Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Constitutional Officer Hearings

At present I am taking the time while working to view yesterday's hearings by the joint assembly of the Tennessee House and Senate Republican Caucuses. The thing that I find most encouraging about this process is that open hearings are being held by the GOP so that people can view the qualifications of these candidates. The most important thing about this process is that if the party opposite should return to control, they will never again be able to chose Constitutional Officers under such a cloud of secrecy as was done before. The Republican leadership in the House and Senate has set a gold standard for transparency.

I thought Vance Cheek conducted himself extremely well in his interview for Treasurer. The fact that he has served on the Claims Commission as well as having helped balanced a Tennessee city budget without a tax increase. There is little doubt that Ira Brody has an impressive resume, and perhaps my biases are showing, but Brody makes me uneasy. I know Vance personally, and so I know that his only goal in applying to be State Treasurer is to be of service to the great State that we both love. If Vance loses, he will go back to Johnson City and practice law and serve the people on the Johnson City Commission. Ira Brody seems like he is trying to advance himself as a candidate for public office and that he is trying to use the Treasurer's office to achieve those ends. I don't doubt that Vance Cheek will probably seek higher public office in the future, but he has already served in public office in East Tennessee and he doesn't need to be State Treasurer to help him along.

While I thought all of the candidates for Secretary of State were good candidates, I think the top two are former State Senator Jim Bryson and former Representative Tre Hargett. Of those two, I am most impressed with Bryson because of his in-State experience. As he said, he knows Tennessee as only someone who has run for Statewide office can know it.



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