Saturday, July 15, 2017

Bill Lee wins Williamson GOP Gubernatorial Straw Poll

Williamson County GOP press release,THOMPSON'S STATION, TN - The Williamson County Republican Party held its annual summer BBQ tonight at Little Creek Farms in Thompson's Station. A record sold-out crowd of 400+ guests attended, and 243 voted in the straw poll, making this the largest gubernatorial straw poll in recent Tennessee political history. 

While straw polls are not always necessarily reflective of the electorate, tonight's straw poll provides a good early pulse check of who influential Republicans in Williamson County and other mid-state counties are supporting in the gubernatorial race. Tonight's attendees included influential conservative activists, prominent donors, party leaders, and over two dozen elected officials. Attendees cast their straw poll ballots with gumballs. The results are as follows: 
Sen. Mae Beavers: 63 
Congressman Diane Black: 16 
Randy Boyd: 4 
Speaker Beth Harwell: 8 
Bill Lee: 153 
Williamson County Republican Party Chairman Debbie Deaver issued the following statement."Congratulations to Bill Lee for winning the first major straw poll of the 2018 gubernatorial cycle. We are thrilled to have so many fine choices for Governor and plan on hosting many more events for Republicans in Williamson County to get to know each of the gubernatorial candidates." 

Addressing the crowd were U.S. Congressman Marsha Blackburn, Sen. Jack Johnson, Sen. Mark Green, and gubernatorial candidates Sen. Mae Beavers and businessman Bill Lee. All announced and likely gubernatorial candidates who appeared on the straw poll were invited to address the crowd and host a booth. Co-hosts include the Davidson County Republican Party, the Tennessee College Republican Committee, the Republican Women of Williamson County, the Williamson County Republican Career Women, and the Williamson County Young Republicans.

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These are the eight council members who voted against the sanctuary city bill.

Robert Swope
Doug Pardue
On July 6th the Metro Council met in regular session and among the items on the agenda was BILL NO. BL2017-739, the sanctuary bill. It was withdrawn by the sponsor. On June 20th the bill had passed second reading by a vote of 25 in favor, eight opposed and four abstentions.  Between second reading and third reading, the mayor had come out against the bill, the sheriff  had come out against it and said if it passed he would not enforce it, the Metro legal department had issued an opinion that the bill was not enforceable and the Council could not compel the sheriff to abide by the bills requirements, the state legislature let it be know they were considering going into special session to nullify the Council's action should the bill pass, and there had been a howl of pubic protest opposing the bill.

Steve Glover
Sheri Weiner
On July 20th when on second reading Councilman Robert Swope led the opposition and gave a powerful speech arguing against it.  When it came to a vote, only eight council members voted against it. The eight "no" votes were Robert Swope, Doug Pardue, Steve Glover, Sheri Weiner, Russ Pulley, Davette Blalock, Tanaka Vercher, and Jacobia Dowell. These council members who had the courage to vote against this bill should be applauded.  If you see them, please thank they for their vote.

The members of the Council voting for the sanctuary city bill were John Cooper, Erica Gilmore, Bob Mendes, Sharon Hurt, Jim Shulman, DeCosta Hastings, Brenda Haywood, Scott Davis, Brett Withers, Anthony Davis, Nancy VanReece, Bill Pridemore, Jeff Syracuse, Mike Freeman, Colby Sledge, Burkley Allen, Freddie O’Connell, Mary Carolyn Roberts, Ed Kindall, Mina Johnson, Kathleen Murphy, Jeremy Elrod, Karen Johnson, Fabian Bedne, and Dave Rosenberg. 
Russ Pulley

Davette Blalock
Four council members, Nike Leonardo, Larry Hagar, Keven Rhoten, and Angie Henderson abstained.

To place a face and council district number with the names, follow this link.

Tanaka Vercher
Jacobia Dowell

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Friday, July 14, 2017

The 20 Council members who voted against even more money for General Hospital.

On June the 20th Council met and adopted the annual operating budget for the city of Nashville.  Several amendments were offered one of which was Amendment number 4 sponsored by Councilman Robert Mendez, which would increase the metro subsidy to General Hospital by $5 million, from $35 million to $40 million..  Any time a proposal is made to increase funding for one part of the budget, the money must come from somewhere else in the budget. This amendment would have taken the $5 million from the reserve fund for new debt.

Metro General Hospital is a money pit that is constantly needing more and more money.  There is no state law or charter requirement that the city even operate a charity hospital.  Metro gives metro employees an incentive to use General and when Metro jail inmates need care they are taken to General, yet General cannot fill its beds. People simply do not want to go to General.  Ever since the advent of medicaid poor people have been able to use the hospital of their choice.  There is little need for a charity hospital, yet we continue to operate General and General constantly needs more and more money. To read a whole lot more about General Hospital, follow this link.

The amendment of add an additional $5 million dollars in subsidy to Metro General failed by a vote of 15 Yes, 20 No, 2 Abstain and 2 Not voting.

These are the 20 councilmen who voted "no," voting against the additional $5 million subsidy for General Hospital:

John Cooper, Bill Pridemore, Keven Rhoten. Freddie O'Connell, Davette Blalock, Jim Shulman, Dough Pardue, Jeff Syracuse, Mary Carolyn Roberts, Tenaka Vercher, Robert Swope, Larry Hagar, Mike Freeman, Mina Johnson, Jacobia Dowell, Bret Withers, Steve Glover, Burkley Allen, Jeremy Elrod, and Angie Henderson.

Those 15 who voted for the additional subsidy are Erica Gilmore, DeCosta Hastings, Nancy VanReece, Karen Johnson, Bob Mendes, Brenda Haywood, Ed Kindall, Fabian Bedne, Sharon Hurt, Scott Davis, Kathleen Murphy, Dave Rosenberg, Nick Leonardo, Anthony Davis, and Russ Pulley.

Abstaining was Colby Sledge and Sheri Weiner.  While an abstention is better than a "yes" vote, I am especially disappointing that Sheir Weiner, who is a Republican, failed to vote "no." Absent from this meeting and not voting were Huezo and Potts.

I do not know why those who voted, voted the way they did.  Some may have voted "no" because they are fiscally responsible or some may have voted "no" because they are Mayor Barry loyalist and since the extra $5 million was not in the mayor's budget, they were not going to vote against the mayor.  In any event, 20 council members voted the right way. If you see them, commend them for their vote.

To view the source material, follow this link. To put a face and district number with the names, follow this link.

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Tennessee ranks as the eighth most fiscally healthy state

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University has ranked Tennessee as the eighth most fiscally healthy state in the nation up from tenth place in 2016.  The rankings are based on the following five categories:

  • Cash solvency.  Does a state have enough cash on hand to cover its short-term bills?
  • Budget solvency. Can a state cover its fiscal year spending with current revenues, or does it have a budget shortfall?
  • Long-run solvency. Can a state meet its long-term spending commitments? Will there be enough money to cushion it from economic shocks or other long-term fiscal risks?
  • Service-level solvency. How much “fiscal slack” does a state have to increase spending if citizens demand more services?
  • Trust fund solvency. How large are each state’s unfunded pension and healthcare liabilities?
Florida, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming  rank as the top five states. Oil and gas revenue account for the high ranking of some of the states, but declining revenue from these sources has seen some states, such as Alaska, drop out of the top five.

The bottom five ranked states are Maryland, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Illinois, and New Jersey. Each of the bottom five have urge debt obligations and unfunded pensions and healthcare liabilities play a major roll in low rankings.

Last night at a meeting of the Bastiat Society, the guest speaker was Justin Wilson, Comptroller of the Treasurer for Tennessee. He spoke of Tennessee's sound financial standing and pointed out that Tennessee is almost alone as a state with no debt for road construction.  He also said Tennessee's pension obligations are actuarialy sound and that Tennessee is transitioning from a defined benefit pension system to a defined contribution pension system for new hires. Tennessee is not using one-time monies to fund on-going expenditures. By any measure, Tennessee is fiscally responsible.

As Tennessee's fiscal health has been improving, Tennessee has reduced the State workforce by about 5,000 people and services have not suffered. Our ranking for the quality of our public education has increased from among the worse three or four in the nation to a ranking in the mid-twenties.  Also, the number of college educated adults has been increasing.  We can rightly be proud of the job Governor Haslam and our Republican dominated legislature are doing.

To read the full article or delve deep into the details of the data that supports the rankings, follow this link.

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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Nashville's Metro Council kills latest attempt to cut lifetime health benefits

Nashville's Metro Council kills latest attempt to cut lifetime health benefits

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Trump nominates Senate Leader Mark Norris for federal judgeship in Tennessee

Trump nominates Senate Leader Mark Norris, three others as federal judges in Tennessee

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Liberty on the Rocks meets tonight, July 20th

Who: A group of people, numbering anywhere between 8 and 25, who love liberty and who range in age from 18 to 80, and who vary in occupation from students to laborers to attorney's and businessmen, who are generally labeled "right of center" and may call themselves, libertarian, tea party, Republican, conservative, constitutionalists, Objectivist, and  an occasional anarcho-capitalist.

What: Liberty on the Rocks is a get-together that involves eating and drinking and talking and respectfully disagreeing and exchanging of ideas usually about some political topic (but not always) which could be the news of the day, or foreign policy, or the monetary system, or the roll of the family and gay marriage, or legalization of drugs or prostitution, or privacy and the NSA, or the welfare state, or education reform, or criminal justice and prison reform, or the death penalty, or immigration policy, or morality, or  just whatever topic one brings up. There is no program.

When: Thursday, July 20th 5:30 until everyone leaves which usually people start leaving about 9:00, but sometime later but you can come as late or leave as early as you please.  

Where: Smoking Thighs, 611 Wedgewood Ave, Nashville, Tennessee 37203

Why: For the enjoyment of good conversation with like-minded people. 

To RSVP follow this link

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Eat Drink and be Republican

From the Davidson County Republican Party.

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017


The Health Care Options Act of 2017 is sponsored by Senator Lamar Alexander. While this is not a repeal and replacement for Obamacare, this sounds like a reasonable proposal to help those who are being left without any insurance coverage as Obamacare collapses. The summary is provided by Senator Alexander' office.

Action is needed now to help Americans who may soon have zero health insurance options on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges. The Health Care Options Act will allow these Americans—who would otherwise be unable to use their ACA subsidy to purchase health insurance—to use their subsidy to buy any insurance plan approved by their state.


Individuals who receive an ACA subsidy can only use that subsidy to purchase health insurance through an ACA exchange. They are locked in a failing system.

These Americans had fewer health insurance options on the ACA exchanges for the 2017 plan year than the year before, and next year, millions face an even worse reality: having zero health insurance options to purchase on their ACA exchange.

While Congress needs to enact long-term structural health reforms, it must take immediate action to provide relief for Americans trapped in collapsing exchanges.

• In 2016, 7 percent of counties in the United States had just one insurer offering plans on their ACA exchange. This year, that number jumped to 32 percent.

• Five states have only one insurer offering ACA plans in their entire state this year: Alabama, Alaska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Wyoming.

• Nine states have only one insurer offering ACA plans in a majority of the counties in the state: Tennessee, North Carolina, West Virginia, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Mississippi, Missouri, and Florida.

• Next year, we know the problem will be much worse. There are 34,000 Americans who rely on an ACA subsidy to buy health insurance on the exchange in Knoxville, Tennessee. All of the insurers who have offered plans on that exchange have announced that they are leaving for 2018, leaving no options.

• As more insurance companies announce their plans for the 2018 plan year, it is very likely that more counties across the nation will face challenges similar to Knoxville.


• Americans with an ACA subsidy but no health insurance on their ACA exchange would be allowed to use their ACA subsidy to purchase health insurance outside of an ACA exchange, as long as the insurance is approved by the state for sale in the individual market.

• Available to individuals who live in a county where the Secretary of Health and Human Services certifies there are no options on the ACA exchange.

• The individual mandate penalty would not apply for these individuals.

• This temporary authority would be in place through the end of the 2019 plan year.

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