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Pockets Of Independence

The Independent Politcial Report has a highly interesting post on various areas across the country whom have shown strong independent streaks in Presidential elections:
John Hagelin, who now resides in Fairfield, Iowa, performed exceptionally well in Jefferson County, Iowa as the Natural Law’s candidate. He received 23.94% in 1992, 22.82% in 1996, and 16.31% in 2000. In 2000, Hagelin received over 30 percent of the vote in the precinct that serves northern and eastern Ketchum, Idaho. In 2000 Ralph Nader polled 10% in Alaska and 17.2% of the vote in Colorado’s San Miguel county. Yet four years later, Nader’s total in San Miguel would fall to 0.77% of the vote and he would poll only about 1.6% in Alaska. In 1976, Eugene McCarthy’s best showing was also in Colorado’s San Miguel county where he won 7.5%. In 1992, the only candidate other than Ross Perot to top 1% in any state was Populist candidate Bo Gritz. He captured nearly 4% in Utah, 2% in Idaho, and 1% in Louisiana. In fact, Gritz managed to poll over 10% in several counties in Idaho and Utah.
Jul 14, 2008 7:13 AM
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Corker: Troops Are Coming Home No Matter What Occurs In November

Southern Beale encounters Tennessee's Junior Senator during the most important meal of the day:
We had a very brief conversation about the war. He seems to feel that whether John McCain or Barack Obama is elected, troops will begin coming home soon after the new president is sworn in--that there’s very little difference in policy between the two where Iraq is concerned. I’m not so sure about that. But regardless, I told him our representatives in the Senate have a role to play in bringing the troops home, and I wanted him to know I was someone who cared about it.
Jul 14, 2008 7:11 AM

The Dean On The Robin Smith Letter

The Knoxville News-Sentinel's Tom Humphrey gets in on the action covering the disclosure on this website of correspondence between TNGOP Chair Robin Smith and Governor Phil Bredesen regarding her (former) position on Tennessee's Human Rights Commission:
Lydia Lenker, spokeswoman for Bredesen, said she had received a copy of Smith's original e-mail but had not provided a copy to anyone. She said that e-mail and other correspondence to the governor in his official capacity are public records. "Anyone who e-mails the governor, whether they realize it or not, that document becomes a public document," she said. "That's sometimes a little jarring for people to learn." Lenker said Bredesen, who was on vacation last week, was "aware of the situation" involving Smith's e-mail but had not, to her knowledge, responded to it. She said no political considerations were involved in the appointment of Pierce to the Human Rights Commission, which was "a pretty standard procedure" of filling a vacated seat. Smith could not be reached for comment Sunday. A.C. Kleinheider, who oversees the Post Politics blog, declined to say who gave him the copy of Smith's e-mail.
SEE ALSO: The Post Politics report Jim Grinstead Daily Kos R. Neal autoegocrat Knoxville Talks
Jul 14, 2008 1:00 AM
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That'll Sell A Few Extra Magazines

Instapundit has the roundup on the New Yorker's bold attempt to send up the caricature of Barack Obama some on the right are trying to embed in the electorate's subconscious. Quite a few folks are not amused.
Jul 13, 2008 10:51 PM

Number One Lover: Robin Smith Replaced On Human Rights Board

Patricia Ann Pierce of Harriman, director of the Opportunity Development Center at Vanderbilt University, was appointed today by Governor Phil Bredesen to serve on Tennessee's Human Rights Commision. Pierce fills the expired term of Tennessee Republican Party Chair Robin Smith who was appointed to the Commission by Gov. Don Sundquist in 2002. Smith's position on the board had come under fire recently due to her actions as party chair. Under her watch, at least two communications were released out of her shop at the TNGOP which made national news for their incendiary nature. The boldest of which was a press release which caused a firestorm this past February by referring to Barack Obama's middle name, referencing alleged antisemitic associations and featuring a picture of Obama in what was described as "Muslim garb" but turned out to be Somali tribalwear. The state's senior Senator Lamar Alexander, as well as John McCain, Karl Rove and the head of the RNC all rebuked the TNGOP harshly, calling for the removal of the release from the state's website. Many in the blogosphere along the way were calling for Smith's removal from the HRC and cautioning against her reappointment. Of course, reappointments to the commission are unusual, especially those whose original appointments were made by a previous Governor of an opposite party. For instance, of the other 14 members of the current Commission, 12 were appointed by Governor Bredesen and are serving their first term. One, was appointed by Governor Bredesen to an unexpired term in 2006 and then appointed to a full term in 2007. The other was appointed by Governor Bredesen to an unexpired term in 2004 and then appointed to a full term in 2007. However, despite the high turnover and the unlikelihood of a Democratic Governor appointing a holdover from a previous Republican administration, on June 2, following yet another controversy, this one over the TNGOP's video welcoming Barack Obama to Tennessee, Robin Smith wrote a letter to Governor Phil Bredesen defending herself against charges of racism and intolerance and seems to convey, implicitly at least, an openness to the idea of reappointment. You can read the full letter here. In it the TNGOP Chair decries the tactics of the Democratic Party to smear her and defends herself citing her son's friendship with an African-American youngster and her own experiences as a child:
I would've chosen to let these hollow accusations fall without answer had it not been for my children coming to me with concern and for understanding. You see, my son's best friend for the last many years is African American who vacations with us and enjoys our home as his. My children have been taught by my husband and me the same teaching I've referenced already and have taught for 2 1 years in Bible studies at my church: there is one human race. Further, my children have heard of childhood accounts of my being called an "n.. .-lover" for playing with African American pals on the playground. I have unfortunately shared on several occasions being "booed" and "hissed" at while speaking, along with former Tennessee Democrat Party Chairman Bob Tuke and other Democrats, to the state dinner of the NAACP in an effort to extend a friendly hand. My children, along with others, have witnessed my efforts for years through politics to work with individuals of all races and through our church to serve in ministry to the inner city and those who struggle with needs.
UPDATE: TNGOP Chairman Robin Smith responds to the publication of her correspondence to the Governor in an email addressed to "Readers of Post Politics":
I was phoned about 2 hours ago while driving back home with my family by my Chief of Staff at the Tennessee Republican Party who was seeing for the first time a correspondence I had sent privately to Governor Phil Bredesen to address the attempts to damage my reputation publicly through the appointment I was finishing as a Tennessee Human Rights Commissioner. Let be state very clearly: The correspondence published was written solely by me as a personal statement for my beliefs and values and to defend my integrity; no other individual(s) were involved, especially staff of the Tennessee Republican Party. Let me first clarify that I have never sought reappointment, as was falsely implied by PostPolitics editorialism. As stated very clearly in my correspondence to the Governor, I understand political appointments and have full appreciation that once my term was complete on June 30, the position was his to fill with a selection of his own. However, there have been whispers making their way back to me of individuals who wanted to "smear" me publicly, to "embarrass" me, and to distract from my work at the Tennessee Republican Party. Upon hearing several different versions of the same accounts with the same individuals, I chose to write an email addressed to the Governor and his communications staffer from my personal, family email account. The whispers are now absolutely validated by the fact that a private correspondence was publicly distributed by the Tennessee state government server to a press outlet that has consistently been associated with "smears" coming from the same sources that believe themselves to be anonymous. As noted in the correspondence to the Governor, I have never politicized my term of 6 years on the Tennessee Human Rights Commission. It was truly an honor to serve and to work with individuals who fought against the discrimination that unfortunately continues based on gender, race and age. In contrast, those who sought to "smear" my integrity used that very position to attempt to gain political points on the field of political play. I made the decision, as noted in my letter, to address this when my teenagers began to participate in family discussions about the matter. We call them "teachable moments." Let me be clear, my faith and values drive my beliefs about life, family and the role of government and policy. After the events of the last few months, my commitment to that which is right and good has been absolutely strengthened and my determination increased. There is always a "teachable moment" in every area of our lives, as we teach our kids and spend a life of learning. The teachable moments involved here are quite apparent: 1. Many who claim to stand for rights, deny them as evidenced by this entire occasion in handling a simple political appointment. 2. Those who claim to stand for rights chose to "smear" those who don't support their agenda: I was targeted for being a conservative, Christian Republican who chooses to be truthful and candid rather than cater to the politically correct and the elite. 3. Many that portray themselves to be "above the fray" are the most guttural of all, demonstrating their vacant core of any beliefs. 4. There are those who occupy positions of leadership and power to lead who only choose political exploitation: I now join those employees of the Bredesen administration who had their rights denied in the shredding of their harassment claims. I have been publicly slandered and libeled. 5. Truth stands and so do those who defend it. I sincerely appreciate those I know to be committed to more than politics and their own agendas and who are dear friends. 6. The counsel of a brother in Christ, an African American pastor who preaches truth, not hate, directed me toward Scripture that provides summary: 1 Corinthians 4:3-5 "But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I know nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this: but He who judges me is the Lord..." Again, a personal word of thanks to those who have been vocal and kind in your support. You will always remembered and treasured. Now, it's time to move on. Respectfully Submitted, Robin Smith
Jul 11, 2008 8:07 PM
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A Confident Man

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Mike Padgett betrays no thoughts of failure:

Nashville’s Pat Nolan interviewed me this morning for his weekly Channel 50+ political broadcast. Election night TV watchers have long looked to Pat for political analysis as the returns roll in. In just a few weeks, he’ll be talking about the Padgett-Alexander matchup in November.

Jul 11, 2008 8:06 PM

Ed Kindall Says His Opposition To Rezoning Cost Him Chamber Endorsement

School board member Ed Kindall talks about his failure in getting the Chamber's nod:
“You know, they don’t vote for money, they vote for people. And I really think, you know, of course the Chamber has endorsed me in the past… and obviously this zoning plan has some bearing on the fact that they did not endorse me.”
Jul 11, 2008 8:05 PM
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TV Reporter Becomes Part of The Story

From his station:
Williams testified about what he found in Ford's old desk in the state Capitol. Williams found several documents including three pertaining to OmniCare, a TennCare contractor. TennCare is the state's health insurance program. Ford is accused of promoting the contractors and accepting payments from them while he served on the TennCare oversight committee.
SEE ALSO: Tom Wood
Jul 11, 2008 8:01 PM

Who's In Charge On Bransford Avenue

Councilwoman Emily Evans thinks that those who focused on the rezoning vote at the last school board meeting missed out on the real news:
While the results of the reorganization have been described as collaborative - and I have no doubt they were - the changes were not delivered by School Board Chairman Marsha Warden or Acting Director Chris Hensen. So, worry all you want about school board elections and their occaisional vote but you are probably wasting your time. The State of Tennessee is in charge on Bransford Avenue.
Jul 11, 2008 6:11 PM
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