Oct 24 2011

How Not to Build Confidence

Posted by Steve Ross in snark, State Politics

State Rep. Tony Shipley
Kingsport

There are a lot of things that I’m not an expert in, but one thing is for sure, I am quite skilled in what not to do.

You don’t put foxes with hens, nor do you put wolves with sheep. You also don’t put someone who is under investigation for potential wrongdoing in charge of the committee that oversees the agency he’s been alleged to be doing the wrong with. That is, unless you’re the House GOP Caucus.

Look, I understand it’s gotta be hard to hold back TNGOP. Ya’ll have it all…the House, the Senate, the executive residence. There’s no one that can really stand in your way, including any sense of decency you might have. But seriously, how does this make people feel confident in government?

Short answer, it doesn’t. No one should feel better about anything with this and many other decisions the majority party has made over the past year of absolute power. But the GOP seems completely and totally unconcerned about these problems.

Here’s a little piece of advice that I know you won’t take so I don’t mind giving it: People kinda want government to work, not be more distant, broken or clubby than it already is.

Now look, I understand this position is completely and totally antithetical to your ideology. I understand that you’re more interested in making sure that government is just as inefficient and ineffective as possible so people will lose even more faith in it, so when you pass some law to make it all but go away people will hardly notice.

But allow me to let you in on a little secret here: Folks may say that’s what they want, but it isn’t really.

Since January you guys have committed the classic blunder…overreach. You took the gains you made in the 2010 election as a sign that the people agreed with you, rather than being sick of the other guy. Incumbents don’t normally lose because the challenger is great or right or any of that. Incumbents lose because people have lost faith in them and are looking for answers. If you provide those answers, you’re in for a while. Looking at the unemployment numbers, particularly in areas you guys just picked up, I don’t think you’ll be around all that long.

Nope, the reality is that no matter how cynical or just plain over it people get with government, on some level they still want it to work. They still want it to be there when stuff gets real. They still want some kind of security, other than a personal policeman following them around, to give them the confidence to do what they need to do, whether its investing in their business, getting additional education, or just feeling safe drinking their water and going to the doctor.

So putting a guy who’s under investigation for tampering in a licensure procedure in charge of the committee that has oversight over the licensing board could make people wonder if something might be wrong with this situation, and the overall leadership of the GOP caucus.

Not that this will be enough to make you guys lose you shiny new majority. Nope, that’s gonna take a while, unless you really mess it up. I mean, you’ve already had one scandal thanks to your drunk driving, gun toting former Firearms Chairman. The Voter ID thing is on the verge of being #2 if nonagenarians and their younger friends keep getting turned away at Driver Safety Centers. Thinking you could pass a bill and not fund it, so arrogant. Folks may not be paying attention, but they aren’t stupid.

Truth is, you’ve probably got some more personal scandals in your ranks that former State Senator Paul Stanley can offer some advice on. Repentance is all well and good, but that requirement that you “sin no more” is probably a sight more than you guys can handle. There’s that arrogance popping up again.

But it won’t be me, or any other Democrat that exposes this stuff. You guys will do it to yourselves. That’s the way these things always work out. You’ll do it to yourself, and the confidence that your policies further weakened will cause the people to turn against you.

So whether its devaluing the loss of human life through Tort Reform, making the ballot box harder to get to through Voter ID, any of the other stupid bills y’all passed this year or just schtupping the help or shirking your responsibility, if you’re not doing what you were elected to do, you’ll be gone soon enough.

Which gives me a little peace. At the rate y’all are going, you’ll be lucky to make it through next year.

See also: Aunt B.

Sep 20 2011

Stephen Fincher (TN08) named one of DC’s “Most Corrupt”

Posted by Steve Ross in State Politics

Corruption in Tennessee Has a New Name

When you think of corruption in Washington DC a freshman Representative from a rural district isn’t the first person that comes to mind, or at least, that’s not the archetype that we’ve come to expect. But that doesn’t mean that it can’t happen, or that it doesn’t happen.

Well, it happened folks, and sooner than anyone ever anticipated. Rep. Stephen Fincher (R) Frog Jump has been named one of the 19 most corrupt members of Congress by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

That’s one heck of an accomplishment for a Freshman.

From the report:

“Rep. Fincher ruthlessly lied and cheated his way to an electoral victory. Given his track record, how can Americans believe anything that comes out of his mouth now that he’s in Congress?” said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan. “Members like this give Congress a bad name.”

Citing a sketchy, at best, loan during the campaign and inconsistent financial disclosures CREW notes that the Federal Election Commission also found the loan to “probably be illegal”, but chose to do nothing about it. With justice like this, it’s no wonder people are losing faith in government institutions.

So, it seems that instead of shaking up Washington, Fincher has chosen to shakedown Washington, doing his own business before the business of his constituents. Good times.

I can’t wait to see what he does for his next act. Maybe he’ll introduce a bill to suspend EPA rules and end capital gains taxes. Oh wait, he did that too.

#SMH

Apr 29 2011

It’s All About the Money

Posted by Steve Ross in State Politics

Tiger Dud

Sometimes I wonder what drives people. Other times I wonder how they have any wheels at all. But most times, that driving force is very apparent through the actions of a person or group, and more often than not, their true motivation shines through.

This morning the Tennessee Democratic Party is hosting a Unity Breakfast in Nashville. Typical fundraising affair, big name speaker, in this case, Vice-President Gore, nice restaurant. I wouldn’t say it’s no big deal, but I also wouldn’t say its something that, if I were the TNGOP, I would attack. Doing so might inadvertently advertise the event.

But that’s exactly what the TNGOP did in this radio ad. I’m sure they used Charlie Sheen’s voice with permission, and I’d be interested to know how much that cost them, or will cost them after Mr. Sheen files suit.

Anyway, my point is, the TNGOP attacking a fundraiser is just endemic of their whole worldview. I’m sure in some room somebody has this complex calculation involving dry beans, Pi, and a few other constants that tells them what they believe is the total amount of campaign dollars in the universe. Subtract the salaries and budgets of all the other organizations out there and it shows just how much campaign cash Tennessee has. Armed with this knowledge, the TNGOP certainly calculated that at $250 a head the TNDP would most certainly gain a competitive advantage, particularly considering the big name Oscar winner on the bill. Considering the dire nature of their flat earth funding philosophy, and the huge potential for these mythically limited funds to move in the wrong direction, the TNGOP had to strike back with a washed up hack.

Because it really is all about the money and nothing else and there’s plenty of evidence to prove it. From the lavish $25,000 a head “shakedown at the Governor’s mansion, to the bill promoting the massive influx of corporate campaign donations, that’s the real focus of the TNGOP, getting the money so no one else can.

Way to go guys, and thanks for the cross promotion. In the mean time, I’ve forwarded the audio of your radio ad to Sheen’s Business Agent.

Happy litigation!

Jan 16 2009

Check Out This Poll

Posted by Steve Ross in Uncategorized

I just got an interesting email. It’s interesting because it’s the first email I’ve received from any state political party. It is not from my party of choice.

In the email, there is a link to a poll.

I call on all my fellow liberals and other malcontents to vote in this poll and let your voice be heard.

Let the giggling re-commence!