Saturday, December 12, 2009

Question of the Weekend: Kent's Status

This week I wrote a lot about Tennessee House Speaker Kent Williams and the predicament between him and the Tennessee Republican Party. That leads to our question of the weekend for reader participation.

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Friday, December 11, 2009

The Vultures

Out come the vultures trying to attack Bill Hobbs today:

Domestic violence is very serious business indeed, and it doesn't matter what the political or religious persuasion of the abuser might be, abusers deserve far more than to have their name dragged through the mud. However, any allegation where Bill Hobbs may be involved must be tempered with the reality that our friends on the Left despise Bill Hobbs with a passion, because they know that Hobbs played as big a role as anyone in helping bring a Republican majority to both houses of the Tennessee General Assembly. Hobbs' indispensability to the conservative movement has been such that when he was fired by Chris Devaney when Devaney replaced Robin Smith as State Republican Chairman, I threw a ring-eyed fit, believing that this move wasn't a good opening salvo for Devaney, and demonstrated that the new Chairman was on disconnect with the ordinary folks out in the grassroots fields. Even the smarter people on the Left thought at the time that it was one of the worst political moves Devaney could have possibly made-and were clearly pleased about it (since that time, I have come to think it may have been better that Bill moved on, for other reasons not necessarily to do with Chairman Devaney).

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Keeping Himself Out

Who is ultimately responsible for keeping Kent Williams out of the Tennessee Republican Party?:

Association with a political party is a free choice, and the decision of a political party to disassociate with someone is also a choice of free association, regardless of the merits or lack thereof in making such a weighty-and hopefully extremely rare-political move. Political parties assist in the functioning of government, but they are not institutions of government and thus have the right to decide who does and does not qualify as a member.

It is very true that people in East Tennessee care much less about who is Speaker of the House and more about whether business is being done in Nashville the way that they would like it to be done. I myself have admitted that this past session turned out better than I would have expected, and I haven't even called-
as some others have-for Kent Williams to resign as Speaker of the House. Williams has incurred the penalty which he knew would be coming if he did not vote for the Republican nominee for Speaker.

Kent Williams has an opportunity to build bridges and mend fences by first admitting that the way in which he obtained power was wrong. If he fails to do that, the only person keeping Kent Williams out of the Republican Party is Kent Williams.

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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Stranger Things Have Happened

As stranger things have happened in Tennessee politics, there is still a way that State House Speaker Kent Willims can winny his way back into the Speakership, and perhaps the Tennessee GOP:

There is also little doubt that Kent Williams is aiming for another term as Speaker of the House, and one of the reasons that he wants to be re-enstated as a member of the Tennessee Republican Party is that being a party member would make it much easier for Williams to get the Republican nomination for Speaker. Last January, Williams was made Speaker because he received the Democratic nomination, but if political projections for the 2010 General Election turn out to be even remotely accurate, there will be too few Democrats to sustain Williams as Speaker should they want to do so. Kent Williams either needs the Republican Caucus to back him or he needs a real bipartisan coalition to re-elect him Speaker.

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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Forgive Us Our Debts-In A Roundabout Way of Speaking

An important issue the General Assembly could address in the 2010 session is collection and debt reform in Tennessee:

Since financial institutions either would not or could not say no to debtors who were unlikely to repay them, many of these lendors have sold their debt obligations to companies free to collect on the debt and keep the money-not a cent going to repay the original lendor. It is a legal, but at the very least unsavory practice that undermines the creditor-debtor relationship and, it could be argued, perverts the capitalist system. The practice of selling debt needs far more oversight legally than it gets in order to help preserve the notion that a person deserves to know to whom they owe money, and why somone totally unaffiliated with the institution which lent them money is trying so vigorously to collect from them.


Monday, December 07, 2009

Burning His Bridges

Why won't the Tennessee Republican Party consider readmitting Kent Williams? Because Williams apparently likes to burn bridges:

I have heard this story told in similar fashion by miltiple sources, including one respected Statewide (non-elected) Republican political player who actually favors readmitting Kent Williams to the GOP, but said that these comments by Williams did more to hurt his cause with the Executive Committee than anything else he has (or has not) done, and I heard this some three weeks ago. Hence, I believe Rep. Stacey Campfield's version of the story as told him by an SEC member from West Tennessee is probably quite accurate.

More recently, some details have been leaked that in these comments, Williams named names and even threw known supporters or potential supporters under the bus. Apparently, the Speaker doesn't believe that Charles Sargent, who had been opposed to throwing Williams out of the party to begin with, is qualified to chair the House Finance, Ways, and Means Committee. Nevermind, of course, that Sargent has one of the best fiscal minds in the House and is respected as such on both sides of the aisle-oh, and he has been in the House three and a half times longer than Kent Williams. Charles Sargent-unqualified...

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Sunday, December 06, 2009

Second Sunday of Advent

Luke 3:1-6:

Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and Philip his brother tetrarch of Iturea, and the country of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilina; Under the high priests Annas and Caiphas; the word of the Lord was made unto John, the son of Zachariah, in the desert. And he came into all the country about the Jordan, preaching the baptism of penance for the remission of sins; As it was written in the book of the sayings of Isaiah the prophet: A voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. Every valley shall be filled; and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight; and the rough ways plain;

And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.

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