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South Carolina Republican ‘Majority’ Leader Rebukes ‘Loyalty Oath’ Critics

Davey Hiott: “There is no such oath.”

The leader of the deeply divided South Carolina House “Republican” caucus issued a statement on Thursday pushing back against criticism of a “loyalty oath” imposed by him and other GOP leaders.

S.C. House majority leader Davey Hiott of Pickens County addressed his remarks to “confused” readers who (according to him) “are being misled” about the particulars of the oath.

“There is no such oath,” Hiott claimed.

Here, in its entirety, is Hiott’s statement.

I want to take a moment and provide clarity regarding the South Carolina House Republican Caucus rules for the 2023-2024 legislative session. In recent news and blog articles, I believe some readers are confused over the rules of the Republican Caucus, and are being misled over a so-called “loyalty oath”. There is no such oath.

Like any organization, our Caucus operates under a set of rules. That is not unusual – I know even my church operates under rules. The Caucus rules are attached. I want to note that the rules were agreed upon by the Caucus and over 70+ members have already signed in agreement.

Let me also clarify that there is no effort by this Caucus to prevent any member from posting to their social media accounts or communicating with their constituents. A critical part of our democracy is communication between constituents and their representatives. Sometime later today the rules will be released to the media. Feel free to share with those whom you think would be interested. 

-S.C. Majority Leader Davey Hiott

Hiott’s remarks failed to note that the rules (.pdf) he is purportedly “releasing” have been published on multiple prior occasions – including twice by this news outlet.

His statement also omitted any reference to the most critical (and controversial) component of the rules – an incumbent protection racket that prohibits lawmakers from endorsing or campaigning on behalf of anyone challenging a GOP incumbent in next spring’s primary elections.

According to the rule in question, no caucus member “shall engage in campaign activities of any kind against any other caucus member in good standing.”

That’s an incredibly broad prohibition, people – not to mention a clear effort on the part of GOP leaders to insulate left-of-center establishment “Republicans” from credible conservative challengers next year.

Also, multiple sources familiar with the situation have confirmed GOP leaders were “weaponizing” this rule by adopting an excessively broad interpretation of the term “campaign activities.”

Reportedly included in their interpretation? A prohibition against posting images of the House’s electronic voting board on members’ social media pages – as well as a prohibition against discussing the “internal processes” behind House votes during their public appearances.

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Just yesterday, assistant majority leader Jay West intimated that GOP leaders didn’t want pictures of the voting board being posted online because “there is a lot of misinformation and disinformation out there.”

Really? More like a lot of factual information which would expose these establishment “Republicans” as the status quo hacks they are.

Clearly that’s information GOP leaders don’t want the voting public to be made aware of …

Look, I appreciate Hiott finally addressing this issue on behalf of so-called “supermajority” in the S.C. House. It’s frankly something he should have done weeks ago when this news outlet (“blog?”) first raised the issue. But his statement totally ignored the crux of the issue – and glossed over concerns over its interpretation. That omission strikes me as further evidence that the fiscally liberal GOP leaders who are pushing this loyalty oath aren’t interested in the truth. And aren’t to be trusted.

Call it an oath, call it a “rule,” call it whatever you want … it doesn’t matter.

What matters? What it is … a brazen attempt by the left wing of the “Republican” party to silence dissent, and to prevent those on the right from gaining additional seats within the caucus.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.

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9 comments

Nanker Phelge January 19, 2023 at 4:38 pm

“left wing of the “Republican” party”

Only in the deep trenches of Wee Willie’s mind could this be a concept.

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There are no left wing Republicans. January 19, 2023 at 6:42 pm

Correct.

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jbl1a January 21, 2023 at 9:41 am

Uh they are called RINOs. And the statehouse is full of them…..

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Clown Show January 19, 2023 at 5:06 pm

Why on earth are we even having to hear this nonsense? Who the heck would trust any oath uttered by a politician anyways? This just seems like a bunch of drama over nothing so they don’t have to do any actual work. Got to figure out a way to explain how you are squandering a supermajority I guess.

Meanwhile Will has an even harder job – trying to figure out how to blame the Democrats for this mess.

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Bill January 19, 2023 at 5:08 pm

This is what’s very wrong with today’s Politics. And, Exactly what George Washington warned the nation against in his fair well speech to the Nation. In it: he warned against any and all political parties. Especially, the ones being formed by Jefferson and Adams. Which today are called the Democrat and GOP parties.

Hiott said: “I know even my church operates under rules.” BS! politics is not a religion, nor is it a game with sides. It’s not Carolina vs Clemson, or equal. It’s what’s good for your family, South Carolina and the Nation. You must, as George Washington implored: STAY NEUTRAL, STAY INDEPENDENT. DON’T BE A POLITICAL SLAVE!

Don’t vote for your team. Vote for the person who will do the best job. Put your political team aside and vote for America 1st. Stop letting professional politicians run our country. Put Statesman into office, not greedy self serving traitors.

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Squishy123 January 20, 2023 at 8:50 pm

George Washington also raped his slaves…along with all the other founding fathers.

Fuck the lot of them.

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Ben Barnes January 20, 2023 at 7:00 am

Dear Mr. Hiott – why don’t you guys lead with transparency and the conservative values that you pretend you value. Then, loyalty will follow. The Republican party leads, but spends all of our money while engaging in good ole boy politics (see Nephron). Stop trying to be like the clown show in Fla and lead as conservatives, you know: smaller government, lower taxes, principled leadership. So far, it has been too much to ask.

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jbl1a January 21, 2023 at 9:43 am

Yes that is too much to ask, just like why are lawyer/legslators electing judges in this state. The pay may be minimal but the rewards are huge for them…..

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Clisby January 22, 2023 at 7:55 pm

Is it too much to ask that you would actually report on what it means to be a member of the Republican Caucus (or not)? What difference does it make?

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