Archive for the ‘Governor’ category

Democrats take whine with medicine

January 12, 2012

Tennessee Democrats apparently don’t want to take their own medicine after disregarding the concerns of Republicans about redistricting for cycle after cycle:

 

There was very little in the way of complaint from Democrats about under-representation of rural Tennessee and East Tennessee back when they drew the districts and drew them to manufacture Democratic majorities that were padded at best and an outright fabrication of reality at worst. Now that it is time to administer the medication to the patient-Tennessee’s electoral system-that Democrats made sick with years of neglect and taking their majorities for granted, Tennessee Democrats do not want to take their medicine. As they know very well from experience, the party that runs the General Assembly calls the tune in Tennessee-see how we felt all those years?

In related news, Tennessee House “Speaker Emeritus” Jimmy Naifeh (D-Covington) made a public spectacle of himself on the House floor yesterday, complaining that the House was conducting other business with motions on the floor-motions that had already been voted on. Speaker Naifeh also complained about having to sit under the Rule during Roll Call and Announcements. Poor Jimmy. Word from a source on the Hill informs TheExaminer that Naifeh is aware that his redrawn district-a district which for years was drawn to always insure that he was re-elected, will nowe be virtually impossible for him to win. Hence, Jimmy Naifeh either must wrestle with getting beaten at the polls-he only survived by 500 votes in 2010-or he’ll be going back to Covington for his retirement coon supper.

Poetic justice for wrongly-accused Republican legislator

October 24, 2011

Rep. Tony Shipley (R-Kingsport)

 

The mainstream media is finally catching on to a story that your 2nd Vice Chairman has been following and writing about for months-that a rising conservative Republican star within our State House of Representatives has been the target of a political hit job because-well, he did his job.

 

 

 

Knoxville News Sentinel Capitol reporter Tom Humphrey has a story in this morning’s paper about Rep. Tony Shipley (R-Kingsport) feeling vindicated in helping three Upper East Tennessee nurse practitioners whose licenses were wrongly taken from them after a “show trial” hearing in which those attempting to defend themselves weren’t even allowed to present evidence which might (and ultimately did) exonerate them. It’s nice to see someone with what we might call some “pull” within the mainstream press in East Tennessee, such as Tom Humphrey has, cover this story and shed some light on it.

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.

 

 

 

See, many of the agencies in Nashville are still crawling with Democrats who owe their positions to the party that was previously in legislative power, and that includes the TBI, the Tennessee Highway Patrol, and the Tennessee Department of Health and Board of Nursing. They targeted a Republican legislator that they didn’t like (for no legitimate reason), and it has backfired on them royally. For now Shipley will be in charge of the committee which oversees, among other things, the Tennessee Board of Nursing.

The value of the vote

September 15, 2011

 

As someone with a disability, I understand completely that some of us don’t drive, so when the State of Tennessee enacted a new law requiring citizens to have photo identification to vote, there was also a provision included which allowed for free photo IDs (issued at State cost) for those without a driver’s license.

 

It would be one thing if the State of Tennessee enacted a law which said you had to have an identification card to vote and you have to pay to get one. Yes, under the new law your driver’s license counts as an acceptable form of identification, and you do have to pay for those-but that is for the privilege to drive, not to vote. If you don’t drive, you can get an ID card free of charge to you. That’s right boys and girls, you do not have to pay under our law in Tennessee to receive an identification card that will verify you as a Tennessee resident who is legally entitled to vote. If, because you don’t drive, you can’t make it to your local County Clerk’s office of your own accord, get in touch with the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office or the Tennessee Department of Safety, and those people will give you directions on how you can get an ID card that will allow you to vote in all of next year’s elections.

 

If someone is too lazy to find out how to get something as important as a valid identification card in order to vote at no cost, do they really value their franchise all that highly?

Government of the Twitter…

June 27, 2011

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam is to be commended. He encouraged more Tennessee local officials to use the internet as a means to stay in more direct contact with their constituents.

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam is to be commended for urging local governments to become more “wired-in” and attune to the use of information technology to communicate with their respective constituencies. There was a time-and it was not very long ago at all-when many of our government leaders were skeptical of bloggers and social media, and many doubtless believed that those on both sides of the political aisle who participate in internet-based social media by using it as a tool for political activism as a strange lot, not indicative of the political mainstream. Both the 2008 and 2010 election cycles showed leaders within both political parties and at all levels of government that social media can, will, and does impact the outcome of elections.

No more social promotion

June 14, 2011

Beginning July 1st, social promotion of childred past the 3rd Grade will be a thing of the past in Tennessee.

The purpose of legislation such as this is not to simply dictate to local education authorities what their retention policies should or shouldn’t be. Instead, this new law is designed to benefit the student. If a non-special needs student isn’t learning, they need to be helped, and if necessary held back until they’ve mastered the appropriate material. Until now, many children have been socially promoted with the theory that holding them back might do them more damage both socially and academically. Many public schools, not only in Tennessee but across the country, have operated with the notion that a student who may be held back a year is less likely to succeed in the future. If a child who is having trouble in school is made to stay until they “get it right,” that student is more likely to apply theselves so that they don’t have to be held back in the future.

Limiting the influence of teachers’ unions was a major step in reforming education in this State, but abolishing social promotion just might be the most important step that has yet been taken. The reforms aimed at the unions are meant to hold teachers accountable, but the end of social pomotion is meant to hold students and parents to the same standards.

Simply put, higher stadards are going to apply to everyone in the education system, not just one sub-group or another.

Classroom Black and White

Social promotion of children past the 3rd Grade is about to end in Tennessee-now students with the capacity t learn will have to earn their way.

Tennessee Education Association tries one last desperate futile attempt to save their political power

May 24, 2011

The Tennessee Education Association os trying one last futile attempt to hang on to their political power.

The Tennessee Education Association, now realizing that their political power is about to wither away to nothingness, is trying one last desperate attempt to save themselves in asking Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam to veto the legislation that replaces collective bargaining by unions with school boards and county commissions with collaborative conferencing. What, pray tell, do they think that would accomplish?

In Tennessee, it only takes a simple majority (51 votes in the House, 17 votes in the Senate) to override a Governor’s veto. The House and Senate could make the override the first major order of business when the General Assembly reconvenes in January, and the supporters of the measure would have the votes to make it stick. A veto on Haslam’s part would only delay the enactment of the Collective Bargaining Repeal Law, not prevent it from coming into being.

Haslam, of course, understands that teachers aren’t the problem, but the union that purports to represent them has been a roadblock to real education reform for years. The Governor will likely sign the bill.

The First Session is over

May 24, 2011

The first Session of the 107th General Assembly came to a close very late Saturday night, and the undivided Republican government got a lot done.

When the smoke cleared as the Legislature adjourned for the year late Saturday night, much of the political meat of the conservative agenda was passed by both Houses, including the replacement of unionized collective bargaining in our local school systems-by far the most contentious bill of the year. The law now requires teachers to be on the job for five years instead of three before they may receive tenure in local schools, and the most important education-related bill to come out of this legislative session may be the lifting of Tennessee’s previous cap on charter schools, giving parents greater choice than before in their child’s education. You’ll have to present a photo identification to vote at the next election, and corporations may make direct contributions to political candidates for the first time in Tennessee history, and active members of the General Assembly can raise campaign funds during the legislative session-since their opponents can already do so. The proposed amendment to the Tennessee Constitution which says that there is no “right to abortion” in that document is coming to a polling booth near you in November, 2014.

“Just a few more votes, and I think we’ll be out of here,” freshman Rep. Jeremy Faison told The Examiner late Saturday night, “I’m pleased with what we were able to accomplish here this session, and I think my constituents can be pleased too.” Many new legislators that had no record in January now have one to run on next year, and to receive feedback about from the folks back home. “By and large, I’m pleased,” said veteran Rep. Frank Niceley (R-Strawberry Plains) Friday night, “I think we’re borrowing more money than I would personally like, but this is still a really good budget, more fiscally responsible.” Niceley was referring to bond issues in the budget designed to help companies that are locating in Tennessee with their setup costs.

There were a few members missing late in the day Saturday, and widespread speculation curculated as to whether the missing legislators had been taken up in the Rapture.