Evaluating the 2016 Tennessee Republican Party convention delegates – Part 1: Hey, nobody voted for them!

Boss Haynes - photo: Getty Images

Boss Haynes photo: Getty Images

by Horatio Bunce

This is Part 1 in a series of posts evaluating the 2016 Tennessee Republican Party delegate slate approved by the TNGOPe. Much is being made of the Trump campaign “whining” about being cheated when it comes to delegates selected by the GOPe. Alleged GOP “outsider” Ted Cruz seems to be getting much of the benefit of the totally “insider” selected delegate states (see Colorado and Wyoming) where no vote of the people is taken. Cruz “the outsider” calls Trump a sore loser and says he should know the rules of the game better. Apparently “outsiders” are all “inside baseball” that way. I am willing to bet most loyal Republican voters that have held their noses voting for Bob Dole, John McCain, Mitt Romney, Bob Corker, Lamar Alexander, etc. also aren’t aware of those rules. They think when they cast votes for committed delegates that the elections are fair, the delegates receiving the most votes win and go to the convention voting for the candidate they committed to. Yet again and again they find themselves taking another one for the team when the RNC feeds them their fourth or fifth choice of candidate as the nominee and your “conservative” committed delegates you thought you had deliver another unanimous convention floor vote for the next yellow dog.

So, let’s take a look at the 2016 Tennessee Republican party approved slate of delegates and compare that to the ballot you were given and the recorded votes. You probably read/heard some weak stories about the slate like this reported in a scorecard fashion like Trump 33, Cruz 16, Rubio 9 and probably thought, “that sounds about right based on the popular vote, right”? You have to actually look at the delegates approved by the state party to see what the result is. In this post I will address delegates and alternates on their approved slate that nobody voted for – because they were not on the ballot. Now, this is also part of those “rules” that the GOPe and Cruz make fun of Trump for not knowing and being a “sore loser”. I’m expecting you will be just as “sore” when you see what has been done to your votes.

You can find a sample ballot for the 2016 Republican presidential primary for Blount County here.

You can find the “unofficial” voting results here.

You can find the Tennessee Republican party approved slate of delegates going to the 2016 Republican National Convention here.

Keep in mind that not all delegate candidates appear on your ballot, since the congressional district portion of the ballot where you selected three delegates are only those residing in your district. There are nine congressional districts in the state. The at-large delegates are the same on every ballot as they can reside anywhere in the state. You selected up to 14 of them, presumably those declaring themselves committed to your candidate. Many of these congressional and at-large delegates are party insiders, incumbents or former office-holders.

If you take a look at the party-approved slate of delegates you will notice several names that did not appear on any ballot, i.e., nobody voted for them:

Scott Carey – Cruz Delegate – attorney, managing shareholder of Baker Donelson and general counsel to the state Republican party

Chris Devaney – Cruz Delegate – Former state party chair 2009-20015, resigned to become executive director of Children’s Nutrition Program of Haiti just a few months after defeating Joe Carr for the position. Also supported Lamar Alexander against primary challenger Joe Carr.

Frank Colvett – Cruz Alternate – Memphis city councilman, Tennessee Republican Party State Executive Committee member and TNGOP Treasurer

Paula Sedgwick – Cruz Alternate – Bartlett, TN alderman, Haslam appointee, Tennessee Republican Party State Executive Committee member

Just look at all those Cruz “outsiders”!

Ryan Haynes – Rubio Delegate – Pigeon Forge liquor-by-the-drink lobbyist (while a Knox Co. representative), current state party chair.

Dave Black – Rubio Alternate – Founder and chairman of Aegis Sciences Corp. and husband of U.S. Rep. Diane Black.

Bill Haslam – Rubio Delegate – Achieve Inc. board member, Common Core promoter, project manager for federal testing entity PARCC, Utah test question renter, and oh yeah, the governor.

Betty Cannon – Trump Delegate – TNGOP Vice Chairman

Ken Gross – Trump Delegate – Tennessee Republican Party State Executive Committee member and known anti-Trump facebook poster. Interesting he is now a forced-upon-you delegate for the man he called a “liberal Democrat”.

Peggy Lambert – Trump Delegate – Republican National Committee member for Tennessee, former Blount county commissioner

John Ryder – Trump Delegate – Republican National Committee member for Tennessee, RNC General Counsel, He was the chairman of the Redistricting Committee and the RNC Presidential Nominating Schedule Committee. He was a delegate for the 1984, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Republican National Conventions. Ryder served on the Temporary Delegate Selection Committee and currently serves on the Rules Committee.

Beverly Knight Hurley – Trump Alternate – Tennessee Republican Party State Executive Committee member from Davidson County

Gee, look at all that establishment support for not-a-Republican Trump! Who Knew?

There are now 14 delegates appointed by the state executive committee of the party. They pretty much appoint themselves, and a few slots are automatic: the party chair and the two national committee members (Haynes, Lambert and Ryder). These appointments are a relatively “new” thing implemented by the party in 2012. Why? To remove you pesky voters from the process. It is getting harder all the time to force the next Single Digit Jeb on you. So throw in an automatic 25% of the vote fixed in advance and voila, they can “elect” a yellow dog if necessary. In this case, the GOPe are now on Plan C with Cruz and likely do not truly support him either, but these fix-is-in delegates will vote as required for two rounds at the convention. More importantly, they will be a protectionist vote of the establishment when it comes to the required votes on potential rules and procedures changes. Their RNC “rules” expire every four years and have to be renewed before business at the convention. Don’t forget John Boehner and his teleprompter from Florida. It was getting messy. The GOPe needed to “fix” things so this didn’t happen again. However, a 40% populist vote for Trump wasn’t supposed to happen. The TNGOP fix-is-in construct did not account for that kind of opposition. So, even more rigging is necessary, which we’ll look at in Part 2.

.01% growth but we’re suppose to believe the economy has recovered

What Did Fed Chairman Yellen Tell Obama?

by Ron Paul

This week, President Obama and Vice President Biden held a hastily arranged secret meeting with Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen. According to the one paragraph statement released by the White House following the meeting, Yellen, Obama, and Biden simply “exchanged notes” about the economy and the progress of financial reform. Because the meeting was held behind closed doors, the American people have no way of knowing what else the three might have discussed.

Yellen’s secret meeting at the White House followed an emergency secret Federal Reserve Board meeting. The Fed then held another secret meeting to discuss bank reform. These secret meetings come on the heels of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s estimate that first quarter GDP growth was .01 percent, dangerously close to the official definition of recession.

Thus the real reason for all these secret meetings could be a panic that the Fed’s eight year explosion of money creation has not just failed to revive the economy, but is about to cause another major market meltdown.

Establishment politicians and economists find the Fed’s failures puzzling. According to the Keynesian paradigm that still dominates the thinking of most policymakers, the Fed’s money creation should have produced such robust growth that today the Fed would be raising interest rates to prevent the economy from “overheating.”

The Fed’s response to its failures is to find new ways to pump money into the economy. Hence the Fed is actually considering implementing “negative interest rates.” Negative interest rates are a hidden tax on savings. Negative interest rates may create the short-term illusion of growth, but, by discouraging savings, they will cause tremendous long-term economic damage.

Even as Yellen admits that the Fed “has not taken negative interest rates off the table,” she and other Fed officials are still promising to raise rates this year. The Federal Reserve needs to promise future rate increases in order to stop nervous investors from fleeing US markets and challenging the dollar’s reserve currency status.

The Fed can only keep the wolves at bay with promises of future rate increases for so long before its polices cause a major dollar crisis. However, raising rates could also cause major economic problems. Higher interest rates will hurt the millions of Americans struggling with student loan, credit card, and other forms of debt. Already over 40 percent of Americans who owe student loan debt are defaulting on their payments. If Federal Reserve policies increase the burden of student loan debt, the number of defaults will dramatically increase leading to a bursting of the student loan bubble.

By increasing the federal government’s cost of borrowing, an interest rate increase will also make it harder for the federal government to manage its debt. Increased costs of debt financing will place increased burden on the American people and could be the last straw that finally pushes the federal government into a Greek-style financial crisis.

The no-win situation the Fed finds itself in is a sign that we are reaching the inevitable collapse of the fiat currency system. Unless immediate steps are taken to manage the transition, this collapse could usher in an economic catastrophe dwarfing the Great Depression. Therefore, those of us who know the truth must redouble our efforts to spread the ideas of liberty.

If we are successful we may be able to force Congress to properly manage the transition by cutting spending in all areas and auditing, then ending, the Federal Reserve. We may also be able to ensure the current crisis ends not just the Fed but the entire welfare-warfare state.

Copyright © 2016 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.

Source: http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2016/april/17/what-did-fed-chairman-yellen-tell-Obama/

2016: The Year the Americans Found out Our Elections Are Rigged

Tweed

Boss Tweed or Ryan Haynes? photo: Getty Images

by Horatio Bunce

I want to encourage you to read an article at TheAntimedia.org and watch/read the linked information there.

via TheAntimedia.org:

“What we are witnessing — for the first time on a large scale — is the political establishment’s true role in selecting the president of the United States. The illusion of choice has become apparent. The establishment anoints their two picks for president, and the country proceeds to argue vehemently over the two candidates they are spoon-fed. This dynamic is reminiscent of a prophetic 1998 quote from philosopher Noam Chomsky:

“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.”

Ahh, the illusion of choice. Sure, in reality there are third party candidates who should be given a fair shake, but in our mainstream media-augmented reality, third parties do not exist. They aren’t mentioned. They aren’t even included in presidential debates. This is another way the media stifles healthy debate, stamps out dissenting opinions, and preserves the status-quo.

We The People” don’t choose our presidents; they are hand-picked by a powerful group of political party insiders — parties that have long since sold out to the highest bidders. What we have on our hands in America is a rigged oligarchy, and that’s not a conspiracy theory — it’s fact.

Linked in the article is a video of Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz explaining Democratic party superdelegates:

[Schultz]: Unpledged delegates exist, really, to make sure that party leaders and elected officials don’t have to be in a position where they are running against grassroots activists. We are, as the democratic party, really highlight and emphasize inclusiveness and diversity at our convention and so we want to give every opportunity to grassroots activists and diverse committed Democrats to participate, attend and be a delegate at the convention, and so we separate out those unpledged delegates to make sure that there isn’t competition between them.

To show I am “fair and balanced”, listen to Republican National Committeeman Curly Haughland explain how your Republican primary votes for delegates don’t mean anything either:

[Haughland]: “We have a problem with the media unfortunately, the cable networks are trying to determine…”

[CNBC]: “I don’t think this is a problem with the media, I’ve heard from a lot of voters who say if they feel like their votes got stolen, that they would be very unhappy and very angry. I think you are looking at a different situation. I realize these have been the rules, but the last time these rules were put in place was 1976 – it’s been a long time since then.”  

(ed: Right……back when the GOP fought just as hard against Ronald Reagan as they are Trump today and stole the nomination from him to usher in Leslie Lynch King, Jr., a.k.a. Gerald Ford, the appointee who was never elected to office by anyone – to ultimately hand the win to Jimmy Carter).

[Haughland]: “Yeah, they’re still there. Yeah that’s a problem. The, the uh, the media has created the perception that the voters will decide the nomination and that’s the conflict, that’s the conflict here. The question is…”

[CNBC]: “We feel like we live in a democratic society, what you’re telling me is it’s not a democratic society and your votes don’t necessarily matter because it’s a democratic representation, correct?”

[Haughland]: “No that’s not what I’m trying to say, what I’m trying to say is that there’s a…we’re just one of the political parties. There’s [sic] many political parties. But political parties choose their nominee, not the general public, uh, contrary to popular belief….again…”

[CNBC]: “Then why bother holding the primaries?”

[Haughland]: “That’s a very good question.”

Indeed. But hey Big Two sheep, thanks for paying for it all! We appreciate your financial “participation” general public….uh, I mean “Friend”!

ColoradoCronies

Colorado GOP announces via Twitter that the Republican peasants’ votes won’t be necessary this time around.

As Ukraine Collapses, Europeans Tire of US Interventions

by Ron Paul

On Sunday Ukrainian prime minister Yatsenyuk resigned, just four days after the Dutch voted against Ukraine joining the European Union. Taken together, these two events are clear signals that the US-backed coup in Ukraine has not given that country freedom and democracy. They also suggest a deeper dissatisfaction among Europeans over Washington’s addiction to interventionism.

According to US and EU governments – and repeated without question by the mainstream media – the Ukrainian people stood up on their own in 2014 to throw off the chains of a corrupt government in the back pocket of Moscow and finally plant themselves in the pro-west camp. According to these people, US government personnel who handed out cookies and even took the stage in Kiev to urge the people to overthrow their government had nothing at all to do with the coup.

When Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland was videotaped bragging about how the US government spent $5 billion to “promote democracy” in Ukraine, it had nothing to do with the overthrow of the Yanukovich government. When Nuland was recorded telling the US Ambassador in Kiev that Yatsenyuk is the US choice for prime minister, it was not US interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine. In fact, the neocons still consider it a “conspiracy theory” to suggest the US had anything to do with the overthrow.

I have no doubt that the previous government was corrupt. Corruption is the stock-in-trade of governments. But according to Transparency International, corruption in the Ukrainian government is about the same after the US-backed coup as it was before. So the intervention failed to improve anything, and now the US-installed government is falling apart. Is a Ukraine in chaos to be considered a Washington success story?

This brings us back to the Dutch vote. The overwhelming rejection of the EU plan for Ukrainian membership demonstrates the deep level of frustration and anger in Europe over EU leadership following Washington’s interventionist foreign policy at the expense of European security and prosperity. The other EU member countries did not even dare hold popular referenda on the matter – their parliaments rubber-stamped the agreement.

Brussels backs US bombing in the Middle East and hundreds of thousands of refugees produced by the bombing overwhelm Europe. The people are told they must be taxed even more to pay for the victims of Washington’s foreign policy.

Brussels backs US regime change plans for Ukraine and EU citizens are told they must bear the burden of bringing an economic basket case up to European standards. How much would it cost EU citizens to bring in Ukraine as a member? No one dares mention it. But Europeans are rightly angry with their leaders blindly following Washington and then leaving them holding the bag.

The anger is rising and there is no telling where it will end. In June, the United Kingdom will vote on whether to exit the European Union. The campaign for an exit is broad-based, bringing in conservatives, populists, and progressives. Regardless of the outcome, the vote should be considered very important. Europeans are tired of their unelected leaders in Brussels pushing them around and destroying their financial and personal security by following Washington’s foolish interventionism. No one can call any of these recent interventions a success and the Europeans know it.

One way or the other, the US empire is coming to an end. Either the money will go or the allies will go, but it cannot be sustained. The sooner the American people demand an end to these foolish policies the better.

Copyright © 2016 by Ron Paul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.

Read online.

Citizen comments from BCCP meeting

The paper had a decent article on the Blount County Corrections Partnership (BCCP) meeting last night.  What was missing from the story are comments from the citizens.

Shirley Rupert did a lot of research prior to the meeting and spoke.  Her comments are posted here.

As a lifelong resident of Maryville, I am very concerned with the direction our Justice Center is taking.  On this date (4/7/16) there are 568 inmates in a facility made to house 350.  Below is a breakdown of those inmates:

TN Dept of Corrections:  147
FEDERAL:  68
Sentenced Felon: 100
SENTENCED MISDEMEANOR:  61
PRETRIAL FELON :    123
PRETRIAL MISDEMEANOR:  69

Looking at these numbers and doing some simple math will show what is causing the overcrowding.

IF we eliminate the TN Dept. of Corrections (147) and the Federal (68) inmates, there will be no crowding.  These inmates are a drain on our local economy.  Although, Blount County is reimbursed to facilitate them, it is not enough to cover the costs completely.

The number of citizens that are our fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers awaiting trail is also a reason for concern.  Having 192 citizens waiting to be assigned an attorney and/or a date with the judge is not acceptable.  In this economy, one week from work will result in loosing a job, housing, vehicle, and when extended, even their family.   These inmates are sleeping on floors without bedding, not receiving medical attention and/or being subjected to cruel behaviors.  All of this is prior to being convicted of any crime!

Another issue for concern is the staff at the Justice Center.  Even though, we house 568 inmates, we only staff enough employees for the 350 limit.  These employees are expected to care and manage an excessive number of inmates for the same pay.  This is a stressful situation for many of or neighbors that work for the Justice Center, resulting in high rate of job changes.

Upon release, the inmates receive an invoice for the expenses incurred by the County and will be assigned a Probation Officer.  They must meet with the Officer once a month and pay a fee for said Officer, along with reimbursing the county for their court costs and stay in the facility.  If, for any reason, they miss an appointment, a warrant will be issued for their arrest.  Many of us work long hours just to maintain our households.  A monthly appointment requires leaving work, obtaining funds and meeting with an Officer that has nothing to offer, other than encouragement to make your next appointment.

According to a Warrant Study from 2011, over 7,500 Warrants were issued that year.  Of those, 5,000 were violations to the court!  These include:  Failure to Appear, Contempt, and/or Violation of Probation.  More emphasis is being put on keeping our citizens in the system than keeping our county safe.  The majority of the inmates are in jail because they were unable to either pay fines, or obtain a attorney.

I appreciate the fact that our county is safe and one of the most sought after places to live.  I highly doubt that bringing in additional Federal and State Inmates will add to our charm.  In fact, I would anticipate that a Federal or State Penitentiary would definitely be a blemish to our town.

*Note: Inmates without beds are given a sled with a mattress unless the number of inmates exceeds the number of sleds available.

3 ladies on commission looking out for taxpayers

The three ladies on the commission Jamie Daly, Karen Miller and Tona Monroe are looking out for the taxpayers and the best interests of everyone in the community.  All three spoke against jail expansion at the Blount County Correction Partnership (BCCP) meeting Thursday and against housing federal inmates in the local jail.

Housing federal prisoners has been a financial drain to the taxpayers of Blount County for many years.  The jail study, which the political machine tried to bury after spending over $94,000 of taxpayer money, said that the only way the Sheriff could claim to make money on housing federal inmates is to overcrowd and understaff the jail.  This creates a dangerous situation for everyone: the officers in the jail, the inmates and the taxpayers.

It may also be creating an unconstitutional jail.  The jail study says our jail is bordering on unconstitutional.  Deliberately housing discretionary inmates in an overcrowded facility, sounds willfully indifferent to me.  Whether a judge would see it that way, I don’t know.

Alarmingly, the Sheriff’s employees on the BCCP don’t seem to care.  They continue to support the practice of housing federal inmates, to the determent of our wonderful community.

The officers working in the jail should pay close attention to this matter.  The Sheriff has created a dangerous situation by crowding the jail with federal inmates and their supervisors (BCCP members Chief Deputy Jeff French and Captain John Adams) defend the practice of a crowded jail that is understaffed to “make money” housing federal prisoners.  And why not?  Both of these men are well paid while the corrections officers are not.

The sheriff makes $117,835.  Jeff French makes $84,824.  John Adams makes $63,278.  Plus, have you seen the fancy cars that the Sheriff and his choice, top deputies drive around in?  Corrections officers in the jail, those without rank, are making in the low to mid thirties.

While the sheriff has convinced some of his employees that the three women are against them, they aren’t the ones drawing big salaries and riding around in fancy cars.  Furthermore, its the sheriff who unilaterally continues to overcrowd the jail with federal prisoners, putting more on the staff than they should handle all in the name of making money.  It’s the three ladies who are speaking out and trying to stop this money losing, dangerous and possibly unconstitutional practice; thereby, looking out for the safety of the officers and protecting the taxpaying citizens.

Bob Bass of TCI tells press and citizens to turn cameras off: Shows them video already on YouTube

As a shining example of trashing openness and transparency in government, Bob “the Bully” Bass, County Corrections Partnership Coordinator and Detention Facilities Specialist with the Tennessee Corrections Institute (TCI) told the press and citizens present at an open public meeting to turn their cameras off.  His reason?  The presentation contained law enforcement sensitive information.

That might have had some validity had Bob “the Bully” Bass not said later in the meeting that the video he showed was available on YouTube.  Yeap, that’s right.  You can watch the video online on YouTube.

Now back to that open meeting thing.  It’s an OPEN MEETING BOB.  You know, the kind where the public is invited to attend so that they can see what their government is up to.  Oh that’s right, you and the machine don’t want the people watching you.

Even the press didn’t show up to the last Blount County Corrections Partnership (BCCP) meeting.  The paper watched the recording available online and reported on it two days after the meeting.  What’s the press going to do when they don’t show up and the meetings haven’t been recorded?

The investigative journalist providing the video told me that the meetings of the County Corrections Partnership, in the county where this video was recorded, are held in a restricted area.  Yeah, that’s right.  The meetings open to the public are held in a restricted area.  Just exactly how many people are going to make an effort to get through security and into a restricted area to attend an “open” public meeting?

That reminds of the meeting here in Blount County last June when Bob “the Bully” Bass gave the same presentation to the Blount County Corrections Partnership.  That meeting was held at the Justice Center not the courthouse.  The IT Director had made arrangements to record that meeting but Bob “the Bully” Bass stopped that recording as well.

The rule makers want it this way.  The meetings are “open” to the public but they don’t have to be convenient or recorded.  Out of sight, out of mind.

Except that it is your wallets they are emptying.  Remember the jail study which said that Blount County needed to totally rethink the use of its jail?  Remember the $1 million plan with a plan for another million?  Now Bob “the Bully” Bass is pushing to build after his off the video camera presentation.  A member of the TCI Board of Control said that Blount County could use a nice 100,000 person jail.

Do you want Blount County to be the location of the next Brushy Mountain prison?  If not, show up Thursday at 5:30 in room 315, where there isn’t a video camera rolling and the machine hopes you aren’t present and watching them.

Where do you want to cut the budget?

What budget(s) would you like to see cut?

Library
Mayor’s Office
Parks and Rec
Schools
Sheriff’s Office
Something else
Cut it all
Don’t cut anything

Poll Maker

State law limits what can be cut. However, please express where you would like to see budget cuts.