Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A move is afoot to close the primaries in Tennessee!

A move is afoot to close the primaries in Tennessee and I wholeheartedly support this move.

I admit that I have often voted in the Democratic Primary, usually the Davidson County primary but sometimes the State primary as well. Most of the time, there is not even a Davidson County Republican County primary and if one wants a voice in who holds the Courthouse seats, one has to vote in the Democratic Primary. When I have voted in the Democratic Primary, I have usually voted for the most conservative Democrat. I suspect there are some closet Republicans holding office as Democrats in Nashville. 

The effect of Republicans like myself voting in the Democratic primary is that by doing so we fail to build a Republican Party. Davidson County is a one-party town and unless primaries are closed it is likely to stay a one-party town. In much of East Tennessee the situation is reversed and many Democrats vote in Republican primaries. Also, if one Party's campaign is already pretty much a sure thing and the outcome can easily be predicted, members of that party are tempted to vote in the primary of the opposition Party where there is a real contest.

Republicans should not be allowed to choose the Democratic Party's nominee and Democrats should not be allowed to choose the Republican nominee. Moderates and independents will not like this move but anyone who believes the Parties should represent a set of clear values and present the public a clear choice should support it. 

Below is the facebook announcement of this move and a copy of the proposed resolution. Mark Winslow is a member of the Republican Party State Executive Committee. 

If you are a Republican and support the idea of closed primaries please contact your member of the State Executive Committee and urge them to support this resolution.

Standing Up for Tennessee Republicans

bMark Winslow on Tuesday, November 30, 2010 at 6:24am
On Saturday our Tennessee Republican Party Executive Committee will meet in Nashville. At the meeting, a group of us will present the following resolution adopting the official position that our state should move to a system of registration by party and should structure our primaries so the political parties cannot interfere in other parties' primary elections and county party organization. Republicans deserve the opportunity to conduct our primaries free of influence from others and with the belief that we are selecting candidates who truly believe in the principles of limited conservative government. This is merely a long overdue first step and the final decision rests with the legislature and the new governor. But Republicans should know that their representatives at the Tennessee Republican Party are looking out for their best interests.

WHEREAS Tennesseans, on November 2, 2010, clearly and resoundingly affirmed their desire that conservative values are the guiding principles they wish to determine the future direction of our state.

WHEREAS the vote on November 2 completed a sixteen year transformation of Republicans to majority status in Tennessee.

WHEREAS the clearly voiced positions of Tennessee Republicans in favor of sound fiscal practices, respect for the value of human life, defense of our Second Amendment rights and opposition to a state income tax are the view of the majority of Tennesseans.

WHEREAS Tennessee law now permits participation in Republican primaries by those who do not act in the best interest of our party and the Republicans we represent.

WHEREAS the diminished status of the Democrat Party in Tennessee has lead to increased instances of coordinated crossover voting in Republican primaries with intent to influence Republican elections.

WHEREAS the bylaws of the Tennessee Republican Party are vague on the ability of non-Republicans to participate and influence the election of county party officers and committees.

WHEREAS a growing majority status for Republicans has resulted in increased participation and influence over county Republican conventions and caucuses by non-Republicans.

WHEREAS legislation to require voter registration in Tennessee has been proposed for the past three sessions of the General Assembly without moving to a vote of the full House and Senate.

WHEREAS it is the responsibility of the State Executive Committee to protect and promote participation in county party elections and Republican primaries by those who believe in the principles of the Republican Party.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by The State Executive Committee of the Tennessee Republican Party, in our capacity as the Republican State Primary Board, that we hereby adopt the official position that Tennessee should move to a system of registration by party.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the State Executive Committee adopts the position that participation in state primary elections, federal primary elections and county organization should be limited to those registering to vote in the party of their choice.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the State Executive Committee directs the Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party to convey adoption of this position to the Governor of Tennessee, The Leadership of the Tennessee House of Representatives and the Leadership of the Tennessee Senate by transmitting a copy of this resolution to all Legislators Elected as Republicans serving in the 107th General Assembly as well as Governor Haslam. We further direct the Chairman to work with the Office of the Governor and the Legislature to promote this important matter and ensure its passage into law.

For other views:
Pick a Team @ Kay Brooks
TN GOP SEC to be Presented with Plan to Close Primaries@ Blue Collar Muse
TN GOP SEC to Consider Closed Primaries by Brian Hornback @ Brian’s Blog
They are Open if You’re Republican or Democrat by Stacy Campfield @ Camp4U

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Right the wrong and redraw the districts!

by guest blogger J. Lee Douglas

It's been a good harvest and now we need to get the grain to the threshing floor.

Ten years ago in 2001, Jimmy Naifeh and seventy-eight power-hungry democrats agreed to redraw Tennessee's nine US congressional districts into serpentine patterns that grouped conservative-leaning neighborhoods into one single district that would give conservatives such as Marsha Blackburn an almost 95% voter selection. Among conservatives, she could almost not lose because the bulk of conservatives were strategically placed in her district. Sucks, eh? Get mad!!

The net effect for the democrats was that the remaining areas would contain conservatives who would be the minority and never able to have a fair chance to choose someone who might represent their views. An example of this thievery is Jim Cooper's district which consists mostly of Davidson County which was drawn in a way to almost guarantee his election regardless of his obedience to Madame Pelosi.

Look below at the Tennessee congressional map and notice Marsha Blackburn's (teal) district #7 how it runs from outside of Memphis, pinches off where Williamson and Hickman counties touch and then all the way to the Kentucky border in middle Tennessee north of Clarksville! Is that reasonable division of the populous? Mad yet?
This was done for the simple reason that these geographic areas are largely conservative and doing the districting this way creates an imbalance that gives a material edge to people such as Cooper or Lincoln Davis. The math becomes that we get one, they get two, three or four!

The irony? You are disenfranchised and the dems accuse you of their crime and the Tennessean carries their story. Get this, the dems who controlled all houses of the state were so happy with their divisions of congressional districts that from 1902 for sixty years they refused to reapportion the districts and finally relinquished when the US Supreme Court ordered reapportionment in 1962. Let's now act to have this injustice righted. Let's also lobby all of our representatives to NOT do to them what they did to us. We'll reap what we sow. Trust me, justice will prevail.

With the 2010 census now being complete, the new republican legislative body has a chance to right this wrong and to insure that conservative, fair policies and block redrawing of the districts takes place January 11, at the beginning of the next legislative session.

J. Lee Douglas is a practicing dentist in Brentwood Tennessee. He is married, father of four and grandfather of five. He established a Christian dental/medical clinic in Iraq in 1996 and had done oil and gas exploration in West Africa and lived for several years in Switzerland.  He is a local political activist and a Middle Tennessee leader in the TEA party movement and helped start the 9-12 Project Tennessee within 3 months of President Obama’s taking office. Prior to that time he had not been involved in political activity.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Why Republicans won in Tennessee

by guest commentator Mark Rogers

Tuesday’s election results mark the culmination of a gradual shift in political power in Tennessee that began around 1970.  The traditional Democratic Party coalition of urban residents, union members and rural ‘yellow dog’ voters which had withstood 20 years of Republican Governors, a series of popular Republican senators and other challenges seemed to virtually collapse in the face of surging voter anger.

To appreciate the extent of Tuesday’s defeat, it is important to remember that in Tennessee power comes mostly out of the state legislature not the Governor’s Office or from Washington.  Starting in the early 1970s Speakers of the House Ned McWherter and Jimmy Naifeh along with Lt. Governor John Wilder consolidated power in the two chambers of the Legislature in an unprecedented manner.  McWherter and Naifeh both served far longer than any other Speakers of the House while Wilder’s 36 years as Speaker of the Senate and Lt. Governor set a national record.  

By consolidating legislative power in their hands, McWherter, Naifeh and Wilder created a power base that allowed them to control the levers of power despite Republican successes at winning the Governor’s Office.  That, in turn, gave the Democrats access to the vast majority of financial support from lobbyists, which provided the critical resources to continue winning elections.  Control in Nashville also enabled the Democratic machine to use redistricting to prevent Republicans from gaining more seats in the Legislature despite the growing number of Republican voters in the state.

The combination of demographics and a growing disconnect between Tennessee Democrats and the far more liberal national party were always factors in Republican success in congressional and senate elections.  By the early 2000s, the stress on the Tennessee Democrats in state elections was begging to show.   Middle Tennessee, always a Democratic bastion in state races, was trending heavily Republican.  Not just Williamson County but Rutherford, Wilson, Sumner, Maury, Montgomery and other counties all began sending Republicans to Nashville.  Redistricting was no longer able to hide the power of Republican growth. 
The election of Governor Bredesen in 2002 and Ron Ramsey’s accession to the position of Lt. Governor and Speaker of the Senate in 2006 were major blows to the Democratic power structure.  

Bredesen became Governor on the heels of four years of bitter fighting within both parties over the income tax.  The Democrats suffered a number of legislative losses and Speaker Naifeh’s position in the caucus was hurt by his advocacy of the income tax.  Republican gains in the state senate and the growing frailty of Lt. Governor Wilder reduced the strength of the Democratic control of the senate, for years a less partisan body anyway. 

A strong Democratic Governor with limitless funding was able to take more power from the Democratic legislative leadership than a previous Governor would have.  Some of this was simple exhaustion after the bitter income tax years and some was resentment of the Speakers for ever supporting an income tax.  The result was several years where Governor Bredesen was able to mostly dominate the Legislature. 
Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey’s success in 2006 in capturing control of the Senate marked a crucial moment in Tennessee history.  A Republican Senate meant that lobbyists who traditionally only supported Democratic candidates now had to support both sides.  That meant better funded Republicans and less money for Democrats, very damaging to the Democrats since they lacked the ability to raise money from wealthy donors that had been the Republican alternative to lobbyist funds.  

In 2008 the nomination of Barak Obama finally broke Democratic control of the House.  From the Democratic Presidential primary where Clinton crushed Obama by 3 to 1, 4 to 1, 5 to 1 and even greater percentages, it was clear that traditional Democratic voters were unexcited by an Obama candidacy.  In November Republicans netted 4 seats in the House giving them a 50 – 49 margin for the first time since Reconstruction.  Not surprisingly Republican victories correlated with those counties where Clinton handily defeated Obama.  While the Kent Williams flip thwarted true Republican control of the House, the 2008 results were an ominous sign that rural and suburban Democrats had finally broken with the changes in the national party.

Tuesday’s election returns were more than a defeat for Tennessee Democrats.  Incumbents thought to be safe were washed away in a tide unlike anything in Tennessee history.  Open seats previously held by Democrats in areas like Nashville flipped.  A college professor who spent less than $2,000 beat Doug Jackson, a long-serving Senator.  Three congressional seats, all previously considered safe, went Republican.  And, most important for redistricting next year, 13 seats in the state House went Republican. 
Before election day many Democrats were resigned to losing 3 or 4 seats or more.  Republicans projecting more than 6 or 7 wins were seen as overly optimistic.  Journalists who know Tennessee politics intimately were projecting few wins.  

So, what happened?

Factors in the Republican wave include:

  • The Haslam Factor.  From the start, there was an inevitability to the Haslam campaign that sucked any optimism out of the Democrats regarding the Governor’s race.  Haslam perfectly fits into the Howard Baker / Lamar Alexander / Bill Frist / Bob Corker model that has demolished Democrats in election after election.  Add the unlimited fundraising power of his family and the effect was to deter any conventional opponent.  As Haslam’s strength grew across the state and across voter groups, the chance of a strong Democratic turnout that would save down-ticket candidates vanished. 

  • The McWherter Factor.  From the first, I contended McWherter was the one candidate who could rally the Democrats alienated by the leftward trend in the national party.  Unlike Jim Kyle, who represented the liberal wing of Tennessee Democrats, McWherter’s name might reignite the traditional loyalty of those Democrats who abandoned the party in 2008.  As McWherter’s campaign flailed around with attacks on Haslam’s ties to Iran, that ray of hope went out.

  •  The National Factor.  Many of the Democrats losses on Tuesday came in areas dominated by ‘yellow dog’ Democrats.  These are voters who inherit their Democratic voting along with their other genetic traits.  These voters tend to live in counties that are socially and economically conservative but Democratic by birth.  A quick look at past elections will show that for all their conservatism, these counties voted for Mondale over Reagan, Kerry over Bush, Cooper over Thompson and so on.  That these voters not only elected a Republican Congressman but also finally elected Republicans at the state level suggests that the traditional link to the Democratic party has been broken.  
  • The Issue Factor.  Despite the fact that traditional Democrats are usually reliable votes for the conservative position on social or values issues, the position of the national party on abortion, guns, gays and other topics may finally have driven voters into Republican arms.  
  • The Fear Factor.  Parts of Tennessee have been suffering economically for several years before the crash of 2007 -2008.  Rural areas that relied on low-skill industries have been particularly battered by the relocation of plants abroad.  As rural Democratic legislators have lost power, there has been less largess funneled to those areas.  With the national economy lagging, the Republican alternative may be less scary than the Democrats.

  • The Republicans did it Right Factor.  Republican leadership in the House and Senate deserves credit for some excellent candidate recruiting and fundraising.  Recent state party chairs Robin Smith and Chris Devaney also deserve credit for their management of the party and their work in recruiting and fundraising.  Congressional Republicans including Senators Alexander and Corker worked hard for their state counterparts. 
  • The Civil War Factor.  The conflict between the left and center of the Democratic Party has been a serious problem at a time when the Democrats had little margin for error.  The efforts of the TEA to derail Race to the Top legislation, the fight over the job of party chair and a variety of other conflicts hurt Democratic efforts to unite behind candidates and wasted scarce resources. 
With redistricting coming up and no barrier to Republicans drawing lines that will favor them, it seems that the best the Democrats can hope for is holding their House seats although that may be difficult as Republicans target close races like three in Nashville.  The Senate offers Republicans the opportunity to gain two or three more seats.  The Democrats also face a serious problem in that their bench is weak.  Their two Congressmen are not serious threats for statewide office.  Their House and Senate Leadership is older and not likely to consider uphill congressional races.  And the financial support of those lobbyists who once served at their beck and call will now flow to the Republicans who dominate the Hill. 

Mark Rogers is a long-time Republican activist and commentator.  His experiences range from campaign strategy to policy development to speech writing.

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

$45 billion wasted later, Al Gore admits that ethanol was a mistake.

Better late than never, Al.

Al Gore admits that ethanol was a mistake. Wow! You mean just because diverting food to fuel causes worldwide hunger and starvation, and the production of all that extra corn was bad for the environment and created a large dead spot in the Gulf of Mexico, and just because if takes almost as much energy to create a unit of ethanol energy as the amount of energy produced that it may not be a good idea? Well, Al I could have told you that. I could have told you that before we wasted 45 billion dollars subsidizing the ethanol industry. Anyway, I am glad you saw the light.

Also, Al they say confession is good for the soul and I appreciate that you confessed that your support of ethanol was motivated by buying the votes of farmers in Tennessee where you were Senator and buying votes in Iowa where you were running for President.

Al, I am sure this confession will not hurt you with your fans. After all what is a wasted $45 billion and a bunch of people people starved to death? You were making people feel good about "doing something."  You were promoting "green" alternatives. Feeling good about doing something is what is really important, right? Your fans will still love you.

While you are at it Al, are there any other mistakes you would like to confess? You didn’t embellish and exaggerate the threat of global warming just to win a Nobel Peace Prize or become a movie star did you? You didn’t engage in fear mongering and sensationalism just to make a point did you? If so, now would be a good time to say so. Just asking.

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Higher Taxes Won't Reduce the Deficit

An article in yesterday's Wall Street Journal explains why higher taxes will not reduce the deficit. The draft proposal of the President's Commission on the Deficit calls for various tax increases along with spending cuts to produce a balanced budget and to began the process of reducing the deficit. If the deficit is not reduced, simply paying interest on the debt will eat up a greater and greater share of tax revenues and the GDP. We are headed the way of Greece. Almost everyone agrees we must do something.

However, raising taxes may be worse than doing nothing. Raising taxes will likely make the deficit worse; not better. History has shown time and time again that every time taxes are raised so is spending and borrowing.

The article says that, "the only era in modern times that the budget has been in balance was in the late 1990s, when Republicans were in control of Congress. Taxes were not raised, and the capital gains tax rate was cut in 1997. The growth rate of federal spending was dramatically reduced from 1995-99, and the economy roared."

We need to cut spending and grow the economy. To grow the economy we need to cut taxes, especially the capital gains taxes and the corporate income tax.  Raising taxes curtails economic growth and feeds the beast. Raising taxes should be a nonstarter for Republicans.

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Report from the West Nashville Summit with Sheriff Daron Hall

From Matt Nemeth
Saturday, November 20th

Hello All,

Thank you to those in attendance this morning to hear Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall speak about immigration. Today was very informative and provided great clarity as to how Nashville uses 287(g) as a tool to combat illegal immigration. 287(g) is designed to provide relief to Federal officials looking to detain illegal immigrants by allowing local law enforcement the opportunity to question anyone arrested about their residency status.

According to the Sheriff, 287(g) has been very effective. Less than 1% of illegals found in Nashville appear in any other part of the country. This means that the job that our elected officials are doing is resulting in either the proper jailing or deportation of those in this country unlawfully. It would be difficult to find another city in this nation with such a track record.

Let's continue to stand behind Sheriff Hall who openly decided to use (even against the will of critics) 287(g) to the benefit and safety of Tennesseans. He was sworn to protect the citizens of Davidson County and it is clear that he will use any legal means necessary to do so.

Any other city in this great country should be as honored as we are to have someone like Sheriff Hall watching over them.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Matt Nemeth

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Murfressboro Mosque Circus makes The Economist.

The Murfressboro Mosque story has made the news all over the world including the prestigious Economist magazine. The Economist article offers no special insight but presents a factual summary of events.

This trial has brought publicity to Murfressboro and Tennessee that we did not need. It has tarnished the image of Tennessee almost equal to the Scopes monkey trial. The only thing that could have made it worse is if the judge in the case had not followed the rule of law and had ruled in favor of the plaintiffs.

I am sure that many others observers share the view of one reader who left this comment on the Economist website:

Ahh Tennessee, birthplace of the Ku Klux Klan, what a welcoming and inclusive club of reasonable, well-intentioned people. I sure am glad that the international community can look upon America and see our greatness and the strength of our democracy at work in Tennessee. Bravo Tennessee, keep representing the best America has to offer, I'll be sure to wave hello as I pass over this backwater flyover state.
The plaintiffs are threatening to appeal the case. On what grounds, I don't know. This has already cost Rutherford County over $50,000 and probably much more in damage to the good name of Rutherford County, Murfressboro, and Tennessee. This is not going to help with MTSU student recruitment or business recruitment. If I were the CEO of a large firm looking to relocate my corporate headquarters, I would probably mark  Murfressboro and maybe Tennessee off my list. I hope this circus does not have a return engagement.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

chancellor sticks to law, First Amendment applies to Murfreesboro and mosque must can be built

Judge denies request to stop work on Murfreesboro mosque
By Stephen George, City Paper, Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 3:53pm

After a trial that stretched more than two months and devolved into what many spectators called a circus that garnered international attention and ridicule, Rutherford County Chancellor Robert Corlew denied plaintiffs' request for a temporary injunction Wednesday afternoon.(link)

Comment: Thank God this circus is over and thank God we still have freedom of religion in America.

If chancellor sticks to law, Murfreesboro mosque must be built
by Gail Kerr, The Tennessean, November 17, 2010

Now it's up to Rutherford County Chancellor Robert Corlew III.

Will this end up being one of his finest hours, ruling that a Murfreesboro mosque can be built — whether he personally likes it or not — because it legally met all local planning and building criteria?
If he is an impartial member of the judiciary who follows the rule of law, instead of a rogue judge who makes it up as he goes, then the mosque will get built. You may disagree with that. If you think judges should be activists who reinterpret the law as they see fit, based on the political winds of the day, you'll love it if the judge rules against the mosque. (link)

Comment: Amen. I agree and could not have said it better. I am glad this circus is leaving town. I just hope the Judge rules for the rule of law. I am embarrassed an appalled that there are so many local "conservatives" opposing property rights, opposing the Constitutional First Amendment  right to Freedom of Religion, advocating big government and judicial activism. I am not that kind of conservative.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Is that a bomb in your pants or are you glad to see me?

Ever since 9-11 flying has been no fun. I remember the good old days, when you did not have to arrive an hour or two early, when your loved ones could walk you to the departure gate and be there at the gate to greet you when you returned, when there were no baggage searches or removing of your shoes or pat downs and you could carry your toothpaste, shampoo, aftershave, a pint of bourbon and a Swiss army knife.

Now, The Transportation Security Agency has rolled out new rules that require full-body scans, which can see through your clothes and leave nothing to the imagination. They can detect nipples and pubic hair and tell if a man is circumcised or not. If one does not want to be seen virtually nude by strangers one can instead opt for the body search. The new body search will not be a gentle pat down using the back of the hand but a real search with groping of the breast and the groin. There will be a good ole squeeze to see if what is there is all that should be there.

Now, I am not that modest of a guy. I am not going to mortified if someone sees me naked. And, if it was an attractive women doing the search I might even opt for the search instead of the scan, but I think it will be men groping men and women groping women. I will put up with the indignity of the nude scan because I really am not bothered by my own nudity and if some guy gropes my groin I am not going to freak out.

Many people are however going to be uncomfortable with this. I would bet that nude pics of celebrities will find their way to the Internet. With people being human and technology the way it is, I just do not believe all those nude pictures will be kept secure.

Will this make us more secure? Probably. Is it worth it? That is a judgment call. One should not just assume that because it will make us more secure, that it is worth it. There is a trade off between security and safety, and convenience. As individuals and as a society we have to decide the proper balance. Sometimes the trade off is not worth it.

I remember when the interstate speed limit, in an effort to save gas, was reduced to 55 miles per hour. I didn't like it. I could not drive 55. People objected and the government argued that the lower speed saved X number of lives. The number of lives saved by driving the slower speed limit was simply not worth it as far as I was concerned. Some people find that statement abhorrent but in reality we all accept a certain number of deaths for our own convenience.

You often hear people say about expenditures for safety or inconveniences for safety, "if it saves just one live it is worth it." I don't think anyone really believe that. It sounds nice, but people don't really believe it. Driving 55 saved lives. Driving 35 would have saved even more. Drive 5 MPH and we could end all highway deaths. What is the magic number at which the additional saved life is not worth it. For me it was 74MPH.

The new security measures will probably make us safer. It we all had full body cavity checks and all flew naked, and could take no baggage with us we would be safer still. Like I said, I am not going to be that bothered by these new regulations but there are still some modest people in this country who are going to be very offended. This is much like the speed limit. The higher level of security may not be worth the cost.

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Conservative candidates needed to run for Metro Council.

In Metro's 40-member Council there are about 10 "good" council members. One of them, Jim Gotto, got elected to higher office and his seat is an open seat. Some of the good ones, like Robert Duvall, have a target on their back and the liberals are going to do all they can to defeat them. We need to help Robert Duvall and other conservative keep their seat.

Several of the "good" councilmen are term-limited out and unless we have other good candidates to run for those seats, they could be lost to liberals. The good news is that some of the most liberal council member are  also term-limited out of office and those seats could be won by conservative candidates if we have good candidates. Some of the liberal Council Members who are not term-limited out of office could be vulnerable and need to be challenged by strong conservative candidates.

To find out who has already declared for election and to read The Tennessean's take on the August 4th Council race, follow this link.

If you are thinking about running, if you are a conservative, have integrity, care about Nashville, and think you have the skills that would make a good council member , I would like to meet you and share what I know.  I served in the Metro Council for two full terms and part of another term and won an election against overwhelming odds. It does not have to take a lot of money to run for Metro Council if you are willing to work hard. I would be glad to meet with you, give you some advice and connect you to other people who may be able to help you.  Contact me.

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Metro Council Candidates Workshop

If anyone is considering running for the Metro Council, I recommend you attend this workshop. Yes, I know the sponsors are labor unions and the presenter are liberal leaders and the workshop is a project of community organizers.  Nevertheless, the workshop appears to be about nuts and bolts stuff that any candidate for Metro Council needs to know. 

If you are already a conservative, I doubt spending a day at a liberal workshop will corrupt you. I suggest you leave your argumentative nature and your politics at the door and learn all you can about the operation of Metro Government. At only $20 a person, including a box lunch, you are not going to be enriching the oppositions by attending this workshop so don't feel guilty about paying the modest fee.  In addition to what you might learn at this workshop about the function and operation of Metro Government, you will better know your opposition by attending.

Also you may make some contracts that would support you in your campaign. While many neighborhood organizations have been co-opted by liberals, not all neighborhood leaders are liberal. While we may think of unions such as MNEA and firefighters and FOP as being liberal, you may be surprised to find that sometimes you can compete for their support  without compromising your values or at least your may be able to keep them from endorsing your opponent. 

This looks like good training for anyone thinking about running for the Metro Council.

From: Nashville Neighborhood Defense Fund [mailto:nndf@bellsouth.net]
Sent: Saturday, November 13, 2010 8:11 AM
To: Nashville Neighborhood Defense Fund
Subject: Metro Council Candidates Workshop
Importance: High

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bob Corker talks national debt at Belmont town hall.

Senator Bob Corker takes questions  form the press following the town hall  meeting.

Senator Bob Corker held a town hall meeting tonight at Belmont University in the 1000-seat Massey Performance Arts Center to a near-capacity crowd. He presented a 20-minute, 19-slide, slide show presenting a gloomy picture of America's debt crisis. This is the fourth-sixth time he has made the presentation across the state. The program was MC'd by Ralph Bristol and broadcast live on Supertalk 99.7.

Senator Corker said the national debt is scheduled to increase to 146 percent of gross domestic product by the year 2030 unless drastic action is not taken. Today the debt is at an all time high of 62 percent of GDP. Unless something is not done, the growing debt will push interest payments on the federal debt up from today's 6 percent of all federal spending to 25 percent by the year 2035. Colored pie charts drove the point home.

Corker proposed that congress place a cap on spending of somewhere between 18 percent to 21 percent of GDP, stating he preferred a cap closer to the 18%. He said that in January he intends to introduce debt capping legislation.

Following the presentation Senator Corker took questions from the audience. While the audience was polite and mostly supportive, their appeared to be an organized effort to ask rehearsed questions that focused on abolishing or auditing the Federal Reserve.  Several questioners asked questions along this vein.

Matt Collins, former first vice chair of the Davidson County Republican party, who some may recall was ousted from his leadership roll in the Party last year,  was the only person to ask a question or make a comment that some may consider crossed the line from simply being passionate to being insulting. Matt asked Senator Corker if he would support a "full and unrestricted" audit all of the gold held by the Federal Government and the Federal Reserve. Corker said he had never thought about it but would consider it and would respond to Matt in writing. Matt then said something to the effect that since Corker votes contrary to the constitution and had apparently never read the constitution, could he give him a copy. Matt's comment was met with both limited cheers and boos from the audience.

Obviously annoyed, Corker said, "I have read the constitution and carry a copy with me at all times." He said he found the comment "very offensive."

In the press conference following he meeting,  Corker was asked his reaction to the just released draft proposal from the U.S. bipartisan deficit reduction commission.  Senator Corker said, "I think we have a spending problem and not a revenue problem."  He said however that  he thinks the commission has taken some  "bold steps" in pointing out the problem and it is a "good start."  "Every group in America is upset about it," he said, "so it can't be all bad."  "At least they have looked at some things and proposed some serious cuts that we all know have to take place."

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Help Save the Tennessee State Fair and Fairgounds. Join the FHPG.

I just joined the newly chartered non-profit organization  Fairgrounds Heritage Preservation Group and encourage you to do the same. You can join for as little as $5 and it is quick and easy.

I just visited the FGHPG website and read an 18 page report by FGHPG attorney Dr. Lewis Laska. In this report Dr. Laska points out the legal and accounting tricks being used to destroy the fairgrounds. Now, I don't know all the details of the fairgrounds operations nor the accuracy of this report from Dr. Laska, but it sure looks like we are not being told the whole story of the fairgrounds. It looks like we are being fed deliberate distortions to build a case for destroying the fairgrounds.

Did you know that the Farmers Market received about $1.2 million tax dollars in 2009 and the Convention Center received about $2.8 million and yet the Fairgrounds  did not cost the tax payers anything? If you want to learn more about the accounting tricks used and the half-truths being told in order to build a case for destroying the fairgrounds, click here and read the report.

The FHPB site is full ammunition you can use to help make the case for saving the fairgrounds. You can learn about the historic nature of the fairgrounds, the economic impact, and how to get involved to effectively let your voice be heard.

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tonight! Bob Corker's Town Hall Meeting on America’s Debt Crisis comes to Nashville

In an excerpt from a presentation delivered August 18, 2010 to the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce, Senator Corker uses charts and graphs to illustrate Washington's spending trends and mounting debt.

Below are excerts from The Jackson Sun covereage of Corkers presentation in Jackson.

The rate of spending in America is similar to families going on lavish vacations and eating at expensive restaurants only to leave the tabs to their children, U.S. Sen. Bob Corker says.

The national debt is at a record $13.5 trillion and rising, Corker said. The current level of federal spending is akin to households making $48,000 a year but spending $70,000, he said.

Bob Corker will be bringin his Town Hall Meeting to Nashville Thursday, November 11. Below are the details:

SuperTalk 99.7 WTN’s Town Hall Meeting on America’s Debt Crisis
Moderator: Ralph Bristol, host of “Nashville’s Morning News”
Time: 6:00 p.m. CT - Doors open. The audience is asked to arrive no later than 6:45 p.m. CT.
7:00 - 8:30 p.m. CT - Town Hall and Q & A.
Location: Belmont University
Massey Performing Arts Center
1900 Belmont Boulevard
For more information, contact Sen. Corker’s Nashville field office at 615-279-8125

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Reagan at Brandenburg Gate - "tear down this wall"

In observance of the fall of the Berlin Wall, which effectively ended the Cold War, it is appropriate to recall Ronald Reagan's appeal to the Soviets to "tear down this wall." 

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November 9th Should be a Worldwide Day of Celebration

November 9th should be a National holiday. Or better yet, it should be a worldwide holiday. It should rival a combination of New Years’ Eve and the 4th of July. There should be concerts, dancing in the street, Champagne toast, ringing of church bells, and fire works.

On November 9, 1989 the Berlin Wall fell and the world changed forever. As the world watched, we did not know if Russia would send in troops to put down the rebellion or not. We did not know if East Germans guards would fire on their fellow citizens. In 1958 an uprising in Hungary was crushed. In 1968 the Czech rebellion was likewise suppressed. As we watched in 1989 it was hard to believe that the East German rebellion would end differently, but there was reason to hope.

There was reason to believe that there were few true believers in Communism left behind the Iron curtain. Gorbachev, to save Communism, had launched Perestroika and Glasnost, which had not saved Communism but sealed its fate. The Soviets had been forced to realize that they could not outspend the west in the arms race. The Solidarity union movement had sprung up in Poland and not been crushed and Catholicism had a Polish pope who was encouraging the Catholics behind the Iron Curtain to keep the faith, and America had a president who said his goal was not to co-exist with Communism but to defeat it. The West was more confident and the East seemed exhausted.

With modern communications and contact between the captive peoples of the East and the free people of the West, Communist governments could no longer convince their people that Communism was a superior way to organize society. And, for the first time, attempts to spread Communism had failed. From the tiny island of Granada, to Nicaragua, to Afghanistan, attempts at expansion had met with failure. When the demonstrators in East Germany began chipping away at the wall, the guards did not fire, the Soviets did not send in tanks and the walls came tumbling down.

It would still be a couple more years before the other Communist dominoes fell, but one by one they did, except for the two dysfunctional teetering states of North Korea and Cuba. China did not fall, but morphed into a state that Marx or Mao would not recognize. While still nominally communist, China became a capitalist state with an authoritarian government that daily continues to change.

From the time of the establishment of the first Communist state in Russia in 1917, Communism had steadily grown taking country by county until by the time of the fall of the Berlin wall 34% of the worlds populations lived under Communist domination. And by peaceful means, Communism was gaining ground in much of the west with “Euro-communism” gaining acceptance and becoming parties in coalition governments. For more than seventy years, freedom had been on the defensive and Communism at been ascending.

During that time, between 85 million and 100 million people were killed with a brutal efficiency. Approximately 65 million were killed in China under Mao Zedong, 25 million in Leninist and Stalinist Russia, 2 million in Cambodia, and millions more in Eastern Europe, Africa, and Latin America. This was accomplished by mass murders, planned famines, working people to death in labor camps, and other ruthless methods. From the thousands of Cossacks slaughtered on the orders of Lenin to the victims of Mao’s “land reform” the totals mounted. In addition to the millions of deaths, many more millions spend part of their lives in prison in the Gulag of Russia and the reeducation camps of Vietnam and China. Those who never spend part of their life in real prisons, lived in societies with secret police, enforced conformity, thought control, fear, scarcity, and everyone spying on everyone else.

While the world looked with horror on the approximate 11 million victims of Hitler’s Europe, for some reason less attentions was paid to the 100 million victims of Communist tyranny. While the Nazi era lasted for only 11 years, the Communist terror began in 1917 and continues to this day. The story would be complete if the last Communist regime fell, but the fall of the Berlin Wall is a land mark event. By the fall of the wall, it was clear that Communism was not the wave of the future and that freedom would survive in the world.

Not only would freedom survive in the world, but the world itself would survive. It is easy to forget what a dangerous place the world was on the eve of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The world's nuclear stockpiles had grown to 70,000 warheads, with an average destructive power about 20 times that of the weapons that were dropped on Japan. One deranged colonel, one failure of a radar system, or one misreading of intentions could have led to events that destroyed the world. We were one blink away from destruction of life on earth. If there is any event in the history of world worthy of celebrating, it should be the fall of the Berlin Wall.

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Boehner: We are going to stop Obamacare.

"This health care bill will ruin the best health care system in the world and will bankrupt our country."

"We are going to repeal Obamacare and replace it with common sense reforms that will bring down the cost of health insurance."

"Beyond repealing Obmacare we are going to do everything we can to stop this bill from being implemented."


Damn, I'm glad we won!

I am expecting the Republicans to follow through. I expect a full-fledged effort to stop the implementation of Obamacare. Stopping it is not good enough, however. I expect Republicans to follow through on common sense reform to bring down the cost of health care.

Any Republican who goes wobbly on the effort to derail and repeal Obamacare and who does not work for common sense, market-oriented, patient-centered reform does not deserve to be reelected when running for reelection. I have high expectation of our Republican legislators. We should hold them to a high standard hold their feet to the fire.

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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Farewell comments from David Hall

Dear Friend of David Hall for Congress,

I wanted to write and tell you that I contacted Congressman Jim Cooper by phone today and congratulated him on his victory. I also urged him to fight the pull of partisanship in DC and to remember the interests of the 75,000-plus voters in the 5th District who had cast a vote against him.

Lastly, I told him that I have always prayed for those in authority over me and that I would continue to do so. It was a very pleasant conversation.

In what is probably going to be my last mass communication with you, I want to encourage you, as a supporter of my campaign, to make this same choice. Though we have disagreed with many of this decisions in the past, and though we worked hard to unseat Mr. Cooper, he is our Congressman, and we still need to pray for him to have wisdom and guidance from God. That's my last request of you, and I am confident you'll do your best to come through . . . you have certainly done so in the past. Thank you again for everything you have done for us.

David Hall

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Fair Play for Keith Olbermann

Keith OlbermanIt looks like my next to favorite liberal to hate, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, is getting canned for partisan political activity. He has been suspended without pay. His offense is that he made political contributions to three Democratic candidates — Kentucky senate candidate Jack Conway who lost his election to Rand Paul and two Arizona House members.

His political contribution violated an NBC policy that states:

Anyone working for NBC News who takes part in civic or other outside activities may find that these activities jeopardize his or her standing as an impartial journalist because they may create the appearance of a conflict of interest. Such activities may include participation in or contributions to political campaigns or groups that espouse controversial positions. You should report any such potential conflicts in advance to, and obtain prior approval of, the President of NBC News or his designee.
What a joke! Keith Olberman never had any standing as " an impartial journalist." I have never considered him impartial nor a serious journalist or a news reporter and I doubt anyone else has either. He is a spokesman for the extreme left wing of the Democratic Party. He is an advocate for a particular point of view. He is no more an "impartial journalist" than is Glen Beck or Rush Limbaugh. When one watches Keith Olberman, one knows what one is watching, just as one knows what one is watching when one watches Rachel Maddow, my favorite liberal to hate.

These people are not mainstream. They don't even pretend to be mainstream. They are not deceiving anyone. They don't even pretend to be fair or impartial. Their nightly hours of TV broadcasting are nothing but liberal propaganda and left wing opinion. Why not let them contribute to the causes they believe in? What is the harm?

I am more concerned about the so-called serious journalist of the main stream media (liberal media? lame stream media? drive-by media?) who pretend to be fair and impartial than I am those who openly advocate leftist positions. I think I know the politics of people like Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric and Charlie Gibson. I would like to know who they contribute money to. It is time to let them come out of the closet. It is time to end this silly pretense that journalist are impartial observers. I would like to let everyone show their bias.

To allow Keith Olberman to have several hours a night to attack Republicans and promote Democrats and then fire him because he contributes money to Democrats is the height of hypocrisy. Keith Olberman deserves to keep his job.

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Friday, November 5, 2010

Fair Ground deal delayed thanks to Jim Gotto

The city's plans to take over part of Hickory Hollow Mall have been delayed at least two weeks, thanks to an obscure rule wielded last night by Metro Councilman Jim Gotto.

The Tennessean reports that Gotto used "Rule 12" to stop the council from considering the bill for the first of three required votes. The rule says that on nights with public hearings, other bills cannot be introduced. The first vote will now take place Nov. 16, at the earliest.(link)
Despite Jim Gotto's grueling campaign followed by a tremendous victory in winning the State House District 60 election Tuesday, Jim Gotto was back on the job and in top form last night. The skids have been greased and the deal to sell the fair grounds has been moving ahead at top speed with very little analysis and little community input.

Thanks to Jim Gotto's knowledge of the rules and courage to use them, the deal to sell the fairgrounds has been slowed for at least two weeks. The bill that Gotto prevented from being considered last night was a bill to lease 340,000 square feet of the struggling Hickory Hollow mall. The flea market and other fairgrounds activities would be moved from the fairgrounds site to the leased Hickory Hollow space.

What I want to know, why is this a good deal for the city? The fairgrounds is already paid for and it bring in money. Why lease space? What is the economic impact of the fairgrounds? Who is this being done for? What is the plan for the fairgrounds? Why is this really being done? Who does this benefit? You can not convince me that there is not some backroom deal behind this.

Jim Gotto's skill as a legislator will be missed in the Metro Council but will serve him well in the State Legislature.

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

We will sing in the sunshine...

"Former Revenue Commissioner Reagan Farr has been laying the groundwork for a new company involving solar energy that would position him, Gov. Phil Bredesen and the state's top economic development official to profit from an industry they have spent more than two years trying to build up in Tennessee."(link)

This may be perfectly legal but it sure doesn't smell right. The Revenue Commissioner, the Governor, and the head of Economic Development lay the groundwork to make Tennessee hospitable to the solar energy industry, including the training of a workforce for that industry, then they leave office and take advantage of what they created, the contacts they have made and what they have learned. Am I the only one that thinks this is unethical?

Also, they incorporate in Delaware, to avoid Tennessee taxes I assume. I don't blame anyone for legally avoiding taxes whenever they can; however, while in office why did they not work to change Tennessee's corporate tax laws to make Tennessee as attractive as Delaware?

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010



NASHVILLE, TN - For the first time in modern history, Tennessee will have a Republican governor and majorities in both state legislative bodies simultaneously. Earlier it was announced that Republican Bill Haslam was elected governor of Tennessee and returns are showing that Republicans have built on their current 19-14 majority in the State Senate and razor-thin 50-48-1 majority in the State House. Returns are still coming in, but as of this release, Republicans have made double-digit gains in the State House.

"For the first time in modern history, Republicans are going to lead at every level of government in this state," said Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney. "This is truly a historic day and Republicans are honored that voters have put their trust in our party to lead Tennessee.

"This was 100 percent a team effort," continued Devaney. "I want to thank our Republican Senators and Congressmen as well as the Republican leadership of the State House and Senate Caucuses. These leaders went above and beyond to help elect our candidates and their hard work was critical in our success this year. I also want to thank the thousands of donors, volunteers, and Party leadership members who gave us their support. Clearly we wouldn't be where we are without the critical resources they provided us over the course of this election cycle.

"Lastly, I want to thank all of the Republican candidates who ran this year. Running for office is an extremely difficult task and regardless of the outcome, each one of these candidates should be commended for their dedication and sacrifice over the last months."

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The Big Win!

The Republican win was big, very big! We took control of the House, gaining at least 60 House seats. We reduced the Democratic margin in the Senate and we won elections across the country down to the state and courthouse level. This Republican win means President Obama will have to moderate and compromise or face gridlock for the next two years.

The state wins will give Republicans the pen when it comes time to redraw district lines. This can shape the election potential for Republicans for at least the next ten years. When it comes to redistricting, I hope we will be as fair as the Democrats have been.

I am almost not "disgruntled" this morning. I am extremely happy that Jim Gotto won his race and flipped House District 60 to the Republican column. Unfortunately David Hall was unable to defeat lap dog Jim Cooper and we failed to prevail in the other State House races and the State Senate race in Davidson County. Democrats, however had to actually fight to retain their seats and spend money and campaign. This kept them from doing mischief in other people's races. Some of the races were respectably close. Unfortunately for now, Davidson County remains a liberal island in a conservative sea but we are making inroads.

The WSJ said the election was "a titanic sweep beating the Republican tidal waves of 1946 and 1994." There is no shortage of analysis of last night's election. This WSJ article is a good one with analysis of exit polling and statements from Party leaders and analysis of individual state races and highlights of the 2010 mid-term election.

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Congratulations Jim Gotto!

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Today is the day: Vote Republican

Duane Dominy

Jim Gotto
State House District 60

Jim Gotto

Charles Williamson
State House District 51
Charles Williamson

Tonya Miller

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"Just Get Me To The Polls On Time." Free Rides

Let's get all GOP'ers to the polls tomorrow!

Do you need a ride? Do you have a family member or friend who needs a ride?

Reservations are being taken right now!

Voters Living In Green Hills, Belle Meade and Forest Hills:
Call Peter and Gail Voysey: (615) 665-0244

Voters Living Elsewhere In Davidson County:
Call Diane DiStasio (615) 364-0422


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Vote against the Right to Hunt and Fish Admenment

On November 2, 2010 when we go to the polls to cast our vote for the next governor of Tennessee, U. S Representatives, State Senators and State Representatives, on that same ballot will be the opportunity to vote for an Amendment to the Tennessee Constitution guaranteeing our right to hunt and fish.

What? Yes, friends we are being asked to amend our noble and beautiful State Constitution which outlines the functions and responsibilities of State government and limits the scope of state government with a frivolous amendment to protect our right to hunt and fish.

The proposed amendment would add this language to the Constitution:

The citizens of this state shall have the personal right to hunt and fish, subject to reasonable regulations and restrictions prescribed by law. The recognition of this right does not abrogate any private or public property rights, nor does it limit the state’s power to regulate commercial activity. Traditional manners and means may be used to take non-threatened species.
Did you not know that the right to hunt and fish was was being threatened? Well it is not. However, unlike freedom of worship and the right to a trial by jury and the right to navigate the Mississippi, the right to hunt and fish is not specified. It is not guaranteed.

If that alarms you, neither is the right to operate a motor boat on the lakes of this great State, to drive a car, bird watch, eat fatty high calorie food, or watch football on TV in the State Constitutions. If we guaranteed all of our rights in the State Constitution it would be a very long document.

The argument for passing this amendment goes like this: The animal rights folks (PETA) are well funded and passionate about stopping hunting and fishing. If we stand by and do nothing, some day we may no longer have these rights.

OK, I think we can use the same arguments on any number of things. Some tree-hugging environmentalist, especially canoers and kayakers find motor boats offensive. Noisy motorboats disturb the calm quite enjoyment of nature and the wake of a motorboat can upset a canoe or kayak. If we stand by and do nothing, some day we may no longer have the right to motorboat.

A lot of concerned nutritionist and other food Nazis think the world would be better off if we banned all McDonalds and other fast food. If we stand by and do nothing, some day we may no longer have the right to eat at McDonalds.

Remember a few years ago when a report came out that said that more men commit spouse abuse during football playoffs? I think this was proven to be a phony "fact" but the argument was that all of that testosterone and adrenalin made men more violent. If we don't watch it, the feminazis will ban football. If we stand by and do nothing, some day we may no longer have the right to watch football.

This is nuts! My examples are as valid as the proposed amendment regarding hunting and fishing. This amendment was placed on the ballot by our state legislature, passing the house by a vote of 90-1 and the Senate unanimously. This does not mean the proposed amendment has merit; just that we have a bunch of gutless wimps in the legislature who will pander and give in to any pressure group if there is not an equally powerful pressure group on the other side.

In order for this amendment to pass it must get "yes" votes equal to 50% plus one of the number of votes cast in the election for Governor. So, not voting for this proposed amendment is the same as voting no. Please do not vote for this stupid, frivolous, unnecessary amendment.

Politician pay a lot of lip service to respecting the constitution. Respecting the constitution is not only a matter of not passing laws that conflict with the constitution but it is also not cluttering the constitution with meaningless provisions that more appropriately belong in memorializing resolutions.

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Monday, November 1, 2010

Desperate Mike Turner Resorts to Dirty Campaign Tactics

Nashville, TN (Nov. 1, 2010) --- House Democratic Caucus Chairman, Mike Turner, has resorted to desperate campaign tactics in his bid to hold onto his position. In an eleventh-hour effort to save a campaign that is falling behind in the polls, Turner has released a direct mail piece that calls out opponent Charles Williamson for a decades-old traffic stop.

The incident occurred more than 20 years ago. Williamson was charged with reckless driving, not DUI, in the 1988 incident. The candidate has openly discussed the topic throughout the campaign.

“It was a long time ago, a frankly a different time,” Williamson says. “I had been at a business function and back then, we all though a little differently about those things. Today, we are more aware of the risks involved.”

The effort by Turner comes on the heels of similarly negative mailers sent by the state Republican party, which Chairman Chris Devaney has acknowledged sending without the consent of Williamson or his staff. The mailers highlight several well-publicized news items about Mike Turner’s questionable ethics. Turner has been accused of abuse of power in his positions with the fire department and state house, driving for more than a year on an invalid driver’s license, calling an on-duty fire engine for a ride after a traffic stop, attempting to sell his discounted UT parking pass for a considerable profit and rumors of participation in dog-fighting.

At a recent breakfast event, both Williamson and Turner referred to the mail campaign with Turner denying all accusations. Williamson remained firm in his desire to run a clean campaign despite negative efforts by the state GOP.

“Early on, our campaign made the decision not to raise old embarrassing issues,” Williamson said.

Williamson was light-hearted at the community breakfast which was held at John A’s Restaurant in District 51.

“If you get to this age and you don’t have something in your past,” Williamson said, “you haven’t been living.”

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Bergmann-Cohen race tightens!

Durning this campaign season, I have focused most of my attention and energy and political contributions on our own local Republican candiditates, but I have followed and occationally contributed to other high profile races such as Sharron Angle's race in Nevada where she is challenging Harry Reid and Marco Rubio's race in Florida and a very few others.

One of the races I have been following is the Charlotte Bergmann challenge to Steve Cohen. Memphis Congressman Steve Cohen is by any measure absolutely one of the most liberal members of the U. S. Congress and he is being challenged by a conservative African American female supported by the tea party. I would find it extremely gratifying to see a Black conservative women defeat an extremely liberal white guy. I have had the chance to meet Ms Bergman a couple of times and she is a delightful person. I have followed her race quite closely. I respect her for being willing to take on Cohen but thought she was probably tilting at windmills. I frankly did not thing she had a chance. Her district is overwhelming a liberal district.

Now, however, it looks like that race is tightening if you can believe this report from the Commercial Appeal. She may actually win! I am keeping my fingers crossed. I would be as happy to see Bergmann defeat Cohen as any race outcome in the country.

Commercial Appeal Reveals Race Tightening
Says Charlotte Bergmann Tougher Opponent that Cohen Anticipated

Going into the 2010 election cycle, conventional political wisdom held that U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, the incumbent 9th Congressional District representative from Memphis, would face his toughest test in the Democratic primary before cruising to victory in November.

After all, it was former Memphis mayor Willie Herenton challenging Cohen in the primary, and the general election would likely pit him against a Republican candidate embracing tea-party philosophy in a district where 77 percent of the voters went for President Barack Obama in 2008.

But that general-election opponent, a rare African-American Republican candidate named Charlotte Bergmann, appears to be galvanizing more anti-Cohen support than Herenton could muster (he got just 21 percent of the vote) and is heading a campaign that in many ways is more aggressively taking on Cohen.

For the complete story in the Commercial Appeal click here.

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