Tuesday, May 10, 2005


Bredesen's Pre-K Frankenstein continues towards Senate floor

The Senate Finance Committee voted the disastrous bill through on a 7-2 vote. Kudos to Ron Ramsey for trying to stop it through the amendment process and in the end voting against the boondoggle, even if the reasons he gives aren't necessarily the ones I would choose. Only one more committee hurdle before the bill reaches the Senate floor and we get to learn which Republican senators need to be defeated in 2006 and 2008.

On another note, Beth Harwell's e-mail newsletter was sent out today. About Pre-K, she writes:

A few weeks ago, the legislature House passed an initiative to establish a statewide Pre-K program. As I am sure you are aware, the initiative would establish a state-wide program that is voluntary in nature - meaning that each local school system can choose to participate and that each parent can choose whether or not to enroll their child. This program will help students who need an extra boost to get an early start on learning. To fund this program during the first year, we are using $25 million dollars from excess lottery dollars. When the people of Tennessee voted to pass the lottery, they did so with the expectation that any excess lottery dollars, up to 25 million, could only be used for three educational purposes. First, we could increase scholarship funds; second, we could put money into Pre-K programs; and third, we could use the money for capital improvements to educational institutions. From this point on, if the prog! ram requires additional funding, it may need to come from the general budget which is already maxed out. As I explained in my previous email on Pre-K, appropriating funds from the general budget to the Pre-K program will require extra attention so that the program - no matter how large - continues to be cost-effective and does not jeopardize the necessary funding currently allocated to K-12 education.

AND THIS WOMAN IS RUNNING FOR U.S. SENATE AS A CONSERVATIVE?!?! Nice of her to leave off the forecasted future expenditures related to the program or the fact that she voted for the bill.

I have written recently that Harwell should run for Governor. I still think she should - in the Democratic primary.

Beth is delusional. How can you have absolutely no name id after being the State GOP Chairman for 4 years? Answer: because you never did enough to garner any name id.

I get issue updates from her now that she is running for U.S. Senate--but where were the issue updates when she was chair?

RE: pre-k. Probably the biggest crime of all is the media failure to even discuss the issue. The Knox News Sentinel has run no opinion pieces--no perspective pages--has fostered zero debate.

Hallerin Hilton Hill, Knoxville's 100,000 watt dynamo--has yet to even bring it up even though he was made aware of Drew Johnson's and Darcy Olsen's Pre-K study.

WNOX News hasn't even covered the story in their news segments. Worse, is that Hallerin has aligned himself in the past with CEO (Children's Educational Opportunities) which has pushed for school choice--and here given the opportunity to discuss the issue in light of a current event, he instead focuses on Oprah messages, or silly efforts at self-promotion through attempts to emasculate poor Dave Foulk with barbell exercises over the airwaves.

It is shameful--and surpasses any general criticism of media bias. Lack of coverage is every bit as bad as editorials shrouded as news stories.
T -

HHH was quite interesting during the past two elections, but I honestly can't listen to him during off-years in the election cycle. The topics hold little interest for me, as there is too much focus on Oprah, tabloid media, and ultimately HHH himself. It seems that the more I listen to talk radio, the less I want to - except for Boortz.


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