Monday, March 30, 2009


Is the Tennessee GOP caving to the trial lawyers?

David Fowler of FACT thinks so.

Word leaked from the Legislature today (Monday) that key House and Senate leaders may seek to suspend the Rules in our State House of Representatives tonight to quickly move tomorrow a bill that would continue to prevent the people from voting for their state Supreme Court judges. This surprise maneuver would continue the current process by which Supreme Court judges are appointed by the Governor from a slate of three nominees submitted by a nominating committee composed of lawyers essentially selected by legal special interest groups. When no one can run against an incumbent judge and there is never a choice of judges, this is not an election as required by our state Constitution.

If what Fowler is alleging is true and there is a movement afoot to suspend the rules late on Monday for the judicial commission vote on Tuesday, then the Republicans do not deserve to be in power come 2010.

There has been quite a bit of discussion over whether Tennesseans are too stupid to be allowed to exercise their constitutional right to vote on the appellate judges of this state (the lefty trial lawyers obviously think they can't be trusted with such a responsibility), or whether lobbyists and kingmakers should be allowed to choose the appellate judges in the backrooms of state government. Some of that discussion was over an Attorney General's opinion issued last week. The AP wrote an erroneous report as to what that opinion contained. I read the opinion; it basically leaves the results of what happens to the Tennessee judiciary after the sunsetting of the "Tennessee Plan" at the feet of the Legislature. The AP report was wrong - period.

The Knoxville Bar Association penned a column in the KNS this Sunday that defended the "Tennessee Plan." (I thought Richard Corsini's response was quite good.) I was not surprised, although quite disappointed. After all, I have paid to be a member of this overly political bar organization since I returned to Knoxville. There was no poll to see if the KBA should have ever ventured into this controversy. Nope, the "leadership" just went ahead and wrote their little column. And I wrote mine in the form of a letter of resignation from the Knoxville Bar Association.

I hope Fowler is incorrect and that nothing is in the works to push through a reauthorization of the "Tennessee Plan." It's hard to fathom why Tennessee Republicans would follow their national brethren and cast aside their respect for strict constitutional interpretation, particularly with an eye to where such actions have landed the national party.

The Tennessee Constitution states that the citizens of the state are to vote for the judges of the Tennessee Supreme Court. I urge the leadership - Lt. Gov. Ramsey, Reps. Mumpower and Casada - to think long and hard before they act on this important issue - and when they do act, to do so in the sunshine where all Tennesseans can see.

Terry Frank
A.C. Kleinheider

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Obama Picks the Vols

President Obama took some time from his 35-hour per week job to create an NCAA Tournament bracket on ESPN.

The good news is that he has picked our beloved Tennessee Vols to win their first round game against Oklahoma State. The bad news is that by being linked to President Obama, the value of a degree from The University of Tennessee just plunged 31% - equal to the drop in the Dow Jones since Obama was elected to the White House.

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Insulting Democrats, Congress, and the Florida Gators...


This is almost too good to be true. I give you Representative Corrine Brown, Democratic Congresswoman from Florida's 3rd District.

I'm not sure that the language used by Representative Brown, a 9-term Member of Congress, was English, but it might have been. In almost a cruel twist of fate, Representative Brown's website claims that she holds a degree as an Education Specialist and actually has been on faculty at The University of Florida.

It is absolutely frightening that she is Chair of the Transportation Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials. Nothing like putting this Mensa candidate in a position where she could do some serious damage, Speaker Pelosi. Thanks!

Ah, yes, the best and brightest of the Democratic Party are leading our country...

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Friday, March 13, 2009


Upcoming Political Events

Thought I would spread the word about several East Tennessee events on the horizon, a few of which are Lincoln or Reagan Day events. Folks, I want to say a word about the Lincoln/Reagan Day dinners. With the notable exception of Knox County, these events are the annual fundraisers for your county Republican party. They are what keep the doors open, so to speak. They are also a fun time to connect with friends and neighbors. Please make efforts to help your local parties, particularly in this non-election year. 2009 sets the stage for 2010, which, for Tennessee Republicans, may be one of the most crucial state election cycles in history due to the redistricting issue.

Editorializing aside, here are the specifics on the events:

Grainger County Lincoln Day Dinner
Date: April 18, 2009
Cost: $15
Time: 6:00 P.M.
Place: Rutledge Middle School
For tickets call Linda Sommer (865-805-0989) or David Bishop (865-828-5757).

Tennessee Conservative Union's St. Patrick's Day Celebration
When: Monday, March 16th
Dinner: 6:00 P.M.
Program: 7:00 P.M.
Where: Ramsey’s Restaurant
Cost: Dutch Treat Dinner Buffet
RSVP: Leave message at (865) 300-3711
Emcee, Lloyd O’Daugherty, featuring "Kelvin O’McMoxley’s" lecture on temperance, the ramifications of the smoking ban on our culture, society and himself. .
Special prizes awarded for Reddest Hair, Most Irish Name and Least Irish name.

Rutherford County Reagan Day Dinner
When: March 14, 2009, from 6:00 P.M. – 10:00 P.M.
Where: Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Murfreesboro
Costs: VIP Reception and Dinner: $300/couple.
Dinner Only: $75/person.
Speakers: Bill Gibbons, Shelby District Attorney General; Bill Haslam, Knoxville Mayor; Zack Wamp, Congressman, Tennessee's 3rd District, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey.
Tickets Call: (615) 893-7219.

Sevier County Lincoln Day Dinner
When: March 19, 2009 at 6:00 P.M.
Where: Mainstay Suites in Pigeon Forge
Reception begins at 6:00 P.M.
Program and Dinner at 7:00 P.M.
Speaker: Congressman Phil Roe, Tennessee's 1st District

Anderson County Reagan Day Dinner
When: March 27, 2009 at 6:30 P.M.
Where: Flatwater Grill Conference Center in Oak Ridge
Tickets can be obtained at Rick Chinn's office at 575 Oak Ridge Turnpike
Dinner - $50 per person
VIP reception with Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey - $50 per person
VIP reception scheduled from 5:30 P.M. - 6:30 P.M.
Speaker: Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey

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Let the Madness Begin... Early.

Simply an incredible game in the Big East quarterfinals on Thursday night. SIX OVERTIMES?! As someone who appreciates that the best basketball in the country is played in the Big East but did not have a rooting interest in this game, it was athletic drama at its finest. The competition was truly epic; while I may not remember who wins this tournament a couple of years down the road, I bet that I remember this quarterfinal game.

You gotta like West Virginia's chances later on today against Syracuse. If I had to play a six overtime game and then play a game later on that same day (which is essentially what is happening since Syracuse's win over UConn was finalized after midnight), they would have to call a pastor to preside over the wake and subsequent funeral.

It's amazing how much better the level of play is in the Big East, and the tournaments have helped prove that. Try flipping channels between the Big East, SEC, ACC, and Big 12 tournaments and compare the level of play. It's not even close. However, you have to question whether games like Thursday night's are examples of the old adage that the Big East beats up on itself in the regular season and conference tournament, which wears down the teams so that they can't win the "Big Dance." It's something to be "tournament tested," but last night was ridiculous.


Monday, March 09, 2009


Global Warming Supporters Like Communists?

Interesting comments by the EU's Vaclav Klaus at the International Conference on Climate Change:

"They didn't even try to argue back. They considered you a naïve, uninformed and confused person, an eccentric complainer....It is very similar now."

What is Klaus comparing? Hard-line Communists and global warming supporters. Klaus goes on to venture a guess on the motives of the global warming supporters - control and manipulation. has the story.



A Few Words about the Knox County Election Administrator

My name has been floated as a possibility for the Knox County Election Administrator position. I know this, and I have spoken with several members of the Knox County GOP Caucus regarding the position.

The truth is that I am interested in the position. However, I have a tremendous amount of respect for Steve Hall, and I anticipate that if he would be a great Administrator.

I am aware that my friend, Rep. Stacey Campfield, will support Steve Hall if Steve does go through with the vetting process. That's fine with me, by the way; Stacey and Steve have helped each other with elections for many years.

I am also aware that Stacey is going to do what he has to do to get his man the position, as put forth by KNS columnist Georgiana Vines. I'm not sure if he will be successful, but that is the way to getting your man the job. Of course, if the other members of the Knox County GOP Caucus don't play along...

Post Politics (I and II)

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More Signs of Trouble for the East Tennessee Economy

There have been several major events related to the local economy here in Knoxville - Goody's and IPIX going belly-up being at the top of the charts. Blount County has also been hit hard, with Alcoa experiencing lay-offs, the boat manufacturing plants and Denso cutting back hours, and a recent report (along with confirmation to me from anonymous sources familiar with the situation) that Clayton Homes may be in serious trouble.

And while massive lay-offs at The University of Tennessee may create more problems, Knox and Blount Counties are fortunate to have multiple large employers in their municipal boundaries. Other places close to home are not so lucky.

The Tri-Cities are a prime example. Each has its own major economic driver. Johnson City has East Tennessee State University. Bristol has Bristol Motor Speedway. Kingsport has Eastman Chemical. Over a decade ago, I wrote a piece speaking to the vulnerability of each of the Tri-Cities due to this phenomenon. At the time, King Pharmaceuticals and several other mid-sized employers were operating in the area, but the problem has become more acute due to cut-backs or bankruptcy of those mid-sized employers over the past 15 years.

I have always felt that each of the Tri-Cities was intimately connected to the fortunes of its major economic driver. If the business institution failed, then the city risked collapse.

In today's news comes another sign that my theory is about to be put to the test.

"Kingsport most likely to bear brunt of more Eastman layoffs; 5 percent pay cuts on the way"

Eastman, known around Kingsport for lavishing huge bonuses on its executives and spending insane amounts of money on executive facility upgrades and remodeling, is once again cutting employees and salary. This caught several people by surprise, given that the word as of last month was about the size of annual bonuses, which are usually only issued during times of company strength.

East Tennessee has done a good job of attracting businesses. However, the economy is going to test the versatility of the economy here.

MORE: Warren Buffet says that things are going to get worse on the unemployment and inflation front before they get better. Buffet, while a flaming liberal, is the best financial mind of his time. When he is worried (and isn't sure what is to happen with Clayton Homes), one has to worry.

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