Sunday, February 27, 2022

Former Attorney General Bill Barr says the 2020 presidential election was not stolen: 'Trump lost it'

 Former Attorney General Bill Barr says the 2020 presidential election was not stolen: 'Trump lost it'


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CPAC, an old and respected event, has descended into a carnival of liars, nut-jobs, and a celebration honoring insurrectionists.

by Rod Williams, Feb. 26, 2022- I have attended CPAC on two occasions and loved it. The top luminaries in the conservative movement spoke, breakout session had a scholarly discussion of political philosophy and public policy, and conservative authors discussed their latest books. You can read about my experiences at this link, this link, and this link

While the massive vendor's hall may have had groups advocating some causes I was not ready to join, there were no nut-job groups and certainly no white nationalist or "hate" groups.  Libs of course find advocates of border security and opponents of normalizing of gender dysphoria and sex change for children to be "hate" groups, but that is not my standard when I use the term. There were few crazies at CPAC and none on stage and I had an enjoyable experience, at times exhilarating, and came away feeling better informed and motivated. 

This year nut-job Congressman Marjorie Taylor Green is a featured CPAC speaker. Marjorie Taylor Greene is a Q-anon supporter.  She was a regular contributor to a conspiracy website. She has supported almost every right-wing conspiracy theory circulating. She touts the Pizzagate theory, the Clinton Kill-list, mass shootings as a false flag theory, and 9-11 as an inside job theory.  She has advocated executing Democrat politicians.  She has equated the Democrat Party with Nazies. She continues to claim Trump won the election in a landslide and that the election was stolen.  Her Covid-19 theory is that Dr. Fauci is criminally liable for helping create the virus as a bio-weapon. She has suggested that space lasers caused fatal wildfires in California. 

In addition to featuring Marjorie Taylor Green, CPAC is going to be a big Trump rally.  I am over CPAC. I no longer feel at home in what has become the contemporary Trump-era conservative movement.  I long for a return to conservative sanity. 

Thankfully there are still plenty of real conservatives and conservative publications, it is just that have been dwarfed by Fox News and the Trumpinistas.  If you want conservatism not contaminated by nut-jobism, one can read National Review, The Wall Street Journal, The Spectator, and others.  One of my favorites is The Dispatch. Below are portions of a Dispatch fact check from Friday's CPAC.

Fact Checking Claims on Vaccines, Election 2020, and January 6 From CPAC

Friday’s speakers made statements that have been repeatedly debunked.

by Khaya Himmelman, The Dispatch, Feb. 26, 2022  - The agenda for the second day of the Conservative Political Action Conference was diverse, with events like “Breaking China’s Power: No more ‘10% for the Big Guy’” to “Silly Doctor! Sex Changes Aren't for Kids.” It was also full of misinformation. 

Some was subtle and amorphous, and some was blatant and specific, but the most noteworthy examples touched on three categories that The Dispatch Fact Check has been tracking for some time: vaccine misinformation, election misinformation, and the events of January 6. Here’s a roundup of some of the most significant claims that came out of the second day of the four-day event. 

Fair use does not allow me to reprint the whole thing, so I will summarize. CPAC had a panel on Covid-19 that featured Leila Centner, the head of a Miami private school. She had banned teachers at her school who got vaccinated.  “I really don’t want teachers to get shot,” she said “because we don’t know of the possibility of the vaccinated impacting young unvaccinated kids.” This is called "viral shedding" and is simply false. Shedding can occur only in vaccines that contain weakened versions of the targeted virus. The Covid vaccine is not that kind of vaccine. There is no virus in the Covid-19 vaccine. In addition to this misinformation, there was more anti-vaccine misinformation spread at CPAC. If you can access the full article, please do so to see what other Covid-19 lies were spread.

There was a lot of repeating the lie that the 2020 election was stolen. Here is an excerpt from the article:

Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana spoke early in the day on a panel titled “Fighters on the Front Line,” in which he declared that he would “never, ever apologize for objecting to an unconstitutional election.” He provided no evidence that the election was “unconstitutional,” but the audience cheered in response. 

Later in the afternoon, Josh Mandel, Ohio Republican Senate candidate, similarly said: “I want to say this very clearly and very directly, I believe this election was stolen from Donald J. Trump.” He was also cheered on by an audience. In that same speech, he called Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger “traitors,” and said that “we should abolish the January 6 commission and replace it with a November 3 commission.” Mandel also claimed that he was certain Trump won Ohio by an “even higher margin” than he did. 

That is only part of it.  It appears that claims of a stolen election were a major theme of the conference.  The prosecution of those who took part in the January 6th riot is presented as the Justice Department having “abused their power to punish Trump supporters,” and to having “criminalize political dissent."

It is unfortunate that CPAC, an old and respected event, has descended into a carnival of liars, nut-jobs, and a celebration honoring insurrectionists. 


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Friday, February 25, 2022

Russian state broadcaster RT just published, with Russian subtitles, Tucker Carlson’s love rant in defense of Putin.

 

Watch it on Twitter

by Rod Williams, Feb. 25, 2022 -Remember Tokyo Rose? Hanoi Jane? Well, we have our own Moscow Carlson, or Traitor Tucker.  I have been disgusted with Tucker Carlson for some time, and to a lesser extent with Fox News.  The adoration of Donald Trump, the defense of the January 6th insurrection, and the bombastic, snarly, anti-intellectual, always angry, populist posturing of the majority of the commentators of Fox News had become just too much. 

When Shepard Smith, and especially Jonah Goldberg left, I felt like the last of the good guys was gone.  And then when a truly quality straight-up, best newsman on TV, Chris Wallace, left; I was done.  Fox News is the Trumpanista, pro-Putin channel. I still watch occasionally but am no longer a fan.

I am totally disgusted with Tucker Carlson.  Now, it is a competition between Rachel Maddow and Tucker Carlson as to which news commentator, is the worst on TV. 

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It's official. Kurt Winstead is running for Congress.

 TNJ, On the Hill, Nashville, Tenn — Brigadier General Kurt Winstead (Ret.) formally announced his candidacy to run for Congress in the newly drawn 5th Congressional District in the Republican Primary. ...

General Winstead is an eighth generation Tennessean who has lived and worked in the 5th District for over 30 years. Winstead served in the Tennessee National Guard for three decades, including a deployment in Operation Iraqi Freedom. (link)

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It's official. Beth Harwell Is Running for Congress.

From the Beth Harwell for Congress website:

ABOUT BETH HARWELL


Beth has called Tennessee home since moving to Nashville to attend Lipscomb University for college. Following graduation, she moved on to Vanderbilt University for her PhD. Beth currently serves as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Middle Tennessee State University. After having fallen in love with Nashville and her husband, Sam, Beth started her own family, raising three children: Allie, Sam, and Tucker.

She began as an assistant professor of political science at Belmont University in 1986, but because of her love for service and her community, Beth made the decision to run for the 56th legislative district. While she lost her first run, she came back again two years later to win the seat.

In her time as the State Representative of the 56th District, Beth worked her way up from the Chairwoman of the House Commerce Committee to House Republican Caucus Whip, eventually becoming the first woman to serve as Speaker of the House in Tennessee and the entire Southeast.

Under her leadership, Tennessee cut more taxes in her eight-year tenure than any other time in Tennessee history including the eliminating the Hall Income Tax, repealing the Death Tax, and reducing the state sales tax on food. She also led the fight to reform the state pension program which brought Tennessee into the Top 5 states to fund state pensions.

Beth has impacted Tennessee’s education system in numerous ways, always maintaining a legislative focus on innovative education policy. In 2009, she passed landmark education reform legislation by making charter schools accessible to families all over the state. In addition, she pushed passage of legislation to direct additional funds for improvement of training for daycare workers.

In 2019, Beth was appointed by President Donald Trump to serve on the board of the Tennessee Valley Authority, which covers Tennessee and surrounding states, it is a federally owned electric utility corporation.

Beth served as chair of the state Republican Party from 2001 to 2004. During that time, she was instrumental in the Republicans taking control of the State Senate for the first time in 105 years.

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It is time to end teacher licensing. Tennessee bill which would allow temporary permits (for not just teachers) to teach most courses. This should be permanent.

by Adrian Mojica, Jackie DelPilar, Fox 17,  Tuesday, February 22nd 2022 --A bill under consideration in the Tennessee General Assembly would allow the state's Department of Education commissioner to issue temporary permits to people -not just certified teachers- to teach most classes. The bill would allow people to secure emergency teaching permits without requiring any formal teacher training. They could teach with a permit for up to three years. (read more)

End Teacher Licensing

By FREDERICK M. HESS, National Review, September 30, 2021 - The desire for good teachers in the classroom is as old as teaching itself. .... Today, every state requires that educators be licensed to teach in the 100,000 public schools that enroll 90 percent of Ameri­can students.  In theory, licensure ensures that teachers can do their job; in practice, it burdens prospective teachers and deters promising candidates without delivering on that core promise. 

In theory, licensure ensures that teachers can do their job; in practice, it burdens prospective teachers and deters promising candidates without delivering on that core promise. ... the overly burdensome process of obtaining a teacher license. ... cost of this teacher training can deter potential educators. ... training the average teacher costs about $25,000 and requires 1,500 hours. ... Yet none of this guarantees that teachers are up to the job.

Cracking the teacher-licensure cartel would enable school leaders to imagine how they might recruit and best use all available talent, rather than narrowly seek candidates credentialed to meet century-old licensure restrictions. (Read it all at this link)

Rod's Comment: 

The bill in the state legislature is a start. It is time to end teacher licensure. While I am heartened that parents are taking an interest in what is being taught in the classroom and that education reform is a concern of our elected officials, I wish they would go big. 

There are two things, I would like to see happen, that I think could make a big and permanent difference. Number one is a fundamental redesign of education in which every public school is a charter school or public non-charter school that acts as a charter school, in which the principal is like a CEO of a company. The principal should have much more responsibility and authority and if the school fails to perform, the principal is replaced. Correspondingly, central office staff and authority should be greatly reduced.

The second thing, and it may be easier to achieve and probably needs to come first, is to abolish teacher licensure. Education is one of the easiest of degrees to obtain and attracts some of the least qualified students to the field. To teach mathematics one probably does not need a class in how to design classroom bulletin boards. Ending teacher licensure would curtail classroom progressive indoctrination. 

It is my wish that groups like the activist Moms for Liberty would make this an objective and the non-partisan think tank Beacon Center would make this a policy priority and politicians would take up the cause.

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Thursday, February 24, 2022

Democrats sue over Tennessee redistricting plan

by STEPHEN ELLIOTT, Nashville Post, FEB 24, 2022 - Three voters backed by the Tennessee Democratic Party are suing GOP Gov. Bill Lee and other state officials over newly approved redistricting plans.

The lawsuit, filed in Davidson County Chancery Court on Wednesday, focuses on the new maps for the state legislature and not the new congressional map, which splits Nashville into three Republican-friendly districts. (read more)

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Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Do you have a big grain of salt? The new proposed Amtrak line to connect Nashville with Atlanta is projected to generate a combined $464 million in annual economic impact in the region.

by Rod Williams, Feb. 23, 2022- Amtrak says a new proposal for a rail line connecting Nashville with Atlanta is projected to generate a combined $464 million in annual economic impact in the region. 

Okay.  How did they arrive at that number? In calculating that impact did the study subtract the negative impact caused by the fewer people who will be driving and flying? 

Passenger revenues cover only 55 percent of operating costs of Amtrak and none of the trains earn a profit (link). What is the opportunity cost of that massive subsidy if those funds were left for the public to spend on things individuals desire? 

The Federal government spends more money than it collects in taxes so the spending to build the line and to cover the operating cost is borrowed money or money created out of thin air. If borrowed, then that pulls money out of the economy.  That is money not available for business expansion and homebuilding. If created, that inflates the money supply and contributes to inflation. 

I take all studies that show if a certain action is taken or project build that it will have a tremendous impact with a grain of salt.  Anyone who has served as a member of a legislative body such as the Metro Council, School Board, or State legislature has seen those studies that say if you spend this amount of money on this project, the return will be widely enormous.  The message is that only a fool would not support a project with this kind of return. The project may be building a new road, a new bypass, or bridge, building a fixed rail mass transit project, building an industrial park, developing a water project, improving traffic control, building a park or greenway, building a new health clinic, financing a new sports stadium, or anything.  Always, the return will be enormous.  

If you have not served in government but work in a sector, non-profit or for-profit, that is trying to get funding from government or maybe funding from United Way or some big philanthropy organization that dispenses money, your organization may have produced such cost-benefit analysis reports or paid an outside consultant to produce them for you.

Researchers at St. Ann's College have studied this issue and have found that cost-benefit analyses underpin most public investments and that they cannot be trusted.  They find that cost-benefit analyses are highly inaccurate and biased. The benefit tends to be inflated by 50 to 200 percent according to this study.

The bottom line is that most cost-benefit analyses are BS. The benefit is highly inflated and based on an opinion that cannot be proven or disproven.  Also, the cost is often understated. Cost overruns are almost the norm on public projects.  Also, cost-benefit analysis rarely calculates the opportunity cost.  Such studies should ask if this project is not funded what will be the benefit of letting the public keep the money and spend that money to buy homes, buy cars, send their kids to college, and fund retirement accounts.  Money not spent on the subject project does not just disappear or sit idle. It gets used for something else and that something else may have an even greater return. If you should read a news story stating a cost-benefit analysis for a certain project, take it with a grain of salt.  Assume it is most likely fantasy. 

Would train service be nice to have? Yes, if money were no object.  I have traveled in other countries and enjoyed traveling by train and travel by bus. However, there are reasons why it works in other countries and not here.  Part of it is geography. Trains work better when cities are closer together.  And they work well if when you arrive you do not need a car once you are there.  A major part of why it works better there than here is that we are a richer country and Americans own cars. 

This pie-in-the-sky tendency to pull fantastic numbers out of the air when stating a cost-benefit evaluation of a project reminds me of this story: 

A growing company needed to hire someone in management to help with the companies finances. The CEO interviews three candidates, a mathematician, an accountant, and an economist. He interviewed them separately and after all of the questions about credentials and experience asked each the same final simple question. 

"What is two plus two?" he asked the mathematician. "That's easy," the mathematician replied. "It is four."

Next, he interviewed the accountant and asked, "What is two plus two?"  The accountant said, "There is a 99 percent probability that it is four with a plus or minus factor of .2."

Then he interviewed the economist. "What is two plus two," the CEO asked.  The economist, glanced both directions, leaned forward, lowered his voice, and said, "What do you want it to be?"

Substitute "consultant" for "economist."  The consultant will never tell the person for whom he is consulting that the project is not worth funding. If an agency creates its own cost-benefit analysis it will never conclude the project does not deserve funding. 

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Williamson School board approves adjustments to Wit & Wisdom curriculum

 Williamson School board approves adjustments to Wit & Wisdom curriculum

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Would you law-abiding citizens please stop arming criminals? More than 70% of Guns Stolen This Year Taken from Vehicles.

Metro Press Release, February 22, 2022 - The MNPD strongly encourages Nashvillians to lock their automobile doors, secure any valuables---especially guns, and REMOVE THE KEYS.

So far this year, 259 guns have been stolen from vehicles in Nashville. More than 70% of ALL guns reported stolen in 2022 (364) were taken from vehicles. Last week, 33 guns were stolen from cars and trucks. One of the 33 stolen guns was taken from a vehicle parked outside a South Nashville residence off Bell Road. When the homeowner spotted two male suspects trying car door handles and shining a flashlight into his neighbors’ vehicles, he yelled out the door for the suspects to leave. They fired shots at him. He was not struck. The suspects fled in a vehicle they had driven to the neighborhood.

Going hand in hand with vehicle burglaries is vehicle theft. A review of last week’s stolen vehicle reports in Nashville shows that 69% of the automobiles taken (43 of 62) were easy targets because the keys were left inside or made available to thieves. Four of the 43 vehicles stolen were left running without the driver present.

Just like guns taken from vehicles, these stolen autos are also routinely involved in criminal activities, including carjackings and robberies.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Both Sides of the Aisle, featuring Rep. London Lamar (D-Memphis) and Rep. John Gillespie (R-Memphis).

 

To Register, click here.

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Pompeo endorses former State Department spokesperson Ortagus in Tennessee House race

 Pompeo endorses former State Department spokesperson Ortagus in Tennessee House race

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Fourteen Candidates Collecting Petitions in Race for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District

 Fourteen Candidates Collecting Petitions in Race for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District

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You can't make this stuff up. White supremacist supervisors at the Metro Arts Commission committed "microaggression", "tokenized" people of color, applied "disproportional scrutiny" of minorities.

by Rod Williams, Feb. 20, 2022- What is a "microaggression?" It is a subtle form of unintentional slight, according to some definitions.  So, I guess if I say "good morning," to one person and not to another as I enter my place of work, I have committed a "microaggression."  If I hold open a door for a female colleague and not for a male colleague, then I have committed two offenses: sexual harassment against the female and microaggression against the male. Wow, life is complicated!

Microaggression is only one of the offenses the white supremacists at the Metro Arts Commission have been committing. They have also been guilty of tokenism, exclusion, false accusations, cultural insensitivity, and undue skepticism.  Do you think maybe some people just have a chip on their shoulder and maybe are a little too sensitive?

A lengthy fact-finding report by Metro HR staffers found “no violation by leadership of any rules, policies, or laws.” This has not ended the controversy, however. Councilmember Sharon Hunt continues to stir the pot and some members of the Art's Commission wanted to bring in a third-party diversity, equity and inclusion professional to fix the problems at the organization and at a Feb. 4th meeting of the Commission, they voted to do so.

You can read more about this controversy at this link, and this link

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Monday, February 21, 2022

Robby Starbuck House bid from Tennessee a test for candidates Trump shunned

BY DAVID M. DRUCK, Washington Examiner, FEBRUARY 20, 2022 - If Robby Starbuck isaggrieved because former President Donald Trump endorsed his rival in the race for the Republican nomination in Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District, he’s not saying so.

Only when the matter was raised by a reporter did the 32-year-old, first-time candidate concede the least bit of disappointment that Trump backed former State Department official Morgan Ortagus, who, like Starbuck, is a relative newcomer to Nashville.

“Obviously, I wish I would have gotten the endorsement because I think I’ve earned it,” Starbuck told the Washington Examiner in a telephone interview. “I’ve been an unwavering supporter of his agenda.”

So what does Starbuck think happened? Trump, he said, “got bad advice” from his advisers. “He’s human.”

Besides, Starbuck said, loyalty to Trump’s “America First” agenda matters more than personal loyalty to the former president. (link)

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Moms for Liberty February Meeting

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Former House Speaker Beth Harwell said she will decide in as little as week whether to formally run for the open seat in the newly-drawn 5th Congressional District.

Former House Speaker Beth Harwell said she will decide in as little as week whether

to formally run for the open seat in the newly-drawn 5th Congressional District.

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Everything you would ever want to know about Morgan Ortagus.

 Everything you would ever want to know about Morgan Ortagus.


For even more follow this link.

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Sunday, February 20, 2022

Out-of-touch retiring Democrat Rep. Jim Cooper (TN) warns that the Democrat Party in his state is facing extinction because Democrats are self-righteous and tell other people what to do.

Jim Cooper
by Rod Williams, Feb. 11, 2022- Progressives do not need to listen to Jim Cooper.  He is a stodgy old man who doesn't get it.  In his heart, he probably doesn't even believe the Federal government should fund the distribution of crack pipes in order to promote racial equity.  He is out of touch.

Now, Cooper is no "conservative," and I don't think "the Blue Dog Coalition," amounts to much anymore. There are almost 20 of them, however, and while they vote with their party, for the most part, they occasionally take exception to the most progressive positions of the party. That kind of independent commonsensical thinking is a danger to the AOC group-think socialist agenda. There is no room in a revolutionary movement for "moderates."

Also, while he stopped it about twenty years ago, he can not be forgiving for once being an advocate of limits to the federal debt.  Why, if you can believe it, he even kept a "debt clock" in his office showing the dangerous growth in federal debt.  Now that the real debt is close to $123 trillion, if you include the unfunded mandates of Social Security and Medicare, people like Jim Cooper might still harbor doubts about the desirability of no limit to government debt.  He may still harbor some reactionary views that when spending constantly outpaces revenues that that is unsustainable. While he always supports more federal giveaways and government welfare, such as student loan forgiveness, at some point he might say, "this is not sustainable."  Probably not; but maybe. He is not a safe progressive. He is best ignored.

Also, face it.  He sounds like an accountant when he says things like, “Our party needs to improve its management capabilities. We do not anticipate and organize and plan.” That does not stir the passions.  That does not make people want to sit police cars and courthouses on fire. Rather than sounding like a bomb-throwing radical leader, he sounds like a staid tweed-jacket-wearing college professor when he is not sounding like an accountant.

Another reason to ignore Jim Cooper is that I don't think he gets the gender fluidity ideology thing.  While Tennesee Democratic Party leaders sign their communications with the "he/him," "she/her," tag, I never see Cooper do so.  He probably thinks that is kind of silly. I have never heard him say it, but I bet if you nailed him down and made him tell you what he really believes, I doubt he thinks people with a penis should compete as women swimmers.  Maybe I am wrong, but he has not been an outspoken leader for gender choice.  His ideological purity is questionable. 

Also, Cooper is just out of touch with the new way Democrats think about the relationship between citizens and their government.  In his parting shot, he said, "We’re addicted to telling other people what to think. You can’t really win many elections if you’re that self-righteous, ” He later added, “It’s important to be in communication with your constituents, not to be their boss."

See, he is so out of touch! New Democrats like being told what to do. They want a boss.  They want a benevolent boss, but life is too hard to have to think for yourself and make important decisions.  They want to be taken care of. They want all of the risk to be taken out of life.  And, they want to feel loved by their government.  Like the medieval peasant who wanted a king they felt was responsible for them and who they felt loved them, modern Democrats want to be loved subjects. They want a provider and a protector.  They want a daddy, preferably a sugar daddy, but they are looking for a daddy.  

They want equal outcomes for all people, too.  It is not fair that some succeed and some don't.  They want everyone to have an equal share of society's bounty.  Or at least most people.  They don't mind a government and a Hollywood and an entertainment elite.  Royalty makes mundane lives interesting. Subjects need bread and circuses, but beyond a few exceptions, they want an equal society.  A society based on merit is just too hard.  Equal outcomes are only possible when you have a strong boss of all the people and when people are told what to think.  When people are left to think for themselves then they start thinking dangerous selfish thoughts.   

Jim Cooper does not get it.  He changed with the times as much as he could, but he is a relic of an era of different values. Jim Cooper has nothing of value to tell the modern woke progressive Democrat.

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Who are the Republicans running for Metro Nashville School Board in the May 3rd Primary Election? Yes, there is a Republican primary.

by Rod Williams, Feb. 16, 2022- We have an election coming up on May 3rd.  Don't feel bad if you didn't know it; it snuck up on me too. May 3rd is a primary for municipal offices and Davidson County is such a Democratic Party town, that Republicans never even field candidates. In effect, it has always been the case that whoever wins the Democratic Party primary for Sheriff, Register of Deeds, Trustee, Clerks, local judgeships, and a bunch of other offices, wins the election. In the General Election, the winner of the Democratic Primary usually ran unopposed.

Not many people get very excited about who is the Assessor of Property or Register of Deeds.  Only the Court House crowd really cares.  Lawyers may care about who gets a judgeship, but for the most part, these constitutional offices generate little interest.  Most people could not name the current holder of the offices.  About the only exception is the office of sheriff.  At times, the office of sheriff is a high profile position but the other positions, not so much.  

Davidson County Republicans never have a primary for these local offices, so usually, May 3rd is a Democrat event and Republicans ignore it. This year, however, there will be a Republican primary. The reason for this is that the State legislature passed legislation this year authorizing local political parties to run candidates for school boards under a party label. The parties chose to do so, so on May 3rd there will be a Republican primary.  Unfortunately, most offices will not have Republican contenders.  So, the winner of the Democratic primary will continue to run unopposed in the general election. The only exception is that there are some Republicans running for school board.

I supported the change in the state law that makes partisan elections for school boards possible but have concerns.  My primary concern, in the case of Davidson County, is that Republicans will nominate embarrassing candidates.  Since there is no vetting process except the primary, we may end up with unqualified candidates.  It would be better to not have a Republican nominee than an ignorant, uneducated, conspiracy theory nut-job candidate.  If not that kind of candidate, we may get candidates who in a moment of discontent with the current issues around education, on a wimp decided to run, but who are really too busy to do the job and whose interest is shallow.  They may be achievers in their field but not really want to devote the time and energy it takes to fulfill the duties of a school board member. I hope we have great candidates, but I don't know much about them.

Note that vetting by a primary only works if there is a contest and voters can choose the better candidate. If there is only one candidate, with one vote that person is the party's nominee.  Unless more partitions are submitted tomorrow, several of the districts will have one Republican contender, so that will be our candidate.

If you were thinking about running for school board, you have waited too late.  The deadline for submitting a qualifying petition is noon February 17; tomorrow. Below is the list of those who have picked up qualifying petitions as of February 11. I have highlighted the Republican candidates.


The only one of these, that I know anything about is Mark Woodward. He is a member of the Davidson County Republican Party Executive Committee serving as recording secretary. Here is what I know about the candidates, including a search of social media and the internet. Please be aware that in some cases, it may be someone with the same name and not the candidate. 

Christi Baeuerie
Christi Baeuerie (Dist 2): "I am an entrepreneur, a philanthropist, teacher and an artist. I am a graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10KSB Babson Entrepreneurial program. In 2017 I was awarded WBEC South Rising Star. I am CEO and Managing partner of nomADic genius, LLC where we provide innovative mobile billboard marketing, advertising and promotional programs for Fortune 500 companies, as well as small businesses in the southeastern and central region. ... I have been a singer, songwriter and actress for most of my life. ... 2015 I was involved in setting a Guinness World Record singing the National Anthem with schools throughout the country ... (link) Note: This person is from Nashville and the name is not a common name, but it may be a different Christi Baeuerie.  I can not find any mention of her as a candidate for school board or much to indicate she is active in civic affairs. 

Janeen Kingma (Dist 2): Just this. See this link

Todd Pembroke(Dist 2) : I assume this is the same guy. He is a Farmer's Insurance Agent in Brentwood and lives in Nashville. Facebook

Mark Woodard
Todd Pembroke

Mark Woodard (Dist 2): A member of the Davidson County Republican Party
Executive Committee serving as recording secretary. Facebook


Steve Chauncy (Dist 4): Steve Chauncy ran in a special election to the Metropolitan Nashville Board of Education to represent District 4. Chauncy lost in the special general election on November 3, 2020. Dr. Steve Chauncy for MNPS School Board Facebook page.  Dr. Chauncy served as the principal at Antioch High School.



Kelli Phillips
Steve Chauncy
Kelli Phillips (Dist. 4):
"I'm a Nashville native, a mother of 3, and a believer in the need to change our school system now! Who better than a parent to start that change! I believe in common sense, not politics! Donations appreciated!" (Facebook link). She has videos and other information on the Facebook page. 

Pegi Levine (Dist 8): No information discovered.

Note that there is not a Republican candidate running in District 6 but fortunately Fran Bush is running for reelection as an independent. In my view, she is the only responsible commonsense member of the current school board. I am pleased she is seeking reelection, does not have Republican opposition, and is not running as a Democrat.

If you are a Republican candidate, please send me a link to your website or your press release.  

Below is more information about the May 3rd election.

May 3rd Election Information

Davidson County Municipal Primary

  • Early Voting Begins April 13 - 28
  • Election Day: May 3

On the ballot:

  • Constitutional Officers (Trustee, County Clerk, Register of Deeds)

  • DCDP Executive Committee

  • District Attorney
  • Judicial Candidates

  • School Board

 Register to Vote

 Double check your voter registration status


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Saturday, February 19, 2022

How Government Spending Fuels Inflation

Rod's Comment: For those who don't understand the economic principle that government spending fuels inflation, this is recommended reading.

By Tunku Varadarajan, Wall Street Journal, Feb. 18, 2022- Annual inflation in the U.S. rose to 7.5% in January, the highest it’s been since February 1982, when it was 7.6% and declining. This current crisis, economist John Cochrane says, came as “a complete surprise” to the Federal Reserve. “All of the governors who reported forecasts, all of the staff, missed it.” When he calls this an “institutional failure,” he sounds almost kind. ...

He traces the present inflation to the pandemic and the government’s response. Starting in March 2020, “the Treasury issued $3 trillion of new debt, which the Fed quickly bought in return for $3 trillion of new reserves.” The Treasury then sent checks to people and businesses, later borrowing another $2 trillion and sending more checks. Overall federal debt rose nearly 30%. “Is it at all a surprise,” Mr. Cochrane asks, “that a year later inflation breaks out?”

Rod: When people say, the government "prints money," that is usually a euphemism for what is described above. The government actually prints little money. In the process described above, money was created out of thin air. It did not exist before and now it does.

He likens this $5 trillion in checks to a “classic parable” of Milton Friedman (1912-2006), the great monetarist at the University of Chicago, ... “Let us suppose now that one day a helicopter flies over this community and drops an additional $1,000 in bills from the sky, which is, of course, hastily collected by members of the community,” Friedman wrote in “The Optimum Quantity of Money” (1969). If they spent the money, inflation would result.

The Covid checks, Mr. Cochrane says, were “an immense fiscal helicopter drop. People are spending the money, driving prices up.”

Rod: The article goes on to explain why The Fed got it wrong. This is worth reading and here is a link. Unfortunately, only subscribers to WSJ can read the whole thing and while tempted to reporduce more of this ariticle I try to honor "fair use" and not infringe on copywrites. What I think is the most important part of the essay is the part I have quoted above. 

I am pleased to see the author say that there was also a lot of  needless stimulus under Trump as well. While many Republicans will try to call this inflation "Biden's inflation" and while Biden pushed more stimulus spending long past when it was needed, Trump deserves his share of the blame. And, it is worth recalling that Trump wanted even more stimulas spending that what Congress would approe.

While the Federal Reserve inflating the money supply may be the primary cause of inflation it is not the only cause. Also, those who think the money supply should never grow, are as wrong as those who think government spending and borrowing doesn't matter. We need a certain growth in the money supply to facilitate economic growth.

One falacy I often hear made by libertarians or conservatives with limited economic knowledge is that it is only government, primarily the Federal Reserve, that can cause the money supply to increase.  That is simpy not so. A growing economy has a constantly expanding money supply. Borrowing money creats money. It does not have to be inflationary, however. If growth in the economy matches the growth in the money supply, it is not inflationary.  Most money is created by fractional-reserve banking. This preexisted modern economies and central banks. If you in doubt about how most money is created, there is good explanation at  this link.

 

 

 

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What do you think about this theocracy that Gov. Lee is building in Tennessee?



Hendrell Remus needs to get a grip. I think he/him is losing it.  This kind of reminds me of a few years ago when nutty right-wingers accused Gov. Bill Haslam of imposing Sharia law on Tennessee and when some legislatures mistook a mob sink for an Islamic foot bath. Remember that?

OK, He/him Remus, take a deep breath. Think before you speak or before you send a fundraising letter like that.  Do you really think Tennesee is on the verge of becoming a theocracy?  For real? Really?  I'm sure you are not a stupid man.  Well, maybe you are, I don't know you.  But if you are not a stupid man, this really makes you sound like one.  Maybe rephrase that. Maybe you could explain why you don't like this proposal without going off the deep end.  I know, I know; it is just politics and everyone engages in hyperbole and exaggeration. But, "trying to build a theocracy?" Don't you think that is a little extreme?  Are you hyperventilating? Take a deep breath and count to ten.

Sincerely Yours,

Rod Williams

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Friday, February 18, 2022

Anyone want to read porn at the capital next week with John Rich?

 


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The New York Times: In Nashville, a Gerrymander Goes Beyond Politics to the City’s Core

 Tennessee was long known for a brand of moderate Southern politics. Nashville, a blue island in a red state, is finding that the old rules no longer apply.

By Michael Wines, New York Times, Feb. 18, 2022, NASHVILLE — Not since Patsy Cline made it a country standard in 1961, perhaps, has “I Fall to Pieces” resonated so poignantly in Music City.

Nashville has been represented by a single seat in the House of Representatives for as long as Tennessee has been a state. The seat has been held by a Democrat for 147 years.

All that was blown up this month when Gov. Bill Lee signed into law new political maps approved by fellow Republicans in the state legislature. The maps dismembered Nashville’s solidly Democratic House district and scattered its remains among three new districts that stretch deep into Republican rural areas.

... Democratic boomtown ... an advertisement for red-state values with calling cards that include the cultural juggernaut of country music ...  a credible rival to Atlanta ... Nashville’s image speaks to swing voters across Middle America .. Economically, the city is on a tear, ... (Worth reading it all at this link)

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Republicans Expand Lead on Congressional Ballot

Friday, February 18, 2022 - The 2022 midterm elections are now 263 days away, and Republicans have a 13-point lead in their bid to recapture control of Congress.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that, if the elections for Congress were held today, 50% of Likely U.S. Voters would vote for the Republican candidate, while 37% would vote for the Democrat. Just four percent (4%) would vote for some other candidate, but another nine percent (9%) are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Republicans have added four points to their congressional advantage since January, when they led 48%-39%. The current 13-point GOP lead matches the November survey, but Democrats are now one point lower than they were in November.

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Thursday, February 17, 2022

Quincy McKnight’s Only Out for a Few Months

Hattie Bryant
by Hattie Bryant, Feb. 14, 2022- Since February of 2021, Quincy McKnight has been saying he is going to run for Congress to represent the Tennessee 5th Congressional District.  If you follow A Disgruntled Republican, you know that I pursued my suspicions about McKnight’s sincerity in running by writing three earlier articles you can read here.  Link.   Link.   Link.  Why?  Because his and the behavior of any person who uses our process to build their private businesses or just pocket cash should be called out.  If someone doesn’t shine a light, Quincy, and others like him keep on doing what they’ve done.  I have had conversations with black conservatives about this matter and one response was, “Hey, this grifting is a good gig!''  Another expressed a concern that McKnight's activities would hinder other conservatives of color that are sincere, equipped and focused on leadership roles within the party.

 While for the past couple of weeks I have heard the rumor that Quincy is not going to run, on February 11, the Tennessee Star reported that he is dropping out of the race for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional seat.  At the same time, he announced that he’ll run for mayor in 2023 and he endorsed Morgan Ortagus, the woman who only registered to vote here a few months ago.

 I happen to know that Quincy sought help from Ward Baker when he began his pursuit of the 5th a year ago.  It was Ward Baker who discovered that Quincy owed $12,000 in back child support and told Quincy to clean up his life.  Now Quincy is endorsing the candidate Ward Baker is working for.  Why did Quincy quit?

  •  Was it Ward Baker who got Quincy to quit?
  •  Was it my exposing his many misrepresentations?
  •  Was it the $53,374 promised that never came into the campaign?
  •  Was it the fact that he is not a bona fide Republican which means to get on the ballot someone would have to vouch for him and there was a good chance he would not make it through the vouching process? 
  • Was it the Tennessee Legislature drawing a new 5th that would take Quincy out of his urban comfort zone?

 About the same time McKnight quit his campaign he endorsed Ortagus and Andy Ogles expressed another view.  In an interview with Michael Patrick Leahy, Mayor Ogles said, “You want to fly into my state, parachute in and represent me in congress?  It’s ridiculous.” No one who knows McKnight should be surprised that he has aligned himself with a beautiful woman who will have millions to run her race. My guess is he also wants to win favor with Ward Baker. 

Let’s have a look at how McKnight is leaving his campaign.

 You can see that he raised $30,357.78 in 2021 for the campaign that is not now happening.  He says he spent $26,707.98 yet the reporting only totals to a little over $21,000.  That’s close enough, I guess.  Interesting that the campaign paid a Brentwood consultant $3,000 and $18,000 went to firms near Washington DC that handled direct mail consulting, printing, and postage.  Did anyone see a direct mail piece from Quincy?  Please, I’d like to see it myself. I live in the old 5th and I should have been on the mailing list.

 The 3rd quarter FEC filing shows “Debts and Obligations Owed to the Committee” to be $53,374.  That means that between July 1 and September 30, 2021, someone or something had promised to give the campaign $53,374.  One campaign veteran speculates that McKnight reported this to make it look like he had a great deal of support.  We now know that support never materialized and there’s no way for anyone to know where this $53,374 would come from.  I suggest that it came from McKnight’s imagination. (In my last article I made the mistake of assuming this cash was coming in and that was not the case.)

Yesterday at the celebration of life for Tim Skow many speakers told of how Tim helped them in so many ways.  He recruited, encouraged, and worked hard for many Republican candidates and conservative causes.  He helped me too.  I’ve only been in Nashville since 2019 and when I saw Quincy McKnight and his girlfriend, Hana Cannon, take over my own club, Nashville Republican Women, I thought something was very wrong.  I was a regular at First Tuesday, so I started my research with Tim Skow who corroborated my intuition. He pointed me to McKnight’s 2014 mismanagement of campaign funds then others filled me in on the multiple children being born to multiple women around the date of the 2014 primary.  Others informed me about his unprofessional business operations.

 When my first article appeared here, McKnight and/or Cannon lobbied Barbara Trautman, the president of Tennessee Federation of Republican Women and Mary Obersteadt the president of Nashville Republican Women to remove me from the organization.  Trautman said in a phone call to me, “The candidate has come to me, and you need to step down.”   She read to me an organization by-law that stated as a board member I am not allowed to speak ill of a Republican candidate. 

I made it clear to her that my writing is based on research, and I am not speaking ill I am simply telling the truth.  He was not a candidate then and he isn’t now.

 I chose to resign from the board and the organization. Who wants to be around leaders who are afraid to lead?  Granted, McKnight is a threatening person, and it follows that Barbara and Mary were afraid of Quincy McKnight. 

Rod Williams did not fall for McKnight’s bullying.  Rod got a call from someone who threatened to send the NAACP after him if he did not remove my articles about Quincy McKnight from his blog. Rod said he would not remove the articles and he would be happy to print McKnight’s rebuttals to what I have written (link).  Months have passed and McKnight has not submitted an article to Rod.

Barbara Trautman and Mary Obersteadt are not the only ones afraid of McKnight.  While I was on the board of Nashville Republican Women the board purchased an insurance policy to protect it from loose cannon candidates.  And more than one person, after reading my articles, told me that they knew about everything I had exposed and had just not brought it up in polite company.

We have a few months to breathe free of McKnight before he throws himself into his campaign for mayor. I don’t know a soul who will vote for him.  He can’t manage his own cash flow so why should we trust him with ours?  A friend who knows McKnight says, “Quincy McKnight is a grease fire.”

To examine the campaign finance report online for yourself, here’s the link: https://www.fec.gov/data/committee/C00769950.

Hattie Bryant lives downtown Nashville and is active in civic affairs.  You can learn about her at https://www.authorhattiebryant.com.

  

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Constitutional questions surround attempt to add residency rule for Tennessee congressional primaries

By Jon Styf | The Center Square, Feb 15, 2022 - A bill that would put an additional residency requirement on candidates seeking congressional seats in Tennessee advanced Tuesday from a Senate committee, but its constitutionality was questioned.

Senate Bill 2616 would require a candidate to vote in the three previous statewide elections before running for a party's nomination in a U.S. Senate or U.S. House race. Sen. Frank Niceley, R-Strawberry Plains, plans to amend the bill to change the rule to three years.

The bill was recommended for passage, 5-1, with the amendment by the Senate State and Local Government Committee and heads to the Senate Calendar Committee.

“This bill is real simple,” Niceley said. “It’s the same rules as the Tennessee Senate and House of Representatives.”

The issue came to the forefront after former President Donald Trump-backed candidate Morgan Ortagus, the former spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State, and Robby Starbuck announced they were running for Tennessee’s newly drawn 5th Congressional District in the U.S. House. Current U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Nashville, has said he will not run for the seat.

When asked by Sen. Ken Yager, R-Kingston, whether the state can set rules for federal positions, committee attorney Josh Houston said there have been several attempts by states to enact requirements and all have been ruled unconstitutional.

“There have been cases like this before and they have all been ruled unconstitutional,” Houston said, citing a California attempt to require residency before an election that was rejected by a 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

Niceley said, however, his law pertained to primary elections, making it different. He also said the 10th Amendment gives Tennessee the right to enact the requirement.

“The Supreme Court today would rule in our favor,” Niceley said. “That’s why we put it in the primary. We aren’t stopping anyone from running.

“The word primary is not mentioned in the constitution.”

Houston was asked whether he thought the wording change would make a difference with the court.

“I am not sure what the effect would be to limit it,” Houston said. “That is up to someone different than me.”

Sen. Todd Gardenhire, R-Chattanooga, was the lone dissenting vote, saying he didn’t believe the Legislature should be making requirements for political parties on who should receive a party’s nomination.

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Hillsdale College to Help Bring Classical Charter Schools to Tennessee

 Hillsdale College to Help Bring Classical Charter Schools to Tennessee

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Why Nashville can't pick up the trash

Courtney Johnston
by Councilwoman Courtney Johnston, Feb. 17,2022 - As everyone is acutely aware, we are continuing to have problems collecting the trash. Our contractor, Red River, continues to experience issues with not only their fleet but with their work force as well. I want to answer everyone's questions as best I can about how we got here and what we have done and are doing now to solve this problem - not only in the short term but in the long term as well.

 How did we get here?

The contract that dates to 2004 with Red River is nearly 20 years old, ending in November 2024. In my opinion, it wasn't the best contract to begin with.  It was a 10-year contract with two five-year renewals. In my opinion, service contracts should never be that long in length between review/renewal periods. Cities change!  We all know the extreme growth that the city of Nashville has experienced.  The ideal route design and fiscal note for 2004 and 2014 Nashville is vastly different than 2019 Nashville or now, for example.  Additionally, for a number of years, Metro has failed to invest in both their heavy (trash trucks for example) and light (sedans and SUVs for example) fleets. 

This Administration and Council inherited a $120 million fleet deficit which the administration has reduced to $60 million through grants and some covid relief funds.  But a deficit remains, and without trucks of our own, it’s impossible to mitigate missed routes ourselves when the contractor, Red River, is unable to complete those routes.  We now find ourselves in a situation where supply chain issues make it nearly impossible to purchase new trucks or fix existing ones. Existing purchase orders are sometimes a year to a year and a half out with expectations of extending even those long terms. Most don’t even have projected delivery dates at all.

 What have we done? 

 Earlier in the term, we experienced trash collection issues and we found that the four-day collection

cycle was not adequate to keep up with the growing population. So, we redesigned the routes for them to be on a five-day collection cycle. While we had hoped that this would be our saving grace, it was not. During that same time, more people were at home because of the pandemic, creating exponentially larger amounts of trash. This increases the number of times the trucks leave their route to go to the transfer station to dump the truck. That causes further delays with traffic as you can imagine. As we moved through the pandemic, their human resource issues got worse and worse with workers unable to work because they were sick or exposed, or just resigning their position. Additionally, their fleet was experiencing breakdowns, etc., but the supply chain issue was causing great delay in the repair of those trucks. 

 Recently, to mitigate the large delays in trash pickup, we suspended curbside recycle services so that we could use those trucks to pick up the regular trash on 5 daily routes.  This worked!  Our trash was picked up on time for several weeks!  This was a decision that Red River did not like and, since they are in bankruptcy court, they are protected from having contracts canceled in any way without going through a formal and sometimes lengthy process. So, being unable to keep those routes, the trucks returned to curbside recycle service on February 1st, and the routes the recycle trucks took care of went back to Red River.  This was not Metro’s choice but to avoid legal action, the routes had to be returned to them. 

 What are we doing NOW to fix this?

 Metro has filed a motion in Bankruptcy Court to remove 10 of the 21-23 daily routes.

MWS has requested Waste Management (WM) activate their “Green Team”.  This is WM’s internal team that responds to emergency situations.  This will provide us with 10 side-loading trucks and crews.  MWS has requested their services for 60 days.  This may have to be extended.

Starting on Friday, 2/18, and until we get caught up, metro crews will be working beginning 6 AM – 6 PM.  This will maximize our ability to have crews and equipment fully engaged during daylight hours.  This will be an all-hands evolution, with supervisors and all levels of leadership doing all that is required.  The goal is to pick up all RR’s Thursday and Friday curbside routes between this Friday and next Monday (the holiday) so Metro Waste Services and RR can start next week from their normal starting point.  Emphasis will be placed on the SE quadrant of the county.  From that point forward, and until we can get more resources, Metro Waste Services will have to pick up 10 RR routes each day in addition to our regular collection.  This will, no doubt, place great stress on our crews.  They are already working very hard and doing outstanding service to our community.

The two vendors, Waste Management and Waste Pro, are already in process of completing the contracting process will be providing crews as soon as they can. General Services Fleet continues their efforts to return assets/trucks to service.

 We are actively looking for trucks to purchase or lease.  All metro trucks available are being used to pick up trash left on routes not completed by Red River. 

 In my opinion, we need to move trash collection back in house. – at least a large portion of it.  This allows us to fill in the gaps of any outside vendor as they come up.  But it also gives us LEVERAGE.  We cannot do this without trucks.  No, it’s not a money issue – it’s a supply issue.  There simply are not enough trucks available or being built and that’s a global problem.

 I know this was a long explanation, but I want to be thorough and transparent with you.  This is an inherited problem exacerbated by the pandemic which has created workforce and supply chain issues as well as increased the residential trash tonnage.  It’s a perfect storm.  But I can tell you that I’m on the phone with at least one person from Waste Services every single day about this.  I just got off the phone with a consulting company in San Diego that manages trash and recycling across the country.  We’re ALL working on it, and we are all frustrated.  We’ve got some really dedicated people that work for our city every single day that are doing everything they can to find solutions.  While we’re all frustrated, I appreciate your patience.  We continue every day to look, think outside the box,and to solve this issue.


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Wednesday, February 16, 2022

No newcomers: Maury mayor Andy Ogles considers 5th district seat after Ortagus bid

Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles
 by Kerri Bartlett, The Daily Herald, Feb. 16, 2022- As interest in the newly-drawn 5th Congressional District revs up in Middle Tennessee, Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles is considering running for the seat.  ... 

The 5th District's boundaries include all of Maury County, Lewis, and Marshall counties as well as southeast Williamson County, including Brentwood and southeast Davidson County, including Bellemeade, and parts of Wilson County. The once Democratic seat is now ripe with potential Republican candidates. 

Ogles says the 5th District, with a primarily conservative voter base, is no place for a newcomer, stressing that most Republicans are seeking someone with "roots" in Tennessee. 

"She (Morgan Ortagus) just moved to Tennessee," Ogles said. "She's never voted in a Tennessee election. I am offended. We can't be expected to bow down. We need someone who knows this district, someone who fits the mold." ... Ogles said when Ortagus and other potential contenders began showing interest in the 5th District, he began receiving calls from Republican officials, encouraging him to run for the seat.  (read it all)

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