The Congressman and meI must admit that I was more than a little surprised yesterday afternoon when I received a note via e-mail from Paul Chapman, the District Director for Congressman David Davis. "Congressman Davis will be in White Pine around 3:30-can you meet with us?" Of course I would be glad to, I replied. I asked what might be the honor of the occasion for an unexpected visit from my Member of Congress. Mr. Chapman said that Congressman Davis just wanted to take the opportunity to meet me since we only had the opportunity to meet briefly before, at the Jefferson County Lincoln Day Dinner. I responded asking if Town Hall would be an appropriate location for a meeting-it was, and a one-on-one between myself and Congressman David Davis was very quickly arranged.
We met outside of Town Hall-Chapman, Davis, and myself, and moved quickly into one of the building's side rooms. It was not a great and eventful meeting, nothing earth-shattering was revealed in it. In a short 20-minute span of time we touched on several issues from terrorism and the government reaction to it, to property rights (about which Congressman Davis admitted that he was particularly passionate personally, and that he had done a great deal of work on in the State House), and who runs the State of Tennessee (we are agreed that Speaker Jimmy Naifeh runs the State).
Congressman Davis said plainly that he is concerned that "some of the things we did" after September 11th may have "consequences" which we didn't really think about at the time but that we could be feeling the after-effects of years to come. Paul Chapman nodded in agreement when I pointed out that a Democratic administration could use the powers of the PATRIOT Act against their political opponents and Davis nodded a firm yes when I said that I did not trust certain Democrats with those kinds of powers. "Absolutely" was the response when I said that I believed Bill Clinton would have used these powers against our kind, and in ill-conceived ways.
Of particular interest was the Census Survey that I received (as did Sharon Cobb) that was overly detailed to say the least and is discussed in a bit more depth in comments on May 21. Congressman Davis found the whole exercise disturbing, and as I explained my experience to him, Mr. Chapman told him to expect more complaints like mine. "The Census Bureau is asking for increasingly more and more personal details, so we will hear a lot more of this." Congressman Davis was apparently unaware that the Census Bureau was conducting "census" activities in a non-census year.
Congressman Davis took a moment to mention Marine Corporal Brad Walker, and had mentioned that he was here to commend Corporal Walker in person. He has actually been to White Pine personally on several occasions now-to address the Lions Club, the Ruritan Club, the Bib Boys, and several other civic organizations. I have to give the man credit-he promised that if he was elected that he was not going to concentrate all of the influence in the District in the Tri-cities anymore. So far he has kept to that pledge in a very real way-his District Director, for example, lives in nearby Morristown. What's more, if you like a conservative voting record, he has already amassed one that would make the American Conservative Union drool. He has proven himself so far to be extremely devoted to this District, a fact which has not gone unnoticed.