Thursday, April 29, 2010

Candidate Bob Schwartz's Reponse to Jim Cooper's OpEd

Bob Schwartz
Jim Cooper's OpEd yesterday hurts, not helps the budget situation. The truth of the matter is that Congress --- where Mr. Cooper has languished for 16 years --- is largely responsible for federal appropriations. Instead of look at his and his Congressional peers' performance, Mr. Cooper blathers about the good old days under Pres. Clinton and the bad old days under Pres. Reagan. This is much easier than rolling up his sleeves and digging into tough questions like entitlement spending and foreign aid.

Why isn't Jim Cooper on the new federal commission on budget and debt? That's where the real work is being done. Mr. Cooper thinks that voters in the Fifth District will mistake his OpEd piece for real work toward real solutions. Come November, he is going to be surprised!

Bob Schwartz
Republican Primary Candidate,

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Arizona Law has its Conservative Critics.

While the bombastic, loud-mouthed, angry, radio conservative entertainers have been very vocal and enthusiastic in support of Arizona’s new immigration law, some of the more thoughtful conservative commentators say the law is flawed and goes too far.

I heard Mark Levine today and I think he was foaming at the mouth. I thought he was going to blow a casket. He argued we have a right to protect our borders and this new law is the way to go about it. He was very hostile to critics of the law and belittled and attacked David Brooks and Jeb Bush who have been critical of the new law. Several of the other talk show conservative have been equally supportive of the law and critical of the laws critics.

Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard and Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post both disapprove of the bill. Barnes says the bill goes "way too far" and calls it "draconian." Krauthammer agrees with those who argue the bill could create civil rights abuses. David Brooks says the law is "terrible" and "an invitation to abuse."

Jeb Bush, former Florida governor has said, "I think it creates unintended consequences." "It's difficult for me to imagine how you're going to enforce this law. It places a significant burden on local law enforcement and you have civil liberties issues that are significant as well."

Actually the new law, while bad, may not be quite as draconian as I first thought. The law may not amount to much. The text of the bill, “Requires officials and agencies to reasonably attempt to determine the immigration status of a person involved in a lawful contact where reasonable suspicion exists regarding the immigration status of the person, except if the determination may hinder or obstruct an investigation.”

That is nuanced. The police are required to enforce the law but yet still must make some judgment calls. The original police contact has to be “lawful.” I am not sure what a “lawful” police contact means and I am not sure what constitutes “reasonable suspicion.” I’m glad I am not a policeman. I suspect that the first time a Hispanic American citizen is thrown in jail for not having proof of citizenship the law will be challenged and we will find out what the law means.

While the law may not be quite as bad as I thought it was the first time I read it, it still is a transfer of power from the individual to the state. “Reasonable suspicion” following a “lawful contact” is no doubt a less stringent standard than “probable cause.” If it is not, then nothing really changes.

I find it disturbing that so many conservatives are ready to take the side of a lessening of the rights for the individual and a support more power for the state. Conservatives who generally profess love of the constitution and really like the 2nd Amendment and the 12th Amendment don’t seem equally as keen on the 6th Amendment. They don’t care for all that pansy-ass liberal stuff about “right of the people to be secure in their persons” and they don’t like all that stuff about “probably cause.”

And all that talk about “limited government?” Well, conservative want a government that is not powerful enough to force you to purchase health insurance but that doesn’t mean they want a government unable to throw you in jail if you are not carrying proof of citizenship.

Although they risk being labels “RINO,” or attacked as “elitist,” or labeled “inside the beltway,” or members of the "chattering class," I am glad that we have conservatives like Krauthammer, Barnes and Brooks who will do more than just feed people’s anger. I am glad that we have conservatives who will think and analyze. I am glad we have conservatives who will stand by their support of the constitution and stand for less government even when it is not the popular position to take.

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David Hall, Republican seeking the 5th Congressional District seat.

The following questionnaire has been submitted to each candidate running in the Republican primary seeking the nomination for Republican candidate for Tennessee's 5th Congressional District. This seat is now held by Democratic Congressman Jim Cooper. Whoever wins the primary on August 5 will most likely face Cooper in November.

Tell me about yourself. Where are you from, what to you do for a living, what is your educational background, your political experience?

I have been supporting my family as a small business owner since 1989. I am a licensed general contractor and electrician for the State of Tennessee. I own, manage and operate, in Nashville.

In 1985 I married my best friend, Michelle. She and our five children are my most dedicated, enthusiastic and supportive volunteers. We live in Goodlettsville, Tennessee on a small 5 acre farm with pet dogs, horses, chickens, ducks and a miniature donkey we call “Jim". We attend Hillview Baptist Church. I am an NRA member and I have a Right to Carry Permit.

In the early 1990's I began work with FEMA.Through my work, I've spent years traveling to Africa, Egypt, Honduras, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Scotland and many places in between. As great as many of these places are, they always remind me how great the United States is.

Why are you running for this office:

Michelle and I, our sons and daughters are very proud of America and Tennessee. We are thankful to live here. We believe in the same ideals that our government was founded on. When we committed to run in '08, we committed to more than that race. We will continue working as a team until the government is headed in a different direction. I ran against Haynes in '08 because his liberal record was so alarming and no one cared enough to try and shut him down. Dave is running in State House District 50 for the same reason.

If conservatism, liberty and constitutionalism offer the best road, we don’t understand why people abandon the road when limbs are down and it seems impassable. We should just clear the blockage and keep on moving. Michelle is running because for 36 years we haven’t had Davidson County Primaries. We always have a laundry list of races that allow Democrats to run unopposed. This year there is even a struggle to fill the need to have Republicans working the polls. We don’t have our Davidson County voting precincts organized with active, involved leaders willing to work their small area for candidates. Michelle's vision is to organize precincts, call primaries and recruit candidates. Davidson County will remain in the Democrats hands, at least until we run and support candidates against them.

As for the race against Cooper, the Halls discerned in ‘o8 that Cooper would be “salt in our wounds,” if America ended up with an Obama Administration. Turns out we were more painfully right than we ever dreamed. Even while running against Haynes, our campaign coordinated what resources we could spare with Gerard Donovan. Also, our oldest son, Dave, donated $1,000.00 to Donovan’s post primary campaign. All along our plan was to help Gerard's race in '10, but then he needed to pull out. We did what we could in '08, and we are still doing what we can, not because it is easy, not because it is likely, because it is necessary.

Our family isn't all that eager to spend limited donor dollars battling against other like minded Conservatives. We would much rather see those resources conserved for use in the general, where the democrat incumbents are so well funded. I know that the obvious question then is, "If that is true, why are you among the baker’s dozen of Republican Primary Candidates for Cooper's seat?" Well, just as in the 08 race against Haynes where the incumbent was so deeply entrenched and so well funded, Cooper’s general 2010 election challenger is going to face the same challenges that we faced in ’08, only on an even greater monumental scale.

The primary winner has to be someone who can have a wild card chance at beating Cooper. My race isn’t about defeating any one of those good men (or one good lady), it is about a last ditch effort to give Cooper’s seat to someone with the strength to vote on legislation using the sound voice of conservative wisdom. I feel that I am the only candidate, who is both wise enough to be that voice and, from a campaign strategy perspective, experienced enough to have even a snowball’s chance in the general race against Cooper.

We haven’t deceived ourselves. The reality for these primary candidates is that they are competing amongst themselves for the chance to stand alone after August 5th. While there may be more support from the party and from donors than Donovans’ bid for the same seat in ’08, it won’t be near enough for a candidate who lacks knowledge and experience in getting Moderates/Dems to vote Republican in Davidson Co. We are already aware of how hopeless the State Party thinks this race is. But they thought that about Joe’s seat too, and look how they almost had his seat handed to them. What worked for my Senate race in ’08 can work again in 2010. We would have had Joe’s seat in ’08 had it not been for the Obama Surge voters.

Voting patterns over the previous four elections told us that 60,000 votes were the most ever cast in that race – that includes the years the incumbent was challenged and unchallenged. We identified 31,000 voters and we worked our tails off, being outspent 7 to1, going after them. We ended up with 31,800 votes. In a normal year, that would have placed the Republican Candidate over the top. If you will remember, my race in '08 pulled more votes for the Republicans than any other election for that seat in history. The one piece of good news in this year’s election is that those surge voters will most likely not return to the polls.

What do you see as the primary issue is this race?

The state of our economy is on the minds of most Tennesseans, and rightly so. Headlines and household budgets remind us daily of the housing crunch, high energy prices, manic swings in the markets and the threat of inflation looms in the minds of most responsible consumers. America's working families are responding to these difficult times with frugal responsibility and our government should acknowledge their efforts. Our citizens are tightening their belts and streamlining their household budgets. Many middle-class families have shared with me how they no longer have land lines in their homes. To save money they have cut the expense of these non-essentials and informed family and friends that their cell numbers have replaced their home numbers. Why shouldn't taxpayers expect similar restraint from their Congress with our Nation’s budget?

If you are successful in wining the Republican nomination and you are successful in defeating Jim Cooper, when serving in the US Congress what issue will be your primary focus? What will be your priorities?

A Pandora's box, created by the fall out affects of the new health care bill, the weak economy and this accelerated government spending, awaits the next Congressman from Tennessee's 5th district. I will remain focused on legislation that gets our economy growing while protecting our children and grandchildren's futures from massive hyper government debt. Congress must consider proven measures that encourage job creation in the private sector, increase private investment and encourage consumer spending. These proven measures are not new ideas, they include immediate tax relieve, decreasing the capital gains tax, working families' income tax and small business tax.

2010 has brought health care to the forefront of our national attention. Too many are asking what is wrong with America’s health care. There is plenty wrong. However, first we should acknowledge what is right about America’s health care. We have the best health care delivery system in the world and our politicians should not be ashamed to admit that. The national health industries of pharmaceutical companies, professional providers, research and development programs, equipment producers and operators, work inside a system that is responsible for improving and extending lives far beyond what was possible just a generation ago. That is amazing and that is America!

Obviously, the escalating cost for health services and treatments is unacceptable. Creating the Government–run health care system, forcing 1/6th of our nation’s economy into the hands of bureaucrats and denying doctors and their patients the control of health care decisions is a foolish non-solution and threatens what is exceptional about our health care. The best solution is an American solution. Historically, it is competition that is known to bring down cost and improve service. Wise Benjamin Franklin knew that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So, let’s combine competition with an investment in wellness and prevention.

There are five, largely preventable, chronic diseases that cause two-thirds of American deaths and account for 75% of our nation’s annual health bill. Most grade school students can recognize the math in this equation requires eliminating the unnecessary expense of treating something that was less expensive to prevent. TORT reform is another common sense remedy necessary for an ailing health care industry.

When I make my decision who I will vote for for this office, not only do I want to vote for someone who has solid conservative values and who I think would make a good Congressman, but I want to vote for someone who I think can beat Jim Cooper. Best person and electability may not necessarily be the same thing. I have heard that it will take anywhere from $500,000 to $2 million dollars to mount a successful campaign. Do you have the support, the time and resources to conduct a wining campaign?

See # 2 above.

If one wants to know more about your campaign or contact you how to they do that?,

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Jeff Hartline, Republican seeking the 5th Congressional District seat.

The following questionnaire has been submitted to each candidate running in the Republican primary seeking the nomination for Republican candidate for Tennessee's 5th Congressional District. This seat is now held by Democratic Congressman Jim Cooper. Whoever wins the primary on August 5 will most likely face Cooper in November.

Tell me about yourself. Where are you from, what do you do for a living, what is your educational background, your political experience?

I was born in Rome, GA in 1955. My father is a lifelong minister and my mother has been a medical transcriptionist for as long as I can remember. I went to Freed-Hardeman University and graduated with a degree in Biblical Studies in 1976. I completed my Masters of Arts in Biblical Studies at Lipscomb University in 1997. In the time between I started a family, a business, and homeschooled my three children alongside my wife, Melodie. We have been married for over 31 years.

My work background is varied; I have worked as a physician recruiter, a medical practice manager, a custom-cabinet maker, kitchen-designer, a teacher, a coach, a minister, and a small business owner. My experience in politics is limited to the votes I have cast in my life. I am no career politician.

Why are you running for this office?

In 1994, Newt Gingrich led the charge to take back Washington with the “Contract for America.” At the time I considered running for the office but chose to wait. At the time I had three young children and a small business to run. Sixteen years have passed since that time and now my children are grown. My daughter has three sons of her own. My youngest will graduate in May from Lipscomb University.

I want to make certain that my grandchildren have all the same opportunities my parents and grandparents worked hard to afford me. I have been blessed in my life to have the full support of my friends and family. Many have approached me in the past about a possible run for office and I believe that now, more than ever, I am ready to carry the flag for the people of this district.

What do you see as the primary issue is this race?

The singular issue in this race is determining which candidate can beat Jim Cooper. We all want to beat him, but we need to determine who can accomplish the goal. Each candidate is very similar in his/her beliefs and can represent the conservatives in this district. We must put forth the candidate most likely to send Cooper home. I believe that my experience, maturity, grasp of the issues affecting our nation, ability to easily articulate possible solutions, and my passion for our republic makes me the best candidate. Almost all of the problems in our country are a direct result of federal government that has grown outside of its constitutional boundaries. We must rein our government in.

If you are successful in winning the Republican nomination and you are successful in defeating Jim Cooper, when serving in the US Congress what issue will be your primary focus? What will be your priorities?

Reducing the scope, size and spending of the federal government will be my primary focus when elected. Eliminating federal government control over the lives of individual citizens will allow our economy to thrive once more. The individual states must assume the responsibilities guaranteed by the 10th amendment.

My priorities include balancing the federal budget, annual real decreases in federal spending, securing our federal borders, revamping the tax system, protecting against enemies both foreign and domestic and reforming the legislative process (including no omnibus bills, no earmarks and encouraging single-issue legislation). I also committed to restoring our national defense to an appropriate level, defending 2nd amendment rights, and defending innocent life.

When I make my decision who I will support for this office, not only do I want to vote for someone who has solid conservative values and who I think would make a good Congressman, but I want to vote for someone who I think can beat Jim Cooper. Best person and electability may not necessarily be the same thing. I have heard that it will take anywhere from $500,000 to $2 million dollars to mount a successful campaign. Do you have the support, the time and resources to conduct a wining campaign?

When I made the decision to pursue this seat, I chose to take a leave of absence from my job in order to give the campaign my full attention. I believe that is what this race requires from start to finish. I initially assembled a team to begin formulating a strategy for securing support, funding and votes. Since that time, we have added more people to our steering committee and built a finance committee of dedicated conservatives working hard to raise the necessary funds to challenge our incumbent. We believe that our first quarter numbers speak volumes about my electability and also our ability to raise funds. Historically, this district has been perceived as solidly liberal. We believe the people of this district have proven they are ready to support a conservative candidate for Congress.

If one wants to know more about your campaign or contact you how to they do that?

We have set up many ways for the constituents to get in touch with our campaign. The easiest way is to visit the website at Here you can join our email list, sign up to volunteer, contribute financially and much more. I also keep a blog at where I discuss current issues affecting America. We also keep active Facebook and Twitter profiles in order to maintain an effective online presence. My cellphone and email address are available as well for those that want to speak with me directly.

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Monday, April 26, 2010

Arizona Hispanic Republicans React To SB 1070: We View It As An Attack Against Our Civil Rights

Friday, April 23, 2010 – 1330 hours, by Somos Republicans

Phoenix, AZ – Arizona Hispanic Republicans believe that it is unfortunate for Jan Brewer to support Pearce’s bill. The greatest leaders in our nation had courage, and we believe that Brewer made her decision in an effort to save her political career. Jan Brewer’s decision will mark today as the day in which Hispanic Americans will follow the footsteps of the Great Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. Pearce and Brewer do not see the unintended consequences of their actions, and it appears that they were willing to make decisions that affect us at the cost of trampling on our Constitutional Rights.

We believe this party was founded by Abraham Lincoln, a man who was instrumental in doing away with evils towards people of color. We must never forget the price Abraham paid with his own life, and for that we at least owe a fight to bring this party back to our true roots. Later, the Republican Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. picked up Abe’s mantle and helped fight the injustice of racism. Republicans in that era fought to free blacks from slavery, which gave people of color freedoms and citizenship.

It is unfortunate that our own members of the Republican Party believe that we have to trample on our Constitution in order to “enforce our laws.” We believe that Pearce is easing the requirements for “probable cause” and his attempt in expanding our government. What Pearce’s bill proves is that he does not have the answer for illegal immigration within the confines of the American Constitution, and in fact he is not solving the problem by creating more problems.

We believe United States Hispanic citizens have a right to be safe in their person from illegal searches and seizures, and we believe Pearce’s efforts are violating that. SB 1070 is a direct slap in the face to Hispanic Americans who have fought and died for several American wars because this new law can be abused by authorities to pull us over with mere “reasonable suspicion”.

That said, and even though we are taking a stance against Jan Brewer and Russell Pearce’s law, we are ultimately holding President Obama accountable. Obama promised Hispanics that he would pass immigration reform within 90 days of his Presidency. Had Obama carried out his promises to Hispanics last year, the Hispanic community would not be experiencing the crisis we are experiencing right now. There has been recent criticism over our Senator John McCain because John McCain probably feels he cannot win the primary elections due to his previous stances on championing immigration reform and the consistent untrue attacks by Hayworth. It is understandable on why McCain believes he is in the fight of his life. For the record, Senator McCain has taken action in the past while Obama has not. McCain’s valuable experience contributed to Americans winning the Iraq war. The problem is this: There are more Latinos registered as Democrats in the State of Arizona that cannot vote for McCain in the primary elections and McCain wants to win. How can these hypocritical democrat leaders lay blame to the McCain when at the very least McCain has action to back his words? Why aren’t Democrat leaders holding Obama’s feet to the fire? Hispanics are more aligned with Republican values because of our social conservative values and our belief in the Creator; and if Hispanics want to make a real change to help change the face of our Party to bring it back to the Party of Abraham Lincoln, then I call upon all Latinos (Democrat and Independent) to register themselves as Republicans in order to bring it back to those roots.

Hispanic families are agonizing over this issue. Russell Pearce has not articulated a proactive approach to what will happen to American born children and their welfare as they are ripped apart from their parents. In fact, Russell Pearce believes that children born of illegal immigrants should not be declared as citizens.

Arizona Hispanic Republicans will not vote for Jan Brewer this year because we are holding her accountable for supporting a bill that violates the Constitution and our Civil Rights. I have sounded the alarm to all Republicans in this state that the passing of this bill is political suicide.

The State of Arizona already has a blemish because we were the last state of the Union to recognize Martin Luther King as an official holiday. Arizona Hispanic Republicans will write an open letter to our RNC Chair, Michael Steele, as he continues to consider where to hold our next 2011 GOP convention. We will caution our RNC Chair to consider the consequences of that because then it could be perceived as rewarding the state that implemented strong anti-Hispanic laws that has rattled our community and our Civil Rights.

Comment: By 2042 white Americans will be in the minority in this country. The Republican Party can not be a viable party and be the party of only white people. If we only honor the constitution when it is convenient we deserve to be a permanent minority party. We are driving Hispanics into the arms of the Democratic Party.

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Patrick Miranda, Republican Seeking 5th Congressional District Seat

The following questionnaire has been submitted to each candidate running in the Republican primary seeking the nomination for Republican candidate for Tennessee's 5th Congressional District. This seat is now held by Democratic Congressman Jim Cooper. Whoever wins the primary on August 5 will most likely face Cooper in November.

Where are you from, what to you do for a living, what is your educational background, your political experience?

I am a native Nashvillian. I attended Overbrook School and Montgomery Bell Academy. I graduated from St. Louis University with a BA in both political science and history with a minor in Spanish. I am the oldest of three siblings (all business owners) and the son of two physicians (Oncologists), one of whom fled his country, Chile, due to socialist rule and became an American citizen in 1986. My mother was the first female physician in her medical fraternity.

My wife, Meliah, and I have been married for two years and we live in Nashville with our children (one who has special needs).
I run my own business with my wife; we invest in real estate markets across the country. My previous employment consisted of serving as the Director of Development for the Dominican Campus and as a District Executive with the Boy Scouts of America (focusing on minority recruiting for the BSA).

I have been very active in politics since high school. I interned for then US Senator Bill Frist. I was a member of the Missouri Federation of College Republicans, a member of the St. Louis University Young Republicans. I wrote as the lone Conservative columnist for our University newspaper and was asked to become a member of the Eagle Forum.

I have worked on numerous campaigns including former Attorney General John Ashcroft, Sen. Bill Frist, Rep. Ed Bryant, Councilman Karen Bennett and Juan Borges (just to name a few). I am currently a lifetime member of the NRA, I am one of the few candidates with a carry permit, I am a member of the Tea Parties, of the Eagle Forum and of Tennessee Right to Life (just to name a few).

Why are you running for this office:

Out of a sense of duty and obligation to my family and to my fellow Americans. Our politicians, Jim Cooper included, REFUSE to listen to the will of the American people. They have been called to serve "We the People" yet they only serve their special interests and their parties. I am running for office because I fear for the future of my parents and of my children (not to mention my generation). We have a Congress that is out of control...they spend way beyond their means and then punish the American people with rules and regulations designed in increase Congressional power, while limiting economic and personal freedoms of the American people.

I am running to protect my children from the massive debts that they will owe to the federal government, and to protect my parents from having their medicare payments cut further and for having some bureaucrat decide whether or not they deserve medical care. Bottom line, I am running because I have the solutions to STOP this government in its tracks, to reign in the spending and to actually REPRESENT the interests of my constituents.

What do you see as the primary issue is this race?

There are many, but government accountability is the main issue. As I mentioned before, we have an out of control Congress that spends money we don't have, and, when we the people complain, the politicians merely hide behind veiled rhetoric and vote AGAINST the will of the people. We need a candidate who is unafraid to fight these politicians and one who will NOT hide behind closed doors. I am that candidate.

If you are successful in wining the Republican nomination and you are successful in defeating Jim Cooper, when serving in the US Congress what issue will be your primary focus? What will be your priorities?

My primary focus will be to rein in and STOP excessive government spending. There are four issues that will be my primary focus (in order based on presentation of legislation): spending/the deficit, Health Care reform, Immigration Reform and Cap and Trade. My priorities will be to stop the spending, to fight to overturn this health care bill, to SHRINK our Federal Government, and then to do what is necessary to restore Americans faith in their government/politicians.

When I make my decision who I will vote for for this office, not only do I want to vote for someone who has solid conservative values and who I think would make a good Congressman, but I want to vote for someone who I think can beat Jim Cooper. Best person and electability may not necessarily be the same thing. I have heard that it will take anywhere from $500,000 to $2 million dollars to mount a successful campaign. Do you have the support, the time and resources to conduct a wining campaign?

Yes, we have the support, the team, the resources and the time to win. I am also a new breed of Republican...I like to say that I am the Marco Rubio of the 5th District (young, electable and someone who has the resources to win in Davidson County). Keep your ears open for major announcements coming up in the near future.

If one wants to know more about your campaign or contact you how to they do that?

If you would like to join the growing number of Team Miranda, please feel free to contact me at I will respond to you as quickly as possible. I need your support; we can't defeat Cooper without your help, and I would be humbled by any support my fellow Patriots can give this campaign. Thank you all again!

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Earth Day goes to the Dogs- Kill the dogs; Save the Planet

Nashville Earth Day
I went to Centennial Park last weekend for the Earth Day festivities. I enjoy almost any event where there are lots of people enjoying themselves, and food and music. I am not hostile to environmentalist and consider myself a moderate environmentalist myself. Actually I prefer the term “conservationist” but no one uses the term conservationist anymore so unless you are for dirty air and dirty water, I think you have to be an environmentalist. I like clean air and clean water, oppose mountain top removal, I recycle and I have always loved nature. I want to preserve endangered species. I support efforts to preserve the natural beauty of my home state of Tennessee and the world. I respect those who are working to set aside beautiful vistas and natural wonders for future generations.

I am sure many environmentalists would not consider me one of them and that is OK. I am not a radical environmentalist. I am not opposed to economic growth or development. I think we can safely drill for oil off our coast lines and I support drilling in ANWAR. I support nuclear energy. I am not 100% certain that global warming is a reality. If it is a reality, I am not certain that it is caused by human activity. If it is caused by human activity, I am not so sure the change is happening as fast as Al Gore says it is.

I probably have one of the smallest carbon foot prints of anyone you will ever meet unless it is some environmentalist fanatic or a hermit. For a normal person, I have a very small carbon foot print. For one thing, I don’t spend a lot of money. I just don’t like a lot of stuff and I hate to shop. I'm frugal. I hate waste. I don’t know that this value is derived from an environmental ethic, it just seems shameful to throw out good stuff and buy more. I eat mostly fish and seafood, some chicken but very little beef. I live in a modest size older home without a lot of unused square feet. One way in which I am living an environmentally friendly lifestyle is that almost everywhere I go is less than three miles from my home and then I sometimes ride a bicycle. If you profess to love the earth and choose to live thirty miles from where you work, I think you are a hypocrite.

I see a lot of environmental hypocrisy and empty environmental symbolism. I know someone who while at college lived in the environmental dorm yet burned the road up with weekend trips home. Living in a normal dorm and giving up one round trip home would have probably made for a smaller carbon foot print. When the Nashville contingent of my family goes home to Knoxville, there seldom is any attempt to carpool among the liberal Al-Gore-loving environmentalist. Sometimes four cars will make the trip when we could have all crowed into one. They profess they would use mass transit if it was available, but I don’t believe them.

At Saturday’s Centennial Earth Day event there were a lot of normal looking people there but there was also a lot of people who I am sure live the environmentalist lifestyle. They wore tie-dyed tee shirts or shirts with earth-friendly slogans and sandals and the women had hairy arm pits. Most of these people also had big dogs. I don’t own a dog. I used to when I was growing up. I like dogs and I may have a dog again someday.
Earth Day dogs
Maybe the environmentalist don’t know it, but having a medium-sized dog has the same impact on the environment as a Toyota Land Cruiser driven 6,000 miles a year, while a cat is equivalent to a Volkswagen Golf. I have a member of my family who is a strong environmentalist yet always has four of five big dogs. I don’t want anyone to actually give up their dog; I just don’t want them to feel morally superior until they do.

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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Show me your papers

show me your papersI am a small government Republican. As such, I am opposed to the nanny state. I don’t want a safety net that protects people from the consequences of their actions. If I rode a motorcycle and wanted to be stupid and ride without a helmet, I don’t want the government requiring me to wear a helmet. I don’t want womb to tomb government welfare programs. I want some people to excel and others to fail. I want it to still be possible to get rich in America. I don't want government taking money I earn and giving it to someone else. I reject the notion that if it moves we must regulate it and tax it. I want less bureaucracy and lower taxes.

Also, however, being a small government Republican means I don’t want a police state. I don’t want the government reading my email or listening in on my phone conversations without a warrant issued for probable cause. I support the “right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.” I don’t want the government pressuring my employer to make be pee in a cup to insure I have not been smoking marijuana. I don’t want the government keeping track of what library books I read or websites I visit. I don’t want the police beating confessions out of suspects. I like "innocent until proven guilty." I don't even want cameras catching me running red lights.

This week Arizona passed an anti-illegal immigration bill. This bill would require law enforcement officers to investigate, detain and arrest people if there is ‘reasonable suspicion’ that a person may be undocumented. It would give state and local police the power to detain people who cannot prove their citizenship or legal right to be in the country.

Unfortunately, many conservatives are applauding this law. I don’t know about you, but I don’t carry a passport or a birth certificate. Many Americans don't have passports. We do not have a form of national ID and I don't want one. With fifty states, each with their own design for birth certificates and with birth certificates easily forgeable, I am not sure that a birth certificate proves citizenship. This bill gives too much authority to the police.

I don’t want America to become a nation where the police stop you and make you show your papers. I like the idea that the police can’t stop you without probable cause. I want a government that fears the people, not people who fear the government. I don’t want America to become a nation where you must “show me your paper.”

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Surprise, Surprise...Health Care to Cost More!

Wow! Who would have thought it! Health care is going to cost more! Surprise, Surprise!

According to this AP story:

President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law is getting a mixed verdict in the first comprehensive look by neutral experts: More Americans will be covered, but costs are also going up.

Economic experts at the Health and Human Services Department concluded in a report issued Thursday that the health care remake will achieve Obama's aim of expanding health insurance — adding 34 million to the coverage rolls.

But the analysis also found that the law falls short of the president's twin goal of controlling runaway costs, raising projected spending by about 1 percent over 10 years. That increase could get bigger, since Medicare cuts in the law may be unrealistic and unsustainable, the report warned.

You mean the medicare cuts in the law were "unrealistic and unsustainable?" You mean they put phony numbers in the bill to show that it would save money and that those medicare cuts are not realistic and it really won't save money? I am shocked, I tell you. Shocked! You don't think they knew this do you? Why didn't someone expose that? Why didn't someone tell the Democrats in Congress this before that passed this bill. Why didn't someone suggest we scrap this bill and pass health care reform that would lower cost.

To read a real authoritative, boring thirty-eight page report from the Office of the Actuary of the Department of Health and Human Services with lots of numbers and tables that explains why Obamacare will increase health care cost click here.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Fun times at the Reagan Day Dinner

Rod Williams and Louella Ballenger

Me and my wife at the Registration desk

In the last year I have become very active in the county Republican Party and local political activity. I not only do it because I believe all citizens who cherish liberty must oppose what is happening to our country and that we have an obligation to get involved, but I enjoy it!

Unfortunately, most of the members of my family are flaming liberals and most people I casually know are apathetic or liberal. It is great to be around like-minded people who are smart and informed and share my values and my passion.

A few months ago, on the night that Scott Brown won the Massachusetts senate seat, I was at the State Republican Party headquarters working a phone bank drumming up attendance for the Republican breakfast groups I have been helping to form. About a dozen of us were making phone calls and the TV was turned low in the background. When the announcement of Brown’s victory was made there were hoops of joy and high fives and big grins and exclamations of delight. I had been following that race closely. I am glad I was with people who shared by delight in that victory rather than with liberals, or people who could care less or at home watching it alone.

The Reagan Day Dinner had been planned for some months. I knew I would be attending. The invitations had said something about “ranch wear” and wearing your cowboy hat and boots but I had not given it much thought. I no longer owned a cowboy hat or boots. I used to. All through college I wore a pair of worn blue suede cowboy boots and have owned several other pair. I wore cowboy boots for years. I also used to wear a cowboy hat, especially when I would go honky tonkin or go to country music concerts. I got to where I was comfortable in a cowboy hat, but somewhere along the way, I gave up the cowboy thing.

I had not actually given much thought to what I would wear to the Reagan Day Dinner until the day before the event and realized I did not even own a decent pair of jeans. Oh well, I thought, I will just wear normal everyday clothes. Then, on the day of the dinner, I got an email from Bob Swartz a friend of mine who is one of the candidates for the 5th Congressional District. I don’t recall what we were talking about in the email, but Bob said something about he would see me in my cowboy hat that night. It was then that I thought, it would be nice to have a new pair of jeans and a cowboy hat. I took off work early and went shopping. I didn’t have much time.

I normally hate to shop. I know some people shop for pleasure; not me. I would almost as soon go to the dentist as go to the mall. But, I enjoyed shopping. I went to Wallmart and bought a new pair of jeans. They did not have a good selection of cowboy hats, so I headed downtown to the honky tonk strip of lower Broadway. Luck must have been with me. Normally parking is hard to find during business hours downtown, but I found a parking meter right on Broadway. Hats were much more expensive than I thought they would be but in the third store I went in they had white straw hats at an amazingly cheap price. I put on a hat that fit me perfectly and I felt like a cowboy. I then started looking at boots that were on sale and for just a little over a hundred dollars I found a comfortable pair of boots that I really liked. Wearing boots and a cowboy hat makes you feel different.

I went to the Reagan Day Dinner in style. It was a great evening. I heard speeches by people I really admire like our own Representative Marsha Blackman and Senator Bob Corker. There was a candidate’s forum of the candidates running for governor. There was musical entertainment, good food and wine, good conversation, balloons and banners.

If you have been unhappy about the direction our county is going, do something about it. Don’t just sit at home and cuss at the TV. Get involved! Start a Republican breakfast group. Volunteer to help a candidate. Attend a fundraiser. You will feel better for having done it and you might have fun. And, don’t pass up the chance to wear a cowboy hat.

April 16
DCRP Reagan Day Dinner was a huge success!

From The Davidson County Republican Party
Over 400 energized GOP’ers filled the Banquet Hall at the TN State Fairgrounds on Friday, April 16 for the Davidson County Republican Party’s Reagan Day Dinner featuring Sen. Bob Corker as the keynote speaker.

It was a new day for Davidson County Republicans—eagerly assembling for their first Reagan Day event in a number of years—who sense the momentum is now theirs in capturing strategic positions in the County, State and US House during 2010 elections.

The four Republican gubernatorial candidates—Bill Haslam, Joe Kirkpatrick, Ron Ramsey and Zach Wamp—further fired up the crowd with crisp and often impassioned answers to questions posed during a forum moderated by former NewsChannel 5 television personality Harry Chapman. Questions were asked on jobs, education, State budget/economy and State sovereignty. Bill Haslam won the straw poll taken immediately after the forum as the choice for governor. He was followed by Zach Wamp, Ron Ramsey and Joe Kirkpatrick.

During his speech, Sen. Corker drew loud affirmative applause when he stated he would never be a member of AARP. His comments made national news.

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Tracy C. Tarum, Republican seeking the 5th Congressional District seat.

The following questionnaire has been submitted to each candidate running in the Republican primary seeking the nomination for Republican candidate for Tennessee's 5th Congressional District. This seat is now held by Democratic Congressman Jim Cooper. Whoever wins the primary on August 5 will most likely face Cooper in November.

Tell me about yourself. Where are you from, what to you do for a living, what is your educational background, your political experience?

I grew up in Bryant, South Dakota, and graduated from Hamlin High School in 1994. I worked for my uncle, farming and milking cows through high school. I joined the Air Force DEP before I graduated, and was enlisted 13 July, 1994. I served four years, working as a Sensor Troop on the AC130U and AC103H Model Gunships and C130 Talon 2’s at Hurlburt Field, Florida.

I took a job with Lockheed-Martin in September of 1998 that brought me to Middle Tennessee, doing electrical installations and modifications on the Tennessee National Guard’s C130’s. Since 2003 I have worked on commercial aircraft as an Avionics Technician/Aircraft Electrician.

I am a devout Christian, staunch Constitutionalist, freedom-loving, small-government Conservative. My wife and I have been married for over 15 years. We have three children, ages 16, 13, and 12. I am terrified for their future if we do not take control of our current spending and taxation. It MUST be stopped! As for political experience…none! I am not a politician, I am a Patriot.

Why are you running for this office?

God, Family, Country. It really is that simple to me. That is the order of importance in my life. It is not negotiable and it will not be compromised. I see financial and social ruin on our horizon if we continue down our current path. I know I have the integrity and fortitude to stick to my Conservative roots. I will not compromise my integrity or my morals. I cannot be bought. All this having been said; the fact remains that even as outspoken and opinionated as I am I would NEVER have had the courage to pursue this on my own. I am truly running because I know that I have been called by God for this endeavor. I have been led and convicted by God, and I have answered the call. This is WAY out of my comfort zone, but this is not about me.

First, this is about God’s will and my submission. Second, it is about me standing up for what is right and for my family; my children and my children’s children. Third, it is for me answering the call from the grave of so many brave men and women (most notably our Founders) who fought and died to assemble this great nation and defend it, whose dreams of a Republic and formation of a Constitutional Republic Nation are being trampled underfoot. My country needs me. God, Family, Country, 1, 2, 3. As I said, it really is that simple. I am NOT a politician, I am a Patriot! I want my country back, governed by the Constitution, led by honorable men. Count me among them!

What do you see as the primary issue is this race?

Legalize the Constitution! I recently saw it on a bumper sticker, and it’s sadly true. Here are two mistakes I frequently see from the Republicans. First, when the Democrats propose asinine legislation, the Republicans are too often afraid to call it unconstitutional and oppose it. Instead, they offer a watered down version of their own and proclaim a victory to their electorate (as if we’re dumb enough to believe that). Second, Republicans have been good at cutting taxes, but not at cutting spending. We MUST cut Federal spending, period! I WILL NOT be bringing home pet projects to the 5th District. I will lead by example, and expect others to follow. I really think there will be a rash of new fiscal conservatives such as myself, so cutting out the pork will be a very real possibility. So, in summation, the primary issue(s) for me are to FOLLOW THE CONSTITUTION, CUT SPENDING, and CUT TAXES.

If you are successful in wining the Republican nomination and you are successful in defeating Jim Cooper, when serving in the US Congress what issue will be your primary focus? What will be your priorities?

See first my previous statement in answer to “primary issue in this race”. Adhere to the Constitution, cut spending, and cut taxes. Those are primary. Secondary is reinforcement and re-education of the populace as to the purpose, reasoning, intent, and protections provided by the Second Amendment. It is imperative for our freedom that people know that it is as important as the First Amendment, if not more so. Also, illegal Immigration MUST be stopped! We must secure our borders. Furthermore, we need to drill and refine our own oil, and quit enriching our enemies who wish to destroy us. We must cut taxes to stimulate growth in the economy by enabling entrepreneurs to follow their hearts and pursue their dreams.

Basically, cut the Federal government back to what it was designed to do; provide a national defense, regulate interstate trade fairly (without meddling), and provide only what the private sector can’t, won’t, or shouldn’t do!

When I make my decision who I will vote for for this office, not only do I want to vote for someone who has solid conservative values and who I think would make a good Congressman, but I want to vote for someone who I think can beat Jim Cooper. Best person and electability may not necessarily be the same thing. I have heard that it will take anywhere from $500,000 to $2 million dollars to mount a successful campaign. Do you have the support, the time and resources to conduct a wining campaign?

This is not a typical “politician” answer I know, but it is the truth; I don’t know. I would love to say yes, but I simply do not know this for sure. The truth is ANY Republican will have a long, hard haul in attempting to unseat Cooper. The Democrat’s have held this seat since 1875. It will be no easy task for anyone. I do, however, know this for sure; I am running because I feel led by my convictions. I will campaign as hard as I can, meet as many people as I can, and accept as much help as people will give me in my fight for this seat.

I know in my heart that I am the right person to carry Tennessean’s values to Washington, D.C. And as a Christian, I know that you can ask Goliath about long shots. If God wants me to win, no one can stop it. So the answer in that case would be yes! As for the time, I can make the time if the victory is within sight. The means will be provided, I know that. As far as the resources, no; I will not have the resources on my own. I will need a lot of support. That is where I trust in Him to provide, if it is His will. I am 100% serious when I say that at the end of the day, I am answering a call. As a Christian, I understand that God doesn’t always call the equipped, he equips the called. I stand on His promise, I count on Him to provide, if that is indeed His will. That is not phony, that is not contrived. This is me, this is who I am.

If one wants to know more about your campaign or contact you how to they do that?

Check out my website,,,; they all take you to my site. There is contact information there. PLEASE contact me. Tell me how you can help me, or just let me know that you want to help. Spread the word, tell ALL your friends in Middle Tennessee, especially in the 5th District. Let’s get the word out, win this thing, and take common sense, Conservative, Christian values back to Washington, D.C., and put Mr. Cooper in the unemployment line!

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Jarod Scott at the Madison Eggs and Bacon Summit

On April 10, Scott Jarod was one of the guest speakers at the Madison Eggs and Bacon Summit along with three other of the ten active candidates running in the Republican primary for the 5th Congressional District seat now occupied by Democrat Jim Cooper. Other candidates are scheduled to speak at the forum in May and June.

I am impressed by Jarod Scott. I like Jarod's focused campaign message and his emphasis on economics . To learn more about the Madison Republican Breakfast group visit the Meetup site at

To learn more about the Jarod Scott campaign visit his website at

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Big Weekend for the DCRP

Big Weekend for the DCRP...Reagan Day Dinner Has Over 400 Attendees & two Saturday summits feature lots of candidates including Congressman Zach Wamp at Priest Lake
and Bill Haslam in West Nashville

US Congressman
Zach Wamp, candidate for Governor of TN, will speak at the Priest Lake "Meet & Greet" Saturday,
April 17, 9 a.m. at the IHOP Restaurant
LI School Manager
LI School  Manager
Bill Haslam, Mayor of Knoxville and gubernatorial candidate,
will speak in West Nashville Saturday, April 17th, 9 a.m. at
Shoney's on Whitebridge Road.
Davidson County Republican Party
Web Site
Reagan Day Dinner Update...
The Friday night April 16th Reagan Day Dinner drew so many people we had to change to a bigger venue at the TN State Fairgrounds.
The event will be held in "Banquet Hall" rather than Wilson Hall to accommodate the more than 400 attendees coming to celebrate "all things Republican" and hear Sen. Bob Corker and the four gubernatorial candidates.
For those of you who can't be with us mark your calendar now for our annual barbecue on July 10th at Centennial Park.
Kathleen Starnes, Chairman
GOPWIN 2010 Logo

Priest Lake & W. Nashville Summits Feature Lots of Candidates...hear them & enjoy a Dutch treat breakfast @ 8:30 a.m. before 9 a.m. meeting times at:
> IHOP in Priest Lake with Congressman
Zach Wamp as the featured speaker along with Eric Crafton, Candidate for Juvenile Court Clerk.
> Shoney's on Whitebridge Road, with Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and also with James Chesser, Dr. Steve Dickerson, Candidates State Senate 21 and Tim Lee, Candidate House District 55

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Hartline Welcomes Endorsement from Leading Second Amendment Defender

NASHVILLE – Congressional candidate Jeff Hartline has been endorsed by The Tennessee Patriot, a quarterly newspaper published in defense of conservative values and Americans’ First, Second and Tenth amendment rights. The endorsement, written by leading Second Amendment rights advocate Bob Pope, describes Hartline as a level headed constitutional conservative and urges Tennessee gun owners to support his candidacy.

“As a constitutional conservative, I am a staunch supporter of American’s constitutional rights – all of them,” said Hartline, who is seeking the congressional seat currently occupied by U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper. “I understand that the Second Amendment means what it says, and that protecting Americans’ rights to keep and bear arms is crucial to preserving our liberty. I welcome the support of gun-owners across Tennessee for our campaign to restore constitutional government to Washington DC.”

The Hartline for Congress campaign notes that the incumbent Congressman’s first vote at the start of each new Congress is for liberal leadership that has long sought to curtail Americans’ gun rights. Cooper voted for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a far-left anti-gun rights liberal who has earned an “F” rating on Second Amendment issues from the National Rifle Association, and an F-minus grade from the pro-Second Amendment Gun Owners of America.

“Nancy Pelosi is a big supporter of gun control and a big opponent of our Second Amendment rights and she controls the legislative agenda in the House of Representatives” Hartline said. “Jim Cooper claims to be a defender of our Second Amendment rights, but his vote for Pelosi to be Speaker of the House helps to advance the pro-gun control, anti-Second Amendment agenda."

The Tennessee Patriot ( is published quarterly by leading Tennessee Second Amendment advocate Bob Pope, and is mailed to subscribers and distributed at gun stores across the state. The newspaper is delivered to more than 231,000 adults across Tennessee who, like Jeff Hartline, have a Tennessee handgun carry permit.The newspaper’s readership is estimated at more than 575,000 people.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

GOP slates top guns for Jim Gotto fundraiser

Jim Gotto

By Nate Rau • THE TENNESSEAN • April 10, 2010

Jim Gotto's bid to make the jump from Nashville city council to the state will get critical fundraising help next week from GOP heavy hitters.

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker will attend an April 16 fundraiser hosted by House GOP leaders Rep. Jason Mumpower and Rep. Glen Casada at the state fairgrounds. (read more)

Comment: This is great coverage for Jim Gotto and his upcoming fund raiser. In this article Chip Foster, Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman, says picking up that seat is "wishful thinking" by the Republicans. I don't think so. Ben West, who held that seat for twenty years, was a conservative Democrat. He was a fiscal conservative and a strong advocate of second amendment rights. Conservative Democrats know they are no longer welcome in the Democratic Party and are turning Republican. Jim Gotto has been a popular councilman and is an attractive candidate and has picked up some good endorsements. I think Jim can win this seat. We need to get behind him and win it! For more information on the Gotto campaign or the fund raiser this Friday night visit Jim's official website.

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Jim Gotto Fund Raiser

Republican House Leader Jason Mumpower
Republican Caucus Chairman Glen Casada
Special Honored Guest
Senator Bob Corker

Invite you to join them for the campaign kick off event for
Jim GottoJim Gotto Republican candidate for TN State House - 60th District
April 16th 2010 5:30-6:30 preceding the DCRP Reagan Day Dinner

Tennessee State Fairgrounds at the Garden Cafe
$100.00 per person

Honored Co-Hosts for this Event
Representative Beth Harwell and Representative Pat Marsh
Republican State Party Chairman Chris Devaney
Metro Council Members
Duane Dominy Robert Duvall Carl Burch Phil Claiborne
Karen Bennett Eric Crafton Jim Hodge
Along with
Tootie Haskins Monty Lankford Joe Meeks

RSVP to Mary Ann 615-578-9537 or
Paid for by Friends of Jim Gotto, Al Bodie Treasurer

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Start a Republican Breakfast group!

If you are one of my three faithful readers you may have noticed I have not posted much original commentary as of late. I also have done less networking and advertising and blog promotion. I am not giving up my blog, but I have been devoting more of my time to local political activity.

Beginning about last November, I started organizing Republican “Summit” or Meetups. If these groups are Saturday morning breakfast groups we are calling them “Egg and Bacon Summits.” We now have eight of these monthly groups established in Davidson County and we have another new one starting this coming Saturday and two more new ones are planned that do not yet have starting dates or locations. These have been tremendously successful. We have been having anywhere from fifteen to forty people at each meeting. We have candidates for governor speaking to the groups as well as local candidates and advocates of conservative causes.

Not only are people coming out on a Saturday morning to be informed and motivated but they are organizing and volunteering. At these meeting we are getting people to volunteer to go door to door to campaign for candidates, to serve as poll workers and to sign up to work phone banks. Candidates are recruiting campaign workers. We are witnessing real grassroots political organizing.

Davidson County has been a solidly Democratic county ever since the end of reconstruction. The Republican Party has been a well kept secret. In Davidson County there is only one State Republican House representative and there are several Democratic Representatives. The Party has not had a primary in thirty-six years. All of the county court house positions are held by Democrats. This is changing! We are having a primary this year, for only one courthouse position however, but we are having a primary. For the first time in several years we are having a Reagan Day Dinner. It is already sold out and has been moved to a bigger venue. To see more about what the party is doing, visit the Republican website at DCRP; GOP WIN 2010 . Keep in mind that is happening with a party that hardly existed two years ago.

We have a great chance to take at least one of the State House Representative seats and a shot at taking three others and a shot at taking a State Senate seat. Most importantly we have a chance to defeat that “blue dog” lap dog, Jim Cooper. There is an incredible energy, anger and enthusiasm. We are trying to channel that anger and energy into action that can win elections. Unless the anger and enthusiasm is channeled into building the party and electing conservatives it is just wasted energy. I think that we really are going to win some important elections. I almost feel elated.

The Republican groups I am helping organize are taking a lot of my time. It is not complicated but takes a lot of communications and coordination, and scheduling of speakers, and doing the phone banks and maintaining of web sites, and training group coordinators. If I am scheduling speakers or manning phone bank or on the phone with our group captains I can’t be composing blog post. I think my time is better spent starting Republican groups and organizing activist than blogging. We are trying to build the party and focus the energy into creating a party organization. Our Party is blessed to have a great leader, Kathleen Starnes, and a dedicated hard-working executive committee and many volunteers. Many people are stepping forward to identify themselves as Republicans and want to make a difference. People who have never been involved in politics are getting involved for the very first time.

If where you live the Party is active, then I encourage you to get involved and help it grow. If it is not, then activate it. Make it an effective and active Party. Start a Republican Breakfast group. It is not that hard to do. Just do it! If doesn’t matter if you have never done anything like this before. People are angry and want to see a change and are hungry for some direction. Don’t let this opportunity slip by.

If you would like to confer with me, then email me and if we need to talk I will call you and give you a free pep talk and some advice. Go for it! Do it! Start a Republican group in your community. Don’t leave it up to someone else to turn the anger into constructive action- do it!

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Friday, April 9, 2010

The Power & Danger of Iconography

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