Saturday, August 01, 2015

Tanaka Vercher plays the race card in responce to charges of failing to disclose a bankruptcy and more.

Tenaka Vercher
When all else fails, when you don't have the truth on your side and when one does not have ethics on your side, if you have it, you can still win an argument by playing the race card which can trump all other cards.  This week Tanaka Vercher  played the race card. 

Vercher is one of three candidates running for the 28th Council District seat being vacated by Duane Dominy. The other two candidates for that seat are Melissa Smithson and Daniel Lewis. Councilman Duane Dominy is supporting Melissa Smithson. 

On Sept. 15, 2006, Tanaka Vercher filed for bankruptcy and she failed to disclose that fact on a form filed with the Tennessee Ethics Commission. 

Much like divorce, bankruptcy is no longer considered a moral failing that should automatically disqualify one from seeking public office.  Everyone from Donald Trump to money management guru Dave Ramsey has had a bankruptcy and it has apparently not damaged their reputations. Still, I would prefer not entrusting my money or the public's money to someone who has had a bankruptcy.  My view is that if one can not manage their own finances, why should they be trusted with my money or the public's money.  In some profession one can not get or keep a license to practice their profession if they have had a bankruptcy.  In some professions, even if practicing the profession is not contingent upon having a state license, employers will not employ someone to work for them if they have had a bankruptcy.

Serving in the Metro Council involves making important decisions about what to do with public money.  Everyone must make the decision for themselves if they want to cast their vote for someone to serve on the Metro Council who has had a bankruptcy.  That may not be the only factor one uses in deciding who one will support for public office but it may be a factor.  It may be a factor if  one knows about it. 

On June 17th 2011 when Vercher filled out a disclosure form with the Tennessee Ethics Commission to run for public office she failed to disclose she had had a bankruptcy as required to do.  Vercher  was interviewed by News Channel 2 and she told them she was advised to answer "none" to the bankruptcy question by members of the ethics commission. Channel 2 contacted the ethics commissions and they said there is no way they would ever have told someone to falsify their ethics disclosure.

Vercher when questioned about her bankruptcy and failure to disclose it, said, “This is dirty politics,” and she said, “It’s a smear campaign.”  She could not deny it was true. She then accused Duane Dominy of being a racist. Dominy did not initiate the contract with channel 2 but was contracted by them for an interview. At first he declined but after he was attacked as being a racist by Vercher, he  agreed to speak to them about the information which was a matter of  public record.

The bankruptcy and failure to disclose it is is not the only ethical and legal problem in Ms Vercher's background. A 2006 judgement was rendered against Ms Vercher for selling a car to someone that had a lien on the title.  Ms Vercher did take the money management counseling required by law for someone getting a bankruptcy  but apparently did not learn much. There are several other judgements against Ms Vercher, filed since her bankruptcy including a judgement of $554 for failure to pay her homeowner's association dues.

You can watch the News Channel 2 report at this link: Allegations of bankruptcy discrepancies emerge in Nashville council race. 

Ok. I'm ready. Play the race card. 

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Megan Barry is big labor's candidate.

The Tennessean today reported, "Laborers' PAC puts money behind Barry in mayor's race."  Megan Barry is a favorite candidate among the most liberal elements in Nashville.  She is the preferred candidate of liberal academia getting numerous campaign contributions from those affiliated with Vanderbilt University. She is also the candidate favored by gay rights advocates and she performed the first gay wedding in Nashville. 

She is the only candidate for Mayor who has said she will definitely vote for Metro Charter Amendment 3, the "local hire" amendment pushed by NOAH, the same group also pushing the home price fixing and rent control proposal that goes by the innocent sounding name of "inclusionary zoning." 

Amendment 3 would amend the Metro Charter to require that 40 percent of Metro tax-funded projects be staffed with Nashville residents. While at first glance that may sound like a good idea it would be very difficult to achieve and would greatly add to the cost of all metro projects. Contractors bidding on Metro projects already have their own crews.  For a contractor to lay off their employees and hire local people would greatly add to the cost of Metro projects. While there may be a significant number of unemployed people in Nashville or people not in the labor force, that does not mean they have the skills needed for big construction projects. Most likely, to come up to the 40% local requirement, contractors would just add bodies to payroll to the degree necessary to reach that 40% threshold. One can see how this would drastically increase the cost of Metro public works projects. This is the kind of "make work" legislation favored by big labor.

Megan Barry has also advocated a local minimum wage. She seems to have been outbid by Bill Freeman who has advocated a $12 an hour minimum wage, however.  Barry, on the other hand, as a member of the Metro Council spearheaded passage of a "living wage" for Metro employees. A "living wage" in Nashville is about $11.04 right now. She recently advocated a living wage for everyone when she said, "I firmly believe that we should have a wage that reflects what it really requires to live here, and that's a living wage." Although outbid by Freeman on the minimum wage issue, it was not by much.

Tennessee Laborers' PAC consists of members of Laborers International Union of North America, or LIUNA. LIUNA appears to be the only organized national labor group that has backed any mayoral candidate.   Freeman has been endorsed by of the teachers, police and fire unions and SEIU, but these are local chapters of unions as opposed to a national union.  Megan Barry is big labor's candidate. 

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Does the Constitution prevent Nashville from enacting a local hire law? Yes, it probably does.

Daniel Horwitz, an appellate attorney in Nashville and a former Tennessee Supreme Court clerk, has a lengthy detailed article discussing potential constitutional concerns about Amendment 3 on his Supreme Court of Tennessee blog.

Amendment 3 is the "local hire" amendment that says that at least 40% of the work performed on taxpayer-funded construction projects within Davidson County would have to be set aside for Davidson County residents. While there are practical reasons to oppose the bill, such as that it would drastically increase the cost of public projects, and philosophical reasons, such as it is protectionism; Horwitz concentrates on weather or not it is even legal. Ultimately, he concludes that:

Amendment 3 will survive any constitutional challenge brought under either the Dormant Commerce Clause or the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the United States Constitution. However, as a result of the Sixth Circuit’s decision in Craigmiles v. Giles, and as a result of the Tennessee Supreme Court’s decision in Consumers Gasoline Stations v. City of Pulaski, Amendment 3 will probably not survive a constitutional challenge brought under the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution or Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution of Tennessee. 
For anyone who wants a deep understanding of the legal concerns about Amendment 3, I urge you to read, "Does the Constitution prevent Nashville from enacting a local hire law? Yes, it probably does."

Please vote "no" on Amendment 3.

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Friday, July 31, 2015

Community-wide info meeting about DADU's, Monday August 3rd

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National Federation of Republican Assemblies Conference & Presidential Preference Endorsing Convention 2015

Friday, August 28, 2015 at 1:00 PM - Sunday, August 30, 2015 at 11:30 

This is not the meeting of the Nashville Chapter of Republican Assemblies, this is the National Convention.  This is a big deal. If you have never heard of the Republican Assemblies, this is how they describe themselves:

The National Federation of Republican Assemblies is a grassroots movement to take back the Republican Party for the vast and disenfranchised majority of its members: Reagan conservatives, who believe in small government, lower taxes, free market capitalism, a strong defense, the right to life, and a decent America.

In short, we are the Republican Wing of the Republican Party.
Here are event details:

The National Federation of Republican Assemblies is excited to hold our 2015 NFRA Conference & Presidential Preference Endorsing Convention in Nashville TN better know as Music City.  Our 3 day conference will be loaded with great national speakers, authors, and candidates but be sure to allow some time to take in some of the sights and sounds that Nashville has to offer.  With over 150 live music venues and loads of great eateries nearby there is something for everybody.
Be sure to take advantage of discounted tickets by purchasing early.  Ticket pricing will increase as the event draws near as follows:
Feb 22 thru Apr 15 $227.00
Apr 16  thru July 4 $247.00
July 5 thru Aug 18 $297.00
Aug 19 thru day of event $350.00

Your conference ticket includes admission to all NFRA events including Sunday Prayer Breakfast with Pastor Rafael Cruz..  A box lunch and full dinner will be provided on Saturday.
The full conference schedule and speakers list will be published soon and will be added to this event page and the NFRA website. For more information follow this link.

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Bill Freeman's spending surpasses $4.5M in Nashville mayor's race.

While Bill Freeman has spend the most money and spend more of his own money than any other candidate, other candidates have spend heavily also. For the Tennessean's analysis of campaign spending in the mayor's race follow this link.

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First Tuesday meets Monday August 3. Speaker is Representative Diane Black.

Diane Black
From Tim Skow, host of First Tuesday:

1ST TUESDAY members and friends

 Hear the HOWLING coming from Washington DC Liberals ????

For the first time in a memory...

Federal funding for Planned Parenthood is in serious jeopardy of being interrupted !!!! The lady who has introduced the legislation and will be driving the bill is our next 1ST TUESDAY Speaker, Tennessee Congresswoman Diane Black !

Want to know the behind implications of Obama’s IRAN deal? How can Federal funding be cut from “Sanctuary Cities” like San Francisco?

What more is coming that may make Planned Parenthood the next ACORN?

MONDAY, August 3rd – Congresswoman Diane Black returns to 1ST TUESDAY. As a member of the House Budget Committee & Ways and Means Committee, she asked the following be shared with you. 
 In light of the undercover videos showing its employees discussing the harvesting of fetal organs, Congressman Black introduced The Defund Planned Parenthood Act – legislation placing an immediate moratorium on all federal funding of Planned Parenthood for one year while Congress conducts a full investigation.
The Monday, August 3rd version of 1ST TUESDAY will be a powerful lunch you simply DO NOT WANT to miss!

 As usual, we will meet at Waller Law - 511 Union 27th floor. Doors open at 11AM. Many Metro candidates who are “friends of 1ST TUESDAY" will be there. Lunch starts at 11:30 and is $20 for Members & $25 for Guests.

Secure seating for you and your guests at . Expect Diane and candidates to arrive before lunch begins. Look forward to seeing you Monday, August 3rd – if not before!

Tim Skow

PS -- Election Day is Thursday August 6th. Please early vote

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Amendment #3 and Discrimination in Davidson County

Braden H. Boucek
by BRADEN H. BOUCEK, reposted from The Beacon Center -  On the ballot right now in Nashville is a charter amendment that, in a nutshell, would provide an employment preference for Davidson County workers on major public works projects. By mandating that Davidson County residents perform at least 40% of the work on publicly funded construction, the amendment would place workers who reside outside of Davidson County at a significant disadvantage under the law.

If the local hire amendment becomes law, it will almost certainly see the inside of a courtroom because it has a number of constitutional problems, as thoroughly outlined here. One such constitutional problem is the unequal treatment of people under the law, also known as discrimination. The expected response of the courts is an illustrative example of both how courts have misapplied Tennessee’s Constitution, and the importance of addressing that problem going forward.

Both the U.S. and Tennessee Constitutions address unequal treatment under the law. Despite the obvious differences in wording, Tennessee courts generally think that the Tennessee and U.S. equal protection guarantees are identical, meaning that if discriminating against out-of-towners is OK under the U.S. Constitution, then it is OK under the Tennessee Constitution. This is a shame. State constitutions were expected to afford citizens greater rights than those under the federal constitution. One that did nothing more than the U.S. Constitution would be frivolous.

The U.S. Constitution and Tennessee Constitution were prompted by a very different set of circumstances. The U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law was part of the Fourteenth Amendment, passed after the Civil War to protect newly freed slaves. Tennessee’s prohibition against “private laws,” that is, laws that benefit some people but not others, was added in 1835, long before the U.S. got around to guaranteeing equal treatment. It was aimed at curbing the General Assembly’s habitual practice of passing preferential laws for certain individuals. Frustrated by the unfairness of preferential laws and, frankly, how time consuming it was to pass laws that just benefitted one party, the Tennessee Constitutional Convention tried to end the practice with this constitutional provision. The preferential laws mentioned at the Convention were all aimed at bestowing some financial benefit to someone, like giving them valuable liquor licenses, fish traps, and mill dams. After the 1835 convention, if liquor was going to be legally sold, then the legislature had to make it legal for everyone. No more would the legislature be able to single out certain groups for favorable treatment.

This takes us back to the local hire amendment. If the amendment passes, Davidson County workers would be given preference under the law. If you live in a surrounding county, you could be denied work simply based on where you live. The amendment’s discriminatory character isn’t hidden; discrimination is the essence of it. This would be an obvious case of unequal treatment under the law. It creates an enormous financial benefit for Davidson County workers who are friendlier with the unions that are, not coincidentally, behind the amendment in the first place. We have not come far from 1835, only instead of fish traps and liquor licenses, here the politically connected seek to benefit from preferences in public works projects.

Local hire may be acceptable under the U.S. Constitution, but courts should be far more skeptical of it under the Tennessee Constitution. A court would not scrutinize the amendment’s naked discrimination against out-of-town residents under the U.S. Constitution (the Fourteenth Amendment) with the same rigor that it would with racially discriminatory legislation—an unfortunate reality, but hardly surprising given the Fourteenth Amendment’s historical origin. But if a court was no more rigorous in considering local hire under the Tennessee Constitution, then it is outright disappointing. After all, it was economic discrimination, not racial discrimination, which prompted the Private Bill provision in the first place. Courts should be extremely wary.

Nevertheless, Tennessee courts typically rule that there is no difference between the state and U.S. constitutions. This is bad history that can unfortunately lead obnoxious laws that really hurt working class people and do a disgrace to the basic right to be treated equally under the law. Tennessee’s Constitution is not merely redundant. It was crafted to put an end to laws that favor some at the expense of others. Time will tell if the Tennessee Constitution will regain its historical purpose and strength. If the local hire amendment passes, it may provide the fodder.

 Braden H. Boucek serves as General Counsel of the Beacon Center of Tennessee. He manages in-house legal matters and litigation for the Beacon Center, working to advance Beacon’s larger goal of promoting freedom and opportunity in Tennessee

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What happened at the Council meeting of July 28th: Boring zoning changes. Nothing of general interest.

There was a special council meeting on Tuesday July 28th to deal with the extraordinary large number of pending items on public hearing. When the current Council term ends, any pending rezoning items will have to start all over so that has led to a large number of rezoning request. The only items on the July 28th agenda were items on public hearing. To view the agenda, follow this link. There was no staff analysis accompanying this agenda or if there was it was not publicly posted. There were no zoning text changes or items of general interest so I have not even bothered to watch this council meeting. This is probably more boring than watching paint dry unless one of the proposed rezonings is next door to you. Anyway, here is the video of the meeting:

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Vote NO on Amendment 3

A coalition of 20 major business and professional organizations are actively opposing Amendment 3 to the Metro Nashville Charter during the Metro Elections, which end August the 6th.

The principle reasons for the Coalition’s opposition are:
  • Increased taxes 
  • Increased cost of Metro Nashville’s public construction projects 
  • Harm local employment 
  • Delay completion of construction projects creating additional traffic congestion and safety concerns
  • Harm Nashville’s current reputation as “the place to be” 
  • Harm Nashville’s continued economic growth and development 
 The coalition members are:
  • Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce 
  • Associated Builders and Contractors of Greater Tennessee 
  • Associated General Contractors of Tennessee 
  • Associated General Contractors of Middle Tennessee 
  • Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers 
  • American Institute of Architects – Tennessee Chapter 
  • American Institute of Architects – Middle Tennessee Chapter 
  • American Council of Engineering Companies of Tennessee 
  • American Council of Engineering Companies of Tennessee – Nashville Chapter 
  • Homebuilders Association of Middle Tennessee 
  • Tennessee Road Builders Association 
  • Nashville Business Coalition 
  • NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association 
  • Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry 
  • Tennessee Association of Landscape Architects  
  • International Facility Management Association – Nashville Chapter 
  • Building Owners and Managers Association – Nashville Chapter 
  • National Association of Women in Construction – Nashville Chapter 
  • Tennessee Hospitality Association 
  • Tennessee Business Roundtable 
 For more information on The Coalition for Fair Employment in Middle Tennessee and Amendment 3, CLICK HERE

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Rep. Bill Beck's drunk driving charge thrown out.

The Tennessean today reports that yesterday a judge threw out the drunken driving charge against freshman state Rep. Bill Beck on the basis that the police officer did not have probable cause to pull him over in the first place. Beck was arrested  arrested April 17 after the arresting officer said he spotted Beck's pickup truck traveling with two wheels in the turn lane. After the stop, the officer said Beck had bloodshot eyes, a disheveled appearance and slurred speech. Am I the only one who thinks that if that had been me, that the case would not have been thrown out. Police arrest people all of time for drunk driving claiming the car was swerving or driving over the line. The arresting officer said Beck was ""absolutely hammered."

Does anyone think maybe there was some special favoritism involved?

As a public service I am reposting tips from the Rod Williams school of drunk driving with an added tip, "Be a state representative or know some real important people."

Tips from the Rod Williams School of Drunk Driving

(1) Don't Drive drunk. Getting arrested for drunk driving is only one reason not to drive drunk.  The most important reason is you could kill yourself or someone else. Don’t do it. If you are lucky and don't kill someone or yourself, getting arrested for drunk driving could cost you your job, your election, your social standing, custody of your children, or maybe your marriage.

If you overindulge, there are alternatives to driving drunk. Take a taxi, get a hotel room, call a friend or family member and ask them to come get you, if at a friends house and you have had too much to drink, stay the night. 
Use the peer-to-peer livery services like Lyft and Uber. These services are cheep, fast, and convenient. You page a ride using your phone. To do that you must first download an app. Don't wait until your drunk to try to download the app.

If you are not going to rely on a commercial service such as a cab or Uber, and you know you are going to be drinking and you are going with other people then have a designated driver. Pick the designated driver before you start drinking. I prefer being the designated drinker, but someone needs to be the designated driver.

Having said all of the above however, I know there will be times when a person will have had too much to drink and not think they are too drunk to drive but will have had a sufficient amount of adult beverage that they could register drunk even though they don’t think they are drunk.

I myself have probably driven many times when I would have registered drunk had I been stopped. I am not by any means advocating driving drunk, but if you are driving impaired I am providing these tips to help you increase your chances of getting home safely without getting arrested.

(2) Know that you don’t have to be “drunk” to register DUI. You do not have to be sloppy, falling down drunk to register as DUI. If you think you should not drive then by all means don’t. Often you will not know if you are drunk or not however, so unless you know exactly how much you have had to drink and whether or not that would constitute drunk driving, then assume you are technically drunk. You do not have to appear intoxicated or have any of the symptoms that we think of as “drunk” to have a Blood Alcohol Content that legally makes you guilty of Driving Under the Influence. If you drink and you drive you have probably driven “drunk.”

(3) Track your consumption and don’t have “one for the road.” Some people will go out with the intention of getting drunk; others will accidentally get drunk.  If  you are having dinner with friends and you have a pre-dinner cocktail and wine with dinner and an after dinner drink, you might register drunk. Try to keep your alcohol consumption to a level that falls below the BAC limit.
On occasion I like to go to Lower Broadway to listen to live music and party. If I have 8, 12-ounce beers in a four-hour period I should have a BAC of about .068, however if I have 9 beers in four hours that means I have a BAC of .085 and am legally drunk. “One for the road” could put me over the limit. Actually, I seldom have eight beers in a four hour period, but it has happened.

A female can drink less than a male and a slender person can drink less than a heavy person. For a 115 pound female, three glasses of wine in two hours is drunk. Don’t try to keep up with the other people in your party. Know your limit. Skip a round. Drink slower. Some people assume that wine is less inebriating than tequila shots. That is not so. A 12-ounce beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1 ounces of 100 proof distilled spirits have the same impact on an individual's BAC level.

Here is a calculator that will give you guidance on how much alcohol you can consume and an estimate of BAC. Please be aware that this is only a guide. If you are drinking on an empty stomach, your BAC may be higher than indicated in the calculator.

(4)  Point your car in the direction of home.  Plan your trip. A good car should be able to find its way home, with a little help.  Avoid places where the police might see you. When I go to the honkytonk strip on lower Broadway to party, I never park on Broadway. I live on the south side of town, so I park a block or two south of Broadway on one of the one-way streets heading south. This means I do not have to circle a block and be concerned about traffic lights and stop signs. The less exposed one is to the police the less chance one has of getting caught. It is worth parking four or five blocks away to reduce your exposure.

(5) Be aware that you are impaired. If you didn’t keep track of how much you drank then assume you are "drunk." You may have had enough to register drunk, so use your best drunk-driving skills. "Thinking" skills, like perceiving and evaluating risks, or processing information are not easily visible to outside observers, but they are the first skills to be adversely affected by alcohol. Being aware will cause you to compensate.
(6) Stop the Party. You are having a good time. You are joking and singing and laughing. You hate

to end the party, but if there is any chance that you are driving with an elevated BAC, then stop the party. Say, “OK folks, we need to straighten up. I need your help in getting us home.” Don’t sing or engage in distracting conversation. Turn off the radio. Don’t talk on the cell phone. Give driving your undivided attention. Don’t let anyone in the car have an open container. You may be perfectly capable of driving, but if a drunk passenger is yelling out the window, the police may stop the car and give you a drunk driving test. The moment you get in the car the party is over.

(7) Check the checklist. Have a mental checklist. You don’t want to get stopped because you failed to use your turn signal. I was once stopped by the police on lower Broadway and forced to take a Breathalyzer. I knew I had only had two beers in a two-hour period so I was not concerned. The reason they stopped me is that I had not tuned on my headlights as I pulled out into the street. The downtown area is well lit and this was just an oversight. The police are looking for excuses to stop you; don’t give them one. Seat belts? Check. Adjust the mirror? Check. Turn off the radio? Check. Turn on the headlights? Check.

(8) Concentrate; pay attention. Be aware of your driving. Don’t relax. Keep both hands on the wheel. Don’t be distracted. Don't answer the phone. If you feel you must answer the phone, safely pull off the road. Don't even engage in conversation.  Make sure you do not weave. Are you staying within the lines? Drive just below the speed limit. Don’t tailgate. Pay attention to the car in front of you. If they put on their brakes, notice it. If you are approaching an intersection with a traffic light, pay close attention. Plan that traffic light stop. Don’t run a yellow light.

(9) Use your co-pilot. Ask the person in the passengers seat to help you drive. Ask them to tell you if you weave or tailgate or go too fast. Make them pay attention to your driving.

(10) If you get stopped. Unless you are certain that you have had less than the number of drinks it would take to raise your BAC level to the .08 level, then common wisdom holds that it is a good idea to refuse the breathalyzer test. It generally is more difficult to convict a driver of drunk driving if no chemical tests are taken.

(11) Use your influence to get the charge thrown out. Be a State Representative or other person with important friends who can get a judge to throw out the charge based on lack of probable cause for making the stop. Despite the police seeing you drive with wheels over the lane line and observing the smell of alcohol, slurred speech, and inability to walk strait and a despite the arresting officer saying you were "absolutely hammered," the judge may rule the arresting officer did not have probable cause for making the stop. (link)

This is an additional tip suggested by a student of the Rod Williams School of Drunk Driving.

(12) If you are seeing double, close one eye.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A Report from Caffeinated Conservatives: What the at-large candidates had to say.

From Stephen Clement, host of Caffeinated Conservatives:

Hi everybody,

Our coffee talk with 6 candidates went well yesterday, and I wanted to report back what our candidates had to say for themselves. They were given 5 minutes to introduce themselves, and then we went to questions. These summaries are written to the best of my note-taking ability and memory. Please contact the candidates if you have any questions or comments for them.

Also, as I give points to those who choose to take the time to talk to us, I would like to point out that: 
- Don Majors was invited and did not respond 
- Sharon Hurt said she would be out of town on business
- Erin Coleman sent a representative, as driving on Saturday would violate the Sabbath for her. She reportedly contemplated walking from West Nashville, but her representative convinced her to let him just drive over.

What makes them awesome, as they said it:
Ken Jakes - wants to bring small business principles to the way the Council runs the city. Ken has been a government watchdog for years and will use his position to help root out corruption and waste.
John Lasiter - wants to focus on getting the basics right: better roads, sidewalks, transit, drainage, and fiscal management. No shiny new projects on his watch. He stated that he is a fiscal conservative and a social liberal, but that last part essentially has no impact on what the Council does. He loves everybody.
Bob Mendes - originally from Chicago, he built his own law practice, served on the Nashville Electric Service Board, and has drafted legislation for the Council in the past. While on the NES board, he helped outsource their internal auditing process, which found more cost savings opportunities for rate payers.
Phillip Hostettler - started his political career early by winning a string of student offices, once served as a Opryland horse-mounted police officer, and is conservative.
Jason Holleman - has served on the Council in his district since 2007, where he voted against the AMP, against the Convention Center, and sponsored legislation to save the Fairgrounds. He is a lawyer, and he believes that his experience on the Council (particularly in the mainstay of Council work, being zoning and land use) will be invaluable to the incoming class of Council people.
Erin Coleman (her representative Paul Nye) - she is a fiscal conservative, believes in focusing the Council's efforts on things that actually work for everybody instead of nice-to-haves that aren't a real benefit. She served in the US Army as an engineer officer and has deployed to Iraq.

What do they think about the future of transit:
Ken Jakes - we should sync traffic lights to ease congestion, and work with CSX to build our light rail capacity to move people to/from outlying communities likes the Music City Star does.
John Lasiter - thinks the AMP presented the wrong kind of idea and would rather focus on making what we have work better.
Bob Mendes - spoke about a multi-modal approach, including light rail, more bus service, giving everyone a bus pass to get them to try it, and not being afraid to try out ideas so we can see what works. Thinks we need to really push park & ride programs.
Phillip Hostettler - interested in copying the efficient practices of private companies like Uber, Lyft, and Blue Bus (who can take you to Atlanta for $4).
Jason Holleman - wants buses to be equipped with credit card swipers so everyone can use it, like the Music City STAR, and instead of using the $200 million the Mayor wanted for the AMP on building a deluxe line for a small part of town, he'd rather spend that $200 million to upgrade service for the entire county.
Erin Coleman - no statement given.

Are you for reducing the Council size and extending term limits, as in the proposed Charter Amendments?
Ken Jakes - yes on reducing, no on term limits.
John Lasiter - is torn on the issue and doesn't like the way the amendments are written. For instance, reducing the Council size will make each Council person responsible for more people, but the Council does not pay enough to be a full time job.
Bob Mendes - yes on both.
Phillip Hostettler - no on both.
Jason Holleman - yes on both.
Erin Coleman - no statement given.
What do you think about innovative businesses like Uber and Lyft? (this is a litmus test to see how free market a politician is, as the taxi companies and unions tried to get the Council to hamstring any competitors to their monopoly of the professional driver industry)
Ken Jakes - loves it.
John Lasiter - loves it.
Bob Mendes - loves it.
Phillip Hostettler - loves it.
Jason Holleman - likes it, and thinks this opens the issue for discussion on overall regulation of the professional driver industry.
Erin Coleman - loves it.

What do you think about an inclusionary zoning mandate, as currently pushed by the Council?
Ken Jakes - against it, doesn't want the government taking away property rights.
John Lasiter - was shocked to find himself in 100% agreement with Ken Jakes on something. He is fine with incentives, but not mandates.
Bob Mendes - for it, as he helped draft the bill the Council is using, and pointed out that the government puts restrictions on all of our property rights all the time. Pointed out that he wants incentives, not mandates.
Phillip Hostettler - against it.
Jason Holleman - he's for it.
Erin Coleman - torn on the issue.

Are you for or against the proposed local hire Charter Amendment?
Ken Jakes - for it.
John Lasiter - torn on the issue.
Bob Mendes - torn on the issue, as he would like jobs to go to local workers first and not out of towners, but given the restrictions on the Charter Amendment, he thinks its overkill to amend our Charter for an issue that impacts maybe 900 workers.
Phillip Hostettler - for it.
Jason Holleman - torn on the issue.
Erin Coleman - torn on the issue.

Are you for two-term Metro Council members being able to keep Metro health care insurance for life? (this is heavily subsidized by the taxpayers, to the tune of $1 million per year)
Ken Jakes - against it.
John Lasiter - for it.
Bob Mendes - against it.
Phillip Hostettler - against it.
Jason Holleman - against it.
Erin Coleman - against it.

I hope you have found this helpful in picking which At-Large candidates you would like to vote for this election.

Stephen Clements & Terry Torre
Caffeinated Conservatives

Stephen Clements is himself a candidate for Councilman in District 7. 

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Kathleen Starnes: Why I am supporting David Fox for Mayor of Nashville

Kathleen Starnes
Dear Friends;

 I would like to take a minute to tell you why I am supporting David Fox for Mayor of Nashville.

 If you’ve been following the news in the this week, you know The Tennessean ranked him as a Top 3 candidate and polls show David can win! Here’s why I am asking you to help make that happen.

After years of tremendous and exciting growth, Nashville is at a critical point, where rapid expansion threatens to consume what is special about the city we love. If we don’t act quickly to shore up infrastructure—including transit, water pipes and sewers—our special quality of life will erode. And we must make these improvements at a time when we have a record amount of debt on the books. David Fox is the only fiscally conservative candidate committed to protecting our city from excessive debt, $3 billion+ of unfunded liabilities, and the risk of higher property taxes. David brings a unique set of skills to the financial challenges facing our city. Furthermore, his service as chairman of the Metro Nashville Public School board gives him a head start when it comes to improving public education. He became school board chairman just as the state was on the verge of taking over our nearly non-functioning school system, which is 40% of Metro's entire budget. He is also a business man in the Financial field.

I hope you will consider David Fox as our next Mayor for Nashville. He is the only fiscally conservative of the 3.

GO VOTE!! (All Politics is local)

Kathleen Starnes

Kathleen Starnes is the former chair of the Davidson County Republican Party.  

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David Fox to address Conservative Groups, Thursday July 30, 2015 from 5:30 - 7:15

From Tony Roberts:
David Fox
Our meeting has moved back to Logan’s steak house on Elliston place. The meeting will be held Thursday July 30, 2015 from 5:30 - 7:15. Thursday, July 30 we will hear from Straw poll winning candidate for the Mayoral Race, David Fox, and Senator Mae Beavers. 
David Fox will discuss his platform in the role of the Mayor of Nashville featuring his ideas for the future growth of Nashville, and identifying how to achieve these goals while keeping taxes low. His platform encompasses education, safe neighborhoods, and improving the infrastructure of the city.  Here is one thing you need to know about David Fox: Of the six candidates running for mayor, he may be the only one who doesn't think the recent boom years have Nashville pointed in the right direction. He is concerned, to put it lightly, about the billions of dollars in debt and unfunded liabilities the city is carrying into the future. He thinks the 30-year experiment with an elected school board, of which he was once the chairman, has been a failure, and he's calling for a discussion about a wide expansion of charter schools. He envisions a "complete redo" on public transportation.

Senator Mae Beavers will discuss the truth in the legislature of Tennessee and the proposal of protecting our servicemen on the grounds in the United States and Tennessee.

Beavers is "solidly" pro-life, a pro-Second Amendment activist, a supporter of lower government spending and the abolition of state income taxation, and a proponent of tougher laws and measures against illegal immigrants.  Beavers as well as current congressmen and former state legislators Marsha Blackburn and Diane Black were known as the "Angry B's" during the Tennessee income tax debate, and were credited with helping stop the passage of a state income tax. Beavers also strongly opposed the 2010 health care reform legislation proposals, sponsoring instead the Tennessee Health Freedom Act in order to protect "a citizen’s right to participate, or not participate, in any healthcare
We will follow with candidates running for Metro office. Some leaders of groups who will be supporting council races will be in attendance. The City Council helps to set the pace of monetary expenditures for Davidson County. We are in a spending path similar to Washington, D.C. and if we do not pay attention to our council, we like many cities in California will go down the path of bankruptcy. Come and listen to our council candidates and help to vet the future of Davidson County.
Please RSVP to .

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Bellevue Republican Breakfast Club meets this Saturday

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Monday, July 27, 2015

Ignore the recommendations of Nashville United for All

Rick Williams
by Rod Williams, July 27, 2015- The Tennessean today reports that the Rick Williams, treasurer of the group Nashville United for All incorrectly filed the group's financial disclosure with the Tennessee Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance when it should have filed its financial disclosure with the Davidson County Election Commission (link).

Rick Williams is well known among those politically active in Nashville and beyond. For years Rick was active as a Democrat but in the last couple or so years switched his allegiance to the Republican Party. He was also active in the effort to end price fixing for livery service, opposed the AMP, and was active in efforts to save the fairgrounds. For those efforts, I commend him. Williams is a registered lobbyist. 

Nashville United for All apparently is not the same organization as Nashville for All of Us which was the organization that led the effort to stop the English-only effort of 2011despite similar sounding names. Nashville United for All has endorsed a mixed slate of candidates, most of whom however are the more liberal candidate in a contested race. Without explanation, in some districts they made endorsements and in most did not. Of their endorsements,

The group recently produced a flier urging people to vote for a slate of candidates. The group did not endorse a candidate for mayor but endorsed the following list of council candidates: Vice mayoral candidate Tim Garrett; At-large council candidates Lonnell Matthews, John Cooper, Jim Shulman, Erica Gilmore and Don Majors; District 5 candidate Scott Davis; District 8 candidate Chris Swann; District 15 candidate Jim Garrett; District 17 candidate Chris Cotton; District 19 candidate Keith Caldwell; District 29 candidate Karen Johnson; District 32 candidate Jacobia Dowell; District 33 candidate Sam Coleman; District 13 candidate Furtesha Carter; District 21 candidate Ed Kindall.

Several of the candidates they endorsed do not have opposition. Of the candidates in contested races where they endorsed, I am supporting only Tim Garrett, Scott Davis, and Sam Coleman. Despite Rick Williams association with this group, I would urge voters to disregard this list of recommendations. They did not endorse solid conservatives like Ken Jakes or Robert Duvall but instead endorse liberals like John Cooper, brother of Jim Cooper, Erica Gilmore and Lonnell Matthews. In the 17th they endorsed Chris Cotton, Regional Vice Chair of the Davidson County Democratic Party, over conservative Tony Watson.

The Tennessean reports that Council at-large candidates John Cooper and Jim Shulman, have confirmed they paid the group around $1,000 and $2,500 respectively to help distribute the flyer. Despite Rick Williams being a friend of mine, I would urge everyone not to be swayed by the recommendations from this group.  Who are they? What do they stand for? They give no reason why one should support their slate of candidates. There seems to be no logic or consistency to their endorsements and in my view, in most cases, they endorsed the wrong candidates. 

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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Is a dirty cop the kind of person who should serve in the Metro Council.

Randy Reed, "bad cop"
In Council district 7 in a three man-race pitting incumbent Anthony Davis against challenger Stephen Clement and Randy Reed, one of the three is a "dirty cop."  Here is  information that people living District 7 should know about Randy Reed:
On December 5, 2005 James Denham had picked up a prostitute, smoked crack, and then attempted two robberies before leading Metro Nashville officers on a car chase that ended at the Demonbreun Street Bridge. Metro Police Sergeant William Randy Reed straddled Denham and crouched over him to apply handcuffs. Just then, the officer's gun shot and discharged accidentally. A single bullet shot off Denham's thumb and then entered his back. Denham died of his injuries and his 12-year-old daughter filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city. Nashville Metro has agreed to pay $100,000 to Denham's daughter. (link)
After putting Reed on a desk job for a while, he was fired.

This may be reason enough to conclude that Randy Reed should not serve on the Metro Council, but one could conclude it was an accidental shooting, not murder. He was not charged with a crime. And, if one was callous, one might say, "another piece of trash off the streets."  Still, it was a wrongful shooting and the city settled a wrongful death lawsuit.  If that was all there was, that would be bad enough but that is not all there is. It is worst.  

This is from The Tennessean archives:

On Feb. 1, 1973, Reed answered a call on Crenshaw Street in Nashville, a short, dark alley near Lafayette Street, moments after Cedric Overton, 21, was shot four times by a rookie Metro officer. The rookie officer said Overton had moved suddenly with a metal object in his hand.  But when officers searched the man, they found that Overton was unarmed, police said at the time.
Reed, after searching the area, claimed to have found the knife near Overton's body, possibly under pressure from a sergeant, according to published reports.
An internal review by Metro police officials determined that the knife was planted. Reed was suspended for 30 days under a provision of department policy that includes dishonesty, immoral conduct and insubordination, department records indicate. The officer who shot Overton was fired, and a sergeant retired within days of the incident.
This should never be acceptable!  It is amazing that a police officer can plant a knife on the scene, framing a dead man, have the department conclude he did it and still only get a 30-day suspension! I hope that would not be the outcome if such was to happen today.  Planting evidence should be "one strike and your out."  There should be no second chance.  A 30-day suspension should be for padding your time sheet or unlawfully using a police vehicle for personal errands or missing roll call too many times.  Officers found guilty of planting evidence at the scene of a crime should not only lose their job, they should go to prison!  This should be a deadly serious matter. With "justice" like this, one can understand the distrust of the police by many in the Black community and the militancy of many Blacks.  One can understand the "Black lives matter" mantra.

Randy Read list has his qualification for serving in the Council as "my 30-plus years on the police department." The truth is he was a bad cop.  He got away with planting evidence and that should be a crime, and he killed someone in a killing that was a "wrongful death."  That is in the past and nothing can be done about it now, but he does not deserve to become a leader of our city and serve on the Metro Council.

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Nashville Mayor race three-way tie for top spot: Barry, Fox, Freeman.

From the Tennessean, July 26:

But a new poll — one funded by an outside special interest group, not a mayoral campaign — says it's now a three-way statistical tie for first. And Freeman, the poll says, is no shoo-in to make a run-off.

A poll obtained by The Tennessean that was funded by the Tennessee Laborers PAC, which hasn't endorsed in the mayor's race but leans to the left, has Megan Barry in first with 20 percent of support from likely voters, followed by David Fox at 19 percent and Freeman at 18 percent. That puts the three in a statistical dead heat for the top spot. (link)
David Fox has ran a masterful campaign and followed his plan. Early on when Fox was at about 6% in the polls, near the bottom of the pack, he held back.  His plan all along was to wait until the public started paying attention and then launch his ad campaign. It worked. He held back until June then started his ad campaign and has steady climbed in the polls. That took discipline.

I am supporting David Fox.  He is the only candidate expressing concern about Nashville's growing debt and the $3 billion unfunded pension and health benefits obligations facing the city.  He also seems like the candidate least likely to raise taxes and he is the only candidate who has said he would not use eminent domain for redevelopment. While the last item may not concern too many people, I want to elect a mayor who respects basic property rights. Fox also is favorably inclined to seek out-sourcing and public-private partnerships to save money and solve public problems. I have set down and had a private conversation with David Fox that lasted almost an hour and half.  We talked about education, transportation, crime, development and more.  While Fox may not be as socially conservative as I would like, he is a real fiscal conservative.  Beyond that, he is smart and thoughtful. He would solve Nashville's problems, such as our crumbling infrastructure,  that is often being ignored in this campaign.  He has experience in improving public education and has a passion for it. You can learn more about Fox's position on the issues by following this link.

Several people I know have told me they are supporting either Linda Eskind Rebrovick or Jeremy Kane in this race. The most recent poll shows Rebrovick at 7% and Kane at 3%.  Face it; they are not going to make the run off. Polls do not get it that wrong.  Rebrovick would most likely be my second choice if Fox was not in the race. I like her business success and her tech approach to addressing Nashville's problems.  Kane would also be a good second choice simply due to his success with charter schools and the importance of education.  Kane would make a good chairman of the school board or director of schools, but I do not think he is the person for mayor. In any event, Rebrovick nor Kane are going to make the runoff. If you are the least bit conservative or even moderate, you do not want to see the run-off be between Barry and Freeman.  At this point I am undecided which I would least prefer be mayor. Both are extremely liberal. Both, I fear, would continue Nashville's growing debt liability. Both would likely seek major tax increases.  If you do not want to be given a choice between Megan Barry and Bill Freeman in the run-off, then please vote for David Fox.

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