Saturday, July 18, 2015

Early voting has started. Here is the schedule


700 2ND AVE S, NASHVILLE, TN 37210
FRIDAY, JULY 17,   8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
SATURDAY, JULY 18,   8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
MONDAY, JULY 20,   8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
TUESDAY, JULY 21,   8:00 AM – 7:00 PM
WEDNESDAY, JULY 22,   8:00 AM – 6:00 PM


THURSDAY, JULY 23,  8:00 AM – 7:00 PM
FRIDAY, JULY 24,   8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
SATURDAY, JULY 25,   8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
MONDAY, JULY 27,   8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
TUESDAY, JULY 28,   8:00 AM – 7:00 PM
WEDNESDAY, JULY 29,   8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
THURSDAY, JULY 30,   8:00 AM – 7:00 PM
FRIDAY, JULY 31,   8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
SATURDAY, AUGUST 1,   8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Southeast Community Center, 5260 HICKORY HOLLOW PKWY, STE 202, ANTIOCH, TN 37013

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Caffeinated Conservative, July 25th 12pm-2pm featuring Council Candidates at-Large

From Steve Clements: 
Hi everybody!
This Saturday! Be there! Now with Ken Jakes, Don Majors, John Lasiter, Phillip Hostettler, Bob Mendes, and Jason Holleman!

Stephen Clements

On Tue, Jul 14, 2015 at 8:28 PM, Stephen Clements <> wrote:
Hi everybody!
Saturday July 25th from 12 pm - 2 pm at Bagelface Bakery (700 Main Street in East Nashville), we will help figure out who some of these 26 candidates for Metro Council At-Large are! We get to vote for 5 of them, but there's so many, even I haven't met them all. I picked some of the most interesting ones to invite for us to grill, with Ken Jakes, Don Majors, John Lassiter, and Bob Mendes already confirming they will be there to ask for your votes! Bring your questions and your appetite for good company and delicious bagels! See you soon!

Stephen Clements and Terry Torre
Caffeinated Conservatives

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Friday, July 17, 2015

While we are at it, what do we do with Ray Blanton?

Governor Ray Blanton
It is easy to judge those in the past by the standards of today and find them wanting.  I have no love for Nathan Bedford Forrest and will not really miss his bust if it is removed from the State Capitol building, but if we are going to start looking at who is deserving of being honored in the State Capitol, what are we to do with the official portrait of Democrat Governor Ray Blanton?  He is not some historical figure from the distant past, but is a contemporary figure.  His misdeeds occurred just about thirty-five years ago.  For those of you who may have forgotten, too young to know, or are new to our state, here is the Wikipedia account: 
In 1977, Blanton fired Marie Ragghianti, chairwoman of the state's Board of Pardons and Paroles, when she refused to release prisoners who, as was later determined, had bribed state officials in exchange for obtaining pardons (Ragghianti later sued and won a $38,000 judgment against the state). On December 15, 1978, the FBI raided the state capitol, and seized documents from the office of Blanton's legal advisor, T. Edward Sisk. Sisk and two others were arrested, and Blanton appeared before a federal grand jury on December 23, where he denied any wrongdoing.
On January 15, 1979, near the end of his term, Blanton issued pardons to 52 state prisoners, including 20 convicted murderers. Among those pardoned was Roger Humphreys, the son of a Blanton supporter, who had been convicted of killing his wife and a male companion. As Blanton signed Humphreys' pardon, he stated, "this takes guts." His Secretary of State, Gentry Crowell, who was disgusted with the pardons, replied, "some people have more guts than brains."
While Blanton stated the pardons were to comply with a court order to reduce the state's prison population, the FBI and members of both parties grew concerned that the pardons were related to the alleged scandal then under investigation. After U.S. Attorney Hal Hardin (a friend of Blanton) tipped off state leaders that Blanton was planning more pardons, Lieutenant Governor (and Senate Speaker) John S. Wilder and State House Speaker Ned McWherter searched for a way to prevent further damage to the state's reputation. They found it in the state constitution, which is somewhat vague on when a newly elected governor must be sworn in. It was eventually decided to swear in Alexander three days before the traditional inauguration day. Wilder later referred to Blanton's ouster as "impeachment Tennessee-style."
Although never formally charged in the pardons matter, Blanton was eventually indicted on charges of mail fraud, conspiracy, and extortion for selling liquor licenses. He was convicted and sentenced to federal prison. Released after serving 22 months, he returned to Tennessee. Although a panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals initially reversed the convictions because of the way in which the district court conducted the voir dire, that decision was vacated by the court's decision to re-hear the case en banc. The full Sixth Circuit Court affirmed Blanton's convictions, and the Supreme Court denied review.In January 1988, 9 of the 11 charges were thrown out in a separate appeal.
Despite never being convicted of selling pardons and payrolls, no one doubts he was guilty of the offense. To my way of reckoning, selling pardons and paroles to convicted murderers is equally offensive as selling slaves if judged by the ethical standards of the times. Also, how are we to judge Andrew Jackson and his Indian removal policy if we are going to start removing bust and portrait in the State capitol?
Memphis Commercial Appeal- State subcommittee will determine fate of Forrest bust Memphis Commercial Appeal On June 24, House Speaker Beth Harwell and Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey sent a joint letter to the Capitol Commission encouraging the panel “to ...

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Neighborhoods Resource Center to sell property

The Neighborhood Resource Center is a non-profit group that while doing some non-objectionable if not good things also engages in some far left political activity, as they did in 2011 when they hosted a meeting to discuss how to implement the Contract for the American Dream.

The Contract for the American Dream was a project of the far left MoveOn.Org. A whole host of other liberal and leftist organization were also partners in the Contract for the American Dream campaign including Planned Parenthood, Progressive, Progressive Democrats of America, Daily Kos, People for the American Way, and Code Pink.

A long time staffer (unsure if he had the title Executive Director, but he was the public face of the organization), Mike Hodge was a community organizer trained in the Saul Alinsky tradition.  Hodge now works for the progressive group NOAH.  In addition to that overtly leftist Contract for the American Dream effort, NRC often engaged in activity, that while not terribly offensive, was more suited to an organization such as a labor union or political organization rather than a non-profit claiming a charitable purpose.

At one time NRC was heavily funded by the United Way and received funding from other sources. Having lost their United Way funding and some other sources of funding, the organization has fallen on hard times. Today they announced they were selling their building which is an old historic Nashville city fire hall.

The tax assessors office list the value of the property at $340,000 but in this quickly improving neighborhood, who knows what this historic structure would sell for.  It would be a shame if NRC could sell the property and fund their political activity with the proceeds. A review of the deed (follow this link and click "view deed") says that if the property fails to be used by the purpose of the 501(c)(3) charter of the organization, the property diverts back to metro.  However, the organization can sell the property to another 501(c)(3) organization.  Can they sell to another 501(c)(3) and pocket the money? If there is a civic minded attorney or other civic minded person with talent for dealing with issues of this nature who would be interested in getting involved in this issue, someone needs to watch this pending change in the use of this building and ensure there is not some slight of hand than enriches NRC.

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Campaign Financial disclosures of July 10 are now available online.

Campaign Financial disclosures for candidates for mayor, vice mayor, and district council seats for the 2nd quarter, ending June 30th, which had a due date of July 10th, are now available online at the Election Commissions' website. I will be summarizing and analyzing each report as time permits, but if you want to see the reports for yourself and not wait, follow this link.

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How the Council voted on Rent Controll, health benefits for future former members of the Council, and tax giveaways.

Below is how the council voted on several important bills at the last council meeting.

How they voted on Rent Control: SUBSTUTUTE BILL NO. BL2015-1139  on the July was the ordinance to establish a requirement for "affordable and workforce housing units," and to authorize the Planning Department to establish rules and regulations to implement it. In essence this was one more move toward rent control and housing price control.

Those voting in favor were: Megan Barry, Ronnie Steine, Tim Garrett, Maynard, Matthews, Harrison, Hunt, Banks, Scott Davis, Westerholm, Anthony Davis, Bill  Pridemore, Doug Pardue, Larry Hagar, Josh Stites, Stanley, Moore, Allen, Gilmore, Holleman, McGuire, Harmon, Johnson, Potts, Bedne, Dowell, Carter Todd (27)

Those who voted against were:  Charlie Tygard, Karen Bennett, Phil Claiborne, Tony Tenpenny, Baker, Sheri Weiner, Emily Evans, Davette Blalock, Duane Dominy, Robert Duvall, Bo Mitchell (11).

Congratulation to Bo Mitchell above who is not normally one of the "good" councilmen, but who voted the right way on this issue.

How they voted on providing lifetime health insurance benefits for future former members of the Metro Council: BILL NO. BL2015-1211. This would not have done away with the benefit but greatly reduced it. It would not have taken anything away from people currently entitled to the benefit but would have reduced it for future former council members.

Those who voted in favor of reducing this benefit were: Megan Barry, Ronnie Steine, Tim Garrett, Charlie Tygard, Banks, Westerholm, Bill Pridemore, Josh Stites, Stanley, Phil Claiborne, Allen, Holleman, McGuire, Todd, Mitchell (15).

Those who vote "no," voting to keep the benefit the way it is, were:  Maynard, Matthews, Harrison, Hunt, Scott Davis, Anthony Davis, Doug Pardue, Larry Hagar, Tony Tenpenny, Gilmore, Baker, Sheri Weiner, Emily Evans, Duane Dominy, Johnson, Potts, Bedne, Dowell (18)

Those “Abstaining:” Karen Bennett, Moore, Harmon, Davette Blalock (4). Many of the liberals in the council voted the right way on this bill and several of the conservatives voted the wrong way. 

How they voted on the Tax giveaway for American General:  SUBSTITUTE BILL NO. BL2015-1127   authorized the Industrial Development Board to accept payments in lieu of ad valorem taxes (PILOT) from  American General Life Insurance Company.

Those voting “Aye:” Barry, Steine, Tim Garrett, Charlie Tygard, Maynard, Matthews, Harrison, Hunt, Banks, Scott Davis, Westerholm, Anthony Davis, Bill Pridemore, Stanley, Moore, Allen, Gilmore, Baker, Sheri Weiner, Holleman, McGuire, Harmon, Davette Blalock, Duane Dominy, Johnson, Potts, Bedne, Dowell, Carter Todd, Mitchell (30).

Those voting "no." Bill Pardue, Larry Hagar, Josh Stites, Phil Claiborne, Tony Tenpenny, Emily Evans (6).

How they voted on the other Tax giveaway: BILL NO. BL2015-1143

Voting “Aye:” Megan Barry, Steine, Tim Garrett, Charlie Tygard, Maynard, Matthews, Harrison, Hunt, Banks, Scott Davis, Westerholm, Anthony Davis, Bill Pridemore, Stanley, Phil Claiborne, Moore, Allen, Gilmore, Baker, Weiner, Holleman, McGuire, Harmon, Davette Blalock, Duane Dominy, Johnson, Potts, Bedne, Dowell, Carter Todd, Mitchell (31).

Those voting "No:" Pardue, Hagar, Stites, Tenpenny, Evans (5).

Those in bold red typeface underlined above are councilmen who I usually think of as the "good" councilmen, who should know better and who disappointing me by there vote. The others in the lighter red are "good" council members who voted the right way. 

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Ward Baker supports David Fox for Mayor.

Ward Baker who is the executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee has endorsed David Fox for mayor. Baker, a Tennessee native who served in the Marines before getting into politics, got his political start on Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s 2002 campaign, worked for Haley Barbour’s 2003 election as Mississippi governor and George W. Bush’s 2004 reelection campaign. He helped Diane Black win her primary and has been involved in various other political campaigns. Below is his letter endorsing David Fox.

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Davette Blalock explains her vote on the budget. Her record is being distorted!

Davette Blalock
Below is a copy of the email Davette Blaclock sent to her mailing list. I have not seen the original piece from her opponent to which she is responding but you can figure it out. I have lost her original formatting in this re posting, so the highlighting and formatting are mine.

From Davette Blalock

To Rod
Good morning neighbors, 

 It has come to my attention that my opponent is playing politics-as-usual, verbally and in campaign literature, by distorting my voting record in the Metro Council. Such tactics are a disappointment, and I had hoped that his campaign would operate at a more civil level.

These types of political tactics are somewhat of a commonplace when an opponent is challenging an incumbent. I respect District 27’s constituents enough to clarify the incorrect assertions on my opponent’s part. The following is the correct action I took on the specific bills:
  • The way the Metro budget works is The Mayor brings a budget to the Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee.
  • The Chair person (appointed by the Vice Mayor) gets to make changes if desired and the rest of the council votes on the Chair’s revision.
  • If we vote NO on the Chair’s revision then we are actually voting YES to the Mayor’s budget because the Mayor’s budget becomes law automatically if a Substitute Budget brought by the Chair is not passed.
  • If a Council member (other than the Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee) wants to make a change to the budget they have to do so by bringing amendments to the budget.
So, if you really want to see who has worked and voted to keep taxes down, look to the Council Members who voted for the amendments......and Yes, you will see my name on them.
My opponent has also misunderstood a bill from 2012. This bill related to health insurance for Council members. Then and now, Council Members who serve 8 years are permitted to retain their coverage. This bill would have changed rules for continuing such coverage beginning in 2019.
This benefit was established when there were no term limits on Council. Now that there are term limits, I have seen this cost to the city increase. That is why I voted in favor that, if it had passed, would have STOPPED the continuation of health insurance for Council Members after 2019.
Bills are sometimes hard to understand with all their legal jargon, but please feel free to contact Jon Cooper, the Council attorney or myself if you have any further questions. I am proud that ALL my votes are aligned with the desires and needs of the residents in our District, without exception. That will be my unwavering commitment for the next four years.
Davette Blalock is exactly right in explaining the budget process. If one votes "no" on a council substitute budget which may have less of a tax increase than the mayor's budget, the effect of that "no" vote is a vote for the mayor's budget instead of the substitute. I have seen incumbents distort the effect of their vote by saying, "I voted against that tax increase," when in actuality they voted for a greater tax increase than what passed. I have also seen challengers wrongly accuse someone of voting for a tax increase when the incumbent actually voted for the lesser of two tax increases.

Most people do not understand the budget process.  But if anyone gets elected promising they will never vote for a tax increase, they are lying. The only way they can vote against a tax increase is if the mayor does not propose one or if the Council substitute does not call for one. Even abstaining or skipping the meeting has the effect of voting for the Mayor's budget. Unfortunately, that is just the way the charter is written.  If does not have to be that way.  In Chattanooga, if the council can not pass a budget they can pass a one-month continuing resolution until they do pass a budget.  The effect of this is that 1/12 of last year's budget appropriation is continued for one month and the tax rate stays the same for another month.

I think the charter should be changed to allow a council member to actually vote "no" on a budget, but until it is, it is not possible to vote against a tax increase if one is proposed by the mayor and if the Council substitute also provides for a tax increase.

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Planned Parenthood Uses Partial-Birth Abortions to Harvest and Sell Baby Parts

This is sickening. The Planned Parenthood doctor talks about how the head of the infant is crushed but usually the other body parts can be brought out of the women's body intact and how care is taken to not damage the desired body parts. At the start of the day the staff huddles to determine what parts they can harvest that day.

“I’d say a lot of people want liver. And for that reason, most providers will do this case under ultrasound guidance, so they’ll know where they’re putting their forceps,” Nucatola said.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Tennessee drunk-driving campaign offends women, critics say. Well here's a song for you.

Tennessee drunk-driving campaign offends women, critics say. I say this is a pretty clever campaign myself. What better way to remind guys of how drinking distorts your judgement than to remind them of how their judgement regarding women deteriorates the more they have had to drink. And the target audience, those most likely to drive drunk, are men drinking in a bar. This campaign is not the first time this concept that alcohol causes impaired judgement and perception of women has been used. Here's a good song to illustrate the point.

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Trump win Davidson County GOP straw poll

What!! I was unable to attend the Davidson County Republican Party picnic this years. I was told who won the straw poll for mayor (David Fox) and vice Mayor (Tim Garrett) and who received the Winfield Dunn Statesman of the year award (Tony Roberts), but no one told me the outcome of the Presidential preference poll and I just now learned of the outcome.

I am shocked. I thought Rand Paul would do well because his supporters are so dogmatic they go to events with straw polls just to influence the outcome.  I would not be surprised if he would have won.  I also thought Jeb Bush or Chris Christie would do well because there is a strong establishment moderate faction in the Davidson County Party. Also, Jeb Bush was the speaker at this years TN GOP Statesman's Dinner. I also thought Ted Cruz might do well, or maybe Marco Rubio because they are popular among the tea party segment.  I would not have been surprised if Cruz would have won. But, Donald Trump? I did not see that coming!  I think he is a joke! He is a carnival barker! I guess I do not have my finger on the pulse of the Davidson County Republican Party.

To read about it, follow this link.

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Monday, July 13, 2015

Nashville Tea Party Meeting, THIS Thursday July 16

from Ben Cunningham:

JOIN US This Thursday! Nashville Tea Party Meeting, THIS Thursday July 16 at 7PM at the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel in Nashville.

It is TIME to take a Stand, PLEASE JOIN US for this very important Meeting. Bring a Friend! So much to discuss, Supreme Court decisions, Presidential Primary. Action Plans to Restore the Republic! US Congress and TN Legislative updates.
We have all felt despair over the last few weeks. But that is precisely the reason it is so important we come together and rededicate ourselves to the principles that we hold dear. PLEASE JOIN US.
Free Parking and Free Admission, Bring a Friend
What: VERY URGENT MEETING! Are you ready to take action for your Country?
When: Thursday July 16 at 7PM
Where: Millennium Maxwell House Hotel in Nashville, 2025 Rosa L Parks Blvd, Nashville, TN 37228
CLICK on this link for a Google Map:

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Sunday, July 12, 2015

David Fox won the Nashville GOP Straw Poll for Mayor.

I was unable to attend the annual Davidson County Republican Party picnic today, but I understand that David Fox won the straw poll.

For vice mayor, Tim Garrett got 126 votes to 120 for David Briley.

On the question of reducing the size of the metro council, 138 voted "yes," and 130 voted "no."

Receiving the Winfield Dunn Statesman of the Year award is Tony Roberts. This is an award for the volunteer who has done most to advance the cause of the Davidson County Republican Party. Tony Roberts is well deserving of this award. He heads the Conservative Groups organization and the Republican Minority Coalition. His focus has been to bring other groups and individuals into the Republican Party. He has helped the party reach out to disaffected Democrats, libertarians, Egyptian Coptic Christians, Hispanics, African-Americans, Asians, and Latinos.  Previous recipients of this award have been Rod Williams (that's me), Tootie Haskins, and Pat Carl. I am relying on memory and hope I have not missed anyone. Congratulations Tony!

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The Tennessean endorses Megan Barry

In case you don't subscribe to the Tennessean and haven't heard the news, The Tennessean today endorsed Megan Barry for mayor.  It is predictable that The Tennessean would endorse the most liberal candidate in the race, but I was kind of hoping for a surprise. The Tennessean says their top three choices were Barry, Bone and Fox and had complementary things to say about the two runners-up. They cited her experience, confidence and empathy as reason for the pick. If you care to read the endorsement and can get past the paywall, follow this link.

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Still More Mayoral and Council candidates forums

Metro Council District 20 Candidates’ Forum 
WHAT: Metro Council District 20 Candidates’ Forum.  District 20 candidates Frank Stabile, Marisa Frank, and Mary Carolyn Roberts will respond to questions submitted in advance, and take questions from the audience at the event. Time has also been built into the schedule for the candidates to ask questions to each other. This is a great opportunity to discern platforms, positions, and other specifics about each candidate as we move closer to the August 6th election. Rep. John Ray Clemmons will serve as facilitator.  For more information, contact:Miriam Drennan, 615.491.8909 or Jamie Brown, 502.608.1420
WHEN: Sunday, July 19, 2:00 –3:15 p.m.  
WHERE: St. Luke’s Community House, 5601 New York Avenue, Nashville, Tenn. 37209

Candidates forum for District 23,  25, and 34
What: Candidates forum for District 23,  25, and 34, sponsored by  Nashville Organized for Action and Hope (NOAH), the left-wing group pushing house price control and rent control and the group the behind the ill-conceived proposed charter amendment 3.
Where: St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church.
When: July 20 Time: 6:30 pm
There will be a short meet and greet following the public meeting.

Candidates Forum for District 1 and 2, at-large and mayor, July 23

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After the Davidson County GOP "picnic," you may want to go on down to the Williamson County Green's Grocery event.

I just learned last night that the picnic will not going to be serving Whit's Barbeque with all of the side items as in years past.  There will be watermelon and ice cream, so don't go hungry. I know this is late notice, since the picnic starts soon, but I thought I would try to post this so if you do read it, you will not get there and be disappointed.

I don't know what obstacles the committee that planned the picnic ran into or what their reasoning was in having a picnic without food. I am hesitant to criticize. I have served on committee's where one planned events and after doing the best you can do, it is disheartening to be criticized. But, it the picnic was not going to have food, maybe they should have invited and arranged for food trucks to be available, or if that was not possible, maybe they should have called it a "watermelon and ice cream social;" not a picnic.

I had planned to attend but my personal situation of caring for my sick wife will prohibit me from going. I do not have a weekend care giver and I was going to take her, but she had a bad night last night and it is a lot of work to get her ready and take her someplace especially if she is in a cranky mood and she did not sleep much last night, so I know she would not be in the best of mood.  I would have been disappointed if I would have made the effort to go and then got there to discover the picnic did not have food. I sort of expect food at a picnic.

If you go and are hungry and also would like more Republican camaraderie, there is a Republican gathering in  neighboring county Williamson County. You can show up at the Davidson County "picnic," visit a while, have a piece of watermelon, vote in the straw poll then head to Leiper's Fork. Here is the announcement:
Local, state, and Congressional politicians will speak Sunday, July 12, at a Williamson County Republican Party meeting.
U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, State Sen. Jack Johnson, and State Reps. Glen Casada, Jeremy Durham and Charles Sargent will speak at 4 p.m. at Green's Grocery in Leiper's Fork. The event will be held for community Republicans and those interested in joining the party.
The Austin Brothers Band, featuring Johnson, will perform for the crowd after the meeting. Ribs, chicken-on-a-stick and burgers will be available for purchase from the grill. Family-friendly games and activities also will available in the backyard.
"Sunday's event is an opportunity to get our Republican family together for a casual evening, and we welcome individuals and families throughout the county to join us, even if you aren't typically politically involved in the community," WCRP Chairman Julie Taleghani said.
Green's Grocery is a restored store located at 4345 Old Hillsboro Road.
That sounds like a lot of fun! Jack Johnson is not only a great state Senator but a great county music performer. If you like music like that of Ray Price or Merle Haggard, you will love his band. I know this is a Williamson County event, but if I was going to be out, I would be tempted to crash the party.

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