Tuesday, August 31, 2021

New Report Ranks Tennessee's Teacher Pension Plans Second Best in the Nation, Most Get a Failing Grade.

By Kaitlin Mulhere, Money,  August 31, 2021 -  Roughly three-quarters of states offer teachers a retirement plan that isn’t making the grade, according to a ranking released Tuesday. Just 13 states received either a B or a C grade overall in Bellwether Education Partner’s latest look at teacher retirement plans. None received an A. 


South Dakota, Tennessee, Washington, Utah and New York scored closest, topping the nonprofit organization’s new ranking.  Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Kentucky New Jersey and Illinois rounded out the bottom five states. (Read more)



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Judge rules short-term rental law unconstitutional

by CARLEY GORDON, WSMV, AUG 30, 2021  A judge has ruled that it is unconstitutional not to allow short-term rentals in Hendersonville. The ruling could have consequences across the state. (link)

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Tennessee Democrats will pay $103K fine to FEC

Audit findings stem from 2016 election cycle 

by STEPHEN ELLIOTT, Nashville Post, AUG 31, 2021 -  The Tennessee Democratic Party will pay a civil penalty totaling $103,000 to resolve a series of issues federal regulators had with the party’s financial reporting during the 2016 election cycle. The Federal Election Commission found that the party improperly reported millions of dollars' worth of contributions during the cycle, much of that transferred from joint fundraising accounts with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. The party later accounted for most of the contributions. ...

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Thursday, August 26, 2021

Tennessee says lack of applications to blame for small distribution of rental relief money

By Jon Styf, The Center Square, Aug 25, 2021 – Tennessee has disbursed only $17.2 million of the

$383.4 million worth of Emergency Rental Assistance program money the state received in the first wave of funding for the COVID-19 relief program. 

Nearly $2 million of the amount has been paid out in the past two weeks, but it still pales in comparison to the total money available, with $312 million more applied for and received from the state in Phase 2 of the program, called ERA2. 

The Tennessee Housing Development Agency distributes the rental relief in 91 of Tennessee’s 95 counties, while some larger counties, such as Davidson and Shelby counties, distribute the funds through their own local agencies. 

“In Tennessee and many other states, the number of applications for COVID rent relief are far fewer than expected,” THDA spokesperson Rebecca Anderson said. “THDA is continuing outreach efforts to landlords, tenant groups, social service agencies and non-profits. THDA is also working with the Administrative Office of the Courts to make those who are facing eviction aware of the program.” 

Only 12% of the federal rental assistance funds had been distributed nationwide as of June 30. Only five states had distributed more than 20% of their funds, and only 10% of localities distributed more than 50%. Tennessee ranked 31st in the nation in the amount of funds distributed through the end of June.  

To combat the low fund distribution rates, the Biden administration has continued to ask states to do what they can to simplify and speed up the process of fund distribution.  

“For months, the administration has worked to speed up state and local grantees’ delivery of ERA and help keep American families stably housed,” the White House said Wednesday in a news release. “As the president has made clear, no state or locality should delay distributing resources that have been provided by Congress to meet families’ critical needs and prevent the tragedy of unnecessary eviction.  

“Most notably, today, Treasury is providing even more explicit permission for grantees to utilize self-attestation without further documentation in order to speed the delivery of assistance to households in need during the public health emergency.”  

The lack of fund distribution also directly impacts landlords.  

Gary Heath, president of Good Landlords in Louisville, Tennessee, said no landlord wants to have to evict a tenant who cannot pay rent.  

“It is usually a last resort to resolve an undesired situation. It’s expensive and time-consuming and leaves a landlord with an empty unit to repair and restore,” Heath said. “Many landlords are small operations with only a few units. When a tenant or two doesn’t pay their rent as expected, it may put the owner in a dire condition. They have mortgages to pay, taxes and insurance and other cost any property owner has to deal with. Any homeowner with a mortgage who suddenly loses their income would probably struggle with the same emotions many landlords feel today.  

“I understand politicians and uninvolved citizens wanting to protect tenants who are truly having a hard-time at no fault of their own, but I wish they wouldn’t ignore how their decisions affect a struggling property-owner.”  

Heath said he has referred a few tenants to the rental relief program but several have struggled to acquire payments.  

“Sadly, some of the people who need the help don’t have access to the internet, a few don’t even have an email address,” Heath said. “When they called the number, they were told they’d have to apply on line. Online is still unknown territory to many uninformed individuals who need the help.”  

The THDA's Anderson encouraged those who are struggling to receive benefits to call the THDA Rent Relief call center at 844-500-1112.  

The White House said it is encouraged that July’s distribution numbers look better than previous months. In July, 341,000 households received rental and utilities assistance, up from 293,000 in June and 157,000 in May, the White House said.  

Anderson said the TDHA is looking continuously for ways to increase its distributions.  

“To name just a few improvements made, THDA has decreased the amount of uploaded documentation required by an applicant and simplified the process for obtaining prospective rent payments for eligible applicants,” Anderson said. “We will continue to monitor and evaluate the program and make adjustments, when appropriate, to help better serve Tennesseans in need of this funding.”  

A nationwide eviction moratorium ended at the end of July, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended the moratorium shortly after it ended. However, a ruling from the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals determined the moratorium did not apply in Tennessee and the surrounding states that it serves.  

“Has the eviction moratorium affected me and other landlords in the state? Of course, it has,” Heath said. “When a tenant doesn’t pay their rent, it disrupts the chain of commerce. It could cause a ripple that affects banks and suppliers. It puts the entire burden of supporting these tenants in the laps of the landlords.”

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Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Sumner County Reagan Day Dinner with special guest Senator Marsha Blackburn

 


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Update: The Risky Business of Quincy McKnight

Hattie Bryant
by Hattie Bryant - Anyone reading this column probably knows that Quincy McKnight is running for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District seat. Because of my past work experience I know his type and, frankly, he gives me the creeps. 

From 1994 until 2007 my husband and I produced a television series called Small Business School. It aired on most PBS-member stations and was sponsored by IBM, BusinessWeek, AT&T, the United States Postal Service, Mass Mutual, Travelers, Dun & Brandstreet, Microsoft, Verizon, Thomson Learning and Qwest. We re-purposed these programs into video companions for 50 college textbooks for Thomson Learning and Prentice-Hall. I am an expert on small business. 

Mr. McKnight represents one of the archetypes of small business owners. An expert at merchant payment processing, he is a salesman, par excellence, with a big, bold, charismatic personality. This type of businessperson (think owners of car dealerships) can succeed at building a business but only when they are able to hire process leaders to manage the backend. This is what Mr. McKnight has never been able to do. 

Before Mr. McKnight launched the merchant payment processing company Covenant Pay Partners (CPP) in March of 2020, his other merchant payment company QPay failed. While Mr. McKnight purports he sold QPay, the TN Department of Revenue records show otherwise as QPay remains on the books but is designated dormant since 2007. From what I’m told, Mr. McKnight had to look for a job as he needed cash. Perhaps more importantly, he needed cash to satisfy payments due to rulings by a bankruptcy judge.  

Yesterday I spoke to an executive with a large merchant card processor in Nashville who told me that in September of 2019 Mr. McKnight applied for a position at his company. This executive said Mr. McKnight’s resume is total fabrication. For example, Mr. McKnight says he worked for JP Morgan, no. He has never worked for JP Morgan. This company took Mr. McKnight through its multi-visit interview process and on a scale of zero-10 he scored zero on every part of the interview process. 

This information alone is enough for me to disqualify Mr. McKnight as a candidate to work for us in Washington D. C. Yet, there’s more. 

Mr. McKnight did get a job at NaviHealth I believe. I have no idea what he did there but, in that time, he met his now partner, Dan Percey. According to his LinkedIn profile, Mr. Percey has an MBA. Apparently, Mr. Percey saw in Mr. McKnight the charming, charismatic person many see, especially women. Mr. Percey learned process leadership to earn that MBA so just maybe Mr. Percey could be the process leader to help Mr. McKnight succeed. By the way, others in the community have tried to help Mr. McKnight but even the elders of his church purportedly failed, and they had to ask him to leave the congregation. I was told, “He was thrown out of his church.”  

According to publicly accessible business records, Quincy McKnight and Dan Percey formed Covenant Pay Partners as a registered Independent Sales Organization (ISO) sponsored by Wells Fargo, a member of the Visa Credit Card Association. Mr. McKnight holds 51% and Mr. Percey 49%. This arrangement is not because Mr. McKnight has the leadership ability to be the majority owner, it is because Mr. Percey is smart. Making Mr. McKnight the majority owner means Covenant Pay Partners qualifies for the Small Business Administration 8(a) program for disadvantaged business. This means Covenant Pay Partners has access to work that Mr. Percey, as a white man, could never approach. Today the black business owner has even more advantage than the law allows as big corporations are now all “woke.” A large corporation will make it part of their own marketing strategy to find black and brown-owned companies to buy from since the Federal Government has a goal to award at least 5% of all its contracts to 8(a) certified businesses. Can’t you just see Mr. Percey’s cash register ringing in his head?  

I know much about this minority-owned business approach because I have attended many national meetings of the Small Business Administration. I have met many men like Mr. Percey who use minorities as their front. Of course, it’s legal. The certification process is arduous, and at this time I do not know if the certification has been completed but on the website of Covenant Pay Partners, we see this:  

As a minority-owned business, Covenant Pay Partners is intimately familiar with the challenges such companies face; we strive to support and promote racial equality and all those who seek it.  

From what I gather, Covenant Pay Partners offers its services to retailers, and it has nothing to distinguish itself from dozens of local competitors other than by exploiting its minority-owned status. Go to the website of any other payment processors and you’ll see that they all offer the same services. Covenant Pay Partners owns nothing and has no proprietary technology as it, like their competitors, uses existing payment facilitators such as NuCor and First Data to process payments for merchants. These facilitators charge for the transactions coming through their platforms, so Covenant Pay must add to that charge to make any money.  

Therefore, how does a merchant card processor differentiate itself in the marketplace?  

In my assessment, Mr. Percey hit on a brilliant idea. He, like most of us discovered that in 2019 PayPal, one of the largest card processors in the world, enlisted the Southern Poverty Law Center to assist in determining which customers to allow onto the PayPal enterprise and which to exclude. Guess who PayPal excludes? Conservatives. It is not inconceivable that Mr. Percey calculates if they run Mr. McKnight as a Republican for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District, it’s a win-win. First, a win for Covenant Pay Partners as it will scoop up the companies dismissed by PayPal. Second, it’s a win for the local Republican party as we certainly need a black or brown face, right? We are way too white.  

The problem with running Mr. McKnight for public office is his history is a mess. Wives and other women everywhere create a sticky wicket. A few sources reveal that many pushed Mr. McKnight to marry his current girlfriend, Hana. A quick scan for marriage licenses indicates that hasn’t happened. In fact, it hasn’t happened because Mr. McKnight is still married to his second wife.  

Then there’s the problem of Mr. McKnight’s failure to comply with election rules when he ran in 2014 for Tennessee State Senate District 21. Specifically, the TN Bureau of Election and Campaign Finance (BECF) and the TN Registry of Elections Finance (TERF) indicated that Mr. McKnight failed to file required campaign finance documents and missed several mandatory reporting dates. Furthermore, the Tennessee government ultimately fined Mr. McKnight after he ignored a notice to appear before the Election of Registry Finance. Since he is currently running for TN’s 5th Congressional District, it’s obvious he cleaned up his missed obligations to the Tennessee gov’t which included the payment of his delinquent fines.  

According to the Federal Election Commission, Mr. McKnight filed his FEC Forms 1 and 2 in February 2021. He hired Troy Brewer as his campaign’s treasurer. As the first to declare for the 5th district, no doubt Quincy gained attention from some powerful people in the political class. Several sources indicate Mr. McKnight received calls from Ward Baker regarding campaign advice and the need to clean up his personal life. Rumor has it that Quincy owed child support with an arrearage of many thousands of dollars.  

In spite of all this, one can guess the business plan for Covenant Pay Partners. Through Mr. McKnight’s run for congress, he makes contacts with business leaders and politicians. He then forwards those contacts to Mr. Percey who converts those business contacts to CPP clients. Recall Mr. McKnight’s close contact with Vernon Jones in early 2021?  

Are you ready for this? Vernon Jones endorsed Mr. McKnight, right? Everybody knows that and many old guard white Republicans were very impressed. In fact, Williamson County Republican Party paid travel and hotel expenses for Mr. Jones to speak on October 30, 2020. I can not confirm how many days he spent in Nashville or if he spoke for other groups while he was here. It would not surprise me if somehow Quincy McKnight met Mr. Jones around that time.   According to WCRP members, Mr. Jones spoke with several groups to include the Young Republicans.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, you may have noticed on the CPP website that Vernon Jones was named Vice President of Government Relations for Covenant Pay Partners. Wonder what he was paid or is currently paid to work for Covenant Pay? You can see the connection: Mr. Jones leverages his high profile to engage businesses and politicians. He then introduces Mr. McKnight who passes the contact to Mr. Percey. Mr. Percey converts the contact to a CPP client and Mr. Jones receives a commission on the deal. For a while, Mr. McKnight bragged that he was picking up Edible Arrangements headquartered in Atlanta. It’s not a giant leap of logic as to whether Mr. Jones brokered this connection. Perhaps someone can pick this up and dig a little deeper.  

It appeared all headed in the right direction for Mr. McKnight…until recently.  

Information from the FEC indicates Mr. Brewer resigned in July as Mr. McKnight’s campaign treasurer. Additionally, the FEC records that the Quincy McKnight for Congress Campaign raised zero dollars since launching his campaign. This is disastrous for a candidate especially when running against an incumbent with a one-million-dollar war chest, a second democrat in the primary with a criminal record sitting on top of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars in campaign funds and a Republican challenger, Mr. Robby Starbuck, who reports nearly fifty thousand in campaign funds after only a few weeks in the race.  

Regardless of Mr. McKnight’s personal difficulties and his former campaign complications, Covenant Pay Partners probably calculates that keeping Mr. McKnight in the congressional race promotes their very small business which contains only a few 1099 salespeople and furthers this small business’ chances of becoming a national powerhouse. Just think if Mr. McKnight wins this race, he’ll be another Hillary Clinton pay-to-play politician.  

Keeping in mind the quotes: “Your brand name is only as good as your reputation.” – Richard Branson “Your personal brand is a promise to your clients… a promise of quality, consistency, competency, and reliability.” – Jason Hartman  

The statements below are what people I have talked to who have either interviewed Mr. McKnight for a job or who have worked with him in business have to say about his actions and reputation: 
  • He spends more than he makes. 
  • His net worth is probably zero. 
  • He has stiffed attorneys around town. 
  • He treats his business like a personal piggy bank. 
  • He makes contacts while running for Congress and playing rich guy in local bars. 
  • He’s undisciplined in every aspect of his life. 
  • He lies more than he tells the truth. 
  • He’s not a serious businessman. 
  • He’s not a serious candidate. 
  • He doesn’t have a trust. 
  • He doesn’t have investors. 
  • He’s immoral, unethical, and deceitful. 
  • He lives with a girlfriend while he still has a wife. 
  • His sisters have nothing to do with him.  
At a recent meeting of the Cheatham County Republican Party, an active member caught Mr. McKnight as he removed candidate Robby Starbuck’s campaign print material from a table and threw it in the trash. Mr. McKnight then placed his own campaign material on the table.  

As a Republican for decades, I have never been more embarrassed for my party. Keep in mind that Bill Freeman, the largest Democrat donor in Nashville, owns the Nashville Post and the Nashville Scene. If Mr. McKnight continues his congressional campaign, we are bound to see what Mr. Freeman’s team of reporters already have ready to print to make it easy for Jim Cooper to win big and keep us Republicans on the defense. They won’t be near as kind to Mr. McKnight as I have been. 

Hattie Bryant is a Nashvillian active in civic and political affairs and is a successful author. You can learn about me at authorhattiebryant.com.

Also see, "How is Quincy McKnight financing his campaign?" by Hattie Bryant. 

This 8/25/2021 update contains minor changes made at the request of the author. Rod

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An Epidemic of Bad Budgeting. Nashville’s budget woes predate the pandemic.

by Steven Malanga, City Journal, Summer 2021 -The past year has been a fiscal nightmare for Nashville. Covid-19 helped punch a $332 million hole in the city’s $2.46 billion budget. Tennessee state comptroller Justin Wilson warned that, without drastic action, the state might take over management of Nashville’s affairs. In response, the city council raised property taxes 34 percent, spurring a citizen revolt in the form of a ballot initiative to overturn the tax hike. Without the extra revenue, however, Mayor John Cooper’s administration said that drastic cuts would be unavoidable: “Few corners of the Metro government, including emergency services and schools, would be spared significant reductions or eliminations.”

Nashville’s budget woes predate the pandemic: the city began borrowing money to cover deficits after the Great Recession of 2008–09. City leaders, at the same time, went into heavy debt to build new government-owned attractions, offered workers health retirement benefits that they haven’t funded, and deep-sixed pension reforms that saved the state billions of dollars. In fact, back in December 2019, the state comptroller issued a similar warning to Nashville about its shaky finances. 

Nashville has been a boomtown over the last decade, its population up 12 percent, the local economy growing by some 300,000 new jobs, and its tax revenues expanding 50 percent. Yet in the familiar pattern, at the first sign of economic slowdown a decade ago, city leaders chose not to restrain budget growth but instead engineered a notorious “scoop-and-toss” financing scheme—issuing bonds to make payments on current debt (thus, scooping up current obligations and tossing them into the future). 

At the same time, aspiring to be a world-class city, Nashville borrowed hundreds of millions of dollars to build tourist attractions, from the Music City Center to a minor-league baseball stadium to an amphitheater. The city’s debt payments have thus rocketed from about $80 million in 2011 to $330 million last year. Nashville is also on the hook for $110 million in annual payments to fund its expensive pension system—this, after city leaders refused several years ago to sign on to a pension-reform agenda that Tennessee enacted, which has dramatically slowed the growth of state retirement debt. (Read the full article at this link.)

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Monday, August 23, 2021

It was a pleasure meeting Knox County mayor Glenn Jacobs

 by Rod Williams, August 23, 2021- It was a pleasure meeting Knox County mayor Glenn Jacobs at Senator Jack Johnson's Boot's & Jeans; BBQ and Beans event yesterday.  Jacobs is a big guy. I look small standing beside him and I am 6'3'' and weigh 210 pounds. Jacobs is friendly and approachable.  This is my first time meeting him and he is immediately likable. 

Jacobs is a libertarian-leaning socially conservative Republican and former WWE wrestler.  He has been a wrestler since being elected and wrestled under the name of "Kane."  I am not sure how recently he became a former wrestler.  He has an interesting bio.  He was born in Spain where his father was stationed with the armed forces.  He is a graduate of Tulane University, he has been a school teacher, he has appeared in several movies, is a successful businessman, and a published author.  He was elected Mayor of Knox County in March 2017.  

I spoke to Jacobs about his tussle with the Knox County Board of Health.  He told me that when he was elected he did not even know there was a Board of Health.  This is not the same thing as a county Health Department.  Jacobs told me that this board made up of unelected bureaucrats had enormous power. He said as constructed when he took office if this board would have wanted to ban sugary soft drinks in Knox County, they had the power to do so. When the Board started making arbitrary Covid policy without input from the mayor or the county commission, Jacobs fought back.  After a lengthy political battle, Jacobs was successful in getting the County Commission to abolish the board and replace it with an advisory commission.

It was a pleasure talking to Jacobs, but I can't help but wonder what brought him from Knoxville to attend a fundraiser for Senator Jack Johnson.  Has he got his eye on the governor's seat? Or, maybe a run for the U.S. Senate? I don't know. I think he would make a good candidate for state-wide office. He would have that populist appeal that is popular now in the age of Trump.  And, he is smart and likable. Maybe, he just likes Senator Johnson, but I would keep my eyes open to see if we start hearing more from Glenn Jacobs. 


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Saturday, August 21, 2021

Nashville radio host Phil Valentine dies at 61 after battling COVID-19

Nashville radio host Phil Valentine dies at 61 after battling COVID-19

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So what exactly does Executive Order 83 say.

by Rod Williams- When Governor Bill Lee issued Executive Order 83, the right-wing nut-job faction got nuttier. All kinds of things were said about the executive order. So, what exactly does Executive Order 83 say?  Read it for yourself.


There are seven more pages. Please, if you are going to comment on it, read it. For the full text, follow this link

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Gov. Lee's office debunks COVID misinformation spread by right-wing nut jobs as cases surge.

by Rod Williams, August 23, 2021 - I am pleased to see Governor Bill Lee is pushing back against COVID-19 vaccine misinformation and conspiracy theories being spread by right-wing nut-jobs. 

When Lee issued Executive Order 83 which allowed out-of-state medical professionals licensed in another state to practice in Tennessee, allowed retired medical professionals to reenter the workforce, and did several other things to give the state the tools it needs to combat the Covid-19 virus, right-wingers went nuts.  All kinds of things were alleged about the order and about vaccine and mask mandates too.  I saw some of this on Facebook.

Citizens concerned about mask, vaccine, and EO 83 contacted their State representatives and these representatives relayed the concern to the Lee administration and Lee responded.  Here is what the Lee administration said, as reported in a Tennessean article:
  • "The EO creates 'quarantine camps' - FALSE 
  • Tennesseans serving in the National Guard will be used to round up citizens that are unvaccinated and take them to locations to be quarantined or vaccinated - FALSE 
  • Tennesseans serving in the National Guard will be coming to forcibly vaccinate citizens in their homes – FALSE – This is specifically prohibited by state law as well. 
  • This executive order is laying the groundwork for permanent lockdowns - FALSE
  • That Covid-19 vaccines are being given to livestock so it will enter the food supply to vaccinate citizens through their meat consumption – FALSE." 
While the anti-mask and anti-vax arguments are much broader than just concern over EO 83, it was that executive order that set off the most recent round of right-wing hysteria.

While most of the anti-vaccine message is being spread by conservatives, there is some overlap by the traditional anti-vaxxers who tend to be hip leftist.  There are quite a few Hollywood celebrities who are anti-vaxxers. Charlie Sheen, Robert DeNiro, and Bill Maher are among prominent liberal Hollywood voices who are anti-vaxxers.  I don't know who is spreading the anti-vax message in the Black community but there is also a strong anti-vax sentiment among Black Americans.

While there are other sources of anti-vax rhetoric and misinformation, most of it is coming from "conservatives."   Right-wing nut-jobs like Alex Jones and Q-Anon supporter Representative Marjorie Taylor Green are making the widest claims about the vaccine.  Many are framing the fight against getting the vaccine or even wearing a mask as a fight for liberty.  Marjorie Taylor Greene suggests people encouraging others to get vaccinated should be shot.

While other conservative voices, such as conservative talk show personalities may not go as far as spreading misinformation about the vaccine, they spread a more subtle anti-vaccine message, taking the approach that to mask or not to mask and to get the jab or not get the jab is a personal choice and that people with a healthy immune system may not need the shot.  Also, while they do not say the nuttiest things about masks or the vaccine, they often allow their call-in listeners to do so.  Everyone who calls a talk show does not get on the air.  A talk show host can let his callers spread the message he wants to be spread and he does not have to say the nutty things himself. Many of them are taking this approach. 

One myth spread to discourage people from getting the vaccine is that it is derived from aborted fetuses and that if one is pro-life one can not in good conscience get the vaccine.  This is simply not true. Like many lies, there is a grain of truth to this but this is a very small grain.  The development of the vaccine used two human cell lines developed from fetal tissue, one originating in 1972 and one in 1985 (link). No babies are being killed to make the Covid-19 vaccines. 

I think there is room for reasonable people to disagree about things like masking policies and how long shutdowns should last and how strict restrictions should be. Also, I think there is room for different people to accept different levels of risk.  I have not been the most cautious of people during this crisis.  Just Monday of this week, I went to lower Broadway and set in a bar and drank and talked and sang.  I know the virus has mutated and this might be risky behavior.  I, however, have always been less risk-averse than my siblings and many people I know.  In third-world counties, I eat street food from vendors and I am pretty sure they don't have safety inspections for those food carts.  I ride a bicycle without a helmet.  I don't jump out of airplanes for fun, but I respect those who do. 

I may go back into lockdown if the threat increases, but not yet.  If some are more cautious than I and are observing strict lockdown now, then I am not going to ridicule them or shame them.  If they feel that because I am not as strict as they are, that it is a risk to their health to associate with me, then I respect that decision.  While this is a public health crisis, I do think that to a certain extent, the decision of how to respond to it is still a personal decision. 

There are things about the response to this crisis that concern me. I am concerned when the government can order a church not to hold services.  A pandemic should not serve to repeal the First Amendment. I also think that minors should not be given the vaccine without a parent's consent. I also point out hypocrisy when I see it.  When the BLM mass demonstrations and riots occurred last year, the city of Nashville did not try to enforce mask or social distancing policies on BLM activists but at the same time imposed bans on other outdoor gatherings and enforced social distancing on tourists on lower Broadway.  While the Federal government imposes restrictions and attempts to force states to adopt certain masking policies, it opens the southern border to hordes of unvaccinated illegal immigrants and disperses them throughout the country. These things should be criticized and pointed out. 

There is room for disagreement about policy and we should be vigilant that a crisis is not used to justify a power grab or a cover for imposing policies that can not be adopted through the regular democratic process. We need to be vigilant.  Government often expands and rights get trampled under cover of responding to a crisis.  That said, however, I am not going to second guess every decision made by the president, the governor or the mayor, or some legislative body in dealing with the crisis.  It is easier to criticize a decision than make a decision and in this crisis, lives are on the line.  I am going to assume most people in a decision-making position take their responsibility seriously and their motives are pure.  While I may on occasion disagree with the decision a person or a body makes in responding to this crisis, I recognize the heavy weight on the shoulders of those who must make the decision and I am going to cut them some slack. 

Myths, lies, and hysteria about the vaccine or masking or government policy should not go unchallenged.  I am glad to see Governor Lee respond to his right-wing nut-job critics.  I wish more Republican politicians and conservative leaders would respond instead of pandering to the deranged among us. 


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Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Mask mandate fails in Metro Council

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - ...quickly shot down in council. ...Joy Styles had filed the resolution and ordinance proposal about masks that would require all individuals in public indoor spaces to wear masks. The resolution, which is non-binding, ...Styles had filed the resolution in enough time for Tuesday night's meeting, but two of the 40 people on council objected, effectively killing the resolution. (link)


Rod's Comment:  I am pleased to see this defeated.  This is not the correct way to make policy.  I am still not sure if it was a non-binding resolution or an ordinance. This report calls it both. This is poor reporting. 

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Chattanooga AIER event: "Teach the Teachers: Understanding Global Economic Issues."


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For more information or tickets, follow this link

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A Disgruntled Republican has formally established a Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Committee.

A Disgruntled Republican has formally established a Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Committee. The purpose of this Committee is to ensure that A Disgruntled Republican ingrains its justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion values into its mission, its communications, its atmosphere, and its work.


The chair of the JEDI committee is Rod Williams.  Any comments on A Disgruntled Republican's JEDI policies or practices may be directed to the chair.  

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Tuesday, August 17, 2021

You can't make this stuff up: Fiscus apparently sent that muzzle to her own office herself.

by Rod Williams- Back on July 12 state medical director of immunizations Dr. Michelle "Shelley" Fiscus was fired after conservative lawmakers raised concerns about a memo she distributed notifying health departments and other interested parties of the state's "mature minor doctrine." 

This doctrine says those under 18 can receive medical care such as vaccines without parental consent in certain circumstances. Dr. Fiscus then fought back and made a big deal out of showing a muzzle that she said had been mailed to her office prior to her firing to intimidate her from speaking to the press. 

Now, the Department of Homeland Security has issued a report saying the muzzle was purchased with an Amazon account and a credit card in Dr. Fiscus's own name. She says she did not purchase the muzzle and send it to herself. She says she must have been hacked and set up. Weird! 

To read more about this weird development, see these links: link, link, link, and link.

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Metro Council member joy Styles files a bill to institute a mask mandate in Davidson County.

Joy Styles
by Rod Williams- Metro Council member Joy Styles has filed a bill to institute a mask mandate in Davidson County. This is a late-filed bill so it will have to go before the rules committee and be passed by that committee before it can be considered by the full Council.  

Note that this is a bill, not a resolution.  A resolution expresses the will of the Council.  When a resolution is directed toward the state or the federal government they are pretty much worthless and meaningless.  When a resolution is directed toward an agency of Metro government, however, it carries weight, since the Council funds that agency and must vote on any legislation that agency may want enacted.  If the Council passed a resolution asking for a mask mandate, however, and in the wisdom of the health department and the mayor, a mask mandate is not warranted, the city would not have to have a mask mandate. 

A bill is different than a resolution.  A bill is a law.  So a bill of this nature says there will be a mask mandate.  It does not request a mask mandate or recommend a mask mandate; it mandates a mandate.

Our economy is just now picking back up.  We do not need another blow to the economy.  Also, there is little evidence that vaccinated people need to wear masks and most adults are now vaccinated.  Not that I would be opposed to a mask mandate if the situation deteriorates and city officials reach a decision that a mask mandate is essential for public health.  That would not require Council action.  We had a mask mandate before and a lockdown and that did not require Council action.  

I hope we do not need another mask mandate but if we do, it should be at the recommendation of health officials.  It should be a public health decision; not a political decision. It should not originate in the Council.  Since this is a late-filed bill we don't know what is in it.  News reports say it would apply only to indoor public spaces. We don't know how long a mask mandate would last, the process for lifting the mandate, if babies and toddlers would have to be masked, or anything else.   The rules committee should not permit this bill to be considered.  The sponsor should have to file the bill in a timely manner so it can be adequately evaluated.  

If the rules committee does allow it to be considered, the Council should vote it down. 

For more on this follow this link from News Channel 5.  Note that the reporters call the bill a "resolution."  In the body of the news report, however, they call it a bill and they also say it must pass three readings.  A resolution passes by just one single vote of the Council while a bill requires three "reading,"  so I am assuming this is a bill, not a resolution.  At one time we had reporters who knew the difference. This illustrates the poor quality of local news reporting today. 

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Monday, August 16, 2021

Parents get loud and rowdy at the Williamson County School Board meeting.

Clip of the rowdy meeting
by Rod Williams -  In case you missed it, the August 10th Williamson County School Board meeting got kind of noisy and rowdy.  Twitter clips of this school board meeting have "gone viral," as they say, getting millions of views.  The video clips seem to confirm that parents were "vocal" in expressing their opinion at the meeting.

This meeting has drawn national attention and even President Biden has commented on it

The School Board was deciding if children in Williamson County Schools would have to wear masks.  Health officials attended the meeting advocating in favor of the mask and hundreds of parents were on hand opposing a mask mandate.  By a vote of 7-3, the Board went with a policy to require a mask mandate for elementary children.  

After the meeting as health officials were trying to leave the parking lot, it looks as if parents tried to "engage," with them. Police had to protect the health officials from the crowd, or maybe "mob" is an appropriate term. Health officials were threatened.  One clip shows a man telling a health official, “We know who you are. You can leave freely, but we will find you.”

By all accounts, the new Delta variant of the Covid virus is more contagious than the previous version and the number of infections is growing.  I respect the school board members who are tasked with the job of making the decision to require masks or not.  If after carefully considering the testimony of experts and if those experts recommended children wear masks, I am not going to second guess members of the school board who reached the decision that a mask mandate was the right policy. 

Clip of the parking lot as protestors harass health officials
To watch this and the above clip follow this link

I know that what we see in the video may not be representative of what happened at the meeting.  Just as the BLM riots of last summer were "mostly peaceful,"  and the January 6th Capitol "insurrection" was "mostly peaceful,' this may have been a, "mostly respectful," case of parental involvement, but it sure looks like thuggish behavior on the part of parents.  Sometimes it only takes a few trouble makers to make a whole crowd look bad.

The public business should be conducted with sober deliberation in a peaceful setting and observers should remain civil.  I do not want elected representatives making decisions out of fear or simply responding to the loudest voice.  I actually don't want elected officials bowing to public pressure.  They should listen to their constituents but that does not mean they substitute their judgment for that of an angry loud group of constituents.  

For more on this meeting, see these links: link, link, link, and link.



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Know the rights of students and parents of students in public schools,


This is part of page one of eleven pages. To view the complete document, follow this link

If you as a parent must send your child to a public school, you need to know what your rights are and what are the rights of your child.  

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Sunday, August 15, 2021

Bloomberg Law says Republicans could split Davidson County into four districts, endangering Cooper’s hold. I say, "Do it!"

by Rod Williams- Bloomberg Law examines the upcoming redistricting that will take place across America and observes that Republicans have the upper hand.
With Democrats protecting a five-seat House majority and Republicans in charge of redrawing more congressional maps, both parties are likely to be aggressive where they can against the opposition’s incumbents. In most states, partisan legislators and governors control the line-drawing process, and their goal is to secure as many seats as possible for their party. Republicans have the final authority to redraw 187 districts compared with 75 for Democrats. Commissions and states with partisan splits draw the rest.

“Republicans just have more power to gerrymander right now, and I think they’re going to use that power to the best of their abilities,” said Kyle Kondik, managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics.
This is good news indeed and if Republicans do not aggressively push their advantage, I will be greatly disappointed.

Bloomberg goes on to examine House incumbents currently seeking re-election who probably will be among those targeted in redistricting by state legislatures led by the opposite party.  Jim Cooper is one they name. This is what they say:

Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.): Blue Dog Democrats are a vanishing breed, and Republicans in Tennessee
are looking to expedite this extinction by unseating Rep. Jim Cooper. Cooper, a lawyer and former Vanderbilt University professor, has represented the Nashville area for two decades and won by healthy margins. But Tennessee has retained nine congressional seats through the 2020 census at a time when Nashville’s population has boomed. That means Republicans could split the metropolis into four districts, endangering Cooper’s hold on the live music mecca by adding conservative suburban and rural voters to his new district.

I hate it when anyone refers to Jim Cooper as a "blue dog Democrat" or a "conservative Democrat," or "moderate Democrat."  He stopped being any of those things a long time ago.  At one time he did express concern about the growing national debt of America, but that was a long time ago.  If Jim Cooper is "conservative" or "moderate" in any sense of the word it is in demeanor and disposition. He is boring.  He does not engage in inflammatory rhetoric but he votes in lock-step with his party.  Jim Cooper needs to go!

I hope the party will not lack the backbone to do what needs to be done.  I hope they will do it!  I will be severely disappointed if they don't.  I am on the verge of being outraged if they don't.  The district could be split in such a way as to withstand a legal challenge and to not terribly dilute existing Republican voting strength to make other Republican seats vulnerable. 

With Blumberg Law and other outlets like Rasmussen already speculating that State Republicans will redistrict Jim Cooper out of office, it should surprise no one if they do.  The Tennesseean can be counted upon to piss and moan for days. Crybullies will throw a hissy fit.  They may even fall to their knees in anguish and say those mean Republicans are taking away their last safe space in Tennessee.  Our Metro Council will likely pass a resolution condemning the action, but who cares?  Let the mentally ill crybullies move to Memphis or out of state and everyone else can just suck it up.

It can be done.  Do it!

For more on this topic see, It would not be hard to dilute Democratic votes in Nashville by splitting them up among several districts.

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Saturday, August 14, 2021

Critical father theory

by Rod Williams - The article Critical Father Theory appears in the July 22 issue of The Spectator and is well worth reading.  Below are excerpts.

America’s crime problem is a father problem. This is one of our country’s deepest and most denied family secrets. Everybody knows it, and everybody has known it for a very long time. 

Never mind anecdotes. Social science has confirmed as much at least since the fabled Moynihan Report of 1965, whose ignominious fate proves the rule that a document will be publicly reviled in exact proportion to the truths it tells. As the Minnesota Psychological Association lately summarized just a bit of the massive research on fatherless homes and crime: ‘Family structure and the lack of paternal involvement are predictive of juvenile delinquency.

The more opportunities a child has to interact with his or her biological father, the less likely he or she is to commit a crime or have contact with the juvenile justice system…Youths who never had a father living with them have the highest incarceration rates … while youths in father-only households display no difference in the rate of incarceration from that of children coming from two-parent households.’

To read the full article, follow this link

If you have never read the 1965 Moynihan report or need a refresher follow this link

I do not pretend to know how to fix this problem and it can not be fixed overnight. But, we could start by acknowledging that this is true.  We can start by stopping the lionizing of the "single mom."  Also, not all single moms should be lumped together.  Widowed moms, divorced moms, and moms who had children born out of wedlock should not all be lumped into the same basket and called "single moms."  

There should be a stigma attached to a single woman having children.  I realize that this may result in more abortions and I am pro-life and do not know how to reconcile these conflicting values. 

We should expect teachers to be good role models. If I were making policy, I would not permit single women who bear children to be public school teachers. 

Public policy could help.  The tax structure and public assistance policies should be tinkered with to encourage stable two-parent families.  Welfare policies that reward women for having children born out of wedlock or make it more profitable to have an absent father than a father in the home should be changed.

Men who father children and are not married to the mother should be aggressively tracked down and forced to pay child support. 

Churches and other society influencers should stigmatize the woman who has a child born out of wedlock and the man who gets a woman pregnant and does not marry her. While the person's sins should be forgiven and those who stumble should be helped, their sin should not be normalized.  The old adage of "hate the sin but love the sinner" should apply. 

Every year on New Years Day, local newspapers across the country feature the first baby born that year in that community.  When the child is born to a single mom, instead of simply ignoring the father, the article should state the unfortunate child was born to an unwed woman or state the mother does not acknowledge a father.  Having a child born out of wedlock, should not be a cause of celebration.  I don't make an issue out of it, but I do not attend baby showers of babies born out of wedlock.  Society's disapproval, as opposed to society's celebration of children born to single mothers, could help change attitudes. 


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Tennessee's 48-hour abortion waiting period upheld by full U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals

Tennessee's 48-hour abortion waiting period upheld by full U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals


Rod's Comment:

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Thursday, August 12, 2021

Number of Migrant Encounters at Border Surpasses 200,000 for First Time in 21 Years

The DHS secretary announced Thursday that border patrol agents apprehended over 212,000 undocumented migrants in ... READ MORE

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Wednesday, August 11, 2021

A closer look at Wit & Wisdom, Thursday September 2

 


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Mom's for Liberty meeting Thursday, August 26th

 


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Let's have a conversation Conservative Groups

From Tony Roberts:


Conservative Groups of Middle Tennessee plans to sponsor an event on "Let's have a conversation." The meeting is being held on Thursday, August 26, 2021, at Pies by Gigi, 330 Franklin Ste. 906D Brentwood, TN. 37027 from 5:30-7:30pm. 

The conversation will include our strong points in the last elections and how we can unite and be a force to be dealt with. Bobbie Patray will keep us abreast on the voting procedures in the State Senate and State House. Dr. Omar Hamada will discuss Covid and the fate of the party in its direction in trying to secure our freedoms deemed by the Constitution of the United State, Dr. Hestor Ilagan will talk more on Covid and the lost of individual freedoms. Julie Hannah will discuss how we can unite as a party and change the narrative of the party in recruiting more individuals for our cause of saving America from the Left agenda. Cheryl, the chair of the Williamson County Republican Party will outline the direction of the party. 

This will be hosted by Sandy Wells, Dan Davis, and Tony Roberts.

The action of Conservatism showed promise of what can be accomplished in unity of strength. In the field of local politics, the people achieve new goals in defining the conservative structure. This year new goals must be faced in overcoming some of the worst times in American history generated by the freedom of the press. One must however remember why the United States was born as a nation. We must not accept politics as usual and move into an era where rights guaranteed by the constitution will be enforced. We must join forces and elect responsible candidates and at the same time vote out of office those who do not respect the will of the people. By banning together with the 80-20 rule a pace must set a precedent to generate over Tennessee and over the United States to help safeguard the new future. The college republicans are growing and the time is to give them support and join forces in preparation for the hard journey faced in the elections of 2022. 

Please RSVP to Tony Roberts (Chylon549@gmail.com)

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Common Ground Nashville/Braver Angels event: The Role of Race in School Curriculum

From Common Ground Nashville: 

The Role of Race in School Curriculum 
September 21 7-8:30 pm 

RECOMMENDED READING: 
1. A Deeper Look at Critical Race Theory Wall Street Journal, Opinion (7/20/21) 
2. Critical Race Theory: A Brief History New York Times (7/27/21) 

Register here to receive a confirmation email with the Common Ground Nashville meeting link. 

We invite you to a workshop sponsored by Braver Angels* on August 29 at 1pm to provide context for our conversation. 

*Braver Angels is a citizens' organization uniting red and blue Americans in a working alliance to depolarize America. 

Register here to receive a confirmation email with the Braver Angels Depolarizing Conversations about Race link 

Thank you, 
Beth and Catherine

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Voter integrity meeting Thursday, August 26th

 


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Bastiat Society of Nashville event: “If You Think Markets Corrupt Politics, You've Got it Backwards!”

Thu Sep 2nd 6:00pm - 7:30pm (CDT)

Richland Country Club, 1 Club Dr, Nashville, TN 37215, USA 

AIER’s Bastiat Society program in Nashville will host an event with Stephen C. Miller, the Adams Bibby Chair of Free Enterprise, Troy University. 

Political pundits and watch dog lists often bemoan corporate influence on politics. However, the way the standard story is told, big businesses lobby government to reduce or eliminate regulation that harms their bottom line, eroding the consumer, safety, and environmental protections government otherwise would provide. However, it is far more often the case that regulations are actually supported by business interests, i.e. firms with political influence seek to be more regulated. Public Choice economists call this phenomenon “regulatory capture”, where the political process serves not to protect consumers, workers, and citizens, but instead protects large corporations from its smaller competitors.

The Bastiat Society of Nashville’s speaker series is co-sponsored by The Beacon Center of Tennessee & The Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) (affiliated with Middle Tennessee State University).


Schedule: 
6:00 - 6:30 PM: Networking 
6:30 - 7:15 PM: Presentation 
7:15 - 7:30 PM: Q&A 

Ticket Prices: $0 for Founding Members $10 for Annual Members $20 for Non-Members $0 for Actively enrolled university students who register with a .edu email address. 

More about the speaker: 
Stephen C. Miller is the Adams-Bibby Chair in Free Enterprise at the Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy at Troy University, in Troy, Alabama, where he is also an Associate Professor of Economics in the Sorrell College of Business. He also serves as the Corporate Secretary for the American Institute for Economic Research. His academic research has been published in several journals including Public Choice, Public Opinion Quarterly, and the Review of Political Economy, and he has also written for Reason Magazine, AIER, and the Wall Street Journal. His most recent research has been focused on the relationship between political cronyism and income inequality.

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Hundreds of millions in federal rental aid not reaching TN tenants. The reason is that not many applications are coming in.

The Tennessean - In March, Tennessee's housing agency launched a statewide program providing federal aid to families with hardship paying rent amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Fully funded by federal dollars, the program was expected to help 20,000 to 30,000 families remain in their homes for up to 12 months. But five months later, only a fraction of the money went to eligible households. As of Monday morning, the agency had only distributed $15.7 million — or 4% of the $383.4 million it received in federal funds — in helping roughly 2,400 families with payments, according to Ralph Perrey, director of Tennessee Housing Development Agency. 


... there seems to be an apparent lack of demand. "The reason not much money is going out is that not many applications are coming in," he said. "(The demand) has not been there thus far." The agency averaged 200 applications a week, he said, and that number only increased to 451 last week as the federal eviction moratorium effectively expired. 

... Perrey said. "The legislation enacted by Congress was designed to provide emergency rent relief for folks who had been financially impacted by COVID," he said. "It was not designed to be a blanket eviction prevention program."  (Read more

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Trump in Alabama

President Donald Trump will hold a rally this Saturday, August 21st in Cullman, Alabama. If you are interested in attending, and I hope you are not, click the link below to register.

As the author of A Disgruntled Republican I often post items that I think may be of interest to the conservative, Republican, libertarian, or the greater community. Posting of an announcement of an event does not necessarily indicate an endorsement. Rod

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SOUTHEAST DAVIDSON CONSERVATIVES meeting on Saturday AUGUST 21ST.

SOUTHEAST DAVIDSON CONSERVATIVES: 


This is a reminder that we will be having a meeting on Saturday AUGUST 21ST. 
ALL ARE WELCOME. 

Vivian Wilhoite, Davidson County Property Assessor, is speaking. 
Bring your questions regarding your reassessment. 

As usual we will be meeting from 8-9am for socializing and the speaker is from 9-10 am. We have been graciously offered a location by a member, Tempra Mosely.  The address is 11 Donelson Pike, Suite 12 (Cameron Park),  Nashville, TN 37214.   This meeting will be a bring your own coffee/breakfast!

This is going to be an important year to get our ducks in a row to beat the leftist Marxists! Pelosi and Schumer and their ilk are using the horrible strategy of destroying our country from the top down. We need to work to clean house this year in our local, state and National legislative bodies. To this end, I encourage you to join the Davidson County Republican Party. We are trying to take this year to fill the positions in all Metro Council Districts down to the Precincts. We have redesigned the website in case you haven’t been for a while https://gopnashville.org

If I may make a suggestion if you haven’t already received your copy, buy the book American Marxism by Mark Levin. He lays out step by step how we can become the activists needed to save our country!

We need to consider running for Metro School Board which spends $1.15 BILLION per year! All the even school board districts will be up for election in 2022. We need to take back the school system from the leftists, and get the schools back to teaching the basics, and stop graduating functional illiterates. Education is a major issue we need to concentrate on, we need you to pray on the idea of a possible challenge to your school board member if they are not representing your principles. Ask them do they support Charter Schools or vouchers, ask them if they support the 1619 project and Critical Race Theory, ask them if they support banning books like Shakespeare, Mark Twain, and, of all the books to ban, To Kill A Mockingbird? Ask them if they read 1984 in High School and if they say yes suggest they re-read it! 

I needed to make a correction to the date of the next council election. We need to challenge as many of the Councilmembers as possible in 2023, especially those who voted for a 37% property tax increase. We need to get Nashville on a different track of fiscal responsibility rather than wasteful spending. Please go to this link for important dates for future elections and deadlines to step up to run. For your convenience, key dates for the 2022 election cycle can be found at https://sos.tn.gov/products/elections/2022-election-calendar. We need to start fighting fire with fire. The Dems are way ahead, but we have a chance to make up ground for the rest of this year till the local election in August 2023 and the congressional elections in 2022! If you know a lawyer, ask them to consider running for office. All our Judges are going to be up for election in 2022. We need to vet those who are running for State General Assembly and State Senate. We have Dems and RINOs who need to be weeded out of office, check their voting record in the last session. If we all put our shoulders to the grindstone we can make a difference and get some sanity back in our government. I apologize for running on so long but we have so much to do in the next few years. Thanks for your time and attention! 

Rae Koehane

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Bellevue Breakfast Club - September

From Lonnie Spivak: 


Greeting Breakfast Club Members, 

Boy the year is just flying by as we get ready to enter September. There is a lot going on in the world, but I would like to take a minute to mention the passing of my friend Phil Valentine. We were not tremendously close, but he and I worked together on many issues including the income tax protest, which really was my entry in to state and local politics. It had a big impact on my path and he was always helpful when I needed his assistance. My heart goes out to his family and friends. His mind, voice and soul will be missed in this state and beyond. RIP Phil and Godspeed. 

There are so many issues for us to discuss with the 20th anniversary of 2001 terror attacks, Afghanistan imploding and the invasion from the south, but I was hoping this month we could look at economic policies. The left is panicked by the implosion of the Joe Biden regime, so Speaker Pelosi has called the house back into session in hopes of ramming trough up to Six trillion in spending. Because of this I have invited our friend and financial expert Jim Plasko to discuss the impact of inflation and tax increases on the economy and retirement funds. 

I hope you will be able to join us on Saturday, September 4th. Our meeting will begin around 8:30 at the Plantation Pub in Bellevue. Located at 8321 Sawyer Brown Road. I look forward to seeing everyone there.

Lonnie

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Tennessee Redistricting: How Does It Work?

 


Tennessee Redistricting: How Does It Work? 

John Ryder Attorney at Harris Shelton PLLC 


Event Details 
Date: Tuesday, August 24, 2021.             Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CT 
Location: Hilton Nashville - Downtown 121 4th Ave S Nashville, TN 37201 
CLE credit will be available. 
Price: $15 (members), $30 (non-members) Includes lunch and refreshments 
Note: If you would like to pay with cash or check, please email Grant Starrett at grant@grantstarrett.com. 
Paid parking is available on site and free parking is available in the surrounding area. 


To RSVP: Click Here 

 About John 
John Ryder's practice is split between two divergent areas of law: commercial litigation and election law. He has significant experience representing secured lenders, unsecured creditors’ committees, trustees, and debtors in the bankruptcy process. He has participated in a number of major bankruptcies including The Julien Companies (the largest bankruptcy ever filed in the Western District of Tennessee), Microwave Products, Wexner & Jacobson, Wang’s, XpertTune and Braniff, to name a few. Mr. Ryder has also served as Receiver for Beale Street Historic District, Avery Outdoors, Inc and First American Monetary Consultants. In addition, Mr. Ryder is knowledgeable in the area of election law, having represented clients in numerous cases involving redistricting matters and election contests, as well as defending clients before the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance. Currently, he is litigation counsel for the Shelby County Election Commission. He has taught Election Law as an Adjunct Professor at Vanderbilt University School of Law.

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Dr. Carol Swain will be speaking about her new book, Black Eye for America, at THE PUFFY MUFFIN, BRENTWOOD, TN. SATURDAY, AUGUST 21, 2021.

 In schools and workplaces across the United States, Americans are being indoctrinated with a divisive, anti-American ideology: Critical Race Theory (CRT). 

Based in cultural Marxism, CRT bullies and demonizes whites while infantilizing and denying agency to blacks, creating a deep racial rift. As Abraham Lincoln famously observed, "A house divided against itself cannot stand." CRT aims to divide the American nation against itself and burn down the house. 

In Black Eye for America: How Critical Race Theory Is Burning Down the House, Carol Swain and Christopher Schorr expose the true nature of Critical Race Theory, and they offer concrete solutions for taking back the country's stolen institutions. They describe CRT in theory and practice, accounting for its origins and weaponization within American schools and workplaces; explain how this ideology threatens traditional American values and legal doctrines, including civil rights; and equip everyday Americans with strategies to help them resist and defeat CRT's pernicious influence. 

Dr. Carol Swain
Carol Swain (PhD) is an award-winning political scientist and former tenured professor at Princeton and Vanderbilt Universities. She is the author or editor of 10 books, including Be the People: A Call to Reclaim America's Faith and Promise and The New White Nationalism in America: Its Challenge to Integration. 

Christopher Schorr holds a PhD in American Government from Georgetown University. His dissertation ("White Nationalism and its Challenge to the American Right") considers factors that risk mainstreaming white nationalist politics in the United States, including Critical Race Theory.

Dr. Carol Swain will be speaking about her new book, Black Eye for America, at THE PUFFY MUFFIN, BRENTWOOD, TN. SATURDAY, AUGUST 21, 2021.

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Lady-up America! event Friday August 20, 2021.


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Tuesday, August 10, 2021

How is Quincy McKnight financing his campaign?

by Hattie Bryant -Running for office can be complicated, especially when it comes to campaign finance. At the time of this writing, we have four candidates running for the 5th congressional seat. Jim Cooper, Jacquelyn Kelly, Robby Starbuck, and Quincy McKnight. As a Republican I find it interesting that according to the public records found at https://www.fec.gov/data/elections/house/TN/05/2022/ that as of the end of the 2nd quarter, Jim Cooper is way ahead in the race for cash. 

While it’s good for us to know what the Democrats are doing, at this point I am doing research on the two Republican candidates because I have never voted for a democrat in my life. My goal is to make sure we have the best, serious candidate as we just might have a shot to unseat Cooper in 2022. 



Until a few days ago, I was in an organization with McKnight’s girlfriend and when I heard he was running, I asked her about him. In person she told me that he lives with her then she texted me, “He’s got more money than probably any candidate that will run.” 

McKnight texted me, “I’m self-funding my campaign…Troy Brewer is my treasurer.”  When I went to https://quincyforcongress.com I find on the home page a large “DONATE” opportunity. When he ran into my friend in the Washington D.C. airport, he told her that he was there because a certain congressman was going to do a fundraiser for him. 

These mixed messages inspired me to do my own personal research on this candidate. Here’s what I found. 

Looking Back at 2014 
I have only lived in Nashville since January of 2019, so I wasn’t here when Mr. McKnight ran for the state senate in 2014.  A Tennessean article from August 6, 2014, states that when McKnight ran for the GOP nomination in Senate District 21, he “had not filed any reports with the Tennessee Registry of Election until this afternoon.” The article also refers to Drew Rawlins, Tennessee’s Registry of Election Finance then-election executive director, who reiterated that candidates for state offices are required by state law to file campaign financial disclosures even if they haven't raised or spent any money. Very few candidates completely ignore the requirement, and the ones who do generally aren't campaigning seriously, he said. McKnight said in this article, "We did raise money; however, it just didn't get (reported) turned in.” 

Here is a screen shot of when and what McKnight filed in that race seven years ago. 


Not sure if the article is what got McKnight to do a filing, but you can see that he did file his first-quarter report, due 4/15/2014 four months late and on the same day as this article appeared. You can also see that in January of this year, 2021, he filed reports that were required of him during that campaign season of 2014. 

The minutes from the Tennessee Ethics Commission meeting held on December 16, 2014 show that it fined McKnight $1,000 for failing to report. I have no idea if he paid the $1,000 fine, but in January of this year, 2021, he filed reports that were required of him during that campaign season of 2014. If you search these records yourself for the treasurer of the McKnight campaign, you’ll see that he served as treasurer of his campaign which is perfectly legal. 


The address is where his wife lives even now according to how she is registered to vote. 

If you search yourself, you will find that all of McKnight’s reports look like this: 


Again, I was not here in 2014. For those of you who were, did you ever see a yard sign? Did you ever attend an event where he spoke? Did he have a website? Did he have any flyers? Did anyone donate to the campaign? These reports say no to all of those questions. (Please note: Tennessee does not have a spending or income threshold for filing financial reports as does the Federal Government.) 

Let’s look at 2021 
Troy Brewer is a CPA who over the years has served as treasurer for many Republicans running for state and federal officers. Troy Brewer was treasurer for Mr. McKnight and filed FEC Form 99 Statement of Candidacy, for Quincy McKnight for Congress on 2/19/2021. Candidates who are self-funded have the same reporting requirements as any other candidates. Neither of these reports could be found on the FEC database and shows no data available in table for Mr. McKnight. Also, once a candidate for Federal office, House of Representatives, meets the spending or income thresholds mentioned above, they are required to file a personal financial disclosure with the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives. A search of the Clerk’s database could find no report filed for Quincy McKnight. Information about this requirement can be found at https://www.fec.gov/help-candidates-and-committees/registering-candidate/other-agency-requirements/” 

On 7/14/ 2021, Mr. Brewer resigned from the campaign. I called Mr. Brewer to ask why and he told me that Quincy had not provided the information needed for the report due on 7/15/2021, so he resigned as treasurer for that campaign. You can find Mr. Brewer’s letter of resignation as campaign records are open to the public. Go to this link https://docquery.fec.gov/cgi-bin/forms/C00769950/1526750/ then choose “View Miscellaneous Document” to see this: 
To: Federal Election Commission 
Ref: Report Analysis 

As of July 14, 11:59 pm, I resign as Treasurer of Quincy McKnight for Congress Committee, FEC ID C00769950. Effective Immediately. 

Thank you, 
Troy Brewer, CPA 
Now that Mr. Brewer has resigned, Mr. McKnight was required to replace the treasurer in 10 days and that has not happened. Here’s an excerpt from a Federal Election Commission Letter to Mr. McKnight:
QUINCY MCKNIGHT 
QUINCY MCKNIGHT FOR CONGRESS INC. 750 OLD HICKORY BLVD SUITE 750 NASHVILLE, TN 37027 
IDENTIFICATION NUMBER: C00769950 

Dear Candidate: 

 RQ-1 

 August 3, 2021 

Response Due Date 09/07/2021 

It has come to the attention of the Commission that your treasurer for Quincy McKnight for Congress Inc. has resigned and the Commission has received no information regarding a new treasurer. A treasurer must be appointed within ten (10) days of the resignation of the previous treasurer. (11 CFR § 102.2(a)(2)) It is required that for any committee to conduct any business, they must have an active treasurer. Failure to appoint a treasurer will result in the inability of the committee to accept contributions and make disbursements. (11 CFR §§ 102.7(a) and (b)) 
More Questions than Answers 
Typical of the government it does not make finding things so easy. So far, I have not found any record of Quincy McKnight’s personal financial disclosure. Not sure if he’s done it or if I’m just not so good at discovery. I can’t find any records of Mr. McKnight owning property which I asked him about and he texted me, “I have a trust. It’s private. All my financials and private info are in a trust.” Sure, trusts are legal. 

Here’s the score today for the race to win the 5th: 
 
Cooper $783,697.13 
 Kelly $140,423.89 
 Starbuck $44,131.30 
 McKnight $0 

How does this make you feel about Mr. McKnight as a candidate? What does it tell you about him? How is he financing his campaign? What will Jim Cooper’s opposition research uncover about this candidate? Since this is a small part of my research on this candidate, I am betting Cooper’s campaign staff has more than I have. Good for us all to know sooner than later. 

Hattie Bryant is a Nashvillian active in civic affairs and is an author. You can learn about me at authorhattiebryant.com.

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