Friday, October 28, 2011

Occupy Nashville Overkill

Okay, the Governor may cost Tennessee taxpayers millions:

Nevertheless, the reaction of State officials in how to deal with the protest has been overly broad and is blatantly unconstitutional, and whatever the circumstances of the sit-in at this point, the State has acted in a way that brings danger to the rights of all of us. First, the State abruptly changed the rules for assembly on Legislative Plaza, banning protests without a permit-one was not previously required until Friday-and closing the Plaza from 10pm to 6am. The Capitol grounds were not closed to the public at any hour of the day or night until today. Clearly, this sudden change of rules-while it may apply to all of us later-was aimed at Occupy Nashville right now, and that means that the State of Tennessee has invited a lawsuit, will probably have it by nightfall, and those suing will be in a position in which liberals rarely find themselves-on the constitutionally correct side of the issue.

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Who Are They Trying to Influence?

The Occupy Nashville crowd has been given until 8pm tonight to clear out of the Capitol:

Since the Constitution guarantees the right of protesters to peacefully assemble and "petition the government for a redress of grievances," it is fair to ask: If the Occupy Nashville protesters continue to be camped out at Legislative Plaza, what are they asking the Tennessee General Assembly specifically to do? Have they presented a list of their collective demands to Governor Bill Haslam, Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey, or House Speaker Beth Harwell? Are the demands of the protesters things that a State legislative body has the constitutional authority or ability to act upon? Perhaps most importantly, are many of these protesters even aware of the fact that the Tennessee General Assembly is a part-time legislature, that most of its members have a life outside of the Capitol and that, by the way, they aren't in session in October? It would appear that the answer to all of these questions is no. "Occupy Nashville" might see an occasional legislator duck in and out of a committee meeting from time to time, but if they are looking to wield influence, camping out at the Capitol in the middle of October isn't the way you do that in Tennessee-the General Assembly isn't there.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Duncanfest 2011

That's what it promises to be in the 6th District State Senate race:

Even the News Sentinel doesn't seem to believe that pipe dream, with writer Jim Balloch interviewing former Senator Ben Atchley (who was, last time this writer looked, still a Republican precinct chairman in Knox County), who pointed out that the district lines favor a Republican, and that is true-but that community generally favors Republicans and the only way that Democrats win in Knox County-and much of Knoxville-aside from gerrymandered districts (Joe Armstrong) is because of split votes (paging Ivan Harmon). Lots of whiners are complaining that the only reason that Becky Duncan Massey is likely to win is because she is a Duncan, but that is not true. The reality is that Ms. Johnson could change her last name to Duncan, switch campaign accounts with the Massey camp so that she would have the clear monetary advantage, and be able to hire a more professional campaign staff-and she would still lose in the 6th Senate District because there is a D next to her name.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sinking Ship

Tennessee Democrats are in deep trouble:

As can be expected, Tennessee Democratic Chairman Chip Forrester tried to put a brave face on those very negative numbers in a statement which said that no Republican got a majority. Obama's negatives are so high, however, that the State's Democrats must be concerned about how a large-scale defeat for the President within Tennessee would impact the down-ticket, especially in races for the Tennessee House of Representatives. In the wake of the 2010 General Election, Republicans won 64 seats in the House. Under the standing rules of the body, it takes 66 votes to cut off all debate, and redistricting will come into play for the 2012 election cycle. Since the GOP only needs two more seats in order to reach the 66 they need in order to pass whatever they please with no credible opposition, it might be that 66 comes as part of redrawing districts. Anger with Democrats over that party's perceived support of the man who may be the single most unpopular President in Tennessee history could push the Republican majority in the Tennessee House to 68 seats or higher.

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Now They Show Up

Alas, the mainstream media is finally catching on to a story we've followed for months:

Your Examiner has been covering this story for months when it seemed no one else would listen. We were among the first to report the other side of the story while the Nashville-area media rushed to judgment and all but pronounced Shipley and Ford as guilty of wrongdoing for doing nothing more than their jobs as legislators. Indeed, it was pointed out in this space that what was happening to Ford and Shipley appeared to be a case of the Governor and his executive minions attempting to throw Shipley and Ford under the bus. As far as this writer has been able to find, he was among the first media in the State to report that the nurses' licenses were initially suspended after a hearing in which only one member of the Board of Nursing was physically present in the room, and the nurses weren't allowed to present evidence in their own defense. Meanwhile, The Tennessean all but declared Ford and Shipley to be guilty in the historically Democratic paper's rush to hang leaders of the new Republican majority out to dry. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, an agency crawling with Democratic cronyism within Davidson County from the old days of Democrat control, has conducted a faux-investigation in a cheap attempt to set both legislators, but especially Tony Shipley, up for the political kill.

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