Thursday, July 31, 2014

Early Voting Ends Tomorrow, Saturday, August 2. Locations and times.

There is both a primary and a general election taking place at the same time. Many people, even those involved in elections, don’t understand that there is both a primary election and a general election, and when one votes in the general election, it does not matter which primary the person voted in (or that the person chose not to vote in a primary election at all).

Thus, voters can vote in the Democrat primary and vote for a Republican in the general election or vote in the Republican primary and vote for a Democrat in the general election.

Voters need to listen closely in the polling place for poll officials who might say or imply that if people vote in the Democrat primary, they have to vote Democrat in the general election, as if the two elections are linked. If you hear that being said, please complain to the senior person at the polling place and document what you hear and complain to the election commission. Don't let that go unchallenged.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Alexander Cosponsors Bill to Repeal Davis-Bacon Act, Save Taxpayers Billions Each Year

Alexander told Congress in 1995 that Davis-Bacon was “a big favor for the unions” but “no favor at all…for efficiency or economy”

“Enough is enough: For 83 years, this handout to labor unions has meant that, rather than getting the job done for the lowest cost, taxpayers get charged extra on everything from building roads to painting buildings.” –Lamar Alexander

Washington, D.C., July 17– U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the senior Republican on the Senate labor committee, today cosponsored a bill introduced by Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) to repeal the Davis-Bacon Act, a law mandating a wage subsidy on nearly all federally funded construction projects.

“Enough is enough: For 83 years, this handout to labor unions has meant that, rather than getting the job done for the lowest cost, taxpayers get charged extra on everything from building roads to painting buildings,” Alexander said.

In 1995, Alexander testified before Congress urging the repeal of legislation that extended Davis-Bacon provisions to school construction and renovation, saying: “That means a principal in Moline who wants to hire a contractor to rewire his school for new computers must pay the prevailing union wage rather than getting the job done for the lowest cost. It's a big favor for the unions, but no favor at all for schools, efficiency or economy.”

The Davis-Bacon Repeal Act would repeal the federal legislation that requires all contractors and subcontractors working on federally funded or assisted contracts worth more than $2,000 for the construction, alteration and repair of public buildings or public works to pay the local “prevailing wage,” as determined by the Department of Labor.

The bill was also cosponsored by Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and David Vitter (R-La.).

The Congressional Budget Office reports that Davis-Bacon requirements increase construction costs by raising wages on federal projects, by requiring labor to be used in a costly fashion, and by imposing reporting and paperwork requirement on contractors. CBO estimates that a repeal would save $12.7 billion over ten years.

A 2008 Suffolk University study found that Davis-Bacon requirements cost U.S. taxpayers an additional $8.6 billion annually and add 9.9 percent to construction costs.

The Department of Labor’s data on prevailing wages is expensive to collect and is subject to error, bias and fraud. The department’s Inspector General has found these problems to be pervasive, despite millions invested to improve data collection.

Comment: Davis-Bacon inflates the price of every construction contract that involves federal funds. If we do construction at the air port or build the AMP or build roads or build a school or do any construction that involves any federal spending, we have to pay 'prevailing wage,' which really is not prevailing wage but is union scale wage which can drastically inflate the cost of the projects.  Davis-Bacon needs to be repealed! Lamar Alexander is the author of an article that appears in today's National Review Online that calls for repeal of Davis-Bacon.

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'Joe Carr pays 2 daughters to be Senate campaign workers' story being reported in mainstream press

Joe Carr pays 2 daughters to be Senate campaign workers is the headline in a story in yesterday's Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. The story is also being reported in some other newspapers around the state. I wondered if I was the only one who thought this was news worthy.  I first reported it in this blog on July 7th in this post:Why are Carr's girls on the Campaign payroll? 

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Video: Lamar Alexander: 'I Voted Against Amnesty,' recorded at Lamar's Nashville bus tour rally.

From Britbart News:

During his bus tour through Tennessee, Sen. Lamar Alexander was approached by
someone asking him why he voted to support amnesty.

“I voted against amnesty,” Alexander replied.
The video was provided to Breitbart News by the “Beat Lamar” effort by the Real Conservatives National Committee Super PAC opposing Alexander’s re-election.
Alexander’s answer is consistent with his claim that by voting for the Senate "Gang of Eight" immigration reform bill, he voted to end amnesty.(Read more and watch the video)
My Comment: The video is hardly worth watching because, "I voted against amnesty" is all Alexander is caught on camera saying in the poor quality video probably recorded with someone's cell phone yesterday.

How can Lamar claim he voted against amnesty?  Doesn't everyone know he voted for amnesty?  Some of his opponents are even taking to calling Alexander, "Amnesty Alexander." That Alexander supports amnesty is the major campaign theme of Joe Carr's campaign. The anti-Lamar counter protest yesterday was advertised as an anti-illegal immigration rally.

Lamar's reasoning for saying he voted against amnesty is this: In supporting the "gang of eight" bi-partisan comprehensive immigration reform bill he was voting to end the de facto amnesty that now exist which allows 11 to 20 million illegal immigrants to stay in this country without penalty. According to this line of reasoning, that is amnesty.

 The comprehensive immigration bill Alexander supported provided greater funding for border security, doubling the number of border agents and building 350 more miles of fence on the southern border.

After the border was deemed secure, then it would have allowed those illegally here prior to 2012, to apply for provisional legal status and then, if they met the provisions of the bill, they could become citizens after 13 years. Citizenship would not have been automatic.  The alien would have had to learn English and pass the citizenship test just like all other applicants. Each alien would have had to pay a $1,000 "penalty" and $2,000 in fees for the temporary Z visa, pass a background check, and submit proof of employment and fingerprints. Then after getting the initial Z visa, in four years the applicant would have had to pay another fee for an extension of the visa. For a family of four, the total cost would have been about $15,000 and they would have had to pay any back taxes owed.

That, to me does not sound like amnesty.  After the end of the Vietnam war, Jimmy Carter let US citizens who fled to Canada in order to dodge the draft come back home. They did not have to serve time or do community service are pay a fee.  That was amnesty.

So, is Lamar correct in saying his vote for comprehensive immigration reform was a vote against amnesty? I don't think so. I understand his logic but de facto amnesty is not the same as wiping the slate clean as if the offence had never occurred. "De facto amnesty" is the current status quo and that is not amnesty.  Letting people ignore the law is not amnesty, because they are always under the threat that the law could be enforced.

Was it a vote for amnesty, as Carr and his supporters claim?  I don't think so. Waiting 13 years and paying $15,000 for a family of four is not amnesty. The logic of many conservatives is that any thing that does not round them all up and deport them is amnesty. If they had to pay $30,000 or $60,000 and wait 25 years, they would still call that "amnesty."

Alexander saying his vote for comprehensive immigration reform was a vote against amnesty is just as inaccurate as Joe Carr's claim that Alexander's vote for comprehensive immigration reform was a vote for amnesty. Both are using twisted logic and exaggeration to make their claim.

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Tea Party Express podcast features Joe Carr.

From Tea Party Express:

This Candidate Is Endorsed By Palin and Ingraham
Hear what Joe Carr, the U.S. Senate candidate from Tennessee, had to say

In this week's "On the Campaign Trail" podcast, we are joined by Joe Carr. Joe discusses his campaign for U.S. Senate where he hopes to replace incumbent Republican Senator Lamar Alexander. (To read more and hear the podcast follow this link.)

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Lamar Alexander's Nashville rally.

Video deleted because I hate video that start automatically. If you want to see it follow the link. Rod

I attended the Lamar Alexander bus tour rally yesterday in front of the Alexander headquarters on Music Row. Kix Brooks of Brooks and Dunn introduced Alexander. Former Governor Winfield Dunn was present and was praised by Alexander for what he has done for the State of Tennessee. Alexander focused his remarks on repealing Obamacare and stopping federal involvement in education. About 150 people attended the Alexander event and about 40 anti-Alexander counter demonstrators marched up and down the sidewalk on the opposite side of the street. This video and story in the Tennessean captures the flavor of the event. (Unfortunately before you can watch the Tennessean video, you have to watch a commercial.)

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Monday, July 28, 2014

What's on the Council Agenda for Tuesday, August 5th?

The Metro Council Agenda and Council staff analysis for the August 5th meeting is now available. Council meetings are really boring if you don't know what is happening. With an agenda and an analysis they are still boring but not quit as boring.

I am only hitting the high points so if you want more knowledge, read the agenda for yourself. There are seven appointments to boards and commission on the agenda for confirmation which routinely happens without dissent or discussion. None of these appointees are to the controversial or troubled agencies. There are two bills on public hearing granting waivers to the distance requirements for beer permits.  There are ten rezoning bills on public hearing. While neighbors may be very opinionated about a proposal for rezoning in their neighborhood, usually these bill or of little general interest.  I don't see any rezoning bills worthy of mentioning.

Other Resolutions:
RESOLUTION NO. RS2014-1168 approves MDHA building a 1183 car parking garage downtown. I think more parking is needed downtown and parking revenue should pay for the project. It is interesting how this is being funded. MDHA is leasing the garage to a private firm which then leases it back to MDHA. This lease-back arrangement allows the city to build the garage without having the money to do it.  There would be a liability on the city to pay the bill if parking revenues do not cover the cost but this seems like a good way to finance the project and a safe investment. The effective interest rate of this funding mechanism is about 4.8%.

Most of the other resolution are simply settling legal claims against the city or accepting grants from the State or non-profit organizations. Most of these are routine. It is hard to turn down free money but that is often what causes government to become bloated. An organization may provide the funding for a position for the first year, then if they do not continue to provide funding, the city must fund the position or cut the position and function.  I hope someone is looking at all of these grants with an eye toward future obligation of the city. Sometimes free money is costly.

One resolution that raises a red flag is RESOLUTION NO. RS2014-1181 which is accepting a grant in the amount of $100,000 from Smart Growth America.  I actually favor what is considered "smart growth," which generally means growth that is pedestrian friendly, in fill developments and greater density. What concerns me about this bill is that the funds are to be used "to establish a framework to establish and measure progress towards metrics to improve public health, reduce social inequities, protect the environment, and enhance public involvement in transportation decision-making. I am all for reducing social inequities, but I would want to know what that means exactly and what we are buying by accepting this money.  Also, I am for protecting the environment, but I would want to know if that had any specific meaning. I hope someone in the Council actually reads the grant.

There are 14 bills on First Reading. I have not read them. First Reading is a formality that allows bills to be on the agenda. They are generally not discussed on First Reading, they have not yet been to committee and they almost always all pass by a single vote of the Council.

Bills on Second Reading:
BILL NO. BL2014-771  creates a new zoning called a "contextual overlay district." This designation would establish a requirement for neighborhood compatibility for in-fill development where adopted. It would establish set back requirements, height limits and lot coverage limits so in- fill is not terribly out of character of the surrounding neighborhood.  Already the same thing can be accomplished with an Urban Design Overlay, but this would make it easier. I have mixed views of this, but tend to oppose it. There are some neighborhoods that have been transformed from neighborhoods with homes in the $75,000 to $100,000 range to neighborhood were the homes are worth up to $650,000. If this had been in place those transformation would not have occurred. These transformations do destroy “affordable” housing but they also respond to market demand which results in a higher tax base. Do we want upper middle class people to all move to Williamson County or do we want to let market forces make room for them to live in Davidson County? Also, why should existing property owners who want to sell and move, not be permitted to get the highest dollar for their home? If allowed to be torn down, the lots are more valuable than the home on the lot. This bill has been approved by the Planning Commission.

BILL NO. BL2014-840 prohibit beer permits from being issued for establishments located within a shopping mall containing a community center and/or public library. In my view this is ridiculous. So there is a library at the other end of mall, what is it going to hurt to allow someone to have a beer with their meal?

BILL NO. BL2014-841 would establish a minimum size enclosure for an outside dog pen. I think people ought to treat their animals humanely, but should we micromanage everything?

I see no bills on third reading of interest.

Memorializing Resolutions do not  carry the force of law but they express the will of the council. They will probably be lumped with resolutions on the consent agenda and be passes along with those by a single vote.
RESOLUTION NO. RS2014-1186  by Council members Tygard and Dominy recognizes Mr. Ken

Ken Jakes
Jakes for his service to our community. This is a well deserved honor. Ken Jakes is being honored for his charitable work, but Ken Jakes does much more than that. He is a citizen activist who has exposed corruption and waste in Metro Government time and time again, including exposures of the mismanagement at Farmers Market and corruption at NES. Ken Jakes has ran for Council in the past and came close to getting in a run-off in 2010 but with all incumbents reelected on the first round, he failed to make the run-off but was close. Next Council election, Ken Jakes, if he choses to run, will stand a good chance of being elected given that all incumbent Council Member at Large are term limited. I hope he runs and is elected. He would make a great council member.

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Eagle Forum endorces Joe Carr

Press release, Washington, D.C. — Eagle Forum PAC, a conservative public policy organization founded by pro-family leader Phyllis Schlafly, is proud to endorse Tennessee State Rep. Joe Carr in the Republican primary for the United States Senate.

“Joe Carr will stand up for families in the U.S. Senate,” said Schlafly. “He is a strong voice for limited government and traditional values. When President Obama and his allies in the Senate attack our constitutional liberties, Joe will always defend them.”

“Joe spoke out against the amnesty that Democrats and establishment Republicans wanted to give to millions of illegal immigrants, and the crisis on our southern border has proved him right,” said Schlafly. “He recognizes the damage that illegal immigration inflicts on Tennessee’s working families. He will fight for a conservative solution that makes border security a priority and restores the rule of law.”

“Every day, the President and liberals in the Senate are working to undermine our most fundamental liberties,” added Schlafly. “Joe understands that our rights don’t belong to the government. He has been a tireless advocate for the unborn, traditional marriage, and the Second Amendment, and he will be the same in the U.S. Senate.”

“President Obama has drawn a line in the sand,” concluded Schlafly, “and he will not back away unless we have strong conservative leaders like Joe Carr standing up and fighting back.  Now more than ever, we need to rally behind true conservatives like Joe Carr.”

Eagle Forum PAC supports candidates who are committed to a conservative philosophy of limited government, national sovereignty and traditional values.

My Comment: My posting of a press release does not imply agreement. I am strongly  supporting Lamar Alexander.  The press release does not say how much money, if any, will be accompany the endorsement. With the election just eleven days away, I suspect any funding to Carr will be too late to help and most people who could be swayed by an Eagle Forum endorsement were probably for Joe Carr anyway. Rod

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Lamar Alexander's Standing up for Tennessee Tour in Nashville tonight! Kix Brooks and other to welcome Alexander.

Join country star Kix Brooks, former Governor Winfield Dunn and other special guests tonight to welcome Lamar Alexander's Standing up for Tennessee Tour to Nashville's Music Row! 

Please join us at 5:30 PM at the Alexander Campaign Offices
1222 16th Ave. South, Nashville 37212 

Bring the whole family!

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Andy Miller's Pac spend $250K in Alexander attack ads last week + $31k pro Carr ads

Knoxville (Tenn.) News Sentinel: “A political action committee founded by Andrew Miller, an arch conservative Nashville millionaire, spent more than $250,000 last week on media advertising that attacks U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander and another $31,000 supporting Joe Carr, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. …The filings show Miller and his brother, Tracy Miller, have put $240,000 into the ‘Super PAC’ since April — $120,000 each. The bulk of the $250,910 spent attacking Alexander went to Jamestown Associated, a Princeton, N.J., political media firm known for handling ads against incumbent Republican congressmen. Copies of the ad had not been made available to media on Sunday.”

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Joe Carr No Amnesty Rally this afternoon

Continuing to milk the recent border crisis for all it is worth and some how claim Lamar Alexander is responsible, there will be a Joe Carr  No Amnesty Rally this afternoon in Nashville, Monday, July 28 at 4:30pm at 16th Ave S and Horton Ave.

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Joe Carr not to be trusted says Dr. George Flinn

Dr. George Fl
Press Release, Memphis, TN – Joe Carr, like Lamar Alexander has a history of flip-flopping on important issues, dodging key votes, and being involved in backdoor deals that don’t benefit Tennesseans but himself.

“Every voter should demand transparency from candidates and research their records before voting. Joe Carr, like Lamar has flip-flopped on issues such as common core (voted for race-to-the top/HB7010 which led to implementation of common core), and openly supported the internet sales tax, (TN Report 5/23/2013) which aims to hurt small businesses, dodged important immigration votes (HB 1929 that gave children of illegal immigrants in-state tuition), and gambled with donations from individuals without their permission (Tennessean 7/16/2014). If Carr is willing to risk donations from those who trust him most for his own personal gain, what will he do in Washington,” said Dr. Flinn.

“We do not need another Senator who misleads Tennesseans by voting on bills the wrong way and then covering it up later with manufactured weak apologies, or just dodging the tough votes all together. We need a fighter, someone who will take the tough route. Joe Carr is version number two of Lamar Alexander,” said Dr. Flinn.”

“If Tennesseans cannot trust Joe Carr to be responsible to the people while he is here in Tennessee, how can they expect him to 10 hours away in D.C. It is time Tennesseans stand up and elect someone who Tennesseans can trust—not a career politician but a businessman and innovator. I will stand behind what I say, always being responsible to the people and I will not forget about Tennessee once I cross into the Washington beltway,” said Dr. Flinn.”

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Two Former Chairmen of American Conservative Union Endorse Lamar Alexander

Al Cardenas joins former ACU chairman and NRA president David Keene; calls Alexander "ultimate conservative problem solver"

Al Cardenas

NASHVILLE – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander’s campaign today announced that Al Cardenas, the most recent former chairman of the American Conservative Union, has joined former chairman David Keene in endorsing Alexander for re-election to the U.S. Senate.

In a statement, Cardenas said, "Lamar Alexander is the ultimate conservative problem solver. He not only relies on conservative principles, but also on a proven ability to find solutions — a combination that is all too rare in our country today."

The American Conservative Union is the country's largest and longest-running conservative organization, and serves as the umbrella for numerous other conservative grassroots organizations. David Keene, who served as chairman of the ACU from 1984-2001 and is a former president of the National Rifle Association, previously endorsed Alexander and appeared in Nashville on Alexander's behalf.

David Keene
Keene said of Alexander, “If I were making a scorecard for Sen. Alexander, I would start with his ‘A’ rating from the NRA, his 100 percent rating with National Right to Life, and his 100 percent rating with the United States Chamber of Commerce.”

Alexander said, "Al Cardenas and David Keene are two of our country's greatest champions of conservative values. I am grateful for their endorsements, along with the support I have received from grassroots Tennesseans and other national conservative leaders. As senator, I will fight to bring to Washington the principles of low taxes, balanced budgets and job growth that I helped to establish in Tennessee.” 

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Marian Cheadle Fordyce has the experience and qualifications to be General Sessions Judge for the Mental Health Court


Dear Friends,

The outpouring of support for my campaign has been overwhelming!  Thank you.

I am running for Division II of the General Sessions Court for Davidson County, the Mental Health Court. I have over 30 years experience working in mental health and 20 years as a practicing attorney in Nashville. I inherited my devotion to the law and the Constitution from my great grandfather, Nashville Criminal Court Judge James D.B. DeBow and my father, John R. Cheadle, Sr. From my mother, Evalina Casey Cheadle, a much beloved Metro Nashville school principal, a deep appreciation for the importance of good leadership.  This has given me a desire to serve our community and to make it a better place to live, work and raise a family.  I have the experience and qualifications to be General Sessions Judge.

I am asking for your vote on August 7th.  Please pass along this email to your friends and family and encourage them to vote for me, Marian Cheadle Fordyce for General Sessions Judge.  For addition information about my background visit my web site or our Facebook page
Early Voting - July 18 -  August 2.
Satellite locations July 26 - August 2.
Hours - Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday & Thursday 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Saturday 8 a.m. - 4.p.m.
Paid for by the Friends to elect Marian Cheadle Fordyce
Steve Wilkinson, Treasurer
My Comment: The above highlighting in this email letter from Ms Fordcye is mine. Marian Cheadle Fordyce is by far the more qualified candidate for this judgeship. This division of General Session Court is the mental health court that deals with such issues as committing one to a mental hospital and other cases involving mental health. Ms Fordyce's opponent on her website touts her experience in private practice  saying "recent focus has been in the area of employment law." She list no experience in the field of metal health.  This court deserves to have the best qualified person on the bench. To see a long list of Ms Fordcye's credentials for this seat and her involvement in mental health issues, follow the above website address and hit the "about" button.

I have met and talked to Ms Fordcye and she has a heart for people with metal health issues and those dealing with loved ones with mental health issues. She understands the problems and practices of the mental health field. If I had to go before a judge because of a spouse or parent was suffering from mental illness or if I myself was having my mental competency questioned, I would trust the commitment to law, understanding of the issues, and the compassion and competency of Ms Fordcye.

My primary reason by far, for wanting Ms Fordcye to win this seat is because she is the best qualified person for the job.  Another reason however is that Ms Fordcye has had her candidacy handicapped because a member of the Republican State Executive Committee is a paid staffer for Ms Fordcye's Democrat opponent. This SEC member is privy to Republican polling data and strategies and gets to vote on what level of funding the party will give their candidates.  The fact that this person is allowed to continuing serving on the SEC causes me grave concern.  I do not want to see such duplicity and betrayal rewarded by a victory for Ms Fordcye's opponent.     

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"Where Politics and the Law are colliding," topic of 1st Tuesday, featuring Alberto Conzales and others

From Tim Skow, host of First Tuesday:

1ST TUESDAY members and friends !!

If you missed the following article.... take a look in July 31st "WALL STREET JOURNAL "


Forget impeachment. The House lawsuit is the real threat to Obama
The travelling "impeachment" carnival that put down stakes in Washington this summer may boost cable ratings, but the amusement rides and midway games are for children. The real story that could have political consequences is Wednesday's 225-201 House vote to pursue a lawsuit challenging President Obama's abuse of executive power. (link)

Then, plan to join us on Tuesday, August 5th for an incredible 1ST TUESDAY event highlighting

  "Where Politics and the Law are colliding."

GUEST SPEAKERS joining us August 5th at 1ST TUESDAY will be 2 men who are literally from the front lines of "Where Politics and the Law are colliding."
  • Alberto Gonzales - former US Attorney General and now Dean at Belmont School of Law
  • Herbert Slatery -- Chief Legal Counsel to TN Gov. Bill Haslam

Others with important roles also attending our event include... but not limited to:
  • Bill Hagerty - TN Commissioner of ECD
  • Multiple TN Legislators who will be handling the fallout from the Legal actions
  • Members of the TN Judiciary

Needless to say, the Q&A session and contributors will be amazing !!

HOT topics for....."Where Politics and the Law are colliding" ... will also include
  1. Conflicting decisions in July from the DC Circuit and the 4th District Court of Appeals could turn Obamacare into a nightmare for its supporters !! [see headline from article below ]
  2. The Hobby Lobby decision and more Obamacare suits in the queue
  3. Obamacare legal restrictions & limitations affects on TN state government
  4. States vs Federal Government actions surrounding the crisis at the US border [how can the Federal Govt send 760 alien children here... and Gov. Haslam be left out of the loop ? ]
  5. Judicial issues on the ballot in August and November in 2014
  6. Legal ramifications of scandals at the IRS, the Vet Administration and more

As usual, 1ST TUESDAY will be WALLER LAW - 511 Union Street - 27th floor. Doors open at 11AM for Coffee and Social time. Lunch at 11:30 is $20 for Members and $25 for Guests. Program will start promptly an NOON. Given those who are also planning to attend, the extensive Q&A session will be fascinating !! Expect this to be powerful and enlightening event.

Secure your seats by clicking on the Shopping Cart at our website

See you at 1ST TUESDAY.... August 5th !
Tim Skow

Fed appeals court panel says most Obamacare

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Marian Cheadle Fordyce for Judge. Justice based on following the law.

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Sabrina Orr for Chancellor, A champion for our Constitution

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Bellevue Republican Breakfast Club speaker is Joe Carr. This Sat. Aug 2nd

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Cursive writing to be mandated in school. Why?

I am a conservative, both the socially and economically. I think we should be cautious in jettisoning practices and institutions that have served us well for the popular or trendy of the moment. We should respect inherited wisdom and not lightly dismiss it.  However, I am not the type of conservative who would refusees to embrace technological change and progress.  With the advent of electricity, I would not have clung to my kerosene lamp. I would not have refused to drive a car and said the horse and buggy was good enough.

Recently, responding to pressure from the State Legislature, the Tennessee State Board of Education issued a policy that will require cursive writing be taught in grades two through four.  Cursive handwriting is a dying art but a measure sponsored by Rep. Sheila Butts required all public school students in Tennessee to learn how to read and write in cursive.

There is lot of mandated curriculum now and as knowledge multiplies and instruction time is at a premium we do not need to be adding curriculum out of nostalgia. I want children to know science, mathematics and technology so we can have a workforce that can compete in the world and so America's standard of living does not continue to fall. I want students to know our history and understand our form of government so we do not lose our democracy. I want them to know geography and to have an appreciation of great literature.  I want them to have recess to let off steam so fewer of them will be on ADHS drugs. There is lot of things I think should be mandated, but cursive writing?

One of the arguments Butts made in support of her effort to mandate cursive writing is that children should be able to read the Bill of Rights in its original form. Why?  Does she think liberals are going to change the words of the Bill of Rights and we will not know it unless we can read the original?  Is it not just as meaningful in print as in hard-to read cursive.  I have seen the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence in cursive, but I do not think I have ever actually read them in cursive. If my understanding of those documents is imperfect, it is not because I did not read them in cursive.

We do not read the Bible in its original Greek and Latin, yet it is not less meaningful than if we did. I heard a preacher say that he was sticking with the King James version of the Bible, that if it was good enough for Paul and Silus, it was good enough for him. I guess those conservatives who are celebrating the cursive writing mandate can relate.

Other than sign my name or put notes in a notebook, I do not know the last time I have used cursive. I never write letters and mail them; I talk on the phone or email. When I do use cursive, I could have printed just as well.  In fact sometimes I can't read my own writing. My printing is more legible. If I did not now how to write in cursive, my life would not be any less fulfilled nor my earning potential any less or my pool of useful knowledge diminished.

One of the most valuable skills I ever learned was keyboarding, although at the time, it was "typing." I keyboard every day, for hours. Seamlessly, as soon as a thought is formulated in my mind, it appears on screen without a thought as to which keys I am hitting.  In my view, everyone needs to master keyboarding. It is a skill of the present and the future. Like fine calligraphy, cursive will be still be around and be learned by a few even  if not mandated, but I see no reason to mandate a form of communications no longer used.  I see no more need to teach kids cursive than I do Morse code.


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Gov. Haslam's response to 760 illegal immigrant unaccompanied children being resettled in Tennessee

Tennessee has received about 2.5 percent of the illegal immigrant unaccompanied children crossing into the United States. The children are fleeing poverty and violence in their own country and are drawn to the United States by Obama's de facto amnesty policy.

Last week the Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families reported that Tennessee received 760 of the more than 30,000 children who have been released to sponsors this year through July 7.   The sponsor can be a child's parents, other relatives or a family friend. The sponsor may be an illegal immigrant himself.

Below  is the letter that Governor Haslam sent to President Obama yesterday when he learned that Tennessee has received 760 of the illegal immigrant children.

July 25, 2014

The Honorable Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear President Obama:

I write to you to express my concern about the number of unaccompanied immigrant children entering this country and the failure of the federal government to notify states in which children are being released.

On July 13, the nation’s governors met with Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell during the annual National Governors Association meeting, which I hosted in Nashville this year. We spent a significant amount of time in that meeting discussing the issue of unaccompanied immigrant children. Although this is a complex issue and one that ultimately must be solved at the federal government level, governors are rightly concerned about the impact on states. We emphasized to Secretary Burwell the need to be informed of any children being relocated to our states.

It is unacceptable that we became aware via a posting on the HHS website that 760 unaccompanied children have been released by the Office of Refugee Resettlement to sponsors in Tennessee without my administration’s knowledge. Not only was our state not informed prior to any of the children being brought here, I still have not been contacted and have no information about these individuals or their sponsors other than what was posted on the HHS website and subsequently reported by media.

Although solving the border crisis is a federal responsibility, this influx of immigrant children could have a significant impact on state and local governments. Therefore, we strongly believe that the state needs to be informed prior to any additional unaccompanied immigrant children being released in Tennessee, and we also need immediate answers to the following questions:

1. What was the process for determining that these children should be released to sponsors in Tennessee?
2. How did you locate and evaluate the fitness of their sponsors?
3. What medical screenings were the children given prior to their release in Tennessee?
4. What is the official immigration status of these children and their sponsors?
5. In what localities are these children now residing?
6. What are the legal requirements concerning the provision of services for these children while they are in the state?
7. What additional information is available on these children, such as age and health status?
8. How long will these children be in Tennessee?

Tennessee is a diverse and welcoming state, and we also understand that this is a complicated issue. However, an influx of unaccompanied immigrant children to the state, with little information being made available to the public or to state leaders, creates confusion and could be very problematic. The start of school is approaching for many districts across the state, and the federal government’s actions have caused great uncertainty around this issue.

I appreciate your attention to this matter and look forward to receiving a response to these urgent questions.

Bill Haslam
cc: The Honorable Sylvia Burwell, Secretary, HHS

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Tea Party Patriots putting $20,000 into get-out-the-vote effort for Joe Carr

A few weeks ago, Joe Carr got the endorsement of  Tea Party Patriot but at time it was not clear how much money, if any, TPP would spend on his behalf. TPP is one of those national organization that spends a lot of money on overhead, fundraising and their CEO's salary and very little gets spend on behalf of candidates.  Well, Jenny Beth Martin, chairman of the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund today announced they would be contributing $20,000 into the  Real Conservatives National Committee's "Beat Lamar" get-out-the-vote effort. She also said more might be coming. 

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Alexander: Administration’s Ivory Regulations Could “Take Away Our Guns” (and guitars).

Introduced legislation to stop the administration’s efforts to prohibit buying or selling products containing legal ivory across state lines 

Lamar Alexander WASHINGTON, July 24, 2014 – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) yesterday spoke on the Senate floor on legislation he has introduced that prevents the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from prohibiting the interstate commerce of legal ivory, and products that contain legal ivory, such as firearms, musical instruments, antiques, and family heirlooms.

“For those of us who are concerned that this administration is trying to take away our guns, this regulation could actually do that,” Alexander said. “If this regulation is approved, when you decide to sell a gun, a guitar or anything else across state lines that contains [legal] African elephant ivory, the government would actually take them away – even if you inherited them or bought them at a time when the sale of ivory was not illegal.”

Alexander continued, “I support stopping poachers, and I support stopping the trade of illegal ivory. What I don’t support is treating Tennessee musicians, antique shops, and firearms sellers like illegal ivory smugglers.  This legislation will stop the administration from taking away our legal guns, guitars, and other items that contain legal ivory if we try to sell them across state lines.”

Alexander introduced S. 2587, the Lawful Ivory Protection Act of 2014, in response to the Fish and Wildlife Service’s announced plan to prohibit interstate commerce of African elephant ivory as part of President Obama’s National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trade. Restricting interstate commerce of ivory would affect whether an item containing ivory can be sold across state lines within the United States, as well as whether it can legally re-enter the United States if carried abroad during travel. Alexander’s bill would “stop this misguided policy from going forward” and prohibit the Fish and Wildlife Service from implementing any new rule, order, or standard that wasn’t in place prior to Feb. 25, 2014. Alexander also introduced this month the same proposal as an amendment to the Sportsmen’s Act (which the Senate failed to vote on).

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Laura Ingraham tweets for Joe Carr. She was here for a Joe Carr rally on Tuesday

Laura Ingraham @IngrahamAngle

Joe Carr & I aren't worried abt the Establ. flexing its mediocre muscle #VoteCarrRetireLamar
 06:59 PM - 22 Jul 14

In case you missed it, here is the Tennessean story on the Nashville rally for Joe Carr featuring Ingraham, that occurred Tuesday of this week.

About 500 tea party activists gathered at a Nashville hotel Tuesday night for a rallying speech by conservative radio show host Laura Ingraham in support of Senate candidate Joe Carr.

In a speech that seemed to tap into the audience's deep-seated concerns over immigration and the pace of change in the country, Ingraham spoke for 45 minutes to a packed house at the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel that attended a "Beat Lamar" rally for Carr. (link)

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Lamar Alexander Announces “Standing up for Tennessee” Bus Tour

Senator will make 35 stops across Tennessee in final two weeks of campaign

NASHVILLE – Lamar Alexander today announced that on Friday he will kick off a nearly two-week “Standing up for Tennessee” bus tour that will begin in Maryville, the senator’s hometown, and feature 35 stops in all regions of the state before the Aug. 7 primary.

“I learned from Howard Baker that one of the best ways to finish a campaign is a bus tour across the state,” Alexander said. “I work hard every day to stay connected to Tennesseans, and this bus tour is one more way to keep providing Washington with a steady supply of that Tennessee common sense we need so much more of in Congress.”

The tour builds on the rest of the efforts by Alexander’s campaign for re-election, which include a TV ad showing Alexander sparring with President Obama over Obamacare; a TV ad about Alexander fighting against the Obama administration acting like a de facto national school board; endorsement ads by former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson and former presidential candidate and Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee; and a series of radio ads featuring community leaders across Tennessee.

Read about and watch the Obamacare ad here.

Read about and watch the education ad here.
Read about and watch the Thompson ad here.

Read about and watch the Huckabee ad here.

Read about and listen to the radio ads here.

The Alexander campaign is chaired by Congressman Jimmy Duncan, with co-chairmen Governor Bill Haslam, U.S. Senator Bob Corker, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, Speaker Beth Harwell, as well as Congressmen Blackburn, Roe, Black, Fincher, and Fleischmann.

The campaign’s Honorary Co-Chairmen include former U.S. Senators Howard Baker (1925-2014), Bill Brock, Bill Frist and Fred Thompson, as well as former Governors Winfield Dunn and Don Sundquist.Serving as Honorary Co-Chairs of the Statewide Committee to Elect Lamar Alexander are all 13 living former state Republican Party chairs. 

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Alexander on Federal Appeals Court Striking Down Obamacare Subsidies for Tennesseans, Americans in 36 States

“Obamacare is not working – and cannot work – for the American people. It was an historic mistake.”

July 22 2014, Washington, D.C., July 22 – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the senior Republican on the Senate health committee, today released the following statement on a federal appeals court ruling that Americans in 36 states, including Tennessee, cannot receive Obamacare subsidies through the federal exchange:

“This is yet more evidence that Obamacare is not working – and cannot work – for the American people. It was an historic mistake. It is time for Democrats and the president to realize this and work with Republicans to start over as rapidly and responsibly as possible with step-by-step reforms that reduce the cost of health insurance and expand freedom and choice. Republicans are ready with proposals to repair the damage Obamacare has done and prevent future damage.” 

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Sarah Palin endorses Joe Carr

Thank you, Lamar Alexander, for the respect and integrity you’ve shown in your many years of public service in Washington. With the new challenges in D.C., the time has come for new leaders who are willing to stand up to the political establishments and the Obama administration and say, “no mas!” Unfortunately, advocating and voting for amnesty, cash for clunkers, bailouts, raising the debt ceiling, and many controversial Obama administration nominees has marred the incumbent’s record. It’s time for a change.

Joe Carr is the new voice Tennessee needs in the U.S. Senate! Joe is a citizen legislator who brings his small business experience to bear in the Tennessee General Assembly. He’s stood up to those in his own party, fighting to enact some of the toughest illegal immigration legislation in the country and working to make Tennessee the 4th most business friendly state in the nation. Joe knows that government is most often the problem, not the solution, and he will work to reduce the size of our federal bureaucracy and always use the Constitution as his guide.

It’s a disappointment that after so many years in office Senator Alexander has refused to debate Joe Carr in this campaign. Really, it’s pretty unbelievable because the good people of Tennessee deserve to hear from both these candidates to know who will be on their side and who will choose the Washington status quo.

The conservative grassroots patriots in Tennessee have clearly spoken. When I visited there earlier this month, I was impressed by all the energy and momentum behind Joe Carr. Please join me in supporting him as the Volunteer State’s next Senator!

- Sarah Palin (link)
My Comment: This is a big endorsement. It doesn't come with any PAC money however as far as I can determine and it is almost too late in the game. Still, Sarah Palin carries a lot of weight with some Republican primary voters. If Carr is smart he will use this endorsement for all it is worth. If this is endorsement is widely known, it could help Carr. I still think Lamar is safe, however. I am sure the Lamar camp is carefully watching the polls and I would assume that if Carr looks close to pulling an upset, the Lamar camp will go negative on Carr. If that happens then I think Carr's poll numbers will drop like a rock. I think the more people know about Carr, the less they will like him. Also, even if Carr is rising in the polls, early voting has already happened, TV air time has already been purchased and there are only 13 days until the primary. I am still betting on Lamar.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Fred Thompson Supports Lamar Alexander in Endorsement Ad

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Another Blow to Obamacare- Maybe the fatal blow.

In case you missed it:

Federal appeals court strikes blow against ObamaCare subsidies

A federal appears court on Tuesday struck down one of the pillars of ObamaCare, ruling that the law’s premium subsidies are invalid in more than two-dozen states.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals said in a 2-1 decision that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) does not permit the IRS to distribute premium subsidies in the federal ObamaCare exchange, meaning those consumers must bear the full cost of their insurance. (read more)

My Comment: No doubt this will be appealed to the full circuit court and then if the government loses there, it will be appealed to the Supreme Court. This could spell the end of Obamacare.

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Monday, July 21, 2014

US Rep. Diane Black and State Rep. Susan Lynn Endorse Clark Boyd for State Senator

Rep. Susan Lynn, Clark Boyd, and Rep. Diane Black
State Senate candidate Clark Boyd who is running against Senator Mae Beavers has received the endorsement of Clark Boyd. In her email newsletter out today, Susan Lynn writes:
US Rep. Diane Black and I have both enthusiastically endorsed state Senate candidate Clark Boyd.  Clark is a veteran, small business owner in Lebanon, a loving husband, father and a Sunday school teacher. As immediate past Chairman of the Wilson County Republican Party Clark did an excellent job and his leadership made us very proud.  Clark will make us proud as our state Senator. 

Please visit Clark's website at, and on Clark's State Farm website you can see a video of Clark that you might enjoy viewing;  A state Senate district contains 180,000 people and Clark has been working very hard but because it is very difficult to meet each voter at their door Clark asked me to provide you with his phone number and websites: 615-618-3329. 
I am pleased to see Senator Black and Rep. Lynn, two people I greatly admire and respect, endorse Mr. Boyd.  I do not personally know Mr. Boyd but if I was voting in that district, I would be voting for him.  Mae Beavers has too often taken fringe position, such as sponsoring legislation to nullify federal laws. She is an embarrassment and needs to be replaced by a sane Republican.

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Education Opportunities: A Path Forward for Students in Tennessee

Education Opportunities: A Path Forward for Students in Tennessee
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. CDT
Renaissance Nashville Hotel (Meeting Rooms 108 - 109)
611 Commerce Street, Nashville, TN 37203
RSVPor watch live
Learn more at

Sponsored by the Charles Koch Institute and proudly supported by the Charles Koch Foundation.
Moderated by Brennan Brown, Program Manager, Higher Education Charles Koch Foundation
Jonathan Butcher, Education Director, Goldwater Institute

Stephanie Linn, State Programs & Government Relations Director,
The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice

Justin Owen, President & CEO, The Beacon Center of Tennessee

Dr. Steve Perry, Principal, Capital Preparatory Magnet School

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