LCTP Accomplishments

Laurens County Tea Party Accomplishments

Laurens County Tea Party began in April 2009 with our first Freedom Rally. Our group formally organized shortly afterward, and since then, we have held annual Freedom Rallies. Each Rally has been a success, with an average of 200 people per rally.

Our first rally in 2009 focused mainly on taxes and national debt. Our next five rallies addressed taxes and debt, but as President Obama’s policies continued to encroach on our rights, the focus broadened to freedom in general.  Our 2015 Rally focused on Religious Liberty.

January: Guest speaker: Ashley Landess, President, SC Policy Council
February: Laurens/Clinton Candidate Forum for Mayor
March: Guest speaker: Mark Sanders: The Original Intent of the Constitution and the Federal Reserve.
April: Bob Menges, SC State Director and Regional Legislative Director, Convention of States Project. Topic: Article V and The Convention of States.
May: Laurens Police Chief Sonny Ledda: The State of Policing and Possible Effects of the DOJ Report on Ferguson and Policing in General.
June: no tea party meeting
July: Pastor Bob Woodard: Tyranny as it Relates to Religious Persecution
August: Sen. Lee Bright: Update on the last legislative session in Columbia, how to stand firm on your principles, and what we can do moving forward.
September: Organized a CWP class.
Guest speaker at our monthly meeting: Vince Coakley, WORD radio talk show host. “A Blueprint to Restore Our Constitutional Republic.”
Presidential Straw Poll
October: Religious Freedom Rally at Lucas Ave. Baptist Church. Speakers: Rev. Rafael Cruz, Rev. Mike Gonzalez, Rev. Mike Post, Sen. Danny Verdin, Councilman Stewart Jones, Rev. Adam Powers
November: Support our local police forum. Invited guests: all county-wide police officers. Speakers: Sheriff Ricky Chastain, Laurens Police Chief Sonny Ledda, and Clinton Director of Public Safety, Robin Morse.
December: Christmas Party
Our members also participated in the following activities:
Attending Rallies, presidential forums, and meetings around the state, including the annual SC Tea Party Convention in Myrtle Beach.
Attending an effort to stop the gas tax hike in Columbia in January.
Our Legislative Committee met with our Laurens Delegation to discuss legislation for the coming session in Columbia.
Attended County Council meetings.
Continued our involvement in the Laurens County Republican Party.
President Dianne Belsom spoke to a class at Presbyterian College about IRS targeting.



Members attended the Nullify Obamacare Rally in Columbia.

Monthly meeting: Understanding the Constitution Part 2, presented by Keith Tripp.

Members attended the SC Tea Party Coalition Convention.


Guest speaker at our monthly meeting: Stewart Jones.  Topic: NDAA


Guest speaker: Candidate for SC Sup. of Education, Sheri Few


Guest speakers: Joe Berry, Oathkeepers;  Diane Hardy, Greenville Tea Party Board Member: “Effectively Communicating the Tea Party Message.”

Liberty is Rising Rally at the Capitol Theater.


Guest speakers: Keith Tripp: The Truth about Illegal Immigration; Stewart Jones: County Council Update.


No meeting.


Guest speaker: Thomas Ravenel, Candidate for U.S. Senate


“Open Mic Night.”  Speakers: Keith Tripp, Stewart Jones, William Weir (2nd Amendment and SC Law), and Chris Swanson.

Booth at Squealin’ on the Square BBQ Festival in downtown Laurens.

Laurens County Tea Party finally received our 501c4 tax-exempt status, 4 years and 3 months after applying.

Guest speaker at monthly meeting: U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan


Dianne Belsom, President, spoke to a class at Presbyterian College about the Tea Party and IRS Targeting.

Presentation of our SC Patriot’s Award to U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy

Guest speaker: Henry McMaster, Lt. Gov.-Elect

Christmas Party

Our members also:

— attended Rallies around the state, on issues ranging from Freedom, to stopping Obamacare, and opposing Common Core.

— attended Congressional hearings in Columbia

–attended County Council meetings

— got involved in the Republican Party

— met with our elected representatives

— made phone calls and sent emails to our representatives on important issues

— vetted the candidates in nearly all contested races and made that information available to the public.

–participated in several campaigns locally and state-wide.

— networked with other patriots around the state



Stop Obamacare Town Hall.  Speakers: Jesse Graston, Rep. Mike Pitts, Rep. Bill Chumley


Topic: How the Tea Party Can Elect a Presidential Conservative Candidate


Topic: 2nd Amendment Rights


Partnered with Presbyterian College Republicans for a movie night.  We showed “The Determinators,” a movie about how Obamacare will impact us.

Monthly meeting topic: 2013 Goals and Objectives for Laurens County Tea Party




2nd Amendment Rally:

President Dianne Belsom testified in Washington, D.C. before the House Ways and Means Committee due to IRS harassment:

Monthly meeting: topic: Capitalism and Christianity

Members also passed a Resolution opposing Common Core.


Topic: Understanding the Constitution Part 1


Topic: Agenda 21/Sustainable Development


Table at local festival, “Squealin’ on the Square.”

Monthly meeting topic: “Dangers of pending free trade agreements, US EU merger, and the coming New World Order.”


Candidate Forum U.S. Senate Race: Candidates participating: State Sen. Lee Bright and Richard Cash.  Candidates invited but declined: Bill Connor and Nancy Mace.


Our members also:

— attended Rallies around the state, on issues ranging from Freedom, to stopping Obamacare, and opposing Common Core.

— attended Congressional hearings in Columbia

–attended County Council meetings

— got involved in the Republican Party

— met with our elected representatives

— made phone calls and sent emails to our representatives on important issues

— attended the SC Tea Party Convention in Myrtle Beach

— networked with other patriots around the state

— Our President, Dianne Belsom, traveled to D.C. twice in order to speak out on the IRS harassment that our group has endured. (And the IRS still has not responded to our application for 501c4 status, over three and a half years after we applied.)


January: Election of officers, committee sign-ups, membership renewals. Three candidates spoke: David Stumbo for Solicitor, Don Reynolds for Sheriff, and William Weir for Coroner.

February: Both Sen. Danny Verdin and Rep. Mike Pitts gave updates on what is going on in Columbia.

March: School Choice Rally. Matthew Coleman from South Carolina for Responsible Government spoke about the School Choice issue.

April: Freedom Rally! Speakers: Allen Lollis, President of Wofford College  Republicans, Rep. Mike Pitts, Rep. Mark Willis, Desiree Belsom, and Dianne Belsom, President of Laurens County Tea Party. The key note speaker was Stacy Swimp, a black conservative radio talk show host and president and founder of the Fredrick Douglass Society. Mr. Swimp’s topic was “Concede Nothing: A Message to the Grassroots.”

May: Candidate Forum in place of our regular meeting:

Ricky Chastain (Sheriff):

David Brewer (Sheriff):

Don Reynolds (Sheriff):

Jerry Peace (Solicitor):

David Stumbo (Solicitor):

John Martin (County Council District 2):

Joe Woods (County Council District 2):

William Weir (Coroner):

June: Operation Lost Vote event that involved a meeting and volunteers manning the precincts all day on our Primary election in order to collect signatures for candidates (both parties) who were kicked off the ballot due to gross corruption in SC.

July: Dianne Belsom, President, spoke and outlined our strategy for the remainder of the year, with a large focus on how to defeat Obamacare and get the more conservative candidates elected.

August: U.S. Representative Jeff Duncan was our guest speaker, who updated us on what is going on in DC. He also received an award by Laurens County Tea Party for being a strong supporter of liberty and conservative values. Watch the video here:

September: Chair of our Vetting Committee, Keith Tripp, gave an educational talk about 3 keys to the foundation of our country: Liberty, In God We Trust, and E Pluribus Unum. We also discussed the recommendations of the Vetting Committee and voted on candidate endorsements.

October: Ashley Landess from the SC Policy Council was our guest speaker. She spoke about what is going on in SC politics. Joe Mack briefly spoke about the “common core” standards being pushed for education. See the videos here:

We also covered 2 local festivals where we handed out various educational materials, candidate information, and pocket Constitutions. On October 5th we registered voters.

November: Recap on elections and plan for moving forward.

December: No meeting

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