If the dollar has little value, then donate a few.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Here it is

Here is the video of the interview on the porn not corn bill. If you want to vote about how you feel about this bill on line go here and scroll to the lower right hand side of the page.

Global warming plan snowed out?

The governors alt energy plan to spend abt 70 million is about to be announced. 13 million is to go to research. Bredesen's proposed budget also includes $40 million to build a pilot biomass ethanol plant that will operate at a capacity of five million gallons per year to compete with private industry. The big issue is will the impending snow storms delay the report.

Porn not corn on TV

Dagny Stuart came and did a report for tonight's channel 4 news on the porn not corn bill. The story should air on the 6:00 news tonight. I will try to provide a link if one becomes available.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Nashville New

Not much is going on in Nashville. Most legislators are getting bills drafted and setting up for the new session. WSMV called and wanted to do an interview in the morning about the porn not corn bill. I have a committee meeting in the morning, at about the same time the interview was going to happen. The committee meeting has to come first but since we have no bills to discuss in committee I doubt the meeting will last long. I will let you know more about it after it happens if it happens.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Money, money, money.

The rightwinginsider has a great post on reward for results with one of the best titles that says it all. I am sure it will drive the pro income tax, anti free market crowd crazy.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Not so fast my friend.

Some of you may have read about this post over at the Team GOP Blog. This is not a good release. Some of the things that appear to be caucus positions or part of the Tennessee Trust are not. No matter what it says or how it is said, some issues appear incorrectly listed. I have spoken with all of leadership and they agree what you read may and probably will be misconstrued as positions we are taking. Such is not necessarily the case.

This was meant to be a release of issues that may or may not come up this year as well as some of the arguments you may hear on either side as well as some caucus positions. Somewhere in the mix it all got screwed up and mixed together. Accidents happen. Sorry for any confusion.

BEP news

The BEP review committee has come back with their recommendation.

No recommendation.

I don't expect this is the end of this issue, only a new beginning.

Match up

What match up would you most like to see and why, who wins and how big.

Al Gore VS. Bill Frist or

Harold Ford Jr. VS. Bill Frist for Gov.

and

Al Gore VS. Lamar! or

Harold Ford Jr. VS. Lamar! for US Senate

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Do you hear crickets????

After this story Steve Cohen will be on WTN 99.7 tomorrow talking about his application and rejection from the CBC.

Far left.......ATTACK!!!!!!!!!

Will they be silent? Or will he get death threats, be called a racist, media hound, white sepratist, crazy, racially confused or will they just make excuses and say "Well, this is different he wants to help people of all races that he represents. Not just the race he is"

I wonder

Not that I would wish it on him or any one else but I wonder if this accident Had been with an illegal alien and heaven forbid killed the governor or someone in his party (As they have killed others in the state) Would it have changed some votes in the house on this issue.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

An inconvenient joke

Well Oscar nominations have been made and Al Gore got two nominations so it is time to break out the Al Gore joke.

Q. If Al Gore wins an academy award how will you be able to tell him from his Oscar?

A. Al will be the stiff one.


Thank you folks. I will be here all week. Please tip your bartender.

What? He didn't get in????

Yes, I did read this about Steve Cohen. I had spoke with him briefly about it previous to him doing it (I guess it was around when we were sworn in). I had read about his thinking about trying to join the CBC on line and asked him about it. He said at that time he knew he was not going to get in. That the word had come down not to try it. I guess he went ahead and did it any way.

You can say all you want about motivation and media but sooner or later you may see that some people do want to serve people of all races that they represent. Forced exclusion and segregation helps no one to become part of a community.

Porn on the radio

I did the Hal Hill radio show with Mike Hammond on the porn not corn tax swap bill. The first thing I mentioned was that my top goal would be to remove the tax on food with the surplus, but if that failed, I think this could be an alternative that would remove the tax on food.

As you could imagine all the talk shows around Knoxville lately have been talking about the term limits decision. I thought when I did this show since it was with a county commissioner who will be making the decisions on this issue we would be still be getting a lot of calls about that. Not so.

I did about 40 minutes describing the bill and the benefits of the tax swap. I then left and turned it over to the callers. It was hot. Callers were all over it. Pro, con, all over. Calls came in from male escorts, admitted porn addicts, civil libertarians, The religious right, people who wanted the money to go to schools, People who wanted the tax to be more, People who wanted the tax to be less, on and on. Similar to the comments on the blogs, except in mass. I got calls from people who said they tried to call in but the phone lines were jammed the entire show.

It got so big that about half way through the show Mike Hammond said he wanted to do another show tomorrow and get someone from one of the escort services in Knoxville to come in and talk about the bill. It could be interesting. I will be sure to tune in tomorrow to see if they get someone to come in and talk about their business.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Porn not corn issue on radio

I will be a guest on The Hal Hill Radio show tomorrow with guest host Mike Hammond at 8:10 AM. You can tune in to WNOX FM 100.3 around Knoxville or you can listen live here. I will be talking about my Porn not corn tax swap bill as well as other things I expect to happen in the legislature this year. You can call in and ask questions or comment at 1(865)656-TALK(8255) or toll free at 1(800) 951-TALK(8255). US cellular and Cingular customers can dial *100 free as well.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

And the horses are coming up to the gate

Bill Frist was on the house floor working the room before the inauguration. After the inauguration he hung around the podium where all the politicos were till the last one was gone. I am sure many of you by now have heard the rumors of him running for governor. This may be a first step toward a possible run for that office.

Many people think Conservative congresswoman Marsha Blackburn could give him a good run. Double her odds if Knoxville mayor Bill Haslem jumps in. Haslem has been rumored as well for the seat and would have a stack of cash to go toe to toe with Frist and his money. Haslem would probably have Senator Bob Corkers support who would probably pull Zack Wamp into Haslems camp as well.

It could be interesting. Could we see a three way split in the primary with the two rich moderates splitting their base allowing a conservative to slip through this time? It would be odd just coming off the Corker race. Usually a deal is cut and one person steps aside before the race begins but Frist has nowhere else to go (except as a possible VP spot and I find that not likely). Haslem could go for the senate when Lamar quits (if he wants it and that is a big if) but I don't think that would be a good fit. Not an impossibility though.

Van and Ed would both love a comeback. I know Wamp and Lt. Gov. Ramsey want to move up at some point as well.

So many people so few seats.

Yes, the election is four years off and a lot of names and situations can change in four years but I think the positioning has already started. Four years could also turn into two years here rather quickly. Let me offer you my theory.

Obama, Hillery or whoever wins the nomination to run for president as the democrat nominee. I don't see any of them picking the other for VP. Not that it will be bad blood or any thing like that but what will they have to offer the other that they would not automatically get as the democrat nominee any way? Do you think Obama would be worried he would be unable to carry New York with out Hillery or visa versa? You must be kidding!

What they both need is a person who can carry a southern state. Something that has eluded Democrats in past failed presidential runs. John Kerry would have won the presidency had he been able to put one more state in the bank. That state? Tennessee.

To carry a southern state is not an easy thing for most any Democrat to do, but Governor Phil?.............. He could make it possible. He also brings money and a reputation (earned or not) for having turned a state around. A state that had big health care and funding issues coming in, and now,
to the casual voter (as many national voters are) looks to have the tiger by the tail. I suspect similar issues at the national level to continue to grow over the next few years.


Phil is as far as he can go in Tennessee, There are only two steps up left to go. VP would be a smooth transition. His record would not have been battered or closely scrutinized from any in party primary fighting. The Money is there, He could bring the state with him for a ticket if the other candidate was viable (not a John Kerry type). The only two real issues against Phil are:

1. The Tennessee Education rating is in the dumper (Thanks to Memphis) and

2. Phil is about as interesting as a sun dial on a cloudy day. Not that he is a bad person or dumb. Just dry....Real dry. The only time I have ever seen a smile on his face was in a campaign photo and I think they had people pulling up strings attached to the corners of his mouth just outside view of the camera.

Not the person you send around to ramp up the troops before a big election.

Both are issues I think he is working on and, according to his nomination speech will continue to work on. I don't see any quick fix on the horizon though. Will he get picked? If he does it will be a mad dash for his seat in Tennessee and the people who came out early will look like geniuses. All the rest will be playing catch up.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Good news

It was just announced that the states legislative records database will be getting an overhaul to make it more simple to use as well as give more information. The changes should be completed this year. If it is delivered as promised it will be most everything we have asked for. The only thing not covered will be committee votes or legislator bill breakdown. I think this could be a great first step for open government.

At the foot of papa bear

Does it get better then this? I don't think so!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Porn not corn interest grows

Boy, the interest around this idea has caught a lot of attention in a short period of time. Since it hit the news stands this morning in the Knox News Sentinel my phone has about rung off the hook.

At about 6:30 this morning I got my first call from Chris Marion the producer for the Hal Hill Radio show in Knoxville. Hal was on break but commissioner Mike Hammond who was filling in wanted an interview. Then the blogs were wall over it. Both side of the isle were on it and all had ideas or points of view. Steve Gill was the next to bring it up and run with it. I did a interview with him as well. Next WKRN called to set up an interview for in the morning. Next WVLT channel 8 in Knoxville called and I did a TV interview with them. All the time constituents from my district and others were calling to say what a good idea they thought it was.

I thank all the people who have shown interest in this proposal and hope it translates in to positive votes for this idea in the legislature. I think it may be an issue whose time has come.

Tax porn not corn

Yes, I stole the title from the Tom Humphrey and Brad Williams article but it was too good to pass up. For those who did not read the article it is about a tax swap that I am going to propose. The swap would be to remove or significantly remove the sales tax on food and replace it on the porn/sex industry. The items I am considering are magazine's, videos (online, cable purchase or hard copy) or items that you have to be over the age of 18 to view or purchase due to sexual content. R rated movies will not be included. Strip club fees, purchases of services at strip clubs and Escort services will also be included.

The porn/sex industry is very powerful and a multi billion dollar industry. Just how big it is in Tennessee will be calculated in the bill and used to lower or remove the tax on food.

Let me be clear. These items are already regulated. This is not a ban, just a tax on a regulated service or product. Just like we tax food, water, phone, cable, football tickets, hotels, tobacco, gasoline or alcohol. They are all taxed, some at different rates, and not considered banned items. To tax these items is not considered unconstitutional.

These items and services are "luxury items" and not necessity items. Food is a necessity. You can choose to purchase or not purchase porn or an escort. Food is another issue. It would be impossible to live without.

I wait to hear the arguments on how it is more important to save the huge profits of the thriving porn industry and keep taxing food then it is to help put food in the mouths of poor families that are struggling to make ends meet.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Not to beat a dead horse but...

I don't know if it was intentional but these two back to back headlines in the Knox news had me rolling.

After failed Senate bid, Ford heads to school
Tennessee wildlife more prevalent these days

Monday, January 15, 2007

Happy MLK day

No, I won't be doing any long quotes from any of his great speeches. But Doctor king was a great man and a great leader in the movement for peace and equality.

He who control's information.........

The Tennessean has a great article about the giant time sucker that is the legislative database. It is a barrier to people finding info on important topics and was made to be that way. A solution offered was to give people access to the legislators legislative database The only bad thing about the DB the legislators use is that we can not check what other legislators do, only our own bills. Naifeh stopped cross access the year I came in. I don't think vote records are on there either I think it just says "Passed" or "Failed" not who voted how. If we had cross legislator reference, topic reference as well as vote records it would be great. I think the LGDB site Bill Hobbs and I bloged about a few weeks ago should have all those things if they can crack the code as they say they can.

Farragut Republican website

A local Republican political club has a website I have been meaning to post about. If you live in the Farragut area you may want to check them out here.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

FYI Redo

A colleague of mine and I were talking about education and the NEA/TEA came up. I said I would forward this info to him but I thought it was so interesting I would post it again. Here it is.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Immediate impact

It is good to see the Republican takeover in the senate is already having an immediate impact. In the past, even earlier in the year (When Wilder looked to be in control of the senate) the gas tax looked all but inevitable with a statewide property tax not far behind. Now those plans don't look as promising to the Governor. Republicans can not yet push through our goal of all together removing the sale tax on food because of the Democrat controlled house, but being able to stop a tax increase is a start.

Notice the Governor left the door open to a gas tax increase in later years. I suspect this will be a goal for him if he can recapture control of the senate and keep the house in two years.

It has worked so well in the past

Also from the Tennessean The Governor said

"If necessary" "he would not tell the legislature about the full meaning of a bill intended to offer incentives to lure a large industry here."

Good to see open government is still a top priority in the "Shredandspin" administration. Knowing how easy the Cover Tennessee plan passed with no details of what we were paying for, I suspect many legislators will continue to buy in blind without a care for future implications.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

QUOTE OF THE DAY

The quote of the day has to go to Rep. Vince Dean

After some verbal sparring between Republican and Democrat leadership following the finding out that no republicans received any chairmanships in the house and most Republican party leaders were put on the most powerless committees.

Dean said "It's on like Donkey Kong"

I guess it is time for Mario to start climbing the ladders, knock out the Gorilla and save the girl.

Ironic

Isn't it ironic that just a matter of days after writing this post on how blogs aren't that great and the old media is not dead yet. Jack McElroy has to do a post on how there is a rumor going around about the potential sale of the KNS and how it sent Scripps stock values up.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Fear and loathing in Nashville

My, my, my. Little did I know how much the change in leadership would rattle the Democrat legislators and the soft middle. I have seen or heard of at least 4 confrontations that lead to harsh yelling and cussing back and fourth. In the past, this was an effective tool Democrats used to try and intimidate and wear down Republicans. Republicans in the past went into a shell when this happened for fear of upsetting the Democrat leadership and suffering the Democrat wrath and reprisals.

I have always thought of this as the legislative example of the beaten wife syndrome. Sooner or later the wife looses all spirit, stops fighting back, stops having or showing any independent point of view that is different from the abusing spouse, leaves frustrated and broken or ends up dead. It was the Democrat way, and for them it was good.

Now, once again I think the democrats are amped up now and itching for a scrap. But it is different now. Now it is not as much out of excitement or anger or the chance to make themselves feel big. Now it is out of fear.

Things have changed.

No one is backing down now as has happened in the past. Democrats think they have to flex their muscle to try and keep control or at least mental dominance over Republicans. But Republicans aren't just backing down as they have in the past.

Republicans don't have to hold their tongue and just take it now because what the Democrats have done to Republicans in the past can now be returned in the senate. I don't think Democrats quite know what to do. They don't want to share. They don't really have control as they have in the past so the threat of repercussion is diminished and the old trick of attack, yell and intimidate doesn't work as well as it used to.

Their ego is hurt. They are now realizing that they aren't as special as the lobbyist lead them to believe. They aren't as big or bad or tough as they thought. Their flaws, weak ideology and criminal activity are starting to be pointed out and noticed. The winds of change are blowing and they are not sure how to handle difficult times where their word is not the end all be all.

The only thing they can think to do now is yell louder, threaten more and punish a few early in the hope that it scares people back to where they were before as submissive pets.

I think in a few weeks the cries of "Boy it is getting so partisan. We need to go back to....(Some version of fold up the tents and hand it all back over to the Democrats)" will come from a few of the boot lickers who have been beaten to the point they can't stand up any more. But more than ever before a growing number are ready and willing to stand up for fairness and fight when necessary.

Yes, I think it will get worse before it gets better. But remember it take two to people to raise or lower a confrontation and the backing down can be done by either side. We can learn to work together in a fair and balanced way for the good of all or we can continue to fight until only one remains. The opportunity to be fair is out there for the Democrat leadership.

The next few weeks could be quite interesting.

Next up

Today we vote on the constitutional officers. The Secretary of state, The Comptroller and the treasurer. These are people the majority party puts forward but are supposed to be non partisan offices that only give "Unbiased" information and do more or less clerical type work for the legislature. These are offices that are usually a formality vote. Everyone in the house and senate combines and votes on them and for years these votes were unanimous.

Unfortunately things seem to have changed. The officers decided to get in the middle of the political process. The officers went around the state in a campaign tour with Jimmy Naifeh to support and raise money for Democrat candidates and bad mouth Republican candidates.

Do not expect many real republican votes to come for the people in these offices this year. Most will pass when it comes time to vote. Unfortunately we did not prepare candidates to run for these offices as the actions of the constitutional officers was so unforeseen. This will probably be the last year these people run un opposed.

Teaser

Be on the lookout for the next few days for a major bomb drop from the TCPR . It will make news.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Ramsey wins!!

As soon as I got to Nashville this morning I was starting to hear rumors that Ramsey had the votes to win and it did not matter what Williams did. I was going to post the rumor on my blog but Blogger was down. I was curious as to who the person was that was going to come over but the few people in the know said "Just wait. If it happens you are going to be shocked!".

They were not kidding!

I had said the night before on lets talk Frank that I felt it would be negligent for the democrats to put Wilder forward. I thought even though he had had his day, and served well, that that day had come and gone and it would be better if the Democrats picked most any one else.

Before the vote, the Democrats knew it was not going to go their way if Wilder was the nominee. They had a special caucus meeting at the last second to try to talk Wilder out of running and putting someone else forward. If they all stuck together they could still pull it off. If Wilder stayed the nominee word was out it was over. I think if they had talked him into stepping aside and let any one else run for Lt. Gov. that the Democrats would still be in power.

Wilder refused to step aside.

Most people thought it would be Cooper who crossed over, if any one. Cooper and Wilder have been on bad terms since they were both caught up in the loan scandal. When the vote went down and Cooper voted "Wilder" most people thought it was over. A groan went across the Republican side of the chamber and much of the gallery. But it was Sen. Kurita who crossed over and did what had to be done in the best interest of the state.

When Sen. Kurita voted "Ramsey" an audible gasp and a smatter of clapping were the only signs that most peoples emotions had just been flipped upside down. When Kurita voted every one knew Ramsey won. By the time it got to Williams it was already over. There was only one train that was going to finish the trip. Every one knew it. Williams hopped on at the end to make it 18 Ramsey 15 Wilder but many Republicans went so far as to say Williams still made the wrong choice. By refusing to commit to Ramsey before the vote most knew or at least strongly thought he was a lock for Wilder. When he finally voted for Ramsey most thought of it as a last second betrayal of Wilder just to be on the winning team. Republicans still don't trust him and he burned the bridge with the Democrats. For all intense and purposes he is now almost a man with out a home.

Wilder was given a standing ovation by both parties when he walked out of the senate chambers. He has said that no matter what he plans on serving out the rest of his term in office. We will see if he sticks to that after it all sinks in. Although I have said many times I do not think he was the man for the job I want to be clear that I do appreciate his service to the state.


We were all on the house floor when I got a call from my secretary telling me Ramsey won. News shot threw the house floor in a matter of seconds. Most Republicans were ecstatic! We finally may have some hand in the legislature. I hope the offer is made to the Democrats for chairmanships in the senate to some Democrats in exchange for some Republican chaimanships in the house. Possibly on opposite committees with nominees put forward by their own caucus.

If it is agreed to, a new era of REAL bi partisanship and cooperation that you hear so many people clamor for may begin to be seen in Tennessee. If Naifeh refuses to concede, I feel the senate should be run fully by Republicans (With one possible exception if it is so desired). Either way at least we have made the offer and most people will see that Republicans are the ones trying to work in a TRUE bi partisan way to move the state forward.


This could be the positive start of a new day for the legislature. Time will tell.

Coming up

Sorry I have not bloged much the last few days. I have been busy buttoning up loose ends and getting ready for the new session to start. We get sworn in at noon tomorrow.

I was lucky enough to be able to work in a last minute guest appearance on Lets Talk Frank hosted by Lee Frank with Terry frank. We had a great time talking shop on every thing from Bitney Spears to the war in Iraq. I did get a good idea for a bill while on the show. I am not sure if it made it to air but it was in the last few minutes of the show. If you didn't see it I will probably be talking of it a good amount AFTER the filing deadline for bills has ended.

You may want to check out Dave Oatney's interview with Jason Mumpower. Dave is getting a lot of talk going about his talkshoe spots. If he can get some more good interviews like this one I can only see it continuing to grow.

Coming up

Sorry I have not bloged much the last few days. I have been busy buttoning up loose ends and getting ready for the new session to start. We get sworn in at noon tomorrow.

I was lucky enough to be able to work in a last minute guest appearance on Lets Talk Frank hosted by Lee Frank with Terry frank. We had a great time talking shop on every thing from Bitney Spears to the war in Iraq. I did get a good idea for a bill while on the show. I am not sure if it made it to air but it was in the last few minutes of the show. If you didn't see it I will probably be talking of it a good amount AFTER the filing deadline for bills has ended.

You may want to check out Dave Oatney's interview with Jason Mumpower. Dave is getting a lot of talk going about his talkshoe spots. If he can get some more good interviews like this one I can only see it continuing to grow.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

If only we had a surplus

Jimmy Naifeh is now talking about a sales tax cut on food. This is a plan Republicans had and pushed last year. I had a bill that did it based on a surplus of revenue accumulated after the budget is made. Last year we had a huge surplus. We could have removed the sales tax on food for months. The problem with saying you are for it if it fits in the budget is , no matter what, they will find ways and places to spend all of the budget. A tax cut will take last or minimal priority. These items are called "after the budget items" the budget they refer to when they say this is the Governors budget items (things he wants to pass) and are just another war of saying "If we can't think of any possible other way to spend money then..." If they are serious they will say something like "The Governor has said a tax cut on food will be in the budget" or better yet "The governor has said a permanent sales tax cut on foods is going to be in the budget" or at least "It will be the first item passed after the Governors budget items"

I like the idea of removing all of the sales tax on groceries after a certain date rather then a half point here and a point there. It gives voters a barometer to see how thrifty the ruling party has been in the last two or four years of office. If new taxes come on or the tax on food goes off later and later every year It will tell people the road the state is on may need a correction.

On the other hand, If no new taxes come on and the tax on food drops off sooner and sooner year after year people will be constantly reminded at the check out counter of the importance of good small government. They will have an easy way to judge the people who are in power and will decide if they are working for the intrests of the people in office or for the working man or woman who has to work to put food on the table.

The Wilder side of numbers

Well the elections for the Democrat leadership are about to go on and I can think of a few possible outcomes but most smell bad. I will give my personal odds of each outcome actually happening but only time will tell.

Wilder gets consensus. 35%

The Dems and the Dem wanna be get in line and vote for Wilder. Nothing changes over last year. Day and night prayer viduals for the health of the governor start immediately.

The Dems split but stick Democrat. 50%

No 17 vote majority. Wilder stays in power, but the senate has the power to vote him out should much more crazy action get press, such as his prayer from last year, The Jerry Cooper deal or really just about any general conversation from his lips that gets caught on tape.

A Dem crosses over/ Multiple Republicans cross over and/or the wana be comes home. 15%

Fearing for our state or at least the possible ramifications, Political or otherwise, someone crosses lines or comes home. The reigns of power go into someone's hands that will know the front of the wagon from the back. Odds are 85% that Ramsey wins that race. About 13% over all.

70/30 says Wilder wonders around lost in the halls for a short period of time after that and then quits when he loses power. In two years 70/30 say Wilder will be gone no matter what (as in he won't be re elected). 60/40 say Republicans pick up that district adding to their the numbers in two years.

If any one else besides Ramsey wins (I would say about 15% chance of the 15% or about 2% over all) The state starts to move forward or at least does not have to hide its head in the sand and hope for the best as "the crazy aunt in the closet" realizes the doors are unlocked for another two years.