Friday, September 30, 2011

Humble Pie

The question of the day seems to be whether Oatney should eat a humble pie with crow, and how large the serving should be:

When this writer says that he thinks very highly of Jean Howard Hill and the important message that she is carrying, it isn't some patronizing statement meant to butter things over, it is a truth at the very root of who this writer is. While he may not ever have an understanding of what it is like to be black in this country, let alone in the Republican Party, he understands completely what it is like to be written off and marginalized because of who he is and the way in which he was born. There are plenty of people who haven't taken him seriously because of his disability, nor do they see him as someone who can be seriously involved in politics-let alone Republican politics (note to our friends here in Jefferson County-NO, I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT YOU!!!!!!). At least from the perspective of being someone who has, in the past, not been taken seriously because he is different (Dr. Hill would use the phrase "a fly in the buttermilk") boy, does this writer get it. We at least have some clue, however distant, of Jean Howard Hill's struggle to be relevant-and to have the concerns of African Americans be relevant-in the Republican Party. Making a statement like the one above was not meant to offend Dr. Hill at all-though it certainly may offend some people-it was meant to agree with Jean Howard Hill on a very basic and fundamental level.
This writer believes that Dr. Hill's message of inclusion within the Republican Party is so important that on the way home from the very meeting at which Dr. Hill spoke the other night, it was the topic of conversation (ask our State Executive Committeewoman, who heard this writer's words as they pertained to some of the things which Dr. Hill said). Jean Howard Hill's persona and message are as powerful as we said they were in this space yesterday. This writer is really reading Dr. Hill's book, and even when he doesn't agree with Dr. Hill, her ideas do cause him to think and reflect about what we can do to make all people, regardless of race or ethnicity or background, feel at home in the Republican Party. Any criticism this writer might toss in Dr. Hill's direction doesn't diminish that in the least. Dr. Hill's work invites us to have a serious and honest conversation about the issue of race in the Republican Party-something long overdue.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Provisionals

It came down to the provisionals last night over at the Knox County Election Commission:

It would take a candidate receiving 50% of the vote plus one-an outright majority-to avoid a November runoff. The counting went well into the night, ceasing around 11pm (give or take a few minutes) when it became clear that Rogero lead handsomely, but not enough to get a majority, and Padget would squeak just ahead of Harmon to finish second and guarantee a runoff. The count, reported WIVK radio late last night, came down to provisional ballots. The election was officially non-partisan, but people in the community know that Rogero and Padgett are Democrats and that Harmon is a Republican. Harmon suggested in the press that a few Republicans didn't stick with him and voted for Rogero instead, guaranteeing that he would not face the more liberal Rogero in November.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Apathy, East Tennessee Style

Knoxville voters are apathetic:

Perhaps most disturbing are the low turnout numbers for such a history-making election where Knoxvillians will elect a series of new leaders and the first newly-elected full-term Mayor in eight years. People can gripe all they like about low-turnout being due to it being an odd year, but considering how well-publicized these elections have been, there is no excuse but sorry and disgusting apathy for an estimated eight percent voter turnout.

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Holt's Dilemma

State Rep. Andy Holt (R-Dresden) apparently has a dilemma:

Tom Humphrey reports that State Rep. Andy Holt (R-Dresden), who also holds a seat on the Weakley County Commission, attempted to resign his County Commission seat and name his successor at the same time. Apparently, the rules of the body in Weakley County allow for the Commissioner who remains in a given district to name the interim replacement, and Holt's seatmate in the district he represents is a Democrat-and would likely choose a Democrat to fill Holt's seat. Admittedly, these rules seem a bit bizarre, since in most East Tennessee counties a vacancy is filled on an interim basis under such circumstances by a full vote of the body. However, the rules are what they are.

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