This Week in Bad Ideas – 3/21/13 #TNLEG #ShelbyCo

via @gochristhomas on Twitter
When people think of the “silly season”, they typically think of political campaign time. These days, campaigning is a 24/7/365 affair. Think I’m wrong? Consider this photo of County Commissioner Steve Basar, taken by Commissioner Chris Thomas, who I ran against in the 2012 August election…at his first fundraiser of the season…last night (3/20/13).

Any Democrat thinking about challenging Basar might want to start getting their ducks in a row now. He’s a nice guy (that I happen to like personally) and pretty popular in many circles…but that doesn’t mean he should go unchallenged.

I don’t live in his new district, and don’t have any plans of running in 2014. Basar clearly does. If you’re not sure that you’re in his district, you can go here. He’ll be running in District 13.

If you are in his district and interested in running, drop me a line. I have some insights that might help you.

Basar’s decision to seek re-election isn’t the worst idea to befall Shelby Co. or Tennessee. Here are some of them, from the past three days. This sample is just the tip of the iceberg…

John DeBerry support “for profit” Charter Schools

The Tennessean reports that Democratic State Rep. John DeBerry is supporting a bill that would allow “for profit” charter schools in Tennessee.

DeBerry received $100,000 from the pro-charter, pro-voucher group Students First founded by former DC Superintendent and “education reformer” Michelle Rhee in his primary contest against former Rep. Jeanne Richardson last year.

Apparently, that was an investment well spent for the group.

State Run Inspections only for Memphians, Thanks to Mark Luttrell

Apparently, Shelby Co. Mayor Mark Luttrell doesn’t feel like he needs support from Memphians. In a Commerical Appeal article the inspections stations, mandated by an EPA agreement, and recently abandoned by the City of Memphis, will be taken over by the state rather than the County…even though the EPA now classifies the entirety of Shelby Co. a pollution problem.

The agreement with the State of Tennessee would exempt the 1/3 of Shelby Countians who live outside of Memphis from vehicle inspections for up to 6 years. Folks who live in Memphis will not only still be subject to inspections, but will also have to pay for them.

Way to take care of your largest constituency group.

Scenic Vistas Bill Dies in Committee

Yesterday, in the State Senate, the Tennessee Scenic Vistas Protection Act died in committee thanks to no members making a motion to hear the bill. Two Democratic Senators, Ophelia Ford and Charlotte Burks were noticeably absent when the bill came up.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Minority Caucus Chair, Lowe Finney (D-Jackson), who I have a separate beef with, is a necessary reform if we want to keep the mountains that are a signature of our Eastern Division. Kudos to Finney for carrying the bill, even if he couldn’t muster a motion.

Video of the entire debate on the bill is included below. See also: King Coal Recasts Itself as Friend of Earth After Stomping Environmentalists in Senate

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Pure Idiocy

State Rep. Vance Dennis (R-Savannah) thinks he has a way to stop the scourge of Obamacare in Tennessee.

Jeff Woods of The Nashville Scene eviscerates him, with an assist from J.R. Lind at Post Politics.

Sit down sir. The moving of your mouth is exposing your ignorance.

Ignoring the best advice in favor of a witch hunt

As bad as the electoral problems have been in Shelby Co., at least we don’t have a witch hunt going on over our voting rolls (at least not on this scale).

Davidson Co. Election Commissioner Steve Abernathy has taken it upon himself to investigate the citizenship of voters in the state’s second largest county against legal advice.

He says he wants to “Save America”. From what? No reporter had the stones to ask, but one might surmise from his rhetoric he wants to “Save” it from voters who don’t vote like him.

Brilliant! /sarcasm

Good Reads

Newscoma has a great post about local control that explores just how deep the State Legislature is willing to wrest control of local issues from local government.

A new tumblr account has popped up called iDemocrat that is collecting people’s stories about why they are a Democrat. You can submit your story here.

I’m not sure if I’ll make this a regular series, but if you want to know what’s going on in the state on a daily basis, Subscribe to the Daily Buzz. News from around the state, in your inbox every morning.

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