Whether standing up for the right of a cuckolded husband to avoid child support or filing a House floor amendment bashing Al Gore on global warming, the red-headed blogger-legislator was always creative in coming up with ideas to annoy Democrats and, at least occasionally, inspire both consternation and admiration among his GOP colleagues.SEE ALSO: Mick Wright
[S]eeing Theresa Harmon saying so clearly that marriage can be a way of legitimizing people who aren’t supposed to be here in the first place, to me, strikes me as being so true that I had to sit back in my seat. Of course, I disagree about whether gay people or brown people or whoever are “supposed” to be here, but what I’m saying is that, to me, this seems like a clear articulation of what the stakes are. Some of us are running around trying to legitimize people and others of us are trying to prevent that from happening. I don’t know that I had really gotten that until now.
When a prominent person is arrested, everyone knows but they still talk to him/her in the post office. When there is a scandal with a local leaders, it’s someone everyone knows. For people in the local news business, we work with these folks all the time. And, due to the nature of small towns, we work with folks that sometime get in trouble. There isn’t time, staffing or money to recuse ourselves from covering the story. Several months ago, I covered the arrest, trial and plea of a man who was one of my mother’s best friends from high school. I looked him in the face and although he didn’t want me to put his mug shot on the front page, I did, because I wasn’t going to treat him any differently than anyone else. Recently there has been some local bickering amongst local leaders. The two men involved are people I’ve worked with in the area for years. I looked them both in the eyes before it ran. No one sees a story before it runs There is a huge difference between working with a staff of, let’s say, 15 reporters with different beats and working in an environment that has three writers including the sports department. There is no Associated Press to use, no wire whatsoever. It’s a small paper but it is also the only source of localized news that the community has.
I'd like to think most of us have moved past the idea that support and encouragement of our troops - the men and women who volunteer to serve in the military and not the hired contractors who serve to make a profit - does not mean support for the war in Iraq. I have never supported it and still cannot. But make no mistake - I have friends and family who serve now and have served in decades past. I've seen them used and abused and I simply hope for their safe return home and for greater wisdom to direct our armed forces. I don't sport bumper stickers or yellow ribbons, but I know many who do. Sometimes, they are presented by the wives and husbands and parents and children and brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and more who wait here at home anxious for their loved ones to return home. I tell my elected representatives in government when they've been wise and when they've been unwise when deploying the military.SEE ALSO: Sharon Cobb Left Of The Dial Six Meat (II) Ramblings Maury Thinks Angelia Webutante Donald Sensing Linda Noe Doug Petch Chris Lugo R. Neal Kay Brooks Tennessee Free Terry Frank Lean Left Terry Heaton Bill Frist
And in my conversation with Paul last month, he showed little enthusiasm for Barr. Without Paul's passionate legions, Barr would have a difficult time attracting grass-roots and financial support. In other words, if Paul stays on the sidelines and does not get behind Barr, the Libertarian nominee could be as much of a non-factor this year as in every other recent presidential cycle.Sadcox wonders, whether Paul endorses or not, whether Barr can get his hands on Paul's all important mailing list.
Do many rural or working-class people have questions about Obama? Sure. But these are less about race than about culture. Obama has not lived their lives. That's OK. In the weeks and months ahead, he just needs to show that he respects them and understands the issues that matter to them—that he can make their lives better. Obama has run a first-rate primary campaign, energizing countless new voters. Now he's got to get off the big stage more often and meet with people where they work, play and pray. That means getting out to schools and factories, coffee shops, fairgrounds and houses of worship. He needs to earn their trust. That lesson was driven home for me during my run for Senate in 2006, at a little bar-restaurant called the Lil' Rebel in Jackson, Tenn. I'd been to church, and during a morning prayer, Pastor Nathaniel Bond held my hands. "There are more Davids than Goliaths, and more answers than there are problems," he said. Later that day, as I was driving past the Lil' Rebel for the second time, heading out of town, I decided that I had heard those words for a reason. We turned the car around and pulled in. I wasn't scared, but my aide—a white guy—was slightly nervous. He told me that "if things don't go right, we'll just go."
Long serving Sen. Jerry Cooper resigned in December following a bank fraud scandal in which he was ordered to pay $120,000 in fines although he was acquitted of federal fraud charges. Warren County Commission appointed now incumbent Democrat Steve Roller on a narrow 12-10 vote after nine ballots.
Roller faces two challengers in the Democratic primary. Eric Stewart is an insurance man and former Franklin County Commissioner with a high-powered campaign staff. Tullahoma businessman Jim Woodard appears to be running a low profile campaign.
Republicans looking to pick up a seat are running Mike Niederhauser, Lynn Sebourn, and James Threet. Of the three, only Lynn Sebourn appears to be running a serious campaign. He is on the Tullahoma Municipal Planning Commission and has been involved in the GOP party organization.
Roller reports $22,000 on hand for the first quarter, with no contributions and no expenditures. Sebourn reports $3400 on hand for the first quarter, with $50 in contributions and a $4000 loan to his own campaign and $615 in expenditures. Stewart's report is not listed on the state website, but his campaign reports $90,000 on hand. Woodard and Threet do not have reports listed, and Niederhauser's report is all zeroes.
The mostly rural 14th district is strong for Democratics. Republican might have a slight chance here if Cooper's ethics problems are on the minds of voters. Also, Roller hasn't been in office long enough to get much incumbent advantage. Fundraising reported by Stewart's campaign appears to strongly favor him. With a Democratic incumbent, a strong Democratic challenger, and the district's Democratic tradition, we will be optimistic and predict this seat will stay in the D column.
Bristol Republican Jason Mumpower says he often refers to himself as Tennessee’s House minority leader “to gig myself with the term minority” and as a reminder that he is fighting to win a majority. Mumpower needs four seats for Republicans to win that majority and replace Democrat Jimmy Naifeh as the House speaker. While the 2008 legislative session just ended, the Memorial Day weekend signals the unofficial start of Mumpower’s campaign season. He is targeting anywhere from five to eight House seats for Republicans to win this year, including the 2nd House District seat held by Democratic incumbent Nathan Vaughn of Kingsport.Is it unfortunate, due to his vulnerability in his East Tennessee District, that Nathan Vaughn must be the focus of a lot of GOP political energy? After all, if Democrats were picking their favorite Democrats you'd have to believe that Vaughn would be right there at the top of the pack. Then again, is Vaughn a Republican favorite, because his political judgment is affected by the knowledge hovering over him that he good get picked off by a Republican at anytime? If left to his own devices in a safer district would his record be different?