Archive for the ‘TN Senate’ 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.

Jefferson County GOP General Meeting scheduled for January 21st

January 2, 2012


The Jefferson County Republican Party has scheduled a General Meeting on Saturday, January 21st, 2012 at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Dandridge. All Jefferson County Republicans are invited to attend this important gathering.

This is a meeting for Jefferson County Republicans to hear reports on the health and State of the party, and more importantly to hear from Republican candidates or their representatives from among those who are running for office as Republicans in 2012. All REPUBLICAN candidates who are running for an office where they would, if elected, represent all or part of Jefferson County are invited to speak or to send a representative to speak in their stead where appropriate.

A reminder to those of you attending that this meeting is not the same as the Mass Meeting (the Mass County Convention) which in Jefferson County we usually hold in January of odd-numbered years. We won’t be electing party officers at this meeting, as officers are never chosen at the Mass Meeting during an election year. This meeting is to help our Republican voters get excited about our coming election year, to learn about the Republican candidates they’ll have the opportunity to choose from this year, and to learn about party activities and, most importantly, how you can help. We’ll see you on January 21st

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?

“I want my Nafeh!!!”

September 3, 2011

"Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah...I want my Naifeh back"

The Democrats’ predictable crying over legislative reapportionment has begun.

The predictable whining from the Tennessee Democratic Party and its utterly feckless Chairman Chip Forrester has begun in earnest, with Forrester and his Democrats complaining that Republicans have not been transparent in revealing redistricting proposals. We have discussed some possible district realignment developments in this space, but as has been repeated here on multiple occasions, nothing is official, and should not be seen as such. We suspect that the reason the Democrats want the Republicans to hurry so quickly with the redistricting process is so that they can try and find some reason to sue over it. Forrester and his cronies know that one of the big reasons why the GOP hasn’t yet released any official information about redistricting plans is because Tennessee’s Republican National Committeeman, John Ryder, is playing a big role in that process and Ryder knows how to avoid legal troubles when it comes to drawing constituency lines.
When Democrats controlled the General Assembly, they allowed Democratic Congressmen to decide their district lines and threw Republicans the scraps. When determining legislative districts, former House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh (D-Covington) had a goal not only of protecting Democratic incumbents, but especially those that were personally loyal to him. After the Naifeh crew got through carving up the House to protect themselves, Republicans would get the leftovers, and if you happened to get drawn out of your district, oh well…it meant you probably gave Boss Jimmy trouble in the first place.
It is comical to see Democratic Chairman Chip Forrester actually act like anyone actually gives a flying flip in the end. These are the same people who dominated the process for 140 years and dictated to Republicans how their districts would and would not be drawn (and we’d all learn to like it), but now that the shoe is on the other foot, the Democratic baby is throwing a temper tantrum.

As the redistricting pen turns

August 23, 2011

Since we are in the season of speculation about legislative redistricting, and that redistricting will impact the way we vote next year, there seems to be some indication that Jefferson County is in serious play, and there is a possibility that White Pine, Baneberry, and Chestnut Hill could move out of Rep. Frank Niceley’s (R-Strawberry Plains) 17th District, and into Freshman Republican Jeremy Faison’s (R-Cosby) District.


While there is still little that can be said with certainty about what the final legislative map will look like, several sources close to the situation on Capitol Hill in Nashville have confirmed to The Examiner that East Tennessee could see some significant changes in legislative representation-which will likely include changes in State Senate representation, with Upper East Tennessee in a position to gain a Senate seat and Memphis poised to lose one. In the Tennessee House of Representatives, the seemingly prevailing view is that changes in population in Greene County will put the entire county under one House member, presumably Representative David Hawk (R-Greeneville) would run for that seat. Making Greene County a single district would cut into freshman Rep. Jeremy Faison’s (R-Cosby) district. How would that be resolved? Likely, we are told, by moving into eastern Jefferson County-in a move that would change this writer’s legislative representation, Faison seems likely to pick up White Pine, Baneberry, and Chesnut Hill, while Representative Frank Niceley (R-Strawberry Plains), appears as though he may pick up more of Knox County or part of Sevier.

For his part, Representative Niceley tells us that he doesn’t expect to get any of Knox County under the new configuration of the Legislature. Rumors abound of the potential bloodletting against Democrats in the Tennessee Senate.

Campfield told The Examiner that many in the Senate aren’t yet sure just what the new districts will look like. “We are supposed to be having a Senate Republican Caucus retreat very soon, and at that gathering, we are being told that we will come to know the future of our districts and what kind of situation we’ll be dealing with at the next election.” Campfield did confirm that the redistricting rumor mill is spinning regarding Senate Democratic Leader Jim Kyle (D-Memphis). “Obviously, we don’t know for sure yet, but Kyle looks like he may be put in a position where he ends up in the same district as another Democrat,” Campfield said.

This could get interesting. Senate Democratic Leader Jim Kyle of Memphis could be wiped out of a district-and so, possibly, could Smilin’ Roy Herron(D-Dresden).

Current East Tennessee State Senate Districts


Ramsey backs Perry, Perry declares for President, gets 712 write-in votes at Iowa Straw Poll

August 15, 2011

Texas Governor Rick Perry has hinted for some time that he might enter the campaign for the 2012 Republican nomination. Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey was so enthused about the idea that last Wednesday he issued a press release which practically begged Perry to run for President. Rick Perry didn’t have an official presence at the Iowa Straw Poll on Saturday, but he still managed to get more votes than the person who the national press has pegged as the GOP front-runner.

While winning the Iowa Straw Poll is a major campaign accomplishment, it is equally important to finish better than a candidate or a candidate’s supporters might have expected. Considering this, the results of this year’s Ames event were good for former Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, who did much better than expected despite finishing 4th, but very bad for former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, who finished 3rd after his campaign spent had already spent months organizing in Iowa on the ground. The result prompted Pawlenty to drop out of the presidential campaign.

Despite not having an official presence at the Ames Straw Poll, Governor Perry received 712 votes as a write-in, more raw votes than the so-called national Republican front-runner, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who finished 7th with 587 votes.
It goes to show us that it is entirely too early in this process to be declaring who the frontrunner is. Come February, we are all very liable to be quite surprised.

Harwell should be commended for effort to combat per diem abuse

July 25, 2011

Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell should be commended in her efforts to stop per diem abuse in the General Assembly.

Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell has taken a critical step to restore public confidence in the workings of the General Assembly in deciding to limit the per diem legislators can receive for out-of-State travel. Until May 13th, legislators were allowed one out-of-State trip per year where they were not only paid per diem but their travel and hotel expenses were covered. That part of the present policy won’t be changing, but what has changed is that legislators were able to take other trips besides their one allowed, and they couldn’t claim travel and hotel expenses, but could claim per diem, and now, they are no longer able to do so.

Harwell should be commended for the actions that she has chosen to take. In the past, I have defended our legislative per diem system, but it is still subject to abuse, especially by those members who actually live in Nashville or Davidson County and milk it for all it is worth. Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey should strongly consider following Speaker Harwell’s lead on this issue in the Senate.


Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville)