March 2008


It’s been a busy several days, so I’m just getting around to digging through news stories from late last week. One of the interesting little bits I just came across was that the Republican-sponsored DUI bills we’ve been discussing for the last few weeks were killed by Democrats in the House…right after they passed several identical Democrat-sponsored bills.

I knew fairly early on that these bills had widespread support in the House and, if they didn’t make it through committee, it would be due to certain lawmakers wanting credit for the bills. That, apparently, is exactly what happened.

I can’t say I’m upset that the bills failed, but the way they failed makes me a little sick to my stomach. The bills didn’t fail because they’re bad law, but because certain politicians wanted credit. Unfortunately, as I mentioned, identical or nearly identical Democrat-sponsored legislation did make it out of committee. So we’re not out of the woods yet.

A House panel killed the Republican-sponsored “administrative license revocation” measure, while the Criminal Practice Subcommittee approved a virtually identical bill backed by the Bredesen administration.

As Rep. Tom Dubois (R-Columbia), the sponsor of many of the Republicans’ DUI bills in the House, waited to have his bills reviewed by the panel, he saw the panel approve several Democrat-backed bills that were exactly the same as his DUI package.

While I don’t like these bills, I also don’t like to see a waste of time, money, and effort just so certain lawmakers get a pat on the back. Why, if particular legislation has already been submitted, would one go through the effort of submitting identical proposals? Makes me sick to my stomach…

In the wake of the mortgage “crisis” we all should have expected the government to come riding in on a white horse to save the day and then promptly take over what we individuals are so clearly incapable of handling ourselves. Bailouts have been proposed (for people too stupid to realize that they can’t afford a $750,000 mortgage on a $30,000 per year income) and now Treasury Chief Paulson is proposing a vast expansion of government oversight of the financial markets.

Paulson said, “Government has a responsibility to make sure our financial system is regulated effectively.” Really? Hmmm…I don’t have my copy of the Constitution handy, but I don’t remember the part about government responsibility to make sure greed and stupidity don’t combine to create a financial mess. I suppose that public school education is failing me…

Not unlike parents rushing in to make sure their kids don’t suffer the consequences of their behavior, Paulson proposes that “the Fed would essentially serve as a financial markets moderator, stepping in if the nation’s markets were again threatened by an episode like the near collapse of Bear Stearns” (cnn.com).

The fact of the matter is, thanks to government bailouts and band-aids on the financial markets, the mortgage crisis or something similar is bound to happen again. We haven’t learned our lesson, and no amount of government regulation is going to help. As much as it pains me to say it, we’re going to have to face economic collapse before those in power figure out that what we need is less government, not more.

But, it’s an election year. So I’m sure we can expect further bailouts, payoffs, and regulatory proposals in order to convince the idiot citizenry that the government is “doing something.” All at the expense of future economic stability.

The State of Tennessee today rejected the Certificate of Need (CON) for a new Wellmont-owned emergency care center in Boone’s Creek.

This means that those of us living in Washington County will still be faced with only one option when in need of emergency care. Well, two, I suppose: go to a MSHA facility or drive to Kingsport, Bristol, or Greeneville. Or I guess we could just die instead (which is actually what my brother-in-law ordered my sister to allow, rather than take him to the Johnson City Medical Center).

While MSHA isn’t all bad – I had a wonderful experience at Sycamore Shoals in Elizabethton – their quality of care in Johnson City is unbelievably bad. That is why, I believe, they are so adamantly opposed to competition of any sort in Washington County – another hospital might just offer better care, thus costing MSHA precious dollars.

So, the Wellmont fight goes on while Washington Countians continue to spend 13 or so hours waiting for care at JCMCH’s emergency room.

Be sure to check out my “Upcoming Events” page!

I’m going to get the hubby to work on integrating a calendar into my site, but, for now, I’ll keep the “Upcoming Events” page updated with, well, upcoming events.

You’ll find this informative page on the left side of the screen under “Pages.”

Candidate for Second District State House, Tony Shipley, will be holding a fundraiser on April 4.

Special guest will be former Senator Bill Frist.

Appearing with Frist will be Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey, Minority Leader Jason Mumpower, Rep Jon Lundberg, Sullivan County Mayor Steve Godsey, Sullivan County Highway Commissioner Allan Pope, and several County Commissioners.

For more information visit www.tonyshipley.com.

Despite word that incumbent Matthew Hill, Bob Patton, Todd Smith, Fred Phillips, and newcomer D. Michael Williams have all picked up papers to enter the race for the Seventh District State House seat, Hill is still the only candidate on the ballot.

With the April 3 deadline fast approaching, Hill is the only candidate to have turned in papers to the election commission. With his papers already certified, Hill’s name will be appearing on the primary ballot.

Williams has, according to the election commission, petitioned to withdraw his papers from the Republican ticket, and has now picked up papers to run as an Independent. These papers are, too, still MIA.

Smith is holding a Jonesborough fundraiser this week, despite the fact that his name, as of today, will not be on the ballot. What I find interesting about Smith’s fundraiser is that the JC Press listed it as sponsored by Toby Bledsoe (a Jonesborough Democrat) and catered by Red Pig Barbecue (whose owner is a prominent Johnson City Democrat). Funny that a couple of Democrats would take such an interest in a “Republican” candidate.

Anywho, 9 1/2 days to get those papers in, boys, and then we’ll have ourselves a race!

In other state election news, I’ve gotten word that Sixth District representative, Dale Ford, will also have a little competition this year. Local Real Estate Agent, Lee Sowers, who ran in the Sixth District in 2006, will be running again this year.

Elizabethton – State Representative Candidate Jerome Cochran (R-Elizabethton) announced today that he will oppose all legislation aimed at restricting our constitutional right to keep and bear arms and pointed to his past endorsements from the National Rife Association as evidence of his commitment to the issue.

Cochran also spoke out against Democratic Speaker of the House Jimmy Naifeh’s efforts to disallow any pro-gun bills to reach the House floor for a vote and reaffirmed his vow to never vote for Naifeh to lead the House of Representatives as his opponent – Kent Williams – has done.

“The events that transpired in Nashville this week involving Speaker Naifeh’s opposition to the rights of gun owners are disheartening to say the least,” said Cochran. “Jimmy Naifeh doesn’t care about the gun owners of Tennessee and that is exactly why Carter County must elect a Republican who will stand up for our right to keep and bear arms by voting for a Republican to lead the House of Representatives.”

“I dare say that these important bills to protect our gun owners would have certainly made it to the House floor for a fair up or down vote had state Representatives elected a Republican Speaker of the House who respects the Second Amendment. I have repeatedly been endorsed by the NRA for my staunch support of the Second Amendment and will continue fighting for our right to keep and bear arms if I’m sent back to Nashville.”

“Recent events at some of our country’s educational institutions have demonstrated the need to stand up for the Second Amendment right of teachers and other faculty and staff members of these institutions. I also see no reason to take away this fundamental right from someone just because they visit a restaurant or a state park. Citizens have a constitutional right to defend themselves and their families under all of these circumstances and I want to go to Nashville and make sure Tennesseans can do just that.”

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