Saturday, December 31, 2005

Excellent reporting

Phil Williams and the news crew at News Channel 5 are an example of what more reporters and news stations should strive to do . They do the leg work and digging for a good story . They talk to the people involved and put it on the air . They did a special on the corruption in the legislature that hit the facts and hit them hard (this blog even got some pub!).

From what I here they are going to have a lot to report on this subject before it is all said and done. I was talking with a friend of mine with ties "in the know" about the seemingly slow progress of getting more of these thieves of our public trust and I was told not to worry . The FBI is on it. They know about the things I have talked and posted about as well as things that I have heard rumor of but don't have solid conformation on yet. They are like the wise old bull slowly walking down the hill.....

Friday, December 30, 2005

The silent income tax push

The push for more taxes at the local level is on. I have mentioned this in past posts as coming. Jimmy Naifeh and some of the Democrats have this as the top goal for the new year. More details here.
One thing that seems to be left out is if this passes, local communities can implement a wide variety of taxes including a local income tax now going by the name of a "payroll tax." The tax taxes the overall payroll of the employer instead of the payroll of the employee. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck you can call it any thing you want but there are no platypus around here. I see a duck!

Another tax increase that will be popular is the adequate facility tax .The "sell" of both of these taxes is that it is government closer to the people and the taxes will only effect these "rich developers" by taxing the payroll of the employer or the developer (based on volume of the house or number of outlets in a house or the number of facilities in a house, etc.)

The truth is that this is not government closer to the people, it is a tax increase closer to the people. With both of these taxes the developers will not eat the new costs, they will just pass it on to the first-time home buyer. What happens then? Costs for new houses go up. Sales go down. Fewer sales make developers develop fewer areas. Less development makes for layoffs in the construction trades (as well as layoffs at companies like Lowe's, Home Depot, the suppliers and producers who feed them and on and on down the line.)

In the end the working man is hurt the most.

There is a reason that new house development is pretty much the standard for how a economy is doing. Low new home development usually means a rough economy or one is on the way.

When you increase taxes you hurt development and thus the economy. It is simple economics. As is the case with people on drugs many times you will hear about a short term "high" or boost in overall volume of money brought in by the taxer and the taxer feels vindicated (more money to help the soon to be unemployed) but in the long run it hurts the economy. The money is quickly spent and soon the taxer is looking for a fresh fix. But this time they are looking for the same amount of money or more from people and companies that are making less and employing fewer people. Thus the need to increase taxes again just to get to the same high.

City and county governments will push for the ability to implement these taxes. If this proposal moves forward I suspect we will see the Realtors and developers will get the press but it is the working man who should watch this hit to the wallet the most.

As is often the case the voice of the people will be listened to the least. Part of the proposal removes the ability for the voter to stop these tax increases through referendum altogether. Heaven forbid we should listen to the person who will be effected by the tax in a negative way (another great example of why we need a version of TABOR ). Instead we leave it up to the government or the addict to decide when they have had enough. I think it may be time for another intervention at election time.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Coal awards!!

The Tennessee Center for Policy Research has released its 2005 Lump of coal award .
Who deserves this prestigious award ?? The list is long and distinguished but some how Drew Johnson whittled it down to one. See if you agree. I may do a list like this myself except I shall give multiple awards.Nominees are now being accepted.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas to all!!!

May you all get the "Red Rider BB gun (with compass in the stock)" of your dreams..............And may you not shoot your eye out when you get it !

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Roland or Ford ?

What do I think should happen in this race? The Fact that SOMETHING funny happened in the race is I think without question .Now how to get a result without disenfranchising voters from either side .

The fact that the democrat controlled election commission of the area has pushed Ford before a clear resolution or fact finding can or has been done should not be taken into consideration. The facts that criminal activity /voter fraud has occurred should warrant special attention more so then a simple miscounting or miscalculation of votes as these groups are intended to handle.

The 2 possible actions I see as most fair are to either

1. Remove the precints where voter fraud has clearly occurred from the vote totals. Tally the remaining precints and announce the winner. Or

2. Do the above except have a mini election in the questioned precints. The only eligible voters should be the people who can LEGALLY vote in those precints AND voted in the last election. Tally the votes and announce the winner.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

I have to laugh

One of my favorite blog sites from West Tennessee has got to be Thaddeus Matthews. He does not pull punches. I thought his 2 posts on the 18 th were interesting and his post from the 17 th had me on the floor .You can check them out here .

E mail from Iraq

I have been E mailing a good buddy of mine who is in Iraq back and forth for the last few months . He said I could post some of it if I wanted . So here it is . I may post some others later but I found this one was more timely.

.....Politics are a funny thing. Three days ago Iraq had their parliament elections, although the results will not be out for possibly ten days or more they estimated about 11 million people may have gone to the polls; which isn't bad since they only have 15 million registered voters (so about 70%), anyway the day was very similar to the day they voted on the referendum, violence wasn't escalated, perhaps even a little less. Here in a place where people are killed everyday for their political beliefs and violence is used as a median to sway the people, so many people stopped fighting or hiding from the fighting to vote. I wonder if people other places have the belief in their political system/process that they would put their life at risk just to vote? Or did the Iraqi people vote because we protected them? Or is the insurgency trying to support the political process in an attempt to gain a foothold in the new government in it's infancy? What ever the case may be I'm still glad I will be watching most of it on TV vs. up close and personal. I suppose we will see what happens, hard to make a prediction from my vantage point. I suppose you deal with political discussions all the time; sorry to throw one at you, but one of your posts got me thinking about voting(The one about $100 contributions/ Their was a reference to re-elections)......

No thumb die required.

The Knox News Sentinel is doing a survey of the top 10 story's of the last year. If you want to see more state coverage (and not on the back pages) a vote will help open some eyes.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Things I don't get

Some things I just don't get no matter how much I try. So I am going to ask for help from the blog community . What is the meaning of barn blogging or courthouse blogging ?

Not that the pictures aren't nice and all that I wish I could take as good a photo, but why barns and court houses?

Republican Gov. Candidate II

His name is Mark Albertini you can check out his web site here

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Republican Gov. Candidate

I went to the West Knox Republican club X mas party and when the office holders and candidates stood and introduced themselves a gentleman stood up and said he was going to run for governor. I did not catch his name so I called a friend of mine the next day and he confirmed that he had told the state executive committee earlier in the week that he was running for governor . I asked what was known about him and was told that he is a banker or in investments or something along those lines and was from Chattanooga. I will tell more as I get it .

I saw a Ford yard sign in a graveyard!!!!!

With dead people voting in special elections ( I doubt Joe L. Light was the second coming)I have to wonder, who prepared the body for burial?

Monday, December 12, 2005

A little bird

A little bird keeps whispering in my ear about more problems and revelations to come with the state trooper problem. I may start posting some on the issue soon. Of course some people I will mention have close ties to the gov. so we will we how deep the commitment to reform runs in this administration. I hope it runs deeper then it has for ethics reform so far.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Why a fight over $100.00

When I talk to people about the $100.00 limit on cash donations some legislators say I am trying to stop the small mom and pop people from getting involved in a campaign . Nothing can be farther from the truth . The fact is I want to see who really is donating to a campaign . I am not talking about just $100.00 but thousands.Not mom and pops but lobbyists, pacs or whoever, that don't like to be on records.

The $100.00 cash limit is a giant loophole you can drive a Mac truck through and some legislators have their foot hard down on the gas pedal.

Say I am a shady legislator who does not want to put down a $6,000.00 illegal donation to my campaign from a company I just passed some big legislation for.

It could look bad if my political opponent found out .He could have a field day with it .He might even get some press about it and I could loose my next election and then who would that lobbyist be able to go to to get that bill passed?

How to hide it? Easy, just put the $6,000.00 in the cash donations under $100.00 section of my campaign disclosure form. Not only will I not have to tell where or who it came from but it will make me look like a man of the people .That $6,000.00 donation is now 61 donations under $100.00 and no names are ever required .Must be all my mom and pop supporters wink wink.

Problem solved .

I offer three solutions to this problem.

1. Make all donations non cash. There will be a paper trail and it will be a little more easy to pick up proof of someone skirting the law.Most people have checking accounts or can get a money order.

2. Put a limit on non named cash donations. Say $200.00 for people that raise under $1,000.00 and 10% after that. That will stop the people who some how raise tens of thousands of dollars in non named donations. I would love to see a before and after disclosure form of some legislators if this bill were to pass. I suspect some would have a lot more PAC/ lobbyist donations or a lot fewer mom and pop donations .

3. Make all donations disclosed .It is not as hard as it sounds .Put someone at the punch bowl with pen and paper (Maybe one of the many small donors they seem to have might want to do it)


This problem is much worse then you may think and a 10% limit is way more then you really will ever come up with if you are diligent and honest.

I have heard rumor of a few legislators who get tens of thousands in these unnamed donations under $100.00 and yet still only get about 1,500 votes. They must get a donation from every single person who votes ....Of course anonymously and under $100.00 so it is all legal.

SBOR VICTORY PART II

I received some more good news which I have been expecting as well as
working towards for the last few months. The Tennessee Board of Regents
has just voted to approve the Student Bill of Rights and plans to implement
them at all their schools.


Doctor Finney and I have been working for this for some time and had a
victory I posted about a few weeks ago. We were told by the the people we
were working with that the Board of Regents would probably adopt the bill in a few weeks when they got back together.

I thought the chances of it being adopted were very good but was reluctant
to talk about it until the ink was dry so to speak.


Now that it has been finalized, a few people deserve extra credit.
I want to thank Sen. Finney (The bill's Senate Sponsor), Anthony Haynes from
UT, David Gregory from Tennessee Board of Regents, Brad Shipp and David
Horowitz from Fire and SAF. It took all of their hard work to make this
come together.

Most importantly I want to thank the students, the MSM and the blogers who took hold of
this problem and pushed it to where the problem was noticed and solved.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Brians blog

Knox co republican party chairman Brian Hornback has a blog. You can check it out at http://brianhornback.blogspot.com

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Frank Cagle article

Frank Cagle has a great article about why we are having huge partisan ethics wars in the legislature. Rest assured in an election year what ever ethics bill makes it to the house floor will pass with out one no vote.The war will be to get as much good on to the one big bill as possible.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Knoxville city councils E.D. problem

I keep hearing whispers about how some of the Knoxville city council members have a little problem with E.D. .After a recent vote confirming it I thought you all might get a kick out of this.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Back from vaca

I¹M Sorry I have not posted in a while. Things have been sort of hectic
with the holiday and all. I hope you all had a good vacation.

Things are starting to get cranked up for the new session. We are having a
few meetings the first week of December to review and talk about the ethics
bill and all the regular groups are starting to lobby before session starts.

I went to one reception for a well connected Nashville group and got an odd response. Three of the guests came up
to me at different times and whispered to me "We love what you are doing
keep it up....But watch out! They are out to get you next year. They want
you gone ...Bad!!

I said I was not worried--I live a pretty plain Jane life-- I don't expect
any scandal to come up about me.
They said not to worry, if they could not find anything, they were ready to
make it up!!

It is good to know I have only been in office 12 months and am so feared by
the corrupt establishment that they will stop at nothing to try to silence
me. News like this makes my day.

George Korda invited me as a guest on his radio show a few weeks ago and we
talked about the black caucus . George had a column in the Knox news
sentinel about it a few weeks earlier that was sort of harsh and I posted
about it. George was very big about it and invited me on his show and we
talked about it. George was very fair and I think the show went well.

There was one caller who pushed the show in a odd direction when he called
out one of the show's sponsors as possible discriminator. George got HOT!!
The sponsor was a Christian organization who helps people with insurance.
The person who called said that it sounded like they might discriminate
based on religion. Suffice it to say my ears are still ringing.
I may see if George wants to guest post about the group. They seem like they
may be able to help some people get insurance.

I may also have a guest poster who wants to talk about the new way some
legislators want to ease the road for increasing taxes at the county level.
This is definitely something we need to keep a close eye on.