Friday, April 29, 2005


Pre-K fallout in the House

Thursday morning I singled out 23 Republicans who serve their respective districts in the Tennessee House because they voted to continue to spend the State's money recklessly - even if it means spending us straight into an income tax. Since we have already had to raise taxes on sales and property in just about every corner of Tennessee over the past few years, it is accurate to say that those who voted for the Pre-K boondoggle appear no better than tax-and-spend liberals that have little staying power in this new era of Tennessee politics. At least that is true in the enlightened parts of the state. That Bredesen's Frankenstein passed the House is not surprising. It was a way to needlessly spend money and was backed by the teachers' organizations, so of course the Democratic majority was passing this bill on to the Senate. That it passed with so much Republican support is disappointing.

I was wrong in saying that these men and women don't deserve your vote. My purpose on this site isn't to tell you who to vote for and who not to vote for. That is between you and God. However, I don't foresee assisting any of these candidates in their future campaigns and will endorse true conservatives that run against them. I have no problems with that because a true conservative would have never have voted for that miserable bill. It's Tennessee's education version of TennCare or the federal prescription drug benefit - a monster that will consume tax dollars like a Northern Snakehead and eventually grow to enormous proportions through the fertilizing of TEA and NEA. I predicted much the same thing about TennCare during the dark days of Sundquist, and I can't see this coming out differently.

In particular, I have to express my extreme disappointment with Beth Harwell. Beth was a good leader for the Tennessee GOP through the last election and is currently readying herself to receive the butt-whooping of a lifetime in the 2006 GOP Senate primary. Beth has zero name recognition amongst the electorate and was probably going to use this race as a springboard for future statewide elections. However, many, as posted on Blogging for Bryant, have urged Beth to challenge Bredesen. I have been one of those who felt that it best served the GOP and Beth herself to put her eggs in the other statewide nest in 2006. However, unless I am convinced otherwise at a later date, her conservative credentials are seriously in question after this vote. It's a shame that Beth didn't realize what a great way this was to distinguish herself from a suddenly weakening Bredesen. The way I see it is that if I want someone with little fiscal responsibility in the Governor's Mansion, let the Democrats have it. They are probably more efficient at spending the State into bankruptcy, given all of their experience.

Another sad example can be seen in the Knoxville contingent that seemed to lose the conservative principles they touted during the 2004 campaign. Harry Brooks and Parkey Strader - such a shame, guys. Of course, when Tre Hargett is supposed to be your leader and is voting outside of traditional conservatism... Given this vote and Hargett's inactions during Wednesday's power grab by Naifeh, it seems that strong leadership is once again lacking in the House. That may be too strong of a statement, given that there are some excellent leaders from East Tennessee in the House. They just don't seem to garner leadership positions (as Ron Ramsey has recently accomplished in the Senate.) All was not doom and gloom for the Knoxville contingent, though. Strawberry Plains' Frank Niceley was strong in his words to The Tennessean and Knoxville News-Sentinel, lending support to the theory that freshmen legislators are sometimes closest to their conservative roots than those who have been legislators for several election cycles.

It's a tough pill to swallow for Tennessee taxpayers. Let's hope for better results in the Senate, although, from my talks with some GOP Senators and their less-than-enthusiastic responses, I won't hold my breath.

Very good points.

Some of the discussion on how to vote on the Pre-K plan actually centered on fear of mail pieces, i.e. the legislators were afraid if they voted "no" Democrats would say they were against the children.

This was an interesting self-serving kind of attitude--but the silliness of their concern is that Democrats already portray Republicans as against the children. What would the mail piece say "Republican X is now even more against kids"?

And as far as the list of yes votes you published Thursday--thanks for letting us know. I'll have to pull out my list of legislators who voted for Naifeh for speaker and see if they are the same.

Now it's time to prepare for the pro-Bredesen-Pre-K show Miss Hagood is getting ready to put on in the Senate. It wouldn't surprise me to see her push a little 3 year old onto the Senate floor in a stroller.

Probably the only hope there is if Sen. Cohen would raise a stink about such an early & irresponsible grab at lottery funds.
Terry -

I agree completely. There is no doubt that this pre-K decision is much like gay marriage or NRA-backed issues for the Democrats in that it could be construed as a "wedge issue." Either Republicans are for children (which makes them vulnerable as fiscally irresponsbile) or stand by their principals of smaller government, low taxes, etc. (which makes them "heartless"). It's a no-win situation, which begs the question as to why Jamie Hagood and others didn't kill this bill before votes were cast. Again, it looks like "Amateur Hour" on Capitol Hill - the faces may change, but the act remains the same.

I've already warned Jamie of how damaging this could be to her in Knoxville. The same conservative group that will bring Tim Burchett down in West Knox could stay intact after 2006 and clean East Knox of an anti-conservative politician if need be. Heck, I'm in Jamie's district and have no plans after 2006. :)

It is scary to think that Senator Cohen could be our best hopes, though.

Again, thanks for the perceptive comments.


Not to belabor the point, but this week's MetroPulse sings Sen. Hagood's highest praises.

A small quote:

"Space constraints don’t permit me to do justice to Hagood’s many other initiatives. Suffice it to say that it’s great to have a true champion of higher education in a position of legislative leadership in Nashville."
—Joe Sullivan

My own special note: any Republican that is being praised by Knoxville's most liberal paper--the Metro Pulse--is completely off the conservative reservation.

Senator Huddleston sounds good to me.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?