Vision, Mission, and Strategy


Hillbilly Politics

TN Congressional elections

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

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.

May 2017
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