Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Second Chance for District 17

Do you live in the Tennessee counties of Wilson, Macon, Clay, Cannon, DeKalb, or Smith? If so, you are in Tennessee State Senate District 17 and are currently represented by an entrenched, incumbent, career politician who's been in the Tennessee Legislature for the last 20 years (8 years in the House and the last 12 in the Senate). Prior to that, she was on the Wilson Co. Commission for 4 years. In other words, she has held some political office for 24 consecutive years. Do you realize that is 6 presidential terms? In fact, she's been in office since early in George H.W. Bush's only term in the White House. If that's not the definition of a "career politician," then I don't know what is.

Back in 2010, we, the voters of District, 17 had an opportunity to vote out this career politician, Mae Beavers. Unfortunately, we did not do so. Since then, she has sponsored silly, unneeded, and in some cases, ludicrous legislation, as I will point out below. The good news is that in 2014, we have a "second chance" to replace her. We cannot waste this opportunity. Furthermore, since there is no Democrat or Independent in the race, the Republican Primary is the race. The winner gets the District 17 seat.

Me with a Boyd for State Senate sign.
Clark Boyd is challenging Beavers in the August 7th Republican Primary for the District 17 State Senate seat. Boyd is a conservative, Christian, small businessman, family man, and veteran. He is also the former Chairman of the Wilson Co. Republican Party who stepped down in order to challenge the career politician, Beavers. He has good credentials. Personally, I think it would be a great idea to put a veteran in this legislative seat.

Beavers has been the master of political theater for a long time. She thrives at it, but often all she accomplishes is wasting taxpayer money and the time of her colleagues who have to debate and consider her silly bills. You may be wondering how taxpayer money is wasted? Well, there's labor costs involved with the time the clerks, state attorneys, and others spend writing and proofing each bill. There's also printing, sorting, and other overhead costs involved with getting copies of the bills to the legislators who actually debate and consider them. I could go on, but you get the picture.

Below is a few examples of "Beavers' Political Theater" from the legislative session just ended :
  • There was the "Don't Spy on Me, Bro" Bill, as I referred to it in a January post. It's purpose was making it illegal for local law enforcement to gather information from folks' cell phones without a warrant. In my post, I pointed out that both the U.S. and Tennessee Constitutions prohibit these warrantless searches. Therefore, the bill wasn't needed. In my opinion, Beavers was only pushing the legislation in order to score points with voters during an election year while the NSA Spying Scandal was still a hot-button topic. The legislation passed into law and was signed by Governor Haslam, but it's one of those waste of time and taxpayer money bills I mentioned earlier.
  • Beavers' sponsored a bill (SB 1607) which if passed would have made it a crime for federal agents to enforce federal gun laws in Tennessee. It was a silly bill. Fortunately, her colleagues voted it down and saved the state some embarrassment. The rest of the country would have looked at us and thought, "Those fools in Tennessee think they can arrest a Fed for doing their job?" I'll call this one the "Stay Outta Our Crib, Bro" Bill. I'm sure that had it passed it would have been smacked down real quick by Uncle Sam. Once again, a waste of time and money.
Additionally, during the legislative session just ended, the amount of over-the-counter decongestants we can purchase as consumers got reduced. Tennesseans are now limited to about 40 tablets a month per purchaser. So, if you're a single mom with 2 kids with allergy problems, you're not gonna be able to purchase enough medication to get through Tennessee's horrific spring allergy season. Thinking about having someone else purchase some for you if you run out? Better not. That's just as illegal as purchasing a gun for someone else. Isn't that wonderful?

In my opinion, even though Beavers didn't sponsor the newly adopted bill that reduced the amount of allergy medication we can buy, she is the one ultimately responsible for it. It was she, who just a few years ago, led the charge for legislation which now requires allergy medication purchases to be tracked. Currently, when you walk into your local drugstore or supermarket and purchase allergy meds containing decongestants, you have to register them like many states do gun purchases. You show your drivers' license, make the purchase, and it's logged into a database for government tracking purposes. I've even had to show my drivers' license to purchase plain Mucinex that doesn't even contain decongestants. It's ridiculous.

A Beaver Tale
A Beaver Tale (Photo credit: kdee64)
I think it's only a matter of time until we will have to have a prescription to purchase allergy meds in Tennessee. When that happens, just remember - Beavers got the ball rolling with the meds registry. She'll tell you it was to help curb the meth problem. Let's be real - it'll help about as much as gun control has reduced gun crimes. Bad guys still find ways to obtain the tools of their trade. Such registration schemes only punish and inconvenience law-abiding citizens.

Lastly, the thing I've never understood is why Beavers gets much of her support from the pro-gun and anti-tax crowds. She's been heralded as spearheading the anti-state income tax movement in Tennessee and as the gun owners friend. However, these folks have apparently forgotten a few things about Beavers. For instance :
  1. As I've pointed out before, while in the Tennessee House, she voted in favor of Jimmy Naifeh for Speaker on 4 separate occasions. Naifeh is the guy that on many occasions went out of his way to kill pro-gun legislation, including several carry bills. If questioned about it, Beavers will probably reply that he was the only candidate up for Speaker at the time. My response is that she could have voted "no". How the pro-guns folks who hated Naifeh forgive her for those votes, I don't know. I won't.
  2. Second, did you know that Beavers has frequently voted to either increase taxes or to renew old ones that were set to expire? Well, she has. Many of them are the type of taxes that can get directly passed onto consumers by raising prices, such as taxes on nursing homes and HMO's. I shared these in a 2010 article **, but don't take my word for it, go to the Tennessee Legislature's website (click here) and "do your own homework," as Glenn Beck says. Anti-tax? Not really.
I've pointed out other Beavers' shenanigans over the years in prior posts. If you would like to read about them, just click here. I do hope, if you live in District 17, you will join me on August 7th in voting for Clark Boyd. I've laid out some reasons within this article about why I do not support the career politician, Beavers, who has been in office way too long. I've also mentioned why I will vote for Boyd.

Since the establishment Republicans gained control of the Tennessee Legislature a few years ago, they have been out of control. Since she's been in the legislature for the last 20, I think it's safe to say Beavers is part of that problem. Therefore, it's time to put some new blood in the Tennessee Legislature, and we can start by electing Clark Boyd.

** Due to the legislature using the same bill numbers over and over from year to year, the links to bill numbers in this 2010 article may not necessarily still correspond to the correct bill. However, to look them up, all one must do to find the correct ones is look back at past legislative sessions and plug in the bill numbers given.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Hail to the ..... 'Skins?!?

As a football fan, I've been following this whole "Redskins controversy" ..... oops, I said the Red-word. Sure hope I didn't offend anyone. Honestly, though, I think the whole thing's silly, especially with Congress and Big O getting involved. The country's on fire, basically, and they're worried about a football team name? Puh-lease.

It kinda reminds me of how the U.S. Senator from the state of Tennessee, Lamar Alexander, touted his bill to prevent the Corps of Engineers from restricting fishing access on Tennessee's rivers below dams. Yes, I'm not kidding - millions out of work, terrorists running wild, Americans fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that goofball's worried about fishing. Ridiculous. He still brags about that on his website, too. We need to vote him out this year, Tennessee. But I digress.

Glenn Beck did a piece about the whole 'Skins thing, after their trademark was revoked, on The Blaze the other day. I got a copy of it in his e-mail newsletter, and I thought I'd share. Two videos were in the article. One of them, about the history of the Washington Redskins name, is embedded below. The second, not embedded below, is Beck's interview with Dana Loesch, a Blaze contributor, about the whole issue. Both videos and the article, "What the Woman 'A Lot More' Native American than Elizabeth Warren Thinks About the Redskins Decision", on The Blaze can also be watched, and read, by clicking here.

I just hope that when this mess is over they haven't outlawed "the Redskins' song". Back in the day, when I was pulling for the 'Skins and the Steelers, I loved that song, especially when the Redskins were winning Super Bowls.

Maybe folks will be able to compromise on the song. "Hail to to the 'Skins", .... maybe?