Dale Ford is a native Northeast Tennessean and is one of 13 children. After school, he joined the US Army, went to work at Holston Defense as a foreman, attended Umpire School, was employed by the America League, and spent 27 years in the Major Leagues. Dale is involved in numerous organizations. He is a member of Hawthorne Church, a deacon, sings in the choir and in a gospel group. Dale is currently employed as the Athletic Coordinator for the Town of Jonesborough. He also does public speaking for area schools and organizations. Dale says this is the one way to give back to the people who have been so good to him.

In Dale’s opening statement, he spoke of the right to life, the second amendment, helping seniors, small business, roads, education (need smaller classes and better teachers), head start (right, because I want the government to get control of children even earlier. Before you know it, the government will be taking our children from the womb to indoctrinate them.), and finally, Ford says that every Tennessean should have health care.

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

Ford says that, as a retired baseball umpire, he learned to get along with everyone. “If you can get along with major league baseball people, you can get along with anyone.”

Ford and his wife raised 5 children and now have grandchildren. He says there is too little funding for education (sure, let’s throw more money at a broken system.)

In his rebuttal, Ford referred to working for Jonesborough Parks and Rec and has grown the organization. He again mentioned education.

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?

Ford briefly mentioned tax reform, but focused mostly on roads. He says that roads need to be expaned and improved – if we only had better roads, businesses would be flocking to the area!

Ford says that he can work with people to keep businesses here and to recruit new businesses to the area.

He again mentioned education and the need for more training.

In his rebuttal, Ford said that the airport should make this an appealing area for businesses. Taxes should be cut on necessities (groceries, medicine, etc.), and the government needs to make a greater effort to recruit business.

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

Ford says that Cover Tennessee will not help small businesses. What we need, according to Ford, is malpractice insurance reform.

Ford also believes that the government should encourage prevention in the government schools through recess and physical education.

Here’s a thought…how about the government butts out of the health care industry and actually lets the free market lower prices? How crazy is that?

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?

Ford agrees with No Child Left Behind (which shows his utter lack of knowledge of the US Constitution), so long as it doesn’t require more paperwork for teachers (say what?). Class size, according to Ford, is important. He says that you can’t pay a teacher too much (sure. Since I’m homeschooling my children, how much money should I make? I must be worth at least seven figures…), but one can’t pay a teacher to make them better. Ford says that discipline is a necessity, but that it must begin at home (Oh, so now we’re going to talk about the importance of parents. But my question is this…exactly how is the government going to effect discipline in private homes?).

In his closing, Ford said that all the candidates present were conservative (I’m not sure to whom he was listening…). He said that his main concerns are small government, traditional marriage, seeking jobs, the second amendment, pro-life issues, community meetings, health care, and the most important of these is education.

My major concern with Ford is his ill-informed view of education. I heard no mention of vouchers or parental rights to decide for themselves how and where their children will be educated. As a soon-to-be mother, this terrifies me. I do not want anyone in office who wants to give the government more power over my children than I have.

I also fear that Dale is simply a “good-old-boy” who isn’t going to be able to hang with the educated elite in Nashville.