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

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Patton still alive?

Hat tip: TERRY

A few simple questions on Toll roads

Expect to see more articles like this for the next few months possibly even years. The governor wants toll roads just like in New York city to pay for more road projects. The pitch sounds great but trust me, I used to live in a state that had toll roads, you don't want them. The promise that "Just till the road is paid off" never gets fulfilled. The roads arn't any better and many times they are worse. In time costs of managing toll roads go up to meet with revenue and the people end up paying forever. I am pretty sure all the bridges and tunnels going into NYC were built on these promises. Now decades later you still cant get into the city without paying about $15.00 worth of tolls.

When this idea comes up, and it will, feel free ask about where all the surplus money went. Did the money taken from the road fund over the years by the governor ever get replaced? Will eminent domain ever be used to assemble these "private" roads? Who will pay for that? Will public money be used to pay for planning of these roads? How about the gradeing, leveling, and paveing of the roads? What is the time frame for payoff? Will it be written into law? Is it true that roads we have already bought and paid for could become toll roads? Where does Tennessee rank nationwide in quality of roads? Last I knew we were number one. Has that number slipped? How much have we dropped? If we don't pass the legislation on this idea how much will our rank slip? Will it drop at all? No? Then why do you really want toll roads so bad?

If your legislator tries to tell you toll roads are such a great idea they feel free to tell them that you agree, and you think the first toll road should be on the road to get into the capitol hill heated parking garage. That way only people who want to use it will have to pay.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Public financing of campaigns

I was reading this article and was some what surprised to see the idea of public financing of campaigns come from Frank Buck. Being a candidate who has always been outspent by my opponents three or four to one you might think I would be for public financing. Not so, I don't think the public should be forced to support with money any candidate or by connection that candidates positions with out their approval.

Frank is a good person and a lawyer who has some good ideas on ethics but I think the recent supreme court decision described in this article would be a good indication of how they might decide on public financing also.

The money in some races is getting crazy. I hear state rep races getting into 7 figures is not far off in Tennessee and has already come to pass in some other states. One thing I would like to see change is the amount that an individual can give not be outshine by what a PAC can give. Many PACs are now being set up just to send more money to a small number of candidates (or one really) any way so this is just a loophole and more paperwork for the same end result.

There are several other ways to change things. Here are some ideas on the issue.

1. One idea would be to remove all limits across the board and let the chips fall where they may with reporting.

2. Have limits on how much can be spent in a race. Say 70K for a state house race and 200K for a state senate race. Volunteer time would be more valued and this would force more grass roots action in to play.

3. Limit PAC donations by the number of actual paying members they have (Say $50.00 per member or the median of all donations when a certain number of members is met)

4. Limit PAC donations to the same amount of paid members x the max allowed to be given by individuals.

5. Limit spending of an incumbent to 1.5x as much as the challengers (with a possible minimum) Many times this ratio is 8 or 10 to 1 sometimes even more. Some might say the number should be the other way around with the power of incumbancy and all but 1.5 could be a start. With this idea you would have to limit the amount of money that can go into a race at the end of an election.

Yes, it takes money to win a race but my personal goal would be to make it so more incumbents can't just sit back and rely on a huge war chest to win a race. Make it so they have to get out and meet the people, shake hands and explain positions and votes. These are just some ideas, some good, some bad. Your ideas and input are welcome.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Its all about the O

I was on talk shoe with Dave Oatney today for about an hour. We had a great time and covered a bunch of topics from my last few posts and some new news on those fronts to the national scene and the possible effects in Tennessee.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Not the baby daddy

I had a bill this last year to make it possible to allow people who find out through DNA testing that they are not the biological parent of a child to stop making future child support payments on said children (This does not include adopted children). The bill did not allow the non fathers to go after the back payments that were made, it only allowed future payments to be stopped. The true father could still be forced to make payments and possibly even back payments creating possible double payments for the same child (my bill did not even go that far or get into that possible issue, resistance was strong as it was) This front page Tennessean article has the highlights of the bill and shows the possible injustice of the current situation.

There is no way to tell how many wrongly named fathers are paying child support in Middle Tennessee or across the state. But where statistics are available, they give pause.

Last year, the Tennessee Department of Human Services tested more than 7,000 men who had been named as fathers by women seeking child-support or government assistance. Approximately 2,000 of the men — roughly 27 percent — were not the biological father, DHS records show.

The percentage is roughly the same in the Davidson County Juvenile Court, which sometimes orders its own DNA testing. In addition, researchers estimate that in the general population about one in 10 Tennessee men named as biological fathers in specific cases are not.

That number, experts say, is true nationally.

"That is a commonly accepted number and sometimes thought to be higher,"

Scary. Innocent people forced under threat of jail to pay for a child that they can prove is not theirs. Of course this injustice continues and some courts still make innocent people pay even after they prove the child is not theirs. If all the cases from all the juvenile courts from across the state were added up I hate to think what the number could add up to. Of course the bill to correct this issue was killed for the year by Democrat leadership in the calender committee.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Big science breakthrough

This could be a huge bump for the hybrid car industry. To date one of the major hold backs has been the old school battery. Chemical pollution, big cost of production and disposal after use have made the hybrid ecologically on par with about a Hummer. It has also been a negative expense for most all other alternative energy sources. If this new innovation pans out That could all turn around.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Is it a good fair deal or socialist cronyism?

Rep. Susan Lynn has a good article on the latest government pay raises and who the democrats are REALLY looking out for and why.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Time for shared parenting?

Shared parenting has been an issue that I have been passionate about for some time. The thought is, that in worse case scenario when a couples get divorced, that with all things being equal and with the best interest of the child always in mind that both parents be given equal say and where possible equal time in their child's life.

Many times, in courts across the state, this has not been the case. Many times good fathers have to fight long, hard and at great expense to just get close to equal footing when they walk into court. Many times they walk out of court disgruntled at the unbalanced decision and walk out of the child's life.

Although not always the case the long term negative effects of a single parent household are starting to show up more and more. More then any other factor (Race, religion, household income, location) the single parent home is showing to be a huge factor in a child's success in life. Higher drop out rates, teen pregnancy, imprisonment, drug use and suicide are just some of the factors that jump dramatically in single parent house holds.This pole and the growth of groups like this one could be an indicator that people are starting to see the need to implement some sort of shared parenting legislation. Legislation that says the the court should be blind to the parents gender when they walk into court and that they should do what is best for the child with that in mind. In many cases that is having both parents play an equally important role in the child's life.

Lynn and Hobbs on the cap

Susan Lynn asks the hard questions of the A.G. on busting the Copeland cap. Hobbs has been all over this issue for some time expects it to go farther.

"Just helping the poor working man"

In the Democrat philosophy I guess this is the definition of helping the poor working man. These are the average Joe six packs that the 250 million dollar tax increase are going to help. Thank the lord for the good public servants who are looking out for these hard working people. Where would we all be without them.

I guess all those people who said we needed to have a real cut of the tax on food don't realize that without those extra tax dollars these people would be stuck at barely a living wage. Scraping by week to week. Hardly enough money to keep the lights on and food in their children's mouths.

Good people like poor Lana "It's for the schools!" Seivers.

How did you people expect this poor woman to get by! She was practically on bread and water! (and the tax on bread was brutal). For Seivers, her pay increase is only $69,336 per year, or 62.63 percent. She would have been making a paltry $110,664, including a 3 percent pay raise without the increase. I know what most of you are probably thinking. "As long as it helps the children". Well, mission accomplished! The administration staff and their children can now afford the bare bones food staples it takes to get by. It is not much, but every penny helps.

You people just don't understand the needs to keep this state running. It is a good thing we have Phil and the Democrats to keep us on the straight and narrow otherwise we might have been forced to take a whole penny off the food tax! maybe more! That was a close call. See you at the poles.

UPDATE: More with a great photo over at Terry Franks place

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Hornback horns in

Brian Hornback has a good post about a possible upcoming Knox county investigation. With all the lobster, cigar, wine, trips and other issues being brought to light this is just another area that needs to be brought out into the open and cleand up in our county government.

This could be interesting. Rumors have swirled for years that this type of abuse has been going on in the Knox county court house. I know when I go into some offices in the court house that I see a small group of people doing the work of a bunch of people and the offices never seem to be staffed at the numbers you hear that actually get paid by the county.

Some people say nothing good ever comes from a confrontational government or a government that is having internal struggles. I could make a strong argument that the opposite is true.

When government officials argue and "sling mud" the mud they sling is usually about waste and fraud in the other departments. When this is exposed and corrected the taxpayer wins.

When things are silent and government gets along too well it is often times dangerous for the taxpayer wallet. My mom use to say "An idle mind is the devils workshop". In government this is doubly true. Silence, if nothing else, is often a sign that government is fat and happy on the public dime. Not a good sign. When government gets "fat and happy" they try to think of new ways to either infringe on your freedoms or take more of your land and money for their next project or program.

In this case I say keep them fighting until all the dirt is cleaned up and government shrinks to the minimum necessary.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


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Monday, July 16, 2007

On Bowers and the party

From mr turnbow

"It just became official an hour ago(10:30). She plead to one bribery charge and her attorney says her sentence will be between 30-36 months. This leaves Michael Hooks Jr as the only Waltz defendant left. Hooks is related to the former NAACP leader."

Also on his blog he has a interesting list

The following is a list of prominent Democrats in the south who have been arrested/indicted/sent to prison in the last few years by the US Justice Department:

Ex North Carolina State House Speaker Jim Black
Ex North Carolina State Rep Michael Decker(he's an ex GOPer as well)
Ex Georgia State Senate Majority Leader Charles Walker
Ex Alabama Governor Don Siegelman
Ex Alabama State Rep Bryant Melton
Tim Turnham-brother of Alabama's Democratic Party Chairman Joe Turnham
Ex Alabama Secretary of State Nancy Worley
Ward Crutchfield
John Ford
Roscoe Dixon
Kathryn Bowers
William Cotton
Michael Hooks Sr
Michael Hooks Jr
Edmund Ford
The two Waltz bagmen
Joe Cooper(indicted with Edmund the first time)
Joseph Lee(indicted with Edmund the second time)
Rickey Peete(indicted with Edmund the first time)

The following is a list of prominent GOPers who have been indicted in the south in the last few years by the Justice Department:

Ex GOP State Rep Chris Newton

Friday, July 13, 2007

By, by Bowers ......Or should it be Buy, buy Bowers?

Katherine Bowers, the Democrat who was given a standing ovation (by her fellow Democrats) upon returning to the legislative floor after being bailed out of jail following her arrest for accepting bribes has admitted to taking bribes and is looking to cut a dealI wonder who she could bring down?

Ward was a "noteworthy public servant"

With friends like this..........

On Thursday, Democratic Caucus chairman Sen. Joe Haynes of Goodlettsville said in a statement:

"The members of the Caucus are saddened by this turn of events. ... It is our hope that this does not obscure what was a record of noteworthy public service. Senator Crutchfield represented the people of his district with distinction for a very long time."

If that is a record to be proud of I hate to see what is a record to be ashamed of looks like.

Ward to join Ford

Ward cuts deal and admits to taking bribes Who will be next? I think the FBI may have another round still in them. Some one will roll over to get a better deal but the deals get fewer and smaller as time rolls on. Convictions usually lead to more convictions.

Illegals on the move

Because of new laws and cracking down with the old laws illegals are leaving the state of Georgia. What state do you think they will go next?

Monday, July 09, 2007

Lynn on Resolutions and success

Rep. Susan Lynn has a good post on passing resolutions and what make a successful legislator. As always she is spot on and gives great detail.

Cali. wants a porn tax

California is looking at a porn tax. Just remember you read it here first. The big difference between their bill and mine is the big sticking point in California. Republicans won't support a straight tax increase (as taxes in that state are already through the roof). My bill was revenue neutral. All money raised would go toward removing the tax on food.

The concept is starting to grow legs (so to speak).

Resolution solution

The Tennessean has a good story about the number of resolutions passed this year. I do believe that a fee has been added to all resolutions passed to be paid by the legislator It may come out of the office/mail allowance I am not sure. I think the fee is $20.00 per resolution after the first 5 (the first 5 are free). That should cover the costs. I am not sure if they ever actually collect the fee when people go over as I seldom present resolutions.

In most cases, these take no real legislative time unless they bring people onto the house floor to honer them. When people come onto the house floor then the resolution take any where from twenty minutes to two hours depending on how elaborate the presentation is. Some are quite entertaining. Acts such as Lee Greenwood, Miss America, bald eagles flying around, country music singers on their way up, Chef from "South Park" Isaac Hayes, marching bands and such.

Some......Not so much.

I think it would be interesting to see how many resolutions would be brought to the house floor if they could only be brought on a Thursday morning when most legislators are itching to go home as quick as possible. The thirty minute long speech about "Bill the bottle cap collector" or "The reenactment in remembrance of the great cropy fish tournament of 1975" or what ever would be greatly abbreviated.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Political joke of the week

Traffic was backed up around Washington DC one day as a man with a bucket rushed car door to car door collecting money. When he got to one cab door the cabbie asked what the hold up was.

"Terrorists have captured Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton's motorcade up ahead. They say if they don't get a million dollars then they are going to poor gasoline on them and light them on fire in the middle of the street"

"Your kidding!" replied the cabbie. "What is everybody giving?"

The man with a bucket thought for a moment then said. "About a gallon"

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Van for Robin

I am not sure how Rob Huddleston will take the news but after talking with Robin Smith this morning Van has decided not to run for the State Republican party chair and is instead strongly supporting Robin in her run for leadership. Van said he feels Robin will do a great job and he thinks she has the experience to push the Republican numbers in the legislature over the top. He strongly supports her.

Who's Yer Daddy?

A seminary professor was vacationing with his wife in Gatlinburg, TN. One morning, they were eating breakfast at little restaurant, hoping to enjoy a quiet, family meal. While they were waiting for their food, they noticed a distinguished looking, white-haired man moving from table to table, visiting with the guests. The professor leaned over and whispered to his wife, "I hope he doesn't come over here." But sure enough, the man did come over to their table.

"Where are you folks from?" he asked in a friendly voice.

"Oklahoma," they answered.

"Great to have you here in Tennessee," the stranger said. "What do you do for a living?"

"I teach at a seminary," he replied.

"Oh, so you teach preachers how to preach, do you? Well, I've got a really great story for you." And with that, the gentleman pulled up a chair and sat down at the table with the couple. The professor groaned and thought to himself, "Great...Just what I need... another preacher story!"

The man started, "See that mountain over there? (pointing out the restaurant window).

Not far from the base of that mountain, there was a boy born to an unwed mother.

He had a hard time growing up, because every place he went, he was always asked the same question, 'Hey boy, Who's your daddy?' Whether he was at school, in the grocery store or drug store, people would ask the same question, 'Who's your daddy?' He would hide at recess and lunch time from other students. He would avoid going in to stores because that question hurt him so bad.

When he was about 12 years old, a new preacher came to his church. He would always go in late and slip out early to avoid hearing the question, 'Who's your daddy?' But one day, the new preacher said the benediction so fast he got caught and had to walk out with the crowd. Just about the time he got to the back door, the new preacher, not knowing anything about him, put his hand on his shoulder and asked him, "Son, who's your daddy?" The whole church got deathly quiet. He could feel every eye in the church looking at him. Now everyone would finally know the answer to the question, 'Who's your daddy."

This new preacher, though, sensed the situation around him and using discernment that only the Holy Spirit could give, said the following to that scared little boy. "Wait a minute! I know who you are. I see the family resemblance now. You are a child of God." With that he patted the boy on his shoulder and said, "Boy, you've got a great inheritance. Go and claim it."

With that, the boy smiled for the first time in a long time and walked out the door a changed person. He was never the same again. When ever anybody asked him, 'Who's your Daddy?' he'd just tell them, 'I'm a Child of God'."

The distinguished gentleman got up from the table and said, "Isn't that a great story?"

The professor agreed that it really was a great story!

As the man turned to leave, he said, "You know, if that new preacher hadn't told me that I was one of God's children, I probably never would have amounted to anything!" And he walked away.

The seminary professor and his wife were stunned. He called the waitress over and asked her, "Do you know who that man was who just left that was sitting at our table?"

The waitress grinned and said, "Of course. Everybody here knows him. That's Ben Hooper. He's the former governor of Tennessee!"

~author unknown~

(Note: Mr. Hooper served as Governor of Tennessee from 1911-1915)

The work of the state

This article is a good definition of how most of the time in the legislature is spent. Most of the big ideas are dead in one of the first committees and we end up spending time talking about state wide leash laws or banning squirt guns from college campuses as a big topic of conversation.

From the Jessica Fender article...

"Tennessee lawmakers spent about a third of their efforts this lengthy legislative session rewriting city charters, changing the way plumbers are licensed and mulling other similarly narrowly focused rule changes, records show."

"The volume of approved housekeeping bills overshadowed the number of successful education, crime and transportation proposals combined"

"Political analysts of the academic and armchair varieties alike say the 23-week legislative session, which cost the state $2.3 million, yielded few major initiatives outside of a 42-cent cigarette tax increase that took effect Sunday."

Yes, the attacks have been made that Republicans don't pass much legislation. This is what is allowed to pass under the current leadership. For the most part the big issues never see the light of day.

I would much rather spend time debating on how to best reform our schools so the money we invest makes a difference in children's lives or how to crack down on illegals and the people who hire them so the people who work honestly make a fair wage or why littering is a felony and assaulting a police officer isn't.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

It takes a village

Poor Al gore. It goes from bad to worse. Doesn't little Al know if you do 55 MPH you save gas and put out less emissions. And that other stuff he is burning.... that can't be good for the environment either. I wonder if he cut it down himself. If only he could find someone to talk to about it or someone who could give him the important information he needs to help himself and the environment.

But who? Who can he turn to?

Happy 4th

I love the 4th. I usually go to my uncles who puts out quite a out door spread. He was a long time chef and is now a store manager at Texas Roadhouse so he knows how to do it Right. Deviled eggs, fresh slaw, salad, burgers, dogs, jello whatever it is, cake, all sorts of goodies. Jimmy Buffett is on the radio, a small campfire going in one corner, kids running around playing with toys or riding up and down the streets on bikes. Adults sit around talking about the issues of the day, what is going on in the neighborhood or at work.

We eat till we are stuffed and then go down to the cove at the end of the dead end street where all the neighborhood meets up. I think it has turned into a sort of competition for the neighborhood dads to see who has can bring the bigger and more impressive fireworks display each year. It has gotten to the point that we can't shoot the fireworks all off in one night (or put out all the fires in two nights). We all sit around in law chairs and watch. Little kids get sparklers and occasionally, with the helping hand of an adult, get to light the fuse of some fire works. Lots of "oohs" and "ahas" and an occasional "Look out!" A good time is had by all.

At the end of the night every one get out their leaf blowers and helps clean up the mess. We all go home and think how lucky we are to be born in such a great country.

Hope you all have a happy 4th of July.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Big Jim

I just got off the phone with Jim Bryson. He said he was greatly tempted with Fred running and the thought of taking over the legislature looking so close at hand but no he was not going to run for party chairman. Too much going on at this time in his life (all good).


I spoke with Van and Bill both so far.

Van said his phone has been ringing all morning. (I can believe this as I had a difficult time getting him earlier). When I asked if he was running he said he was in the listening stage but had not closed the door on the idea at all.

I spoke with Bill and was told about the same.

Although I have not spoken with Ed yet I was told by people in Lamar!s office that they plan on Ed being an integral part of their campaign.

I have a call in to Jim Bryson but I have not heard back yet from him.

More when I do.

Rumor mill

The rumor that a legislator can not raise money for the party while in session if they became the party chairman is NOT true. I just got off the phone with the ethics commission they went to the code, read it and said that although it has not been challenged, it looks pretty clear that it would only bar a legislator from raising money for themselves or individual candidates while in session. It would not bar them from raising money for the party.

Names in the news

I have been calling my sources all morning. Some new names have crept in. Others seem to fall by the wayside. Rumor is some of the big names are not interested at this time.

I read on one site my name and Chris Clems name come up. I was also asked by a few of my high ranking sources if I was interested in the job.


I would like to float another name out there.

Bill Dunn.

New Leadership for Tennessee Republicans

It all looks to be coming together.

If this article is correct and Paul Stanly becomes our new state party chairman then my hopes for a Tennessee state house leadership change to Republican just grew another 20%.

Paul Stanly is a good conservative candidate for the job. I worked with Paul when he was in the state house and know him to have a great work ethic and a record of standing firm at the right time. When he was elected to the senate he stuck to his conservative principles and work ethic.

If he becomes our new state party leader it could be a great thing. He knows both houses and their inner workings extremely well. He knows the people, the personalities, the strengths and weaknesses of every legislator, the deals in the works and the positioning needed to bring those points forward in their best possible light. It could work out like a charm.

This article is really double good news as it means the Fred Thompson campaign is about to kick into high gear. I have written in the past about the down the ticket effects of a Thompson presidential race especially against a polarizing Hillary Clinton. It looks like that part is coming together also.

I have lately been hearing rumors that some of the older Democrats are looking to retire soon. Add in a few good candidates who are willing to work for a win to help push those decisions forward, a solid message and we could have the formula for success in the next election cycle.

Could this be the "Republican Revolution" for Tennessee? I see a wave building.

UPDATE: This could get interesting

UPDATE II: Van, Ed and Jim are other names being thrown around. I have some calls out. I will let you know what I hear.

UPDATE III: Rumor is that Lamar! wants Ed to run his re election campaign. Ed has not committed either way. If this is true the behind the scenes deal making could be quite interesting. If you follow the history many times the US senators make the pick as to who will be the state party chairman. Fred Thompson put Bob Davis in the job last time, now, it is Lamar!s "turn" to pick. Is this something Ed wants or could he hold out for something else....

If a former federal candidate gets the job will it put more focus on the federal races and take focus and funding away from the state races?

Monday, July 02, 2007

But does he know the price of milk?

From The Nashville City Paper

While trying to pump E85 ethanol into a car last week during Biofuels Day, Gov. Phil Bredesen had a little trouble pumping his own gas.

With several TV cameras and newspaper photogs focusing in, Bredesen couldn’t get the pump to start working for a few moments, squeezing the handle several times with no luck.

Then, Bredesen read the instructions on the pump’s screen, and pushed the “START” button.

Miraculously, the pump worked after that.

Classic pandering from the man who vetoed bio fuel blending and plans to increase your gas tax next year.

I can think of no greater example of how out of touch these democrats are with working family and the cost to fill up a tank of gas. If his money was as hard earned as it is for most people I can imagine Phil would walk up shocked to the cashier and say "You want how much!"