Friday, October 21, 2011

The Kelsey Plan

Senator Brian Kelsey's (R-Germantown) judicial proposal isn't a bad idea on its face, but before we change the State Constitution, we ought to abide by it first:Link
We don't elect our judges, of course, but thanks in part to the efforts of the late former Lieutenant Governor John Wilder (D-Fayette County) we have what might be called "faux elections" where citizens vote yes or no on appointments made by a Judicial Nominating Commission that the majority of voters don't even know exist, so they are voting yes or no on judges who they also don't know. Our overlords at the State Capitol long ago decided that we were too stupid to choose our own judges, and the judges don't want to stand for election because many of them use the cover of impartiality to disguise the fact that they do not want to have to answer to voters for liberal activist appellate judges who issue rulings which not only fly in the face of the federal and State constitutions, but are simply not reflective of Tennessee political or legal tradition.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

They Don't Know Jack

Did some folks over in Moore County forget their medication?:

The County Commission of Moore County has passed a resolution which asks the General Assembly to authorize a county referendum which, if passed, would allow for a $10 per barrel tax on every barrel of whiskey distilled in Moore County Since Moore County has only one legal whiskey distillery-which is, by the way, the most famous in the world-there is no doubt at who the tax is aimed. Since the Jack Daniel distillery would be responsible for some $5 million a year in new taxes under this proposal, in addition to the $1.5 million in local property taxes that they are already paying, one has to suppose that rather than pay a tax that is essentially targeted only at their business, since it is the only one of its kind in Moore County, the good people who distill Tennessee's most famous export will simply pass on this new tax burden to the American consumer of their whiskey-most of whom have never set foot in Moore County, Tennessee.

Standing in the way by both State law and longstanding custom is the Tennessee General Assembly. Now Republican-dominated (it wasn't in recent years' past), neither House nor Senate seems to have an appetite for taxation that is specifically targeted to one particular business. Further, the precedent that this kind of tax would create might bring about economic chaos, as counties look for ways to milk their principle industries without losing them. Those businesses which can leave such an environment would not hesitate to do so. Jack Daniel's Distillery is the largest employer in Moore County, and the "spin-off" jobs created from the still's successful operation provide many local people there with work who wouldn't otherwise have it in the worst economic climate since the 1930's. Do the people of Moore County really want to put that in jeopardy by milking the money from the cash cow that already feeds them?

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

All That Money

Tennessee House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner doesn't know where Republicans got "all that money.":

Mike Turner knows exactly where "that money," which was apparently was around $550,000, came from. When the Democrats were the majority party in Nashville-which was not long ago, recall-House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh (D-Covington) and the late former Lt. Governor John Wilder (D-Somerville) held sway over the General Assembly, and any Tennessean who had an understanding of State politics knew who ran the show. That number included lobbying organizations and various interest groups, who collectively understood that no matter what the politics of their organization might be, if they wanted to get something done at the Capitol, they had better kowtow to the Democratic Leadership and give their candidates some cash, as it might yield some ears later on down the line.

Now that Republicans are firmly in control of the General Assembly with no sign of being dislodged in the near future, it behooves many of those same kinds people to give to Republicans, lobbyists and major Statewide donors cannot afford to be out of the good graces of the people who run the show.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Beth Moves Fast

Beth Harwell acted to deal with the Curry Todd situation in a hurry-unlike her famous Democratic predecessor in a similar situation:

What happened to Curry Todd would likely not have happened if Todd were a Democrat while Jimmy Naifeh (D-Covington) was Speaker of the House. As is well-known, Naifeh was prepared to allow former Representative Rob Briley to keep his Chairmanship, but Briley resigned realizing that he had a serious alcohol problem that nearly led to him being incarcerated, and that if he remained in place the political pressure on him would never let up. Beth Harwell was not about to put the House Republican Caucus through drama over what would happen to Curry Todd, she dealt with it immediately and swiftly.

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Bizarro-Senate World?

This rumor is just bizarre:

This morning, however, a rumor (and as of now we are treating it as that, a
rumor), or an as yet unsubstantiated suggestion came to this writer's inbox from
a fellow local conservative activist that all or part of Jefferson County could
be drawn out of the 4th Senate District, in which we are currently represented
by State Senator Mike Faulk (R-Kingsport). If there is any truth
at all to the idea that the current structure of the 4th Senate District may be
fiddled with at Jefferson County's expense, it begs the question: Where would
Jefferson County go? Would the county be split in two as part of the process of
redrawing lines to make either the 4th District or a neighboring district legal?
Such a situation is possible considering voting laws as they relate to
population, but wouldn't be desirable from the standpoint either of our current
State Senator or any Senator which might represent all or part of Jefferson
County in the future. It also seems far-fetched since district lines-especially
in the Senate-tend to follow county lines wherever that is legally possible.
Would all of Jefferson County move into the First Senate District, be split
between the 1st and 4th, or between the 1st, 4th, and 8th Districts? Drawing the
entire county into the currently-neighboring 8th Senate District seems like that
would be a stretch, since Sevier and Blount Counties are both more populous than
Jefferson County.

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