John Klimm Aiken Std

Aiken City Manager to address March 28, 2017 Luncheon

Aiken City Manager John C. Klimm will address the Tuesday March 28, 2017 Aiken Republican Club Luncheon, which begins with a social hour at 11:00 am.

Mr. Klimm, 60, was unanimously chosen as Aiken’s new City Manager at the regular City Council session Monday, April 27, 2015 after a thorough six-month search. Klimm came to Aiken after more than thirty years of experience in the field of public administration and public service. His professional career includes positions as city manager and town administrator, chamber business liaison, regional housing director, state legislator, assessor and college professor in his home state of Massachusetts and in Rhode Island.

Klimm holds a Master in public administration degree from Bridgewater State University and a Bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from Boston College. Klimm’s previous experience also includes working as an adjunct professor at Suffolk University, Quinsigamond Community College and the University of Massachusetts. Klimm previously served a three-year contract as the town administrator of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, population 17,000, from 2012 through mid-April, 2015.

The City of Aiken operates under the Council-Manager form of government, an organizational framework which has grown widely in popularity since its inception in the 1910’s. Aiken first approved the Council-Manager form of government in 1955, and subsequent changes to the state legislation in the early 1970’s mirrored the City of Aiken’s Council-Manager Plan.

Under the Council-Manager Plan, the City Council serves as the Board of Directors for the city, with the Mayor acting as Chief Executive Officer. City Council sets policy guiding the city’s growth, development, and future. The City Manager serves as the Chief Administrative Officer, much like the President of a corporation. Under this role, the City Manager is responsible for daily operations, including hiring and firing of all employees, as well as the efficient and effective use of funds approved by the City Council through the annual budget

Chief Barranco

Aiken Public Safety Chief Charles Barranco to also address February 28th Luncheon

Aiken Public Safety Chief Charles Barranco will join Aiken County Sheriff Hunt at the February 28, 2017 Aiken Republican Club luncheon.

Charles D. Barranco is the Director of Aiken Department of Public Safety. He is a graduate of the South Carolina Fire Academy, a distinguished graduate of the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy and a 2007 FBI National Academy graduate.

Charles was born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina. He moved to Aiken, SC in 1988 where he obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology at the University of South Carolina-Aiken Campus.

Charles began his law enforcement career in 1991 as an armed security officer with the USC-Aiken Department of Public Safety. In 1993, he became employed with Aiken Department of Public Safety. Upon promotion to the rank of Sergeant of the Special Services Division, his responsibilities included management of the bloodhound tracking team, high risk warrants, VIP security, traffic enforcement and animal control. He also served as one of the Department’s Public Information Officers.

In 2005, Barranco transitioned to the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office as the Homeland Security Coordinator, Sex Offender Registrar and a Public Information Officer. In a little over a year’s time, he was promoted to the rank of Captain of Jail Administration where he supervised 78 employees, managed the facility with an average of 325 inmates, prepared and managed a $4.8 million budget and continued his duties as a Public Information Officer.

Barranco returned to Aiken Department of Public Safety as Director in January 2012. His responsibilities include maintaining policies and procedures for police and fire divisions, budget preparation, continuing police and fire certifications, grant procurement and accountability, media relations as well as mitigating and responding to emergencies.

During his time as Director, Chief Barranco established The Aiken Safe Communities Approach which is a nationally used focused deterrence model to reduce violent crime and recidivism. According to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division’s (SLED) Executive Summary Report, after one full year of implementation (from 2012-2013), Aiken documented significant decreases in violent crime. Murders reduced 85%, robberies reduced 17.5% and burglaries reduced 12.5%. Also, with the implementation of The Approach, community and law enforcement relationships and partnerships have been strengthened by the development of additional diverse community engagement opportunities.

Chief Barranco has also received Awards and Commendations over the years. They are:
Certificate of Commendation –Aiken Department of Public Safety (2000)
Certificate of Commendation – Aiken Department of Public Safety (2002)
Certificate of Appreciation – Palmetto Pride Governor’s Council on Beautification
Life-Saving Award – Aiken Department of Public Safety (2005)
Certificate of Appreciation from South Carolina SAVIN (Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification) Program (2009)
Strom Thurmond Award of Excellence in Law Enforcement (2014)

Professional affiliations of Chief Barranco include:
South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Association (1993 – Present)
South Carolina Fireman’s Association (1993 – Present)
South Carolina Jail Administrators Association (2006 – 2012)
FBI National Academy Associates (2007 – Present)
South Carolina Police Chiefs Association (2012-Present)
International Association of Chiefs of Police (2014)

Chief Barranco has served on the Board of Directors for the Child Advocacy Center, Aiken Sertoma Club (past President) and the Aiken-Barnwell Mental Health Center. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Leadership Aiken County and is the Second Vice President of the FBI National Academy Associates-South Carolina Chapter. He and his wife Beth, currently reside in Aiken County, SC.

Sheriff Michael Hunt

Aiken County Sheriff Michael Hunt to Address February Luncheon

Aiken County Sheriff Michael Hunt will address the Aiken Republican Club at its February  luncheon meeting on Tuesday February 28, 2017.

Michael E. Hunt, Sr., became the 18th Sheriff of Aiken County in May 2003 during a special election. A year later, he ran unopposed to win his first full term, an accomplishment not seen in Aiken County in more than 40 years.

His law enforcement career spans more than two decades. Prior to joining ACSO, Sheriff Hunt headed up the Special Services Bureau as a Lieutenant with the Aiken Department of Public Safety where he received The Strom Thurmond Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement in 2001.

Encouraged by his father and others to dedicate his life to serving the community, Sheriff Hunt began his public safety career as a firefighter in Richmond County, Georgia. He then became a corrections officer at the Aiken County Detention Center, a public safety officer with the North Augusta Department of Public Safety, and in 1985, joined the Aiken Department of Public Safety.

Since taking office, Sheriff Hunt restructured the agency. More deputies on the street has resulted in a drastically improved response to citizens calls for service. Sheriff Hunt most recently demonstrated his “hands-on” management style during the January 2005 train derailment and chemical spill in Graniteville, South Carolina. Governor Mark Sanford recognized the extraordinary leadership and awarded Sheriff Hunt the state’s highest honor, The Order of the Silver Crescent. In 2006 he was voted South Carolina’s Sheriff of the Year by the members of the South Carolina’s Sheriff’s Association.

A 1979 graduate of Langley-Bath-Clearwater High School and a 1983 graduate of the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy.  Sheriff Hunt is married to the former Tonya WiIlhite. The couple has an 18-year-old son and lives in Graniteville.

For more information about the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office, visit:

Mayor Rick Osbon

Aiken Mayor Rick Osbon to address January 18, 2017 Luncheon Meeting

Aiken City  Mayor Rick Osbon will be the Guest Speaker at the January 18, 2017 Luncheon Meeting of the Aiken Republican Club. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 18  at Newberry Hall located at 117 Newberry Street down town Aiken, South Carolina.


Rick Osbon, a proven leader with practical experience, offers a new businesslike approach to government with a focus on economic development and jobs, while preserving the rich history and community that makes Aiken an extraordinary place to live and raise a family.


 Rick is a third generation family business owner in Aiken, running the family business Osbon’s Dry Cleaners, which his father and grandfather started together in 1948. Rick’s family instilled in him that with honesty, integrity, fiscal responsibility, hard work, and smart planning, you will be successful. 


He served on Aiken County Council for 8 years building his strong record as a fiscal conservative and one who stands up for his principles.


He graduated from Aiken High School and in 1993 he graduated from USC Aiken with a degree in Business Management.


The registration /social time will begin at 10:45 AM and end at 11; 45 AM lunch will be served at 12:Noon . The cost of the luncheon for members is $17 and $22 for non-members.   


You have until 4 PM Friday,  January 13, to cancel a Reservation.  Reservations will be accepted until 3 PM Monday, January16, 2017 .  Keep in mind you are responsible for your Reservation.

Make your reservation at:

It was there that  he met his lovely wife Angie. Married for 22 years they are the proud parents of three  children Reagan, Sterling and Gemma. They attend Millbrook Baptist Church.


Gary J Byrne

Former Clinton White House Secret Service Agent to address Aiken Republican Club

GARY J. BYRNE is the author of Crisis of Character published by Hatchette Book Group. He has served in Federal Law Enforcement for nearly 30 years. Having witnessed the personal and political dysfunction of the Clinton White House, Gary J. Byrne tells his story before voters go to the polls in the hopes that Clinton supporters will understand the real Hillary Clinton. He will be the guest speaker at the November 3, 2016 Aiken Republican Club luncheon. Autographed copies of his book, Crisis of Character, will be available for sale at the meeting.

BYRNE served in federal law enforcement for nearly thirty years, in the U.S. Air Force Security Police, the Uniformed Division of the Secret Service, and most recently as a Federal Air Marshal. While serving as a Secret Service Officer, Gary protected President Bill Clinton and the First Family in the White House.

S.C. Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom (1)

South Carolina Controller Warns: Use Surpluses to Increase Reserves for Harder Times Ahead

Columbia, S.C. – State Controller Richard Eckstrom reports there was a slowdown in the growth of annual revenue collections for state government’s fiscal year that ended June 30, 2016. While annual revenues grew by 4.3 percent for the fiscal year, that was significantly less than the 7.3 percent rate of growth experienced a year earlier.
The General Assembly had been expecting that the annual growth rate would be 4.6 percent, rather than 4.3 percent. Anticipating this higher level of new revenue, the General Assembly approved “supplemental appropriations” late in the year to spend the expected new revenue on nonrecurring items and special projects sought by state agencies.
Because of not fully meeting its new revenue estimates, $10,328,000 of items from the supplemental appropriations bill cannot be funded. These unfunded items include $7,000,000 for the State Aviation Fund at the Division of Aeronautics, $1,100,000 for the Office of the Adjutant General, and $1,600,000 of a $2,400,000 project for improving pedestrian safety and visibility on Pendleton Street behind the Statehouse complex.
In addition, the budget for the new fiscal year that began July 1 includes revenue growth that is not being met by actual collections, with July’s revenues being 0.9 percent below July 2015. Many extreme financial demands will be confronting state government during this new fiscal year.
As state government generates revenue surpluses, it would be prudent to resist the temptation to “spend it all” and to instead establish additional reserves for leaner times that appear to be emerging. South Carolina’s economy is not exempt from slowdowns and stresses being experienced in the world economy.
Furthermore, state government has promised to provide retirement benefits to public sector employees, has incurred legal obligations to make good on those promises, and has allowed itself to ignore the mounting costs of the promised benefits. The ignored costs, which will have to be funded, exceed $30 billion.

For more information please contact Eric Ward, public information director, at 803-734-2538, 803-206-6293, or


September ARC Speaker elected Senate Majority Leader

South Carolina State Senator Shane Massey, one of the guest speakers for the September 14 Aiken Republican Club Luncheon, has been elected Senate Majority Leader. Commenting on his election, Senator Massey said:

“It started off like a normal week, but then Sen. Harvey Peeler surprised everyone by stepping down as Majority Leader. Several Conservative senators encouraged me to step up, and here we are. What a crazy week! It really is an honor to be chosen by my Senate colleagues to serve as Majority Leader. At 40 years old, I’m the 3rd youngest member of the entire Senate! I know I have big shoes to fill, but I didn’t run for the Senate to sit around. We have work to do, and I’m ready to shake things up in Columbia. I’m not going to be the kind of leader who just goes along to get along. I intend to use my position as a bully pulpit to change the system from the inside out. It won’t be easy, but shaking things up never is. The good old boys and status quo types don’t like change. South Carolina is an amazing state with incredible opportunity. People want to come here. We are one of the fastest-growing states in the country. We have become the target destination for business and industry. We build tires and cars and airplanes. Our port is the envy of the East Coast. Yet our people are our greatest assets. For South Carolina to continue to prosper, we have to empower people. And that means shaking up Columbia”


Action Alert: Absentee Voting

With just 83 days until the November 8th General Election, the South Carolina Republican Party team is hard at work to ensure victory!

That means giving you the tools to help get our candidates across the finish line. Here are a few ways you can help:
The South Carolina Republican Party has launched a new website to encourage absentee voting. Our customized website – – allows eligible voters to skip the long lines on Election Day and vote by mail.
We want to make sure that every South Carolina voter knows about our conservative candidates.
Victory 2016 is currently looking for volunteers statewide to make Get-Out-The-Vote phone calls and door-to-door contacts.
Our technology even allows you to contact potential voters from the comfort of your home!
Please join our Victory volunteer team at and we will contact you to help keep South Carolina RED in November!
September is National Register to Vote Month! The deadline to register to vote in South Carolina is October 8th. If you are not registered to vote – or know someone who is not registered – please visit Register.GOP for more information.
Our party has made huge investments in technology and Get-Out-The-Vote tools, so please join our team and help power our candidates to victory! This election is too important to sit on the sidelines!
In Freedom,
Matt Moore
South Carolina Republican Party

The Donald vs. NATO – He’s on the Money

For full disclosure: I know more than most about the intersection between the Republican presidential candidate and national security.

No, I don’t work for Mr Trump, nor am I part of his campaign staff of advisors. But last summer, long before anyone outside of his own family took his candidacy seriously, Donald Trump reached out to me for advice on national security issues.

We met twice in his Manhattan office to discuss broad questions to do with national security, and I wrote him a selection of policy papers (the details of which fall under an NDA. Sorry!).

Now he is the official presidential candidate of the GOP, much to the surprise of many a RINO and the chagrin of a certain Texan senator who refused to endorse him (after pledging to endorse whoever became the GOP candidate).

Mr. Trump has successfully outwitted all the bookies and establishment grandees by speaking plainly and riding the wave of serial controversies that do far greater damage to his detractors than his own standing among the voters.

The latest storm was generated by the NYT interview he gave yesterday. When asked about coming to the aid of NATO nations under attack, Trump answered that that depends upon how they have fulfilled their obligations to us, and if they had done so, he would aid them, adding that “Many NATO nations are not making payments, are not making what they’re supposed to make. That’s a big thing. You can’t say forget that.”

Well with that the chattering classes were off to the races. From Chris Matthews on down (or is it up?) the cries went out: “How can Trump say this?” “He’s endangering our allies.” “He’s emboldening Putin!” “Doesn’t he know we have treaty obligations?!”

Now I am not a Trumpster (I grew up under, and was formed by, the leadership of Maggie Thatcher, a very different kind of leader), but can we just stop for a moment and look at what the presidential candidate actually said?

He said: it if our allies keep to their commitments (hear an echo Senator Cruz?), we will defend them. How outrageous of Donald Trump! Or was it?

At the moment, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has 28 sovereign members, from the mighty America, to the lilliputian Estonian. Of the almost 30 countries, only 5 reach the consensus requirement for NATO members to dedicate just 2% of their GDP to their own defense (Estonia, interestingly being one of them).

The other 23 countries have decided for decades that they don’t want to pay for their own protection. They’ll just freeload on America’s good will. (I mean the yanks saved Europe from self-destruction twice, so they’ll do it again. Right. Right……??)

I cut my teeth on NATO issues when I still lived in Europe, and from experience can confirm that the majority of European nations have taken American goodwill – and our dollars – for granted.

Yes, NATO is an alliance based on values and not just parochial interests. But it is not a US-funded charity, and that is how it has been treated since the end of the Cold War by the majority of its members.

The Gray Lady’s follow-up piece today on the Trump kerfuffle is entitled: “Donald Trump’s Remarks Rattle NATO Allies and Stoke Debate on Cost Sharing.”

I can personally attest that Mr. Trump has a long way to go when it comes to being au fait with the intricacies of national security, but on this one he is 100% correct. And I, for one, am glad that after taking America for granted for so long, the freeloaders are “rattled” and talking about “cost-sharing.”

And I am quite certain that, should Donald Trump be elected the Commander-in-Chief of the United States of America, they won’t just be “talking” about it.

First published in Breitbart National Security in July 2016


Sebastian L Gorka – May 24th

Dear Members,

It is with great pleasure that I announce to you that Dr. Sebastian L. Gorka will be our Guest Speaker at the Aiken Republican Club’s May Luncheon Meeting.

The Meeting will be held on Tuesday May,24 at Newberry Hall located at 17 Newberry Street down town Aiken South Carolina.

Sebastian L.Gorka, Ph.D. serves as the Major General Matthew C. Horner Distinguished Chair of Military Theory at Marine Corps University where he provides courses and lectures on Irregular warfare. Previously he was associate Dean of Congressional Affairs and Relations to the Special Operations Community at National Defense University.

He is an internationally recognized authority on issues of national security, irregular warfare, terrorism and democratization and has testified before Congress and briefed the CIA, ODNI, NCTC, NIC, and the commandant of the Marine Corps. His website,, is a collection of his national security commentary and analysis. He served as a subject matter expert for the Office of the US Attorney in Boston for theTsarnaev trial. He is a Fox News contributor. (his full bio and photo is attached).

The Registration/Social time will be from 10 AM to 11:55 AM. Lunch is at 12 Noon.

The cost for Members is $17.00 and $22.00 for Non-Members and includes Lunch.

To make a Reservation or cancel a Reservation please use the our web site

Since we expect a large turnout please be prompt when Registering.

You have until 5 PM Saturday, May 22 to cancel a reservation keeping in mind that you are responsible for reservation.




Sebastian L. Gorka, Ph.D. serves as the Major General Matthew C. Horner Distinguished Chair of Military Theory at Marine Corps University where he provides courses and lectures on Irregular Warfare. Previously he was Associate Dean of Congressional Affairs and Relations to the Special Operations Community at National Defense University.

He is an internationally recognized authority on issues of national security, irregular warfare, terrorism and democratization and has testified before Congress and briefed the CIA, ODNI, NCTC, NIC, and the Commandant of the Marine Corps. His website,, is a collection of his national security commentary and analysis. He served as a subject matter expert for the Office of the US Attorney in Boston for the Tsarnaev trial.

Dr. Gorka is an Adjunct Professor with USSOCOM’s Joint Special Operations University where he serves as Lead Instructor for the Special Operations Combating Terrorism (SOCbT) course, as well as the interagency and senior/executive counterterrorism courses. He is also an Adjunct Professor in National Security at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, and is a regular instructor with the US Army’s Special Warfare Centre and School in Fort Bragg and for the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division.

Dr. Gorka has advised the Office of the Secretary of Defense regarding the draft guidance for US Strategic Communications and was consulted by USSOCOM during the drafting of the new Joint Operating Concept for Irregular Warfare. He is currently heading up a strategic support project for US Army Special Operations Command as part of Lt. General Charles Cleveland’s Army Special Operations Forces 2022 initiative. Dr. Gorka is a recipient of the Department of Defense Joint Civilian Service Commendation, awarded by US Special Operation Command.

Dr. Gorka currently serves as the Chairman of the Threat Knowledge Group ( based in McLean, VA, which provides high-level training and analysis at the strategic and operational level to those in the Defense, Intelligence, Law Enforcement and Homeland Security communities. He is the co-author of the public TKG reports, “ISIS: The Threat to the United States,” and “The Islamic State and Information Warfare: Defeating ISIS and the Broader Global Jihadist Movement.”

Previously, he served as the founding Director of the Institute for Transitional Democracy and International Security, the Director for the Center for Euro-Atlantic Integration and Democracy, and the Director and Military Affairs Fellow for the National Security Fellowship Program at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. He spent four years on the faculty of the Program on Terrorism and Security Studies at the George C. Marshall Center in Germany. Dr. Gorka worked as an analyst at the Rand Corporation and was a member of the Strategic Advisers Group on the Atlantic Council of the United States.

He has published in excess of 140 monographs, book chapters and articles, many for the JANES Group of the UK, and Special Warfare, the official publication of US Army Special Operations Command. Along with Dr. Chris Harmon and the late COL Nick Pratt (USMC), he was contributor and co-editor of Toward a Grand Strategy Against Terrorism (McGraw Hill). With Dr. David Kilcullen, he co-authored a study of Al Qaeda’s use of strategic communications for the Praeger title, Influence Warfare. His new book, Defeating Jihad: How America can win the war against radical Islam quickly and decisively using a secret Cold War strategy, will be published in 2016. He serves on the Board of Advisors for the Council for Emerging National Security Affairs (CENSA).

Dr. Gorka holds a Ph.D. in political science from Corvinus University in Budapest with his dissertation on “The Evolution of Terrorism: The Difference Between Cold War Political Violence and al Qaeda.” He was a Kokkalis Fellow at Harvard’s J. F. Kennedy School of Government focusing on public policy and international security, as well as an International Research Fellow at the NATO Defense College. He earned his Master’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy at Budapest University and his Bachelor’s degree from the University of London.

Dr. Gorka was born in the UK to parents who escaped Communism during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and is fluent in Hungarian with working knowledge of German and French. In the UK, he served with 22 Company of the Intelligence and Security Group (V) of the British Territorial Army reserve but is now a proud American. He is married to Katharine Cornell Gorka, President of the Threat Knowledge Group as well as the Council on Global Security.