Friday, February 24, 2006
Coffee with Senator Jamie Woodson
Regular readers have noticed that I have been a major critic of Senator Jamie Woodson, who represents my current area of Knox County and whose campaign I worked on as an attorney for Bush/Cheney 2004. The vast majority of my criticism was rooted in what I perceived as her shepherding of Bredesen's Pre-K program last May. In retrospect, the process went too fast for me to speak to Jamie at that time (e-mails were exchanged, but nothing as in-depth as it should have been). In an effort to better understand what drove her decision, I arranged a meeting with Senator Woodson for this morning at Panera on the Strip for coffee and conversation. I was pleased that Jamie and her staff were able to help our meeting this morning go off smoothly.
After our meeting, I have to offer a mea culpa that I saw coming. In judging Jamie so harshly and dogmatically on one singular issue, I failed to realize the excellent representation that Jamie provides residents of Knox County. I won't go into detail about everything that was said because I never even asked Jamie to go on the record, but I feel comfortable in saying that education is a passionate issue for Jamie. Seriously, I wish that more legislators felt the way that she did about serious state issues. She also wants to address budgetary issues and the process used to develop the budget (much in the same way that Ed Bryant wants to reform the federal system) in order to slow the growth of the budget. Also, I (nor many others, I feel) knew how Jamie helped craft the Pre-K bill so that it was much more limited than our spendthrift governor wanted. Jamie also helped breathe some accountability into the system which should act as a safeguard not present in most Democratic-concocted programs like TennCare.
In short, I am a much bigger Jamie Woodson fan after this morning. I'm glad that we are both working for a better Tennessee.
I just hope our Vols don't allow for anymore scenes like this one...