Saturday, August 25, 2012

What they are doing in Tampa, Report # 1

I wish I was at the convention but I am not. I will be reposting or linking tweets, Facebook post, email accounts,blogs post and news stories from people we know or about people we know. I hope none of them get caught skinny dipping. You never know what Republicans might do when they leave town.

BethCampbell Well, 24 hours to touchdown in Tampa. This morning I will get my boarding pass and finish up picking up last minute items, including a small flashlight, just in case power goes out in our hotel. I will try to send photos to my facebood page. Let's all cheer for America's Comeback Team!!
Adam Nickas @NickasTN
Registration table being prepared for the arrival of TN delegates tomorrow. #GOP2012
It's still great weather here in Tampa.! No sign of Isaac yet to rain on our Republican parade!

#Isaac delays GOP convention to Tuesday RT @NBCNews BREAKING: First day of Republican National Convention canceled, GOP officals say
Mildly annoyed by the shakeup with my transportation to the @RonPaul rally from the airport, then to the dinner from the rally tomorrow.

Practicing my speech on the convention stage @GOPconvention

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TBI Confirms Nashville Electric Service Investigation

The investigative work of Ken Jakes is paying off.

TBI Confirms Nashville Electric Service Investigation
By Phil Williams, Chief Investigative Reporter

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Nashville Electric Service has found itself at the center of a potential criminal investigation.

A spokesperson for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation confirmed Thursday that the agency is looking into questions first raised by NewsChannel 5 Investigates, along with some new questions.

Those new questions involve allegations of potential bid-rigging on an NES contract.
Sources with knowledge of the investigation emphasized it is still very much in the preliminary stages.

Our NewsChannel 5 investigation first raised questions back in late April about a contract for NES to provide services to Gaylord Opryland's big Christmas spectacular. (to read more and see the Channel 5 video)

My Comment

Ken Jakes
Kudos to Ken Jakes for a job well done

This is serious stuff. NES big wigs personally benefited with free rooms and meals and tickets to shows in exchange for free equipment, labor and transformers on an intimized invoice for the lights for A Country Christmas. The invoice was for $ 56,000.00!
Ken Jakes is not mentioned in this story but this would never have come to light if not for the hard work of Ken Jakes. He spend hundred of hours poring over email records, reports and contracts and battling NES to force them to comply with his Freedom of Information request. He then turned the information over to the Attorney General and leaked the story to Channel 5.  There is much more that may come to light. This is just the tip of the ice burg.

I asked Ken if he could shed more light on this story and he said, "All I can disclose is what the News report gave. I have  been asked by the special agents involved in the case, because it is an ongoing pending investigation, to not disclose any further information. I will tell you I have thousands of other public records that NES has not provided and I have forwarded those request to the special agents."

Ken Jakes is a citizen activist who has exposed government corruption and mismanagement on numerous occasions. He is tenacious and untiring. He deserves a metal.

Ken is a former candidate for an at-large seat on the Metro Council.  Last Council election, all of the sitting at-large members were reelected without a runoff. Next council election the at-large members will be term-limited out. I hope Ken runs again. We need someone like Ken Jakes on the Metro Council.

In the meantime, we owe Ken Jakes a big "thank you" for all of his hard work in investigating and exposing corruption and mismanagement.

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Finally, Justice for Volunteer Taxi

Volunteer Taxi drivers and supporters celebrating their company's approval at Mesob Ethiopian restaurant

 by Daniel Horwitz

It's been a very long time coming, but today was a day that the people of Nashville can finally be proud of. After nearly a year of delay and disappointment, today the Metro Transportation Licensing Commission finally stepped aside and granted 61 Ethiopian- and Eritrean-American entrepreneurs permission to operate their own taxi company. These drivers, who first submitted an application for approval of “Volunteer Taxi” last November, walked in today’s TLC hearing making just $2.40/hour and working sixteen-hour work days. At 3:30PM, they walked out feeling like millionaires.

Free at last from the $205 weekly “licks” that they have been forced to pay the owners of Nashville’s now-defunct taxi oligopoly, today’s TLC decision means that each of the Volunteer Taxi drivers will instantly save more than $10,000 per year in unnecessary sublicensing fees. Combined with the savings that they will generate from being able to negotiate group liability insurance premiums, the drivers estimate that the Commission’s decision could put as much as an additional $15,000 in each of their pockets annually.

As soon as VT’s cabs hit the street next month, most of their drivers will also be sitting behind the wheel knowing that they have the security of health insurance for the first time in their lives. Though economists have been saying this for well over two hundred years now, it’s still amazing what a little bit of free-market capitalism can do overnight.

Helping these drivers earn a living wage, and helping them accomplish their lifelong goal of owning their own business is easily one of the most rewarding things I've ever done. As a proud citizen of this country, it’s also one of the most important. Have a conversation with any of Volunteer Taxi’s drivers, and they’ll tell you how excited they were to come to the United States and have a fair shot at achieving the American dream. Now, for the first time ever, they’ll wake up tomorrow realizing that it isn’t just a dream after all.

Daniel Horwitz is a third year law student at Vanderbilt University Law School, where he is the Vice President of Law Students for Social Justice. He can be contacted at

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Electoral College Prediction Model Points To A Mitt Romney Win In 2012

Two University of Colorado professors, one from Boulder and one from Denver, have put together an Electoral College forecast model to predict who will win the 2012 presidential election and the result is bad news for Barack Obama. The model points to a Mitt Romney victory in 2012.

Ken Bickers from CU-Boulder and Michael Berry from CU-Denver, the two political science professors who devised the prediction model, say that it has correctly forecast every winner of the electoral race since 1980.(link)

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Update: What happened at the Aug. 21st Council meeting

To follow the agenda and analysis and see my previous analysis of the agenda.

Election of President Pro Tempore. Councilman McGuire nominates Councilman Carter Todd to the position of President Pro Tempore. Councilman Harmon nominates himself.  Council lady Moore nominates herself. President Pro Tempore conducts the Council meetings in absence of the Vice Mayor. It is an honorary position and only rarely does the President Pro Tempore get the opportunity to preside. Councilman Todd is elected by a vote of Todd 20, Harmon 14, and Moore 5. (see 12:24-17:48) Most of the councilmen I most often agree with voted for Todd.

As anticipated and necessary, the two proposals to amend the charter are deferred. With Sheriff Hall announcing his office does not intend to continue the 287(g) program, I am not sure that RS2012-377 is any longer necessary.

ORDINANCE NO. BL2012-214  by Councilman Tygard which would restrict the Metropolitan Government’s maximum contribution to the Partnership 2020 economic development program to no more than twice what all other governmental entities contribute combined is withdrawn. Tygard explains why he is withdrawing the bill. To see Tygard's explanation see 32:46 in the above video.

To me, it seems Metro pays the bulk of the expense of business recruitment but new development goes to Cool Springs or other communities. I think the Council should take a hard look at this program. Are we getting what we are paying for?  I was glad to see Tygard introduce this bill and am disappointed he withdrew it. Apparently the Mayor exerted pressure and Tygard did not have the votes to pass the bill.

ORDINANCE NO. BL2012-215, on second reading, by Councilman Stites which prohibits the use of Metro funds to purchase or erect signs that identify the name of an elected or appointed official passes. This is a good bill. Unfortunately, it is amended to exempt infrastructure signs. Infrastructure signs are those that are erected naming the Mayor and district Councilmen when, for instance, a section of sewer is replaced or a sidewalk is built. I am glad to see this bill pass, but the Mayor and district council members should not be exempt from the bill. No elected officials should get free adverting at taxpayers' expense.

ORDINANCE NO. BL2012-218  which provide for a temporary reduction of sewer charges for customers within the area of the combined sewer overflow (CSO) having green roofs on their buildings passes. (see 41:10) The combined total of the cap is limited to $500,000 a year. A proposed amendment submitted by Metro water services would make the credit available only for privately-owned properties. Several Council members wanted government buildings to also be eligible for the credit and they can be heard voting "no" on the voice vote on the amendment but no one called for a recorded vote.  The way I see it, the amendment was a wise amendment. Since government has no bottom line, how can you incentivize government to save money?  Water and sewer is a part of Metro government.

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Support Daniel Lewis in District 52

In House District 52, I am supporting Daniel Lewis running on the Libertarian ticket against liberal Democrat Mike Stewart. There is not a Republican on the ballot. I would love to see Mike Stewart defeated and we need one Libertarian in the State House.

I recently contributed to the Lewis campaign. To volunteer or contribute follow this link: Daniel Lewis.

Why I am Running for Office
by Daniel Lewis

I am running for Tennessee State House 52 because the size, scope and power of Tennessee State Government must be reduced. Since 1796 (the year Tennessee became a State), the size, scope, and power of government has steadily grown. Increases in the size, size, scope, and power of government mean one thing – a reduction in individual liberty. Ultimately every issue comes down to individual liberty. Since 1796 individuals in Tennessee have enjoyed the protection of not having a fine of over $50 imposed without a jury.  Many legislators do not think protecting rights such as these is important.  

In 2010 Mike Stewart sponsored HB 3659 that removed that protection for zoning and code violation and allowed local governments to use and administrative hearing to impose fines of up to $500 without a jury.

The Tennessee legislature largely seeks the best interest of the collective. Some legislators defend individual freedom on select issues, but none of them advocate consistently for the rights of the individual against an ever advancing tide of collectivism. The world’s smallest minority, the individual, lacks any real representation in the Tennessee Legislature. As a Libertarian I actually call for reducing the size, scope, and power of government, thus increasing individual liberty. I seek to roll back the growth in the size, scope, and power of government. If you want less government, less taxes, and more freedom, then support my candidacy for Tennessee House District 52.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

State Senate Candidate Dickerson names Mayor McMullen Treasurer

 Oak Hill Mayor to Head Finances

NASHVILLE, TN. - Dr. Steve Dickerson, the Republican candidate for the State Senate in District 20, has announced that his new campaign treasurer will be Oak Hill Mayor, Austin McMullen.

“I am extremely proud to announce that our Campaign Treasurer for the General will be Mayor Austin McMullen. We are very pleased to have Austin join our team and help us ensure that Senate District 20 will have a strong voice in the State Senate.”
Dr. Dickerson announced the change in his treasurer just weeks after his victory in the Republican Primary, which took place on August 2nd. The State of Tennessee requires that all campaigns appoint a campaign treasurer before they are allowed to collect any contributions.

“We are very proud of the excitement that carried our campaign throughout the primary, and look forward to the same level of energy leading into the General.” Dickerson continued, “Austin has been a proven leader within the community and has been an excellent Mayor for the City of Oak Hill.”

Beyond being a devoted husband and father, Austin McMullen is a practicing attorney and graduate of Vanderbilt Law School.  McMullen was recently re-elected to his second term on the Oak Hill Board of Commissioners  and is currently serving his second term as Mayor of Oak Hill.

“I am excited and looking forward to serving as the treasurer for Dr. Dickerson’s campaign,” McMullen stated. “As a Mayor, I understand the importance of having qualified leaders to serve in the General Assembly and believe that Dr. Dickerson is the best candidate to represent the 20th District in the State Senate.”

Steve Dickerson is a practicing physician and founding partner of Anesthesia Services Associates. Dickerson attended the University of the South in Sewanee graduating with a B.A. in History. He then received his medical degree at the Bowman Gray School of Medicine of Wake Forest University. Steve Dickerson has been married to his wife Katrina for 19 years and they have three sons, Reid, Evan, and Bennett.

For more information about the Steve Dickerson campaign or to schedule an interview with Dr. Dickerson contact: 615-519-1896 or visit

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Green Hills Breakfast Summit- Saturday, August 25th, 2012

 Rise & Shine
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Hampton Inn - Green Hills -
2324 Crestmoor Road 37215
Top Floor Conference Room

Coffee, Pastries and Fellowship at 8:30amProgram Begins at 9 am

***Please Be Considerate Of Sleeping Guests In The Hotel***

Brad Staats
GOP Nominee
Congressional 5th

Steve Dickerson
GOP nominee
TN Senate 20

 Event Chairmen - Peter and Gail Voysey
 Kathleen Starnes, DCRP Chairman
This event sponsored by the Davidson County Republican Party

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