to fund our demise through social justice indoctrination curricula, which are so deeply rooted in Marxist notions of race, class, and gender that graduates are leaving college prepared to do little other than protest and riot.

Make no mistake: these culture-canceling Marxists seek to destroy America and replace it with something more closely resembling their own dogmatic, dystopian worldview. Cultural conditioning such as this is only the beginning of their efforts. Where cultural revolutions go, political revolution may soon follow.

From the earliest years of the Bolshevik revolution to the rise of communism in China, cultural revolutions have always begun with simplicities like language, symbols, monuments, and art. Before long, streets, schools, merchandise, and anything else that displays some form of American greatness will face the wrath of the Marxist mob.

No matter what they do, however, they cannot erase the timeless contributions of men like Jefferson, Washington, and Calhoun, who, through years of war and revolution, built and maintained a republic unlike anything the world had ever seen before — a limited government system borne straight from the ideas of the Enlightenment. Related Posts

This purge of American individualism is accelerating at an unprecedented rate. “Mia” (the woman pictured on the front of the Land O’Lakes logo) was removed from Land O’Lakes’ packaging weeks ago. Other product lines are quickly removing all their icons as well.

A few years ago, my family and I visited Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. Walking through the town’s historic streets, one can see reenactors bringing the world of 1765 to life. While watching a Thomas Jefferson reenactor in front of the House of Burgesses, a female spectator approached the actor and screamed in his face, “Mr. Jefferson, as a woman I have no rights!”

The actor stayed in character and maintained his composure. Again, the lady yelled, “But Mr. Jefferson, I have no rights!”

The actor paused for a moment, then resumed his speech. The lady then interrupted a third time, yelling louder than before, “Mr. Jefferson, as a woman I have no rights!”

The actor finally broke character, leaned over to the lady and said, “Ma’am, if you don’t allow me to write the Declaration of Independence, none of us may ever have any rights secured.”

Where would we be today if not for the sacrifices and achievements of those that came before us? This is not to say that the founders were perfect people; no one has ever been perfect. They wrestled with the issues of their time, just as we do today. We recognize these people for their contributions to society, and we learn from their mistakes.

At the end of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Benjamin Franklin famously referred to America as “a republic, if you can keep it.” Thirteen states came together for the defense of life, liberty, and property. From the onset of the union, there was vigorous debate on the proper role of government.

The founders recognized that individuals are free at birth, and by the laws of nature have unalienable rights. In fact, while many of them owned slaves, they wrestled with the issue itself. In the early years of Jefferson’s legal career, he represented slaves pro-bono in an effort to gain their freedom. While he lost these cases, he still advanced the cause of freedom for everyone by writing the Declaration of Independence — the foundation for all the rights and liberties Americans enjoy today.

Progress should be measured by the preservation of our liberties, not in the condemnation of the dead. For those arguing that American history and monuments are the root of our problems, I urge them to realize that individual responsibility is the catalyst for freedom. At some point, people must stop blaming others and realize that they as an individual are responsible for their own destiny.

Originally published at The Libertarian Republic and reprinted with permission.

The Second Amendment is Under Siege

The White House has announced new plans on gun control. House Democrats are pushing another universal background check bill, and high-profile Republicans in both chambers of Congress are campaigning for a new federal grant program that would incentivize states to pass “red flag” laws. It is not overstating the case to say that there has never been a greater threat to due process and the Second Amendment.

“What we can’t do is fail to pass something,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, when asked about last month’s shootings in El Paso, Texas; Dayton, Ohio; and Philadelphia.

Statements like this should infuriate the American people for multiple reasons. Never in American history have we seen our Second Amendment and due process rights under siege from so many different directions. In the midst of such a volatile and unprecedented situation, careless remarks like these from our nation’s leaders cannot be tolerated.

This is why, earlier this month, 40 of my colleagues in the South Carolina General Assembly joined me in a letter to President Trump and Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott urging them to address the numerous factors that are being ignored on this issue, including the erosion of our civil liberties the dangers of gun-free zones.

Academic studies roundly demonstrate that more laws simply will not prevent mass shootings. On the contrary, the key to curtailing gun violence lies not in destroying our Constitutional liberties but in recognizing the sacred right of every law-abiding American to self-defense, both from violent crime and the threat of a tyrannical government.

Likewise, 94% of mass shootings actually occur in gun-free zones, according to research conducted by the Crime Prevention Center. Multiple studies elsewhere point to states and cities with the toughest anti-gun laws (such as Chicago and Washington, D.C.) as having the highest crime rates, rather than the other way around.

Our letter also points out the role the mainstream media holds in sensationalizing gun violence and setting a false narrative that violent crimes are on the rise. Just like the notion that gun-free zones make us safer, this couldn’t be any further from the truth. In fact, data gathered by the FBI and the Bureau of Justice Statistics indicate that violent crime in the United States has steadily decreased since 1993.

I have taken an oath before God to defend the Constitution and am proud of my fellow legislators for joining me on this defining issue. Even with such a stirring display of unity, however, vigilance and courage will be demanded of us as the federal government’s crusade against our Constitutional rights continues.

To the elected officials across the U.S. who still believe in liberty: Now is not the time to stop fighting. President Calvin Coolidge warned that “it is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones.” The inevitable slippery slope that follows when government neglects due process is one that we cannot afford to fall down. I hope that this attempt to further destroy our liberties fails.

Originally appeared in Washington Examiner on September 26th, 2019

Thumb’s Up for Stewart Jones in House District 14 Special Election

Republican Stewart Jones, as expected, won the special election in S.C. House District 14 and will succeed Mike Pitts, who served the district from 2012 until his retirement early this year.

Most of District 14 is in northern and western Laurens County. Unofficially, Jones received 1,932 votes to McDaniel’s 1,490, or, in terms of percentage, 56.41 to 43.50 percent.

Jones vowed to remain true to his north star of conservatism.

“My message is just like our founders,” Jones said. “Government at best is a necessary evil, and at worst, it’s intolerable. I will apply the same principles I applied on County Council. That means increasing transparency. We need greater accountability with our roads. Better schools that allow more choice. Limited government is efficient government.

“Government says it needs more money, more resources. Everybody needs more money, more resources. … I think, in a way, government has forgotten those principles. … Government spends money in some ways that I don’t agree with at all. If you make government more transparent, the vast majority of the population sees it, and then it pressures the state legislators to do the right thing.”

In a district of 20,271 registered voters, 3,444 cast ballots. Three were write-ins. The turnout was 16.99 percent.

Both candidates are members of Laurens County Council. McDaniel will remain. The next special election will be to succeed Jones, likely in late summer.

The race shifted from McDaniel to Jones as the votes coming in went from urban to suburban and rural. The Democrat won 126-27 in Laurens 1 and 156-15 in Laurens 4. GOP votes rolled in from Hickory Tavern, where Jones won by a 223-36 margin, and also in Maddens (156-70), Jones (19-2), Martins-Poplar Springs (49-11) and Greenpond (146-27).

Jones won Laurens 3, 5 and 6, but McDaniel won rural votes in Cross Hill and Waterloo.

The candidates met with their supporters afterward on opposite sides of the Laurens Square, with the victorious at Roma’s and the vanquished at the Witherspoon Building.

The electoral dynamics will change in 2020, when Jones will presumably be running in a general election. When asked if he might consider running again, McDaniel was a bit taken aback, amid the disappointment of defeat, that the question was posed.

“I don’t have any aspiration right now, but I haven’t ruled it out,” he said. “I haven’t really thought about it, to tell the truth.

“I have no regrets. I think we have a good message and that it has some resonance with the people.”

Speaking in behalf of the Laurens County Republican Party, chair Brenda Stewart said, “We are very excited about Stewart’s victory. The Democratic Party gave their best effort, even recruiting support from the national level, and they were still unable to flip this seat. This shows that, even with a well-organized campaign, the values of the Democratic Party are not consistent with the conservative values of Laurens County voters. We believe Stewart will be an excellent representative of those values in Columbia, and the voters have affirmed that this evening.”

Originally appeared in

Congressman Jeff Duncan Endorses Stewart Jones for House 14

Third District Congressman Jeff Duncan made a formal endorsement of Stewart Jones, the Republican nominee for the special election in S.C. House District 14.

Duncan, of Laurens, is also a Republican.

On April 23, Jones, a current member of County Council, is opposed by Democrat Garrett McDaniel in the election to succeed Rep. Mike Pitts, who retired.

District 14 mostly covers northern and western Laurens County, as well as part of Greenwood County.

Duncan spoke at a campaign dinner held on Saturday afternoon at The Clock of Laurens. Among other speakers were Pitts and Rep. Mark Willis, who represents sections of the county in District 16.

The speakers discussed the upcoming special election, voter participation and what issues the South Carolina Republican Party will focus on leading up to the 2020 election cycle.

Originally appeared in

Stewart Jones announces his candidacy for House District 14

Stewart Jones, who currently represents District 4 on Laurens County Council, has announced his candidacy for the S.C. House seat, District 14, being vacated by retiring Mike Pitts.

A lifelong Laurens resident, Jones is a graduate of Thornwell High School and Piedmont Technical College. He and wife Kelly, a Laurens District High School graduate, have two daughters, Lillie and Emma Grace.

“With the news of Rep. Mike Pitts announcing his retirement, I’d like to thank Mike and his family for their many years of service and sacrifice,” Jones said. “After much encouragement from the community and with the support of my family and friends, I’m excited to announce that I am seeking to serve House District 14 of South Carolina.

“Great strides have been made over the last four years in my first term on Laurens County Council. If elected to serve in the South Carolina House of Representatives, I will continue to stand for conservative values and apply the same proven methods for greater accountability of government that I have fought for in Laurens County.”

Jones founded his own company, Greenwood I.T., LLC, in 2010. He is an active member of the county Republican Party and Tea Party.

The special election to replace Pitts, who is retiring for health reasons, has been set for April 23, 2019. Filing opens on Dec. 28, and the primary has been scheduled for Feb. 19, with a runoff, if necessary, on March 5.

Originally appeared in

Laurens County Republican Party honors County Councilman Stewart Jones

The Laurens County Republican Party presented Laurens County Councilman Stewart Jones with a “Local Government Official” award at their Bronze Elephant Dinner on Monday night at the Laurens County Higher Education Center.

The award is for “outstanding service to Laurens County, steadfast dedication to the Constitution, and for upholding the general principles of freedom.”

Jones, right, is pictured with Laurens County GOP Chair Keith Tripp.

Originally appears in

Sen. Rand Paul picks up endorsements from Pitts, Jones

While visiting Laurens County last week, Sen. Rand Paul secured an endorsement from State Representative Mike Pitts and County Councilman Stewart Jones.

Pitts and Jones join State Senator Tom Davis, S.C. State Co-Chairman for Rand Paul for President, and hundreds of other South Carolina grassroots activists on the Rand Paul for President South Carolina leadership team.

Mike Pitts is a State Representative representing Laurens and Greenwood counties. Mike has served in the United States Army Reserve and is a former Police officer in Greenville. He’s a staunch defender of the 2nd Amendment and constitutionalist. Mike was first elected to the State House in 2002.

“I proudly endorse Senator Rand Paul for President of the United States. Rand Paul is the only candidate who has and will continue to defend the entire Bill of Rights and the rule of law, which is why I am proud to stand with Rand,” said State Rep. Mike Pitts. “I have never endorsed a candidate for President, but America desperately needs a fighter who will defeat the Washington machine and President Rand Paul will do that on day one,” State Representative Mike Pitts said.

Stewart Jones is a County Councilman for Lauren’s County. Elected in 2014, after defeating a 24-year incumbent, Stewart has been a leading voice for liberty in Laurens County and in South Carolina. He’s a proud 8th generation South Carolinian and small business owner.

“I am very happy to endorse Dr. Rand Paul for President, because he is the leading advocate for restoring individual liberty and balancing the federal budget. He is the only candidate that stands for the entire bill of rights and advocates a foreign policy that was outlined by the founding fathers. President Paul will help to restore constitutional government and defend our God given rights. My family and I, Stand with Rand Paul for President,” County Councilman Stewart Jones said.

In South Carolina, Sen. Paul continued to spread the constitutional conservative message of limited government:

“The Republican party must be more boldly for constitutional conservative principles– less government intervention in your everyday lives, and more personal freedom. With the help of State Representative Mike Pitts and County Councilman Stewart Jones, I believe we can defeat the Washington Machine and Unleash the American Dream in the 2016 election,” Sen. Paul said.

Originally appeared in

Jones Tops Coleman for County Council District 4 Seat

After more than 20 years of service to Laurens County, former County Council chairman Jim Coleman is being replaced by newcomer Stewart Jones as the new County Council Representative for Laurens County District Four.

“I’m honored to have served the people of Laurens County,” Coleman said. “We’ve made a lot of progress.”

Coleman went on to say that there are still a lot of good people on the County Council and he hopes that they can keep the trend of progress moving forward.

“The team’s still in place [so] we’ll be ok,” Coleman said.

Coleman conceded to Jones around 8:30pm on Tuesday night, with eight precincts still yet to report in their numbers.

“I’ve given my life to it [County Council] for 20 years,” Coleman said. “Now it’s time for somebody else to take over the reins.”

Jones was ahead the whole night, taking the lead from the first precinct report.

This will be Jones’ first government official position at any level, though he has been involved with politics for years, most recently with the Laurens County Tea Party.

As Councilman, Jones says that he plans to increase government transparency and fiscal responsibility.

“The people of Laurens County District 4 are my first concern,” Jones said. “It is important for the citizens of Laurens County to be aware of the workings of our local government that ultimately affect them.”

Jones beat out Coleman for District Four Representative, 1,555 votes to 1,100. Click here to see votes by precinct.

Originally appeared in

Jones Challenging Coleman for County Council District 4

The filing period for political office submissions in Laurens County ended on Sunday as County Council Districts 1,4, and 5 are open for election this year, as well as S.C. House seats in District 14 and District 42.

The offices of Laurens County Probate Judge, Treasurer, and Auditor are also open and will be unopposed.

Incumbent Councilmen Ted Nash and P. Keith Tollison, both Republican, have filed to run unopposed for Districts 1 and 5, respectively, while the District 4 seat will see a challenger to incumbent Democrat and chairman of the council, James Coleman, in Laurens Tea Party member, Stewart Jones.

Jones, who filed on March 27, 2014 at 11:01 a.m., is a member of the Lakelands Republican Liberty Caucus and contributed $206 to the Ron Paul 2012 Presidential Campaign according to

Incumbent Rep. Mike Pitts is running unopposed for S.C. House District 14. 

Former Mayor of Clinton and S.C. House District 15 representative David Tribble submitted to run for the District 42 seat, which represents portions of Union County and Laurens County.

The current representative, Rep. Mike Anthony, intends to run for the State Superintendent of Education office this year.

Tribble will face a primary election in June, running against Republican Mark Cathcart, a Union County native and Clemson graduate who is making his first run for public office.

Judge Kaye W Fridy, a Democrat, filed for another term as Probate Judge. She has served as Probate Judge for Laurens County since June 28, 1993.

Sally Lancaster, a Democrat, filed for another term as County Auditor. She has held the position since 1993.

County Treasurer, Democrat Cynthia M Burke, filed to serve another term as well. Burke has served as County Treasurer since 1996.

Originally appeared in