Oatney's List for NovemberWith less than a month to go before the November General Elections, the time has come when many-a-blogger are issuing their official election endorsements to their readers. I am no exception, but I had debated whether now was the right time or if I should wait a week or two. I ultimately decided to issue my endorsements now because it is the debate season, and people need to know exactly where some of us stand as the campaign heats up in the final days.
This is an especially difficult election for conservatives. Many of us, myself included, feel as if our choices are very limited. Congress has failed us utterly, with spending that is out of control and no real effort to control illegal immigration or address the concerns of the people in the Heartland who elected them. Conversely, the alternative is Speaker Pelosi and the perception that the little good work that this Congress has done will be completely ruined. I feel that on a national scale this election is a Hobson's choice in many ways, and many conservatives will stay home.
The World does not advocate this mentality because if we do not cast our votes, we will have no cause to voice either approval or opposition to the policies of the next Congress and General Assembly. Failure to vote is like failing to defend the country against invasion because there is no danger to you directly and you don't want to be hurt. You might survive, it may not hurt you, but what service do you render your country?
With that in mind, here are our endorsements for the November 7th General Election:
Governor of Tennessee
Jim Bryson (R)
Many have pointed out that under the current administration of Phil Bredesen, the State is running a huge surplus and taxes have not increased Statewide. All of this is quite true, but it all bears a frightening similarity to the Sundquist administration. I simply do not trust Bredesen to win a second term and not introduce an income tax. As soon as he is re-elected, he will be a lame duck who is not subject to the judgement of the people.
Bryson has the endorsement of Tennessee Right to Life, and has pledged that under a Bryson administration there will be no income tax, period. Meanwhile, Bredesen has endorsed Bob Rochelle, architect of the income tax, in his race for the General Assembly. That's not a good sign for what might happen in his second term.
United States Senate:
The U.S. Senate race is more than a disappointment, it is a disgrace to the people of this great State. The Republicans nominated the worst possible candidate in a three candidate field (thank you Van Hilleary), a man who has demonstrated a history of advocating everything and believing in nothing. At least he now sounds like he has a mind of his own, but I dearly wish he would demonstrate passionate belief in the policies he now advocates.
On the other hand, the Democrats have presented us with a man who gets most of his donations from out of State, lies about his voting record, has a very shady past, is known to enjoy the New York and Hollywood night life entirely too much for a good Tennessee boy, and whose family has more members under indictment or with criminal histories than the Gambinos.
I will definately not be voting for the latter option, but as to who I will vote for I have yet to decide. No matter who my vote goes to, I cannot endorse either of these men for election to the United States Senate because deep in the recesses of my gut I sincerely feel that no matter which man wins, the office will go to someone who does not deserve to hold it.
United States House of Representatives-First District
David Davis (R)
Davis has demonstrated a strong commitment to conservative ideas and to the pro-life cause as a member of the General Assembly. He is beloved by other conservative members of the legislature for his steadfastness, and his honesty is a quality that has earned him some reknown. Those factors alone would merit an endorsement. I give it with caution, however, to a man that won his Primary (and thus de facto the election) by around 500 votes: Washington tends to have a changing effect on even the best of men who go there with the best of intentions. This can be especially true in the First District where the Republican Congressman is usually guaranteed the job for as long as he wants it.
United States House of Representatives-Second District
John J. "Jimmy" Duncan Jr. (R)
Not only does Duncan have a solid conservative voting record, he is also a man of great principle. He voted against the war in Iraq because he saw that it could very well end in a huge boondoggle. I endorsed him in the Primary, and I endorse him again.
Tennessee Senate-4th District
Michael R. Williams (R)
The Speaker Pro Tempore of the Senate could replace Wilder as Speaker (and thus as Lt. Governor) in the next Senate or could sit as Majority Leader under Speaker Ron Ramsey. There are a number of possibilities, so let's re-elect him and see where the ball might bounce...Speaker, Leader, Pro Tem...it could be any of these.
Tennessee House of Representatives-17th District
Frank Niceley (R)
Yes, I know Rep. Niceley is unopposed. I do not believe in the notion of candidates from either party running unopposed. It is hard, however, to oppose someone who is doing their job effectively. Frank Niceley is a great servant of the people...if he can do it for his constituents and it isn't illegal, immoral, or unethical, Frank Niceley gets the job done. For that reason, if he were running with opposition (as he ought to be) I would still be giving him my endorsement and my vote.
Tennessee House of Representatives-18th District
Stacey Campfield (R)
The blogging Rep, one of the few in the world, has developed a loyal following in the blogosphere because of his willingness to bring hard news and the hard truth about what goes on in Nashville at the risk of his own political hide. I can tell you from experience that the openess, frankness, and honesty that Stacey displays on his blog are not merely some act for the sake of the internet-it is very much the real Stacey Campfield. That is exactly why he is in the political fight for his life, because of his willingness to communicate with the people of this State so directly. There are people who want to shut Stacey up, that is why they are trying so hard to beat him. Bad news for those folks: If you shut Stacey up, then I will gladly take Stacey's place.
Control of Congress- (begrudgingly) Republicans
I am not sure Republicans in Washington deserve to control Congress again, but the Democrats haven't shown that they will do any better, only worse. It is a sad situation for our country.