A coalition of several South Carolina groups advocating the constitutionally given sovereignty of state power gathered at the statehouse Tuesday, shortly before the state Senate spent hours discussing a states’ rights resolution. The measure passed the House 115-0 with a few abstentions.
Harry Kibler leads a group called The Patriotic Resistance. He says the resolution is a first step to giving state government more control of itself. He says it is not just a response to Democrat Barack Obama being elected President, but a push to return to the state not being ruled by federal funding.
Kibler and others in the coalition do say they support Governor Mark Sanford in his not taking federal stimulus funds. They say that it will grow state government, and that in two years, state taxpayers will have to support programs which the stimulus program offers to fund. “I want to make this clear that this is not a racial thing. I’ve had people ask me if it’s because we have a black president. A majority of folks here today firmly believe that George Bush did more damage to the Constitution of this country than the last three or four presidents put together.”
Roan Garcia-Quintana of Mauldin leads the group Americans Have Had Enough! “A lot of other states have this resolution. Governor Perry in Texas talked about seceding. Washington doesn’t represent us well. I’m not saying the government in Columbia represents us that well either. But the best governments are close to the people. And we want to send a message that we will not forget if they abandon what we want. This resolution reminds them of our 9th and 10th Amendments.”
However, Harry Kibler clarifies that the South Carolina legislation is not calling for possible session from the Union.
Dean Allen directs the group Restore Our American Republic (ROAR). He says it’s time to return to greater state sovereignty. “We are reminding the federal government that they are limited by the Constitution that they’re limited to doing certain specified things. And our social and economic and moral problems in this country are due in large part to the federal government usurping the rights due to the states and to the people.”