South Carolina Politics

Co-Host Hannah Miller interviews Rep.Josiah Magnuson: Budget Battles, Constitutional Carry, and Defending Core Values

March 27, 2024 Bob Slone / Hannah Miller /Josiah Magnuson Season 2 Episode 18
Co-Host Hannah Miller interviews Rep.Josiah Magnuson: Budget Battles, Constitutional Carry, and Defending Core Values
South Carolina Politics
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South Carolina Politics
Co-Host Hannah Miller interviews Rep.Josiah Magnuson: Budget Battles, Constitutional Carry, and Defending Core Values
Mar 27, 2024 Season 2 Episode 18
Bob Slone / Hannah Miller /Josiah Magnuson

Embark on a political odyssey as we peel back the veneer of South Carolina's legislative drama with our esteemed guest, Republican Josiah Magnuson. Together with my new co-host Hannah Miller, we confront the intricacies of budgetary warfare and the pursuit of core government functions, dissecting accusations leveled against Magnuson for his votes on law enforcement and road funding. The District 38 incumbent delivers a spirited justification, revealing the strategic battles that unfold within the corridors of power. Through candid discussions, we expose the challenges faced by conservatives striving for transparency and oppose the squandering of taxpayer dollars on non-essential ventures.

Grasp the pulsating heart of controversial legislation in South Carolina as we dissect the tumultuous journey of a bill targeting gender transitioning among minors. As conservative voices clash with lobbyist might, the pushback within the legislature becomes a thrilling chess game of amendments and public pressure. This narrative takes a twist with influencer Riley Gaines amplifying the call for stringent measures, leading to a legislative win that positions the bill's enforcement on solid ground. The ebb and flow of this political saga encapsulates the essence of our state's governance, where ideals and practicality lock horns in a dance of democracy.

Our episode crescendos with a triumph for Second Amendment champions and a discerning gaze upon the spread of DEI policies in educational spheres. As a fervent advocate for constitutional carry, Josiah shares the monumental strides we've made in ensuring South Carolinians can rightfully bear arms without undue restriction. Yet, the winds shift as we scrutinize the tenets of DEI, questioning their alignment with the nation's core values.  Join us for an unyielding discourse on safeguarding transparency, accountability, and the unwavering pursuit of principled governance.

https://bobslone.com
https://twitter.com/Rwslone
https://www.facebook.com/BobSloneAudioProductions
https://www.thehannahmillershow.com/

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Embark on a political odyssey as we peel back the veneer of South Carolina's legislative drama with our esteemed guest, Republican Josiah Magnuson. Together with my new co-host Hannah Miller, we confront the intricacies of budgetary warfare and the pursuit of core government functions, dissecting accusations leveled against Magnuson for his votes on law enforcement and road funding. The District 38 incumbent delivers a spirited justification, revealing the strategic battles that unfold within the corridors of power. Through candid discussions, we expose the challenges faced by conservatives striving for transparency and oppose the squandering of taxpayer dollars on non-essential ventures.

Grasp the pulsating heart of controversial legislation in South Carolina as we dissect the tumultuous journey of a bill targeting gender transitioning among minors. As conservative voices clash with lobbyist might, the pushback within the legislature becomes a thrilling chess game of amendments and public pressure. This narrative takes a twist with influencer Riley Gaines amplifying the call for stringent measures, leading to a legislative win that positions the bill's enforcement on solid ground. The ebb and flow of this political saga encapsulates the essence of our state's governance, where ideals and practicality lock horns in a dance of democracy.

Our episode crescendos with a triumph for Second Amendment champions and a discerning gaze upon the spread of DEI policies in educational spheres. As a fervent advocate for constitutional carry, Josiah shares the monumental strides we've made in ensuring South Carolinians can rightfully bear arms without undue restriction. Yet, the winds shift as we scrutinize the tenets of DEI, questioning their alignment with the nation's core values.  Join us for an unyielding discourse on safeguarding transparency, accountability, and the unwavering pursuit of principled governance.

https://bobslone.com
https://twitter.com/Rwslone
https://www.facebook.com/BobSloneAudioProductions
https://www.thehannahmillershow.com/

Speaker 1:

Welcome to Season 2 of South Carolina Politics. With all the changes going on in our nation state and local events, we've got a lot to talk about. We've made a few changes here at the podcast. I've brought on a new co-host. Some of you may know her from her other podcasts, hannah Miller from the Hannah Miller Show. She'll be doing some of our long-form interviews with candidates, sitting politicians and newsmakers right here in South Carolina. I'm sure you'll enjoy listening to her, so let's jump right in.

Speaker 2:

This is South Carolina Politics, and I'm your co-host, hannah Miller. Welcome in to the 2024 South Carolina campaign season, where we're going to be interviewing your South Carolina candidates and the issues most important to you. On this episode, we're actually going to be interviewing District 38, josiah Magnuson. This is House District 38, and he's running on the Republican ticket. Is that correct?

Speaker 3:

Yes, Santa, it's a privilege to be with you and I'm very honored to serve District 38 in northern Spartanburg County.

Speaker 2:

In full disclosure. This happens to be my district and so I'm very familiar with a lot of your votes and where you're at on a lot of these issues. I follow pretty closely what you're doing and those in the surrounding area, alongside of just everybody, because it's just what I do and so I've been following you. I got a text message today and this is what I want to address right out of the gate. Actually, I didn't get it. Those around me did and sent it to me, so I did get it as a text and I saw it on social media.

Speaker 2:

But I personally you know, just for full disclosure did not receive this text message from the gentleman who's running against you in the Republican primary and he attacked you on two things and I would like to hear your response to these two things. And he accused you in this text message and then what went out on social media or was reposted to social media that you had voted against funding the police in our area and then also funding roads, and of course, those are two big issues. I mean funding roads and our roads are just crumbling, and this is a constant issue for folks, particularly the upstate, and then our district in particular is something. So what do you have to say about those two accusations that you've received today?

Speaker 3:

Well, thank you for the opportunity, hannah. And you know, I guess, in the spirit of full disclosure I don't know whether it was my opponent that sent those text messages out it came from a group that is calling themselves the Upstate Action Fund I think is what it said and the problem is that we don't know who that is. It's dark money. It's anonymous. There's no way to contact anybody who's behind it and to actually add $23 million to law enforcement and $7.5 million to foster care and to fund some of these really critical needs that are core functions of government. So, unfortunately, we have a fight on our hands and we didn't start the fight.

Speaker 3:

You know, me and other conservatives in the statehouse. What we've done is we've stood up against the woke left and the socialists that are attacking our Constitution and our Bill of Rights, and we've been the ones that have tried to stand in the gap against the bureaucrats and the lobbyists and special interests, but also the Republicans, who don't want to do anything and they don't want to take a stand and they want to just be weak, and they feel like that weakness is the answer, and the only reason why we can't accomplish anything is because we don't work with the Democrats enough, and we don't, you know, roll over and allow them to steamroll our constitution and our values, and to me that's ludicrous. We have to stand, we have to fight for our country. We do have things worth fighting for here in America, and so me and several other conservatives in the House formed what we call the Freedom Caucus, and the Freedom Caucus says we've got to take it seriously this battle that we're in. Again, we're not attacking anybody, we're not trying to divide, but we are being attacked with these sorts of text messages because we're taking a stand. We're taking a stand for the taxpayer dollars, more transparency in the budget. We're taking a stand against things like crony deals that send, you know, $1.3 billion of taxpayer dollars to you know, scout VW, which is a woke company that does you know, drag shows in their, in their, you know, factories, things like that, where you know, and some of that was incentives, but 400 million of it was taxpayer cash. You know that could have been spent on our roads and it could have been spent on our law enforcement.

Speaker 3:

And to circle back to the question that you asked of, have I voted against roads and law enforcement? What a bizarre, what a bizarre allegation to make for somebody that is literally fighting for prioritizing roads and law enforcement, prioritizing raising teacher pay, prioritizing the things that we all believe in and defending our families and our freedoms. And again, nothing could be further from the truth. This is false. This is completely false. I've always voted for the education sections in the budget. I've always voted for the infrastructure sections of the budget. I've always voted for the law enforcement sections of the budget. And not only that, but we actually, as the Freedom Caucus, put up amendments to add funding to take away from some of the sports marketing grants and the film incentives and the tourism advertising and all of this pork that wastes your money on just waste. It's just pork things that should not be prioritized by government.

Speaker 3:

To use your, your taxes, uh, to fund, you know, art, uh, projects where there's, where there's lewd stuff, um, wild, you know. You know one was a stack of cupcakes. You know a stack of cupcakes was a, uh, you know money that your taxes were paying for. Another one was a big statue of a gummy bear, like just weird stuff. Okay, that's not what I want my taxes to go toward. I want my taxes to go again towards roads, towards law enforcement, towards core functions of government and that was what I fought for in the budget a couple of weeks ago. But now they're trying to say that because I wanted more money for roads and more money for law enforcement, that I wanted less money for roads and less money for law enforcement. It is absolutely insane, these allegations that they're making. It just goes to show that we are on the right side in this battle and we are fighting for our communities. We're fighting for the future of our country and I believe it is a battle of good versus evil.

Speaker 2:

You know you say these things and you know if they're a constituent who's not familiar with you, they might be thinking well, he can say all of that, but you know the proof is in the pudding. Where can they go to know for sure that this is actually what your votes are, that you are voting in this way? Is there somewhere that they can go maybe your social media page or something like that where they can see your actual votes and more during the session about exactly what you think, what's happening, and that kind of just get more information?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, so of course, I always will welcome people to visit my social media. You know I'm on Facebook, I'm on Twitter, magnuson SC at Josiah Magnuson on Twitter, or X, as the case may be, and they can sign up for my emails on my website, josiahmagnusoncom. The place to find objective truth about all of this is on the Statehouse website. I mean, you can go to SCStatehousegov, click on House and click on members and then you'll scroll down and you'll see my name, josiah Magnuson. It's in alphabetical order and then you click on that and there'll be a page that comes up and you can click down. In the bottom right-hand corner. It says find votes. You click on that and you can see every single vote that I've ever taken in the eight years that I've been a state representative.

Speaker 3:

So that's what people you know. I would encourage everybody to do that, and you know whether you're in my district or not. Look at how your representative is voting and don't trust these dark money attacks that are there to defend the interests of the bureaucrats and the lobbyists. We need, we, the people, to look out for ourselves and we need to make sure that we know how we're voting and not believing somebody who has a moneyed interest, a gravy train interest? Not believe those people, and you know. So we all just need to make sure that we understand all the facts before we cast a vote.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, we all need to go straight to the source, and I would say that to whether somebody is, you know, republican Democrat, whoever was sitting across the table from me doing this interview. I just have learned not to trust anything that's been sent to me in the mail when it comes to these political ads, nothing that shows up on my phone. You know really very little of what other people say. Somebody is voting for or voting against, or how they're. You know, I have learned that I just have to go straight to the source. I need to look at that voter board. I want to see a picture of it. I want to go to the website South Carolina Vote. It was, what was it?

Speaker 1:

SCStatehousegov.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I want to go straight there and find exactly how somebody's been voting so that I know whether there's somebody that I want to support or not, not just from what somebody else has said, uh, and something I got in the mail or a text message or things like that, which is why we're doing this interview, so that you can shed some light on these issues, so that constituents can know whether or not these are things that they align with.

Speaker 2:

And one of the other things that happened this year that I'd like for you to talk about for your constituents is the help, not harm bill. That was the term that we heard used a lot. You know that was how it was titled was the Help, not Harm Bill. This had to do with transgender children minors primarily, is my understanding and I'd like you to talk about that a little bit for your constituents and talk about what the bill was and what your stance on it was, whether or not you voted for or against that kind of thing, just to bring everybody just so they know where you stand on it on this issue.

Speaker 3:

Thank you. Well, I was certainly a big supporter of the Help Not Harm bill to stop gender transitioning of minors. My friend, stuart Jones, had put forward a bill about three years ago that was essentially the same as what came to the House floor. It was stronger, but the majority leader, davy Hyatt, decided to copy and paste it and put it in his name and try to push it through, which often happens to Freedom Caucus bills. When somebody who's a member of the Freedom Caucus has an idea, normally what we do is we cast a bold vision, we put the idea out there and we file a strong piece of legislation, and then we go out to the public and explain our idea. And then the public calls and, you know, makes their voice heard to their legislators. People who are republicans but don't necessarily want to, you know, take as firm of a stand. But when they hear from their voters, then often they make them take a firm stand and so they make them address these key issues that our nation is facing, and one of them is the gender transitioning of minors. And so this is what happened. I'm sure that Davey Hyatt probably heard from his voters that this is an issue they wanted him to deal with and not keep it on the back burner. And so he put this bill forward.

Speaker 3:

Well, unfortunately, the way the bill was drafted, there was no penalties, there was no aspect of losing your medical license, there was no criminal penalties in the bill. And so to just pass a piece of legislation without penalties, there's no teeth. There was what we were looking at and I was concerned by that and I asked around a little to see if we could potentially put some teeth in the bill. So we said that really, the best way to address this would be to have that physician lose his medical license or have his medical license suspended for a year. And so we put that amendment up. It was voted down.

Speaker 3:

Then I put up an amendment that said, okay, let's just be as reasonable as we can be on this, because I had asked around and was told that the medical lobbyists would not support the bill and they would oppose the bill. They were being neutral on the bill at that point, but that they would come out and oppose the bill if there was criminal penalties in the bill. And so I said, well, okay, let's just do a misdemeanor, let's just let's just get a vote on the idea of criminal penalties and be as reasonable as we can possibly be on this issue. Um, because a lot of times we get accused of being all or nothing. You get that quote thrown around so often and it's something that somebody I don't know who in Columbia came up with it, but somebody came up with this to try to attack us about.

Speaker 3:

Freedom Caucus members and there's nothing on which that we're all or nothing, except for the only thing that is a hard red line for me, that I will not vote for the budget itself is money for abortions and abortion providers. If we're taxing people and spending their money on killing unborn children, then that is a hard red line. So that for me is kind of all or nothing. Everything else, I am willing to negotiate and work with people and come to solutions. So this idea of all or nothing is really again a misnomer. But I put up. I said let's just try to do at least a misdemeanor with these genital mutilations, which is child abuse really. But they voted that down.

Speaker 3:

Republicans voted with the Democrats to kill that amendment. And it was crazy because I put that out there and we posted it on the SC Freedom Caucus page and it got the attention of Riley Gaines. Riley Gaines was a swimmer who lost her championship to Leah Thomas quote unquote who was a man but was pretending to be a woman and supposedly won this championship and Riley Gaines had to give up her trophy to the man who had beaten her in a swimming race. But Riley Gaines has a large following on Twitter and put out the word that Republicans have voted with Democrats to kill criminal penalties for gender mutilation in South Carolina. And so all of a sudden, there was this torrent of public participation and people calling their legislators to say why did you do this? You've got to put a criminal penalty on this bill. And so in real time, we actually saw them and I challenged them to do this.

Speaker 3:

I said if you have a better way to address this, then you write the amendment yourself and bring it up here, because that's so often what happens is they wait for somebody that's a member of the Freedom Caucus to come up with an idea and see if it has public support, and then they'll do it, but they will never take the initiative. These rhinos, these people in the uniparty that say weakness is the answer, they'll never have a good idea themselves. They wait for somebody like me to put an idea forward, and then they'll say that they were the ones with the idea. But I said, look, if that happens, if you want to put a better proposal forward of how to put criminal penalties on this bill and not pick my amendment apart, then you do that and I will vote for you for this amendment, whatever you, if you come up with something no-transcript. So he's very much out for me.

Speaker 3:

But he went to the back room and got them to draft an amendment which not only made it a misdemeanor but a felony 20 years in jail, not for the puberty blockers, but for the surgeries and for the physician. And he put that amendment up and you actually saw Republicans vote together and Democrats voted against the amendment, and so that to me was a big win that we, that the house, passed a bill that said you as a, as a physician, are going to have a, you're going to be faced with 20 years in prison If you do these horrific surgeries on a child to try to change them from a boy into a girl, girl into a boy. That we were able to come together on that. But it would never have happened if I hadn't been the one to take a stand first against the medical lobbyists and say this has got to be part of the bill.

Speaker 2:

Well, I know that caused quite a dust up, and you know, when things kind of cause a lot of volleying back and forth, a lot of that information that you just shared with us gets lost in the weeds, and so that's why I wanted you to talk about it, so that we could, now that the dust has settled, we could talk about some of the details of it and one of the other things that's passed here in South Carolina just this session that a lot of folks have been talking about. We saw a lot of. I think most South Carolinians really were in favor of this, but for the purpose of educating constituents who may not be as familiar with you again, let's talk about constitutional carry. Where did you stand on the constitutional carry bill? What do you think about that? How was your vote? And give us some of the details of that bill on why you supported it, just so constituents who may not be as familiar with it would be able to understand a little bit more what your stance is.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, thank you. So constitutional carry is another one that I've really worked hard for over the years and this is something that's been in the works for probably a decade or more, and you know, sometimes things don't happen overnight. You know, as the rest of the nation has been liberalizing gun rights and making sure people have their freedom under the Second Amendment, not only to keep arms but to bear arms, south Carolina has really been at the back of the line and you know we for the longest time were one of only five states which you know California, florida, illinois and, I think, new York and South Carolina. That's not a great group to be in. We didn't even have open carry, so anytime you wanted to carry at all, you had to conceal it and you had to get a permission slip from the government for a handgun. So to me that was a huge problem and that's one of the things that I've talked about when I ran is that we need to bring South Carolina up to the bar on respecting our second amendment freedoms. So we were able to get constitutional, we were able to get the open carry with training a couple of years ago and I strongly advocated for that, was very proud of the work that we got done there and then this year we were able to finally bring constitutional carry across the finish line.

Speaker 3:

And that is really what you're doing is you're removing what we call prior restraint. Prior restraint is a term in constitutional law that they use for the First Amendment that says you can't ban somebody from speaking from the outset. You have to wait and hear what they are going to say. If somebody gets up on the stump and advocates for imminent violence and rebellion against the government, well sure you can take them down, not allow them to say that, but you can't prohibit somebody personally from ever getting up to speak in the first place. You have to wait until they do something. That's not correct.

Speaker 2:

You have to wait until a crime is committed. Would that be almost like innocent until proven guilty kind of logic?

Speaker 3:

Yes, you don't punish somebody as a criminal before they commit a crime, and so that's what we need to do and that's what I believe we did with constitutional carry is we said we're not going to put an infringement on somebody's rights If they're a law abiding citizen. We're not going to target them and say, you know, you've got to get this special permission from the government when you've never done anything wrong. And so that's what we should do, for all of our rights is, unless you have done something to waive your rights, to forfeit your rights, you've hurt somebody, then you should have your rights, and so that's what I believe in and constitutional carry. We didn't pass a perfect piece of legislation. There's certain things in there that I would have liked to adjust, but I think we in this principle of liberty, that we are allowing people to make their own decisions for when they need to protect themselves and their families.

Speaker 3:

Again, it has to be a law-abiding citizen. It has to be, and you're not allowed to carry in more places than you already were allowed to carry. So if it's a school or a courthouse or something like that, you're not allowed to carry there. And then also, the state added an incentive for training. I think it's $5 million that was put forward to make training free for those that want to do training. We're not against training. You know, it's good to know how to use a gun. So those are all things that I think were good and I, um, I'm I'm grateful that we were able to respect people's liberties in that way and, um, you know, again, that was something that was a long time coming, but, um, but I'm glad that we got it across the finish line.

Speaker 2:

So another thing that actually is not quite here yet, that you're going to be voting on here in the next couple of weeks probably, is DEI and issues that have to do with that. Now define that term for our listeners and let's talk about your stance on DEI and the vote coming up about that. What are the specifics about this particular vote, this particular bill that people are going to see and that they need to know?

Speaker 3:

Yeah. So DEI is such an important issue and I don't think it gets the attention that it deserves. I think that DEI, which DEI stands for diversity, equity, inclusion, but it's really none of the above. It's not diversity or equity or inclusion, which even the idea of equity I'm not a fan of. I believe in equality.

Speaker 3:

I believe that people should have equal opportunity not necessarily a guaranteed equal outcome, that the government forces everybody to be the same, so, but it certainly isn't diversity.

Speaker 3:

It's more like discrimination and it's telling people that they get certain benefits or don't get certain benefits based upon what group they're associated with, either the color of their skin or their sexual orientation or their gender or something like that. And you're put on this totem pole of intersectionality and you're treated according to how privileged you are or how oppressed you are, rather than according to your own personal gifts and talents and your own personal responsibility and your own individual rights. And so that's where I think that it's really a Marxist idea. It's class warfare when you try to put everybody into boxes and into groups and say that's how you know, that's the liberty that you get is based on what group you're part of. That is Marxism, and so it's a very insidious way of attacking the things that we believe in as Americans, and it's being done all across our academic institutions. All the colleges and universities are pretty much pushing this on students. We're hearing stories of where students are getting their grades docked because they're not signing pledges to uphold DEI principles.

Speaker 2:

Is that happening here in South?

Speaker 3:

Carolina. No-transcript.

Speaker 2:

And that's happening here in South Carolina.

Speaker 3:

Yes, we have heard stories of it happening here in South Carolina. Yes, absolutely so. It needs to be curbed. And what we've done with this bill. The bill that I filed is H-4920, or sorry, it's 4290. I got that backwards 4290. And then the bill that Tim McGinnis filed is 4289. So they were filed pretty much the same time. I actually got mine in first, but they waited a week before they put it in, so they put both of ours into the hopper at the same time. But my bill was definitely the stronger and it has the concepts that I believe we need, which are the same concepts as we fought for last year in the budget.

Speaker 3:

The Freedom Caucus addressed these colleges and universities. Whether it's Clemson, usc, winthrop, all of these universities are pretty much pushing DEI. We addressed those funding numbers in the budget last year because we actually did a study and made them self-report how much money they were spending on DEI, and so, whatever the numbers they were coming back with, it was about $2.4 million or so at Clemson, about $1.7 million at USC and then lower numbers for the others. But those numbers were things that we tried to defund from the budget from those colleges, and then we put in provisos, we filed provisos which come after the actual dollar amounts. We put these provisos up. By the time we got to the provisos, we only actually voted on the first one, which was for Clemson. By that time we had negotiated with House leadership and they had said well, if you take down the rest of your amendments, we'll allow you to have a bill on the floor next year to address this. And so that's what we did. So this bill now that we have all that to say, this bill now that is before us, is the result of that negotiation and they've pledged that they're going to give it a vote this year. And I've worked very closely with Chair Lady Shannon Erickson of the Education Committee. She's been very good to work with and then with Tim McGinnis as well, who filed the other bill.

Speaker 3:

And the good news is that my language, essentially, is reflected in the new language that was added in the subcommittee. And so what that does there's several things that it does. It reins in DEI by making them report. It doesn't say you can't do DEI. What it says is you have to report when you do DEI stuff, any office or program that's associated with that. You have to come back to the Commission on Higher Education, which then reports to the legislature, and then that includes complaints. So a student could file complaints and then that has to be reported to the legislature as well if they're being attacked for what they believe essentially and again, essentially political discrimination. So that's very important that we know and we get a handle on what's going on in our colleges and universities, because right now we just don't have good data other than that one time where the Freedom Caucus did that study and they self-reported. So that's important.

Speaker 3:

And then the other couple pieces in the bill. One is viewpoint discrimination. It says we're not going to allow viewpoint discrimination against students who are codifying freedom of speech. And then the other piece is that we are banning preferential treatment of students. So you can't take action against one group or another group based on where they stand with DEI If they don't sign a statement. That can't be mandatory. They can't be mandatory to do diversity training. Everybody has to be treated equally and have a level playing field. If you're a student or faculty at a South Carolina university.

Speaker 2:

So one of the things that you brought up multiple times right from the start of the conversation has been the Freedom Caucus, and you've mentioned that group, that you're a part of that group, you guys, and a lot of the bills that you guys have advocated for are moved forward this year. Let me ask a question coming from somebody, from constituents, and this would just be the question Does the Freedom Caucus control how you vote?

Speaker 3:

So it's such a good question and a lot of people you know have asked that and are concerned about it. And I understand. You know you don't want your representative to be told what to do. You want him to have an independent mind and and to represent you, not some group. And so the answer is absolutely the Freedom Caucus does not tell me how to vote. I mean, I'm one of the ones that created the Freedom Caucus and people who are in the Freedom Caucus are the ones who came together to do this. We, as legislators, created the Freedom Caucus because we have conservative values, because we want to represent our districts better.

Speaker 3:

We felt all alone up to this point. We felt like we were being marginalized. We know we were. I mean, we were being set to the back burners, we were not being as effective as we needed to be for our districts, and so we said look, we got to come together and strategize and have a plan, and that's reporting on this. And then, on the other hand, you have the New York Times saying that the Republican establishment is curbing the far right in South Carolina. And that's the example the fact that the Republican establishment, the House, gop caucus, first Tuesday Strategy Group, who is running my opponent's campaign, that those people tried to push us out. And they kicked us out of the Republican caucus and they said that if we weren't going to sign our names to quote, unquote not campaign against other members aka we're not going to tell our voters what's going on in Columbia and tell them the truth, if we're not gonna sign our names to that, then they're gonna kick us out. And that's what they did.

Speaker 3:

Those national newspapers, the New York Times and others, have said well, that's a model we need to be copying across the nation, that we can push our liberal stuff on these other states without anybody standing up to us. And so this is a battle not just for the soul of South Carolina, this is a battle for the country. It's being fought right here, and if we aren't successful in standing up to the uniparty, to the Republicans who won't do anything, and the Democrats who are pushing the woke left agenda, if we're not successful to stand up to it, then this model of silencing representatives who are conservative will be used across the rest of the country, and I'm afraid that we'll lose the window of opportunity we have. So the Freedom Caucus does not tell me how to vote. If anything, I tell the Freedom Caucus how to vote.

Speaker 3:

I am a leader in the Freedom Caucus, I'm on the executive team and it is a privilege to be part of that, because we have a group of legislators who truly are principled, who truly want to take a stand, and I'm inspired by that every day, by the courage of the men and women who make up that group. It's like, you know, daniel and his three friends in Babylon. You know we've come together to work together because we believe in the values of the people of South Carolina.

Speaker 2:

And my understanding and you can correct me if I'm wrong but one of the core tenets of all of that is for you to actually represent your constituents. And you know, talking about this issue of does the Freedom Caucus control how you vote? Control how you vote? A big part of this was separating yourself from the rest of the Republicans, who are really controlled by lobbyists and special interests, and you guys really were wanting to set yourself apart. And now there may be people out there, there may be Republicans, who they're in favor of the special interests, they're in favor of those things, and so that's what they want to vote for. But you said you know what. That's not how I believe government should function and the rest of the Freedom Caucus, you guys are. You're not trying to control how one another votes. You are trying to come together as just as like-minded Republicans who believe differently about the function of House representatives. Is that kind of a fair estimate?

Speaker 3:

Oh, yeah, yeah, no, that's very well said. That would be. Our position is that we represent the values of the people of South Carolina, not the bureaucrats, not the lobbyists, not the special interests. We don't get these thousand dollar checks and stuff from these lobbying packs and things that so many incumbents get. I'm, to be frank, struggling a little bit with my fundraising right now because I don't have all of these other industries behind me. You know, like I say, the medical industries, you know all these different things that fund a lot of people's. The big pharma, you know, funds a lot of folks' campaigns. The Chamber of Commerce funds a lot of folks' campaigns. So you know I should be doing fantastic as an incumbent right now fundraising I've been in there for eight years but instead I'm having to rely on $25, $50, $100 from people, everyday people, here, in contrast.

Speaker 3:

It's a stark contrast, and unfortunately, my opponent has gone out there and tried to co-opt my campaign platform, and he's saying that he's going to get results on infrastructure and on defending law enforcement and all these kinds of things. I've noticed, though, that one of the things he will not say is that he wants to reform state government, and another thing he won't say is that he wants to end abortion in South Carolina. Those are things that we have to do. We have to realize where those battle lines are drawn and not be afraid to attack the real enemy and come together with our actual allies. So that's my position. Is we? We do have a fight on our hands, like it or not? Um, and if we try to make peace where there is no peace, the only way out is surrender, and that is something I'm not willing to do.

Speaker 2:

Well, that brings me to the final question that I want to ask you, and that's what is your focus for next year, if you win?

Speaker 3:

So, yes, so reforming government, ending abortion absolutely two very important things that we've got to keep doing. I mean, the heartbeat bill got us, you know, some of the way. I'm hearing a lot of reports, though, from the abortion facilities across the state that they're still pretty much open for business, you know, and so if, if you want to kill your unborn child in south carolina, you pretty much still can we need much stronger. Of course, I support equal protection for the unborn life at conception, but but we need much stronger laws than just the weak heartbeat law that has so many exceptions and loopholes, unfortunately. So we're going to keep working on that. Reforming state government one of the very important pieces of that is judicial reform. We're really on the cusp of that.

Speaker 3:

We've seen some senators Wes Clymer did an incredible job saying he's going to filibuster if they don't actually pass something. That's what you've got to do. You've got to take a stand for something. You can't just roll over. To say that we could be more effective by rolling over and doing nothing is simply false, and it simply is naive at best to say that the political process works by rolling over and going with the flow. So people who take a stand are usually the ones that can get something done. Wes Clymer said I'm going to filibuster if we don't get judicial reform and we got a piece of judicial reform. We're going to filibuster if we don't get judicial reform and we got a piece of judicial reform. We're going to see that happen, I think, before the end of this session, but it's certainly not the end.

Speaker 3:

We're still going to have, even if we pass the bill that the Senate has sent over to the House, we're still going to have lawyers in the legislature, attorneys who are going to be appointing judges that they're then going to practice in front of, and that is a conflict of interest. It's very corrupt and we have a very corrupt state court system, unfortunately, because of this. So we need to cut the conflicts of interest out. We need to stop the backroom deals. We need to provide transparency and accountability in the budget. That's something that I've been very vocal about that we've got to know where every taxpayer dollar is spent. I'm going to keep fighting about that. We've got to know where every taxpayer dollar is spent. I'm going to keep fighting for that. We're very close now.

Speaker 3:

We've seen some great wins to make sure that the public is aware of where things are being spent, but we've got to redirect the funding towards the core functions of government, that law enforcement, the roads, the education, uh, and and keeping people safe.

Speaker 3:

Those are the things. Really, justice, you know, is the core function of government and the things that support that. So, and then I would say, you know, just protecting our family values, protecting our freedoms, protecting our constitution, that's to me, the big picture. It's not just about the little different issues that we might agree or disagree on. The big picture is our country's under attack. We've got to defend our constitution and our bill of rights. We do that primarily by saying, as a state, we're not going to comply, we're not going to use our state resources to do things that are unconstitutional, to do things that are being pushed by the World Health Organization and the UN. We're going to stand up against that as a state, stand in the gap and try to do what's right on the national stage, because we do have a country to preserve and values to pass on to the next generation.

Speaker 2:

Josiah, thank you so much for coming on. What a great last word. This has been Josiah Magnuson of South Carolina House, district 38. I appreciate him coming on and giving us an overview of this last session in the house, what he has to look forward to next year and give us some information about the Freedom Caucus. Please subscribe, rate, review and share this podcast for other listeners so they can know if this is something that they would be interested in and be looking for the next episode for more interviews. This has been Hannah Miller, your co-host for South Carolina Politics.

Speaker 1:

Thank you for listening to the South Carolina Politics Podcast. I'm your host, bob Sloan. If you have any questions about what you heard here today, email me at bob at bobsloancom. That's B-O-B-S-L-O-N-E dot com. You can find out more about what we do here at Bob Sloan Audio Productions on my website at bobsloancom. Again, thank you for listening and make sure you follow, share and leave a review.

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Second Amendment Rights and DEI Legislation
Defending Conservative Values and Fighting Corruption