by Barbara Outhier
Mr. Williams, Normally I read blogs and move on, however, yours was forwarded to me, and I decided it required a response.
First, my name is Barbara Outhier. I have been an active Republican for more years than I care to recall serving as campaign manager in legislative races; State Volunteer Chair in each of Sen. Fred Thompson’s Senate Campaigns; member, Davidson County Election Commission (in a minority capacity during my entire tenure); County Chair for Bush/Quayle (1992); District Chair for McCain/Palin; member, TN Health Facilities Commission (appointed by Gov. Alexander); member, TN Funeral Directors and Embalmers’ Board (appointed by Gov. Alexander) and current member of the state-wide Board appointed by Gov. Haslam; officer, TN Federation of Republican Women; officer and Board member for several years, Nashville Republican Women’s Club; active participant, Speaker Harwell’s campaigns since the first time she ran; Indian who stuffed, addressed, sealed, stamped thousands of envelopes, made thousands of telephone calls, went door to door, stood outside polling places holding signs for Republican candidates (being called unpleasant names along the way, etc); and in general served my Party in every way I could. I hope these credentials give me credence to respond to your blog.
You state that many Republicans were dissatisfied with Patricia Heim’s service on the Election Commission and wanted her replaced. If you will, please look at that. She and Lynn Greer served with honor and distinction during all the years when they were in the minority on the Commission, many times under difficult circumstances, but they “kept their heads down” and did their job. In so doing, they made strides for this Party as they did so. Along the way, Patricia built a reputation as being one of the most knowledgeable and respected individuals in the State regarding election laws. She was consulted by legislators and wrote a piece of legislation directed at cleaning the voter rolls.
She and her husband Don live in Nashville, raised their family in Nashville (one son a graduate of Belmont University, another a graduate of West Point with a tour of duty in Afghanistan), worship at First Presbyterian, works and mentors the underprivileged (especially in financial matters), serves on mission trips to Mexico building homes where there are none, works and organizes mission programs with her church, has served as President of Nashville Republican Women, treasurer and former Vice Chair of the Davidson County Republican Party under Will Long, and volunteered in more campaigns than either of us know.
Now, that is the profile of an individual we DO NOT WANT in this Party? In other words, Mr. Williams, she is not a cardboard figure. Patricia is a loving human being, just as you are. She has been maligned, vilified and attacked for some reasons that I do not wish to believe could actually come from members of our Party. Turf protection and greed are not pretty motives employed to destroy an individual, I am sure you will agree having been a public servant.
During the past few weeks, she has endured ugly innuendos, personal smears and attacks, mostly from shadowy figures making phone calls and sending emails…none with facts, just vague accusations. Patricia voted no on Steve Abernathy’s motion because she was concerned about the legal implications. She voted her conscience; I respect that. Lynn and Steve voted their conscience; I respect them for that. Is that not what we want from our officials and those who represent this Party? We may not always agree with the vote, but we want them to vote their principles and conscience with good judgment. I suspect when you were on the council, you also voted your conscience and were lambasted for it, but at the end of the day when you put your head on your pillow, you did so believing you had done your best. So with our three commissioners.
For all these years, Patricia served on the Commission honorably until a few individuals took issue with her, and the unpleasantness has not stopped. Their names are unimportant, but what is important is that their tactics will not build a Party. Who would chose to join the Republican Party if when we disagree we viciously turn on our own and eat our own. Answer: NO ONE!
As for trying to lead an effort to fire Albert Tieche. Shame on anyone who repeats that. Patricia understands (unlike those who have publicized this rumor) that it will be the next Commission who addressed whatever problems may exist with the current administrator. More important than that, she and Albert attend the same congregation and if she wanted him removed, she would go to him privately and discuss the issue because that is the character of this lady. She would not go behind his back or engage in rumors, unlike those who have attacked her.
Now, I have a request of you. If you really want the truth and want to know who Patricia Heim is, call her. You will find a lovely, gracious, smart woman who values her reputation and will talk with you, answer your questions, and I believe in the end you will do the right thing because she believes in the goodness of people. Some years ago, you took public issue with Lynn Greer without calling him, and when you did speak with Lynn, you found you had been fed erroneous information. Call the lady, Mr. Williams. Who knows, you might even make a friend. Forgive the length, but after weeks of keeping silent, it lightens my heart to write it.