This is from the bio list in the program that was distributed at the debate. The bios were written by the candidates. I just thought I should preface this one…

Ethan Flynn is a Conservative Republican (do you think if he says it enough people will start to believe it?) and lifelong resident of Washington County, TN. He is a graduate of Science Hill High School and East Tennessee State University. While attending ETSU, Ethan served as Student Body President (see the letter to the editor I am posting after this). He is a former member of ETSU’s Alumni Board of Directors and is currently employed as a Sales Representative for Accelerated Mail Service. Ethan attends Grace Fellowship Church and is a member of the Johnson City/Jonesborough/Washington County Chamber of Commerce and serves as a member of the Chamber of Commerce’s Government Relations Committee.

In his opening statement Flynn claimed that all the candidates are conservative (right, and all Democrats love Hillary). He spoke about education, job creation, and family values (interesting for someone who isn’t even married).

This, I must say, was an improvement from when Flynn spoke at the Washington County Young Republicans meeting, where he said that we should vote for him because, he, unlike the older people, understand technology.

Question 1: What one quality will make you the best choice for Representative from the Sixth District?

Flynn talked – again – about his days at ETSU as SGA President. He said that he lost the election the first time that he ran and, through that experience, learned how to fail. When he ran again, he won (gee, and aren’t we all thankful for that). Flynn says that he doesn’t give up, he’s a hard worker, and a listener.

Flynn then moved on to talking about his dad’s business and what he has learned from that.

I found it somewhat amusing that, as the other candidates talked about their own life experiences – businesses they started, families they raised, and organizations in which they have been involved – and all Ethan could come up with was his dad’s business and being SGA President at ETSU.

In his rebuttal, Flynn said that he would focus on the future and try to reconcile with the other party. He says we shouldn’t “burn bridges,” as all those in Nashville are “for Tennessee.”

Question 2: We have been hearing lately about numerous new companies relocating to and/or hiring in Virginia. What can be done to draw companies to Washington County?

Flynn spoke of local issues and repeated Lee Sowers’ statistics (something Flynn did on more than one occasion). He then dropped yet another name, and said that we need to “market the area.” Flynn believes that government can and should bring business to the area. Again Flynn mentioned his SGA presidency and said that we should gear education toward areas that will attract employers. He said that the government should play a “huge” role in a skilled supply of labor.

Flynn then directed a question at Dale Ford…

In his rebuttal Flynn said that he agrees that government should “get out of the way,” but should facilitate growth (how, exactly, can government “get out of the way” when actively working to “draw business” to the area?). Flynn then disputed Sowers’ employment statistics.

Question 3: How do you feel about Gov. Bredesen’s “Cover Tennessee” plan? Do you believe that it will help small businesses?

Flynn says that healthcare is the #1 issue he’s heard about when “knocking on doors.” When referring to Cover Tennessee, he says that we have to have a plan – small businesses are hurting (including his daddy’s business). He says that we should pool insurance for small business and that we should educate our children in the government schools about health. Flynn says we need malpractice insurance reform (a Federal issue, to be clear). Flynn believes that we need incentives to get patients to go to the doctor rather than the ER and the government needs to try and reduce cost and expand ETSU’s College of Nursing.

Should I make a list of those things in Flynn’s answer that are not in the jurisdiction of a State government?

Question 4: What are your thoughts on President Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” plan? What can we do to improve education in Washington County?

Flynn says that education is the cornerstone of economic development (if, by “education,” Ethan is referring to government education, I beg to differ. Government education is actually the cornerstone of Communism, whose “economic development” is seriously lacking.)

But, with what Ethan said next, I actually agree. He says that there is no need to spend more money – money does not help a broken system. He also says that the problem in the classroom cannot be solved with smaller classes, but with quality teachers. He believes that No Child Left Behind does not work and that we need to move education back to a local level. He name-dropped again, and says he appreciates home-schooling, which he says should be supported.

In his closing, Ethan talked about the Bible, and how “Jesus chose laborers.” He says he’s a laborer. Flynn says that he has “looked at the issues” and says what he believes. He also says he will “work hard and listen.”

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