Saturday, April 29, 2006

Monty Hall and the Cover Tennessee plan

The governors Cover Tennessee plan is in jeopardy. Not because of Republicans, but because of bad planning and a rush to get a new health care plan on the market before election time rolls around. If the plan is not accepted, just as well, the blame can be shifted to republicans and that will get the governor out from under his "I promise to fix TennCare" rock.

Cover Tennessee has some good in it. I like the risk pools part of the plan (I have been an advocate of risk pools for some time). New limits to stop people from suing the state or forcing expansion of the program seem to be in place, also good.

Other parts seem slapped together similar to how we got into the TennCare mess in the first place. One bad part is no firm funding for the plan after the first few years (See pre K, The football stadium and most of the other plans the gov. has implemented previous to his moving on to higher office.) Nothing is as permanent or guaranteed to grow as quickly as a government program. No firm funding equates into a tax increase down the road.

The topper to me though has got to be how the governor wants legislators to sign off on a the key part of the plan that neither we nor he has even seen!!

Yes... You heard me right. No one knows what we will get if we sign off and give the gov. the money to do the plan.

The key part as described is, a govt. backed health care plan that people can buy for about $150.00 a month. Sound great. The bad part is no one knows what we will get for the $150.00. The request for proposal has not been sent out much less returned. So we don't know what will be offered by the insurance companies that may or may not decide to get involved.

What will be covered? hangnails and runny noses only? Or will people with real problems have access to health care.

I am not asking for the moon and stars. I realize that any healthcare plan for $150.00 is not going to cover every little thing, but to pony up the kind of dough he wants with out ANY idea of what will be offered is like paying millions to be on Lets Make A Deal with Monty Hall. Will we get the new car behind door number one, or will we get the box with an old dirty sock in it behind door number two?.

After the thumping we took with TennCare, I and many other legislators are not in a gambling mood. If the Governor truly wants this plan to move he needs to treat legislators like we were from Missouri...Talk is cheap we want you to show us.

This could get ugly

Any one who sat through the committees on Tuesday and Wensday will be hard pressed to say thing are done in a fair and reasoned manner or for the betterment of the state. Republican bills were killed wholesale. One rep. went so far as to repeat the oath of office (It deals mostly with being fair and unbiased in voting on legislation.) to the committee before presenting his bill.

One legislator was told if they presented a bill ,not only would they kill it, but that they would not be allowed to pass any Bill's for two years! How much more blatant can they be?.

Rep. Frank Nicley said after being repeatedly attacked ."Remember Winston Churchill who said " Be kind to the people who are on the out's today . They could be on the in's tomorrow" .Some on the committee laughed. It did not change a thing. A power trip was the best way I could describe it. It was sad to watch.

People in the audience were even commenting on how bad it was. One Democrat legislator went so far as to apologize for the way some members of their party have been acting.I think Tom Humphries is doing a story about it for the Sunday Knox News Sentinel.

Volunteer anyone??

Steve Hall and some local co. Commission candidates have asked me to list numbers where people who want to volunteer for election day (Tuesday) or the night before , can reach them. I am sure any amount of time volunteered at various locations all over Knox County would be appreciated. If you are interested in helping:

Steve Hall (Running for County Mayor) call Robb McNutt at 363-7235.

Kelvin Moxley (Running for Knox co. Clerk) call him at 300-3675

Greg "Lumpy" Lambert (Running for county commission) call him at 938-7737

Mike Alford (Running for county commission) call him at 300-3623

Gary Sellars (Running for county commission) call him at 363-0804

Dr. Lenard Brown (Running for county commission) call Karen Brown at 300-8336

If you are a candidate (In Knox Co.) and would like to be added to this list you can call me directly at 455-2627.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

New state rep blog

Susan Lynn has had a lot of people talk to her about a bill she was carrying about autism and the cause (mercury in the thimerosal). Due to actions outside of the committee Susan decided it would be better to kill her own bill. Any way Susan got so many questions about the bill and what happened she decided to start a blog to talk about it. She still has some question about how a blog works and what she can do on it. (I have some questions myself). Feel free to stop on over and check it out. She may continue based on response.

Monday, April 24, 2006

New political blog

Conservative state rep. and U.S. congressional candidate David Davis has an unofficial blog for his campaign it is davisdownload.blogspot.com.

"If you cant out think them, shoot them".

My good friend and city councilman Steve Hall was shot at late last night.

As many of you know Steve is in a heated primary race with Mike Ragsdale to become the next Knox co. Mayor. Last night Steve and another volunteer were working late into the evening getting signs out of Steves office for a third volunteer.

A voice yelled out from the darkness "HEY MISTER MAYOR". Steve who had just walked through the doorway to get another load of signs, turned around and started back out through the doorway to see who it was. A flash and a shot rang out from the darkness with a first bullet hitting the door inches from where Steve had just stuck out his head.

Steve and the other volunteer turned and ran into the building as a second shot rang out hitting the metal door next to the first. The holes in the door are about the size of an avg. man's finger. The police showed up later and took the bullets. Steve is a little shaken (as anyone in that situation would be ) but is undaunted and pushing forward. More on this as it comes up.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

And they complain about the patriot act ??

Susan Lynn had to have a "What are they thinking ?" moment when
Democrats killed her bill to protect the privacy of consumers in the state of Tennessee by preventing the sale of their private cellular phone records without their knowledge or consent. Ironically it failed in the House Constitutional Protections Committee this week.

The lone Republican member of the committee, Rep. Eric Watson, made a motion to hear the bill but the four Democrats refused to give a second on Watson's motion which caused the bill to die in the committee.

The bill concerned companies who are offering the private records of cellular phone users for sale without the permission of the owner. Such services, usually provided via the Internet, allow an individual to pay as little to $75.00 to receive a list of the most recent cell phone calls made from or to a private cell phone. The transaction occurs without the consent or knowledge of the owner of the phone. Once a consumer pays $75.00 and provides the cell phone number that they are interested in, a list of outgoing and incoming phone calls is emailed to the purchaser.

"There may be hundreds of such companies providing such private information for sale usually via the Internet. The federal government has discussed legislation to prohibit this act but the actions of the US Congress are often slow and may cause more Tennesseans to be victimized by the unscrupulous. This kind of service has the potential to place many private individuals in danger as well as public workers such as undercover law enforcement, military personnel and others" said the bill's sponsor State Representative Susan Lynn.

Members of the committee who refused to second the motion on the bill are Rep. Kent Coleman (D) Rutherford County, Rep. Rob Briley (D) Nashville, Rep. Kim McMillan (D) Clarksville, and Chairman Janis Sontany (D) Nashville.

Friday, April 21, 2006

HEEEEE'S BAAAAAAAACK!!!!!!!!!

The man , the myth , the legend, Bill Hobbs is back!!!

Moxley maximus

My good friend Kelvin Moxley is having a campaign pancake breakfast at the Sequoyah Hills Cafe 1210 Kenesaw Ave in Knoxville from 8 till 10 Saturday. You can find out more here.

Listening tour

This weeks stop is at Dogwood Terrace Apts. (8729 Midddlebrook Pike) at 2:00 PM Today

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Free speech limit ?

The bill (HJR0855) that could lead to limit protests around the state capitol passed the state house 56/33 . I voted no.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Ford is out

Ophelia Ford has been voted out of the senate (I think the vote was 26 for, one against, and the rest present not voting).

Sen. Cohen did most of the talking on Fords behalf. Some people say Cohen was grandstanding to get the Ford vote in his run for congress. Cohen came back to the point many times how Ophelia Ford had done nothing wrong. I think most Senators have said how no one had accused her of any wrong doing but the questions of how the election results were reached was the problem that lead to the nullification of the election.

I think Ford will probably be back in November.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

E.D. and I.J. in senate.

The senate is starting to listen to arguments about E.D.. Unlike the house they have several bills to talk about. The people from Institute for Justice came down (from D.C. I think) to talk on the bills being brought forward. I.J. was the group that fought the kelo decision in front of the supreme court.

The person I.J. sent down actually had roots in East Tennessee and reads this little blog. He stopped by my office and we had a chance to talk property rights. His impression was that 3450 (The only house bill allowed out of committee) had many issues and did not do much to fight the issue of E.D. abuse.

We also talked about how in Tennessee the term "blight" and its abuse is so bad that Tennessee "had the power of Kelo (and had used it) before Kelo".

The part I find this hard to stomach is in many of the committees and caucus meetings the supporters of 3450 said, and gave the impression that, the Institute for Justice worked hand in hand on crafting the bill. I had my doubts when I was told that.I had worked with I.J. previous to Kelo and this bill did not resemble anything they would support.

In An E mail conversation with I.J. ( that I may print at a later date). I asked about it. The person from I.J. said that they (as far as she knew) NEVER talked with the sponsors of 3450. The only thing that might be possible was that some of the model legislation could have been downloaded from their web site. If that did happen, they said it had been so altered it had no recognition as its former self and had lost all effectiveness.

Ouch!

The committee ended after some testimony was presented and will move forward again next week. Now that the senators have had some REAL input from someone who knows about this subject, hopefully we can have some open and HONEST debate on the issue and come up with some good legislation that will end this problem.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Bad Scene

Michael over at Halfbakered has a good wrap of the bad done to Bill Hobbs. To talk about Bill as a political person with a point of view that the scene may not agree with is one thing. To go after his job that is not connected to the point of view is low.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

T.V. Show

I will be on Inside Tennessee on WBIR TV channel 10 in Knoxville on Sunday at 9:30 AM talking about illegal immigration.

Listening tour

This weeks stop is at Shannondale Retirement Center Friday 1:00 PM 801 vanosdale Rd.

Illegal is Illegal

I mentioned to a few people a few years ago how the immigration problem was
going to be a big issue in our state in a short period of time. (I saw the
writing on the wall when we started to give out the driving certificates a
few years ago.) The majority said we needed to give out the certificates so
that illegals could get insurance in case of an automobile accident. Bad
argument.

A few points.

First, when you make exceptions for one group or another, you are setting up
a slippery slope. Any other group could use the law to say they should be
included in the same exception.

Next, when you let people commit a crime or worse yet encourage it, you are
more or less saying "we don't care if you commit a crime in our state, come
on in." The same can be said of many problems our society faces. When you
reward bad behavior or don't allow society to punish it, the problem
continues to grow.

I see this sort of action encouraged a lot by liberals. Believing that they
are caring and compassionate, they try to help the people who have made
mistakes or are doing something wrong by excusing the mistake. They make an
exception for many to help a few people. The problem is they are actually
hurting more people in the long run.

People see exceptions made, and systematic abuse begins.

Exceptions have been made, combined with the exceptions that have been made
to allow illegals to work and get social services has turned our state into
a magnet for people to come in free and clear or with little or no
repercussions. Now the state is trying to put the neighbors horse back in
their barn. The horse likes the grass in our field and does not want to go.
It is not going to be easy but the solution is not to allow the problem to
continue or to reward to people for the bad activity.

We need to permanently remove the incentives (the driving certificates, easy
ability to get jobs when not in the country legally, remove the ability to
get govt. services).

Next we need to be able to catch and punish the criminals and the people who
employ them. There may be some growth or growing pains (higher cost for
labor) but the ends will help us endure the means.

We want to continue to be a land and a state of opportunity, but we are the
land of opportunity because we are a nation with respect for our laws.

Pork Report

The Tennessee Center for policy Research has done a report on SOME of the money that the state squanders on a regular basis.

E.D. Update

The bill was rolled 2 more weeks. More info to come............

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Joe Fowlkes quits

Rep. Joe Fowlkes has announced that he will not be running for office again. He picked up a petition and turned it in. Later he reconsidered and chose not to run again after the filing deadline had passed. Fowlkes had primary opposition as well as a general election opponent who almost won last time . I think the ballot will be re opened for one week to allow more people to run. Since Fowlkes had a primary and general opponent those people should be the front runners. This could be another seat we pick up in the house.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Listening tour

This weeks stop is at Pleasant Ridge Elementary (3013 Walnoaks Rd.) Friday 3:30 .I will probably show up extra early and may have to cut out early as I will be hosting Tennessee Confidential on AM 1180 at about 4. Feel free to call in to the show if you can not come to the tour stop.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

5 big E.D. Goals

Lots of people are asking what is up with the E.D. bill. Well the long and short of it is so are most legislators. Some think it will be rolled for another week or until the senate comes up with a bill. Others think it will be brought back up next week and we will go back to battle on our ideas. Some say any changes on this issue will be killed off in the study committee that this bill is sure to go through.

These are the 5 big goals put forward by the republican task force on E.D. (Taken out of legalease)

1. Extend the notice for taking from 5 days to 30 days.

2. Final approval of all land taken must be given by a elected governing body. (No passing it off to avoid any backlash).

3. Right of first refusal. Original property owners would have first rights to buy back property that was taken and later put up for sale.

4. Appraise property at highest and best use. (Instead of taking land for appraisal value.) A field on a big road with development all around should be valued at its value as development property not its value as a field.

5. No private to private transfer, Public use redefined. Limited to the possession ,occupation and enjoyment of the land by the general public or public agencies, use of land for the creation of functioning utilities, or the acquisition of abandoned property. (not for economic development)

One of my goals beyond the big 5 is to redefine blight(the tool used that starts the process for taking).I would like it to be defined as property that is causing or may cause imminent physical harm to people or surrounding property.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006