Archive for May, 2005

Bridge Blogging

Sunday, May 22nd, 2005

Wiley E. Summers Bridge, Morgan County.

Vines’ Political Rundown

Saturday, May 21st, 2005
The rumors about Bob Corker dropping out of the Senate race and entering the Governor’s race will likely be fueled by Georgiana Vines’ latest column:

[Corker] said he still is running for the Senate although some Republican conservatives across the state are suggesting he run against Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen next year. Those are conservatives supporting former U.S. Reps. Ed Bryant or Van Hilleary in the Senate race.

“It’s flattering” is all he will say about that rumor being spun on political blogs.

Looks like he may be keeping his options open.

Also of note in the column:

The April issue of Business Tennessee based in Nashville listed Ragsdale as No. 37 in a list of the state’s most powerful people of 100 and reported he “will have to work hard to get re-elected county mayor next year” because of the opposition to a property tax hike he initially proposed last year and then support of a wheel tax increase.

To date no serious candidate has emerged to challenge Ragsdale. County Commission Chairman Scott Moore, whose name has been mentioned, said Thursday he is “concentrating on being a good county commissioner.”

The race for Knox County mayor is another campaign that could be very interesting…

Dean vs. Mehlman

Friday, May 20th, 2005
USA Today has an informative story about the strategies used by RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman and DNC Chairman Howard Dean. In short, Mehlman is playing offense and Dean is playing defense – which is good news for Republicans.

Ethics Aren’t Dead

Friday, May 20th, 2005
It looks like an ethics bill might still pass, but thanks to the Democrats, it probably will not go as far as it should.

Harriman a Hit

Thursday, May 19th, 2005
Congrats to the Harriman Blue Devils baseball team, who defeated archrival Rockwood to win the 2-A region title. Beating Rockwood and winning a title…. Always a good day.

UPDATE (05/22/2005): Harriman defeated University School of Johnson City yesterday to advance to the A State tournament!

America’s Store… Even For the Amish

Thursday, May 19th, 2005
A Wal-Mart store in Middlefield, Ohio, is catering directly to the Amish.

Forgotten Allies

Thursday, May 19th, 2005
Chuck Colson has the heartbreaking story of American allies that have been forgotten.

Sensenbrenner’s Snoop Society

Thursday, May 19th, 2005
Legislation proposed in Washington by Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) would require (via South Knox Bubba) “any American who witnesses or learns of certain drug offenses taking place would be required to report the offenses to law enforcement within 24 hours and provide ‘full assistance’ in the investigation, apprehension, and prosecution of the people involved. Failure to do so would be a crime punishable by a mandatory two year prison sentence and a maximum of ten years.”

It’s not exactly clear how this law would be enforced. How would law enforcement know if you knew about a drug transaction that occurred in your neighborhood? And is the government going to provide protection for those who report and are forced to testify against drug dealers? In case Rep. Sensenbrenner doesn’t know, drug dealers can be ruthless people, and to someone who is forced to live near one, staying away, keeping your mouth shut, and not asking questions may be necessary for survival. How is Sensenbrenner (or anyone who votes for this) going to feel if an innocent person gets murdered for getting involved?

It’s way past time to end this failure know as the “war on drugs.” It, along with the “war on poverty,” and most nonmilitary “wars” waged by the federal government, has been a major failure. It is time to seriously rethink drug laws in this country. But, between this and the recent Real ID act, I seriously doubt that our Republican-controlled branches of government are prepared to do this.

Say Uncle, Blake Wylie, Michael Silence, and Thomas Nephew are also offering commentary on this.

State Budget Surplus

Thursday, May 19th, 2005
Looks like lawmakers will have even more of our money to spend than they thought.

Who Will Challenge Bredesen, Part II

Wednesday, May 18th, 2005
Mark Rose is encouraging Van Hilleary to drop out of the Senate race and challenge Bredesen again. He goes on to outline what could be an effective strategy for anyone who goes up against the Governor.

But could Hilleary beat Bredesen? I’m not so sure. He already lost to him once, and, as Bill Hobbs points out, people who voted for Bredesen in ‘02 are not likely to be wooed by Hilleary. Additionally, as Rob Huddleston reports, Hilleary appears to have learned little from his ‘02 loss.

I did some limited campaigning for Hilleary in ‘02, though not as much as Rob. His campaign was indeed pretty shoddy. That’s not to say he didn’t have some very talented people working for him, because he did. But it was far too negative, and a few high level people seemed to not have much vision. Hilleary clearly should have won the governor’s race, but he didn’t, and I’m not sure that the results would be any different this time around.

That’s not to say that Bredesen can’t be beaten. Last week, I posted a list of possible contenders. I think any one of them would be a better candidate than Hilleary, though I have to admit to favoring either Corker or Jim Henry. Both are viewed as moderates, which will be very helpful in a campaign against Bredesen.

Polling indicates that Bredesen is more popular among Republicans than Democrats (much like Republican Sundquist was more popular among Dems than his own party), and may actually get more Republican votes this time than he did in 2002. That’s the bad news. The good news is that his base is divided and dissolving, and many could be persuaded to support the right Republican. Like most Republicans, I would like to have someone as conservative as Hilleary challenge Bredesen, but realistically, our best shot is a moderate. Corker and Henry are both viewed as such, and both have management credentials. Both have the potential to be popular among Democrats without becoming RINOs. Therefore, I think one of them has the potential to be conservative enough to please the base, as well as centrist enough to lure the voters necessary to knock off Bredesen.

Admittedly, getting Corker to switch is a longshot, but stranger things have happened. Adam Groves states that he is “not sure a credible GOP candidate who wants to run for something else in years to come should waste one of their nine lives on this race.” I’m not sure I agree, but assuming he’s correct that leaves Henry as the most viable. Win or lose, this would probably be his last race (unless he gets elected and seeks reelection).

Don’t get me wrong, I would love to see any Republican, including Hilleary, enter the governor’s race, and, unless they were a total nutcase (like Jim Hart) or unbelievably corrupt, I would support them. But I’d like to see a conservative Republican be our candidate for the Senate, and someone with a good shot at winning being our nominee for governor. But priority number one right now should be finding someone to declare his or her candidacy.