Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Rep. Black Statement says President Obama picked wrong place to push Obamacare

“The President has picked the wrong location to take a victory lap on the Supreme Court’s irresponsible ruling”

Diane Black
Washington, DC, Congressman Diane Black Press Release, June 29,2015 – Today Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) released the following statement on President Obama’s upcoming visit to Tennessee to discuss Obamacare

"If Obamacare was the success this President claims it is, it would not have landed at the Supreme Court on three separate occasions to begin with and he would not be traveling cross country to rally support for the failing law five years after it was enacted,” said Congressman Diane Black. “I don’t know what the President will say during his visit to the Volunteer State, but no amount of spin can change the fact that Obamacare is failing to live up to its most basic promises and is hurting too many Tennesseans.”

Congressman Black added, “During his visit to Tennessee, perhaps President Obama will explain why Obamacare customers in our state have been told to expect a 36 percent premium increase next year, despite the President’s promise that his law would save families an average of $2,500 per year. Or maybe he will address the 28,000 Tennesseans who lost their insurance coverage in a single day despite his pledge that ‘If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.’ Whatever the case, the President has picked the wrong location to take a victory lap on the Supreme Court’s irresponsible ruling and my conservative colleagues and I will not relent in the fight to fully repeal Obamacare.”

Congressman Diane Black represents Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District. She has been a registered nurse for more than 40 years and serves on the House Ways and Means and Budget Committees.

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Monday, June 29, 2015

Nashville SEIU supports charter amendment for smaller council, expanded terms.

"Choose smaller Metro Nashville council, no term limits," is the title given an op-ed in the Tennessean written by Mr. Doug Collier, who is the president of SEIU Local 205. I assume the title was written by the staff of the Tennessean, not Mr. Doug Collier. The charter amendment which will be on the August 7th ballot calls for reducing the Council to 26 seats and expanding the number of terms a council member may serve from two to three; not "no term limits."

 Unless you subscribe to The Tennessean, you can't read their stuff online as they have finally put it behind a pay wall. In this piece, Mr. Collier laments that metro employee salary increases have not kept pace with inflation but says, "those budget constraints haven’t stopped councilmembers from rubber-stamping virtually every major capital project Mayor Dean has proposed."

He is critical of tax giveaways like Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) deals which mean that a lot of the new construction downtown does not put much more money in city coffers. He calls it "corporate welfare." I agree.

He says the Council is not responsive to the needs of metro employee's because only being able to serve two terms, they do not have to fight to be reelected and do not have to be responsive. He also says the size of the Council is a problem, saying that a small council, "like a small classroom — enhances that learning process and allows them to come up the curve quickly."

I am sure there are a lot of things I disagree with the SEIU about, but I agree with Mr. Collier in supporting reducing the size of the Council and expanding terms. It is an advantage to have people in the Council with institutional knowledge, who remembers how certain things came to be. Also, with a large body it is easier for one not to step up and really study the issues and do the hard work of the Council. When you are one in a group of forty it is easier skip the committee meetings than when you are one of a smaller group.

The bureaucracy is permanent and a department head can snow a new council member and the bureaucracy answers to the mayor, not the Council. The goal of a department head is always to have a bigger budget and more employees. No department head tries shrink his department and have fewer employees.

It takes a while to actually learn how government functions and to know when someone is being truthful with you. Term limits and a large Council, make for a weak Council and a strong mayor. That is not the most important change I would make to shift the balance of power to the Council, but it is a step in the right direction.

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Tuesday, July 7th is the last day to register to vote, in order to vote in the August 6th election

If you are not registered to vote, Tuesday, July 7th is the last day to do so, in order to vote in the August 6th election to vote for the next mayor, vice mayor, council members at-large, district council members and three proposed charter amendments.

While there are several places where one my pick up voter registration forms, since Tuesday is the last day to register, there is not time to register by mail. To register in person, go to the Davidson County Election Commission office at one of these two locations:

  • Election Commission Main Office: 1417 Murfreesboro Pike, Nashville, TN 37217.
  • Satellite Election Commission Office in the Howard School office complex,  800 2nd Avenue South,  4th Floor,  Nashville, TN 37210
The hours of operation for these facilities is 8:00am to 4:30pm.

Be sure and bring identification with you. Only U.S. citizens may register. Convicted felons may not register. Occasionally people not eligible to register get registered at the Division of Motor Vehicles when applying for or renewing auto tags or drivers license.  Even if someone mistakenly registered a person to vote, it is still a felony for that person to cast a vote if not eligible to vote.

If you were once registered to vote and have not voted in a while, it may be possible that your voter registration has been purged. To check the status of your voter registration, follow this link.

All voters must  present a Tennessee or federal ID containing the voter’s name and photograph when voting at the polls, whether voting early or on Election Day.

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

1st Tuesday guest is State Party Chairman Ryan Hayes. RSVP by Monday

From Tim Skow,

1ST TUESDAY members and friends,

In addition to new State Party Chairman Ryan Haynes, also making his first visit to 1ST TUESDAY will be Brent Wiles, new State Director for US Senator Bob Corker !

Brent has agreed to join us early enough for Coffee and Social time [doors open at 11AM]. Here's your chance to make sure Senator Corker hears what you're thinking. NO DOUBT, during our noted Q&A session, you can expect some questions to come up that Brent will be sharing the latest insights on from Senator Corker.

Needless to say.... with SO MUCH going on this summer -- Metro elections, events in Washington DC and news about prepping for local State House races in 2016 -- Tuesday will be a memorable day at 1ST TUESDAY.

A couple of VERY important reminders....

1] With our new caterer we MUST order lunch on Monday, so if you're planning to come, please secure your seats promptly at our 1ST TUESDAY website at 1st Tuesday ... and click on "Join Us"

2] Our County Party PICNIC is next Sunday, July 12th. Details below. Please make plans to join in and bring family and friends with you !!

Mark your calendars, secure your ticket and invite those you know for both Tuesday and Sunday !! Hit me with an RSVP ... or email .. if there are questions to address.

See you Tuesday !

Tim Skow
 Host of 1ST TUESDAY

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Charlie Daniels: my honest feelings on the Confederate flag.

Charlie Daniels
Reposted from Charlie Daniels Soap Box - The recent senseless act of slaughter in a church in Charleston, South Carolina awakened America to the ever present lunacy and evil that walks among us and has also reopened some old wounds and deep feelings on both sides of a long festering situation.

Before I go any farther with this piece, I wish to express my love and admiration for the people of Charleston who have, in the face of immense pain, shown a restraint and a common sense seldom seen in tragic situations involving race.

When I saw the pictures of the people who had been murdered I made the statement, "I know these people", which I didn't mean literally, but figuratively, in that they were the kind of Christian people I have been around all my life, worked with and sat in the pews of churches with.

Salt of the earth folks, who not only professed to know the Lord Jesus Christ, but lived their faith every day of their lives. The kind of people you want to have praying for you, the kind who know how to put their arms around a hurting person and comfort and console.

The kind of people who raised their families to turn to Almighty God in times of trouble and heartbreak, proven by the forgiving words spoken by family members in court to the monster who had wantonly murdered their loved ones.

As in all Satan inspired iniquity, God has the ability to bring great good and in this situation, the people of Charleston South Carolina have shown the world what being a Christian is all about and the depth of common sense and class that exists in that community.

I feel sure that a jury of peers in South Carolina will see that Dylann Roof gets what’s coming to him and justice will be served and meted out to the full extent of the law.

In relation to the main crux of my column today I would like to relate an experience I had in a Midwestern city when the band was appearing with the local symphony orchestra. In the evening before the show started, one of the venue staff came to me and said, "There is a gentleman out front who is offended by the confederate flag on your piano".

I responded that we didn't have a Confederate flag painted on our piano. The upshot of the whole thing was that Taz, our keyboard player, had an American flag and a Tennessee flag with the flagstaffs crossed on the front of his piano with a drawing of his namesake, a cartoon Tasmanian Devil, and the phrase "Yessiree, Tennessee" painted under it.

The point I'm making is that this gentleman was probably the kind of person who looks for something to be offended about and sees things that aren't even there in an attempt to find something.  Of course the situation concerning the Confederate flag in Charleston is a much more serious situation with justifiable feelings that go back a century and a half, and the problem has the potential to be a racially divisive one.

The bottom line is that the flag in question represents one thing to some people and another thing to others.  Far be it from me to advise the people of South Carolina or any other state as to what they should fly over their capitol buildings or anywhere else in the state for that matter, but I truly hate to see the opportunists move in and create a symbol of hate out of a simple piece of cloth.

Of course we know most politicians are going to chime in and glean whatever political hay that is available, but, in my book, the corporate rush to rid their shelves of anything with the Confederate battle flag on it is pure hypocrisy.

If they felt that deeply about the subject, they should have done something years ago and I notice they have no problem accepting the profits from the merchandise they have on hand. I have received many requests to do interviews on this subject and had a lot of tweets asking me to comment, but I declined, wanting to take the time to explain my feelings in detail, without having to answer other people's loaded questions or express myself in 140-character limit of Twitter.

This will have the potential to be lengthy, so bear with me and I will try my best to relate my honest feelings on the Confederate flag in question which was actually the battle flag carried by several Confederate army regiments, and not the official flag of the Confederacy.

I was born in 1936, a mere 71 years after the Civil War ended when the South was looked upon by what seemed to be a majority of the Northern States as an inbred, backward, uneducated, slow-talking and slower-thinking people, with low morals and a propensity for incest.

This was in the days before television and about all the folks up North knew about Southerners was what they heard and there were a lot of people who took great pleasure in proliferating the myth, and some still do it to this day.  As you might suppose, people in the South bitterly resented this attitude of superiority and in some quarters the words “damn” and “Yankee” became one word and a somewhat fierce type of Southern pride came into being. The Confederate battle flag was a sign of defiance, a sign of pride, a declaration of a geographical area that you were proud to be from. That’s all it is to me and all it ever has ever been to me.

I can’t speak for all, but I know in my heart that most Southerners feel the same way.  I have no desire to reinstate the Confederacy, I oppose slavery as vehemently as any man and I believe that every human being, regardless of the color of their skin is just as valuable as I am and deserves the exact same rights and advantages as I do.

I feel that this controversy desperately needs to be settled without federal interference and input from race baiters like Al Sharpton, that it's up to the individual states as to what they allow to be a part of their public image, what the majority of the people of any given state want should, in my opinion, be their policy.

Unfortunately, the Confederate battle flag has been adopted by hate groups - and individuals like Dylann Roof - to supposedly represent them and their hateful view of the races. Please believe me when I say that, to the overwhelming majority of Southerners, the flag represents no such thing, but is simply a banner denoting an area of the nation and one's pride in living there. I know there will be those who will take these words of mine, try to twist them or call them insincere and try to make what I've said here some kind of anti-black racial statement, but I tell everybody who reads this article, I came up in the days of cruel racial prejudice and Jim Crow laws, when the courts were tilted against any black man, the segregated educational system was inferior and opportunities for blacks to advance were almost nonexistent.

I lived through the useless cruelty of those days and did not get my feelings out of some sensitivity class or social studies course, but made my own decisions out of experience and disgust.  I hold no ill feelings and have no axes to grind with my brothers and sisters of any color. The same God made us, the same God will judge us, and I pray that He will intervene in the deep racial divide we have in this nation and make each person – black or white - see each other for what we truly are, human beings, no better, no worse.

It's time to do away with labels, Caucasian-American, African-American, Asian-American, Native American and so forth.  How about just a simple "AMERICAN"?

What do you think?

Pray for our troops and the peace of Jerusalem. God Bless America.

Charlie Daniels

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The other hate symbol that is popular among liberals is the image of Che Cuevara

We the Individuals's photo."The blacks, those magnificent examples of the African race who have maintained their racial purity thanks to their lack of an affinity with bathing, have seen their territory invaded by a new kind of slave: the Portuguese. And the two ancient races have now begun a hard life together, fraught with bickering and squabbles. Discrimination and poverty unite them in the daily fight for survival but their different ways of approaching life separate them completely: The black is indolent and a dreamer; spending his meager wage on frivolity or drink; the European has a tradition of work and saving, which has pursued him as far as this corner of America and drives him to advance himself, even independently of his own individual aspirations." - Ché Guevara

My friend Daniel Lewis posted the above to Facebook. It is worth sharing.  Like the peace sign, the other  hate symbol that is popular among liberals is the image of Che Cuevara which I find more offensive than the Confederate flag. Rod

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By what authority were our Second Amendment and Fourth Amendment rights taken away for a July 4th celebration?

The following was posted to Facebook by former Councilman Randy Foster:

The following are among the posted rules for the July 4th event downtown in downtown Nashville: "Will my personal items be searched? All personal items are subject to search. Random searches will occur." Pray tell me who has authorized the suspension of the 4th Amendment and upon what basis? What are the bounds of the affected zone?
I also note that the online rules state: "No Guns, Knives, Other Weapons or Dangerous Devices of Any Kind." How is this consistent with Tennessee's laws on carrying firearms? Will carrying my pocketknife be criminal? Upon what basis is this being done, and just what are the limits of the cutlery exclusion zone?
Just wondering...
Friends on the Metro Council, can you make inquiry on my behalf and, perhaps, enlighten me?
Good question! By what authority were our Second Amendment and Fourth Amendment rights taken away? 

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Bill Freeman wants a $12 minimum wage for Nashville

Mayoral candidate Bill Freeman has proposed a $12 minimum wage for Nashville, the effect of which would be to keep poor people poor and decrease opportunity for entry level jobs.

Freeman has proposed rising the minimum wage from $7.25, which is the current federal minimum, to $12 an hour. Thankfully, it is unlikely that out Republican controlled state legislature would permit Nashville to establish it's own minimum wage.

The effect of a minimum wage increase to $12 an hour would be that many jobs that now pay lower than that minimum would simply disappear, the way service station attendant jobs and bag boy jobs, which included loading your groceries in your car, disappeared long ago.  The number of people employed in the fast food industry would shrink as automated ordering and paying would increase. Many employees would see their hours cut. Another effect would be that a lot of things we purchase would increase in price.

Unfortunately, many people are not worth $12 an hour but finding a minimum wage job gives them an opportunity to learn work skills and develop work habits which opens the door for better paying jobs later. Increasing the minimum wage is cutting off the lower rungs of the latter of opportunity for the poor.

Freeman is the first mayoral candidate to openly campaign for an increase in the minimum wage but Megan Barry has spoken favorably of a local minimum wage and has said $11.04 an hour would constitute a "living wage."  I think the other candidates should out bid Freeman. Megan Barry should say she wants people to have more than just a "living wage," that working people deserve some luxuries and entertainment and other pleasures of life also and that she thinks a $15.50 minimum wage is about right. Then Kane or Rebrovick or Gentry should say, no, that is still niggardly, it is unfair that their are any poor people. Make it $17 an hours, or $18 an hour, or $20 an hour.

I know! The area median income for a single person in Nashville is $44,800. Divide that by 52 weeks and divide that by 40 hours and that comes to $21.54 an hour. Make the minimum wage $21.54 and hour and Bingo!, we have ended poverty and all people make at least the median income!

To read the Tennessean report on Freeman's proposal follow this link.

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Bill Freeman makes a LOT of $$, but all of the mayoral canididates do OK.

The Tennesssean had an article this morning reporting on the results of an examination of the tax return of all of the mayoral candidates.  All of the candidates voluntarily released their income tax returns. All except Howard Gentry are married and filed joint returns, so the income is for both husband and wife except for Gentry. Here is the adjusted gross income for each of the candidates ranked from most income to least:

Bill Feeman: $2,412,451
Linda Eskind Rebrovick: $963,883
David Fox: $643,254
Charles Robert Bone: $255,282
Megan Barry: $243,144
Jeremy Kane: $227,596
Howard Gentry: $130,522
 Bill Freeman make a lot of money and all of them make a lot more than the average person.  I don't really think that is important and is not one of the criteria that would influence me in determining for whom I vote. However I do like knowing, just in a nosy sort of curious way, not that I think it is an important fact.  To read the full Tennessean article follow this link.

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Friday, June 26, 2015

What people are saying about the Supreme Court same-sex Marriage ruling. (update 4, Marsha Blackburn, Diane Black)

Rep. Diane Black
Representative Diane Black:
With the drop of a gavel, five Supreme Court justices have silenced the voices of thousands of Tennesseans. I have always believed that marriage is a sacred promise between man, woman, and God. I respect that others may disagree and I believe that we should encourage a thoughtful, open dialogue about this issue in the individual states – not attempt to cut off debate by imposing a sweeping, fixed interpretation of marriage nationwide. Sadly, that is exactly what the court has done.

Tennesseans are a compassionate people, and we should be able to make laws that match our values on issues of marriage and family, while respecting the dignity of those with whom we may disagree. As we look ahead to implementation of this ruling, we must now ensure that religious freedom is not further eroded and that the conscience rights of our clergy and faith-based wedding officiants are protected.

Marsha Blackburn:
Today's Supreme Court decision is a disappointment. I have always supported traditional marriage. Despite this decision, no one can overrule the truth about what marriage actually is -- a sacred institution between a man and a woman. I have always believed marriage is between one man and one woman and I will continue to work to ensure our religious beliefs are protected and people of faith are not punished for their beliefs.”

Gov. Bill Haslam: 
The people of Tennessee have recently voted clearly on this issue. The Supreme Court has overturned that vote. We will comply with the decision and will ensure that our departments are able to do so as quickly as possible.

David Fowler, former State senator and President of The Family Action Council of Tennessee (FACT):
Today a handful of Americans on the Court have stripped the people of the freedom to democratically address the meaning and role of society’s most fundamental institution, marriage. The majority have arrogantly said they are not only smarter than the 50 million Americans who have voted to affirm marriage as the union of a man and a woman, but also millions of human beings over thousands of years across the entire globe.

As with Roe v. Wade in 1973, the Court has taken sides on a domestic policy not addressed in our Constitution and told believers in natural marriage that their voice is not allowed. But when people begin to experience the effects of this ruling in ways they never envisioned, the Court may find that it has only awakened a slumbering giant.

Bill Freeman
Bill Freeman, Nashville Mayoral candidate:
Today is a historic day in our country and I am very pleased the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is now legal in every state, including Tennessee. Nashville is a vibrant city of inclusion that supports equality and dignity for ALL its residents. Now the law reflects that sentiment and I am proud of our country.

Jeremy Kane, Nashville Mayoral Candidate:
This morning, the Supreme Court ruled that all loving couples deserve marriage equality. I look
forward to celebrating our progress with everyone at the Nashville Pride festival this weekend. Love conquers all.
Jeremy Kane's tweet: Children like my three-year-old daughter Wells won’t remember a time without marriage equality and that’s beautiful. #SCOTUSmarriage.

Ryan Haynes, Tennessee Republican Party Chairman: 
Tennesseans overwhelmingly voted to define marriage as between one man and one woman. If a change was to be made, it should have been allowed to play out through the democratic process but, unfortunately, today’s judicial activism short-circuits that ability. While this has long been pushed by the Democrats' agenda, the issue is far from settled.

Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey:
The Supreme Court today issued an unfortunate and fundamentally wrong opinion. In 2006, not even a decade ago, over 80% of Tennessee voters issued a strong mandate in favor of traditional marriage. Today, the Supreme Court declared that mandate null and void.

While the Supreme Court did not stand up for traditional marriage, this decision does not end the institution. The federal government may have the ability to force Tennessee to recognize same-sex unions but it cannot and will not change the hearts and minds of conservatives and traditionalists in Tennessee and elsewhere.

In the communities and churches across this state, the true definition of marriage, a union of one man and one woman, still lives and breathes. It is an eternal truth that no law or government can truly alter.

Congressman Jim Cooper:
Love and equality win.  I’m glad the Supreme Court ruled on the right side of history.

Mayor Karl Dean:
I am pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that same-sex marriage is now legal in Tennessee. I joined Mayors for the Freedom to Marry last year because I believe all people should be treated fairly and equally and that everyone’s individual dignity should be respected. Welcoming and supporting people of all backgrounds and beliefs make our city stronger.

When asked if he would be preforming a same-sex marriage at the Courthouse. Dean said, "As sort of a matter of policy, I have not presided over any marriages since I’ve been mayor.  I think I’ve been busy enough without getting involved in that."

Megan Barry
Megan Barry, Candidate for Mayor and currently an at-large member of Metro Council: 
Words cannot express the joy I have for so many of my gay and lesbian friends and family who now have the freedom to marry whomever they love. I am confident that Obergefell v. Hodges will stand the test of time as a Supreme Court decision which fundamentally strengthened the United States of America – bringing us ever closer to the dream of all men and women being created equal under the eyes of the law. I want to thank Abby Rubenfeld and Bill Harbison for fighting on behalf of marriage equality and helping to make marriage equality a reality in Tennessee.”

The Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges has effectively overturned laws across the country designed to block same-sex couples from enjoying the freedom to marry. Barry is committed to seeing Davidson County implement the court’s decision as quickly as possible, and has already agreed to officiate the ceremony of same-sex couples wishing to exercise their rights.

We have worked hard to make Nashville a warm and welcoming place to all who enter – no matter where you were born, no matter how you got here, and certainly no matter whom you love,” said Barry. “Now that marriage equality is the law of the land, I hope that the State of Tennessee will fully join the City of Nashville in embracing equality by removing any last vestiges of discrimination that still exist in our laws.

Linda Rebrovick
Linda Rebrovick, candidate for Mayor Tweets: 
Overjoyed @ today's ruling. Couldn’t be happier to see that marriage equality is a reality. Look forward to friends' and families' weddings!

My Statement (Rod Williams):
From the dawn of time until now, marriage has been a union of male and female. The family is the essential building block of society.  This ruling will further undermine an institution that has already been severely weakened.  This ruling will have far reaching implications beyond the damage it does to the institution of marriage and family.  This ruling will lead to challenges to the tax exempt status of churches and colleges and will change what is taught in public schools. It is a blow to religious liberty. As Merle Haggard sang in a song, "We are rolling down hill, like snowball heading for hell."

My additional thoughts (Rod Williams): Instead of meekly complying, maybe the State of  Tennessee should simply suspend the function of registering marriages. Or, maybe we should register any two or more people and let them pay a marriage registration fee and submit a signed affidavit they they are married, but we simply do not verify any facts. If Micky Mouse and Donald Duck get married, and pay the license fee then their marriage is registered in the state of Tennessee. If three people want to register a marriage; register it.  If a man wants to marry is mother; register it.  If a women wants to marry her dog; register it.

Check back for updates. 

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What people are saying about the Supreme Court Obamacare King v. Burwell ruling.(update)

Justice Antonin Scalia
Justice Antonin Scalia (reposted from Heritage Foundation):

Justice Antonin Scalia is known for his sharp wit and even sharper pen. He pulled no punches in his dissent today from the Supreme Court’s decision in King v. Burwell allowing the Obama administration to allow Obamacare subsidies to flow through the federal exchange.
Here are nine highlights:

1. “We should start calling this law SCOTUScare … [T]his Court’s two decisions on the Act will surely be remembered through the years … And the cases will publish forever the discouraging truth that the Supreme Court of the United States favors some laws over others, and is prepared to do whatever it takes to uphold and assist its favorites.”

2. “This case requires us to decide whether someone who buys insurance on an Exchange established by the Secretary gets tax credits. You would think the answer would be obvious—so obvious there would hardly be a need for the Supreme Court to hear a case about it.”

3. “Words no longer have meaning if an Exchange that is not established by a State is ‘established by the State.’”

4. “Under all the usual rules of interpretation, in short, the Government should lose this case. But normal rules of interpretation seem always to yield to the overriding principle of the present Court: The Affordable Care Act must be saved.”

5. “The Court interprets §36B to award tax credits on both federal and state Exchanges. It accepts that the ‘most natural sense’ of the phrase ‘Exchange established by the State’ is an Exchange established by a State. (Understatement, thy name is an opinion on the Affordable Care Act!) Yet the opinion continues, with no semblance of shame, that ‘it is also possible that the phrase refers to all Exchanges—both State and Federal. (Impossible possibility, thy name is an opinion on the Affordable Care Act!)’”

6. “Perhaps sensing the dismal failure of its efforts to show that ‘established by the State’ means ‘established by the State or the Federal Government,’ the Court tries to palm off the pertinent statutory phrase as “inartful drafting.’ This Court, however, has no free-floating power ‘to rescue Congress from its drafting errors.’”

7. “The Court’s decision reflects the philosophy that judges should endure whatever interpretive distortions it takes in order to correct a supposed flaw in the statutory machinery. That philosophy ignores the American people’s decision to give Congress ‘[a]ll legislative Powers’ enumerated in the Constitution. They made Congress, not this Court, responsible for both making laws and mending them.”

8. “More importantly, the Court forgets that ours is a government of laws and not of men. That means we are governed by the terms of our laws, not by the unenacted will of our lawmakers. ‘If Congress enacted into law something different from what it intended, then it should amend the statute to conform to its intent.’ In the meantime, this Court ‘has no roving license … to disregard clear language simply on the view that … Congress ‘must have intended’ something broader.”

9. “Rather than rewriting the law under the pretense of interpreting it, the Court should have left it to Congress to decide what to do about the Act’s limitation of tax credits to state Exchanges.”

Representative John Ray Clemmons (State rep, District 55):
The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled on King v. Burwell, and budget deficit arguments, as well as other reasons for opposition, have proven baseless. No more excuses - we must act now on Insure Tennessee. Further delay is harmful and inexcusable. While the Governor and the majority in the state legislature sit on their hands quixotically awaiting political winds to change, hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans continue to needlessly suffer without access to affordable healthcare.

Thousands of Tennessee families sit around their dinner tables praying this week's paycheck will not be their last. Dozens of hospitals across the state remain in budgetary limbo doing whatever it takes to keep their doors open. As elected officials, we have a duty to serve all the people of Tennessee. Let us not forget that this is a duty each of us voluntarily placed upon our own shoulders. The inexcusable failure to act immediately and effectively on this issue constitutes a breach of our public duty, and those responsible for this failure should be held accountable.
Rep. Diane Black

Representative Diane Black
Today’s irresponsible Supreme Court decision does not change the fact that Obamacare is a fundamentally broken law that has failed to deliver on its most basic promises.  I am deeply disappointed that the court shirked its duty as a coequal branch of government by not acting to hold this President accountable for following his own laws, but my resolve to erase Obamacare remains stronger than ever. After today, one thing is certain: if this disastrous law is to be stopped, it will require strong leadership from Congress. We as conservatives must redouble our efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare. That is what voted for at the ballot box last November and that is what they expect from us today.

Representative Marsha Blackman:
While today's Supreme Court ruling in King v. Burwell is extremely disappointing, it does not change the fact that Obamacare is broken and was passed based on a series of deliberately misleading promises. The president’s health care law has led to higher costs with even higher costs coming. The law has failed to provide affordable healthcare to Americans. It is nothing more than a broken promise - an insurance card but not actual health care. The law is fundamentally flawed, and the court’s decision does not change our resolve to repeal it and replace it with patient-centered solutions that will increase access to affordable healthcare for all Americans. Much like TennCare, Obamacare will have to be fixed by the next Administration.

Sen. Lamar Alexander
Senator Lamar Alexander: 
It’s unfortunate that the Supreme Court didn’t read the law the way that Congress wrote it. The 36 percent increase in some individual health care rates announced recently should remind Tennesseans that Obamacare was an historic mistake. It gave Americans higher health care costs while reducing our choices of health plans, doctors and hospitals. Republicans are ready to reduce the cost of health care so more people can afford it, put patients back in charge, and restore freedom and choice to the health care market.

Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey
The Supreme Court today provided mere short-term relief to a long-term problem. While the Supreme Court decision will not result in millions losing their health coverage immediately, it is clear to everyone that deep and fundamental flaws in the law remain. I look forward to 2016 and electing a president who can appropriately assess the damage and chart a course away from Obamacare.

Senator Bob Corker
Senator Bob Corker:
Today’s ruling affirms that it is up to Congress to come together around a responsible solution that provides relief from the damaging effects of the president’s health care law, including policies to provide far greater choice in the marketplace so affordable plans that meet the actual needs of Tennesseans can openly and effectively compete for their business.

Congressman Jim Cooper:
Press release- U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-5) today praised the Supreme Court for preserving federal subsidies that help an estimated 6.4 million Americans – including nearly 200,000 Tennesseans – pay for health insurance. Cooper celebrated the ruling’s implications not only for those with federal subsidies, but also the insurance market and the preservation of benefits in the Affordable Care Act. For instance, health care insurers can no longer deny people for pre-existing conditions, and young adults can stay on a parent’s insurance plan until they turn 26.

Cooper also noted that the ruling removes a stated obstacle for passing Insure Tennessee. “Tennessee legislators said they were waiting for the ruling,” Cooper said. “We now have it. They should finish the job and provide protection for all Tennesseans by passing Insure Tennessee.” On Monday, Cooper will join a coalition of state and community leaders for a press conference on what’s next after today’s positive ruling.

Check back for more.

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The Confederate Flag and "I sang Dixie."

It looks like it belongs in the Dixie Putt-Putt golf course.
I  think the Confederate battle flag in South Carolina should come down, but I don't live there and it is not for me to decide but I can still have an opinion, like everyone else who has weighed in on the topic. I think it is unnecessary to offend other people unless there is goods reason to do so, and many people find the Confederate flag offensive.

Following the tragedy of the senseless shooting in Charleston South Carolina it seems the focus has shifted to the appropriateness of having a Confederate battle flag fly on the grounds of the state capital, as if there was a connection between the two. From the issue of the appropriateness of the confederate battle flag flying on the grounds of the state capital in South Carolina the discussion has expanded to other displays anywhere that memorialize the civil war in the South and pay homage to our ancestors and heroes.

As it relates to the fiberglass stature of Nathan Bedford Forrest on I-64, I really dislike it.  I doubt most tourist driving through know it is Nathan Bedford Forrest, however.  At 70 miles an hour you probably have no idea what it commemorates.  My dislike for the stature has to do primarily with aesthetics. It looks cartoonist. It is ugly. It looks like the kind of "art" one finds on a putt-putt golf course. Maybe travelers going up I-65 at 75 miles an hour think they have just missed a putt-putt golf course.

Also, I have to ask: the horse has a saddle, but no bridle.Why is that?  Should it not have a bridle? Surely General Forrest did not ride a horse without a bridle? Despite my dislike of the statue, I think it is a waste of effort to try to build a foliage barricade to hide it from sight.

In response to controversy over the Confederate battle flag near the South Carolina state house, Walmart, Amazon, Sears, and eBay have all stopped selling items featuring the Confederate flag and the parent company that owns the rights to the Dukes of Hazard merchandise has announced they will no longer license the General Lee car featured in that show. Other states and locals have began looking at the appropriateness of statues and bust of Confederate heroes and images on state and county seals that recall historical Confederate associations and names of streets, bridges, and buildings named to honor Confederate dead.

I understand the desire to ban the Confederate flag.  I guess if I were African-American I would find it offensive and want it banned.  I think I know how they feel because I feel much the same way about that hate symbol known as the "peace" sign.  That is the symbol that those who betrayed out troops in the field, marched under during the Vietnam war.  That is the sign carried by the American fifth column on campuses and in the streets of America that encouraged the enemy not to give up because they had massive numbers of supporters in America who were daily trying to persuade their own government to give up, pull out of the war and give the North Vietnamese an easy victory.  Now, that symbol of betrayal is sold on eBay, Walmart, Amazon and Sears and elsewhere as a fashion accessory. You can find it on backpacks and clothing and pocketbooks and any number of items. Personally, I would prefer to ban the peace sign over banning the confederate flag. I personally find the peace sign offensive. No one grantees me the right to not be offended however.

The flag we cal the "Confederate flag" was not a national flag of the Confederacy but was the
battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia.  It only came to be considered the Confederate flag, later. I don't think most people who display it or celebrate seeing it being displayed think of it as a racist symbol. During the civil rights era, some southern segregationist appropriated the flag as their own symbol to show defiance to federal authority but time has passed since then and I think that to most people the Confederate flag is simply a symbol of southerness.

I myself am from East Tennessee, which during the Civil War was pro-Union. That is why East Tennessee was a Republican stronghold in a Democrat Tennessee from then on.  Areas of the South that were too hilly to grow cotton were generally pro-Union in the Civil War and became isolated Republicans strong holds for the next 125 years in an otherwise solid Democrat South.  So, I did not come from a pro-confederate part of the South, but I still had an identity that was represented by the Confederate flag. I never wore a confederate belt buckle or had a confederate license plate on my pick up truck (I never owned a pick up truck). I did however, own a Lynard Skynyrd album that featured a Confederate flag.

My favorite music has always been Country music but during the 70's I became a big fan of Southern Rock. My preference in Southern Rock never went as far toward the hard rock end as the spectrum as Molly Hatchet, tending more toward the country rock of The Charlie Daniels Band and Marshal Tucker Band.  For several years I attended the Charlie Daniels Volunteer Jams held at Municipal Auditorium. These shows were a blast of great music and hard partying that easily ran ten hours long and while I saw everyone from Roy Acuff to James Brown and even an occasional classical musician or gospel choir, the foundation of the shows was Southern Rock. Many participants brought Confederate battle flags and waved them during the show.

Charlie Daniels would start the show by saying, "Ain't it Great to be alive and be in Tennessee!"  And, the crowd would go wild.  I think that like celebrating a shout out to being in Tennessee, the Confederate battle flag was symbolic of a shout out to being proud of one's southerness. A lot of Southern Rock bands not only celebrated being Southern but celebrated their State identity.  Charlie Daniels' albums often featured representations of the tri-star symbol from the Tennessee flag and at the start of his performance would say, "I'm Charlie Daniels from Mt. Juliet, Tennessee."  Marshal Tucker's shows would start with an announcement: "From Spartanburg South Carolina, it's the Marshall Tucker Band!" And, The Alman Brothers let it be known they were from Georgia and several of their album covers featured some representation of the peach, which represents Georgia. Southern Rock, like Country music often celebrated the South and a sense of place.  I still love the CDB song "The South's Gonna do it Again."

I know that now America is becoming so homogenized that there is not much sense of place any
Southern Motel
more. Almost any where you go, you see the same chain restaurants and people listen to the same music and you rarely hear a heavy accent. There may be more people living in Nashville born elsewhere than there are native Nashvillians. I don't know if that is really a good thing or not.  I certainly want foreign immigrants to become Americanized, and would not want so much regionalism that it was a source of conflict. By the same token, I think something valuable is lost when we lose the way we speak, the way we interact and when we all become antonymous individuals rather than people with a sense of place and history and a sense of belonging.

I think this search to take down symbols of southerness had gotten out of hand. Recently, mayoral candidate Charles Bone who is an investor in the lower Broadway venue Acme Feed and Seeds, responded to a complaint about a piece of artwork that hung in that establishment and he had it removed. The artwork features a women wearing a Confederate flag bikini in front of a sign that says "Southern Motel."  Wearing the Confederate flag on your butt is not honoring the flag. Any idiot who is offended by this piece of art should be told to "get over it."  As Tom Morales owner of the establishment said about the piece, it is "satirical commentary on Southern culture."

This is nuts! What next? Ban the songs of Stephen Foster? Ban the playing of "Dixie?" Burn down the surviving antebellum plantation
mansions? Remove the Confederate memorial statue in the square in Franklin?

Political correctness has already stifled speech in America to where conservative commencement speakers are disinvited from speaking if students object. People shout down views they do not agree with. Are we to become the American Taliban and destroy icons of the past because they don't fit our current ideology?

I'll close with this:

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

A July 4th message from Marsha Blackburn: In Celebration of Freedom, Free People, and Free Markets


Marsha Blackburn
At church on Sunday, a friend grabbed me by the shoulders and declared, “This Fourth of July, I'm going to wave my flag, sing every stanza of the National Anthem, belt out ‘Proud to Be an American,’ and read the Constitution out loud.  I'm doing it because I'm afraid of losing our freedom.  Every day I listen to the news and can't believe all that's happening". 

These comments are not that dissimilar to what I hear from people every day; the message of fear, defeat, discouragement, and loss of the American Dream. These are emotions so often embodied in what we hear on the news. Maybe it's why so many of you tell me you have stopped listening to the nightly news reports altogether. You just don't want to hear it. I don't blame you, I agree with you.
Ronald Reagan would remind us that, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” Freedom is always a hard fought battle, but a worthy fight indeed. And while many might be fearful, I am more resolved than ever to push back against encroaching liberalism.  Every rule and regulation and every dollar of additional taxes and fees causes each of us to lose a little more of our freedom. It seems the government is here for its own preservation, not for the people. The People's House seems to lose more power to the bureaucracy every year. 

I believe in the American Dream and opportunity for all Americans. I so love hearing stories from constituents who worked to make their dream come true. I find those stories exhilarating. They found an opportunity, an opening, and a way to achieve their version of the American Dream. They reached their goal. Why? Because they are free people living in a free land and have the right to dream big dreams and find a way to make those dreams become a reality. Many have fought back against those agency rules and regulations. They persisted and prevailed. Prevailing, winning, and achieving are what we want for all our citizens. 

The frustrations with Washington, D.C., politics, and the bureaucracy are well documented and we live with them in daily reminders. It is why, on your behalf, I write and sponsor legislation to remove the overreach of bureaucrats. Allowing across state line purchase of health insurance so you can have health care freedom, the SOFTWARE Act to give innovators some additional assurances and put government back in their right lanes, the Internet Freedom Act to rein in the FCC, and the CHOP Act to rein in the EPA. We can do this. America has regularly had assaults on our freedom. Always. And assaults will persist. Preserving freedom is our challenge; we should make it our cause.  

So, take this week to celebrate. Thank a member of the military and our veterans for choosing to fight to defend that freedom. Visit our Pinterest page for history and how-to ideas for children. Read the preamble to the Constitution. Teach a child the pledge. Dress up as Uncle Sam and walk in a parade. Above all, celebrate. Celebrate the freedom we enjoy and finish your day by recommitting to help fight to protect, defend, and pass along to the next generation an America that remains the land of the free and home of the brave.

Ben Franklin was asked after the signing of the Constitution as to the type government they had formed.  His answer: “A republic, madam – if you can keep it.”

Let's resolve to keep it.
Happy Independence Day.


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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Clements for Council, A little about me.

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Letting no tragedy go to waste, Many Mancini uses Charleston to Fund Raise for TN Demo Party

Following the senseless  tragedy in Charleston S. C., I received this tasteless appeal for a contribution from Mary Mancini, Chair of the Tennessee Democrat Party.
Dear Rod,
On Saturday morning I attended an event that had been on my calendar for many months but that took on additional significance in light of the horrific murders in Charleston, S.C.
The event was the commemoration of a little known piece of Tennessee history - the murder of Elbert Williams, a founding member of the first NAACP Chapter established in 1939, in Brownsville, Haywood County, TN. One year later, Mr. Williams was overheard organizing a voter registration drive in his community, was taken from his home by members of the Brownsville Police Department, shot dead, and thrown in the Hatchie River.
Elbert Williams"Elbert Williams was a founding member of the first NAACP Chapter established in 1939, in Brownsville, Haywood County, Tennessee. On the night of June 20, 1940, while still in his pajamas, he was taken from his home by members of the Brownsville Police Department. He was never seen alive again. Three days later, his disfigured remains were found in the Hatchie River, six miles south of Brownsville. His wife was summoned to the riverbank to identify his remains. Without benefit of investigation, the authorities ordered his immediate burial in Taylor Cemetery. No funeral was held, and his grave was unmarked. Plans to memorialize his contribution and heroic acts on the first anniversary of his death in 1941 never materialized. In December of 1941, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and the United States entered World War II. The memory and courageous contribution of Elbert Williams, was lost to time." Read more....
Last Saturday morning, while sitting in the gym of the Haywood County High School in Brownsville, TN, it was impossible not to draw a straight line from the murder of Mr. Williams to the shootings in Charleston.
And yet, we refuse to do so. Some are already treating this as an isolated incident, much the same way in which we treat every mass shooting in this country - as an isolated incident. We forget history so quickly.
We’re seeing the pattern play out again now - outrage, 24/7 news coverage, push back by the Right on the murderer’s motives, and then nothing – no changes to public policy and no shift “in how we think about the issue of gun violence collectively” – a shift that could keep us safe from these kinds of mass killings; that could  keep us safe at school, or church, or in Bible study.
75 years after the racially motivated murder of Elbert Williams in Brownsville, TN, we witness the racially-motivated mass murder in Charleston. 75 years after a murder motivated by the “collective evil of Jim Crow," we witness multiple murders motivated by the collective evil of 21st-Century Racism. This time, there is no way we can blame mental illness.
The murders in Charleston have uncovered a “gaping racial wound that will not heal, yet we pretend doesn’t exist.”
If we continue to pretend the “gaping racial wound” doesn’t exist, if we continue to be afraid to bring it out in the open and talk about it, if we continue to remain silent, then we will be complicit in perpetuating "the collective evil of 21st-Century Racism."
Mary Mancini
Chair, Tennessee Democratic Party
Invest in the TNDP

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Monday, June 22, 2015

David Fox for Mayor fund raiser, Tueday, June 30th.

I am co-hosting this event and urge you to join me in supporting David Fox.  I think David Fox is by far the best candidate for mayor and there is not a close second. I look forward to seeing you tomorrow night. Rod

Follow this link for map.

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NashvilleNext is a done deal. Now, we will find out what it means.

Press Release from Craig Owensby of the Planning Commission - The plan is the result of three years of planning and community engagement, including guidance from issue-specific committees of local leaders and experts. The public engagement process has included more than 420 meetings and presentations and more than 18,500 participants. All of the input has been directed toward anticipating future growth, creating stronger communities and maintaining our quality of life by deciding where and how we grow. 

Community engagement in NashvilleNext involved a multistep process that asked Nashvillians about their hopes for the future and asked Nashvillians what land to preserve and develop to achieve their vision. A draft plan was made available to the public in late March, and comments and amendments were accepted through June 15. At a public hearing last week, the Commission heard amendments and comments from more than 60 Nashvillians. The general direction of the plan includes: 

  •  Protecting and restoring Davidson County’s natural and rural areas 
  • Creating a more robust transit network 
  • Encouraging housing affordability and the de-concentration of poverty 
  • Encouraging new development in walkable centers and along corridors while preserving the character of existing neighborhoods 
  • Guiding growth to make Nashville welcoming for new residents and improving quality of life for existing Nashvillians 
The plan also provides guidance in the areas of Education and Youth, Arts and Culture, and Economic and Workforce Development. FOR MORE INFORMATION on NashvilleNext, call (615) 862-NEXT (6398) or email info@nashvillenext.net. You can also keep up with NashvilleNext on Facebook and Twitter.

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Support Ken Jakes- Fund raiser this Thursday, June 25th.

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Police (Faternal Order of Police, Andrew Jackson Lodge #5) announces 2015 Mayor and Council endorsements

The police union have made their enforcements and it is somewhat mystifying the criteria they could have used to make their selections. Where there was an incumbent they usually endorsed the incumbent, but not in all cases. In District 6 they selected the challenger rather than the incumbent. The FOP is a union and one would think  job security, benefits and increased pay would be their prime concern and one would think the police would vote for the candidates most likely to increase taxes, but that is not the case.  They endorsed some of the most conservative candidates for council in endorsing people like Robert Duvall, Ken Jakes, and Tony Tenpenny. They also endorsed some very liberal candidate likely to raise taxes, people like Lonnell Matthews, Jr, and Kathleen Murphy.

Since there is no logic or consistency to their endorsements, I would not vote for someone just because they got the FOP endorsement, nor would I vote against someone just because they got the FOP endorsement. I know some of the people who got the endorsement, and they are people of integrity who would not promise the FOP something just to get an endorsement. This list of endorsements is best ignored.

Bill Freeman      Mayor
David Briley      Vice Mayor

Buddy Baker         Council At Large
Robert Duvall       Council At Large
Ken Jakes              Council At Large
Don Majors           Council At Large
Lonnell Matthews Jr. Council At Large

Nick Leonardo      Council District 1
DeCosta Hastings Council District 2
Tim Coleman        Council District 3
Robert Swope       Council District 4
Scott Davis           Council District 5
Brett Withers        Council District 6
Anthony Davis     Council District 7
Nancy VanReece  Council District 8
Bill Pridemore      Council District 9
Douglas Pardue    Council District 10
Larry Hagar          Council District 11
Steve Glover         Council District 12
Holly Huezo         Council District 13
Kevin Rhoten       Council District 14
Jeffrey Syracuse   Council District 15
Tony Tenpenny     Council District 16
Tony Watson         Council District 17
Burkley M. Allen  Council District 18
Amanda Harrison  Council District 19
Mary Carolyn Roberts Council District 20
Edward T. Kindall  Council District 21
Sheri Weiner          Council District 22
Jim Roberts            Council District 23
Kathleen Murphy   Council District 24
Russ Pulley            Council District 25
Jeremy Elrod          Council District 26
Davette Blalock     Council District 27
Melissa Smithson  Council District 28
Karen Y. Johnson  Council District 29
Jason Potts             Council District 30
Fabian Bedne        Council District 31
Jacobia C. Dowell Council District 32
Jimmy Gafford      Council District 33
Angie Henderson  Council District 34
Dave Rosenberg    Council District 35

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Sunday, June 21, 2015

The June 19th NashForward Millennial Mayoral Debate at Belmont University

If you missed this debate last Thursday at the Belmont University's McAfee Concert Hall you didn't miss much. However, if you want to watch the debate, here it is:

The Tennesseean has written something about the debate every day since Thursday, sometimes two or three things a day, but they have essentially wasted a lot of ink. There is just not that much to say about the debate. It was pretty boring and did not provide much insight as to who would be the best person to be Nashville's next mayor.

In one piece, The Tennessean said the seven candidates played, "to what they believe are their strengths." I would agree with that.  In an "unscientific poll" of 7,000 people who voted in an online poll, this is who that 7,000 people said won: Freeman  27%, Charles Robert Bone 25 %, Megan Barry 17 %, Jeremy Kane 13 %, Linda Eskind Rebrovick 8 %, David Fox 6 %, and Howard Gentry 4 %.  This tells you more about who chose to spend resources getting their supporters to vote in the poll rather what a cross section of what people really think.

In another piece in the Tennessean, Five takeaways from Thursday's Debate, The Tennesseean offered these points; (1) After more than 40 forums, the candidates have answered your questions, (2) Candidates are playing it safe, (3) Freeman is still the target, (4) Freeman might be his own worst enemy, and (5) No one won Thursday. That about sums it up.

My takeaway from this is that Bill Freeman may be replacing Megan Barry as my least favorite candidate. I am especially tuned off by Freeman's position that our schools are doing just great and we need to simply accentuate the positive. Howard Gentry dropped a point in my favorability rating, when asked what he would do to ensure that economic growth does not hurt current residents by  saying he would create an Office of Equity to ensure all that development helps the current community. In my view we do not need to be stiffing growth and we do not need another bureaucracy. Fox answered the same question by saying he would look at freezing taxes of current residents so growth does not force people out of their homes. I like that answer.

In response to the question about affordable housing, David Fox again distinguished himself by indirectly saying he did not support housing price control by saying, "I'm a 'carrot' guy; not a 'stick' guy," and saying he would support incentives for those who build affordable housing. I liked that answer better than any of the others.

In response to the question, who would you vote for among the candidates if you were not running, other of the candidates did not answer the question but David Fox said Jeremy Kane, Jeremy Kane said Howard Gentry, Howard Gentry said David Fox, and Bill Freeman said Linda Reborvik.

Some weeks ago, I reached a conclusion that David Fox was my preferred candidate. There is not a close second choice. This debate reinforced that decision that Fox is my number one choice. In this debate, however, if I had to rank the candidates, a second place choice would be either Rebrovic, Kane, or Gentry followed by Bone and my least favorite would probably be a tie between Barry and Freeman.

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Friday, June 19, 2015

Who is running for Mayor and Council and who I am supporting. (update # 9)

This is update #9 on who is running for Mayor, Vice Mayor and seats on the Metro Council. Since the last update on April 12th, the filing deadline and the deadline for withdrawing from the ballot has come and gone, so this list is now a final list of who is running. Several people whose name appeared on a previous list as a candidate are not on this list.  That most likely means they picked up a qualifying petition and then changed there mind and did not submit the petition. That is not uncommon. Also, since the last update, a lot of new candidates whose name was not on a previous list are now candidates and their names will be on the ballot. Some people picked up and submitted qualifying petitions in the last days before the deadline. On the August 7th ballot there will be seven candidates for mayor, two for vice mayor, 26 running for councilman at-large and 88 seeking district seats.

Since the last update, the 1st quarter campaign finance report date has come and gone, campaign signs dot the landscape, candidates are going door-to-door and a several candidate forums take place each week. In the mayors race the airways are being bombarded with advertisements and some council at-large candidates have started radio and TV advertisements.  The campaigns are well underway and early voting starts in a month. By this time, we should know who are the serious candidates.

I have made an effort to find out who the candidates are and have given a brief one-sentence bio on some of the them and if I could find a campaign website, Facebook page or a news story about the candidate I have linked to that.  Follow "Link" to learn more about the candidate. If the name is in italics that indicates that person is the incumbent. (I will be posting more links soon with update #10)

If you are a candidate and I missed your website or Facebook page and you would like it listed, please send me the link. I will also post any candidate's press release announcing their candidacy if they send it to me.  Posting of a press release of a candidate does not indicate I am supporting that candidate.

Where I have made endorsements, the candidates name is bold and in red typeface. I will be making more endorsements soon but I may not make an endorsement in every race, as I may not have enough information to make an informed decision in each race or some districts may have candidates so equally distasteful that I don't care who wins.  Winnability is a factor in who I support as well as experience and philosophy of government and leadership potential.  Some candidate I am enthusiastically supporting, in other cases, I have a preferred candidate but the candidate may only be the preferred candidate because he is the best of the available choices. In some cases, I am choosing a bad candidate over a terribly bad candidate.

There has been so much written about each of the candidates for mayor, that I am only listing a few links. If you want to know more about any of the mayoral candidates, I suggest you do your own web search.

Below are the people running for Mayor:

  • Megan Barry, progressive Council-member-at-large. She is the person I would least like to see elected mayor. (link) 
  • Charles Robert Bone, an attorney. (link) 
  • Linda Rebrovick, Consensus Point president and CEO. A Republican. (link) 
  • Jeremy Kane, CEO and President of Lead Academy. (link
  •  David Fox, a former Tennessean business reporter, former Titan adviser, former
    David  Fox
    school board chairman. He is a Republican and has a Republican campaign team. I am supporting David Fox. I am impressed by his intellect, his business background, his leadership as Chairman of the School Board and I share his general view on the roll of government and his view of what the challenges will face the next mayor and his priorities.  He is the only mayor candidate that has taken a position against using eminent domain for redevelopment. As chairman of the school board he outsourced school janitorial service and grounds care saving the school system about $7 million a year. I believe he will look to private sector solutions to solve public problems where possible and I believe he is the candidate least likely to raise taxes. (link. link)
  • David Freeman, local businessman and major fund raiser for the Democratic party and the Obama presidential campaign. (link) (link)
  • Howard Gentry, former Vice Mayor, came in third when running for mayor in 2007. The only African-American in the race. He currently serves as Davidson County Criminal Court clerk. (link)
Tim Garrett
This is who is running for Vice Mayor:
  • Tim Garrett, Councilman-at-large and former state representative. He is in the funeral home business. He is a Democrat, but he is a reasonable, fiscally conservative Democrat and a very nice guy with a depth of knowledge about Nashville. The job of Vice Mayor is to conduct Council meetings and to appoint the members of Council to committees. It is a fine balance between running efficient meetings and stifling debate. I think Garrett will strike the right balance. I think he will be fair and thoughtful in making committee assignments. With so many good people leaving the council, we need someone with institutional knowledge in the Council. Tim Garrett will be a great vice mayor.  (link)
  • David Briley, grandson of former Mayor Beverly Briley, an attorney with Bone McAllester Norton, former candidate for mayor.  (link)
Candidates for at-large seats:

There are no incumbent Council members at-large. They have all been "termed-out." I am such an enthusiastic supporter of Ken Jakes that at this point he is the only candidate for an at-large seat I am endorsing.  One my vote for up to five people to fill the five council member at-large positions, however to vote for five dilutes the strength of one's vote. In addition to not wanting to dilute my vote, recently my enthusiasm waned for an incumbent district councilman seeking an at-large position who voted to advance rent control and has also cast some other votes I disagree with. I have selected some other candidates that I would suggest one vote for if one really wants to vote for more than one candidate. I may be adding more  acceptable candidates when I next update or I may endorse other candidates but if the election was held today, I would only be casting one vote for an at-large councilman and that would be a vote for Ken Jakes . My choice for other candidates, if one is going to vote for more than one candidate are indicated by a red asterisk.
  • Buddy Baker,
  • Jody Ball,
  • Karen Bennett *. currently a member of the Metro Council representing District 8. She is a member of the Republican Party State Executive Committee. (link)
  • Al Carota (link)
  • Eric Coleman, President of YAD consulting.
  • John Cooper, He is the brother of Congressman Jim Cooper.
  • Elizabeth Dachowski
  • Adam Dread*,  (link)
  • Robert Duvall*, currently a district councilman, term limited out, former unsuccessful candidate for the State House, and former Chairman of the Davidson County Republican Party.
  • Leroy Johnny Ellis,
  • Erica Gilmore, currently a district councilman representing District 19 and termed-out.  She is the daughter of Democratic state Rep. Brenda Gilmore.   (link)
  • Ronnie E. Greer, Sr,
  • Frank Harrison, is currently a termed-out member of the Metro Council representing District 2.  
  • Jason Holleman, a termed-out Councilman representing District 24. He briefly ran for the State Senate in the  Democrat primary last year. (link) (link
  • Martin Holsinger, I assume this is the same Martin Holsinger who is a member of the Green Party who once ran for the State House. If not the same person, please correct me. (link)
  • Phillip Hostteler,
  • Walter Hunt. He is currently serving as the Councilman from District 3, he is a retired substitute teacher and served in a high level  capacity in the Boner administration and is a member of the Davidson County Democratic Party executive committee. (link)
  • Sharron W. Hurt,  President and CEO of JUMP-Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership, an organization dedicated to revitalizing the businesses on Jefferson Street and bringing commerce to the North Nashville Community. 
    Ken Jakes
  • Ken Jakes, he owns a produce company and is a citizen activist who has often exposed government waste and corruption.  He has previously sought the position of Councilman at-large, garnering the most votes other than the five incumbents. link,  (link to everything ever published in this blog about Ken Jakes and learn of his work for honest and open government.)  
  • James Keeton,*
  • John Lasiter. He previously served in the Council represented District 18 in 2007. He is openly gay. link, linklink,
  • Don Majors, who has been working in constituent services for Rep. Jim Cooper, is leaving that position to run for council. He previously represented the Maplewood area in the Council in the 90s and early aughts.  (link)
  • Lonnell Mathews, Jr., currently representing District 1 and termed out.  (link)
  • Bob Mendes, an attorney, chairs the board of Nashville Electric Service.  (link)
  • Jim Shulman,
  • Sandra V. Moore, she is the Council member in District 17 who is termed-out. 
District Council seats:

Below are the people who are running for a District council seats.  Most of the current Council members are "termed-out," meaning they have served two terms and are not eligible to seek reelection. The names of incumbents who are seeking reelection are italicized in the list below. Three Council members, Josh Stites in District 13, Brady Banks in District 4, and Chris Harmon in District 26 are not termed-out but have chosen not to seek reelection. In some of the races I am enthusiastically supporting some one and in some of the races, I am selected the least bad choice. In some districts, I do not know enough about the candidates to have a preference.
Lioniel Green, Jr.

District 1.
  • Sylvester Armour
  • Ruby Baker, (link)
  • Rueben Dockery, he is a former candidate for the State Senate.
  • Lioniel Green, Jr. Former officer in US Army, served in Iraq, on the board of the charter school Purpose Prep and Northwest YMCA. I have met him and am very impressed.  (link)(link)
  • Nick Leonardo, several YMCA affiliations. (link
  • John H. Montgomery,
  • Johnathan Richardson, Democrat, (link)
  • Jerry Stange,
  • Roosevelt Williamson, A retired Air Force Major, he has taught Junior ROTC at Whites Creek High School for the last 21 years. Prior to teaching at Whites Creek, he had a successful career in the Air Force, primarily in the Space and Missile career field, with assignments in missile operations, missile maintenance and missile test and evaluation. (link)
District 2.
  • Laura Fortier,
  • Decosta Hastings, He is a member of the Davidson County Democrat Party Executive Committeeman.(link
  • Danavan Hylton, President and Owner of Hoshana Management Group (link) 
  • Carrie Searcy is an attorney  focused on criminal defense, family law, and personal injury with the law firm of Edward J. Gross. (link)
  • Robert "Bobby" Stockard, (link)
District 3.
  • Terry Clayton
  • Tim Coleman, 
  •  Brenda Haywood, retired teacher, wellness consultant, talk Show personality with 760 AM a Gospel Radio station. (link)
District 4.
  • Robert Swope, has had a successful career in the music business. He has leadership ability and
    Robert Swope
    is a strong conservative. With the music business being so important to our city, I think it is important to have someone with that perspective on the Council. Mr. Tuttle is also a good conservative but I have talked to Mr. Swope and believe he is the better choice of two very good candidates. (link)(link)
  • Peter Tuttle,
District 5.
  • Scott Davis,  is the incumbent. There is not a good choice in this race but the incumbent would be preferable to the challengers.  (link)
  • Sarah Martin,  She is a liberal, works in the non-profit sector, neighborhood activist. She is a liberal, works in the non-profit sector, neighborhood activist.(link) (link) (link
  • Pam Murray, is the former council member who was removed from office. (link)
District 6.
  • Peter Westerholm, He is the incumbent and one of the more liberal members of the council (link)
  • Brett A. Withers, a community activist. Withers would be the better choice. (link) (link)
District 7.
Steve Clements
  • Anthony Davis, he is the incumbent councilman. 
  • Stephen Clements, a Republican who heads the Caffeinated Conservatives group, works for the State of Tennessee, former Army officer, active in Madison Now and other civic affairs. He has leadership ability and will be an independent thinker. He is one of the candidates I am enthusiastic about. (link) 
  • Randy Reed, he is a retired policeman who previously ran against Anthony Davis and did not do too well. 
District 8.
  • Ramona L. Gholston,(link) (link
  • Nina Ground 
  • Robert Sawyers, Sr.,
  • Chris Swann,works at Olympus Corp. and has spent more than 20 years in the medical field. He is a conservative. (link) (link) (link)
  • Nancy VanReece, (link) (link)
  • Daniel (Danny) Williams,
Cris Swann
District 9.
  • Bill Pridemore, He is the incumbent seeking reelection. He was the recent Chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee. He is moderately conservative. There will be a massive turnout of the Council this time. we need to keep some experienced councilmen in office.
  • Rod McDaniel,
District 10.
  • Doug Pardue, He is the incumbent seeking reelection and he is unopposed. He is one of the "good" councilman.
District 11.
  • Larry Hagar, He is the incumbent, elected in a special election in August 2014. In the short while he has been in office, he has voted the right way on the several controversial issues. He deserves another term.
District 12.
  • Steve Glover, He is the incumbent seeking reelection and is unopposed. He is one of the "good" councilmen. 
District 13.
  • Furtesha Carter
  • Mark Cole
  • Holly Huezo
District 14. 
  • Kevin Rhoten, a former Tennessee state attorney and legislative liaison in Gov. Pill Bredesen's administration.  (link
District 15. (There are two good candidates in this race and I have not yet made a selection.)

  • Jim Garrett,
  • Jeff Syracuse,  (link)
District 16.
  • Tony Tenpenny,  He is the incumbent. He was active in the effort to save the fair grounds. He
    Tony Tenpenny
    is one of the "good" councilmen.
  • Mick Freeman.
District 17.
  • Christopher Cotton, an attorney and Vice Chair of the Davidson County Democrat Party (link)(link)
  • Colby Sledge, A community activist, public relations professional with McNeely, Piggott and Fox and former employee of the Tennessee Senate Democratic Caucus. (link)
  • Paula Foster. She is endorsed by the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund. She is practicing privately as a clinical social work supervisor and therapist as well as a practicing faculty member for the Vanderbilt School of Nursing. She lives with her "wife." (link) (link) 
  • Tony Watson, (link
    Tony Watson
District 18.
  • Burkley Allen. She is the incumbent and is unopposed. She has shown leadership on the issue of regulating peer-to-peer vacation rentals and attempting to apply reasonable regulations of in-home recording studios and developed legislation to accommodate an innovative car-share program. She has worked to accommodate innovation and make the regulations not overly onerous. Her experience and her approach to resolving problems will be valuable in the new council.
District 19.
Amanda Harrison
  • Keith Caldwell 
  • Amanda Harrison, (link) (link)
  • Freddie O'Connell,  President of the Salemtown Neighborhood Association, board member of Walk Bike Nashville. (link)
  • Bill Shick, an attorney, member of the Tennessee Democratic Party's executive committee. (link) (link)
District 20.
  • Marisa Frank,
  • Frank Stabile (link)
  • Mary Carolyn Roberts (link) (link
District 21.
  • Leah P. Dupree, An attorney and legislative liaison for the Tennessee Department of General Services. (link)
  • Edward Kindal,
  • Mark Lollis, Jr 
District 22.
  • Sheri Weiner, The incumbent Council member, a Republican. A member of Budget and  Finance who asks good questions. She has no opponent.  (link) 
District 23.
  • Thom Druffel, (link) (link). Mr Druffel failed to turn in his qualifying petition. He says he was so busy he just forgot it. His name will not be on the ballot but he is conducting a write-in campaign (link). 
  • Mina Johnson, very active in the West Meade neighborhood organization. (link)
  • Timothy Lee, Tim Lee is a Republican and a former candidate for the state house. I like both Tim Lee and Jim Roberts in this race, however, I had already committed to Jim Roberts and am
    Jim Roberts
    supporting his candidacy and believe he would be the better choice.
  • Jim Roberts, former Republican candidate for Chancery Court Judge. (link) (link)
District 24.
  • Allen Grant, (link) (link)
  • Kathleen Murphy, She is a government lobbyist and active in Democrat Party politics and the daughter of Mike Murphy. (link)(link)
 District 25.
  • Russ Pulley, (link)  He is the only candidate in the race. 
District 26.
  • Jeremy Elrod, An attorney, employed at the Tennessee Municipal Electric Power Association. (link)
  • Luseni Bangalie Kromah
  • Jimmy Mitchell
Davette Blalock
District 27.
  • Davette Blalock, The incumbent council member, A Republican. When Nashville had livery service price-fixing, she let the effort to repeal it. (link)
  • Clement Ledbetter,
District 28.
  • Daniel Lewis, is Chairman of the Davidson County Libertarian Party. I like Daniel and have in the past contributed to his campaign for another office. I would like to see one libertarian in the Council, but am supporting Melissa Smithson. I do not think Lewis is electable and he seems more interested in promoting the Libertarian brand than getting elected. (link)
  • Melissa Smithson, A Republican. (link)
  • Melissa Smithson
  • Tanaka Vercher, (link)
District 29.
  • Karen Johnson, She is the incumbent Council member. I know and like Karen a lot.   Karen takes her duties seriously and is a good council member and is responsive to her constituents.  I know nothing about Karen's opponent, but I want to see Karen reelected. Karen is a Democrat but is moderate in her views and is not an ideologue.  (link) (link)
  • Vicky Tataryn
District 30.
  • Jason Potts, the incumbent council member. It is unfortunate he does not have an opponent. If you live in his district I would suggest writing in your own name. (link)
District 31.
  • Fabian Bedne, the incumbent council member.  No doubt Fabian Bedne is a liberal, but he scored a point with me when he took an extremely free market position of advocating removing the cap on the number of taxis allowed to operate in Nashville, something I have heard no conservative in the Council do. He also seems to be one of those Council members who carefully studies the agenda and ask good question. He returns phone calls and will listen to other opinions. (link
District 32.
  • Jacobia  Dowell is the incumbent. She scored a point with me when she voted to "abstain" rather than vote for Metro benefits for same-sex couples. She also took what I consider a pro free market position in advocating for a co-op taxi company to get more permits. She also took a strong position against the jail locating in Antioch. She is smart and ask good questions in committee. (link
  • Ronald A. Haskins, I have heard favorable things about this candidate. I am still undecided in this race.
  • William Kissie
District 33. (This is the District represented by Robert Duvall who  is termed-out. I have not yet reached a decision in this race.)
  • Sam Coleman,  former Councilman.
  • Jimmy Gafford,
District 34.
  • Steve Butler, on the board of Matthew 25 and on the  board of Stem Preparatory Academy, a charter school.   (link)
  • Angie Henderson, (link)
Lonnie Spivak
District 35.
  • Lonnie Spivak, a Republican and a former Republican primary candidate for the 5th Congressional district. He is smart and thoughtful and I suspect he will become a leader in the Council if elected. He is one of the candidates I am enthusiastic about.  (link)
  • Vic Lineweaver, A former Metro Councilman who went on to be elected Juvenile Court Clerk and terribly mismanaged the office. He was once arrested for failing to provide client files to the court. He was filmed by a local news station in his driveway getting his newspaper while on the phone claiming to be at work. Lineweaver lost his re-election bid for office of Juvenile Court Clerk. He has been trying to get back into politics every since. (Lineweaver arrested by Juvenile Court officers) (link)
  • Dave Rosenberg, a supporter of State Rep. and Council member Bo Mitchel and a supporter of School Board member Amy Frogge. Those are two good reasons to vote against him. He has several Bellevue community involvements. (link)

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