Saturday, September 19, 2015

Taking Inclusionary Zoning All the Way to Supreme Court

From The Atlantic:

... California's inclusionary zoning laws are heading to the Supreme Court.

The California Building Association is arguing that the law--which requires market-rate developers to set aside a portion of their units as affordable housing--constitutes an illegal seizure of property by government forces. Their argument failed at the state's supreme court, so they're now taking it all the way to SCOTUS:

Developers in California are taking their fight against the state’s inclusionary zoning laws to the U.S. Supreme Court, just as cities across the nation are increasingly committing to similar laws to address affordable housing shortages. The California Building Association opposes the soon-to-kick-in law mandating that developers discount a percentage of units in new housing projects for low-income families. They claim it constitutes an illegal “taking” of private property by the government and hope that SCOTUS justices will agree with them. (link)
My Comment:  I am hopeful that the Supreme Court will agree to hear the challenge to inclusionary zoning and will strike down inclusionary zoning laws. I am also hopeful that the State Legislature will ban such laws.

On July 21th of this year the Nashville Metro Council passed  BILL NO. BL2015-1139 which directed the planning commission to come up with a specific proposal to implement this form of housing price control known as "inclusionary zoning." The bill required that the final proposed text change to the zoning ordinance from the Planning Commission provide that 14% of new construction or renovations be set aside as "affordable." The planning commission's proposal will have to come back to the council for approval 180 days from the date it was passed by the council. 

The new Council is going to be much more "progressive" than the old council, which was bad enough.  We cannot expect the new council to reject a final inclusionary zoning ordinance and we certainly cannot expect Mayor Barry to veto it.  It is my hope than the State legislature will pass a law prohibiting Metro from enacting this policy of taking private property and price control. Three states have outlawed inclusionary zoning and Tennessee should follow suit.

For more on this topic, follow this link.    

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Look at the data to grasp charter schools savings.

In today's Tennessean, School Board member Mary Pierce explained why those who say charter schools are a cost to the school system are simply wrong and why charters actually save the system money (link).  If you are not convinced by her argument, look at the data. The online edition of her article contained links to data that proves the point. 

Below is a portion of a study conducted by the MNPS Finance Office that shows the cost or savings associated with the students attending charter pubic school broken down as to which school they would be attending if attending a district school.  While in some schools it cost more to send a child to a charter school than to educate the child in a district school, in most schools there is considerable savings.  Notice that for each child whose district school would be Buena Vista Enhanced Option, there is a $3,810 saving if the child is educated in a charter school. To see the complete list follow this link and this link

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Metro School Board member Mary Pierce explains how charters schools save money; not cost money.

Mary Pierce
Metro School Board member Mary Pierce writing in  today's Tennessean explains, counters, and demolishes Will Pinkston's argument that public charter schools take money away from regular public schools.  If you subscribe to The Tennessean you probably have read it, if not then you may want to follow this link and climb The Tennessean's paywall and read it. If that is too much trouble, let me summarize and quote from it.

Pierce ask what would happen to the school budget if all charter schools closed and the student now in charter schools returned to their zoned schools?  She writes, "This hypothetical exercise, completed by the MNPS Finance Office this summer, showed that if every student attending a charter school in 2014-15 had attended his or her zoned school, MNPS would have spent roughly $3.5 million more to educate them in district-managed schools."

She explains that the way those who say charter schools cost the system reason, is that they take the $74 million dollars that follows the 8,100 students educated to charter schools and say that that $74 million is a "cost of charters," She points out that this is inaccurate and illogical, because it assumes there would be no cost to educate these students if they returned to district schools.

Pierce says, "We need to acknowledge that in MNPS, charter schools are one of the most low-cost, high-return investments we are making for students. Six of the 14 State Reward Schools from MNPS are charters, and year-over-year, most Nashville charter schools' achievement and growth scores outpace the district."

While the cost savings is important and the argument that charters cost rather than save is simply not true, the more important advantage of charter schools is that they are saving lives.  While many district schools simply warehouse kids until they go to prison, charter schools are producing scholars among the most disadvantaged students in Nashville, and sending them to college. Charter schools are breaking the cycle of poverty. That is why we should support charter schools.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Tennessean takes another victory lap today and again ignores Megan Barry's race baiting.

The Tennessean took another victory lap today celebrating the victory of Megan Barry in the mayor's race and again criticized David Fox for an alleged negative campaign, with no mention of Barry's race baiting campaign. Here is a link to the piece by retired Tennessean columnist and political reporter Larry Daughtrey. If you missed it and don't feel like climbing The Tennessean's paywall in order to read it, don't bother; it didn't amount to much.

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Mayor Announces Establishment of Fund to Bridge Digital Divide

Press Release, NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mayor Karl Dean, joined by representatives of Google, Comcast, the James Stephen Turner Family Foundation, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Dell, The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and others, today announced the launch of a fund that will aim to close the digital divide in Nashville.

The Digital Inclusion Fund of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee will provide free or low-cost Internet access, computers, devices, training and support to Nashville citizens who don’t have them now. More than 40 percent of Metro Nashville Public Schools students did not have access to computers or Internet connectivity at home in 2012.

Mayor Dean called the lack of access “a wall that seals off too many people from the digital know-how that will carry many of us into the next decade.”

“I look forward to seeing the results the Digital Inclusion Fund will achieve in the years ahead – results that can make a profound difference in the life of our city by building bridges over the digital divide,” the mayor said.

Metro Government invested $100,000 in the fund in the current fiscal year’s budget. Google, the James Stephen Turner Family Foundation and Comcast each matched Metro’s donation, bringing the fund’s current balance to more than $400,000.

The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee will invest the fund’s assets and make grants to qualified organizations to work on broadening digital access, hardware and training. Vanderbilt University Medical Center has already given 3,800 gently used computers to benefit families of students attending Metro Nashville Public Schools. Dell facilitated the gift, and Metro Nashville Public Schools has housed the computers.

During an event at Nashville Public Library, Mayor Dean thanked each of these organizations for their generous donations and their other efforts to bridge the digital divide, including Comcast and Google’s work to provide extremely fast Internet and television service and Comcast’s Internet Essentials initiative to bring access to low-income families.

“Access can help these citizens feel more included in the life of the city, which will have a big impact on public education, public safety and economic development, our city’s top priorities,” Mayor Dean said.

“While we're working to make the web faster in Nashville, we're also investing to get more people connected for the first time,” said Daynise Joseph, Google Fiber Community Impact Manager, Nashville. “Bridging the digital divide is a community effort, and Google Fiber is proud to be one of the local supporters of the Nashville Digital Inclusion Fund. We look forward to continuing to work alongside these partners to bring more of the community online.”

“Mayor Karl Dean and Metro Nashville Public Schools have been invaluable partners throughout the life of Comcast’s Internet Essentials program and have greatly contributed to our bringing the Internet to more than 6,000 low-income families in Middle Tennessee since the program began in 2011,” said Doug Guthrie, Senior Vice President, Comcast. “We are proud to support the Digital Inclusion Fund as an important next step in the ongoing community-wide effort to bridge the digital divide in Nashville.”

Anyone who wants to give to the Digital Inclusion Fund can do so on The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee’s website at

My Comment: This may very well be charitable cause worth supporting and Dell, Google, and Comcast are to be commended for their contributions. Be aware however that this does not become a government entitlement program.

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The Megan Barry transition team

Here’s the full list of Barry’s transition team:

  • Kasar Abdulla – Director of Community Relations, Valor Collegiate 
  • Samar Ali – Attorney, Bone McAllester Norton
  • Cristina O. Allen – Management Adviser, Compass Executives
  • Leon Berrios – Director of Immigration and Legal Affairs, Hispanic Family Foundation
  • Charles Robert Bone – Chair – Entrepreneur and attorney, Bone McAllester Norton
  • Brian Brockman – Nashville Fire Department
  • Dave Cooley – Principal, Cooley Public Strategies
  • Rev. Dr. Judy Cummings – Pastor, New Covenant Christian Church
  • Glenn Farner - Business Manager and Secretary-Treasurer, Southeast Laborers' District Council
  • Beth Fortune – Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs, Vanderbilt University
  • Ben Freeland – Owner, Freeland Chevrolet Superstore
  • Hon. Howard Gentry – Criminal Court Clerk
  • Don Hardin – Owner, Don Hardin Group
  • Ed Hardy – Co-chair, Music City Council
  • Clay Haynes – Managing Member, Oak Tree Properties
  • Henry Hicks - President &CEO, National Museum of African American Music
  • Claudia Huskey – Ex-officio – Campaign Manager, Megan Barry for Mayor
  • Shannon Hunt – President &; CEO, Nashville Public Education Foundation
  • Milton Johnson – Chairman &CEO, HCA
  • Tom Jurkovich - Vice President of Strategic Communications and External Affairs, Metro Nashville Airport Authority
  • Kristine LaLonde – Mayor’s Office of Innovation
  • Debby Dale Mason - Chief Community Development Officer, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce
  • David McMurry – President-elect, Madison-Rivergate Chamber of Commerce
  • Stuart McWhorter – CEO, Entrepreneur Center
  • Breonus Mitchell – Pastor, Greater Grace Temple Community Church
  • Hon. Betty Nixon – Former Vice Chancellor for Community Relations, Vanderbilt University
  • Bill Phillips – Principal, Windrow Phillips Group
  • Hon. Phil Ponder – former Metro Council member
  • Avi Poster – Community Activist
  • Rich Riebeling – Ex-officio – Metro Finance Director
  • Carolyn Schott – Attorney, Sherrard & Roe
  • Walter Searcy – Attorney
  • Pat Shea – CEO, YWCA of Nashville & Middle Tennessee
  • Stephanie Silverman – Executive Director, The Belcourt
  • Keith Simmons – Attorney, Bass Berry & Sims
  • Renata Soto – Executive Director, Conexion Americas
  • Hon. Edith Taylor Langster – Former Metro Council member
  • Frank Trew – President of Hip Donelson
  • Katy Varney – Partner, MP&F Public Relations
  • Hershell Warren – Former Senior Adviser to Mayor Karl Dean
  • Grant Winrow – University Relations & Development, Tennessee State University
  • Hon. Brenda Wynn – Davidson County Clerk

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

For local DEMs..."The Ends [still] Justifies The Means"

Tim Skow
by Tim Skow - Most everyone with a valued track record in Nashville politics felt The Tennessean poll [conducted about Sept 1st ] ...showing a one point race was valid.

By then it had started... the vile, but not surprising, onslaught from those on the political Left with a track record of... "The Ends Justifies the Means".

SUDDENLY.. the claim is Mr. Fox is a Bigot. The claim is Mr. Fox is a Racist. And Mr. Fox will take Nashville back to the segregation days of the 1950's. Simply... all "dog-whistles" to scare, scar and agitate a significant portion of Nashville voters, by those trying to turn Mr. Fox into "the boogie man".

The TN Democrat State Party also stepped in trying to slime a good and honorable man. They all know better. But ask those on the political Left about it privately and they will laugh, smile and say.. "Ya...but it worked...AGAIN...Soooo...what's your question" ?

Many have asked in sheer wonder.... Why did Howard Gentry [who at the Belmont University debate was asked , "If you're NOT in the run-off who would you like to see as the next Mayor?" answered "David Fox." ] endorse Ms. Barry for Mayor?

I admit I too was shocked ...and saddened. Multiple times this summer Howard said to me "Tim, you can't get a slice of copy paper between what David and I want for Nashville." I cannot answer for Mr. Gentry. I can attest that Mr. Gentry will face DEM primary voters again if he wishes to keep his current well-paid elected position. So when looking at the track record of Nashville's political Left... and doing the math.... maybe Mr. Gentry's move should not have come as surprise at all. How sad.

In closing... its simply sad, that with purpose and malice during the last 10 days of the campaign, a fine and honorable man was "slimed". What is even more distressing and deplorable is the complicit role The Tennessean played. Despite having covered Mr. Fox for years and knowing him better, The Tennessean never called out or question the integrity of those who were trying to slime Mr. Fox. In fact, they clearly seemed to promote it. [but then again..."what's your point" ? ]

Those who contemplate running for office in Davidson County going forward must prepare accordingly.

Tim Skow is the organizer and host of the First Tuesday luncheon group. 

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Monday, September 14, 2015

The importance of not overlooking the basics

Stan Scott
by Stan Scott - This year’s elections shows the importance of not overlooking all the five separate but interdependent elements of a campaign; Planning, organization, message. communications and finance.

Freeman set a record for spending but his message was self-serving and planning influenced by ego.

Fox had adequate funds but his communications were ineffective during the runoff. He never challenged Barry to provide specifics while she spoke of feel-good issues in generalities. Additionally, the Davidson County Republican Party was incapable of playing a role in his organization as the Democrats turned it into a strictly partisan race. Fox’s planning did not consider the negative impact of his brothers PAC involvement albeit legal. From the lack of response to Barry’s negative ads they too were not anticipated.

Barry enjoyed the Davidson County and Tennessee Democratic Parties supplementing her organization by getting the Party faithful turned out at the polls. Her message was “Progressive”, government will raise the standard of living for all, never mind how it will be paid for. The only issue where she gave a firm figure was all housing developments are to have 13% set aside as "affordable”, something proven unworkable as well as an investment barrier.

Let us see that the GOP is better prepared to support its candidates in the next elections. One is only six months away.

Stan Scott is a retired professional engineer who was involved in facilities development for a wide variety of industries from concept through start-up. His last thirty years were spent marketing engineering and construction services. He has long been active in Davidson County Republican Party politics.

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Conservative Pastors Plan Rally At Tennessee Capitol Amid Fears Over Islam

Nashville Public Radio - Islam will again be at the forefront, when conservative ministers and lawmakers hold a rally Thursday at the Tennessee Capitol.
The event comes in the wake of the July shooting in Chattanooga and in the middle of a controversy over what schoolchildren are being taught about the religion.
The Tennessee Pastors Network lists a number of reasons for this week's demonstration — abortion to same-sex marriage to Obamacare — but a big concern is radical Islam. Organizers believe political leaders haven't responded strongly enough to domestic attacks.  (Read more)

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Sunday, September 13, 2015

5 takeaways from Nashville Mayor Vote and How Megan Barry became Nashville mayor, as told by The Tennessean

The Tennessean has had a post-election analysis of the Mayoral election on each of the last two days.  The Saturday story was 5 takeaways from Nashville Mayor Vote and Sunday's was How Megan Barry became Nashville mayor. If you subscribe to The Tennessean you probably have read the articles, if not then you may not want to clime over The Tennessean's paywall to do so online. For a long time non-subscribers could get all of The Tennessean content on line for free, then The Tennessean limited free access to eight items. Now you can still get eight free pieces of content a day but you must first answer a survey. I don't blame the Tennessean for trying to figure out a way to make money, but it very annoying. I will summarize the two pieces.

The five takaways are: (1) That the race being perceived as partisan really helped Barry.  Democrats even carried Davidson County when Gordon Ball challenged Lamar Alexander for Alexander's Senate seat. In the General Election there were six Democrats running for mayor and one Republican, with the Democrats splitting the Democrat vote. Fox could make the run-off but in the run-off a Republican did not stand a chance in Democrat Davidson County. (2) In a really red state, the Democrats needed to keep their strong hold in Nashville if they were to remain a viable party with a chance for future successes so Democrats rallied around Barry. (3) The election may be viewed as a referendum on Karl Dean's governance and apparently voters are pleased with the last eight years.  (4) The attack adds did not carry Fox over the top. Dave Boucher, the author of this piece, conveniently fails to mention the vile attack ad that implied Fox was a segregationist bigot. Maybe that reporting bias is why The Tennessean continues to shrink no matter what they do. Maybe instead of concluding that the so-called Fox attack ads failed, one could conclude the Barry attack ads worked. (5) The fifth point, doesn't really have much of a point except to say conservatives had an impact on the race. 

 The "How Megan," piece is some good basic reporting explaining where the votes came from for the two candidates. Barry carried the Black community heavily and won everything within the I-440 beltway, while Fox won the wealthy parts of town and the ring of suburbs.  The online version provides an interactive map that allows one to see the vote totals for each candidate down to the individual precinct. No wonder newspapers are disappearing- you don't do that in the print edition. For real political wonks, you will want to study that data and see where we lost where we thought we would win.  If you do go to the online version, turn off your sound first. An annoying  loud advertisement starts playing as soon as the page opens.  

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Why The Anderson's are suing Metro Government

From the Beacon Legal Foundation -

The Anderson Family

Their Story
P.J. and Rachel Anderson are a young couple with two children living in Germantown, a growing neighborhood just north of downtown Nashville. He’s a professional Christian singer-songwriter who is often on the road. She’s a graphic designer, and since she can work from virtually anywhere, Rachel and the kids try to travel with P.J. as often as they can. While they travel, P.J. and Rachel use a service called Airbnb as a means to supplement their income. It’s changed everything for their family.
View More:

Airbnb is a website for people to list, discover, and book homes and apartments in other cities. An alternative to traditional hotels, Airbnb is often cheaper and typically offers a more unique experience, such as staying in a residential neighborhood, having more space including a kitchen for cooking, etc. Airbnb has been massively successful, especially in Nashville, where it has introduced countless tourists to the city, addressed an often-cited hotel shortage that has been used to justify millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies, and supplemented the incomes of thousands of middle-class entrepreneurs.

Airbnb is exactly like Uber. People want it, except for special interests that have to compete. That’s why the taxi industry tried to regulate Uber out of existence, and that’s why the hotel conglomerates support stringent regulations on Airbnb. P.J. and Rachel’s case is about preserving the ability of middle-class families to use their property in a way that helps them provide for their family and their future.

houseBy renting their otherwise vacant home on Airbnb when they are out of town, P.J. and Rachel don’t have to worry about how to pay their mortgage each month. They can save and invest in their family’s future. Airbnb means financial peace. Or it did.
Due to family and career decisions, P.J. and Rachel may soon have to move their family, but they love Nashville, their house, and they want to keep it. When P.J. and Rachel looked into moving, Nashville suddenly denied them a permit to continue operating their home on Airbnb. They don’t want to sell the home they love. They hope to return to it some day, but they need to continue to earn a small side income to supplement their sometimes sporadic income from their regular jobs in order to keep the home in their family.

Yet, P.J. and Rachel have been denied this opportunity because there are no more non-owner occupied permits available for their Germantown neighborhood. This isn’t fair. They listed their home on Airbnb for more than a year. Out of 40 reviews, they have a five-star rating and overwhelmingly positive comments. Just because several of their neighbors are also on Airbnb, it shouldn’t limit Andersons’ ability to use their home as they see fit.

View More: reason that P.J. and Rachel can’t obtain a permit is because, effective July 2015, Nashville passed an ordinance that directly impacts Airbnb-ers like them. This poorly crafted ordinance requires a permit and unnecessarily infringes on P.J. and Rachel’s constitutional rights. Because of an arbitrary 3% cap on the number of non-owner occupied permits available, P.J. and Rachel were not able to get the permit they need to keep their current home as a valuable source of revenue when they move. The few permits available for their neighborhood—just 28 of them—have been claimed. P.J. and Rachel now have to make important family decisions based on the expectation that they cannot maximize their home’s value when they move.

This new ordinance is oppressive and unfair. Airbnb is a positive addition to Nashville, a city that currently allocates millions of taxpayer dollars to attract hotels because of a perceived shortage in bed space. Airbnb helps Nashvillians too. Like many Nashvillians, especially those who live in areas close to restaurants, bars, sports stadiums, and other attractions, the rules of the game have suddenly changed. As a result, P.J. and Rachel—and many like them—have lost the financial ability to better support their young family.

The Problem
The sharing economy has made entrepreneurs out of a whole new generation. Companies like Uber have experienced rapid success because of their convenience and affordability. But with that success comes attacks from established interests. Airbnb users currently face such a challenge.

The hotel industry has looked at Airbnb’s success and correctly perceived it as serious competition and a threat to its bottom line. Just as taxi companies responded by pushing for onerous regulations against Uber rather than engaging in honest competition, hotels are eager to make it more difficult for Airbnb to thrive. But why should big hotel chains from outside Tennessee make millions off tourists (and taxpayers via handouts and tax breaks), while P.J. and Rachel are banned from making a little extra income by opening their home to those same tourists? Unfortunately, cities are all too eager to accommodate the hotels to the detriment of everyday residents.

View More: before the ordinance, Airbnb was a win-win for the city. For Airbnb-ers, it is a great way to get a little financial cushion, as well as the thrill of participating in a growing business model. For the city, Airbnb has attracted tourists from all over who want to experience Nashville like the locals do. Those tourists bring their dollars and spread them around. A study in Chicago found that for every $100 spent on a short-term rental, another $69 went to food, $24 to transportation, $59 to shopping, and $48 to entertainment.[1]

Not only that, Airbnb addresses the much-cited hotel shortage, a problem so dire that Nashville literally allocates millions of taxpayer dollars to remedy it.[2] The recently constructed downtown Omni Hotel alone is estimated to cost Nashville taxpayers more than $125 million over the next 20 years.[3] Airbnb is not only free, it generates both tax dollars and tourism dollars. Nashville should do everything it can to encourage the growth of Airbnb in neighborhoods like the one where P.J. and Rachel live, not discouraging it with hastily crafted and burdensome regulations.

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Event: Afghanistan in Context: Understanding Where We Are and What's Ahead for the United States

Gen. Keith M. Huber
The Tennessee World Affairs Council
invites you to a public affairs event on the topic
Afghanistan in Context: Understanding Where We Are and What's Ahead for the United States

featuring Lieutenant General (Retired) Keith M. Huber, U.S. Army

September 14, 2015 - 6:30-7:30 p.m. Massey Boardroom, Jack C. Massey Business Center Belmont University,  Registration Required, Free and Open to the Public. For more information and a link to registration, follow this link

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Bob Ries on why David Fox lost the election and where do Republicans go from here.

Bob Ries
by Bob Ries - As the Chairman of the Davidson County Republican Party, I have been asked to provide an analysis of the Mayor’s race from my viewpoint. First of all, I want to make it plain that as an individual, not as the DCRP Chairman, I strongly supported and voted for David Fox. As a Citizen and property owner, I congratulate Megan Berry, wish her well and willingly offer any advice or service she may seek from me to continue to keep Nashville as the “it” city in the world.

 Now for my analysis: Even though the municipal races are supposed to be non-partisan, they are not. This is not sour grapes, it is a fact. I would suggest we consider making the judicial elections non-partisan and the municipal elections partisan, instead of the other way around. That would be more transparent and fair to the citizens of Nashville and the candidates.

It is a fact the Democratic Party has been better organized in Davidson County than the Republican Party. They have a great political machine that can turn out voters and volunteers in great numbers and the Republicans cannot. What I am going to say now will probably create some political enemies for me, but it is the truth. There are many Republican voters in Davidson County, but for all practical purposes there is no organized Republican machine in Davidson County, and there has not been one for years, if ever. To understand the reason for this, we need only to look in the mirror and say: ”We have met the enemy and the enemy is us.”

There are many voters in Davidson County willing to vote for Republicans. I proved this when I spent less than $100,000 in Davidson County and received over 45,000 votes. David Fox spent millions of dollars in Davidson County and still received less than 50,000 votes. We have been capped at about 50,000 votes and that has got to be changed. Can it be done? Absolutely it can be done.

We need to change the minds of approximately 5% of the voters, which can be done through education. It worked with me. I was a Democrat when the Democratic President was lowering taxes to stimulate the economy, standing firm militarily against Russian missiles in Cuba and saying, “Ask not what your Country can do for you, but what you can do for your Country”. When I learned the leaders of the Democratic Party no longer believed in these three things, as well as our Constitution, I became a Republican. I am convinced we can, through education, convert at least 5% of the electorate from Democrat to Republican.

I can remember when, year in and year out, the New York Yankees were a virtual lock to be leading their Division. They are not in first place this morning. However, the New York Mets are leading their Division and I can remember when they were so bad their fans put bags over their heads. Santa Ana had the largest army and was winning every battle against Sam Houston, including the Alamo. Houston did not concede, he conceived a plan and eventually won the war. Everyone knows what George Washington faced and he eventually won.

Movers and shakers in Davidson County who philosophically should have been funding Republican candidates have been contributing money to Democrats for years, simply because that is where their money earned the best “return on their investment”. Republicans have got to earn their respect and change their minds so they will want to start contributing to Republican candidates

We have got to change the current mindset of conceding to the Democrats before the polls even open. That is my job and that is my goal. We need to organize and grow the DCRP so well that we not only re-elect Senator Dickerson and Representative Harwell, but we also elect at least two more Republican State Representatives as well as carry Davidson County for our Republican nominee for president. I am going to need a lot of help. I can assure you that every Republican willing to help me will be met with a welcoming hand extended in friendship and appreciation. Think of the joy we will all share when we accomplish the above goals in 2016.

Bob Ries is Chairman of the Davidson County Republican Party, the 2014 Republican nominee for the 5th Congressional District seat, and a retired small business owner. 

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About the Fox loss: The Selling of the Soul of a Conservative

J. R. Lind writing in The Nashville Scene offers his take on why Fox lost, in an article titled "The Selling of the Soul of a Conservative."

He writes that Fox's conservative message of  fiscal pragmatism and a hands-off approach to broader social issues was a winning message in the general election but that in the runoff Fox stopped talking about what made him appealing. "He stopped articulating a message of careful, thoughtful growth," writes Lind.  "He was, at the least, complicit in attacks on Barry's religion (or lack thereof or whatever) which obviously didn't have their intended effect, but had the very dangerous side effect of broadening what was fair game in the campaign."

He says Fox "betrayed the pragmatic and thoughtful conservatives and moderates who were his base of support, but in a weird effort to woo voters farther to the right — who certainly weren't going to vote for Barry — he betrayed himself."

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