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Hillbilly Politics

Jim Cooper (TN-05)

On Sunday, a group of Tennessee preachers will step into the pulpit and say the only words they’re forbidden by law from speaking in a church.

This Sunday, seven Pastors in Tennessee, 4 of which are in the Nashville area, will endorse a number of candidates for office in this district (TN-05). Among the candidates endorsed will be former Mayor Bill Haslam who is currently running for Governor of the state and David Hall, a businessman who is aiming to oust Rep. Jim Cooper from his Congressional seat.

The article linked above calls it IRS baiting. I call it reasserting our civil rights. The article author looks at this from a one sided view citing “a line between church and state.”

But many mainstream churches recoil from the idea of erasing the line between church and state.[…]

Other ministers and organizations have weighed in on the subject, including Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

Land said the church endorses many of the ADF’s initiatives, but “we think the mixing of the sacred nature of the church with the exceedingly worldly nature of politics is … unseemly.”[…]

Lewis Lavine, president of the Center for Nonprofit Management in Nashville, is familiar with the balancing act churches and other nonprofit groups must maintain when they stray near the political arena.

“We have separation of church and state in this country for a reason,” Lavine said. “There should be parameters, and there should be common sense.”[…]

The ADF’s polar opposites, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, issued a statement this week calling pulpit-based lawbreaking “the worst idea ever.”

“Clergy serve as spiritual advisers, not political bosses. Pulpit politicking violates federal tax law and offends the vast majority of church-goers,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, the group’s executive director.

“The nation is already bitterly divided over politics this year. … Now, Religious Right political hacks want to haul that divisiveness into America’s houses of worship.

Of course, calling political opposition, Religious Right political hacks isn’t the least bit divisive, is it? Oh no, not divisive at all.

Continue reading

A quick set of links that create a very ugly picture. For Democrats, that is.

Democrats against tax hikes. One commenter said it right:

Either the tax cuts are wrong or they’re right. You spend half the year calling them “George Bush’s evil tax cuts”, then the other half of the year saying they need to be extended. All so you can keep your jobs. It isn’t the raising or not raising the taxes that are going to send you all packing (well, not only that). It’s the lying, two-faced, pandering that you all do.

They were against it before they were for it before they were against it. Who knew? Isn’t this kind of what happens when you vote on something you can’t be bothered to read? And they think we’re the dummies.

There’s not enough money to fix this problem, Ms. Speaker. Few seats are safe these days. If by some chance, the Democrats do retain a majority in the House, there are some who want to see Pelosi de-gavelled. It seems John Dennis isn’t the only one who thinks of Pelosi this way:

A dire picture. There’s really not much to be said except I’m sure the left-stream media will find some way to spin it. Maybe they’ll spin it like this. Or this.

You can smell the desperation in the air.

In 2008, you voted for change with Barak Obama(click TN on the map). You didn’t get what was promised in the easy campaign slogan. Instead you’ve gotten the shaft: high unemployment and bigger government.

Somebody during the 2008 presidential campaigns asked: “Are you better off today than you were 4 years ago?” It wasn’t Obama who asked that question but I believe the answer is a fairly clear, “No.” We are not better off, quite a bit worse off, and it looks to be getting worse than worse. After doing everything it could to grow the deficit to grow government, putting more than double the Bush years unemployment rate out of work, the government is going to shrink the deficit by spending for Unions and Teachers by cutting back on food stamps. It was such a success, they want to repeat it to fund another initiative.

Is this the change you voted for? How about some real change in your own backyard, Nashville? If you’re tired of being handed the same old promises, election year after election year for decades, why do you keep punishing yourselves? Continue reading

A lot of seats considered safe are flying under the radar. TN-05 is one of them. Cooper is beatable.

According to this poll, any Republican can beat Jim Cooper.

The article does talk about some drawbacks, one of which is the poll is coming from the Hartline camp, whom I come have as close to endorsing as anybody, in spite of Huckabee not because of him. However, Cooper has done nothing but the same in the intervening months.

It’s always the quiet ones, eh? They try to keep quiet and not draw attention to what they’re doing in the shadows, while being rode roughshod by the likes of Pelosi, not to mention buying into the whole “common good” myth.

And for those of you too lazy to click through to the poll findings, the key findings are:

  • Voters in the 5th District are actively seeking an alternative to Jim Cooper.
  • Cooper can’t even manage a majority of the vote against a virtually-unknown Republican.
  • The more voters learn about Jim Cooper, the less they like him.

Considering this is Cooper’s second gig, one does wonder where he’ll crop up next. Likely nowhere if he and the rest of the Democratic majority Congress continue with their threats of a lame duck session.

While many are concentrating and working actively on some critical campaigns, we often overlook some chances of making a real change because it’s never been done before. TN-05 has been Democrat held since 1875 (much as I hate to link to Wikipedia). That’s a goal worth attaining, wouldn’t you think?

Rep. Jim Cooper sold his vote while playing coy with district TN-05’s voters when after the fact facts tell a different story.

TN-05 and other districts nearby recently experienced a historic natural disaster. Cooper’s answer is to find a scapegoat and publicize it.

I had started a series to highlight five candidates for this district Out of the five planned two are done and only two will be done because the remaining candidates have either declined or ignored the series of questions I asked for article content. Hartline’s profile is here.

Both had good answers to the series of questions, but Hartline has the advantage: Activity and raising money, both of which are going to be necessary to challenging an incumbent in a district that isn’t on the radar with political pundits.

NASHVILLE – Congressional candidate Jeff Hartline of Mount Juliet is raising record contributions for his campaign to unseat incumbent Congressman Jim Cooper. First quarter financial disclosures filed with the Federal Election Commission show that, of the several candidates for the Fifth District Republican nomination, only Hartline raised
significant sums of money from individual contributors.

Hartline raised almost $45,000 during the first quarter – more than any Republican has ever raised to run against Cooper in the 5th district – with all of his contributions coming from individual donors. None came from political action committees and none came from Hartline’s personal funds. Hartline is the only candidate for the Republican nomination who raised a significant amount of money from individual donors.

In addition to his money raising fetes with individual donors, Mr. Hartline has Nashville business owners pledging $500,000+ to his campaign. In politics, November is a lifetime away but one believes Hartline has what it takes to send the message to the beltway that Washington, D.C. works for us, not the other way around.

E Pluribus Unum once predicted an 80 seat pickup for Congress. Given the anti-incumbent sentiment in the country with a deaf Congress that passes massive spending bills under the guise of reform and against the will of the people, it is possible that districts once considered safe are endangered. WV’s Alan Mollohan, a 28 year incumbent was defeated in primary, as was Arlen Specter and other incumbents such as Barbara Boxer find themselves in tough primary fights.

It’s time for some unexpected upsets. There are sites focusing on some crucial races including RedState and 73wire. Let’s not forget those districts that aren’t being considered in the push for conservative candidates. Cooper is entrenched and has a long political career with district hopping representing TN-04 from 1982-1994 before moving to Nashville and becoming a Congressional Representative once again since 2002.

Hartline is conservative. He is also a man after my own heart with his love and faith in the people of Tennessee. I don’t believe we can ask for a better representative for Tennessee’s 5th district.

He deserves our support and TN-05 deserves better than Cooper. Check him out and donate if you feel so inclined.

Crossposted to Redstate

Updated and bumped: I’ve been informed that there is another candidate for TN-05 whose name is David Hall. Please follow the link made from his name and check him out.

In spite of its passage over the protests of the majority of Americans, the health care debate rages on in the states. The number of states challenging the legislation as unConstitutional now number 18. Tennessee isn’t one of them. In spite of Democratic Governor Phil Bredesen’s objections, Tennessee’s Attorney General Bob Cooper is questioning the constitutionality of the Health Freedom Act instead.

Cooper wrote in a legal opinion released Tuesday that the proposed “Health Freedom Act” sponsored by Republican Rep. Mike Bell of Riceville would likely be pre-empted by federal law, and that a requirement for the attorney general to mount a legal defense for the measure could violate separation of powers provisions in the state constitution.

His official opinion is here.

While not brothers, though I admit I haven’t looked very hard for a familial connection between our AG Cooper and our Representative Cooper, there are connections. For instance, the law firm for which the Attorney General once worked was among Representative Cooper’s highest donors coming in just under Caterpillar by $250. Another little tidbit is they’re both adjunct professors at Vanderbilt which was covered here for Rep. Cooper.

The Attorney General is also a native of Chattanooga, TN which is where Representative Jim Cooper first entered politics at the national level, TN district 04. Attorney General Cooper’s father was also a State Supreme Court Justice. Given Rep. Cooper’s positions on issues, a state attorney general with a working relationship connection to said representative as well as a same last name, one has to question just who is in charge of the state of Tennessee. Representative Cooper also has a brother whose claim to fame is this: Tax Informants Are On The Loose. Perhaps we should be changing the name of the state to Cooper rather than Tennessee.

Other states are hiring attorneys to fight the healthcare legislation. Should Tennessee follow suit by hiring an outside attorney?

Given Representative Cooper’s support for the legislation in spite of his Governor’s and Tennesseans’ objections and the Attorney General’s possibly questionable connections to said representative our choices look bleak. Meanwhile, said representative’s brother is advocating a tax informant program that smacks of communist regimes that rewards said informants.

“They” do say all politics are local.

Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey who is campaigning for Governor to replace Bredesen had this to say about the AG’s position:

Because the attorney general is appointed by the state Supreme Court, not the legislature or governor, Ramsey agreed that lawmakers cannot force Cooper to change his mind. But Ramsey said he hoped to find a lawyer who would represent the state free of charge if Cooper does not change his mind.

“That’s the reason that I’m passing this resolution, to make a statement that the General Assembly — both the House and the Senate when this passes both — wants (Cooper) to do that,” he said. “If he refuses to do that, then we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”

November is just seven months away. We can work for regime change in Tennessee as much as at the national level. We need new blood rather than entrenched politicians at all levels of government. Tennessee deserves better than this. Perhaps, TN-05 is ready for a Republican representative for the district considering there hasn’t been one since 1875.

Here is a list of Republican candidates for TN-05:

Michael Barbuto (No website)
Brendan Finucane Jr. (No website)
Jeff Hartline
Vijay Kumar
Patrick Miranda
Cece Heil
Bob Ries
Robert Schwartz (No website)
Jared Scott
Lonnie Spivak
Al Strauss (No website)
Tracy Tarum

If you live in other districts in Tennessee and would like to know about Republican candidates in your area you can look them up from this link: http://www.politics1.com/tn.htm.

Over the next few weeks/months the plan is to highlight each of those candidates in separate articles. Mr. Miranda is the first and only one to date who answered questions I submitted to be included in the write up. It’s a nice set of questions to have answered but, if necessary, I’ll work without them. In the process of writing this post, the title for those articles is all wrong considering there are twelve candidates versus the five previously thought.

Incidentally, I voted for Kumar in ’08 though knowledge of him was sketchy. Desperation to rid the district of Cooper can lead one to commit such actions on faith rather than actual knowledge. That is NOT an endorsement. As I research these candidates, I’m looking for whom I will endorse as much as any of you Republican Tennessean readers. This election, one is hopeful that we will be better informed and better armed to make better choices.

Surely we can do better than a career politician like Jim Cooper who moved from one district in Tennessee to another, making claims of being a Blue Dog (conservative) Democrat while voting in legislation entailing massive spending, massive tax hikes, and massive deficits.

What’s more he voted for a bill of which he had little to no knowledge of its content. Nor did anyone else except for the authors.

How’s that hope and change working out for you? If you’ve had enough, please consider making a real change in Tennessee instead of voting in the same or similar players, ad infinitum.

I have some questions for you. Now, I know I didn’t vote for you but you are still my congressman in spite of that. You don’t get to ignore those who disagree with you when you take that oath to become a public servant.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Cooper_district

Let me work on some of this for you, okay? I know by your august standards I’m an “ig-nernt” hillbilly but, well, sir, I can read a map and this one looks quite a bit lopsided. I mean in ways other than being scrunched in this blog post, that is.

See that area where all those pretty symbols are? You claim this is where Tennessee’s Recovery Dollars are being spent. So let’s get down to business, shall we? If one does a “stroll” through they could mistake it for the health care deform you just committed upon the American people, but I digress.

Almost all those symbols seemed to be placed in a very small geographical area known as Vanderbilt University.  Can I assume that you have told everyone in your district that you are an adjunct professor at said university? Of course you have. You just didn’t expect anyone to understand what they’re seeing, right?

So, I’d like to know, sir, how many jobs did these items create from their share of the recovery money?

    1) $5,239,099 to Vanderbilt University for which the funds will be used to support the Beta Cell Biology Consortium, which develops cell-based therapies for insulin delivery.2) $5,184,612 to Vanderbilt University for which the funds will be used to combine a DNA repository with electronic medical systems, in order to provide analysis of disease susceptibility and therapeutic outcomes across patient populations. These funds will be go towards the VESPA: Vanderbilt Electronic Systems for Pharmacogenomic Assessment project.

    3) $4,721,145 to Vanderbilt University for which the funds will be used to enhance the Southern Community Cohort Study, which investigates cancer disparities.

    4) $3,948,000 to Vanderbilt University for which the funds will be used to acquire a 900 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer. The spectrometer will study the structures and interactions of biomacromolecules.

    5) $3,000,000 to Vanderbilt University for which the funds will be used to supplement the Fogarty International Clinical Research Scholars and Fellows Support Center.

There are more of them. 175 in all for Vanderbilt University totaling $74,230,739. I’d just like to know where the jobs are in those earmarks? Tennessee’s unemployment rate is a tad higher than the national rate. And people have given up looking for work in construction because the unemployment rate in that field is even worse.

So, can you explain to me why there are all those earmarks for medical research in a jobs bill? That’s what the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was touted as a jobs bill. While some might consider them laudable causes, they hardly belong in a jobs bill.

Bill Frist, at one time, was crucified for having shares in his family owned HCA when he was divesting himself of his holdings for a possible presidential run. We wouldn’t want a congressional leader to have the appearance of a conflict of interest, would we?

So, Congressman Cooper. What about Vanderbilt University? Frist was later exonerated. You probably won’t be hauled into a court of law but your constituents would like to know why a small but rather affluent area around Vanderbilt University has gotten the lion’s share of Tennessee’s Recovery Act money.

Look at that map again, Congressman. You see that blank area near the bottom southeast just under the cute little airplane? That’s where I live. There is nothing, not one dime, spent there. Want to know something about that area? It’s the area to which most of the illegal aliens have gravitated. You really care about them, don’t you? How about east Nashville? North? That’s where most of the minorities are concentrated. I live among them, mostly peacefully except for the illegal immigrant gang shootings, etc. There’s nothing there, either.

I won’t hold my breath for your explanation but I’d really love to know: Do you represent all of TN-05 or just that little patch around Vanderbilt University?

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