Sen. Bright speaks to First Monday group


1 of 3 Graham challengers

By Stan Welch

State Senator Lee Bright, from Spartanburg’s District 12, and one of three candidates challenging U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham in next June’s Republican primary, was in Anderson Monday speaking to the First Monday Club.

Bright, a state Senator for five years, made no bones about his opinion of the current administration and its perceived agenda. Nor did he exonerate his own party’s leadership.

“Our government is completely out of control. It is so large that it is crushing us, crushing our nation and our economy. And the Republicans’ idea is that they can do big government better. The point is that big government is wrong, no matter who is running it” said Bright.

Lee, who was introduced by Senator Kevin Bryant, who described him in one word as ‘tenacious’, clearly has strong positions on the issues of the day; and is not reticent about stating those positions. “I was once asked to list the government agencies that I would get rid of if I could. Folks, it’s easier for me to list the ones I would keep.”

He called Obamacare, with its roll-out difficulties and its many regulations as ‘the world turned upside down.’ He also declared that President Obama is a menace to the country. “There is no compromise with Barack Obama. It’s his way or no way. That is not how this country is supposed to work.”

Bright responded to a question from the audience by saying he agrees with Senator Graham’s recent promise to place a hold on some of Obama’s nominees until the administration comes clean on the Benghazi fiasco. “I just wish he had done this sooner. He voted for two of the most liberal Supreme Court Justices in a half century in Kagan and SotoMayor.”

He also said that while he doesn’t claim that Graham actually supported Obamacare, he does claim that Graham could have worked a lot harder to fight it. “The Democrats have made it clear that they will do anything to push their agenda. We Republicans need to show and demonstrate that same resolve.”

He described the controversial ‘Common Core’ school curriculum as a disaster, and said that our education system will continue to fail until school choice is implemented. “Until schools have to compete, they have no incentive to improve. They just throw money at the schools and when it doesn’t work, they throw some more,” Bright said. “Education under the feds has become big, big business.”

He approves the return of authority to the states in many cases, saying that the restored sovereignty of the states would inevitably shrink the size of the federal government. He called Israel America’s greatest ally and said he would support bringing American troops home, and deploying them only to places where their presence served American interests. “We are stretched way too thin right now, and it’s going to cost us someday.”

He expressed absolute support for the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms. “It infuriates me when we have representatives from SLED appear before the state senate and argue for restrictions on carrying a gun. The concealed weapons permit is an obscenity.”

Bright acknowledged that Graham has a huge war chest of almost $7 million for his campaign, but said he thinks Graham can be beat. “I have a solid conservative record to run on. Senator Graham has a record he has to run from. If I can raise three or four million dollars, I think we have a real good chance.”