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Wednesday, June 29, 2011


The videos of the three announced Republican primary candidates for the 6th senatorial district are below. As I said, I tried to be as fair as possible. All candidates got the same questions in the same order. I think there is something for everybody to like and or hate. Pick your own winners and losers and enjoy.

Special thanks goes out to the candidates for taking the time to do the interviews so their views can be seen by the voters. I also want to thank Greg "The Lumpitarian" Lambert for uploading the videos onto Utube for me while I was out of town.

Victoria DeFreese District 6 Senate Candidate

Becky Massey District 6 Senate Candidate

Marilyn Roddy District 6 Senate Candidate

For you political tech geeks

This page is tons of fun reading.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A broke watch is right twice a day

I suspect the ACLU should win this one.

Here piggy piggie.

The TCPR (Tennessee Center for Policy Research) comes out with the new pork report Watch out for botulism.

Jobs bills

Rep. Sheila Butt gives a rundown on some of the Tennessee jobs bills we passed this year.

Right to Work/MOMs — Several bills that strengthen Tennessee’s status as a Right to Work state were approved. This includes legislation that amends the state’s Right to Work law to prohibit maintenance of membership clauses in collective bargaining agreements.

Tennessee is one of 22 Right to Work states across the nation which prohibit agreements between labor unions and employers making membership or payment of union dues or fees a condition of employment, either before or after hiring. Recent studies from the Cato Institute and the National Institute for Labor Relations Research show Right-to-Work states enjoy higher job growth and more cost-of-living-adjusted disposable income for workers. The studies reveal that not only is private-sector job growth faster in Right to Work states, but also that Right to Work states’ lead in job growth is consistent over time.

Tennessee’s Right to Work law previously did not ban maintenance of membership clauses within collective bargaining agreements. These are clauses which sometimes are included in collective bargaining agreements which mandate that, once an employee joins a union, the employee cannot leave the union until the collective bargaining agreement expires. This meant that for the duration of the collective bargaining agreement, the employee had to continue to pay dues even if the employee no longer wants to be in the union or is dissatisfied with the union.

The new law would not apply retroactively. It applies to bargaining agreements enacted after the legislation becomes effective.

Right to Work/Secret Ballot Protection — The Legislature has approved a new law designed to protect the rights of employees to vote on whether or not they want to unionize by a secret ballot. The legislation, which makes denial of secret-ballot elections illegal under Tennessee law, is a counter measure to dangerous federal card check legislation that has been proposed in Congress.

The right to a secret ballot is sacred whether it is in the voting booth or in the workplace. The card check system is not only un-democratic and un-American, but could hamper Tennessee’s ability to attract new business or drive those who are already here out of the state.

Right to Work/Workplace Violence — Legislation was passed this year to widen the scope of “activities” that workers are protected from by broadening the definition of violence in the workplace. The bill includes “intimidation” and “extortion” as forms of violence that workers are now protected from and also applies to employers as well as employees.

The bill also clarifies that the law applies to labor unions and employee organizations. Previously, state statutes exempted labor disputes from the provisions of the Violence in the Workplace Law. This bill does away with that exemption and treats unions in the same form and fashion that it does everyone else. It does not change “permitted labor activities” that are protected by the National Labor Relations Act, such as strikes and collective bargaining negotiations, and in those instances, a state court clearly would not have jurisdiction to enter an injunction.

Workers/Unemployment Safety Net — Legislation to close a hole in the safety net to help workers injured on-the-job has passed the General Assembly. This new law allows an injured employee to collect unemployment where the employee loses his or her job due to a disability resulting from the work-related injury.

Labor and Wage Requirements on State Contracts — Legislation that prohibits public agencies from imposing certain labor and wage requirements as a condition of performing public works that are state funded, in whole or in part, was adopted during the 2011 session. The new law is designed to assure that the working conditions and the maximum wage rate is not more than the state spends of its own projects.

If a governmental entity does not use state funding, it can set its own rules. If state funds are used, then state requirements must be accepted. This legislation is designed to protect Tennessee taxpayers.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Joke of the week (The ACLU's special day)

The ACLU created a case against Easter and Passover Holy days. They hired an attorney to bring a discrimination case against Christians and Jews and observances of their holy days.

The argument was that it was unfair that atheists had no such recognized days.

The case was brought before a judge. After listening to the passionate presentation by the lawyer,

the judge banged his gavel declaring, "Case dismissed!"

The lawyer immediately stood objecting to the ruling saying, "Your honor, How can you possibly dismiss this case? The Christians have Christmas, Easter and others. The Jews have Passover, Yom Kippur and Hanukkah, yet my client and all other atheists have no such holidays..."

The judge leaned forward in his chair saying, "But you do. Your client, counsel, is woefully ignorant."

The lawyer said, "Your Honor, we are unaware of any special observance or holiday for atheists."

The judge said, "The calendar says April 1st is April Fool’s Day. Psalm 14:1 states, 'The fool says in his heart, there is no God..' Thus, it is the opinion of this court, that, if your client says there is no God, then he is a fool.

Therefore, April 1st is his day. Court is adjourned...".

You gotta love a Judge who knows his scripture!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A little difference

I am up in upstate NY for my nieces high school graduation. I was visiting an old friend sitting on his front porch and a guy walked up to his door with a clip board. I knew right away what he was doing. He was collecting signatures to get on the ballot. As my friend signed his petition I asked a little about him and his race.

He was trying to get on the ballot in the Republican primary to become the county coroner. Now mind you we are not talking a big county. Population for the county is about 50,000. people. I asked him how many signatures he had to get to make it on the ballot.

He said 750 registered voters!

Just for reference it takes 25 signatures to run for governor in Tennessee with a population of over 6 million people.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Coming attractions

I have just completed interviewing the three announced candidates in the Republican primary for the 6th senatorial district. The candidates are Victoria Defreese, Marilyn Roddy and Becky Massey. Expect those interviews to be up for viewing about the fourth of July.

I tried to be as fair as possible and ask tough but pointed questions. All were given the same questions and I did not interject my own point of view. As a political observer I would say there was a little something in it for everybody and no one came away perfectly clean (again, my opinion only. I will let you decide winners and losers when you see the videos).

I have thought about doing a series for the Knoxville mayoral and even possibly the city council candidates but we will see. They take a chunk of time to set up and do. If you want anything but the "I am for everything except taxes" type response it takes time to craft good questions.

We will see.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Power out.

The power has been knocked out at casa de Campfield for 2 days going on three. I am hearing it should be back up tomorrow or the next day so blogging may be sparse.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Loser pays winner pays

As many of you may know I have been working on a version of a loser pays tort reform bill. My house sponsor Vance Dennis has been helpful in pulling it back a little, and stopping it in some scenarios where it may not be a good idea for a blanket rule.

Oddly enough I have run the latest version by several lawyers and most seem to be OK with it. I thought they would be setting up the meeting at my house with pitch forks and torches, but even most of them realize we have problems with slap suits and the "volume lawyers".

I still have some bugs to work out of it but it is getting closer.

Some interesting ideas have been coming from other states and some lawyers I have been polling. Texas just passed legislation where the mediation and the pre trial offer to settle could be key.

It is really sort of interesting idea as it could be winner pays as well. If the final judgment was not at least 80% of something that was offered pre trial then the winner pays the other sides attorney fees. So if you offered me $100K to settle, I insist we go to court anyway and I win say $75K, I would still have to pay your attorneys fees.

It would make both sides come to the negotiating table with a more reasonable offer to settle and willingness to settle.

Your opinions are welcome.

Quote of the session

"One thing we learned was, we all thought that the freshmen weren't ready to handle tough issues or make a hard vote. What we learned was it wasn't the freshmen we had problems with."

Rep. Frank Nicley

Quote of the day (social issues)

“When it comes to conservative social issues, it saddens me when sometimes my fellow Republicans duck and cover under pressure from the left. Let’s speak with pride about our morals and our values and redouble our efforts to elect more conservative Republicans. Let’s stop this downward American spiral."

Texas Governor Rick Perry

And Obama is going to win Tennessee!

When I read polls like this, some times I just have to shake my head and laugh.

What, were they just polling the newsroom? Come on. You can say what ever you want about the legislature (and possibly even make some people believe it) but when you have Obama anywhere close to winning in Tennessee you have to know your focus group is not even in the same realm as to what is going to actually show up at the polls on election day.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sowell on P.C. sex education

Thomas Sowell did a great article on why teachers don't need to get into teaching kids about their ideas of P.C. sex ed.

...there was a story on the Fox News Channel about schools that are using their time to indoctrinate kindergartners and fourth graders with politically correct attitudes about sex.

Anyone familiar with the low standards and mushy notions in the schools and departments of education that turn out our public school teachers might think that these teachers would have all they can do to make American children competent in reading, writing and math.

Anyone familiar with how our children stack up with children from other countries in basic education would be painfully aware that American children lag behind children in countries that spend far less per pupil than we do.

In other words, teachers and schools that are failing to provide the basics of education are branching out into all sorts of other areas, where they have even less competence.

Why are teachers so bold when banks are so cautious? The banks pay a price for being wrong. Teachers don't.

If banks try to act like they are real estate companies and hold on to a huge inventory of foreclosed homes, they are likely to lose money big time, as those homes deteriorate and cannot compete with homes marketed by real estate companies with far more experience and expertise in this field.

But if teachers fail to educate children, they don't lose one dime, no matter how much those children and the country lose by their failure. If the schools waste precious time indoctrinating children, instead of educating them, that's the children's problem and the country's problem, but not the teachers' problem.

Sex indoctrination is just one of innumerable "exciting" and "innovative" self-indulgences of the schools. There is no bottom line test of what these boondoggles cost the children or the country.

Incidentally, conservatives who think that schools should be teaching "abstinence" miss the point completely. The schools have no expertise to be teaching sex at all. We should be happy if they ever develop the competence to teach math and English, so that our children can hold their own in international tests given to children in other countries.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Things you learn

I was at the Ron Ramsey Rampac fundraiser tonight at the Nashville Sounds baseball game. It was fun even though the sounds lost in 10.

As we were leaving, I had to ask what was the connection to Nashville or the sounds and the mascot (a bobcat named Ozzy). Why did they decide that was the mascot that best matched Nashville or the sounds image?

The usher looked a little sheepish.

"Well... It has been the mascot for a while"

Yes, but why did they originally pick it?

"Well....Ummmm.... The fact is....Well, they just got a deal on the costume."

Got to love minor league Baseball.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The little bird sings

Former Knox County Commissioner Victoria Defreese is running to Replace Jammie Woodson in the 6th senatorial district. Oatney with the details.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Logical freedom

The supreme court has said that, in politics, money=speech and that a corporation=group of people. By that logic, limiting corporate donations in politics is like limiting peoples free speech.

Tom Humphrey points out
how Republicans want smaller government with less limits on free speech.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Free fish

Today is free fishing day. No fishing permits are required to go out and sling a line today so feel free to grab a rod or two, take a family member or friend to your special little spot and have some fun.

Hat Tip: Tom Humphrey

Friday, June 10, 2011

Not for thee PP

It is official. Within the next 60 days Planned Parenthood will no longer receive taxpayer dollars anywhere in Tennessee.

Big kudos go out to Governor Bill Haslam and Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey who brought pressure on the two local health departments (Davidson and Shelby) to use all their title X funds in house and not put any out for outside providers.

I would be remiss if I did not mention how we would not be here today without the help of a lot of people who brought the pressure and kept it up until it got done.

Brian Harris and Tennessee Right To Life have been out front and vocal in their desire to defund Planned Parenthood.

Not later.


David Oatney brought the heat and kept the story going when others thought it was a dead issue. Kudos also go out to Ken Morrerro who kept the torch burning and dug deep to keep the issue fresh. These three people encouraged people to make the calls and send the E mails until it got done.

Good Job. Extra feathers go in the hats of these people.

Least we forget, thanks to all the people who called, sent e mails and Facebooked about this issue. Robbin Smith, Steve Gill, Tony Shipley You guys also deserve an extra tip of the hat for all your rabble rousing. As has often been said it is a dedicated group of people who get good things done.

You did it!

You ain't so bad

The number of news papers and the number of readers has diminished by the year and with the growth of on line news sources.

Daily Newspaper Weekday Circulation
Source: Current data from Audit Bureau of Circulations, average
weekday circulation for six months ended March 31, 2011. Earlier
figures are from Tennessee Journal archives.

Newspaper 1971 1984 2011
Mem. Commercial Appeal 223,382 230,666 134,562
Memphis Press-Scimitar 129,993 ----- -----
Nashville Tennessean 140,382 123,454 128,400
Nashville Banner 99,140 71,963 -------
Knoxville News Sentinel 105,308 96,729 98,381
Knoxville Journal 63,791 60,862 -----
Chat. News-Free Press 66,456 55,765 -----
Chattanooga Times 63,908 44,486 -----
Chat. Times Free Press ----- ----- 77,832

Sunday circulation

Newspaper Year 1989 1995 2011
The Tennessean 258,443 279,611 222,714
The Commercial Appeal 292,066 279,933 167,399
Knoxville News-Sentinel 165,434 177,871 124,225
Chat. Times Free Press* 112,094 115,682 99,564
Kingsport Times News 47,567 48,856 43,343

That sounds like partisan political payback!!!

"They’ve certainly not given us any more incentive to
support any more Republicans, based on what they did
this session. It’s obvious that we’re not going to change
the minds of some of those legislators on our issues, so
frankly we’re going to turn our attention to trying to
change some of the legislators.”
— Tennessee Education
Association lobbyist Jerry Winters, to the Associated
Press, on future TEA legislative endorsements.

Hat Tip: The Tennessee Journal

Little bird

A little bird just sang into my ear and told me there was going to be a third candidate in the 6th senatorial Republican primary. It is a well known name so this person has instant credibility.

I will let them do the official but it is coming.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

How many studies do we need?

Well so far we have at least 3 studies all saying the same thing about Pre K. It does not work, and in some cases, it has negative effects. So what do you do when you don't like the results from your own study? Say you need another study after the three you have already gotten back. Guess what that one will probably say? and when it is done, guess what the next governor will say?

How many studies do we have to do? How long do we have to keep throwing good money after bad before we say it is time to invest our money where it can give us some return? Three studies? Five? Ten?

As they say, elections have consequences. Unfortunately, Failing performance studies don't.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Pre K results bomb

The Dean drops the latest report on pre K with the quote from Bill Dunn

The study shows that gains a Pre-K child makes are very short lived. In fact, in some areas the children without Pre-K ended up doing better than those in the state program.

To quote directly from page six of the study, "For students in grades 3-5, analyses have found either no significant effect of Pre-K participation on assessment scores, or, in some cases, have found that students that attended Pre-K, on average, score lower than their non-Pre-K counterparts on some assessments."

After reviewing the details of the study, Representative Bill Dunn (R--Knoxville) pointed to the results as proof that the hundreds of millions of dollars that have been spent on the program may have been better used elsewhere in education.

"We have teachers who need raises and children who need books and the Tennessee Pre-K program is gobbling up and wasting valuable resources," said Rep. Dunn.

"This report should serve as a revelation for individuals who still believe Pre-K is some sort of answer for long-term achievement in education," continued Dunn. "The fact is, it just isn't. It may be the largest hoax ever perpetrated on the people of Tennessee."

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Baby Daddy goes to the supreme court

The case of a father who was duped into beleving he was the the father of a child that was not his goes to the supreme court

"I think attorneys are going to be paying attention to this case because it's an issue that comes up in family law quite often," Scott said.

In the case, the ex-husband discovered he'd been paying years of child support and medical expenses for a child who turned out not to be his. Court records indicate the ex-husband had primary custody of the boy, who was about 14 or 15 when the discovery was made. The boy's mother previously had custody.

The ex-husband, Chadwick Craig, sued his ex-wife for fraud in 2008, claiming that he married the woman, took a job he didn't want so he could support the family, and paid thousands of dollars in child support because she told him he was the father. Craig also said he never would have undergone a vasectomy had he known the he did not have a biological child of his own.

Craig and his ex-wife, Tina Marie Hodge, could not be reached for comment. Their attorneys did not return phone calls from The Associated Press seeking comment.

The ex-wife maintained that she believed that the child was Craig's son. She testified that she had sex with another man during a brief period when the couple broke up, but an early pregnancy test revealed that she had not become pregnant by the other man.

Maury County Chancery Court Judge Jim Hamilton did not believe her and said she had a duty to disclose that she had an intimate relationship with another man who could be the child's father.

Last year, the Tennessee Court of Appeals, in a unanimous decision, said state law does not allow returning child support payments that a court had previously ordered.

The appellate court also said Craig was not entitled to the award for emotional distress. But the decision, written by Judge Holly Kirby, said the appellate court would not address whether there were other circumstances where the ex-husband might be entitled to recover money and win damages.

Attorneys say it's unlikely that the Tennessee Supreme Court will let a man sue to recoup all his past child support payments.

"The legislature would have to change the law," Nashville attorney Helen Rogers said.

Still, if the Supreme Court decision gives men grounds to sue, it could open up the floodgates of litigation, Davison County Juvenile Court Magistrate Scott Rosenberg said.

There's no way to know how many men across the state have paid or continue to pay child support for children who aren't theirs.

Last year, the Tennessee Department of Human Services tested more than 8,500 men who had been named as fathers by women seeking child-support or public assistance. More than 2,100 — about 25 percent — were not the biological father, DHS records show.

I have a confession to make

Yes, it's true. The picture is of me. Someone must have taken it before I really started going to the the gym and posted it to my twitter account. I must apologize to my personal trainer for the way I let myself go.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Quote of the day

“Power abhors a vacuum, and Waffle House Bill Haslam has not stepped up to lead this state, and that vacuum has been filled by tea party cowboy Ron Ramsey.”

Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester

What Cow Chip doesn't realize is that leaders can come in various forms. Those that inspire us to do great things and those that lead us down a wayward path. I would prefer watching the Lone Ranger stop bad guys at the Waffle House then follow Snidely Whiplash off the cliff.

Cameras get the red light

This could be huge. Red light cameras in FLA get ruled unconstitutional as they differ in penalty for the same offence when done by an officer. Equal protection clause and all that.

Hat tip: Say Uncle

Joke of the week (Heavy thinking)

It started out innocently enough. I began to think at parties now and then -- just to loosen up and be a part of the crowd.

Inevitably, though, one thought led to another, and soon I was more than just a social thinker.

I began to think alone -- "to relax," I told myself -- but I knew it wasn't true.
Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally I was thinking all the time.

That was when things began to sour at home.
One evening I turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life. She spent that night at her mother's.

I began to think on the job.
I knew that thinking and employment don't mix, but I couldn't help myself.

I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Thoreau, Muir, Confucius and Kafka.
I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking, "What is it exactly we are doing here?"

One day the boss called me in. He said, "Listen, I like you, and it hurts me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem.
If you don't stop thinking on the job, you'll have to find another job."

This gave me a lot to think about.
I came home early after my conversation with the boss. "Honey," I confessed, "I've been thinking..."

"I know you've been thinking," she said, "and I want a divorce!" "But Honey, surely it's not that serious."
"It is serious," she said, lower lip a quiver.

"You think as much as college professors and college professors don't make any money!
So if you keep on thinking, we won't have any money!"

"That's a faulty syllogism," I said impatiently.

She exploded in tears of rage and frustration, but I was in no mood to deal with the emotional drama.

"I'm going to the library," I snarled as I stomped out the door.

I headed for the library, in the mood for some John Locke.
I roared into the parking lot with NPR on the radio and ran up to the big glass doors.

They didn't open. The library was closed.

To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that night.

Leaning on the unfeeling glass, whimpering for Emerson, a poster caught my eye; "Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?" it asked.

You probably recognize that line. It comes from the standard Thinkers Anonymous poster.

This is why I am what I am today: a recovering thinker.

I never miss a TA meeting.
At each meeting we watch a non-educational video; last week it was "Porky's."
Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the last meeting.

I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home.
Life just seemed easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking.
I think the road to recovery is nearly complete for me.

Today I took the final step...I joined the Democratic Party

Thursday, June 02, 2011