Last night and today I went to the TEA party statewide convention. The highlight of the night was the gubernatorial forum. The indy candidates had their moment in the sun, were treated as equals and didn't let down. They came loaded for bare. All of the big three took a little heat.
At the beginning of the forum the TEA party organizer came up and announced to the entire crowd over the PA how he was quite upset about an alleged volunteer for the Wamp campaign stealing Ramsey signs. Photos of the culprit were produced and threats of a felony were made if the signs were not returned. OUCH!
Wamp said he knew nothing about it and said if it was someone on his campaign they were gone.
I would say that was Wamps hit and it was pretty big.
Ramseys hit was a set up beautifully by Wamp. A few weeks ago Wamp took a whack at Ramsey about the growth of state government. Ramsey had the good comeback then. He said that while the state budget grew, at least at the state level they were paying for it as they went...Unlike the federal government that has been growing on deficit spending.
It was a great comeback two weeks ago but this time Wamp was ready.
Wamp threw out the hook (the same straight line), Ramsey bit with the same comeback. Wamp shot back how he was only one vote of hundreds of representatives and to think he had control over the entire US budget you had to be as dumb as a boot!" Ouch!
Haslams hits came from the audience, one of the indy candidates and even the moderator.
One of the indy candidates questioned Haslams non open investment records. Did he have investments in casinos? private prison corporations? red light camera companies or other companies that might have interest in state contracts? Haslem did not look comfortable.
One of the questions was on gun group affiliations and the second amendment. Haslam gave the pat "I support the second amendment and the NRA" type response.
Someone in the audience yelled out "Bloomburgh!" The moderator picked up on it and ran. He asked if Haslam would like to explain his membership in the anti gun Bloomburgh gun coalition, the failure to allow guns in parks in Knoxville and the Knoxville chief of police supporting Bredesen when he vetoed guns in bars.
Haslam stumbled around and spit out a some mediocre response. Ouch!
While it was interesting to see Haslam respond I must say I did not feel it was a fair question. When you go to a forum like that you expect the questions and the moderator to be equal and fair to all participants. Most every candidate has some political flaws. Bad steps, votes, history, associations. To ask one candidate to respond to that type question and not the others I do not feel is a fair question of the moderator.
All in all, with that exception, there were some of the best questions I have seen at a forum and they held feet to the fire.