Many reasons for a different MikeA lot of folks outside the 4th Senate District believe that our biggest problem with Senator Mike Williams is that he voted for John Wilder for Lt. Governor and Speaker of the Senate in 2005 (keeping Democrats in control of the Senate despite a Republican majority), and that this is the sole reason that many of us are now backing Mike Faulk to unseat Williams. Faulk's loyalty to the GOP can't be questioned, that's for sure-but State Senator Tim Burchett voted for Wilder in 2005, and like Williams, Burchett voted for Ron Ramsey in January 2007 and put the GOP in control of the Tennessee Senate de jure. Williams' vote for Wilder three years ago does play a real role in the campaign opposing him, and no one denies this. Unlike Mike Williams, Senator Burchett's constituents aren't engaged in a prolonged angry spasm at him. What makes the case of Mike Williams different from Deputy Senate Speaker Tim Burchett?
Mike Williams once promised to limit himself to an eight-year stint in the Senate. This may have been a rather stupid promise to make, but it was probably the first one that he broke. He is about to finish his 12th year in the Upper Chamber-18th in the General Assembly.
In November of 2006, he told Eric Schelzig of Associated Press that "I'll never leave the Republican Party." By March of 2007, he had changed his tune. In 2005, Williams voted against raising the tobacco tax. It was proposed that an increase in the tobacco tax be used to defray the cost of a reduction in the sales tax on food-a move that would have helped hundreds of thousands of working Tennesseans and the vast majority of the people in this district. In 2007, Williams voted for an increase in the tobacco tax, but this time it was at the behest of Governor Phil Bredesen-and not a penny of that tax revenue went to defray a significant reduction in the tax on grceries-there was no serious cut in the grocery tax in that bill, just a 0.5% pittance.
When he was still a Republican, he was the only GOP Senator who voted to seat Ophelia Ford despite serious reports of Memphis vote fraud.
At one time, it was said that Wiliams was making over 200 appearances in the district every year, but now we hardly see the man. Do you suppose it might be because when he does return home, he faces the blistering face of the public wrath? It is a sad case, that of Mike Williams, because his career didn't start this way but the people of this district may put it to an end.
Sources within the Faulk campaign tell The World that Mike Faulk presently has a campaign balance of over $100,000. If you are keeping track of this race, you know that is nearly a 5-to-1 fundraising advantage. With Mike Williams' record, is it any wonder that Republicans in the 4th District and across Tennessee are hungering for another Mike in our Senate seat?