Sep 11 2007

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made this statement on the testimony of General David H. Petraeus before the Congress.

“I think General Petraeus’ testimony has been outstanding.  A couple of points he made really stand out to me: 
  • The surge has clearly worked.  The idea of withdrawing troops because of political posturing in Washington will undercut our successes.

  • If we arbitrarily withdraw troops, we will lose the gains that have been made.  We have Al Qaeda on the run and they have been driven out of Anbar Province.  The Sunnis in Anbar turned against Al Qaeda as they did not like living under their control.  It was a huge event both for the future of Iraq and our own national security.

  • General Petraeus has clearly defined the outcome of the War in Iraq in terms of our national interests.  There’s no doubt it is in our own national security interests to have a stable, secure Iraq. 

  • If Iraq fails and breaks apart Al Qaeda could reemerge and use it as a safe haven.  There could be a war between the Kurds and Turks in the north of Iraq.  We could have a Sunni-Shia civil war spread throughout the Middle East.  And Iran, led by a ruthless, brutal, and very dangerous man, could dominate parts of Iraq.  Each of these outcomes poses dangers to our own national security.


“We should continue to allow General Petraeus and the troops to execute their mission.  Together they have done a wonderful job brining about a level of security and success which has not been achieved before. 

“In the Senate, I will continue to fight any effort which undercuts the ability of General Petraeus to maneuver and execute the military operations as he sees fit.”

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Sep 11 2007

WASHINGTON – South Carolina Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today announced they have returned their blue slips for the nomination of 4th Circuit Court of Appeals nominee Steve Matthews of South Carolina with a positive recommendation.  The slips were issued by and immediately returned to the Senate Judiciary Committee today.

The blue slip is a process where the home-state Senators express their support or disapproval of a nominee.  Positive blue slip recommendations allow a judicial nomination to proceed to consideration by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“Steve Matthews is an outstanding choice,” said Graham. “He has a keen legal mind and is a man of integrity.  I fully support him and hope the Senate will give him a quick and fair hearing.”

"I'm proud to support Steve Matthews and I hope he will be confirmed quickly," said Senator Jim DeMint. "Steve has the experience, intellect and integrity necessary to serve on one of our nation's highest courts. He will be a strong addition to the Fourth Circuit."

Matthews will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge William ‘Billy’ Wilkins of Greenville.  The Fourth Circuit covers the states of South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland.       

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Sep 10 2007

Graham Calls MoveOn.Org Advertisement 'Disgusting'

Encourages Senate Democratic Leader to Repudiate Ad

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) called a full page Moveon.org advertisement in today’s New York Times ‘disgusting’ and wrote a bipartisan letter co-signed by 31 senators encouraging Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid to repudiate the ad.

The Moveon.org ad titled, ‘General Petraeus or General Betray Us?’ says General Petraeus, “is a military man constantly at war with the facts.”  The ad smears the Commanding General in Iraq by concluding that, “Today, before Congress and before the American people, General Petraeus is likely to become General Betray Us.’

“The ad is sick and disgusting,” said Graham.  “General Petraeus is a distinguished military leader and should be treated with respect.  To suggest he would come before Congress and not give us his honest assessment of the situation on the ground in Iraq flies in the face of who he is and the responsibility on his shoulders.”

General Petraeus began what is expected to be two days of difficult questioning before members of the House and Senate on progress in Iraq.

In a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid, the 31 senators called the ad, “distasteful and frankly, below the level of respect that America’s commanding general in Iraq has earned.  No matter whether any senator supports or opposes the war in Iraq, we should all voice recognition and appreciation of General Petraeus’ long and distinguished record of service to our country.”

The senators asked Reid to join them in making clear, “that you do not share the views of Moveon.org and that you will not join Moveon.org in attacking the character of this fine officer.”

“It is important that all officials in positions of responsibility speak out and defend General Petraeus as the honest and honorable military leader he is.  From his years of service to our country and the important position he currently holds, he has certainly earned it.

“The future of America's involvement there is of paramount importance to our country and, while we believe fervently in the right of free speech, we also believe that it is possible and proper to conduct this debate without besmirching our brave men and women in uniform.”

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Sep 10 2007

WASHINGTON – A bipartisan group of 31 senators have written to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) calling on him to repudiate the ad today by Moveon.org in the New York Times calling David Petraeus, Commanding General of Multi-National Forces Iraq, ‘General Betray Us.’

“Senator Reid, please join us in making it clear that you do not share the views of Moveon.org, and that you will not join Moveon.org in attacking the character of this fine officer,” wrote the Senators.  “It is important that all officials in positions of responsibility speak out and defend General Petraeus as the honest and honorable military leader he is.  From his years of service to our country and the important position he currently holds, he has certainly earned it.”

The letter was circulated by Senator Lindsey Graham and signed by Senators Joe Lieberman, John McCain, Norman Coleman, Jim DeMint, Jon Kyl, Charles Grassley, Kit Bond, Bob Corker, Mel Martinez, Richard Burr, Johnny Isakson, Susan Collins, Wayne Allard, Judd Gregg, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Mike Enzi, Saxby Chambliss, Lamar Alexander, Pat Roberts, David Vitter, John Barrasso, Pete Domenici, Sam Brownback, Jeff Sessions, John Cornyn, Olympia Snowe, Sam Brownback, Elizabeth Dole, John Warner, and John Ensign.

“The ad is distasteful and frankly, below the level of respect that America's commanding general in Iraq has earned,” wrote the Senators.  “No matter whether any senator supports or opposes the war in Iraq, we should all voice recognition and appreciation of General Petraeus' long and distinguished record of service to our country.

“The future of America's involvement there is of paramount importance to our country and, while we believe fervently in the right of free speech, we also believe that it is possible and proper to conduct this debate without besmirching our brave men and women in uniform.”

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Sep 06 2007

WASHINGTON – South Carolina Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today announced President Bush has nominated Steve A. Matthews to serve on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. 

Matthews will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge William ‘Billy’ Wilkins of Greenville.  The Fourth Circuit covers the states of South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland .       

“Steve Matthews is an outstanding choice,” said Graham. “He has a keen legal mind and is a man of integrity.  I fully support him and hope the Senate will give him a quick and fair hearing.”

"I'm proud to support Steve Matthews and I hope he will be confirmed quickly," said Senator Jim DeMint. "Steve has the experience, intellect and integrity necessary to serve on one of our nation's highest courts. He will be a strong addition to the Fourth Circuit."

Matthews is the Managing Director of Haynesworth, Sinkler, and Boyd in Columbia where his law practice concentration is in the area of information technology.  At the practice he provides a range of services to start-ups and major corporations – from licensing issues and contract negotiations, to litigation regarding product performance and intellectual property infringement. 

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Matthews practiced with the Washington office of Dewey Ballantine and served in the U.S. Department of Justice during President Reagan's second term. At Justice, he advised Attorney General Edwin Meese III and President Reagan on the selection of nominees for federal judgeships, and served as special counsel to Attorney General Meese on the Iran-Contra investigation.

 

Mr. Matthews has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Carolina and a law degree from Yale Law School .

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Aug 30 2007

WASHINGTON-  U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the town of Ehrhardt will receive a $2,280,900 grant and a $789,000 loan for improvements to the town’s water system.

The funds will be used to replace the distribution system with larger water mains and replace the existing storage tank with a new 10,000-gallon tank.

The grant and loan were awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Office.  Ehrhardt was previously awarded a $15,000 grant for this project by USDA Rural Development and a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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Aug 28 2007

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham today announced Greenville County School District will receive a $481,907 grant to strengthen their emergency management plans.

Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools grants provide funds to local education agencies to improve and strengthen emergency response plans in all four areas of crisis response: prevention/mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.

The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Education.

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Aug 28 2007

WASHINGTON-  U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced three partnering school districts-- Florence School District 1, Florence School District 3, and Laurens School District 56-- will receive a $1,950,250 grant to implement a performance-based compensation system for teachers and principals.

The districts will use the Teacher Advancement Program (TAP) model designed by the Milken Foundation.  This grant will allow TAP to be implemented in six high-need schools.

The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Education.

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