Tuesday, March 25, 2008


GOP Businessman to Challenge Lautenberg in New Jersey

As I have stated on numerous occasions, the big concern for the elections of 2008 as far as I'm concerned is the results of the tally in the Senate. Specifically, can the GOP hold on to 40 seats and maintain their ability to rally against cloture? Today brought news that might help the GOP's cause.

Polling over the past several months has indicated a weakness in New Jersey ultra-liberal Frank Lautenberg. Lautenberg, one of the most outspoken anti-gun zealots and tax-and-spenders in the U.S. Senate, is old enough to remember when there were only 13 colonies, and apparently that bothers more than half of his constituents. As I have told many wonks over the past few months, all the GOP needed was someone who could mount a serious challenge and New Jersey could be the surprise of election night.

Today, Andrew Unanue, a successful businessman who has amassed a significant personal fortune, entered the fray for the GOP nomination. Citing the economy as his top priority, Unanue will mount a serious challenge to Lautenberg in a state that it was assumed 12 months ago was safely in the Democrats' column. Unanue - a 40-year-old Hispanic - strikes a great contrast to the 82-year-old, white relic who currently occupies the seat.

New Jersey is now one state to watch through November.

The Courier Post
The Ledger


Monday, March 24, 2008


American Heroes

Upon reading this, I really needed to see and hear the video below to remember what we're fighting for:

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Up Later This Week: Hawkins County Lincoln Day

Although it's Monday, I'm already eagerly awaiting Friday's Hawkins County Lincoln Day. Why, you might ask? Take a read over at their county party's blog to see why you should plan to be at this top-notch event (if you can find tickets) in what some are calling "the biggest night in the history of Hawkins County politics." Bob Corker, Bill Jenkins, Ron Ramsey, Mike Faulk, Phil Rowe, David Davis - that's lots of political star power for one night!

And you don't even have to miss the Vols play the Cardinals from Loserville, I mean, Louisville. UT drew the Thursday night slot, so all you will miss NCAA-wise are the Davidson-Wisconsin and Stanford-Texas games. And, as all sports animals know, that's what Tivo is for...

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NRA's LaPierre to Speak in Tri-Cities

National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre - whose office used to be right down the hall from mine only 4 short years ago (although Wayne's office was much nicer and had a better view) - is slated to attend an event in Kingsport next month. Here is a press release I received a few days ago from Jim Holcomb (former candidate for Congress out of the 1st District) of the Tennessee Conservative PAC:

Leader of NRA to Visit Kingsport; will speak on Gun Rights Issues

Bristol, TN – Tennessee Conservative PAC has announced an event featuring Mr. Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice-President of the National Rifle Association on Friday, April 18, 2008 at Meadowview Conference Center starting at 7 P.M.

“We are excited that the leader of the NRA will be in Northeast Tennessee for Tennessee Conservative PAC,” Jim Holcomb said. “The evening will be full of useful knowledge for those who are interested in protecting our Second Amendment rights at the Federal and State level and other conservative issues.”

Everyone is invited to attend. Tickets to the event are a suggested contribution of $15 and may be purchased by calling 423-646-1589.

Wayne LaPierre has served as the executive vice president and chief executive officer of the National Rifle Association of America since 1991.

Since then, NRA almost doubled in size, exceeding four million members, and is recognized as the most politically influential organization in America.

Wayne joined NRA in 1978 as a state liaison for the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA), and by 1986 was elected its executive director, managing NRA initiatives before Congress, the executive branch and state legislatures.

Wayne’s latest book, The Global War on Your Guns: Inside the U.N. Plan to Destroy the Bill of Rights, exposes the worldwide movement to undermine American firearm freedoms. His previous books include Guns, Freedom and Terrorism, Shooting Straight and Guns, Crime and Freedom, which reached #11 on The New York Times bestseller list in 1994.

Wayne’s commitment to preserving our Second Amendment freedoms extends to those safeguarded by the First Amendment. As a key strategist opposing the onerous Campaign Finance Reform Act upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, he is committed to the restoration of free political speech for all Americans.

As NRA’s principal spokesperson, Wayne is regularly quoted, debated and interviewed on the nation’s most influential TV networks, cable programs, radio shows and in global magazines and newspapers. For years, he hosted “The Wayne LaPierre Show,” a syndicated radio program broadcast in over 100 markets.

In 2000, Wayne launched NRA Sports. Though in its infancy, NRA Sports has already touched hundreds of thousands of lives through promotion of the shooting sports.

Under his guidance, the NRA played a strategic role in the 2000 election of George W. Bush over his outspokenly anti-gun opponent. Indeed, NRA’s vigorous campaign and grassroots support was widely credited as one of the keys to that victory.

During the 2002 election cycle, Wayne again helped lead the NRA to record-setting victories. By orchestrating get-out-the-vote rallies in key battleground states, NRA energized American voters to elect the most pro-gun, pro-freedom Congress in recent history. NRA won 94 percent of its U.S. House races and 88 percent of its U.S. Senate races, proving again that NRA voters comprise one of the most formidable political forces in the country.

Wayne LaPierre has helped the National Rifle Association restore the relevance and sanctity of the Second Amendment and, today, this right is preserved by freedom’s largest, most potent and devoted voluntary organization.

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Study Links Divorce with Violent Crime

An interesting study by Julio Cáceres-Delpiano and Eugenio P. Giolito from the Institute for the Study of Labor shows a correlation between divorce and crime. Of particular interest is the link between divorce and violent crime amongst subjects between the ages of 15 and 24.

I suppose you do have a chicken and egg problem here, though. Were the personality traits that would cause someone to be predisposed to divorce also make a person predisposed towards certain criminal acts? Or did the divorce cause the person to commit crimes, possibly altering their mental or psychological outlook or through some sort of depression-related response?

An interesting study, nonetheless.

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Returning to the Blogosphere

Sorry, folks, but I needed some time off for a few weeks to tend to several outstanding issues, including:

I've been busy, just not with blogging. Of course, I wondered if I even needed to come back after the unfortunate demise of Volunteer Voters. After BillHobbs.com underwent its facelift several years ago, VV at first filled a void, and then expanded as the functional clearinghouse of blogging information for Tennessee. It will be interesting to see if something else fills the void left by VV, or if we will have to work even harder as bloggers to remain connected as a statewide community.

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Friday, March 07, 2008


Federal Judiciary Secretly Acting in Tennessee?

This is troubling. I have worked with Herb Moncier previously, and I found him to be quite enjoyable. On the other side of the coin, I know other attorneys who claim to have found the experience memorable for other reasons. And it should be noted that I don't tend to agree with all of his arguments or choice of suits.

That being said, the thought of the Federal Bench here in Tennessee working to remove a practicing attorney who just so happens to expose corruption at various levels of government is frightening. As Attorney Randy Reagan states in the article, this has a chilling effect on attorneys who step out against the government. I can see this in my own initial feelings on Moncier's case.

I haven't been vocal about it at all, but I was the initial attorney who helped expose a great deal of the corruption that existed in Grainger County a couple of years back. Indictments came down, and elected and appointed officials were removed. I currently have a few cases involving a Tennessee executive agency that leads me to believe that it is ripe with corruption. If I continue to push these cases - which would be the right thing to do - will secret judicial proceedings occur against me? Will my law license be put at risk because I act ethically in providing zealous advocacy?

Truly frightening stuff, and a true example of why a powerful government must be held in check by its people.


Thursday, March 06, 2008


Just One of Many Problems for the GOP

Here's a tidbit I pulled from an e-mail from the Family Research Council:

A poll released last month by George Barna revealed that if the election were held then, only 45 percent of Evangelicals would vote for a Republican candidate. That number is down from 85 percent of Evangelicals who voted for George W. Bush in 2004.

Call me naive, but that would seem to constitute a problem for John McCain.


Wednesday, March 05, 2008


Red State Update: Primary Reactions

"As goes Ohio, so goes America... straight to hell!"

- Jackie Broyles on Hillary Clinton's remarks last night.

See what other tidbits Jackie and Dunlap have in their latest installment:


Tuesday, March 04, 2008


Flash Flood Watch in Illinois

Apparently, there is a surplus of tears flowing from Wisconsin, threatening to overflow Lake Michigan.

Quite a surprise that the great gunslinger would retire with his last pass being a horrible interception in overtime of a playoff game and because he's "tired."

If that was the standard, I'd be booking myself into one of those old people's camps in Florida any day now.



Primary Predictions

Like Obama supporter Freddie O'Connell, I was leaning towards picking Hillary Clinton to take Texas, Ohio, and Rhode Island today, leaving ultra-liberal/socialist Vermont for Obama.

However, there's one thing that I can't get out of my head - the threat by the Clinton campaign to sue Texas over the primary last week. That indicates to me that their internals must be bad or, at the very least, trending downwards. You don't go threatening to sue in a state that you are safely winning, so that worries me about my prediction.

Nonetheless, I don't think the road ends tonight with a Democratic nominee. On to Pennsylvania, where anti-Second Amendment Governor Ed Rendell could hold the keys to turmoil that, as Freddie predicts, may rip the party apart.

To which I say, join the club, Democrats...



The Republican Fisherman

A little humor submitted via a regular reader:

A woman in a hot air balloon realized she was lost. She lowered her altitude and spotted a man in a boat below. She shouted to him, "Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don't know where I am."

The man consulted his portable GPS and replied, "You're in a hot air balloon, approximately 30 feet above a ground elevation of 2346 feet above sea level. You are at 31 degrees, 14.97 minutes north latitude and 100 degrees, 4909 minutes west longitude."

She rolled her eyes and said, "You must be a Republican."

“I am," replied the man. "How did you know?"

"Well," answered the balloonist, "everything you told me is technically correct, but I have no idea what to do with your information, and I'm still lost. Frankly, you've not been much help to me."

The man smiled and responded, "You must be a Democrat."

“I am," replied the balloonist. "How did you know?"

"Well," said the man, "you don't know where you are or where you're going. You've risen to where you are, due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise that you have no idea how to keep, and you expect me to solve your problem. You're in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but, somehow, now it's my fault."


Monday, March 03, 2008


Saturday's SEC Meeting

The Republican State Executive Meeting this past Saturday provided plenty of interesting tidbits. In no particular order, I've offered a few thoughts below:

Robin Smith Resolution

The State Executive Committee of the Tennessee Republican Party wishes to commend Robin Smith for her commitment to the office of Chairman. Over the past seven months, she has displayed an extraordinary level of dedication to the office of which she was unanimously elected.

The State Executive Committee is fully supportive of the Chairman as she deals with the challenging issues and events that confront the Tennessee Republican Party from time to time.
The State Executive Committee eagerly looks forward to following Chairman Robin Smith into the Fall 2008 elections as she continues to lead the Tennessee Republican Party on the road of becoming the majority party of the State of Tennessee.

That's all for now. Time to get my little one to his first day of daycare. Ughh.

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Saturday, March 01, 2008


Headin' to NashVegas

Rarely do the activities of the Republican State Executive Committee make news. I thought that they might with Saturday's meeting, as elected SEC members will be settling the race for National Committeeman and National Committeewoman. If there's more than one announced candidate for National Committeewoman, I don't know about it. There is certainly an interesting race for National Committeeman, though, as incumbent Van Hilleary is being challenged by Shelby County SEC member John Ryder. From the several SEC members to whom I have spoken, I expect a close race. Ryder started campaigning early, and Van has come on as of late. I wouldn't be too surprised if this race comes down to a couple of votes either way.

There is also speculation that there may be staff changes due to the recent Obama flap that caused John McCain to notice that Tennessee still exists. I wouldn't hold your breath. Short of Bill Hobbs just saying that he didn't want this kind of grief anymore and resigning, I wouldn't expect any changes. I highly doubt that would be Hobbs' reaction, because I know how badly he wanted this position with the Tennessee GOP. Plus, while the press release was a bit strong, it obviously wasn't that strong because no one reacted for several days afterwards. If anything, this whole mess is the product of a news cycle that was vacant (partly due to no major primaries this week) and needed some space filler.

Here's my prediction: I bet that as Leo and myself make our way around the various meetings and hobnob with the usual suspects that no one mentions the desire to have Robin Smith, Bill Hobbs, or any of the other party officers or staff resign.

I'll try to report on any interesting occurrences (as well as post on last weekend's Jefferson County Lincoln Day - I know that I'm behind, folks) when we return from Nashville.

Other people talking about the SEC meeting:

Katie Allison Granju
Ken Whitehouse (Note: I have spoken with several big-time GOP officeholders and donors - none of whom say they were the ones referenced by Whitehouse - who found Whitehouse's claims of dissension to be humorous.)
John Rodgers
Sean Braisted
Liz Garrigan
Music City Bloggers

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