Tag Archive | Republican

14 machine commissioners make Art Swann state senator

Blount County Commissioners Andy Allen, Dave Bennett, Shawn Carter, Rick Carver, Grady Caskey, Mike Caylor, Dodd Crowe, Gary Farmer, Ron French, Scott King, Mike Lewis, Kenneth Melton, Jerome Moon and Tom Stinnett voted to replace Doug Overbey who recently resigned from the Tennessee Senate with (now former) Representative Art Swann.  Swann was nominated by Commissioner Carver.

Commissioner Tona Monroe nominated Scott Williams.  Commissioners Archie Archer, Karen Miller and Monroe voted for Williams.

Commissioners Mike Akard, Brad Bowers, Tom Cole and Jamie Daly were absent from the meeting.

Only Commissioners Miller and Monroe spoke during the discussion portion of the meeting with both sharing why they were voting for Williams.  Monroe shared that Williams served his country through military service, is a gentleman and a class act.  She said Swann had never returned any of her emails about concerns she had related to state laws and matters impacting local governments.

After the meeting, Jim Hammontree, who has picked up a petition to run for the seat currently held by district 2 Commissioner Mike Lewis, shared with BC Public Record and the local paper that the commission took a do nothing state representative and turned him into a do nothing state senator.

Blount County Commissioner Tona Monroe and state Senate candidate Scott Williams

It’s a ‘fine’ day and night in Blount County and throughout Tennessee

Well the Tennessee General Assembly just voted to raise the seatbelt fine from $10 to $25.  This is a great way for Republicans to enrich public treasuries without ‘raising taxes’.  It’s no surprise that Blount County’s 3 nanny $tati$t $upported the tax… err fine.  Good Ole’ Big Government Bob Ramsey, Art Swann and Doug Overbey.

Here in Blount County the Commi$$ion just took an unconstitutional grant for nighttime $eatbelt demo.  Buckle up, or you will find out what a ‘fine’ place Blount County is to live, especially since the federal government and the Tenne$$ee General A$$embly made $ure that you’ll be adding more to the public trea$ury if you don’t.

Overbey votes against Guns in Parks Bill

Smug Overbite (Senator Doug Overbey) wants criminals to have the advantage in parks, voting against Campfield’s bill.  Of course, this is still with the get your permission slip from the State to do what you naturally have the God-given right to do.  So much for the letter that he sent about his support of the 2nd amendment for the gun rally held in Blount County last year.

When will the people of Blount County wake up?  The people they have put in office are an embarrassment.  Not one single office holder is a Democrat or an Independent, excepting non-partisan races.  All the good ole boys are Republicans who give lip service platitudes.  Will the people of Blount County ever wise up to this?  Or will we get more of the same?



Wheel Tax is latest ploy demonstrating hypocrisy of Republicans

Blount County voters will once again decide if they wish to pay a Wheel Tax, in the specially called election on June 11. The cost to the taxpayers for the special election will be at least $80,000, but saving money is of little concern to the resolution sponsors who have a habitual history of tax and fee increases. The Wheel Tax is the latest demonstration that being a Republican doesn’t necessarily mean limited government and low taxes.

All 21 members of the Blount County Commission were elected as Republicans in 2010, at a time when people were angry with Democrats and calling for a return to constitutionally limited government. The Blount County Republican Party sent a post card mailer warning people not to vote for local Democrats because of the big tax and spending Democrats in Washington DC. The three Democrats on the Commission were easily defeated.

Blount County voters handily defeated a wheel tax in 2006, with 71% of the voters rejecting it. Voters rejected a sales tax increase in 2008. Both of these votes took place prior to the current Commission, but Republicans had a super majority on the previous Commission, with a majority of the current Commissioners sitting on the previous Commission.

The current all-Republican Commission voted to raise the property tax rate the first year of their new term in 2011. While some of the Republican Commissioners voted against the tax increase, many of them voted for most or all of the spending that caused the tax increase, which makes them guilty of big spending and culpable for the tax increase.

Instead of creating a Committee to cut waste, the Commission created a Committee to Study Lost Revenue. The all-Republican Commission finished out the last month of the first year of their current term with litigation fee increases, with the resolution reading “WHEREAS, Blount County is in need of additional revenue.”

Rather than increase property tax in the second year of the current term, a sales tax increase was proposed in 2012. Blount County voters defeated the proposed sales tax increase a second time, but with a much narrower margin of defeat than in 2008.

Now the Wheel Tax is back, as the all-Republican Commission faces a huge spending increase from Blount County Schools, in its third year. The timing of the special election is interesting, the middle of June when School is out and people are taking vacations. The Commission has been unable to get voters in November elections, when voter turnout is at its highest, to approve tax increases. The date of the election appears to be deliberately set to catch people off guard so that the tax can be slid through, knowing that government employees usually vote, while hoping that those opposed are unaware or busy during the specially called election.

Republicans gave Blount Countians a property tax increase and fee increases in their first year. Republicans tried to give Blount Countians a sales tax increase in their second year. Now Blount Countians are faced with a Wheel Tax. The Commission could implement a Wheel Tax on its own authority with a two-thirds majority vote during two consecutive Commission meetings. Republican Commissioners don’t want to do this, partly because they hope to get the voter to do it for them.

The other reason is because the Wheel Tax won’t fix the School Budget problem entirely. The $86.8 million School Budget means a funding deficit of $6.9 million. Commissioner Holden Lail, one of the Wheel Tax resolution sponsors who is a retired Blount County educator and is married to Blount County educator, doesn’t know how much the Wheel Tax will actually generate. Estimates range from $2.5-3.5 million, which is far short of the $6.9 million needed. The Commission would then have to decide whether to increase the property tax rate to fund the deficit or tell the School Board to cut its budget.

The Wheel Tax proposal is sloppy, slothful and sly. It’s sloppy because the amount it generates is unknown but the best estimate shows it only providing about half of the requested increase. It’s slothful because it raises taxes without making any attempt to cut wasteful spending. It’s sly because it’s planned to avoid a general election so that County employees can ramrod it through.

The people of Blount County need to critically evaluate the performance of this all-Republican Commission. Voters have rejected all proposed tax increases, while the all Republican Commission has proposed a tax increase each year. Republicans railed about the dangers of big government Democrats in Washington DC in 2010, but the people of Blount County have an all-Republican Commission that hasn’t gone a single year without trying to increase taxes since their rhetoric about the Democrats in Washington DC.

My Final Answer

By Jay Polk

Over the years I’ve heard the argument that, “This election is too important to vote for the Libertarian candidate”. So I’ve been working on formulating a response. Here is my final answer: Those who tell us to “Vote for the lesser evil” are the same ones who believe that Liberty isn’t worth fighting for. They’re the ones who complain about people not getting involved yet they themselves choose to sit on the sidelines and pick from the despicable establishment candidates. They try to break the spirit of those of us who stand on our principles when we vote by saying we “Don’t have a chance of winning” or that we are “Splitting the vote”.

In 1775, a handful of men gathered together and decided that instead of choosing “the lesser evil” of the British Empire, they would choose instead to be free men. They left behind their homes, their livelihoods, and their families to stand for the Liberties endowed to them by their Creator. Many defended them with their lives. Now we are told to support the candidate that will harm our Liberties the least instead of the libertarian candidate that will not harm our Liberties at all. I sacrifice time with my family and friends (and countless hours of sleep) educating people about which candidates will restore Freedom and about the libertarian philosophy of peace and love for our fellow man. What if we all sacrificed just a few hours a week to do this? Think of what a difference we could make! If 14,000 colonists could take on, and defeat, the most powerful army in the world, what is our excuse?

Where would we be if George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams had prescribed to the “lesser evil” view? And seeing as how only 1/3 of the American colonists favored revolution I’m sure there were antagonists among their own countrymen telling them that if only they stayed their passion for Liberty, carried with indignity their chains, and accepted with silence their fate, all would be well.

Forgive me if this sounds rude, but the argument that “If we don’t vote for candidate X, then political party Y will win and that will be the end of America” is intellectually lazy. It’s the same tired, old argument that’s trotted out every election year by those who have neither the fortitude to stand for principles nor the courage to defend Freedom in the face of adversity. It is indeed the mantra repeated by cowards and compromisers which, by no coincidence, are directly to blame for delivering America her current fate. The goal should not be to defeat the incumbent; the goal should be good government.

We were told in 2000 that unless we voted for George Bush, Al Gore would destroy America. 4 years passed and we were left with an increase in the size of government by $616 Billion, the introduction of the Homeland Security Department (Patriot Act and the TSA), No Child Left Behind, the Medicare Prescription Drug benefit ($70 Billion/year), McCain-Feingold, suspension of habeas corpus, and Billions of dollars of earmarks.

Then we were told in 2004 that if we didn’t vote for Bush, John Kerry would destroy America. 4 years later and we had the $800 Billion bailout of wealthy CEOs (TARP), federal takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, non-defense federal outlays increased by 18%, an overall increase in the federal government’s budget by 44% (Clinton increased it by 0.1%), and more war.

Say what you will about Obama, who has certainly presided over some very bad policies, but do you now tell me that you trust your Liberty with the political party of George W. Bush?

To those who are still satisfied with compromising the Liberties of our future generations, I leave you with this:

“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of Freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.” –Samuel Adams

I choose good over all shades of evil. I choose Peace. I choose Liberty. I am a libertarian. Who is with me?

Limited Legislative Agenda? Isn’t that what Republicans want?

Chair of the Republican House Caucus, Representative Debra Maggart, lashed out at Democrats for their “limited legislative agenda“. 

“As usual, Chairman Turner and the Democrats are overcompensating for something. Perhaps it’s their limited legislative agenda?”

Gee, isn’t limited government what Republicans claim to want?  Or is it just campaign rhetoric, which goes out the window once elected? 

This Republican legislature has already demonstrated that they don’t want limited government.  Now they’re finally admitting it.

Is this the conservatism Tennesseans have been waiting 140 years for?

Today’s guest post is by Eric Holcombe.

Who is the secret senator that Tennessee Republicans are protecting?

1st Post – revealing the back-door budget language sabotage by a secret legislator returning tax dollars to the abortophiles at Planned Parenthood

The Plot Thickens  Sen. Campfield talks to Doug Himes, attorney for the legislature that drafts budget language who helped make the change for the still unnamed legislator and claimed “attorney/client privilege” in not revealing who he conspired with to make the illegal change. Tom Humphrey reports on this and gives some more detail. Himes will not comment on whether Sen. Campfield contacted him or not, but says they do not make any changes unless directed to do so by a legislator. Campfield claims Himes told him it was someone on the House side that gave direction. So, it’s a legislator, and most likely a Republican one. House speaker Harwell says it isn’t her.  Rep. Gerald McCormick says it isn’t him. Rep. Charles Sargent can’t be reached, but later tells Sen. Campfield that “it came from the Senate” and he had instructed two Senators to ‘fix it’. Still no name(s). Assuming Sen. Campfield didn’t lie about his conversations with Himes and Sargent, either Himes or Sargent (or both) are lying about who gave direction to make the change. At least one of the three is not telling the whole truth.

On to the Senate side. Senate Majority leader Mark Norris says it isn’t him.  Then, Speaker Harwell and Lt. Gov. Ramsey issue a joint press release….that doesn’t reveal the criminal activity behind the scenes, but suggests that the criminal activity has some merit to it because without it the entire budget would be jeopardized (in true Federal Reserve/Tim Geithner appeal-to-fear form). In fact, it appears they have worked with the legal department (remember, the one that made illegal changes and then claimed attorney-client privilege against you) to concoct a face-saving way out of this. Sen. Campfield provides analysis of the release, points out parts that are not true, and begins to call on Gov. Haslam to line item veto the illegally changed portion of the budget. He could do that, and at the same time make good on a campaign promise to defund Planned Parenthood.

So at this point, I believe it is very likely Harwell, Ramsey, Himes and Sargent know who did it. Maybe Sen. Campfield does too. He and Ramsey were co-sponsors of the amendment, so Ramsey has no apparent reason to sabotage it. Then, suddenly, everything is all better. But no one is going to root out the real problem, which is the conspiracy between the legal department and the secret Senator(s). Sure, Ron Ramsey has said he’ll work “behind the scenes” to make sure it doesn’t happen again.  “Asked if that means the results of his inquiry into what occurred and who was responsible will never be made public, Ramsey replied, “That’s a possibility.”  I’ll tell you what Lt. Gov., let the truth be known, and the voters will take care of that.

Why is the Republican leadership hiding this? I can see either: a)Republican leadership is choosing their party and its damage control over the rule of law and the constituents, or b) this is being hidden for future political leverage over the guilty party, who is allegedly on their side. In either case, there are now not only Republicans willing to subvert the will of your elected representatives by altering passed legislation, but also Republican leadership that is willing to hide and protect them. Unfortunately for the honest legislators (some of whom happen to be in the Republican party), they have also been betrayed by the majority party. Whatever you sponsor/cosponsor/vote on can get changed in a back room after the fact with support of Conservative Republican™ leadership. Even Gov. Haslam doesn’t seem too interested: “But it is not something I’m spending a lot of time trying to figure out.

Sen. Campfield is willing to let it drop as long as he got what he was looking for (defunding Planned Parenthood) and likens this to kissing ugly girls at the prom and taking the pretty one home. From here, it looks like the pretty girl has had plastic surgery, fake teeth and a wig and is only interested in riding in your nice car.

Is this the conservatism Tennesseans have been waiting 140 years for? It isn’t what I am looking for. Save the tux rental and stop going to the two-party prom. Buy the truth and sell it not.