Thursday, October 21, 2010

Vote for Tennessee Governor not an easy decision

This is the official Tennessee state photograp...The fact that Phil Bredesen (pictured top left) has just a little more than two months left in his tenure as Tennessee's Governor brings great joy to my heart. My regular blog readers know that I am not a fan of his based upon my previous blog posts. Ever since I've been of legal voting age, Tennessee has been stuck with Liberals, such as Ned McWherter (pictured upper right), Don Sundquist, and now Bredesen, in the state's highest office. So, when the 2010 Tennessee Governor's race started, I was very hopeful we would finally get a good Conservative governor. However, at his point, it is very unlikely. Considering who the front runners are, it's likely that we'll get stuck with another bum.

Ned McWherter
The two front runners to replace Bredesen are Mike McWherter, the Democratic nominee, and Bill Haslam (pictured lower right), the Republican nominee. Mike McWherter is the son of former Governor Ned McWherter (pictured upper right). Eight years of his dad, Ned, as governor was eight too many. Besides the fact that Mike is a Liberal, the last thing we need is another McWherter as Governor. More years of beer, trucks, and vanilla wafers doesn't work for me. He won't be getting my vote.

Bill Haslam, the Republican nominee, is the former Mayor of Knoxville, TN. The Haslam Family is filthy rich owning Pilot Oil. Haslam has been trying to paint himself as a conservative. However, I have some serious misgivings about Haslam's "Conservatism" including :
  • His family is connected to former Governor Don Sundquist who was a proponent of a state income tax during his tenure. Haslam has stated his opposition to a state income tax. The question for me is will he be a man of his word if it comes up during his tenure ?? I am not convinced he will.
  • His record and views on the 2nd Amendment Right to Keep and Bear Arms is questionable, too. He is a former member of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's anti-gun group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns. The group's name is misleading as they are not against just illegal guns but are against gun ownership period. Haslam left the group just shortly before declaring his candidacy for Tennessee governor and joined the National Rifle Association (NRA). He apparently figured out that he didn't stand a chance of winning the governor's race as a member of Bloomberg's anti-gun group. Plus, the following video taken at a recent Tennessee Firearms Association (TFA) leaves some doubt as to his true feelings on the 2nd Amendment and citizens carrying firearms for self-defense. His hesitancy and comments about "living in the real world" in this video leave a substantial doubt in my mind as to his true commitment to the 2nd Amendment. On the gun issue, he comes across as a typical politician who's just saying what the people want to hear. I'm not buying it. Therefore, I will not be voting for him either.

Since I've said "NO" to both Haslam and McWherter, I'll be choosing from the Independents on the ballot. Fortunately, there are a number of them. Two, Samuel Duck and Carl Whitaker, have withdrawn so you should not vote for them if they appear on your ballot. They may have withdrawn to late for their names to be removed. Of the others, some have websites and other information available and some do not. As far as I know, each one listed below is still actively seeking the governor's office. Their names and any other information available about them follows.
  1. Bayron Binkley - click here to visit website - Binkley is a real estate broker and the views he expresses on his website are conservative. He wants to get Tennesseans back to work, improve education, keep taxes low (no income tax), he's pro-2nd Amendment, and believes all judges should be elected.
  2. Brandon Dodds - click here to visit website - Dodds is a young guy. He is the son of a farmer and currently owns his own optometry practice. He opposes both a state income tax and Cap and Trade. He is Pro-Life and Pro-2nd Amendment.
  3. David Gatchell - click here to visit website - Gatchell is the "None of the Above" candidate. In other words, if you don't like any of the candidates listed, vote for him. If elected, he then promises to call for a make-up election within 90 days to elect a "real" winner. Plus, he says on his website that during that 90 day period he would only perform "minimal" activities as governor. His website states no views on any issue. The idea of holding another "make-up" election seems foolish to me because then the taxpayers have to eat the cost of the additional election.
  4. June Griffin - has no website available but has a Project Vote Smart profile showing both Conservative and Liberal views. She is an ordained minister and former dental lab owner.
  5. Toni K. Hall - has no website but claims to have both Conservative and Liberal views depending on the issue on her Toni's Space page.
  6. Mike Knois - click here to visit website - works as a paralegal. As governor, his goal is to increase jobs and decrease taxes.
  7. Boyce T. McCall - click here to visit website - a retired Knoxville Police Officer. Website states that he is anti-abortion, wants to repeal the Tennessee Eminent Domain Act, and that anyone who needs legal assistance should receive it.
  8. Donald Ray McFolin - no website or other information found
  9. Linda Kay Perry - no website or other information found
  10. James Reesorclick here to visit website - has very colorful website with unique views including establishing "AmeriJericho."
  11. Thomas Smith II - no website or other information found
  12. Howard M. Switzer - click here to visit his blog - member of the Green Party. His interests focus on environmental issues.

Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam answer questions a...
Image via Wikipedia
In summary, the 2010 Tennessee governor's race will be different for me in that I will not be walking into the booth and punching the button by the "R." I won't be voting for the "D" either. I've stated my opinions of both McWherter and Haslam. Bill Haslam talks a good conservative game, but my concern is that it's just talk. If he wins, I hope he proves me wrong, and I have to eat crow. However, as I expressed in my August 27th post, Sheepdog on the Warpath - Part 3, The Finale - The GOP, the GOP has had a habit lately of giving voters less than true conservative candidates. Haslam is one of them. In my opinion, there appears to be two good choices, Bayron Binkley and Brandon Dodds, on the Independent ticket this year. My preference is Brandon Dodds because it's time to get some good, young, conservative blood with some new ideas in the governor's office. My opinion won't go over well with the establishment Republican elite, but they'll get over it. Consider this is my version of "Going Rogue."
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