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

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Pig killing

Nobody seems to want to be the first to step forward and offer cuts to the budget. I know it many times is not the wisest thing politically to do.

But I like to cut government. So in the interest of the state I have brought some of my favorite ideas forward that could probably cover most of our current revenue shortfalls. Without a tax increase, without dipping into rainy day funds and without dramatic education cuts.

I will be bringing an amendment to this bill to expand the scope of cuts to be as described, as well as to make the dedication of savings/revenue from the cuts go into the general budget (to try and get us closer to balanced).

Some of the ideas I have the fiscal impact on. Some I have a partial fiscal impact on. Some I have no fiscal impact prediction as of yet, but they are being worked on as part of my presentation for next week.

I give you

The pig killer bill.

-End the blue book production until further notice. ($.5 mill)

-Stop mail notification of all direct deposit checks for state employees.

-Stop use of, and sell, all non education airplanes except 2 (9.16 million from sale +1.582 million reoccurring costs=$10.7 million)

-De fund the arts and PBS as not funded by the license plate money. (2.77 million+ 3.036 million=$5.8 million)

-Limit per diem to 50% (or up to current rate with receipt) for legislators who live within 50 miles .

-End state purchase of bottled water except for emergency services or where water is not potable ($28K)

-Stop state funding of earthquake studies. ($1.9 Million)

-Reverse all raises made in the last 3 years over 5% (Per year) for people making over 60K per year.

-De fund all land purchases over $1 million for land conservancy. ($10 million)

-De fund all studies of alternative energy sources. ($5.3 million reoccurring + @ $30 million of additional investment in one corn cob plant)

-Put a limit on mail frank accounts that if not used in two years then it reverts to the original amount. No stockpiling.

-All cost associated with resolutions (after 4 per year) are billed to the legislator making the resolutions mail frank account.

-Limit per diem expense and expenses for travel of legislators who are not the governor, speaker of the house or the Lt. governor to one out of state trip per year.

-Sell off all golf courses that have not made a profit in 3 consecutive years (@$1.635 million reoccurring savings + revenue from sales)

-Close all out of state offices or at least move them to non prime price territory (I hear there are also offices out of the country).

History HERE


Roughly $66 Million for 7 and 1/2 of my 15 ideas. I expect the total savings/revenue to be in the $80 to $90 million range.

I have some other ideas but these are just to prime the pump.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Welcome to the club Arizona

A lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth is going on about an illegal alien bill passed into law in Arizona.

Hate to let you down but Tennessee has had a similar piece of legislation in effect for some time. Tennessee's 287 (g) program has allowed local municipalities to join with the fed and do enforcement of federal immigration laws. The same or incredibly similar rules for checking of status as Arizona just passed is already being done in one county in Tennessee.

Davidson (Nashville) has had this in effect for three years. The results? Incredibly successful.

The original legislation was brought by Delores Gresham in the house (HB491) and Mark Norris in the senate (SB1604) back in 2007.

Of course it has not been implemented state wide as it has been done in AZ but the ability is there.

Possibly next year with the new Republican Governor something will get brought forward to do just that.

I can think of one potential Republican senator who would like to see it passed.

Getting more for less

Yes. I am as tight with your dollars as I am with my own.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Things I don't know

While I understand all faiths are different and have their different rules and values, One thing I don't understand is how if a Muslim is not supposed to ever look at an image of Mohamed then how do they know if someone else has actually reproduced a copy of him?

I mean really. If I said I reproduced a picture of Mohamed but it was really a picture of my long lost uncle Cletus how would a true Muslim know? What would they have to compare it to?

If there is a Muslim out there I really would like to know.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Funny running into you here

A buddy of mine who is not political called me up today and said how he almost ran over the twin of Sarah Palin.

I asked "Really?"

"Yea" he replied. He was going down Gay street and these two ladies started to walk out against the light. One saw him and pulled back but the other kept going. When she realised the other had stooped and went back she looked around and saw my buddy coming down the street toward her in a truck. He said she got an embarrassed look on her face because he had to slow down to avoid her.

He said at first she looked like an older lady but when she turned to face him he said "D@#n, she looks just like Sarah Palin but hotter"

I informed him that it probably was Sarah Palin. She was in town at the court house just off Gay Street.

"Boy" he said. "I guess it really is a good thing I didn't run over her" "I would have been toast!"

I said I doubt it. The headline would have read "Palin commits crime (Jay walking) and is apprehended by alert citizen."

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sad stories make for bad laws

We possibly passed the worst bill of the year this last week. I know most people probably never heard about it and it may not be a big issue for most people, but for some reason it got under my skin and has been nagging at me all week.

It makes people purchase a sensor for their pool or hot tub that goes off when someone gets in the water. The sensors can add as much as $200.00 to the cost of a hot tub and up to $800.00 for proper coverage in a regular pool. Did I mention they are required in ALL pools. Yes, even those little inflatable pools you buy at Wal Mart.

It creates a criminal penalty if you don't purchase it. It will probably add civil liability to the hot tub or pool owner if they take it out or let the battery die.

It is a bill in response to a senator who had a grand child drown in a swimming pool. Not to make light of the death. I wouldn't wish that on anyone and it is tragic but sometimes sad stories make for bad laws. I think this is one of those cases.

Just a little income tax proposal

Up this next week in the government operations committee is a bill being brought by Rep. Turner and a long list of prominent Democrat co sponsors. It is being run through the one committee where Democrats have the Majority. Where Republicans can not stop or amend a bill.

It has the pleasant little name "The tax cut and job creation bill". It sounds harmless enough right? Who could vote against something with a name like that?

It gets rid of a litany of onerous taxes Republicans have wanted gone for some time. It
(1) Repeals the sales tax on grocery food;
(2) Eliminates the local option sales tax and establishes a uniform, statewide sales tax of 5 percent;
(3) Eliminates the Hall income tax;
(4) Decreases the tax rate on interstate or international telecommunications services sold to businesses from "7.5 percent" to "five percent"

In its place is one simple little tax.

An income tax.

Get your horns ready.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Just for grins

I was walking down the street in Nashville with fellow reps Bill Dunn, Mike Bell, and Jimmy Matlock the other day. A fire truck pulled up next to us and Bill asked the driver if he could have a ride. The driver smirked and said "No! We don't do that" Bill went on to ask how Rep. Mike Turner got a ride then. The driver said he did not know about that but they were all Republicans in that truck and there were no free rides on the government as far as they were concerned.

I did not ask for a ride. My car was just a few sidewalks away. ;-)

This from the people who say creation is a myth

Suddenly the left goes up in arms when their indoctrination camps seem to be losing some of their power.

Where were these same people when the school books were saying Creation is a biblical myth? or teaching more about Marilyn Monroe then our founding fathers?

By the way, I was talking with Mr. Zimmerman (The father who protested the "Creation is a biblical myth" definition) yesterday. He said he has been in meetings with Knox co appointed school superintendent Jim MacIntyre and MacIntyre has said he is willing to "look into" alternatives if Zimmerman drops the entire issue and goes away. Of course the book and offensive quote will remain.

The cries of "The system is working leave it alone!" come from those within the current system who approved of the offensive text. They see no problems that need addressing.

Well, well, well.....

It seems all the things I mentioned in my post about "Abstinence only" classes for young children are true. The classes don't teach abstinence only. The private group admits that the class is as was described by the father in this last post.

From the post.....

Using a private advocacy group (Nashville cares) to teach sex education. He felt the private group was a very pro homosexual group with an open agenda to push the alternative lifestyle onto younger and younger children.

He claimed the group presented the anus as an erogenous zone, brought in male and female sex toys into the class, simulated sex acts, showed children how to put a condom on a artificial penis using their mouth and advocated that if a person did not want to have sex with a person then they should provide oral sex to the person.

Now this from the groups own mouth....So to speak

So the agency's staff member put a condom on a plastic model of male genitalia and explained how it would stop transmission of disease during oral sex.
Luther, who developed the curriculum, said other discussions might have made mention of the prostate and its role in male sexual arousal and response.

Of course the father was attacked for being some right wing zealot, lying to cast aspersions on a good group. It seems like the things he mentioned were true. What of the rest? Any denial? No? Any comments from those who claim they teach abstinence only? Department of Education?

I am sure when this comes back up again next year it will be "Another figment of my wild imagination" or "Some crazy thing he found on the web"

Monday, April 19, 2010

Bobcats and Backhoes

We had a house republican caucus dinner tonight. We talked about the governors new tax proposal. I asked about the truth in the claim that the tax is mostly a "Luxury" tax. Taxing Diamond rings and fur coats. The comptroller almost laughed at that assumption.

I asked what percent was true luxury items. The response was "Less the 20%. Way less. Probably around 10%. It is really a tax on small business. Even Bredesen has said it."

"It is a tax on bobcats and backhoes." came one comment. "That is one computer work station.", "Just when our small businesses are already struggling he tries this" came another.

There were no votes at the meeting in favor of the tax increase. Zero. The senate seems pretty set on no tax increase budget as well. One senator came over and said get ready for a long ride unless Bredesen decides to back off his tax proposals and get down to business.

Most think he is wanting Ron and the Republicans to make the hard cuts and the rest is a distraction. Word is Kyle is not going to even bother bringing the technical corrections tax bill unless he has some Republican votes lined up.

That is not looking good at this time.

The hard thing is the senate is down to 8 legislative days. The house has 20 days. The house has not been going in for session on Wednesdays. The senate has. Rumor is the Senate is going to pass a budget in the senate, send it to the house and go on break until something happens in the house.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Arizona cracks down on illegals

In a wide sweeping piece of legislation Arizona has cracked down on illegal aliens.

It says if you are not in the country legally you are a criminal and gives the states the power to enforce the law.

Currently, immigration offenses are violations of federal, not state, law, and local police officers only can inquire about a person's immigration status if that person is suspected of another crime. Under SB1070, however, Arizona police will have the right to stop anyone on "reasonable suspicion" that they may be an illegal immigrant and can arrest them if they are not carrying a valid driver's license or identity papers.

I wonder if the federal government will fight to keep this power of law enforcement of illegal immigration laws at the federal level. Obviously they have been doing a pretty poor job of enforcement so far but they seem to fight any effort by the states to take responsibility for their own governance.

DUI interlock

Is in a race to move out of the black hole committee. The race is with another DUI interlock bill.

Ending jobs for life?

Wow! Other people are now looking into ending the teacher tenure system that all but guarantees a teacher a lifetime contract irregardless of performance.

I have always thought teachers should be under the civil service protections instead of the tenure system. Florida is getting close to achieving this. Governor Charlie Crist just vetoed the passed legislation. Some say it was an attempt to pump life into his flailing US senate campaign.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Sundquist trap/ "Just say no!"

Bredesen is kicking it up a level on his attempt to dodge hard decisions and shift the blame to Ramsey and the Republicans.

It looks as if Ramsey may be taking the bait.

Bad political move.

It is the governors job to propose a balanced budget. By throwing out a bunch of unpopular tax proposals and then saying if you don't like taxes then you have to come up with your own budget. Well, that is passing the buck.

It is the bosses job to make the hard decisions. Bresesen can't say "The buck stops with the other guy". People are not going to buy it. No matter what he says.

If Phil no longer wants to be the top guy he should step down as governor. I am sure Ramsey would be happy to step up even at this late hour and make the hard decisions. Since I doubt Phil would do that, to turn the political tide back on Bredesen, Ramsey should say "Give us the no new taxes, no rainey day fund raided budget and we will fix it from there."

If Bredesen comes back with a terrible plan, Ramsey will look good for fixing it, for saving jobs or whatever. If it is OK but has some hard cuts in it then they can pass it, but the "bad" in it will still be from Bredesen.

Politically every time Ramsey Just says "No!" to taxes he wins. If Bredesen brings up 10 tax increases and Ramsey puts the now famous boots down on all of them he will grow in popularity for his governors race. Every time he says "No!", the people will say "Yes!" to his campaign.

In political warfare the longer Ramsey holds out the better his campaign will do. He will be in the headlines for fighting taxes and/or saving jobs for weeks. Either way he wins. He will only lose if he comes up with his own no new taxes budget first. Then it will all be his fault.

Health freedom act battle

The health freedom act is in full on battle in calendar and rules. The committee is split 12-12 and has not been able to get movement to get it out of committee.

The health freedom act is saying Tennessee will join the the lawsuit against the federal government for passing the health care bill.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Fetal pain abortion ban

Nebraska has enacted the first ban on abortion based on pain of the victim

New tax plan

Today, the administration presented to leadership a proposal to eliminate the state sales tax "single article cap".

Currently, the first $1,600 of any single item taxable purchase is subject to the combined state (7%) and local option sales tax (up to 2.75%). The next $1,600 of a purchase is taxed at 9.75% with all of the revenue going to the state. The value of a purchase that exceeds $3,200 is subject to the state rate of 7%.

The administration now wants to remove this $3,200 cap so that everything above $1,600 is taxed at 9.75%. Exceptions would remain for cars, boats, and manufacturing equipment. 

Regardless of how the administration will try to spin this, it is an $85 million tax increase on Tennesseans!

"We only teach abstinence"

Warning Much of the language and information in this next post is in regards to things of a sexual nature that are being taught to very young school children. If you are easily offended stop reading now.

Your lips say yes but the facts say NO. When I presented my bill on teaching about alternative lifestyles to very young children The Department of education swore up and down they don't teach about sex other then abstinence education.

Now, A Nashville father has raised concerns in regards to sex education being taught in his daughters school. I spoke with the father in question (Rodrick Glover) previous to this hearing. He was quite clear about what was being taught and what some of his concerns were. Among his concerns were.....

Using a private advocacy group (Nashville cares) to teach sex education. He felt the private group was a very pro homosexual group with an open agenda to push the alternative lifestyle onto younger and younger children.

He claimed the group presented the anus as an erogenous zone, brought in male and female sex toys into the class, simulated sex acts, showed children how to put a condom on a artificial penis using their mouth and advocated that if a person did not want to have sex with a person then they should provide oral sex to the person.

Sound like abstinence only?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

You wouldn't get this from any other guy

Just thought I would tell you how I'm feeling. No matter what you may read on some newspaper comment section. No. I am not Rick Astley back after an 80's pop star hiatus

For those of you spreading that rumor go here for more proof.

Closing Hand gun carry permit records

My bill to stop the publishing of handgun carry permit holders has passed out of the full judiciary committee and is headed to the Calendar and rules committee.

You may remember this became a big issue last year when two of the states biggest newspapers reproduced the entire list of carry permit holders.

Carry permit holders said it was an invasion of their privacy and could put them in danger from gun thieves. Open government people wanted the records to stay open so they could see if people who were arrested were permit holders.

The original bill would have limited mass reproduction of the list for nongovernmental purposes but would still have allowed people to have access to the records. It raised the bar and made it more difficult (and expensive) to get the list but still left the information available.

It was amended in committee by Rep. Eddie Bass to close all access of HCP records for nongovernmental purposes. It is now in the form that passed the house but failed in the senate last year.

I think my original bill might be a good half step that both sides could live with but we will see where it goes from here.

We do. It is called the bill of rights.

Jimmy Naifeh in his fight against gun owner rights.

"When a child is born, we give them a birth certificate,” Rep. Jimmy Naifeh, D-Covington, said in frustration at one point in the debate. “Why not give them a gun permit too? Guns at birth.”

Monday, April 12, 2010

No kidding

At the end of session tonight Kent Williams recognised Susan Richardson Williams. Williams, the former (r) party chair was sitting on the house floor, cutting up with Rep. Joe Armstrong(D) and Rep. Harry Tindell(D) during the debate on government funded abortions.

Kent said how he wanted to welcome Susan Williams. He went on "I would be able to run as a Republican if Susan were in charge of the Republican party."

No Kidding.

Opting out of federal funding for abortion

Passed. 70-23.

Resolution against federal health care bill

Passes. 66 for -29 against 1 present but not voting 3 did not vote. All nos or passes were Democrats.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

"Creation is a myth" Book still going

I just talked with Kurt Zimmermann on the phone about his appearance before the school book review panel. If you do not recall he was the man who protested when one of his children's school books said that that creation is a myth.

The first attempt to stop the book from being used as a student education tool was killed in the first committee it went to. It just came up for appeal to the higher school board committee and after lengthy discussion they put it off for a another month. The move was probably an attempt to get the attention to blow over (I wonder if they know Kurt will be on Fox news national in the morning?)

Kurt said it was quite heated. A few of the board members were for the removal, but others (Probably the majority) were in favor of keeping the book in some form or fashion saying they didn't want to limit teachers.

Funny how that phrase keeps coming up. I seemed to hear that a lot as I presented my bill to say that teachers should not be teaching about homosexuality to very young children. They also seemed stuck on the phrase that it is not happening here.

They kept saying it over and over even though I gave several examples to the contrary. I think they feel if they keep saying it long enough people will believe it.

The TEA knobbiest said that if it was happening teachers would be fired. I won't hold my breath. Why? Well there is no rule against it and I have already offered examples of people who admit they are doing it and nothing happened. Last year I gave several specific examples to the department of education to research. This year they came back and said he never really looked into any of the cases I sighted. I imagine even if someone really pushed the issue they would go before a similar review board that the "creation is a myth" book went through and nothing would happen.

Is there any wonder why home schooling is on the grow?

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

I am in!

Naifeh tries to say anyone who wants out of the Obama health care plan should opt out of Medicare as well. I for one would be for that if I could also opt out of the taxes and fees that support those programs.

This is HUGE!!!!!

I am not sure if I can continue this is so huge!

I parked on the sidewalk!

I know, this will probably destroy the state so I thought I would let you know all the gory details before the final collapse.

I was flying home from seeing my family in NY over Easter vacation. My plane was running late. I knew I was going to be late leaving the last airport so I called in and was excused for the day. Calling a fellow legislator I was informed we had one big bill for the day and it was coming up late in the calendar. When I landed I figured I could still make a large chunk of session so I hustled to the capitol. I pulled up outside the doors of the capitol entrance. Just inside the door is the capitol police (A State trooper). I told him the situation and asked if it was OK to park there for a few minutes while I went in and voted. He was fine with it. I had my flashers on, was off the road and it is a large sidewalk.

We voted and I literally ran back down and moved my car.

Somehow that is big news. I don't know if it is, but if it is, we are going to see a lot more stories about it. I often see legislators parked there when they are running late. Buses and vans also park there or just stop and park in the street in front of the capitol blocking traffic.

I will await the other news stories.

UPDATE: Just walked by the doorway. Two cars and a Van are parked in the road there now.

Release the hounds!!!

Alert the media!!!!!!

Monday, April 05, 2010

The O gets in the show

Solid conservative David Oatney makes his official announcement to run for the state executive committee. He would have one of the key votes to decide who does and who does not get to use the title of Republican.

In a related story Kent Williams was allowed to pick up a petition to run as a Republican but chose not to turn it in. Former state rep. Jerome Cochran will most likely carry the party banner in November.

"Creationism is a myth"

That is what our schools in Knox county are teaching and so far it is accepted by our school officials. I have been in contact with Mr. Zimmermann on this issue for a few weeks but have been trying to let it go through the process at least until it has completed this next review. Should it fail we will have to go to the next level.

The press wants to call it a "Book ban" and claim that the book burning will come next. Of course if the book said creationism is a fact then they would cry "Separation of church and state!" "Burn the book!" "Get it out of the school now!!!!!!"SUE, SUE, SUE!!!"

Friday, April 02, 2010

Life imitates joke

Some times it is funny how life imitates jokes. After reading this story (Third or fourth type story of this kind) about the TN Dem party keeps attacking legislation their own member support, and then thinking about how the Dems seem to be following Obama off the cliff nationally, I am reminded of an old joke and how it seems to be happening in real life.

A Tourist walked into a Chinese curio shop in San Francisco. While looking around at the exotic merchandise, he noticed a very lifelike, life-sized, bronze statue of a rat. It had no price tag, but was so incredibly striking the tourist decided he must have it. He took it to the old shop owner and asked, “How much for the bronze rat?”

“Ahhh, you have chosen wisely! It is $12 for the rat, $100 for the story,” said the wise old Chinaman. The tourist quickly pulled out twelve dollars. “I’ll just take the rat, you can keep the story.”

As he walked down the street carrying his bronze rat, the tourist noticed that a few real rats had crawled out of the alleys and sewers and had begun following him down the street. This was a bit disconcerting so he began walking faster.

A couple blocks later he looked behind him and saw to his horror the herd of rats behind him had grown to hundreds, and they began squealing.

Sweating now, the tourist began to trot toward the Bay. Again, after a couple blocks, he looked around only to discover that the rats now numbered in the MILLIONS, and were squealing and coming toward him faster and faster.

Terrified, he ran to the edge of the Bay and threw the bronze rat as far as he could into the Bay.

Amazingly, the millions of rats all jumped into the Bay after the bronze rat, and were all drowned.

The man walked back to the curio shop in Chinatown.

“Ahhh,” said the owner, “You have come back for story?”

“No sir,” said the man, “I came back to see if you have a bronze Democrat.”

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Sen Burchett in hospital

Sen. Tim Burchett was taken to the hospital last night for an emergency appendectomy. Please keep him and his family in your prayers.

Headlines for the day

Rep. Ulysses Jones joins the tea part movement claiming he is "sick of all these Tax bills".

Rep. Tommy Brown and Jo Ann Favors pass sweeping legislation dramatically amending several captions of law.

Rep. Frank Nicley Runs out of interesting "Facts" and stories.

Rep. Gary Odom get up on the house floor and says "I completely understand this bill"

Rep. Deborah Maggart presents a bill with out telling the life story of everyone associated with the bill.

Rep. Charles Seargent quits smoking. Crashes the tobacco market.

Rep. Sherry Jones stands up and says fathers are an integral part of a child's life.

In a related headline Rep. G.A. Hardaway is struck mute.

Rep. Ty Cobb starts a fishing tournament at his local barbershop. Governor Bredesen calls it an "integral part of my economic development plan".

Rep. Jim Coley moves to China.

Rep. Janis Sontany claims the pre born have more rights then those of pets.

Rep. Charley Curtis moves to down town Memphis. Claims to be sick of the rural life.

Rep. Josh Evans retires from active work. Unemployment rate in rest of the state drops to 4%.

Rep. Richard Floyd joins the Democrat party.

Rep. Ryan Haynes retires. Says he cant keep up at his advanced age.

Rep. Susan Lynn and Sen. Mae Beavers join together on all of their similar legislation.

Rep. Curry Todd quits the NRA claiming "They are a bunch of radical gun nuts"

Rep. Mike Turner drives to work. Film at 11.

Rep. Jimmy Eldridge finds someone he does not know. The Ubangi cave hermit finally quit running away.

Happy April fools day.

All tied up with cable

Frank Cagle sets up the ring for the coming fight over a cable tax increase.

Bredesen seems to be getting more and more aggressive on putting tax increases into the "Technical corrections" bill. The bill was intended as a catch all sweeper for minor glitches in the law that needed straightening. Bredesen has turned it into his tax increase package year after year for his budgets. Bredesen has been very crafty at doing this and then denying they are tax increases. Bredesen and many democrats have used this as a shield, avoided the "Tax and spend" governor or legislator label.

The new Republican majority is trying to show this bill for what it has become.
Just another tax bill.