Saturday, April 04, 2015

Carol Swain seeks positon of Chairman of the TNGOP

Shortly after Chris Devaney announced he was resigning as Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party, I reported that Carol Swain, professor at Vanderbilt University and political pundit and activist, had expressed interest in the position.  She is now actively seeking the position along with about half a dozen other contenders. Below is her letter of solicitation of support send to members of the State Executive Committee who will chose Chris Devaney's replacement this week. Also attached is her press release. The only change I have made is to remove her telephone number.  I have done this for all the candidates, however, I am sure if you wish to speak to Dr. Swain that you may contact her at her email address and she will return your call. Rod

Carol M. Swain
P.O. Box 1385
Brentwood, TN 37024
(615) xxx-xxxx

March 30, 2015

Dear Republican Leader:

It is with great enthusiasm and high expectations for the state GOP that I ask your support in my quest to serve as the interim chairperson of the Tennessee Republican Party. Although Tennessee Republicans recently made historic strides in taking control of the governor’s office and both houses of the state legislature, there is urgency within the party to find common ground and forge a unified identity among GOP traditionalists and tea partiers. With the 2016 election cycle now upon us, Tennessee Republicans more than ever must pull together to build on what we’ve accomplished statewide at home, and to help win back the White House while strengthening our Congressional majorities in Washington, D.C.

As a tenured Vanderbilt professor with a strong grasp of politics and knowledge of how political power is manifested, I believe I am the right person to take the reins of the Tennessee GOP at this pivotal time. I have strong political connections within Tennessee, as well as nationwide, and I believe there are qualities unique to my background, skills and values that make me particularly well-suited for this role. Most importantly, I am an excellent communicator with more than a decade of significant media experience as a savvy, conservative commentator. Additionally, I am intimately familiar with what it takes to be a consensus builder. It requires impeccable listening skills as well as the knack to recognize when it is time to speak and when not to speak, and when it is time to push and when it is time to take the foot off the gas.

My focus as interim party chairman through 2016 would be on expanding the influence of the Tennessee Republican Party across the nation, not just within our borders. Part of my strategy in doing so would be to continue growing the party by reaching out and bringing in conservative Democrats dissatisfied with the pointedly liberal direction their party has taken under President Obama, and there is plenty of trickle-down of that. Many inside the Democratic Party are seeing their own hopes and dreams of a strong America coming off the rails. There is much potential there for Republicans to connect with disenfranchised Democrats by offering a welcoming hand of reassurance and sincere inclusiveness. In this regard, I am confident I can also help the state GOP broaden its reach into the more urban areas of the state, bolstering our ties with those particular demographics.

One of the challenges facing us as we strive to accomplish all this is making sure the Tennessee GOP is fully funded. I have ample entrepreneurial experience and connections to be able to bring in more-than-sufficient funds as needed to hold the existing seats and expand into new territory. I see this role as part salesperson: I can prospect, I can pitch, and I can close.

In this role as party chairman, I would provide experience, soundness of principles, and a passion for politics and good government. Additionally, I pledge transparency, a promise of more inclusive internal processes when working with the State Executive Committee, and an affinity and comfort level with all brands of media. In essence, I bring a fresh set of perspectives gleaned from being a conservative Christian minority woman who has overcome poverty and achieved the American Dream. One of my first priorities as GOP chairperson would be to work on healing the breach between conservative Republicans affiliated with Tea Party groups and more moderate/traditional Republicans. I have good friends and strong connections in both groups. I have spoken at several Tea Party events and have become acquainted with many of the men and women who have invested themselves in politics as a new vocation. What strikes me most about conservative Republicans is our unifying commitment to God, country, and nation. I count myself among those committed to following the tenets of the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law that it establishes.

I’m one of those people I referred to earlier, who became disillusioned with the Democratic Party, ultimately attracted to the GOP by its adherence to Judeo-Christian values, the sanctity of human life, individual liberty, free market capitalism, traditional marriage, and constitutional government. I can honestly tell others that the Republican Party is the best hope for our nation in order to remain true to its roots. I believe it is essential to elect Republicans who will honor the tenets of the party platform when it comes to social and political issues. In our effort to expand our base, it is essential that we remain true to core values. I also believe that there must be some accountability to ensure that elected leaders remain responsive to the people and the party values.

I bring to this chairperson role more than 25 years of experience studying and teaching courses on politics and campaigns. I am currently a tenured Vanderbilt University professor of political science and law. Before that I was a professor at Princeton University. I have authored six books and numerous published articles. My most recent book is Be the People: A Call to Reclaim America’s Faith and Promise. My first book, Black Faces, Black Interests: The Representation of Blacks in Congress, won three national prizes and was cited several times by the U.S. Supreme Court. I am the host and creator of “Be the People” and I offer weekly commentary on Bott Radio. In 2007 and 2008, President George W. Bush appointed me to the National Endowment for the Humanities Board and to the Tennessee Advisory Committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. I am a member of the Operation Andrew Board, and I have served on the boards of Teen Challenge, Roanoke College, and Christian Women in the Media.

I have been a frequent guest on “Hannity’s: Great American Panel” on Fox News and appeared regularly on CNN’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight.”I have also appeared on BBC Radio, NPR, CNN’s AC360 (with Anderson Cooper), “Fox News Live,”“Fox and Friends,” PBS’s News Hour, C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal,”“The Laura Ingraham Show,” and ABC’s “Headline News.”Over the next week or so, I will be calling each of you individually and meeting with as many people as possible.

Please feel free to call or e-mail me with your questions and suggestions. I can be reached at 615 xxx-xxxx and by e-mail at Thank you so much for taking the time to read this letter.

For more about my background, please see my website at either or

* Websites: and
* Twitter:
* Facebook:
* YouTube Channel:

Sincerely Yours,
Carol M. Swain

Swain Seeks Chairmanship of Tennessee GOP

NASHVILLE – Dr. Carol Swain, prominent Vanderbilt University law and political science professor renowned for her conservative political commentary on state and national media, has announced her candidacy for the chairmanship of the Tennessee Republican Party. In seeking to fill the post, Dr. Swain would replace current state GOP Party chairman Chris Devaney, who earlier in March announced he would resign effective April 11 to accept a leadership position with a Chattanooga faith-based nonprofit.

It is expected that the TNGOP State Executive Committee (SEC) will review candidates and select aninterim state party chairperson in time for that person to take office on April 12 and serve out the remainder of Devaney’s term, which ends in 2016.

Dr. Swain, 61, an outspoken Christian conservative who became a Republican nearly 7 years ago after becoming disillusioned with the Democratic Party, believes she can continue and build on Devaney’s successful tenure, which included a record-setting number of Republicans statewide elected to public office, at all levels.

“Chris played a key role in guiding the Tennessee GOP to new heights through such vehicles as the Red to the Roots program, and I would be excited and honored to use my communications skills, fund-rising savvy, and political and community connections to add to what he has accomplished,” Dr. Swain said. “With the 2016 election cycle now here, the new chairperson will have to hit the ground running, and I am prepared to do that.

“My focus as interim chairman through 2016 would be to expand the influence of the Tennessee Republican Party across the nation. This would include reaching out to conservative Democrats discontent with the excessively liberal direction their party has taken under President Obama. Toward that end, I can also help the state GOP bolster its reach into the more urban areas of Tennessee.”

Dr. Swain, the author of six books and a former Princeton University professor, is the creator and host of “Be The People,” offering weekly political commentary on Bott Radio. She has also been a frequent guest on Fox News and CNN, as well as on BBC, PBS and C-Span. In 2007 and 2008, President George W. Bush appointed Dr. Swain to the National Endowment for the Humanities Board and to the Tennessee Advisory Committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission.

To learn more about Dr. Swain’s background, visit her website at or Contact her at 615-xxx-xxxx or

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A gay guy walks into a Muslim-owned bakery to order a wedding cake......

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Friday, April 03, 2015

Mary Littleton seeking the office of Chairman of the TNGOP

Another candidate seeking the position of Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party to fill the post being vacated by Chris Devaney, is Mary Littleton. Below is her solicitation seeking support from members of the State Executive Committee. I have deleted her phone number. Rod

Sent: 2015-03-29

Dear Friends and Fellow Republicans,

Mary Littleton
I have spoken with many of you over the last few days and am excited to formally announce that I am seeking the chairmanship of our state party. Below is a copy of the release that I will be issuing to the media shortly. I wanted to reach out to each of you and inform you of my candidacy before speaking to the media. Rest assured, that is a policy that I will continue if you give me the honor of serving as your chairman. I will also be resigning my position after we finish session. I look forward to continuing our conversations and meeting with each of you over the next couple of weeks. Please do not hesitate to contact me via email or phone (615-xxx-xxxx) should you have any questions.

Respectfully yours,

Littleton Announces Candidacy for TN GOP Chair

Nashville, Tennessee – Former Tennessee GOP Vice-Chair and current State Representative Mary Littleton (Dickson County) announced today her candidacy to succeed Chris Devaney as chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party. Devaney announced last week that he would be stepping down from the position in April.

Littleton has been an active leader in the Republican Party since 1994. She has served in several elected positions within her local party organization, including as chair of the Dickson County GOP. Littleton was first elected to the Republican State Executive Committee in 2002, where she served for twelve years. As a member of the SEC, Littleton was twice elected as the state party’s vice-chair under outgoing Chairman Devaney, serving in that role from 2010 through 2014.

“I believe that our next chairman should be someone who has actual experience serving as a member of the state executive committee and who knows and shares their concerns,” said Littleton. “The members of the SEC are elected by Republicans in their districts to guide and set the direction of the state party, and they truly are the heart and soul of the Republican Party in Tennessee. As chairman, I will empower the SEC to make decisions and set policy for the party and will work to ensure that each member’s voice is heard. The party is greater than any one individual; if we are to continue to succeed, we can only do it by working together.”

“As an experienced small businesswoman and steadfast conservative, I have the maturity, the proven leadership abilities and the political communication skills to be an effective chair of the state party,” stated Littleton. “As a Republican activist and long-time member of the state executive committee, I have traveled across our state representing the party and working to elect conservatives to public office.”

“The 2016 election will help determine the direction of this country and this state,” Littleton continued. “As we prepare for the upcoming election cycle, it is imperative that we entrust the role of state party chair to someone who has the leadership credentials, the grassroots experience, and the relationships with Republican activists to successfully organize, recruit and fundraise. I will work to motivate conservatives to the polls to elect a Republican president and our other Republican candidates at the federal, state and local levels.”

“As chair of the state party, I will fight for our conservative principles and will work tirelessly to ensure that we elect conservative Republicans at all levels of government. I want to continue developing and implementing our party’s successful Red to the Roots program and better utilize technology to communicate our message across the state and turn out the Republican vote on Election Day.”

Littleton currently serves in the Tennessee General Assembly, representing Cheatham and Dickson counties, and is Vice-Chair of the House State Government Committee. She was honored as her congressional district’s Republican “Statesman of the Year” in 2001.

Littleton lives in Dickson in Middle Tennessee. She is the mother of four children and has four granddaughters. In addition to her years of service and leadership in the Republican Party, Littleton has been an active volunteer with numerous charitable and civic organizations.

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Rebecca Anne Burke seeks Chairmanship of TNGOP

Another candidate for chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party is Rebecca Ann Burke.  Below is her solicitation of support sent to members of the State Executive Committee. Only the phone number has been deleted. Rod

Sent: 2015-03-30

My esteemed colleagues: 
Rebecca Burke
Just a few weeks ago, we gave our nod once again, to a leader who has seen us through some exciting times during which our party solidified its position through all levels of government. Unexpectedly, his resignation brings to us, a very crucial decision about how to lead, who will lead and what this will mean to our goals in process. After having the opportunity over the past few days, to meet with over a dozen State Executive Committee members and talk with a few more in exploration of a possible candidacy, I have decided to pursue your vote to fulfill Chairman Devaney's current term. Just as I did not have the opportunity to visit with all of you before making this decision, it is unlikely that I will have the pleasure of sitting down with all of you, personally before our vote, as I would like to do if the timing and notice of our leadership change had been different. It is an inopportune time, during Holy Week, to ask that you be interrupted by what appears to be half a dozen serious candidates. That said, the role of the Chairman often involves unexpected events, and one must move with the opportunities in the best, most expedient manner possible.
To be respectful of your time and realizing our time constraints, I will be issuing each day, for the next seven days, a communications to you personally.  These briefings will introduce elements of my professional and political background relevant to this position, and on the last day, after at least phone contact with as many of you as I can reach, a proposed transition plan with goals and objectives, based on conversations with my you, SEC colleagues and our major donors. Just as important to me as having your support and enthusiasm for my leadership, is my concern that our major donors, as well be comfortable with my selection to lead the party.  If at any time, it becomes clear that I do not have widespread support from any constituency, I will remove my name from consideration. I have only one interest and that is not my personal advancement nor future career goals. My only interest is that the party continue to be lead in a workman-like fashion and that my presence brings more achievement against our goals of securing Tennessee and supporting our Republican elected officials everywhere in the realization of great plans for the State of Tennessee. My state and my party come first. I seek only to be the best person to make sure the job gets done and gets done better than anyone else can do it. Lastly, I am one to honor my commitments. When others count on me to do a job, I am there, and I follow through. I have a professional commitment to be in front of 125 students for the next four weeks and I will honor that commitment. The timing here and my history of personal commitment to the job at hand, does not provide me the ability to abandon my responsibilities on short notice. That is what you would expect of me if I were elected Chairman. Thus, my personal visits in the next seven days will be limited to those I can reach outside of my teaching commitment to youngsters and teachers who depend on me. At the end of April, I am free of those commitments and thus can pursue this opportunity to be of service to you and the Republican Party as a whole.
My briefing tomorrow will address the type of Republican I consider myself to be. It will also include a personal profile. I think it is absolutely essential that you know everything you need to know and that there are no surprises. You will find my background to be crystal clean, of the highest integrity, and with a reputation for one thing only, a demonstrated history of working harder than anyone else. I will look forward to sharing more…
Thank you for your consideration. It has been my privilege to work with you as a fellow SEC member. I now look forward to the privilege of working for you.
Kindest regards,
Rebecca Ann Burke
State Executive Committeewoman
State Senate District 23
404 Wandering Trail
Franklin, TN 37067

Below is her bio from when she ran for a seat on the Executive Committee:
A life-long Republican with Ohio roots, Becky has been a resident of Middle Tennessee for 29 years. She has been a GOP activist and campaigner for over 35 years, beginning with Ohio Governor John Kasich’s first run for public office. She conducted graduate political science research on strategy while helping on Kasich’s historic grass-roots campaign. She later led a march of service workers on the Ohio Statehouse protesting pending legislation to increase income taxes specifically on those workers.

After graduate school she became an administrator of a Miami, FL hospital, garnering world-wide press coverage and legislative attention nationwide for poorly coordinated care for low birth weight babies and the practices of tax-supported hospitals in denying beds based on lack of insurance. She later co-founded the South Florida Perinatal Network, a model for other regions. She received a letter of commendation from President Reagan for perseverance in getting a low birth weight baby to out-of-state care with the assistance of White House staff and Pentagon brass who approved a mercy mission. She also received honors for these efforts from the North Dade (Miami) Chamber of Commerce and then District Attorney General Janet Reno.

She was later recruited to Nashville becoming director of a large hospital company’s strategic planning and marketing consulting practice. She was responsible for revolutionizing the company’s approach to hospital strategic planning and developing user friendly action plans. She was managing consultant for the company’s first work in Asia, a long range plan for the Singapore Ministry of Health’s premiere hospital.

While spending the next two decades raising two daughters, Katherine and Julia, she accelerated her activism in education and politics as a volunteer and parent lobbyist on schools’ issues, defeating costly year round schools proposals and preserving funding for foreign language programs. Not satisfied that the school board “got the message,” she recruited and served as campaign manager for School Board leader Terry Leve, unseating a long-term liberal incumbent. She also served as staffer in the Special Events Department of U.S. Senator Fred Thompson’s national presidential campaign headquarters. Becky emerged from behind-the-scenes political efforts to win election as Secretary of the Williamson County Republican Party, later being honored as “2008 Williamson County Republican of the Year” for her concept and implementation of a new party website and a news magazine. She was elected President of the Republican Women of Williamson County, setting records for membership growth (4th fastest growing chapter in the U.S.), fundraising and introducing many new members to leadership roles in the county. During her term, the Club was awarded the coveted National Federation of Republican Women’s Diamond Award for achievements. She was later elected Vice President of the Tennessee Federation of Republican Women, Area 6, garnering 82% of delegates' votes.

Becky is a lifetime member of the NRA, Tennessee Right-to-Life, The Beacon Center, The Heritage Foundation and the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (dedicated to defeating Obamacare.) She is a fervent supporter of former Senator Jim Bryson’s Joseph School in Haiti and has participated in mission work there.

Her latest endeavors include completing her second graduate degree, a Master of Arts, Teaching degree from Aquinas College, and pursuing her goal to serve the Party as the next State Executive Committee Woman representing Williamson County.

If anyone has an update or an insight on the campaign for Chairman of the State Party, please share it.  Please forward any solicitation from candidates for the position. Rod

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And now for some economic news,...

As the budget battle rages, President Obama is urging congress to go on a spending spree and he is promoting more free stuff from the government, such as free college for all and free child care for working parents and more spending on infrastructure. He is calling his welfare state policies "middle class economic."

In his State of the Union address in January President Obama took credit for a rebounding economy saying, "Tonight, after a breakthrough year for America, our economy is growing and creating jobs at the fastest pace since 1999…The shadow of crisis has passed, and the State of the Union is strong…At this moment—with a growing economy, shrinking deficits, bustling industry, and booming energy production—we have risen from recession freer to write our own future better than any other nation on earth." He also said, ""Our unemployment rate is now lower than it was before the financial crisis."

The unemployment rate is lower because so many people are no longer in the work force; not because they found jobs. The labor force participation rate is the lowest it has been since 1978. People who do not want to retire are taking early retirement, women are dropping out to stay home with children and many people have just given up looking for work.

From the Bureau of labor statistics.
The Federal Reserve has projected zero economic growth for the first quarter. See the green line in the chart below.

 As a percentage of the GDP, our national debt is greater than at any time other than World War II.

The National dept as a percentage of GDP

 The National debt continues to climb.

A look at the federal budget shows that over half of the budget is spend on social security, medicare and medicaid and other safety net programs.  9% of the budget is interest on the debt and that percentage will grow as the debt grows, yet President Obama is critical of every effort to curtail spending and wants to spend more.

Meanwhile, Food stamp use is at an all time high.

It is pretty depressing, and I have lost faith in the American people to think that they are smart enough not to think there is no end to free stuff.  I am afraid America's days as a great nation are behind us and I am not hopeful that there is time to turn things around. We must keep trying, but the future looks pretty gloomy. If Obamacare takes root and is not overturned, that will be a larger constituency for more spending and less austerity and measures that inhibit economic growth. At some point, our currency will not be the worlds reserve currency and our cost of borrowing will increase.  With more spending, and more debt and more regulations of economic activity, economic growth will fall. Then, the debt will cause painful inflation.

Will somebody tell me I'm wrong and cheer me up?

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Thursday, April 02, 2015

Ashley Judd objects to being called "Hottie of the week."

Ashley Judd
Someone honored Ashley Judd as "Hottie of the week" on a twitter post and Ms Judd objected saying, " I do not want to be your or anyone's hottie of the week." “: ” (link)

How dare anyone sexually objectify Ms Judd by calling her "hottie of the week!" (She may not be "hottie of the week" but she does have nice tits, however. Rod)

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Who contributed money to the Linda Rebrovick campaign?

Linda Rebrovick
Ms Rebovick starts this reporting period with no cash on hand, receives $685,463, spends $172,195, and ends the reporting period with $486,257. $350,000 of funds received is a loan, from herself.

By no means do I claim to be the most knowledgeable political observer in Nashville, so there may be other donors to Ms Rebovick’s campaign that are as significant as those that I notices, so if you want to see for yourself who contributed to her campaign follow this link. If you notice anything of significance please feel free to leave a comment.

Governor Winfield Dunn contributed $500.

Coleen Conway-Welch, retired Dean of Vanderbilt School of Nursing and widow of Ted Welch, one of the largest Republican fund raisers in the nation, contributed $500. She contributed to $3000 to the Jeremy Kane campaign however.

Oliver C. Carmichael, III CEO of Carmichael & Carmichael contributed $1500. I am not absolutely certain but I believe this is “Crom” Carmichael who some may remember from years ago as the outspoken conservative on the old Teddy Bart Show.

Arthur Laffer, economist who developed the “Laffer Curve," author, and former advisor to President Ronald Reagan, donated $1000.

Chancellor Carol McCoy gave $1500. Daman Hininger the CEO of Correction Corporation of American contributed $1000 and Louise Grant who is Vice President of Corrections Corporation of America gave $1500. Shirley Zeitlin CEO of Zeitin & Co., $1000. In addition to the loan to her campaign, Ms Rebrovick gave herself $1500 and her husband Arthur Rebrovick, Jr contributed $1500. She got several donations from people with the last name “Eskind.”  She only got a few out of state contribution.

This reporting period ended Jan. 14th and the next reporting period covers the period Jan. 15 through March 31st and is due April 10th. I will be updating my reporting on financial contributions to all the candidates when reports are filed with the election commission and become available.

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Bill Freeman to report $1M for mayoral run, $600K raised

The Tennessean, April 2, 2015- Bill Freeman will report raising $608,000 from individuals over the last three months of Nashville's race for mayor and contributing $500,000 himself for an overall campaign haul that eclipses $1 million..... All mayoral candidates are to submit their first quarter fund-raising reports to the Davidson County Election Commission by April 10. (link)

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Davette Blalock announces campaign kick off.

Davette Blalock
Good morning District 27! As you know I am running again to serve you in the Metro Council.

This will be my last term to run. Each term is 4 years and there are only 2 terms for Metro Council. I am in the middle of making many great things happen like rebuilding Tusculum Elementary and many areas of upgraded infrastructure to name a few. I am dedicating my next 4 years to making our area the best it can be. We will have a NEW Mayor, a NEW Vice Mayor, a NEW School Superintendent, and 27 out of 40 NEW Council Members. The next few years Nashville will be going through a learning curve. Experience is going to be more important than ever before.

I am hoping to share my experience with all the new Members. I hope I can count on your support for your vote on August 6th. While all other areas of Government are learning let's make sure your representative is working hard for you. I am having my campaign kickoff this Saturday and I hope you can stop by. Please RSVP to let me know how much food to buy. I want to hear from YOU and what YOU want out of the next 4 years. I will continue to listen to you because I know I work for you. Come out this Saturday from 3-5 to Bar B Cutie and let me know your concerns and ideas. Together we will make District 27 the best it can be!

Please view invite:

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Statement from Bill Freeman on Insure Tennessee defeat

Press Release, NASHVILLE, Tenn. – By not even allowing Insure Tennessee to get out of committee recently, the Tennessee State Senate has once, again in the name of political grandstanding, refused to help the over 470,000 estimated individuals, working families and veterans across Tennessee in need of insurance. The state has already turned away over $1 billion dollars of tax dollars that rightfully belong to Tennesseans in need, including thousands right here in Nashville, and with the Senate’s lack of action yesterday means the state will continue sending those federal tax dollars paid in by Tennesseans, to help those in other states.
It is shameful that politics have gotten in the way of helping our fellow Tennesseans in need. While Insure Tennessee is still alive in the House, it is unlikely to escape a similar fate should it get back to the Senate. The hospitals and health facilities here in Nashville and across the state on the brink of closing deserved better than this, and the hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans suffering without the insurance their federal tax dollars have already paid for deserved better.
It is my hope that going forward, what is best for all the people of Tennessee will be the ultimate desire of our legislature. That is what voters expect when they elect those who represent them in government offices, and if privileged enough to become Nashville’s next mayor that is exactly what the citizens of Davidson County will get – A mayor not concerned about agendas, but concerned about how to make our beloved city a great place for them to work, play and be proud to call home.

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Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Re-election campaign kick off for Davette Blalock

Davette Blalock is one of the good council members seeking reelection. Please join me in contributing to her campaign.

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Fox for Nashville Campaign Floats Transit Plan. WHAT????

 Network leverages sustainable fuels and “out-of-the-box” modes

For immediate release: April 1, 2015. Nashville, Tenn.--
Mayoral candidate David Fox today unveiled a three-point plan to keep Nashville moving forward, by providing innovative transportation options that are more fuel-efficient and more “fun” than standard automotive vehicles.

The cutting-edge intermodal plan will layer air, land and water routes, while adding no traffic to existing roadways, and will be phased in over three years, starting in fall 2015.

Phase 1: An east-west dirigible, also known as a blimp, will connect the air corridor between Bellevue and East Nashville. Depending on wind currents, this retro-chic and Wi-Fi enabled zeppelin, nicknamed The Blamp, will either reduce the 13-mile journey between Sam’s Club and Marché Artisan Foods by 5 minutes or increase it by 2 hours.

Phase 2: Following the model of telecommunication companies piggybacking on existing trunklines, the subterranean channels currently employed by Metro’s stormwater and sewer systems will host a human flume, open 24 hours a day, with all routes terminating at the Cumberland River.

Phase 3: In an effort to promote a pedestrian lifestyle in the downtown core, a network of pack animals for short-term rental will help walkers transport cargo that might otherwise necessitate a vehicle.

“This transit trifecta will be the envy of cities across the world and will fortify Nashville’s reputation as a creative center,” Fox said. “Imagine living in a city where you can take a water slide to work, rent a llama to get to your meetings, then take the Blamp home. It will be like living in Opryland.”

The program is expected to cost somewhere between $20,000 and $2 billion, depending on the number of llamas and size of the Blamp fleet. Passenger rates will be in line with existing public transportation. “This is gonna be awesome,” Fox said. “You’re gonna wanna spring for the season pass.”
The above is exactly the way I received it. And it had the official Fox logo in the email. I must assume this is someone's joke and the email is a fake. This is pretty funny. It got a laugh out of me. I have contacted the Fox campaign for a comment. Rod 

I just realized today is April Fools day. Rod

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Scottie Hughes letter of qualifications and platform for position of chairman of the TN GOP, if she decides to seek it.

Scottie Hughes
Below is the letter from Scottie Hughes to members of the Executive Committee of the Tennessee Republican Party. She states she has not yet decided to seek the chairmanship of the party but lays out her qualifications and platform. Rod
Dear Members of the State Executive Committee of the Republican Party of Tennessee,

This past week with the announcement of Chairman Devaney's resignation, a whirlwind of political flurry has ensued with various rumors and announcements of potential candidates to fill the role. From elected to sitting SEC members to activists to fundraisers, various names with diverse backgrounds and talents are offering their willingness to serve and would do a good job as Chairperson. However, we as a Party have an excellent opportunity with this decision to change the narrative being cast upon us by those on the left as well as legitimately try and bring unification to a divided Party.

Tennessee is an amazing State filled with amazing citizens who are known for their willingness to Volunteer and participate in the election process. I saw this first hand as I started and organized the Young Republicans of Weakley County in 1999 while I was attending the University of Tennessee at Martin receiving my degree in Communication with a minor in Political Science. As a born Republican growing up in Williamson County, I saw this in all of the actions of my mother’s friends but I did not get to experience this as an adult until I joined the Republican Women of Williamson County in 2003 and later was honored to serve on the Board of the Tennessee Federation of Republican Women as their Press Secretary. As my journey in life continued and I married, I was quick to join the Republican Party of Sumner County and joined their County Party Board after successfully running or coordinating many of the local Republican races including the successful County Commission campaign of my husband and your SEC colleague, Chris Hughes. I can honestly say I have experienced the structure of the Tennessee Republican Party at every level and respect the important role each play. I was born Right, raised Right and will always fight for what is Right.

But while I was able to observe amazing Leadership in these various roles, it was really my work in the grassroots where my political philosophies were most shaped. In fact, this was where I met most of you and our friendships formed. Whether it was the reelect W bus tour I helped the Victory campaign coordinate in 2004, which gave me the great opportunity to travel to almost every County and hold great rallies or the various State House or Senate races I was able to help - including fundraisers, meet and greets, strategy sessions or general media pushes by being a part of the Steve Gill Show, The Phil Valentine Show, The Michael Berry Show and the Mark Skoda Show for over a decade. We all know the incredible power of talk radio in Tennessee and I am very proud of how these shows helped defeat unpopular policies and elect great Representation.

It was here that I learned that the most important part of being in elected office is TRUST. Trust that your representative body is carrying out the wishes of the people. Trust that time, effort, and financial resources are being valued and not wasted. Trust that good is being done and in the best interest of the people and that transparency is a priority.

My second lesson was that people want RESPECT. Regardless of status in life, age or even differing opinion, respect needs to be present and sincere in all interactions. We are truly the Party of diversity of opinion and all opinions within the GOP should be brought to the table equally with hope of finding common ground to build on.

The third lesson is the value of COMMUNICATION which is a key element if you want to build trust and have respect for the people you represent or you work with. Tennesseans are the #1 asset to the Republican Party and by giving them information, we are showing our appreciation for their hard work and motivating them to continue.

I am a woman who lives by the conviction of putting action behind the words we speak and when given the opportunity one should not pass up. Hence, why when approached to consider running for Chairman, I knew this was an opportunity I needed to seriously consider. I love my current work as News Director for an online media company ( which has allowed me to tackle politics, pop culture and business on the national media scene and with many national organizations but I never miss an opportunity to brag on the amazing spirit and stories of my home state and share the political happenings.

Ultimately, when you pick a Chairman I hope you look at their past but more importantly what their plan for the future is and do they have the ability to achieve those goals. My vision would be simple:

  • First: Bring the party together to win. No more infighting. We need peace in our County Parties and need to find common threads to tie them together for a stronger bond. I can honestly say I represent both sides of the party and view each side fairly and equally. 
  • Second: Raise more money than TN GOP has ever raised. I have been blessed to make several national contacts who I believe should have more involvement in our State and I promise to meet personally with the major donors here in Tennessee and find new ones. I also promise to find ways to recruit new donors at all levels and I believe we do this by communicating where their dollars are being responsibly spent to further the goals of the TN GOP as laid out by the SEC. 
  • Third: Implement the most cutting edge new media strategy the party has ever seen. Including social media, email, TV, Streaming video, Teletown halls. Build the party from the ground up. Recruit and involve the next generation of Republicans and channel their passion and creativity to achieve success for our candidates. 
  • Fourth: Highlight and share the success we achieve here in Tennessee with the National media and be a major partner in helping the RNC reclaim the White House after the primaries are finished. I am a firm believer in trickle down politics and the actions of our elected officials on the national level do affect us at home. 
  • Fifth: To honor the role of the State Executive Committee as the representatives of the citizens who elected you. The Chairman is acting at the power of the Board and I believe all decisions should be ruled on exactly as the bylaws of the TNGOP state. Any "gray" areas will be decided by the SEC and properly added at the next meeting. My life is an open book and my interactions are as well. If you have nothing to hide, then you don't need to close your door. I would keep this same theory unless in situations which need discretion because they involve private matters.

Over the next week, I will be upholding my promise to my family to completely disconnect from my professional life and spend some much deserved time focused on them. Because of the truncated schedule before the April 11 Special Call Meeting, the timing is not the best, but like all of you, family is priority and no position is important enough to break a promise to my husband and children. There is no cookie cutter GOP family today and I believe we need to appeal to these families and resist the urge to insult either the mother or father roles as I can personally sympathize to the stresses it takes to provide for a family in today's economy. More women (even those with young children) find themselves working in and out of the home and my job the past few months has called for me to be in New York City, advocating for our foundational conservative ideals during the week. Hence, why the next 8 days I must fulfill my promise and I ask for your prayers as I will use this time to make a decision regarding my running for Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party. I ask for your patience, your guidance and your support should I seek this great honor. 

 Scottie Nell Hughes

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Who is contributing to the Jeremy Kane campaign?

Jeremy Kane
For the report period ending January 15th, 2015, Jeremy Kane starts his campaign with no money on hand, shows receipts of $310,381, expenditures fo $39,297 and a balance of hand at the end of the campaign report period of $271, 084. As of this report, his campaign does not show any campaign loans. He has not put any of his own money into the campaign.

Below are the contributions I found of interest in his report. By no means am I the most well-connected political person in town, so others may find significant contributors that I overlooked or did not know of their significance. If you are an important civic-minded person reading this or someone seeking to maximize your influence and I didn't mention your name, please don't be offended. If you are a reader who wants to see for yourself who contributed to the Kane campaign, follow this link.

Kane's contributors come from a broad category of occupations.  There is no one profession that dominates like the numerous Vanderbilt professors who contributed to Megan Barry campaign or the many attorneys who contributed to Charles Robert Bone.

Kane received $6000 from AGC PAC located at 6070 Poplar Ave, Memphis, TN. I do not know who AGC PAC is and a Google search shows only Dobbs Management Service at that address. I have contacted the Kane campaign asking for clarification.

There is no first name listed but the last name of a contributor is “36 Venture Capital” who gave $3000, and also Mr. David Freeman CEO of 38 Venture Capital and his wife Melissa gave another $3000.

Other contributors on interest are Attorney Nicholas D. Bailey $300; attorney George Cate, one of the founding fathers of Metro Nashville Davidson County $250; super lawyer and Republican Lew Conner $3000; Colleen Welch, retired Dean at Vanderbilt School of Nursing and widow of the late Ted Welch, who was one of the largest Republican fund raisers in the nation, gave $3000.

May Dean Eberling who was the first Executive Director of the Metropolitan Historical Commission and a former Director of the Nashville Arts Commission and on the board of numerous non-profits contributed $534.  I also think she had some other important position in the administration of Richard Fulton. Why such an odd dollar amount, I have no idea.

Fred Dettwiller, CEO of Det Distributing and his wife Kathryn gave a total of $6000 to the Kane campaign. Dettwiller also contributed to $1500 to the Fox campaign. I guess he is hedging his bet. Butch Eley is another contributor contributing to more than one candidate for mayor. He gave $1000 to the Kane campaign and his wife gave $750, but he also gave $250 to the Megan Barry campaign. School Board member Mary Pierce contributed $500 to the Kane campaign but also contributed to $500 to the David Fox campaign.

Council member Emily Evans contributed $500. The Waller Lansden PAC gave $1500 and the  HG Hill PAC $2000. Show PAC located at 2033 Richard Jones Rd gave $7400. I do not know who Show PAC is or their purpose but the treasurer is listed as Steve B. Smith and the address is that of home builder and realtors Haury and Smith.

Retried Senator Doug Henry gave $200. Martha Ingram, Chairman of Ingram Industries, gave $3000. I don’t know if David and Sarah Ingram are related to Martha Ingram or not but they gave a combined total of $6000.

Representative Harold Love gave $250. Adam Nickas, former Executive Director of the Tennessee Repubican Party and now a lobbyist with Captol Resources gave $500.

Kane got a few contributions from out of state but nothing of much significants.

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School Choice Bill Continues to Gain Momentum, Passes in Tennessee Senate

Press Release - The Beacon Center is proud to announce that The Tennessee Choice &Opportunity Scholarship Act has passed the Tennessee State Senate. This is a big step in what Beacon hopes will lead to the eventual passage of a school choice program in 2015.

"We are extremely proud of the senators who stood with families across the state of Tennessee today," said Beacon CEO Justin Owen. "It is completely unfair for a child's future to be determined by his or her zip code. Every child deserves a quality education that meets his or her unique needs, and today's passage of this bill in the Senate was the first step to making that dream a reality."

The bill will next be reviewed by the House Government Operations Committee on Tuesday.

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Scottie Hughes seeking Chairmanship of Tennessee GOP

Scottie Hughes, one of the babes of  FOX News, is reportedly seeking the position of Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party.  In addition to being a beauty, she is a news analysis, smart, an author,  and a solid conservative.  She describes herself as a "God Fearing, Gun Toting, Baby Loving, Traditional Marriage Believing, SUV I don’t care about my carbon imprint driving, Border securing, Benghazi Truth Seeking, Fox News & The Blaze TV Watching, Lame Stream Media Smacking, Sip my Sweet Tea from a Big Gulp Drinking, RINO Hunting, Target of IRS Auditing, One Nation Under God Pledging, MOM."

Prior to her advance to the national spotlight, she was the executive producer of the Steve Gill Show here in Nashville. She is a  Magna Cum Laude graduate from the University of Tennessee at Martin with a broadcast communications/political science degree.

Her Husband is Chris Hughes, a member of the Tennessee Republican Party Executive Committee from Sumner County and a Sumner County commissioner.

I have not verified her candidacy for the position but have heard she is a candidate. I have emailed, seeking confirmation. If anyone has a solicitation from her please forward me a copy or if anyone can confirm she is actively seeking the position, please let me know. I will update this post if I have something.

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Policing for Profit may be coming to an end in Tennessee.

As unbelievable as it sounds, if the police stop you and you are carrying a large amount of cash the police can confiscate your money, never arrest you or charge you with a crime and you have to go to court to get your money back.  They can also confiscate some property such as your vehicle. That would appear to violate the 4th amendment to the constitution but the policy has been allowed to stand.  Getting the money back can take months and can be costly.  Some people never recover the confiscated cash or property. One has to prove the source of the money.

Legislation was introduced by Rep. Timothy Hill, R-Blountville, that would have repealed civil forfeiture laws that make the practice of  police confiscating cash and property legal. Hill has amended his bill so that instead of prohibiting all civil forfeiture, that civil forfeiture could still occur but only when there is an arrest. That is an improvement over what we currently have and would end most of the abuse. Police will argue that civil forfeiture is an important tool to curtail drug trafficking. It may be helpful in that regard but so would wiretapping without a court order or beating confessions out of people.  Civil forfeiture is wrong and needs to end. This bill needs to pass.

Channel 5 news has reported on "policing for profit" extensively. For more information follow this link.

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Who is contributing to the Bill Freeman campaign for Mayor?

Bill Freeman
As of the date of the first required financial disclosure, Jan. 15th 2015, Bill Freeman had only raised $1500. Don't fret however, Freeman has the ability to self fund  what ever it takes to mount an effective campaign.  He started the report with no money on hand, loaned his campaign $30,000, received a single contribution of $1500 from Chip Forrester, former Chair of the Tennessee Democrat Party, spent $30,000 in advertising to put his ads on Gray’s Disposal trucks and that is all his report shows.

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NashvilleNext is ready for review and comment: The Draft Plan - Vision, Trends, & Strategies.

I was at the very first meeting of the NashvilleNext project and attended numerous of the various meetings that occurred over the last two years and I posted on their website and took the surveys.  Now the plan is prepared and ready for public consumption.  Somewhere along the way I lost my appetite.

I did my part; I brainstormed in small groups, I put little sticky dots on various options, and I answered surveys. I reached a point however in which I thought I was being led around by the nose. I reached a point to where I thought this is sham.  The plan is already written and there is a boilerplate template somewhere where they will simply change the name of the city. 

Surprise, surprise: Nashville wants less congested roads, affordable housing, walkable communities, good schools, low crime and economic opportunity.  I could have told you that without spending millions of dollars and two years. I don't know how much NashvilleNext cost, but I am sure it was not cheap.

While NashvilleNext did engage a lot of citizens, that does not necessarily make it any more democratic than if the same input would have been gathered from a single pubic hearing.  Council members are elected; no one elected the participants in the NashvilleNext process.  The planning staff and metro council could have come up with NashvilleNext plan and then had a single public hearing and I think the result would be the same.  Why should the opinions of those who showed up be given greater weight than those who didn't?

I am doing other things and I have not read the final report. I don't really know what is in the final product. I just know the generalities. However, to ensure, we are not getting a future we don't want a lot of people need to read it. They are calling this "the peoples plan." Anything that claims to represent "the people," somehow concerns me.  Especially if "the people" who contributed were self selected rather than democratically elected.

I do hope to read NashvilleNext soon. However, I hope some other skeptics of grand plans read it and makes sure it does not lead to the adoption of policies that impact our freedom and property rights.  It probably does not, but someone needs to be objectively reviewing the plan. Most plans gather dust on a shelf and never do more than inform the thinking of a few people. Also, plans can turn on a dime when circumstances change. Long range planning never envisioned Music Valley Dr. and Opry Mills and The Opryland Hotel and Convention Center, yet when an investor showed up with the money the plan changed.  A developer with money can turn a plan on its head and on the other hand, all the good plans in the world can not make something happen if someone does not want to develop in accordance with the plan.  Still, I am not opposed to planning. It is good to have some established guidelines even if they are subject to change. Some plans are really bad plans however and we should be pleased they never went into effect. Some of what causes our problems today are a result of plans that sounded good at the time.

Here is the link to the NashvilleNext website. I hope someone whose opinion I trust gets involved and can inform the rest of us what is in the final document.

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The battle to preserve open records however is not over.

In case you missed it, our right to view public records in Tennessee in safe for now. Last week State Rep. Steve McDaniel took off notice a bill that would have allowed new charges to be assessed citizens who want to inspect public records. The battle to preserve open records however is not over. The Tennessee School Boards Association had called passage of the bill its top legislative priority. Rep. McDaniel said in taking off notice his bill, that the Office of Open Records Counsel had agreed to conduct public hearings on the proposal to charge for viewing public records this summer and to make a recommendation on the bill by January 2016. (See Tennessee Coalition for Open Government web site for more info.)

There is a lot of waste and pure corruption that takes place in government. Construction projects have specs written to benefit a particular vender, change orders benefit the contractor once awarded and some politically connected people have jobs created for them but do little work.  You can't stop all of this but if no one is watching a lot of it occurs. You may recall the scandal at NES and the perks given to NES bigwigs by Gaylord management in exchange for not charging for some NES services in conjunction with the Opryland Christmas lights display. That investigation by citizen activist Ken Jakes led to other revelations of massive credit card abuse at NES and other abuses.

With a diminished local news media that does very little investigative reporting, it is often up to citizens to be the public's watchdog.  If public records can be kept secret the opportunity to expose waste and corruption pretty much disappears. In Montgomery County, Maryland recently when a citizen activist filed to get public records pertaining to a $89 million construction of a library and recreation center, she was told she had to wait three months for the records to be gathered and pay sum of $58,407. That could happen in Tennessee unless we are vigilant.

I am pleased to see that in Nashville the agenda's and minutes of all boards and commissions are on line and all meetings of the Metro Council, the School Board, the Planning Commission and some others are streamed and then archived. I think everything that can reasonably be on line should be on line.  I was pleased to recently see the Davidson County Election Commission put local campaign financial reports on line. Federal and State financial disclosure reports were already available on line, but not the reports of candidates seeking local office. I am in the process of reviewing those reports to see who is financially supporting which candidate. If not on line, if I would have wanted to view the reports, I would have had to go in person to the office of the Election Commission request the reports, pay a fee per page, then come back and pick them up.  To keep watch over the democratic process should not be so difficult in this age of instant knowledge.

Regardless of one's political persuasion, I think we can all agree that the actions of government should be accessible and transparent. Meetings should be open, not conducted in secret, and records should be available for public inspection.

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Who is contributing to the Fox campaign for Mayor

David Fox
I have reviewed the campaign financial disclosure report of mayoral candidate David Fox and recognized very few of his contributors. There are not many contributors from the same profession, unlike the many Vanderbilt professors who have contributed to Megan Barry or the many attorneys who have contributed to Charles Bone. Fox's contributors seem to come from a broad variety of professions.

Most of Fox's campaign money comes from a loan he made his campaign of $1,050,000. He started the campaign report period with no money on hand, raised 1,303,030, spend 256,666, leaving a balance on hand of 1,046,363.

Out of state contributors include Patrick Colman of Old Greenwich CT $1500; Benjamin Fox of Greenwich, CT $1500; George Fox of Samfort, CT $1500; Matthew Fox of Greenwich, CT $1500; Pamela Fox of Greenwich, CT $1500; Barbara Jonas of New York City $1500; Henry Klein of Rye Brook, New York and March Klein of Rye Brook, New York $1500; Laurel Miller of Greenwich, CT $1500; Ellen Wolfson of Lawrence, NY $1500; Donald Jonas of New York City $1500; Kyle Miller of Greenwich, CT $1500; and maybe six other contributors of $1500 each from Greenwich CT. He must have a supportive family in Greenwich Connecticut.

Contributors of interest include Fred Dettwiller of Det Distributing $1500, Walter Knestrick $1500 and Sarah Knestrick $1500, Mary Pierce of the Metro School Board $500 and Ryman Hospitality Properties PAC $1000. There are lots of important civic minded people in the city I don't know and you may recognize the names of some of his contributors that I do not. To view his campaign disclosure report follow this link.

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Who is contributing to the Kenneth Eaton campaign?

No one yet. His financial disclosure for 1/15/2015 shows no money raised, no money spent and no money on hand.

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