Thursday, June 30, 2011
The Central Labor Council has released their list of Council endorsements. There are no surprises. A candidate endorsed by the Central Labor Council probably promised to support prevailing wage and living wage and advocates increased government spending. I have not seen the questionnaires and am not privy to the questions asked in the interview so I do not know that for certain, but an endorsement by the Central Labor Council is not a good recommendation as far as I am concerned.
Below is the list of endorsement:
Mayor Karl Dean
Vice-Mayor Diane Neighbors
Council-at-large Megan Barry
Council-at-large Tim Garrett
Council-at-large Jerry Maynard
Council-at-large Ronnie Steine
Council-at-large Vivian Wilhoite
District 1 Lonnell Matthews Jr.
District 2 Frank Harrison
District 3 Walter Hunt
District 4 Brady Banks
District 5 Scott Davis
District 6 No endorsement
District 7 Anthony Davis
District 7 Randy Reed
District 8 Nancy Van Reece
District 9 No endorsement
District 10 Doug Pardue
District 11 Darren Jernigan
District 12 No endorsement
District 13 Marilyn Robinson
District 14 James Bruce Stanley
District 15 No endorsement
District 16 Anna Page
District 17 Sandra Moore
District 18 Burkley Allen
District 18 David Glasgow
District 19 Erica Gilmore
District 20 Buddy Baker
District 21 Edith Langster
District 22 Seanna Brandmeir
District 23 No endorsement
District 24 Jason Holleman
District 25 Sean McGuire
District 26 Chris Harmon
District 27 No endorsement
District 28 Tanaka Vercher
District 29 Karen Johnson
District 30 No endorsement
District 31 Fabian Bedne
District 32 Markeith Braden
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
The Tennessee Equality Project Political Action Committee has released their list of endorsements for Metro Council.
Most of their endorsements were predictable but there was one surprise in who they did not endorse.
In September 2009 the Metro Council passed by a vote of 24 to 15 a bill to protect Metro government employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The lead sponsor of the ordinance was Megan Barry and the bill had these nine cosponsors: Tim Garrett, Ronnie Steine, Jerry Maynard, Mike Jameson, Erik Cole, Anna Page, Sandra Moore, Buddy Baker, and Sean McGuire.
In April of 2011 the Council by a vote of 21-15 with three abstentions passed a bill to mandate that any business or entity doing business with Metro Government must have a policy of not discriminating against gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, or transgendered people. Many felt it was wrong to force a small business or faith-based entity that felt that homosexual activity is sinful to have to hire an openly gay person. Also, there was fear that in the future this special protection would be extended to all employers doing business within Davidson County.
Those voting for passage this bill were as follows: Barry, Steine, Maynard, Matthews, Harrison, Hollin, Jameson, Cole, Jernigan, Page, Moore, LaLonde, Gilmore, Langster, Evans, Holleman, McGuire, Whilhoite, Coleman, and Mitchell.
Those voting against the bill were: Tygard, Craddock, Bennett, Forkum, Ryman, Gotto, Burch, Stanley, Claiborne, Crafton, Dominy, Hodge, Toler, Duvall, and Todd.
Tim Garrett was absent. These three members abstained: Hunt, Adkins, Foster
I was disappointed to see Tim Garrett as a sponsor of the 2009 bill. At the time TEP thanked all of the sponsors. This week when TEP released their endorsments they did not endorse Tim Garrett. So much for gratitude.
Here is the list of TEP endorsements. They did not make endorsements in every district.
Mayor Karl Dean
Vice Mayor Diane Neighbors
Council At-Large (5) Megan Barry, Sam Coleman, Jerry Maynard, Ronnie Steine, and Vivian Wilhoite
District Council Members
1 Lonnell Mathews
2 Frank Harrison
4 Brady Banks
5 Scott Davis
6 Peter Westerholm
7 Anthony Davis
8 Nancy VanReece
11 Darren Jernigan
13 Marilyn Robinson
17 Sandra Moore
18 David Glasgow
19 Erica Gilmore
20 Buddy Baker
21 Edith Taylor Langster
22 Seanna Brandmeier
23 Emily Evans
24 Jason Holleman
25 Sean McGuire
26 Chris Harmon
27 Davette Blalock
28 Tanaka Vercher
31 Fabian Bedne
32 Both Jacobia Dowell and Markeith Braden endorsed.
The Nashville chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police released their endorsements today for the upcoming Mayoral and Council elections. The candidates highlighted in red below are candidates I am also supporting.
Below is the list of the FOP endorsed candidates:
Mayor: Karl Dean
Vice Mayor: Diane Neighbors
Council At Large:
District 1: Chuck Hoosier
District 2: No endorsement
District 3: Walter Hunt
District 4: Brady Banks
District 5: Scott Davis
District 6: Dave Rich
District 7: Anthony Davis
District 8: Karen Bennet
District 9: Bill Pridemore Jr
District 10: Doug Dukie Pardue
District 11: Darren Jernigan
District 12: No endorsement
District 13: No Endorsement
District 14: James Bruce Stanley
District 15: Phil Claiborne
District 16: Anna Page
District 17: Sandra Moore
District 18: Burkley Allen
District 19: Curt Wallen
District 20: Buddy Baker
District 21: Edith Taylor Langston
District 22: Seanna Brandmeir
District 23: Emily Evans
District 24: Jason Holleman
District 25: Sean McGuire
District 26: Brock Parks
District 27: Davette Dennison Blalock
District 28: Duane Dominy
District 29: Karen Johnson
District 30: No Endorsement
District 31: No endorsement
District 32: Jacobia C Dowell
District 33: No Endorsement
District 34: No Endorsement
District 35: No Endorsement
For Council at-Large they are endorsing Eric Crafton, Ken Jakes and Tim Garrett. Tim Garrett is a Democrat but he is a conservative Democrat. Of the current five At-large Council members, only Charlie Tygart may be considered equally as conservative as Tim Garrett. Eric Crafton and Ken Jakes are both Republicans. To bypass incumbent liberals to select two Republican challengers took courage.
In the district races, SEIU endorsed Emily Evans (23), Jason Holleman (24), Davette Blablock (27), Duane Dominy (28), and Robert Duvall (33). Several of these candidates such as Dominy and Duvall are openly Republican and some of the others, while Democrats, have not always voted with the Mayor and have shown a lot of independence.
Nationally the SEIU is perceived as extremely liberal if not radical. They were active in supporting the candidacy of Barack Obama in 2008 and spent $28 million in that effort making the SEIU the biggest spender by an independent organization. They were active in the healthcare issue often showing up to counter protest at tea party event. They have been accused of ballot rigging and using intimidation to persuade workers to vote in the SEIU as their union. In unionizing efforts, many of their activities have been considered thug-like.
Locally, the SEIU represents most government unionized workers who are not represented by either the Fraternal Order of Police, the International Association of Fire Fighters, or the Metro Nashville Education Association. They represent health care workers, janitors, school support staff and people who work for Public Works.
The endorsement of Republicans and conservative and independent Democrats by the SEIU just goes to show that in a big organization their can be diversity and one should be cautious about assuming too much. I know many Metro employees are conservative and if the rank and file really are the ones choosing which candidates to endorse then I should not be surprised that good public servants like Duvall and Dominy get the SEIU endorsement. I applaud the SEIU Local 205 for their independence and courage.
Below is the press release issued by the SEIU.Candidates I am supporting are highlighted in red.
SEIU Announces Metro Council Endorsements
Metro Employee Organization Urges Election of Pro-Worker Candidates
James Bruce Stanley
Edith Taylor Langster
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Steve Gill had this headline on his post today in big bold letters: "ISLAMIC SHARIA LAW WON’T COME HERE?!?!? IT ALREADY IS!!"
The text of the post read: "Last week we had Delta Airlines entering a partnership with the anti-semitic Saudi airline. Now we have a commercial development in Washington, DC deciding not to lease space to banks or restaurants that sell alcohol because their funding comes from a Muslim bank. Stock up on bacon and pork sausage now before your grocery store gets a loan from a Saudi bank!!!"
Steve, you are smarter than that. Why are you trying to scare people? Delta Airlines was not forced to enter into a partnership with Saudi Airlines. The developer in Washington was not forced to borrow money from a Muslim bank. Do you not know the difference between "law" and voluntary agreements such as deed restrictions, partnership agreements, restrictive covenants and lease agreements?
Steve, are you an idiot or just spreading lies? Is that the best you could come up with?
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Below are my endorsements of candidates in the upcoming Metro council elections. I personally know several of the candidates who I am endorsing. Others, I have heard speak at public meetings or have observed on TV. I have studied the voting records of the incumbents. For those with no record and who I do not know, I have taken the recommendation of other people whose opinions I value. I have not made an endorsement in every race. In some of the races, I simply do not know any of the candidates and in other races it appears that no contender has anything to recommend him over his opponent. This list is subject to change and new endorsements may be added. In a separate post, I will giving my endorsements for the Council-at-large race.
Friday, June 24, 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Last night liberal broadcaster Lawrence O'Donnell took Michele Bachmann to task accusing her of hypocrisy for preaching a message of anti-socialism and free markets yet at the same time accepting a quarter-million dollar agriculture subsidy for her family farm. Is that criticism justified? Does it make her a hypocrite? I don't know but I am bothered by it.
I like Michelle Backmann but think her anti-government, pro free-market message would ring more true if she were not taking a government hand-out. Our own Rep. Stephen Fincher, a tea party favorite, from 1995 to 2009 received over $3.3 million in farm subsidies. How devoted is he to curtailing the reach of government? Would he support policies that would end that subsidy?
If one accepts a government hand-out does that mean you give up your right to criticize the government and have an opinion on economic policy? A relative of mine criticized me for my opposition to Obamacare pointing out that I had good insurance through the Metro government due to my former service in the Metro Council, as if that made me a hypocrite for opposing Obamacare. If one used government subsidized student loans to go to college, or takes the home interest deduction on their income tax, or draws a social security check, does that mean they give up the right to express an opinion on government fiscal and economic policy? I don't think so.
The danger in an expansive government is that when people do get on the dole, they are less likely to criticize the welfare state of which they are now a part and once they start receiving benefits they fear losing them. The welfare state can turn almost everyone into an advocate for a larger and larger public sector.
We all have to work in the environment that exist. If one is entitled to a handout, they should not be criticized for taking it. A person who qualifies for food stamps is doing nothing immoral by getting food stamps. It is the system that makes food stamps available to so many people that is at fought, not the individuals legitimately qualifying for the assistance. It is the policy that makes $3.3 million available to Stephen Fincher that is at fought, not Stephen Fincher accepting the subsidy.
Nevertheless, I think people who have benefited to the extend of Bachmann and Ficher need to explain themselves. They need to reassure us who believe in less government that despite personally benefiting from agriculture subsidies that they are committed to reform that would vote to end those subsidies.
The Nashville firefighters union, IAFF Local 140, has released their list of endorsements for the upcoming Council election and they have endorsed Ken Jakes. While many firemen are conservative, the Union usually tends to favor candidates who would be inclined to support higher taxes. Except for Ken Jakes and a couple other incumbents who may be considered conservative, most on the list are the more liberal candidates. For weeks now, at-large candidate Ken Jakes has been visiting fire halls meeting with firemen. He told me he had visited every fire hall in the county and listened to the concerns of the firemen and asked for their support. It appears to have paid off. This should be a big boost for Jakes. The firefighters are one of the most dependable voting blocks in the city. Firemen and their families vote.
Congratulation Ken Jakes!
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEEMAN FOR TENNESSEE
Monday, June 20, 2011
On August the fourth we will go to the polls to elect 35 district councilmember and five at large councilmembers. Many people, especially public sector union members, will simply vote for the person recommended by their union bosses. Others will vote for a person whose name they recognize, perhaps based on who had the most yard signs. This is a shame. Metro council is the government that is closest to the people. You can't pick up the phone and call your congressman, but you can your Metro Councilmember. Your quality of life may be more affected by who serves in the Metro Council than who serves in Washington. It is important that we elect good people to serve in the Council. People should not take their vote lightly for these important offices.
While I do not expect to find someone I agree with a hundred percent of the time on every issue, I do want to vote for someone who reflects my values and someone who is qualified to serve. Below are the qualities and policy position I am looking for in a council member.
Integrity, honesty and good moral character. A strong moral character is very important. I want someone who will not be swayed by flattery or other inducements to influence his or her decisions. I want a person of conviction and integrity. I want a person who I could trust with my wife, my daughter or my credit card. If a candidate is willing to engage in a smear campaign of lies against his opponent in order to win the seat, he does not deserve it.
Intelligence, education and wisdom. While one does not have to be a lawyer, engineer or accountant to effectively serve in the Metro Council, one should know how to talk intelligently to lawyers, engineers and accountants and know the questions to ask them. A college education, while not a necessity, is desirable for a councilman. I want to know that the person who is going to represent me is smart. If someone is not smart enough to understand the issues, I don’t think they can be wise enough to make the right decisions.
Community involvement and leadership. I want someone who has exhibited concern for his community and has shown leadership capability prior to announcing his candidacy for the Metro Council. Having chaired a neighborhood organization, a PTA, a civic organization or having served as a member of a church deacon board is good training for a Metro councilman.
A desire to serve people. While the primary job of the councilmember is to vote on local legislative matters, much of a councilman’s time is spend helping people deal with the local government bureaucracy and making sure complaints get addressed. If someone is not going to be concerned when a constituent complains about stray dogs, down stop signs and pot holes, they will not make a good councilmember.
A vocal and visible crusader. I want someone who will seek out wrongs to address, waste to expose, and who will ask the hard questions and not be afraid to criticize a department head or embarrass the mayor. Too many elected councilmembers quietly do their job and go alone to get alone and don’t rock the boat. They never speak out on an issue or take the lead. There is no shortage of issues that need addressed and waste, arrogance, and corruption that needs exposed.
Success and achievement and a good work history. The candidate for council should have a good work history and a record of accomplishments. View the candidate as an applicant for the job.
Flexible schedule. The council is a part-time job but can be very demanding. There are luncheons to attend and phone calls that can only be made during business hours. There are committee meetings that start at 4 pm in the afternoon, council meetings that go until 11:30 at night and weekend events a councilmember should attend. A good councilmember needs an understanding and supportive boss or needs to work for himself.
Conservative values. I want a councilman who tends to favor fewer taxes rather than more taxes, who expects government to operate efficiently, who is cautious by nature when entrusted with spending other people’s money and does not want to use the power of government for social engineering.
Civil Libertarian values. I want someone who respects private property rights, believes government should not have the right to demand to see my papers or search my home without probable cause and who believes the First Amendment applies to everyone.
A love of Nashville and a vision for the city. I want someone who wants Nashville to be a great city. I want someone who loves Nashville, not just Madison or Antioch or Woodbine or Bellevue. I want a council member who, when he travels to other cities, feels compelled to tell people what a great hometown he comes from. I want someone who is not embarrassed by the moniker “music city.” I want someone who expects Nashville to become an even better place to live. I want someone who is passionate about Nashville.
Save the Fairgrounds. The candidate I support needs to support preserving the Fairgrounds.
Support Private property Rights. Nashville has a history of either attempting to take people’s property for the private use of other interest or of actually taking property such property for the private use of others. I will only support a candidate who supports private property rights. Only the Metro Council should have the right to exercise eminent domain.
Legalize economy limousine Service/Oppose price fixing. Recently, the city passed a minimum price for limousine service. This does nothing to protect the consumer and only protects the high-end limo owners. Unfortunately, not a single member of the Metro Council voted against this price-fixing bill. I want to vote for someone who is opposed to price fixing.
Opposition to increasing the cable tax. The city is contemplating increasing a cable tax so we can watch the Metro Council and The Bat Poet in high definition. This is a luxury we do not need.
Someone to question why we build sidewalks stupidly. I support expansion of sidewalks. I want a walkable city. However, we have wasted massive amounts of money building sidewalks to nowhere and replacing perfectly serviceable sidewalks instead of adding new sidewalks. I want someone to investigate and expose the waste in our sidewalk program.
Insure that Metro ordinances are not ignored when they become law. The Metro Council may pass an ordinance and it get signed by the Mayor and then conveniently left out of the Metro Code and be ignored for the next twenty years. This happened to a bill I sponsored some twenty years ago. How many other times has this happened? Procedures need to be put in place to insure this does not happen.
A Republican. The council is a non-partisan race and most issues to not break along party lines, but I would prefer to have Republicans in the Council rather than Democrats. The council is a good training ground and stepping stone for higher office. It is the farm team. Having Republicans in the Council will give us qualified Republicans candidates to compete with Democrats for Courthouse “clerk” offices, for judgeships, for State House and Senate seats and for the US Congressional seat. We need to build our farm team.