Saturday, February 20, 2010

Question of the Weekend: Haslam's millions

In the last couple of weeks, I've discussed the controversy from a couple of our Republican gubernatorial candidates in Tennessee over Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam's income from Pilot Travel Centers, LLC, and Haslam's refusal to fully declare that income. Bill Haslam has said that making his Pilot income public would bring the financial affairs of other members of his family into public view who are not seeking political office, and would also reveal proprietary information about Pilot that should be kept under wraps. The Haslam money controversy leads to our question of the weekend for reader response.

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Fairness In Funding?

Does the University of Tennessee have fairness in its allocation of funds to promote special interests?:

The issue with the university propping up a group like this is twofold: If the group is student-led, they unquestionably have the right to exist and to promote their ideas and agenda among the student body and faculty, just as any other student-led group has the constitutional right to do. However, are other student-led groups being given equal treatment and similar amounts of money and office space? The College Republicans, College Democrats, Baptist Student Union, Catholic Student Association (at some universities also called the Newman Club, Newman Society, or Oxford Club or Society), Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, Hallel Society (for Jewish students), Muslim Student Association, Right-to-Life, even student sporting clubs, deserve the same treatment that this group is getting, since all are student-led political organizations or special interest groups.

If this gay and lesbian group is entirely founded by an instrument of the university, such as the President's office, other special groups, such as Christians, Jews, Muslims, conservatives, liberals, Hispanics, Asians, , deserve similar attention from the university. Why are only blacks, women, and gays given that kind of special treatment with tuition and tax money?

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Watch What You Say

Some Republican Gubernatorial candidates need to be careful of their rhetoric:

It is thoroughly wrong to believe that participation in our system of government as a candidate or a holder of public office should be limited only to those with wealth or monetary means. Often, laws which are intended to dampen the "corrupting" influence of money in public life instead have the effect of limiting participation in politics only to the rich who can afford to play the game. However, just as it is wrong to skew the "system" to keep the "common man" out, it is equally insidious to presume that because a man is wealthy that he will be a poor public servant. The rhetoric from some quarters in the Republican Gubernatorial Primary race in Tennessee should not make Bill Haslam's wealth the reason to keep him out of office.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday

Matthew 6:1-8,14-19:

Take heed that you do not your justice before men, to be seen by them: otherwise you shall not have a reward of your Father who is in heaven. Therefore when thou dost an almsdeed, sound not a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be honoured by men. Amen I say to you, they have received their reward. But when thou dost alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doth. That thy alms may be in secret, and thy Father who seeth in secret will repay thee. And when ye pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites, that love to stand and pray in the synagogues and corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men: Amen I say to you, they have received their reward.

But thou when thou shalt pray, enter into thy chamber, and having shut the door, pray to thy Father in secret: and thy Father who seeth in secret will repay thee. And when you are praying, speak not much, as the heathens. For they think that in their much speaking they may be heard.Be not you therefore like to them, for your Father knoweth what is needful for you, before you ask him.

For if you will forgive men their offences, your heavenly Father will forgive you also your offences. But if you will not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive you your offences.

And when you fast, be not as the hypocrites, sad. For they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Amen I say to you, they have received their reward. But thou, when thou fastest anoint thy head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not to men to fast, but to thy Father who is in secret: and thy Father who seeth in secret, will repay thee. Lay not up to yourselves treasures on earth: where the rust, and moth consume, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up to yourselves treasures in heaven: where neither the rust nor moth doth consume, and where thieves do not break through, nor steal.

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Fighting the Power

Tennessee is leading the resistance:

There seems every indication that the House version of the bill, sponsored by Nashville Representative Beth Harwell, will also pass by a wide margin. Today's vote in the Tennessee Senate marks the latest salvo in a growing popular movement of resistance to the encroachments of federal power. It is happening in States and localities right across the Union, but Tennessee seems to have the market on it of late. The General Assembly now has a Committee of Correspondence which is dedicated to spelling out all of Tennessee's collective grievances with Washington, and then encouraging other States to pass sovereignty resolutions as well.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Long Year

It's going to be a long year for Democrats in Tennessee:

[T]he demise of the Democratic Party can even be seen in the reality that no one takes the Democratic field for Governor seriously, it is almost as if that section of candidates doesn't even exist. You might say "gosh Oatney, that is East Tennessee, where Republicans dominate the political scene anyway. A year with no Democrats running isn't exactly surprising." What is shocking is that as Democrats gather in these caucuses or conventions, no one has been willing to come forward to run in the days leading up to the filing deadline for local county primaries in many of these jurisdictions in East Tennessee.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Faulk Speaks

State Senator Mike Faulk tells his side of the story on his controversial abstention in the Judiciary Committee on Senator Mae Beavers' Copeland Cap amendment proposal:

"If this amendment passes, 12 Senators could conceivably hold up the passage of a State budget for partisan reasons while the other 120 members of the General Assembly favor the budget," Faulk told The Examiner over the weekend, "I'm not prepared to openly support an approach that could allow that to happen." Faulk said he believes his position on the Beavers amendment is being misinterpreted by his some of his fellow conservatives. "I am not opposed to a super-majority being needed to pass the budget when it is clear that spending is going to exceed economic growth, but the idea of any budget being held up by 12 people just doesn't work."

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