Friday, July 16, 2010

Jeff Hartline and Bob Schwartz to debate July 17th

Jeff Hartline
Jeff Hartline

Two of whom many consider to be among the top three candidates for the Republican nomination for the 5th congressional seat will be going toe-to-toe in a one-on-one debate this Saturday. Jeff Hartline will be debating Bob Schwartz.

This debate should be interesting as the two candidates have differences on issues such as the future of Medicare, immigration and energy policy. In style and substance these candidates present a choice.

While you may have seen the candidates "debate" in a crowded field of ten, one-on-one there is a greater opportunity to evacuate the candidates. The debate will be moderated by Councilman Duane Dominy. Audience members will be given the opportunity to ask questions of the two candidates. Come and ask the hard questions.
Bob Schwartz

The debate is sponsored by the Priest Lake Republican Club. The meeting takes place at the Sprit of Life Church, 3646 Murfreesboro Pike. Breakfast sandwiches and coffee will be available for purchase at a modest price. The group will meet Saturday July 17th at 8:30 AM for coffee and eating and socializing and the program will start at 9AM and the program will conclude at 10:15AM.

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The Apollo School Republican 5th Congressional District Debate

Last night, seven of the 10 active candidates for the Republican nomination for the 5th Congressional District engaged in a debate at Apollo Middle School in Antioch. The debate was co-sponsored by Conservatives on the Move, The Tennessee ConserVOLiance, Tennessee Tax Revolt, the 9-12 Project Tennessee, the National Fiscal Conservative PAC, and the Davidson County Republican Party. Ken Marrero who blogs at Blue Collar Muse and is a conservative leader in Tennessee was the debate moderator. About 175 people attended the event.

Patrick Miranda and Tracy Tarum who had both missed the Davidson County Picnic were participants in this debate. Absent without an explanation was David Hall, who is running a campaign that must have as its campaign strategy avoiding places where active Republicans will hear your message. Hall missed this event and he also missed the picnic on Saturday. Also absent were Jarod Scott and Vijay Kumar.

The program moderator announced that Vijay had been in an auto accident and was in recovery and could not attend. Following my blog post on Saturday that mentioned Vijay’s absence from the July 10th DCRP picnic, Vijay called me and explained the same thing to me as his reason for missing that event. He said he had been rear-ended in an auto accident about two weeks before and had been in traction and would be out of commission for maybe two more weeks. Surprisingly, I saw Vijay at a meeting Monday night July 12 where there was presentation by a group called Americans for Peace & Tolerance. The meeting concerned the threat of radical Islam and was at the Hampton Inn on Crestmore Dr. I arrived late and left as soon as the event was over, and did not get a chance to speak to Vijay at that meeting. I am going to give Vijay the benefit of the doubt and assume he was too ill to attend the DCRP picnic, but recovered enough to attend the Monday event, but then had a relapse and was too ill to participate in the debate. I wish him a speedy recovery.

The debate was fast paced and enjoyable. A twist to this debate was that each candidate had a certain number of red flags they could throw to have the right of rebuttal of another speaker. Another twist was a Jeopardy-inspired use of white boards where all candidates answered the same question, writing their answer on the board and then revealing the answers at the same time. Ken did a great job moderating the debate.

Despite the enjoyable format and fast pace of the debate, it is still difficult to know who said what when seven people are debating. I recorded the event and took good notes, and may go back and quote some of the debate highlights. From memory however, here are debate highlights and observations.

Bob Ries spoke very loud into the microphone and was deafening. Bob also has a hearing impairment that kept him from adequately hearing the other contestants or the moderator.

Cece Heil and others, said they did not think it was an appropriate government function for FEMA to provide assistance during the recent Nashville flood. Bob Schwartz thought that was appropriate citing the Welfare clause of the constitution. Cece said Bob did not understand the welfare clause.

Bob Schwartz hammered Jeff Hartline on Jeff’s advocacy of an energy tax. Jeff explained that he was not advocating any additional amount of tax but that any additional tax revenue realized from any new additional sources of energy production be taxed at the same rate as current energy production and the revenue be used to reduce the deficit.

Lonnie Spivac advocated a procedural rule change in how congress conducts its business so that earmarks could not be tacked on to unrelated legislation. He credited Bob Ries for also advancing this idea.

Cece Heil said she opposed the Patriot Act but did support the use of harsh interrogation techniques.

Tracy Tarum was selected as the favorite of the candidates when asked who they would like to see win if they did not win the nomination.

If this debate was videocast and I find the link, I will update and post it. Also, there was an audience poll of which I anticipate learning the results. One feature of the debate was a pop quiz where the candidates were asked to list as many of the 18 enumerated powers of the federal government as they could. I admit I did not do well in trying to answer that question. I am curious how the candidates did. The answers are to be posted on the website Blue Collar Muse. When that is posted I will post the link.

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An update: Bob Schwartz reports dismal fund raising.

Bob Schwartz, who many see as among the top three contenders for the Republican nomination to take on Jim Cooper in the 5th Congressional district, had his second quarter campaign financial report released today. It does not look good for Bob. He reports receipts of only $10,710. Ten thousand dollars is how much one needs to run a campaign for Metro Council. Can Bob compete?

I asked Bob how he expected the win the primary with such little funding and Bob said his message would win the election. "My straight, clear, conservative, pro-business message that includes a program to get people back to work by slashing taxes and my program to destroy Obamacare and save Medicare will resonate with people," said Bob.

Asked how he could get his message out so people would hear it, Bob said he wished he had more funding and that his campaign was definitely an underdog effort but he had "enough" funding to compete in the process. He said he would be “all over the radio” the four days prior to heavy early voting and prior to primary day. He also said he had a massive email list that he was using to reach people and that his blog, video and website were going “wild” on the web. He sounded upbeat and positive.

Reports for Jeff Hartline and Cece Heil are not yet posted. David Hall reports receipts of $275,968, however most of that is a loan to his campaign. The second quarter report is cumulative through June 30, 2010.

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Obama, Hitler and Stalin

Obama Hitler Stalin billboard
This is over the top. This is in poor taste and it represents a poor strategy. It does not help our cause. Things like this are going to drive moderates away from us and back into the Obama camp and it will energize the Obamanistas. This billboard by the North Iowa Tea Party will be a recruiting and fundraising tool for MoveOn, Organizing for America, and the Democratic Party. This will help Obama more than it will hurt him. This is extreme and makes our side look like idiots and radicals.

Please do not get me wrong. My position is clear. I do like President Obama. He is taking us in the wrong direction. He is eroding our freedoms and changing America for the worst and I want to see him defeated in 2012 and I want to see a Republican congressional majority elected in 2010 so his agenda can be defeated now. However, President Obama is not Hitler or Stalin. He is more like those nameless, unremarkable leaders that rule much of Europe.

Despite believing Obama is taking us in the wrong direction, I do not think he is taking us to the Gulag or the gas chamber. He is taking us down the path of Democratic Socialism and there is a difference. There is a big difference between those welfare states of Europe with a national health care, a stifling bureaucracy, low growth rates, and little opportunity for economic advancement, and a totalitarian state like Communist Russia or Nazi Germany. We do not need to exaggerate by comparing Obama to Hitler or Stalin in order to make our case.

America is that 'shining city on a hill'. America is unique. We are an exceptional country in the world. We are the nation that people want to emigrate to. We are the land that has been the engine driving the economy of the world and creating wealth and a better standard of living for mankind. We have been the nation that has inspired the people of other nations to seek to become free. Obama does not want to turn us into a police state; he wants to destroy our uniqueness and make us ordinary.

Our concept of man and his relationship to the state is different than that of most of the world. Many citizens of other nations do not mind beings subject of their sovereign; in America the individual is sovereign. In many countries of the world people look to government as granting them their rights; in America we know that our rights are God-given and we demand government respect our rights. In most of the world if a citizen is accused of a crime they must prove their innocents; in America the government must prove the citizen guilty. These things that make us different are the things we are fighting to preserve.

In America our fight is not between those who want to turn us into a totalitarian police state versus those who want us to remain free; rather, it is between those who want to turn us into a welfare nanny state and those who want us to remain free. We should not have to exaggerate to make our point. Obama wants to turn us into a typical European welfare state; we want to keep America as that unique beacon of hope and freedom.

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The New Black Pampers

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

We are not entitled

by guest blogger Jeff Sullivan

The U.S. government is running a budget deficit. That should not be news to anyone reading this column, nor should it be news to anyone not living in a cave. Politicians in both major parties give speeches lamenting the problem, but with little hard evidence of what they intend to do to correct it. Some want to increase taxes, some want to reduce taxes. But one thing is certain. Government spending must decrease, both over the short and long term.

The question you may be asking, is how? Where do we cut and who will be hurt? The answer is in our entitlement programs, specifically, Social Security, Medicare and our yet to be implemented but already law, Obama-care.

To keep spending from spiraling out of control, these entitlement programs must be pared back or eliminated. The recent healthcare reform, commonly referred to as Obama-care, should be repealed before it can add to the current budget deficits. Assuming this occurs, the next steps must be to reform Social Security and Medicare.

Full Social Security benefits are currently available to retirees 66 or older, gradually increasing to 67 for individuals born on 1960 or afterwards. Medicare benefits are currently available to all individuals 65 or older. These arbitrary ages were set at a time when the average life span was much lower than it is today. As such, an increase in the age at which individuals can receive benefits appears to be reasonable and sound.

The age at which individuals can receive Medicare and Social Security benefits should be gradually increased, at a set rate of 4 months for every year beginning immediately. This would mean that in 2011, individuals would be eligible to receive Medicare benefits at 65 years and four months of age and eligible to receive Social Security benefits at 66 years and four months. Each year would add another four months to the age at which individuals could receive benefits. This would continue in perpetuity. The result would be a continual reduction in the population served by Medicare and Social Security, and a likewise reduction in payouts by the respective programs.

Making these changes would not reduce benefits for current recipients of Social Security or Medicare, but would ease the financial burden these two programs face. Those of us under the ages would have to work longer to be eligible for benefits, but the increase in ages would be gradual enough not to be an excessive burden closer to retirement age. For myself, at age 40, it would mean that I would be eligible to receive Medicare benefits at the age of 77 years and four months and Social Security benefits at 78 years and eight months. Given the projected life span of individuals like myself who were born in 1969, it is possible that I will never receive benefits from either program.

And that is how it should be. Even in America, we are granted by our Constitution only the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Nowhere is the promise of a monthly check or free medical care should I happen to need either. While well meaning, these two entitlement programs have enabled generations of Americans to buy into the fallacious idea that government can and should solve our problems. As a result, government spending has run amuck and Americans have abandoned the ideals upon which this country was founded.

Our God given talents and the decisions we make throughout their lifetime should decide each individual’s fate. Those of us that work hard, invest wisely and refrain from self-destructive choices should reap the benefits of our labors. Those of us that choose a different path should reap the benefits of their choices as well. This is precisely what the framers of our Constitution intended and it is to what each free-thinking individual should aspire.

Jeff Sullivan is an electrical engineer residing in Nashville. He is married with two young children and he is working to see the American experiment in Socialism reversed come November.

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Labor backs Yarbro

Jeff Yarbro, the "progressive" Democrat challenger to Senator Doug Henry in the 21st Senatorial District Democrat primary picked up the endorsement of the AFL-CIO and the Nashville Building and Construction Trades Council.

In my view Senator Henry could be in real trouble. Yarbro is matching Henry in fund raising and is running a good campaign. Yarbro is young, energetic, and personable. This year all of the energy in the primary is on the Republican side where three Republican candidates for Governor are conducting spirited campaigns. I suspect that many voters who do not have strong party loyalty may choose to vote in the Republican primary this year.
Much of Henry's support has come from Republicans and from conservative Democrats. These people will be voting in the Republican primary and will not be able to cast a vote for Henry. This makes the primary election favor Yarbro.

Henry would be tough to beat. I will support the Republican nominee but I like Henry and would not take any pleasure in voting against him. If Yarbro is the Democrat nominee Republican will be motivated to fight to take this seat. If Yarbro is he nominee, that could make this seat winnable by a Republican. Either of our fine Republican candidates for the Republican nomination would present a sharp contrast to the liberalism of Jeff Yarbro.

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hartline welcomes Huckabee's Endorsement

July 13, 2010, Hartline for Congress

Hartline for Congress NASHVILLE – Congressional candidate Jeff Hartline today welcomed his endorsement by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee as the latest big milestone in Hartline's campaign to defeat incumbent Congressman Jim Cooper in the November election.

“It is a distinct honor to be recognized by one of the nation’s leading Conservatives.,” Hartline said. “Governor Huckabee not only has distinguished himself as an able executive and proponent of Constitutional principles, but he has walked his talk throughout his life in ministry and public service. His confidence inspires us to greater service to our own district. I believe he is a man to be imitated by those in public service and I will certainly work toward that goal.”

Huckabee, a popular pick in the 2008 presidential primary in Tennessee, currently hosts the Huckabee show on Fox News, and is considered a top-tier candidate if he decides to run for president again in 2012. The endorsement was announced by Huck PAC, Huckabee's political action committee, which has endorsed a string of conservative congressional candidates across the country.

In his endorsement, which was announced by his political action committee, Huck PAC, Huckabee praised Hartline's commitment to conservative, constitutional government. Huckabee called Hartline “a new voice for the people of the 5th district … , a voice that stands up for fiscal responsibility and smaller government with no deficit spending, for entrepreneurial job creation and a sound economy, for human life and traditional marriage, for secure borders, and for a renaissance of freedom by a return to and respect for constitutional limits on government.”

Huck PAC is committed to helping Republicans regain control of the House and Senate, regain a majority of governorships and supporting conservative principles around the country. Huck PAC supports Republican candidates who are passionate advocates for tax reform, a strong national defense, real border security, life, the family, less government, and individual liberty. Huck PAC's Team Huck is a grassroots volunteer organization that helps Huck PAC find, endorse, and elect Republican candidates who share those principles.

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Hall Tops Poll? Tennessee’s Fifth District Voters Agree: Just Vote Hall

from the Hall Campaign
David Hall for CongressDavid Hall leads all Republican primary challengers to Jim Cooper’s seat in the Fifth District according to a new poll.

David Hall holds a commanding 42% lead in a new poll of voters in Tennessee’s Fifth Congressional District. This scientific poll was conducted among 565 likely Republicain Primary Voters, with a standard confidence interval of 95%, with +/- ratio of 4.05%. Hall’s lead is double that of the nearest challenger and shows a growing consensus of voters deciding to just vote Hall.

The good news arrives while Hall has been building momentum by going door to door, talking to voters and spreading his vision for Tennessee. Contributions to Hall’s campaign have followed the momentum with Hall leading all other candidates in campaign contributions. Hall has posted over $259,000 on his pre-primary filing heading into the final stretch before early voting. Those strong contributions are expected to help Hall contest Jim Cooper’s seat the same way other conservative candidates in Massachusetts, Virginia, and California have been doing. Like those national candidates, David Hall has been targeting the men and women living in the Fifth District, not targeting money and endorsements like other primary candidates.

“Our campaign has been in the lead at every curve,” said Hall, talking about the poll‘s momentum, “We started out with more experience, we reached out to the voters earlier, we started the very first conservative television campaign the 5th District has ever seen, and now we’re once again leading in this area.”

Hall does not plan to rest after the good news in the poll, he and his campaign are continuing to go door to door, phone to phone, and community to community to give the voters in the Fifth District the conservative voice they have not been able to exercise with Jim Cooper.

If you want to meet David Hall, the campaign is working with Gaither Homecoming artists The Hemphills and special guest Billy Blackwood to present a free dinner and concert event in Charlie Daniel’s Park, in Mount Juliet Tennessee. The event will be held for Fifth District voters on July 17, 2010. The concert will be held at 7:00 pm, but Hall advised voters to arrive an hour early to enjoy the free southern style food that will be served.

If you would like more information about David Hall’s campaign, the poll, or the Free Dinner and a Concert event, visit David Hall for Congress.
Or feel free to contact the campaign at:
David Hall for Congress 615-730-8695

Pardon me if I am skeptical. If this is really a scientific poll, then I will believe it but I would need more information. My perception (and it is certainly not based on any scientific poll) is that Cece Heil and Jeff Harline are tied for first place and Bob Schwartz is gaining ground and David Hall is back there with the rest of the pack. Maybe I am spending too much time with other Republican activist however and the real race is being won among people who don't go to Republican picnics but vote in Republican primaries. Who knows?

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Steve Dickerson leads James Chesser in the fund raising battle, but not by much.

Democrat spending dwarfs Republican spending.

According to disclosures filed June 12th with the Registry of Election Finance, in the Republican race for the Senate District 21 nomination, Steve Dickerson leads James Chesser in the fund raising battle, but not by much.

Dickerson reports raising $39,560.85 this quarter compared to only $5,537.00 by Chesser. However Chesser started the quarter with a $32,100.11 balance and Dickerson started from zero.

Dickerson has an ending balance of $23,062.83 and Chesser has an ending balance of $ $18,308.67.

Unfortunately Democrat funding dwarfs republican efforts. The Democrat candidates end the quarter with about ten times the amount of money raised and spend as the Republican candidates.

On the Democrat side, incumbent Doug Henry raised $26,449.00 this quarter but started the quarter with a balance on hand of $309,287.25 and ends the quarter with $196,473.12 in the bank.

Henry's challenger, progressive Democrat Jeff Yarbro, raised $46,301.00 this quarter and started the quarter with $186,352.58 and has an ending balance of $190,552.85.

Our rich Republican friends in Belle Meade need to open there wallets and support Republican candidates. Republican could take this seat but not without spending some money.

This is not based on any scientific sampling, but my suspicion is that Republican contributors are holding back until after the primary. Many Republicans, including myself, respect and like Senator Henry. I have voted for him. I suspect many Republicans think that Henry would be difficult to beat if he survives the primary and Republicans will be hesitant to fund a major challenge to Henry. On the other hand, if Yarbro beats Henry in the primary, Republicans will open their wallet to defeat the much more liberal Yarbro. I think that with adequate funding this seat is winnable especially if Yarbro is the Democrat nominee.

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Patrick Miranda explains his unfortunate absence

Patrick Miranda who has been conspicuously absent from the campaign trail recently and who was missed at Saturday's Davidson County Republican Party Picnic sent me the following email for publication.

Patrick was one of the earliest candidates in the race and campaigned hard and was very visible until just recently. Unfortunately, life does not get put on hold just because one is in a political campaign. Sometimes things just happen over which one has no control .

I admire Patrick's devotion to his family and am sorry he has had to temporarily step back from his campaign at this crucial time. I wish Patrick the very best and pray that his son will be restored to good health and this family crisis will pass. Please keep Patrick and his family in your thoughts and prayers in this difficult time.

My friends,
Patrick Miranda
I apologize if it seems that I have been away from the campaign trail. Let me say this now: I am serious about this campaign and I am in it to win. The last few weeks have given me pause; a few people know what is happening behind the scenes, but I feel that I owe you all an explanation.

Above all else, I am a father and a husband; this campaign, as important as it is, can not and must not take precedence over my family. Coincidentally, if not ironically, the last major functions for the DCRP I have been unable to attend and both times because my youngest son has been ill. I have felt that it is my obligation to be a father and husband to help my wife care for my children...normally, a sick child would not prevent me from attending these events, but my wife had previous obligations as well. I had, inadvertently, sent Rod an e-mail intended for my wife concerning the Eggs and Bacon Summits hosted by the DCRP. I applaud, with complete sincerity, the forward thinking of DCRP members like Rod Williams and Kathleen Starnes. Their vision to grow the Party through a coordinated grassroots effort is truly admirable and remarkable. I was unable to attend the last Summit due to pressing family issues (Rod Williams, to his credit, has been a true man of integrity and kindness during this time of hardship. His kind words and prayers for my family have offered a measure of strength and resolve for me during this time; I can not express my gratitude enough for his kindness).

Bottom line, I am most certainly still in this race for the 5th Congressional District seat, and I intend to win. However, my family must come first and, in recent weeks, it has. I want to thank all of my supporters for standing beside me during this time of tribulation, and I would like to thank Rod for giving me an opportunity to explain my absences. God bless you all.

Patrick Miranda

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Monday, July 12, 2010

The new Bob Schwartz Commercial on Health Care

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Sunday, July 11, 2010

I was honored by being the recipient of the Governor Winfield Dunn Leadership Award

Winfield Dunn and Rod Williams

At the Davidson County Republican Party picnic yesterday, I was honored by being the recipient of the Governor Winfield Dunn Leadership Award presented to me "for exceptional leadership and community service to the citizens of the State of Tennessee."

The award was presented by former governor Winfield Dunn himself. I was not expecting the award. It had been kept a secret.

Governor Dunn was introduced and he started speaking and saying he wished to honor someone and then Governor Dunn stated telling something about the person to be honored and I realized it was bio he was reciting. My history of public service and political activity was cited going back many years, including my service in the metro council. My volunteer work over the last year on behalf of the Party and my grassroots efforts in organizing the party were lauded.

Fovernor Winfield Dunn and Rod WilliamsGovernor Dunn is one of the most respected and admired people in the State. He is the elder statesman of the Republican Party and served as Governor from 1971 to 1979 being the first Republican elected statewide since reconstruction. It is indeed an honor and a humbling experience to be honored by Governor Dunn.

To Governor Dunn and the Davidson County Republican Party, Thank you for this honor.

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The Davidson County Republican Party Picnic

Duane Dominy, Charles Williamson and Tim Lee
The Pledge of Allegiance let by Republican State House Candidates Duane Dominy, Charles Williamson and Tim Lee

Diane di StacioDiane di Stacio leads The Star Spangled Banner

Kathleen Starnes, Louella Ballenger, Beth Campbell and Rod Williams

DCRP picnic

Kathleen Starnes
Kathleen Starnes,
Chairman of the DCRP

Bob Schwartz and Rod Williams

Candidates for Governor: Bill Haslum, Ron Ramsey, Zack Wamp

Cynthia Dunbar speaks for Cece Heil

Jeff Hartline

Eric Crafton

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"comments" changed to "moderated" and I apologize.

I deleted a bunch of comments because people were pretending to be candidates or other people who they are really not and they were making rude and crude comments about candidates. I have changed the comments feature to moderated. I apologize to any candidate that was slandered, offended or insulted on this blog.

Please feel free to leave a comment but if I suspect that you are not who you say you are I will not post it, or if the comment is crude and rude I will not post it. I hope to go back to unmoderated soon.

Please play nice.

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