New Think Tank Forming In SC

South Carolina’s marketplace of ideas is about to welcome a new conservative think tank, sources familiar with the entity’s launch tell FITS. The new organization is called the Palmetto Policy Forum – and it will debut this week with the support of former U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, who resigned his…

new sc think tank forming

South Carolina’s marketplace of ideas is about to welcome a new conservative think tank, sources familiar with the entity’s launch tell FITS.

The new organization is called the Palmetto Policy Forum – and it will debut this week with the support of former U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, who resigned his seat earlier this year to take the reins of the Heritage Foundation, a national conservative think tank.

The goal of this new state-level group? To provide “a practical, credible vision for moving South Carolina forward,” one source tells us, a vision which will define “what proactive conservative policy looks like at the state level.” Obviously South Carolina already has a conservative think tank – the S.C. Policy Council – but in recent years this group has shifted significant resources toward competing in the new media marketplace.

Not only did this experiment fail, but the the policy component of the organization’s mission has atrophied – considerably. In fact we spoke with a pair of prominent fiscal conservatives in the S.C. Senate last week who told us they were “starving” for the sort of substantive research the S.C. Policy Council used to do.

Enter the Palmetto Policy Forum …

Jim DeMint
Jim DeMint

“As conservatives, we believe that market competition is good for consumers – in this case, South Carolina taxpayers who are tired of the way too much of their money is spent to too little effect in Columbia,” our source explains. “So here’s hoping a friendly competition to develop and promote good policy ensues … this state would only be better for it.”

We agree …

South Carolina’s “Republican-controlled” General Assembly and Governor’s Office are full of plans for penny-ante tax shifts, special interest-driven structural reformstatus quo-expanding education policy and of course boatloads of new government spending. The sooner we can replace these brain dead “reforms in name only” with thoughtful pro-taxpayer, pro-free market proposals the better all of us will be.

And when it comes to such ideas, the more the merrier as far as we’re concerned …

We’re also very pleased to see DeMint devoting his time, energy and resources in support of such an effort. This website was obviously quite critical of his decision to resign from the U.S. Senate, but if he’s making this type of commitment to engage the policy debate in the Palmetto State – we’re grateful to him.

We’ll be even more grateful if his Palmetto Policy Forum latches onto real reforms like S.C. Sen. Tom Davis’ “taxpayer rebate fund.”

And at the end of the day policy is what it all boils down to … coming up with ideas to prevent our state from experiencing yet another “Lost Decade.” And putting the political muscle behind those ideas.

“The alternative is to just keep governing crisis to crisis, having the same stale arguments and settling for another year of the status quo,” our source says. “Not acceptable.”

We agree …

Welcome to the marketplace of ideas in South Carolina, Palmetto Policy Forum. We look forward to seeing what you bring to the table.


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Soft Sigh from Hell February 4, 2013 at 5:25 pm

What’s this, Jimbo DeMint feigning a shred of interest in South Carolina? Where was that while he was SC’s senator?

south mauldin February 4, 2013 at 6:00 pm

No kidding.

Dan Ruck February 5, 2013 at 10:15 am

Ha! Ha! Yeah, ‘ole Demented sure made us proud, what with all the wonderful things he did for the people of the Palmetto State, such as…uh…such as…uh. And of what of his sparkling stand-in, what’s-his-name? Is he even attending Senate sessions? Why hasn’t Trikki been crowing about all the good he’s doing? She sure likes to pat herself on the back every time a company announces it may — or may not — be creating a few new jobs sometime in the unforeseeable future. Yes, what we need is another grandstand for the teabaggers to lean on while they squawl about the need to balance the budget on the backs of the poor, deny healthcare, wreck the ecology, promote mass murder and seceed from the Union..

ceilidh10 February 6, 2013 at 9:03 am

If Demint is your idea of a great conservative thinker, Heaven help us all. He is a self-aggrandizing man who used his Washington connections to climb up the ladder to a better job. He is a fartblossom who knows how to mouth all the buzz words.

The day will come when the average South Carolinian will grasp that the GOP is working tooth and nail against them, whether cheap health care, workers compensation, unemployment benefits, and public schools.

You can fool the public for only so long.

Churchy February 4, 2013 at 5:26 pm

I didn’t even know the Policy Council was still around.

SparkleCity February 4, 2013 at 5:52 pm

Motto of the “marketplace of ideas” in South Carolina:



sweepin February 4, 2013 at 5:52 pm

“Think” and “SC” make for an oxymoron.

Torch February 5, 2013 at 8:23 am

No, conservative and think are and oxymoron.

Torch February 5, 2013 at 8:24 am

and = an

Jan February 4, 2013 at 5:58 pm

Just more of Howie Rich kill public eduction, taxpayer money and vouchers for private school crap. Nothing more. Nothing new.

9" February 4, 2013 at 6:00 pm

Someone pried it from his cold,….hands? Charming pic…

Welcome to the marketplace of ideas in South Carolina, Palmetto Policy Forum?


PanT February 4, 2013 at 7:03 pm

I was wondering what BigT was doing today.

Sick of Big T February 4, 2013 at 8:11 pm

I don’t know, but I hope he keeps doing it.

Anonymous February 4, 2013 at 8:51 pm

Market competition would be good if politicians weren’t being paid off by businesses and special interest groups!!.

Can’t increase taxes on the 1%, they’re the ones paying off the politicians. Let’s go after the middle class, make it tough to have affordable healthcare, keep gas prices high because these are loyal workers that must go to work, and most importantly, keep wages and benefits low so they are dependent!!

–GOP Creedo

Luke February 4, 2013 at 9:15 pm

Yeah, get yours from the insurance industry and then lecture us on how to leave the rich and coporate elite alone! Sounds like a plan to me.

Chris Memminger February 4, 2013 at 9:47 pm

Policy council takes on the rinos, gets blackballed by Harrell, and withdraws from the lobby and you deem them irrelevant. Hilarious. Fits doesnt matter without suckling at the big govt teat, albeit in a pseudo-rebellious way. A man gives up a US Senate seat cause he cant pay his bills to head an idealogue, demagogue, dilletante think tank that has never made a difference in sc and fits praises the effort. Its almost like fits profits from the dysfunction as much as the people he criticizes. Oh wait, he does. Damn you make it easy to agree with Big T.

Judah Benjamin February 4, 2013 at 10:36 pm

Mr. Memminger, your sentiments carry about as much weight as your currency did 150 years ago. The Policy Council has been tilting at windmills for several years now; we all know where that got Don Quixote.

baker February 4, 2013 at 10:12 pm

Another one?

hhuuhh?? February 4, 2013 at 10:30 pm

Now, what in the hell could South Carolina possibly do with a think tank?

getyeryayasout February 4, 2013 at 10:38 pm

To get a think tank to work in this toxic environment, first you would have to think.

Noble announced today he will not take on Harpo as head of the atrophied SC Dem party.

And nationally, Carl Rowe is leading an effort to rid the flabby US GOP of its tea party influences. In SC, this means the far right will fossilize as the only choice in Republican circles.

Watch for a new party to emerge that is an alternative to the right and to the left. There is hope for us moderates.

And Deminted will create a new think tank to realize Tom Rowe’s vision that the crazy lady grounded on the shoals of Sanfraud.

toyota kawaski February 5, 2013 at 8:31 am

thanks but no thanks Former Sen Deminted. Go join former Gov.Pagan in the last frontier

Blind Squirrel looking for Inter_nut February 5, 2013 at 9:35 am

When you look at the names associated, will things really change? Whois Record
Created On:19-Sep-2011 17:16:57 UTC
(Looks like it has been in the works awhile.)
Last Updated On:23-Jan-2013 17:56:25 UTC
Registrant Organization:Palmetto Policy Forum
Registrant Name:Oran Smith
Admin Name:Oran Smith

Palmetto Family Council – Staff
Dr. Oran P. Smith – President & CEO
Dr. Smith is a graduate of Clemson University where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, and the University of South Carolina, where he received a Masters (MPA) and Doctorate (Ph.D). His doctoral dissertation, later published by New York University (NYU) Press, was entitled “The Rise of Baptist Republicanism.” He has written numerous journal articles and book chapters on politics, government, and the role of Christians in politics.

To persuasively present biblical principles in *the centers of influence* on issues affecting the family through research, communication and networking.
*Centers of influence: church, business/industry, *government*, media and academia

Palmetto Family Council – Board of Directors
Chad Connelly

The South Carolina Republican Party
Chad Connelly – Chairman

Billy K Mulligan February 5, 2013 at 10:50 am

I see Lance Williams is on the Board of Directors. Lance of course is famous for being Gresham’s asshole buddy and banker, then his COS. Lance proceeds to drink from the Potomac and goes native. He’s about as committed to small government and conservatism as Madonna is to chastity.

I received several emails from Lance shortly after he left Gresham’s office. He had just joined some lobbying firm, (maybe Kinghorn ???) and of course he was pimping his services to obtain Federal Grants and Dollars for an organization I was affiliated with. Certainly not begrudging Lance the opportunity to make a living, just thought that it was extremely hypocritical of him to campaign with Barrett for small government and conservatism and then turn around and start sucking off of the federal tit. Lance Williams is a fucking loser and a complete douchebag. Should have decked him in the Hawk and Dove when I had the chance with plenty of justification for doing so.

sweepin February 5, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Hawk and Dove?? It’s still going strong after all these years? I worked on The Hill in the early 70’s and it was a mainstay even then.

Ruby February 5, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Not sure Demint’s group and the Family Council are one and the same. Palmetto Policy Forum incorporated in 2008 as Palmetto Fort Foundation according to the Sec of State’s office. Name changed to Palmetto Policy Forum in Nov 2012. Family Council was founded in the Upstate in the early 1990s by Dr Steve Suits.

Jeffy01 February 5, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Retread of an already bad idea. Policy council part deux

Booyah February 5, 2013 at 9:48 pm

Yet more lobbying. Yawn.


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