Saturday, August 09, 2008

Five Years Ago

It so happened that five years ago, also on Saturday, August the 9th at 11:00 in the morning, a very beautiful young lady in a white dress walked down the aisle of Holy Cross Church in Pigeon Forge, and was set to marry the burly fella who waited at the end. The bride's father didn't say anything to the groom, I'd imagine he was too choked up-but I also reckon by the look on his face that he was rightly thinking "now if you hurt my daughter, you shall surely die."

The couple had selected hymnody for the Nuptial Mass that the assembled guests would all be familiar with. During the opening hymns, the readings, and the homily, the bride and groom sat together, which is often the custom at Catholic weddings in modern times. The bride's party was assembled of family members, all cousins, and the maid of honor was a close cousin if the bride. The groom's party was composed of men he had went to college with. His best man had been one of his closest political and personal confidantes, and he had encouraged the best man to go to law school- which he did-and became a successful attorney. The other men in the wedding party had all been through college with the groom and spent part of the gathering the night before sharing stories of the past, including crazy but true stories about the first time they saw the groom-nearly all believed the groom to be a raving lunatic until they introduced themselves to him. Several of the wedding party fought political battles with the groom, and had the stories to prove it. (For those who think the groom might be a pure ideologue, there was a Democrat in the wedding party who also read the scriptures that day.)

When the bride and groom approached the altar, they both recited their vows and everyone did just fine until the time came to place rings on fingers. When the groom attempted to do this, he got choked up when blessing his wife and get the entire Trinitarian formula out without crying, for he got choked up on the words "Holy Spirit." The bride later told the groom that if he had continued this, it would have just been too bad because she and the entire bridal party would have all begun to cry-but alas, the groom regained his composure.

Five years later, Nicole still has the ability to get me all choked up. I know that sometimes she does not believe it, but there is very little that I would be able to accomplish in this life without her help and support. She is an island of stability in an otherwise unstable world, and she is quietly but firmly supportive of nearly everything I try to accomplish-she is often the hand behind the scenes who unobtrusively advises.

I simply would not be the same man, or be where I am today, without Nicole.

I love you sweetheart-Happy Anniversary.

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Friday, August 08, 2008

The Best Result of Last Night-18th House District

Winner Candidate Incumbent Votes Vote %
X Stacey Campfield X 2493 54%

Ronald Leadbetter
2002 43%

Jonathan Katsiros
162 3%

As with two years ago, this result made my night last night. For all of the nasty things that happened to conservatives in the 4th House District and the 8th Senate District and (to a lesser degree) the First Congressional District, I always feel redeemed if Stacey wins.

Yes, Stacey is a dear friend, but that is not the primary reason I support him. Rarely have I dealt with anyone in government as open, direct, and honest as Stacey Campfield. What Stacey Campfield believes is what he will tell you to your face, it is how he will vote, and it is how he lives. I hope and pray he remains in the House for many years to come.

Nicole and I want Stacey to know how much we love and appreciate him.

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First District Upset

Winner Candidate Incumbent Votes Vote %
Phil Roe
25916 50%

David Davis X 25416 49%

Michael Sabri
325 1%

The Republican Primary was the biggest surprise of the night, with David Davis losing it by the same margin he won two years ago-500 votes (Note: The Kingsport Times-News is reporting that the numbers were even more slim, with Davis garnering 25, 458 votes).

I voted for David Davis-but I also believe Davis took this race for granted. I watched this race from the ground while just beginning my own campaign in local office that will culminate in November, and Phil Roe just ran the better campaign. Even worse for Davis is the reality that Roe ran a far superior operation in the closing week of the campaign than he did. David Davis believed that his position as an incumbent would save him, but he simply failed to account for Dr. Roe's tenacity, as well as for the fact that he was not elected with any sort of mandate in 2006. He is widely disliked in the First District-and not merely by what passes for the Left around here. There are plenty of conservatives who have long had it out for Davis, and one of his more conservative opponents in the 2006 race privately told me that he could tolerate losing to anyone in the field, but losing to David Davis really goaded him.

Davis simply failed to understand that he is just not that popular, but that he could still win in spite of his unpopularity if he actually campaigned anywhere near as hard as Phil Roe did.

David Davis' biggest problem now is that he isn't blaming his own shortcomings, he is blaming Democrat crossovers for his defeat:

“We believe there was a lot of Democrat switchover vote,” Davis said. “It is legal in the state of Tennessee for Democrats to go switch their allegiance in a primary.

I despise crossover voting. As a matter of principle, I will not vote in a Democratic Primary, even if all of the Republican races are unopposed. I do not believe it is my place to have a say in who the Democratic Party should nominate since I am not a Democrat, nor do I believe Democrats should be able to have a say in nominating Republicans.

However, until we wise up in Tennessee and close our primaries, crossover voting will be a reality in any congressional race in the First District. Democrats know that the Republican Primary is the only game in town, and the Congressman from the First District will always emerge from that contest. Until our laws are changed, a candidate should prepare for the inevitability of crossover votes and plan a strategy to deal with them.

David Davis lost this race, and for the blame he must look in the mirror.

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Final Calls in Volunteer Primaries


David Oatney finally joins the rest of the media in calling the races in Tennessee's First Congressional District, Tennessee's 4th House District, 8th Senate District, and 18th House District. Sharon Cobb joins the show.

(Forgive the vulgar and profane caller at the end).

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Tennessee Primary Results


The results of today's Tennessee State Primary races for Congress and the Legislature. Local election results in some counties, including Knox and Jefferson. Fabian Story joins the show with analysis.

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Why Obama Is Dangerous

If you are still somehow searching for a good reason not to vote for Barack Obama, would the reality that he supported legislation in the Illinois State Senate not once, but on three separate votes, to kill babies born alive be enough to convince you that this is a dangerous man.

Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy, and Barbara Boxer couldn't even uphold this infanticide at the federal level. When Barack Obama was a member of the Illinois State Senate, he voted against protecting babies who, after their abortions were botched, were born alive.

Note: I am out campaigning today, so that is why my entry does not further expound.

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Obama's Clinton Problem

Yesterday, I pointed out that the Barack Obama campaign was beginning to manifest signs of a late-summer collapse, very similar to what happened to Michael Dukakis in 1988. If the Rasmussen poll wasn't enough evidence to prove the point, then the bad blood between Hillary Clinton's camp and Barack Obama ought to tell us something:

Does Barack Obama think he needs the Clintons’ help this fall? And do the Clintons really want to give it to him?

The answer to both questions seems to be a resounding “no.”

And this could very well be the reason why a slam-dunk Obama victory in November becomes a down-to-the wire race against John McCain.

Sure, Bill and Hill can act like spoiled children. And they certainly played rough during the primaries. But Mr. Clinton was a popular two-term Democratic president who led in comparatively prosperous and peaceful times.

As for Mrs. Clinton? Well, she got more (registered) Democratic votes in the primaries than Obama.

Let's translate all of this: These two people do not like one another, and I would venture to say that the feelings between former President Clinton and Barack Obama probably border on outright hatred. Howard Fineman pointed out that he's been covering President Clinton for years and has never "seen him seething with so much anger." What's more, Hillary Clinton is being quite open about the fact that she feels she has done more than her part to help raise money for Obama, but he hasn't returned the favor in helping her retire her campaign debt:

In a private meeting in Washington last week with her top fundraisers, Hillary declared that she had kept her end of the dollar-for-dollar agreement with Obama, raising $500,000 for his campaign.

Those of you who have been operating under the illusion that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are going to run on the same ticket may now divorce yourselves from that fantasy. The trouble for Barack Obama lies in the reality that he needs Clinton voters in order to beat McCain, and at least 30% of those who call themselves "conservative Democrats" say they will vote for John McCain. Many of these people voted for Clinton in the primaries, and it is not inconcievable that other Clinton voters will also support McCain if they believe Obama is either not up to the job, or that he is somehow less than honorable.

Barack Obama's campaign is in trouble. He does have time to turn that trouble on its head, but so far, he has been too busy speaking in platitudes and saying "yes we can," rather than dealing with the problems on his own political center and addressing issues in a serious way.

The race in November will be one of those all-nighters yet again.

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Press Doesn't Report Major Poll Result, Passes Note To Barack in Study Hall

Why am I not surprised that nothing is to be found in the major press today about the latest national Rasmussen poll-the one that shows John McCain with a one point national lead, thereby making the presidential race at present a dead heat? Further, that the race in some States is so tight that Rasmussen and other agencies keep switching States from "leaning" one way or the other to toss-up status.

Not even Fox News seems to be discussing these latest numbers, which really smack of 1988, when Michael Dukakis enjoyed a rather handsome summer lead that first showed signs of ebbing away in early August. All we are hearing instead is Obama this, Obama that, and McCain doesn't match his strategy. Republicans can, I suppose, take some solace in the reality that 49% of Americans think the news media is actively aiding Barack Obama's campaign.

After all, Chris Matthews feels something running up his leg when he hears Obama speak. The press is in love with him as if it is collectively involved in some kind of junior high school crush. They are busy passing love notes to Barry O in study hall.

Meanwhile, while the press is busy with its love affair, Obama is slowly beginning to fade into the regions of Dukakis-land.

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Monday, August 04, 2008

What A McCain Landslide Might Look Like

Today we explore what an electoral college landslide in favor of John McCain might look like:
<p><strong>><a href=''>Electoral College Prediction Map</a></strong> - Predict the winner of the general election. Use the map to experiment with winning combinations of states. Save your prediction and send it to friends.</p>
From the time that McCain became the Republican nominee, his campaign has said that it wants to be competitive in some Blue States, and specifically singled out Pennsylvania and Michigan. In a landslide scenario, it isn't unreasonable to think that he would carry both, especially after lingering resentment in Pennsylvania over the primary there, and anger in Michigan over the process (or lack thereof) for seating Democratic delegates from that State at the party opposite's national convention.

John McCain would also carry Ohio, and manage to hold Colorado for the GOP by the skin of his teeth. Even in a landslide, it is rather unrealistic to expect any of the West Coast to do anything but stay Blue, just as the Northeast likely would-with the exception of New Hampshire.

Of the scenarios that have been discussed here, this one is the least likely to actually occur, but it is within the realm of political possibility.

Beginning next week, we'll have a weekly look at the map based on where the polls in each State currently stand. These numbers will include toss-up electoral votes in those States that are just too close to call. On the Monday before the General Election, I'll use the map to make a final prediction as to the outcome of the 2008 Presidential Election.

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Why Lead Isn't Better in the 18th District

Like clockwork, it seems, a dedicated cadre of liberals, Republicans-in-Name-Only, Mike Ragsdale arse-kissers, and members of the West Knoxville Guilt Trip Club-as in "we feel guilty because we actually have money"- have come together to form strange political bedfellows in an attempt to oust State Representative Stacey Campfield. The last time these strange bedfellows got together they served up two opponents (one primary and one for the General Election), and all told managed to outspend Campfield five-to-one. The end result was that Stacey Campfield received 74% of the vote in the primary, and defeated his Democratic opponent by almost 12 points.

Now the same bedfellows are at it again, this time they've rounded up Ron Leadbetter to oppose Stacey. A well-known name among certain circles at UT, that's for sure, but the arguments sound like a broken record...

"Campfield hasn't passed any bills."

Republicans who are truly conservative and who stand by their principles at the Capitol will not get bills passed. Frank Niceley didn't get any of his bills passed either, yet we don't hear any complaints about that reality from his constituents. They know full well that unless you are willing to sell out and pay homage to Lord Naifeh, you can't expect to get bills passed-but you can serve a far more useful purpose: You can help block bad bills thrust upon you by a wasteful, inept, spoiled, entrenched Democratic majority. You can do this by using the bully pulpit of the Legislature to call the Democrats out, and no one does this more effectively than Stacey Campfield. In an age when so many people are cynical about public service because they believe politicians will sell their principles out for perks and their souls for re-election, Stacey Campfield stands on his principles and will not waver-he gives hope to those who believe in doing what is right no matter the political cost. What about his opponent? Mr. Leadbetter has resorted to taking support from sell-out Republicans who support Jimmy Naifeh who tell people who ask questions about their record to shut up. Further, there are now serious questions being raised about whether Ron Leadbetter can be counted on to fully defend our Second Amendment rights the way that Stacey Campfield has done. What's more, we don't even know if Leadbetter will defend the rights of the unborn the way that Campfield has done. Does Mr. Leadbetter even have the intestinal fortitude to fight for the things that are truly right-the way Stacey Campfield has already demonstrated that he is willing to do? We just don't know for sure, do we?

The purpose of being in the Legislature is not, in and of itself, to pass bills. Perhaps during a person's time there they may pass many bills, or they may pass none at all. Their primary purpose-if they mean to uphold the oath they swore-is to defend your rights. The purpose of a truly good legislator is not to pass more and more laws and expand the power of the state, but to defend his or her constituents from the overarching hand of excessive government power by whatever legal and parliamentary means he or she may have at their disposal. If passing bills can accomplish this goal, that is well and fine. More often than not, the goal of defending the rights of the people is advanced by blocking legislation and obstructing it, not by passing it.

Apparently, Ron Leadbetter does not subscribe to this point of view. He seems to adopt the liberal view of the Democratic Party that it is a matter of constituent service to pass bills ad in finitem. If you do not pass bills, this philosophy says, you are not serving the interests of your constituents.

This is how we know that Ron Leadbetter is less than a true conservative, for his view of public service is not the conservative view. This may explain why Mr. Leadbetter is hoping for Democrat crossover voters to be who hands him a victory in the Republican Primary for State Representative this Thursday. If Mr. Leadbetter owes his election to Democrats, whose bidding will he do as a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives?

Stacey Campfield is given to understand that the primary interest of his constituents is their liberty, and in advancing that interest he is doing everything in his power. Campfield believes as Thomas Jefferson did, that the government which governs best governs least.

"He is an embarrassment to the Legislature."

For what, speaking his mind?

It was Kent Williams (R-Elizabethton) who said that, and it was Williams-a Republican-who voted for the pro-abortion, anti-Second Amendment Democrat Jimmy Naifeh to be Speaker of the House. Williams, Naifeh, and the Democratic Leadership don't like Stacey Campfield because Campfield, unlike them, is committed to open government, and refuses to be quiet and go along. Stacey Campfield communicates with his constituents, all Tennesseans, and the world through his well-known blog on the internet. Few other Representatives in Nashville are nearly as accessible as Campfield. He refuses to act behind closed doors and he doesn't participate in the backroom dealmaking that is so rampant on Capitol Hill. Democrats and establishment Republicans want Stacey Campfield beaten for one reason-they want to shut him up.

If I spent all of that time, energy, money, and effort to get myself elected to the Tennessee General Assembly-a body that requires me to abandon my livelihood at home to go to Nashville for six months every year and survive on just over $18,000 a year and $153 perdiem and, as we saw in the last session, just quits paying for expenses when Democrats keep the joint in session for too long, you'd better believe I am going to speak my mind, and the only people I might care about not liking it are my own constituents.

In many districts, it costs far more to get elected to the Legislature than it pays once you get there. For the ordinary man or woman, it is such an undertaking that most don't even try. Those cases where a regular guy or gal does try and succeed at getting in to the Legislature are rare enough that you'd better believe that when they get there, they are going to speak truth to Power. That's just what Stacey Campfield does in Nashville every day-and Power doesn't like it.

If your Representatives aren't speaking their mind after all of the effort it should have taken them to get to Nashville, whose take are they on-the people's or someone else's?

"He wears tennis shoes to committee hearings."

For some of Campfield's opposition, this is the best they can do-it is sad, really. The rules of the House require that a jacket and tie be worn to Session and when participating in a committee hearing. Nothing is mentioned about shoes specifically. I understand Stacey's predicament because I have a disability, and I've walked around the Legislative Plaza many times. Doing so in dress shoes is sometimes a necessity, but always painful. When one can wear more comfortable shoes in a situation and the rules don't specifically prohibit that, why not? (I am not a member of the House, but I've come to visit at least once a year. I wear a coat and tie on the House floor, but in other situations I dress in more comfortable clothes. Were I ever to be elected to the House, I would be strict on abiding by floor dress code (I criticized Senator Mike Williams for breaking it, after all), but would look for any way within rules and reason to dress more comfortably off the House floor-sue me for looking out for my general good health.

There may be a good reason for the tennis shoes, but of course no one in the opposition ever bothered to ask Stacey. Since they have no good reasons to hate the man, tennis shoes is the best they can do.

Tennis shoes and all, I'm proud to call Stacey Campfield a friend, and more proud of the people of the 18th District for electing him to the Tennessee House of Representatives twice.

If you live in the 18th District, don't vote for a yes man-vote for a real one.

Please vote to re-elect State Representative Stacey Campfield Thursday, August 7th.

"In your heart, you know he's right."

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Sunday, August 03, 2008

The Angelus

And the Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary...

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