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

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Texas moves to defund PP in special session

From Right to Life. The similarities in Texas are spooky to compared to what is going on in Tennessee. Seems Texas couldn't get the budget wording where they needed it to be to defund Planned Parenthood in the original budget. Now they are going into special session to try and fix the problem.


Planned Parenthood Fights to Regain Texas Funding

Due to a Democrat filibuster in the last minutes of the Texas legislative session Monday night, the perfecting language in the bill which will finish the defunding both to Planned Parenthood and its "share-the-tax-funds"affiliates was not fully incorporated into the bill.
Pro-life Sen. Jane Nelson, who headed the conference committee for the final version of this legislation, is mighty unhappy that the language defunding both Planned Parenthood and its affiliates wasn't properly corrected in the bill's printed version, but since the bill didn't pass the Texas House in time to go to the Governor for signature, there is yet another chance to pass the perfected language and defund Texas Planned Parenthood!

Now that pro-life Gov. Rick Perry has called a special session starting TODAY in order to finish mandatory budget matters by the Texas legislators, he has included this issue to the agenda so that the Planned Parenthood And Its Affiliates' Medicaid Funding can be diverted, as we discussed in last week's special alert. (For details on SB 23, click here.) Sen. Nelson, the third longest-serving member of the Texas Senate, is determined to help enact the perfecting amendment language offered by one of the newest members of the legislature, pro-life freshman Rep. Jim Landtroop and she is sponsoring the new, corrected bill SB 7.


But once again, YOUR HELP IS NEEDED to divert these millions of tax dollars from Texas' largest abortion provider to other health care facilities through a prioritizing plan which excludes PP and its affiliates. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has notified the Governor that during the special session, only a simple majority will be needed to pass legislation, rather than the 2/3 required during a regular session. So WE CAN DEFUND PLANNED PARENTHOOD through SB 7 with enough grassroots support! With your help, we passed the strongest sonogram bill in the country. Now, let's take away tax dollars from the state's largest abortion provider.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy memorial day

To those who gave some, thank you. To those who gave all, Thank you.

Splitting the baby

When Sen. Ken Yeager brought the bill to completely do away with pre trial diversion both sides had good points. The anti pre trial diversion group (Mostly prosecutors) saw the abuses where major crimes were getting swept under the rug without an admission of guilt or a day in court in front of the victim's.

The pro pre trial diversion people (Mostly public defenders) said it was a useful tool for possibly a young kid who made a stupid mistake and didn't need their entire life ruined or have to pay thousands in legal costs for some minor offense.

Both sides had valid points.

When it came to committee I offered an amendment that would not completely do away with pre trial diversion in all cases but would still allow it in some situations. What I offered was to allow for pre trial diversion in cases of non sexual, non felony offences for first time offenders.

Both sides, Prosecutors and defenders seemed pretty happy with the final product. I think this now qualifies me to add "Moderate voice of compromise and reason" to my business cards.

Possibly unconstitutional, but.....

Mandatory drawing of blood on people accused of repeat DUI's? The district attorney general seems to think it has some constitutional questions...

"We're tired of drunk drivers killing people," said District Attorney General Steve Bebb, who serves Bradley, McMinn, Monroe and Polk counties and who lobbied for the bill. "We don't know if it will stand up or if it's constitutional, but we'll test it."

So if we are tired of one group of people killing another group of defenseless people we are willing to move forward on something that could possibly be ruled unconstitutional and see what happens in court.

If only I could think of another scenario where one group of people was killing another group of defenseless people and we could do something to stop them that might be ruled unconstitutional and yet we were still willing to move forward.....If only.

Friday, May 27, 2011

It's all true...Except when it isn't.

Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey and Speaker Beth Harwell have put out a press release on the Planned Parenthood debacle...

“The confusion surrounding the language in the budget regarding Planned Parenthood has been unfortunate. The Office of Legal Services advised House and Senate leadership that it is unconstitutional to amend general law through the appropriations bill (Article II, Section 17), an interpretation which would have put the entire budget document in jeopardy. It was not our intent to allow funding for Planned Parenthood. Our majority in the General Assembly clearly meant to defund them. We are currently working with pro-life activists to resolve this issue with legislation and we will put it to rest immediately upon the legislature’s return in January.”

Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey and Speaker Beth Harwell


As with any press release with bad news, it was dropped late on Friday before a long weekend and no one is available for comment or elaberation. Since I have not been made privy to what is going on regarding this issue or these press releases previous to their release, I guess I will just have to interpret on my own. Since no one who put out the presser is willing to talk about it, I will. Lets go line by line shall we?

The confusion surrounding the language in the budget regarding Planned Parenthood has been unfortunate I agree. The best way to end confusion is to put the facts on the table, respond to questions and undo what caused the problem as soon as possible. That can be done by the governor doing a line item veto.

The Office of Legal Services advised House and Senate leadership that it is unconstitutional to amend general law through the appropriations bill (Article II, Section 17), Again, I agree. That is why Tennessee Right to life, myself and other legislators worked for over three weeks to make sure our wording would not change any current law. Only funding in the budget.

an interpretation which would have put the entire budget document in jeopardy. Half true. It would put the entire budget in jeopardy if the entire budget was all about changing laws and nothing about a budget. You see there is this thing in all budgets called a sever-ability clause. It says if any part of the budget is found to be unconstitutional then that part of the budget shall be stripped out and the rest of the budget shall not be harmed. The only way the entire budget could be harmed was if the entire budget changed laws and none of it dealt with the budgeting.

It was not our intent to allow funding for Planned Parenthood. Our majority in the General Assembly clearly meant to defund them. Again, part true. I have been on the phone non stop with legislators who thought they had defunded Planned Parenthood with the budget language only to find that someone (yet to be named) took it on themselves to allow the funding to continue. It was someones intent to allow it to continue. We just don't know who that someone was. So yes, the majority wanted to defund. Just not all of them.

We are currently working with pro-life activists to resolve this issue with legislation and we will put it to rest immediately upon the legislature’s return in January.” Really? Who are these "Pro life activists" Tennessee Right to life has said they do not support this press release and want the governor to veto the pro Planned Parenthood wording now. The Susan B Anthony Pro life group are not in favor of the Pro planned parenthood wording and want it vetoed by the governor now.

Was this a factor?

US Democrat senators threaten states (including Tennessee) not to defund Planned Parenthood.

Covered by CBS and others...


Thirty Democratic senators sent a letter to the Obama administration on Thursday, urging them to warn Medicaid directors at the state level that it's against the law to block Medicaid funds or Title X family planning funds from going to clinics that provide abortion services, like Planned Parenthood.


The letter comes in response to Indiana's new law, which took effect May 10, barring state agencies from entering contracts with or giving grants to entities (besides hospitals) that perform abortions.


Republican lawmakers in virtually every state this year have pushed legislation to restrict abortion rights, as have Republicans at the federal level, but the new Indiana law represents the boldest state-based challenge to Planned Parenthood yet. Now other states are now following Indiana's lead, USA Today reports. Bills to cut funding to Planned Parenthood recently saw action in Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin, Kansas and North Carolina.


The 30 senators wrote to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that excluding clinics like Planned Parenthood from Medicaid violates rules saying the federal funds must go to "any willing provider" that is qualified, as well as Medicaid's "equal access" requirement. They point out that 48 percent of Planned Parenthood' patients are Medicaid patients, and 60 percent of women who use health care clinics like Planned Parenthood say they are their main health care providers.


"The restrictions threatened by state legislatures blatantly contradict the spirit and letter of well-established and long accepted law," the 30 senators wrote.


Administration officials in the coming months will have to decide whether to approve the new Indiana law, and reports suggest they won't support it. It's subject to federal review since Medicaid is financed by both the federal and state governments.



The letter was signed by Senators Max Baucus (D-MT), Mark Begich (D-AK), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Al Franken (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Daniel Inouye (D-HI), John Kerry (D-MA), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Carl Levin (D-MI), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Patty Murray (D-WA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jon Tester (D-MT), Mark Udall (D-CO), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).



The full text of the letter is below:



May 26, 2011



The Honorable Kathleen Sebelius

Secretary of Health and Human Services

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

200 Independence Avenue, S.W.

Washington, D.C. 20201



Dear Secretary Sebelius:



As state legislative sessions near their completion, a number of states are considering legislation that would prohibit Planned Parenthood health centers from receiving federal funds for family planning services, including Medicaid funds and Title X family planning funds. Such a proposal was enacted in Indiana.



We appreciate the administration’s recent statement concerning the illegality of restricting access to vital preventive services under the Medicaid program. We respectfully request that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issue guidance to state Medicaid directors clarifying that taking action to exclude family planning clinics that provide abortion services from Medicaid participation, such as Planned Parenthood, will lead to compliance actions.



Similarly, some states are pursuing legislation that would prevent Planned Parenthood health centers from receiving Title X family planning funds. State legislation to prohibit Planned Parenthood from participating in this federal program violates the rules and the intent of the program. In fact, courts have ruled that such efforts contravene the federal statute and are unconstitutional.[1] As such, we strongly urge HHS to make clear to states that any legislation or effort to prevent Planned Parenthood and other providers from participating in this program as well are impermissible.



State legislation to exclude such health centers from the Medicaid program explicitly contradicts several provisions of federal Medicaid law, including the “equal access protections” of the program, along with the “any willing provider” requirement.



Family planning services provided by Medicaid are a mandatory benefit under federal law.[2] Congress created this legal entitlement for beneficiaries in 1972, and was so concerned about the availability of family planning services that they required the federal government to cover 90% of the cost of all services in this area – an unprecedented incentive and a clear signal as to the importance of these services.



Under the Indiana law, reimbursement has been forbidden to any provider of abortion services, other than a hospital. This removes from the pool of Medicaid providers a large swath of family planning providers, most notably and significantly, Planned Parenthood. Under Medicaid’s “equal access” requirement, states must reimburse providers in a way that “assure[s] that payments are consistent with efficiency, economy, and quality of care and are sufficient to enlist enough providers so that care and services are available under the plan at least to the extent that such care and services are available to the general population in the geographic area.”[3] Additional requirements also exist to ensure adequate access across each state. Cutting off Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood clearly violates the law in this regard, since 48% of Planned Parenthood’ patients are Medicaid patients, and 60% of women whose care comes from health centers like those operated by Planned Parenthood say that these institutions are their main health care providers.



Moreover, the “any willing provider” requirement of federal Medicaid law directs state Medicaid programs to allow eligible individuals to receive care “from any institution, agency, community pharmacy, or person, qualified to perform the service or services required…who undertakes to provide him such services, and enrollment of an individual eligible for medical assistance.”[4] This provision is implemented in CMS’s “free choice of provider” regulation, which explicitly states that under no circumstance can the “free choice of provider” protection be compromised with respect to providers of family planning services.[5] These rules, which have remained constant despite significant changes in the flexibility of the Medicaid program through both Democratic and Republican administrations, clearly establish the protections that require state Medicaid programs to provide beneficiaries with the same opportunity to choose and receive covered health care services from any qualified provider in the same way as any member of the general population seeking health care services.



Legislation like the bill passed by the Indiana legislature to exclude such Medicaid providers stands in direct opposition to longstanding Congressional intent, and create serious access concerns for both patients and providers- a point that was clarified by Congress during the recent debate on the FY 2011 Continuing Resolution when a similar effort was defeated in the Senate by a vote of 58-42.



The restrictions threatened by state legislatures blatantly contradict the spirit and letter of well-established and long accepted law. These principles have been backed repeatedly over many years – truly bipartisan support. We write not to ask support for new law, but for vigorous, prompt enforcement of existing law.



Thank you, in advance, for your prompt consideration of this request.






Sincerely,Senators Max Baucus (D-MT), Mark Begich (D-AK), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Al Franken (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Daniel Inouye (D-HI), John Kerry (D-MA), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Carl Levin (D-MI), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Patty Murray (D-WA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jon Tester (D-MT), Mark Udall (D-CO), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

"It wasn't me!"

I just got off the phone with Sen. Majority leader Mark Norris. He said he knew nothing of the Pro Planned Parenthood language being added back into the budget (that he was carrying). Last he knew was the offensive language was taken out.

The last few days I have been going call to call to call on my phone trying to respond to all the questions from angry legislators who thought we had defunded Planned Parenthood and want to string some one up for doing this without approval.

Planned Parenthood defunding

States across the nation are defunding "Planned Parenthood" in their budget. In Tennessee, we thought we were then.....

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The who dunit noose gets a little tighter

I have talked to House finance chair Charles Sargent tonight. He said it wasn't him who added the pro Planned Parenthood wording. Although noncommittal as to who did it, he wanted to be clear it was not added by a house member.

It was added by a senator.

He said he was concentrating on the numbers side of the budget and not necessarily the wording side. When the original pro Planned Parenthood wording was discovered he told two senators to fix it. When he got the budget back he was under the impression it was fixed and that Planned Parenthood was going to be defunded.

He said he did not know of the issue until two nights ago.

Quote of the day (We want answers edition)

Attorney and statewide radio host Steve Gill on the who dunnit Planned Parenthood amendment.

"The legislative lawyers represent the legislature, not individual legislators. This excuse is like a lawyer representing a partnership conspiring with one partner to defraud the other partners to whom he/she owes a fiduciary duty."

Hat tip: Terry Frank on my FaceBook

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Because these things never happen

Transgender sex ed to first graders? It never happens.....Except when it does under the guise of "Anti bullying" campaign.

To serve and protect

Only some people currently have the qualifications to be able to handle themselves with a gun on campus. Like this fine member of society. Remember, police are just like you and me only better.

The plot thickens

As you know last night I was informed about an amendment that was added to the state budget that might nullify my language defunding planned parenthood.

I was quite upset as we had worked for weeks to get the wording right for a budget amendment and the language put in makes that language legally questionable.

I wanted to find out who had put in the stripper language after we had told them to take it out. I called Doug Hiem the legal attorney for the house and asked about the language. I said I was not too pleased about wording specifically requested to be removed, being removed, and then being put back in buried deep in the budget where it would not be seen until it was too late. I asked if it was something he did on his own or was it something someone had him do.

He said he originally took it out when we requested him to do it but later a member came back and had him put it back in. I asked him who it was and he said he could not tell as it would violate lawyer client privilege.

While it could have been someone from the senate side, four of the five power players (Ramsey, Watson, Mc Nalley, Crowe) have said they would not and did not support the change. The fifth Mark Norris (The senate sponsor) has not spoken on the issue. Logic dictates that the people with the real influence over the budget on the house side at that point (previous to presentation) are Speaker Beth Harwell, Charles Sargent (Chair of finance) and Gerald McCormick (Sponsor of the bill) No comment from them.

More to come....

UPDATE: Jerald McCormic texted me and said it was not him.

UPDATE II: Beth Harwell said it was not her.

UPDATE III: Charles Seargent said it came from the senate.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

"How long have you worked here not including today?"

Not in a good mood right now.

As many of you know one of my top achievements for the year was in defunding Planned Parenthood. It started in health committee. We took weeks to get the wording to a budget amendment right where the goal of defunding Planned Parenthood would be achieved without a change in the law but as part of the budget. We passed it and our wording became part of the budget.

Then...

By chance (and some backup checking by Tennessee right to life) it was discovered the day before the budget was to be voted on that somewhere between health committee and the budget presentation someone added in wording to the amendment that made it much more questionable. The Lt. Governor was against it, the health committee chair did not like it, I didn't like it and Tennessee right to life definitely didn't like it. Everyone thought it made the amendment much more changeable in court. No one liked the change nor could figure out where it came from.

It just appeared.

I had a budget amendment prepared to strike out the offensive wording but the morning of the budget presentation Ramsey's staff came over and showed me where they had legal fix the wording back to its original form.

All was right with the world. I dropped my amendment and the budget passed without a blip.

Then....

I got a call from Tom Humphrey tonight saying Rich Locker (another reporter) found where someone stuck the offensive wording (referring directly to the planned parenthood amendment) back in the budget again. Not where it was the first time before the original language but later in the budget at the very end, buried in some technical language.

Obviously it was done intentionally.

This is still developing but it does not look good. While I do not have power over who the legal staff is, if I found out who did it I would probably have two question for them.

"Who directed you to do this?" and if I found they did it on their own I would ask "How long have you worked here, not including today?"

Red on orange

I will be on WVLT tonight at 6 talking about the red light camera bill we passed this year.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

That wasn't "Contract with America"

Wow! what a year. A lot of people were saying we had a mandate sort of election. We had the candidates that got elected top to bottom. We made some big promises and people expected us to perform.

We did.

Things we had been promising to do for years? Done.

Tort reform....Passed

Tenure reform.... Passed

Pill mills....Closed

Meth tracking....Passed

Voter photo ID....Passed

Teacher Union Monopoly....Busted

SJR 127....Passed

Red light cameras....Regulated

Planned Parenthood....De funded

Income tax....Dead for good

Government spending....Reduced

Hall income tax....Reduced

Broad tax increases....None

Shorter session....By Weeks

Government departments....Closed

E Verify....Passed


More to come....

C ya!

WE ARE OUT OF HERE!!

Oh no he didn't!

WOW! Democrat leader Jimmy Kyle just went off saying Fybromyalgia does not even exist! He voted against a Fybromyalgia awareness bill.

Cut on Hall income tax

The Senate just passed the cut on the hall income tax. The amount exempted was increased from $16K to $26,200 for singles and from $26k to $37K for couples.

Red light camera bill

Passes. Still not a ban but it does some good things.

When does it become a lifestyle?

We just passed (20 to 12) the extension of unemployment benefits to take it to 99 weeks. Just short of 2 years. How did I vote? Check Thessalonians/3-10 for a guide.

Total cost about $50 million from federal money (Think China).

Can I get a solo from the TEA?

A lot of people are singing this song today. Religious people, Legislators, legislative staff but it takes on an entirely new meaning for the TEA.

Defunding of Planned parenthood

UPDATE: The language to my budget amendment to defund Planned Parenthood was fixed before the budget hit the house floor yesterday. It keeps it clear, our health departments shall use all the money for title X and there will be none left over to go to outside groups (like Planned Parenthood). Word is Planned Parenthood Memphis was getting 30% of their budget from the state.

The end of the monopoly

The bill to end one unions monopoly on teacher negotiations passed last night in the house after we passed it in the senate a few hours earlier. The same result probably would have occurred a few hours quicker but when all the TEA members showed up the Democrats made it into political speech time. I saw a little bit of it. Boy, were they playing to the crowd. After a few minutes of the same thing said over and over I realized they all wanted their camera time and it was going to go on for hours. Good thing the members were limited to 5 minutes each or they would still be going.

Judges with guns

My bill to allow judges to carry guns while behind the bench passed late last night. Tip of the hat goes to Rep. Jeramie Faison for all his hard work on this.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Its all in the timing

As we fight about the TEA union monopoly on collective bargaining this evening and guess who has their state convention in town this evening. The TEA. There are a few hundred union people in the lobby of capitol as the house is about to take it up. As I was walking back from dinner I was getting down the road from a bunch of the union types.

E verify passed here are the talking points

E- Verify -- The Senate Commerce Committee has voted to approve legislation calling for Tennessee employers to use the “E-Verify” system to ensure that new hires are in the state legally. There are more than 140,000 illegal immigrants in Tennessee, with over 110,000 in the state’s workforce according to estimates.

E-Verify, an Internet-based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security in partnership with the Social Security Administration, allow participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees by entering their name and a social security number. It is free to employers in all 50 states, including Tennessee where more than 4,000 businesses have voluntarily participated in the system. The E-Verify system is 97.4 percent accurate.

The legislation calls for businesses with over 5 employees to obtain a copy of his or her driver’s license or utilize the E-Verify system. The bill provides a safe harbor for employers who use E-Verify if the worker is later found to be in the country illegally due to its accuracy in detecting illegal aliens.

The measure would penalize businesses for violation of the law with escalating consequences for repeated offenses. It also provides a mechanism for small businesses without Internet access to call the Department of Labor for verification assistance. Under the bill, businesses would keep verification records for three years after the hire or one year after termination of the person’s employment. It does not apply to those employed before the January 1, 2012 enactment date and will be applicable in phases depending on the number of workers employed by a business.

Federal contractors or subcontractors have been required to use E-verify since 2008 to determine employment eligibility of employees performing direct work. Fifteen states, including five which are adjacent to Tennessee, require the use of E-Verify for public and/or private employers. Another 25 states are considering similar legislation.

Finish tonight?

We are really moving along. There is a chance we may get done late tonight.

"Don't teach gay" passes

After seven years of work my bill to limit what is taught as part of course work, handed out or made available to students at schools in grades k-8 shall be limited to information on natural human reproduction science.

Special thanks goes to Sen. Kerry Roberts on helping polish the language of the final product.

Now it is on to the house. Full speed ahead Mr. Sulu warp factor two!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Quote of the day (Who else)

"Show me a non profit and I will show you a bunch of bloated salaries, big offices and huge expense accounts. The only reason they are a non profit is because they spend all their money on that sort of stuff. Most for profit companies would love to live that well"

Frank Nicley

Budget bummers

ARRRRGH! Funding for planned parenthood was put back into the budget with a "Drafting error". I Just had a budget amendment drawn up to have it taken back out. It will be budget amendment #6.

Democrat Filibuster

Democrats are trying to filibuster session in the house. They handed out 3-4 inches of amendments for session today. Most of them had to do with fighting against equal opportunity to negotiate contracts for teachers.

The plan was to limit debate to 2 hours on that bill (an option available in the state house to keep things moving).

Some Democrats have also said they want to return on Monday (To collect mileage money and stop Republicans from proving they can balance the budget and get out of Nashville quicker then Democrats have in years).

Republicans in the senate seem pretty sure we can have the budget passed tonight and do mop up work tomorrow and Saturday. House Republicans are ready to fight to keep moving forward and be out of here this weekend.

Monday, May 16, 2011

I have an idea

The papers are all upset about the limiting of the foreclosure notices in papers. I have an idea. How about we make the foreclosure notices the same as the amount of time and notice given to people who no longer pay their newspaper delivery subscription.

I can see it all now. First the newspapers will not receive payment for a few months. Of course they will still be required to provide their paper for free. Then they can send notice, make calls etc.. Then after a few more months they will be required to send certified mail to the person no longer paying for their product. Then they will have to advertise on TV (Wouldn't want anyone to think they were pulling a fast one) that the person not paying was about to loose their subscription. In the end if the person wants to pay for all of that and resubscribe they can.

Sound reasonable?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Foreclosure fabrication

Jimmy Matlock lays out the facts and then lets the papers that mislead, have it...

From the Tennessean.

....Just this past week, a Watertown woman was trying to work out an arrangement to stop foreclosure proceedings on her property, which she became aware of by being notified by a registered letter. She owed only $2,100, and, fortunately for her, she was able to save her home by delaying the foreclosure sale for 30 days.

That’s not the end of the story, however. On top of the $2,100, which she must repay in less than a month, she also owes $1,568 to pay for the cost of three foreclosure notices that ran in a local newspaper — notices that she did not see....


....it would just reduce the number of times a foreclosure notice must run from three times to two. And it would establish legally that the long “metes and bounds” descriptions, which virtually no one reads or understands, do not have to be in the notice, thereby shortening it and making it more effective. (Those long descriptions of the property surveys are included because title lawyers insist on it to cover themselves.)

To argue that homeowners learn they are facing foreclosure by reading notices in newspapers, or being told by others who read them in newspapers, is quite a stretch. Homeowners, like the woman in Watertown, receive notices of late payment, default and collection, and finally are sent a notice of foreclosure by certified mail.

The legislation passed in the House and pending in the Senate is a small step toward revising an antiquated law enacted in 1858 and moving the process toward modernity.

Opponents of this legislation continue to point out that Tennessee is one of only five states that do not have judicial review of foreclosures. This statement is completely incorrect (at least 20 states are similar to Tennessee). But it is a complicated issue and at any rate is nothing but a red herring to divert attention away from the real issue — money. I understand that newspapers do not want to lose even the smallest amount of revenue in this day and age, but neither should homeowners struggling to get out of foreclosure.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Tort reform passes

Caps on punitive damages (Punishment charges beyond harm or loss to individual) and on non economic "Pain and suffering" damages passed. Final vote 21 for, 12 against.

Crossovers

Democrats Charlotte Burks and Doug Henry voted for it.

Republican Mike Faulk voted against it.

Why elections should go away

Frank Cagle comes up with the plan to do away with those pesky elections.

From the article....

It’s just better to let a small group of the “best” people get in a back room and decide who holds these jobs. Subjecting these candidates to the scrutiny of an election campaign, political opponents, and the press is just disruptive.

It appears that lawyers who might be appeals court judges or attorney general are the most susceptible to corruption. It seems odd that the guardians of the law are the most susceptible to corruption. Evidently they no longer teach ethics in law school—though they do have that pesky canon of ethics. But taking a campaign contribution evidently creates moral blindness and judges immediately start offering decisions to the highest bidder.

In that spirit and with the zeal of a new convert, I propose that we just haven’t gone far enough. We had a very expensive gubernatorial election campaign last year; we do it every four years. When these candidates run, they accept contributions from a wide variety of people. How corrupt can you get?

I think we change the constitution and allow the Legislature to appoint the governor. They already appoint the lieutenant governor.

Just think how much better it will be. We can do a nationwide search, hire consultants (creating jobs), and appoint just the right person. We don’t have to stay in-state. Remember that our last two governors moved to Tennessee as adults. We could go hire Jeb Bush. Maybe we could get Bill Clinton to come out of retirement. The sky’s the limit. We’d have to pay more of course. But we could offer to pay the appointed governor as much as, say, an appointed school superintendent.

The flaw in the plan might be that the governor would be picked by elected members of the General Assembly. But we have to start somewhere. And state legislators are made of stern stuff. In the immortal words of legendary California House Speaker Jesse Unruh on serving in the Legislature: “If you can’t eat their food, drink their booze, screw their women, and then vote against them, you have no business up here.”

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

0% , $3,000.00 and 50%

0%

Yes, that is what one expert revealed is the percent of people in who realize they are about to loose their property to bank foreclosure from reading it in the public notices in the paper. The rest learn it from the 5 other forms of contact (Including certified mail) used by banks.

$3,000.00

That is what some of the 50% of people (who actually try to save their property from foreclosure) have to pay for the public notice to avoid the foreclosure.

50%

Sen. Jack Johnson and Rep. Jimmy Matlock's bill to reduce the number of notices in the paper from 3 to 2 and shorten the property description passed senate judiciary today 5 to 4. If it goes on to full passage it could reduce the cost to the person being foreclosed on by 50%.

I thought it was about tolerance?

Just a few nights ago I saw a TV add from the homosexual community featuring very young children (8 or 9?) talking about teaching the lifestyle in schools under the guise of "Tolerance and anti bullying".

Tennessee already has anti bullying legislation. In fact I co sponsored it in the house 3 or so years ago when it first passed. This has nothing to do with tolerance.

The homosexual groups will say when they want to teach homosexuality to 6 and 7 year old children that it is all about tolerance as the avenue to get in the door. It is really about glorifying and accepting the lifestyle to young impressionable minds.

Just too good

Some letters to the editor are just too good not to link to.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Democrats pick Greg McKa.....Scratch that

Knoxville Democrats in transition on the election commission pick attorney Dennis Francis to be one of their two election commissioners instead of former election chairman Greg McKay as earlier expected. Rumor is the fear of a potential blackmail scandal involving McKay over Scott Frith and some interns could be a factor.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

The guns in bars issue....Isn't.

WATE tells the results of "guns in bars" one year later. After all the yelling and screaming editorials about OK corral type shootouts.....there haven't been any.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Guns on campus passes!!!

Yes its true! A bill (SB 1198) to allow guns on the campus of a state university for an employee who is just a regular handgun carry permit holder (with absolutely no additional training) passed the full senate judiciary committee tonight.
I am sure some students might be intimidated if they knew an employee had a gun. Some feared the HCP holder might snap and go crazy!

The university did not care.

The questions were brought up to the board of regents.

What about if the person with a gun with a HCP missed their target? Isn't the university concerned a bystander or student could be hit?

The university was not concerned.

What if a police officer saw the shooting, couldn't there be some confusion and the wrong person end up getting shot by police?

The university was not concerned.

Should the person have to get any additional training, aditional back ground check?

The university did not think it was needed.

Didn't the university think the person should show some designation to warn people he might be carrying?

The university was not concerned.

The only difference was this state employee who is allowed to carry a gun with no additional training might need it to protect sheep on the ag campus. Not people.

We see what the university puts it value on.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

House needs a "Come to Jesus" meeting

For years in the state house we sort of chuckled at the senate. We knew we house Republicans were the conservative body in the legislature. Now it is looking like the other way around. The senate Repubs have gone conservative and the house Repubs are all over the place. While the house has good members, they are not positioned very well. So some old problems keep coming back up. Today's example was the bill to remove one unions monopoly from negotiations on contracts.

In the senate it sailed through. In the house it has been a battle. Beth Harwell has had to come in to brake a tie to get it out of education sub committee and today the house finance committee sent the bill back to the education committee.

Oh, did I mention the education committee is already closed for the year?

Oops!

Speaker Harwell will probably have to re open the committee to try and get it back out, but it just looks bad. It was a bill she clearly supported and her own supporters are not giving her any help or even the benefit of the doubt when it is needed.

There are comments being made that some members are more interested in negotiating tactics to get other, non issue related, things added to the budget then they are about passing the bill. Way to think for the team. Most members know this session is an all or nothing type deal for them. If the unions can stop the balancing measures they will come after the members who have already stuck their neck on the line to support those measures with a vengeance.

The house needs a "Come to Jesus" meeting or they can get ready to kiss those sweet positions on leadership as part of the big majority good bye.

Freedom to negotiate bill passes senate

The bill to allow all teachers to negotiate their contracts passed the senate last night. Now all teachers can negotiate for their services. Not just those represented by one union who want that one union to have a monopoly.

Unless I am mistaken it was party line vote with the exception of Sen. Doug Overby joining with the Democrats in voting against the bill.