Archive for March, 2013

Anger and Betrayal: Power Grab

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

After criticism and outrage from the Tennessee Democratic Party Executive Committee members, over proposed changes to terminate the elected Executive Committee, Party officials met with the House Democratic Caucus for an update on the proposed legislature affecting the Tennessee Democratic Party Executive Committee.

Unlike the initial proposal, the current legislation will not reduce the size of the committee, but would in fact increase it. The legislation, which will be introduced as an amendment to HB898 on Wednesday, proposes the following:

• No change to the 66 members of the Executive Committee that are elected as one man and one woman from each state senate district;

• The House Democratic Leader shall appoint six members to the Executive Committee, two from each of Tennessee’s grand divisions, for a term of two years;

• The Senate Democratic Leader shall appoint six members to the Executive Committee, two from each of Tennessee’s grand divisions, for a term of two years;

• Each U.S. Congressman, if a Democrat, shall serve on the Executive Committee or appoint a member to the Executive Committee;

• Each U.S. Senator, if a Democrat, shall serve on the Executive Committee or appoint a member to the Executive Committee;

• Tennessee’s governor, if a Democrat, shall serve on the Executive Committee or appoint a member to the Executive Committee;

• The Executive Committee may create ex-officio voting positions, provided that the number of such positions shall not exceed nine members.

This attempted power grab by Sen. Finney and Rep. Powell has caused damage to the TNDP. It will take some time before Executive Committee members will be able to trust these two representatives. “I feel betrayed and blindsided by Sen. Finney and Rep. Powell”, the comments and sentiments of many Executive Committee members.

Democratic Legislators Propose Change to the TNDP

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

Yesterday, members of the Tennessee Democratic Party Executive Committee members were notified of plans, by two elected Democratic legislators, to dismantle the TNDP Executive Committee, thus eliminating the election of these positions.

Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Lowe Finney (Jackson) and Rep. Jason Powell (Nashville) will propose legislation that will designate the Democratic House delegation as the new Executive Committee, and let the House and Senate each appoint five (elitists) other members from around the state.

Currently, according to state law, two members, one male and one female, are elected from each Senate district in the August primary preceding gubernatorial elections. The changes being considered would eliminate this process and reduce the size of the Executive Committee to a hand picked group of elitists.

The Executive Committee elects the party officers, including party chair, treasurer and regional vice chairs among others. The Executive Committee is also responsible for adopting the party bylaws and operating budget.

The purpose of the proposed reorganization is not clear. There is no good or justified reason to make such drastic changes. According to documents being circulated amoung Executive Committee members, the sponsors of the legislation feel the executive committee is too large and will not bow to their directives.

Complaints of those favoring the power grab of the executive committee include false allegations that unpaid volunteer executive committee members are not donating money, are not actively campaigning for candidates, are not responsive to elected officials, and are only interested in attending the DNC national convention.

Sources also say the proposed legislation would be written so that it doesn’t apply to the TNGOP if they so choose. It would be introduced as an amendment to a caption bill, possibly SB297/HB898.

The implications of the proposed changes are clear. It would certainly reduce the size and makeup of the committee. It would reduce the democratic election of these 66 elected members, two from each Senate district. Under the proposed changes, the committee would be made up of 29 House Democrats plus 10 members, five each appointed by House and Senate Democrats.

Large areas would be underrepresented or not represented under the proposed change. For example, the Knoxville area will have 2 committee members, now they currently have 10 members.

The change will put more power in the hands of the few insiders. Another consideration is whether already underpaid elected officials have the time and/or inclination to take on unpaid volunteer work on behalf of the party, including Democratic voters in districts they don’t represent.

Several Executive Committee members have stated, “The proposed changes will dismantle the Tennessee Democratic Party by placing decisions in the hands of the few and taking the power from the people of Tennessee”.

Unicoi County Democratic Party Re-organization Set

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

The Unicoi County Democratic Party (UCDP) will conduct reorganization on Saturday, April 6th. The reorganization will be held at Erwin Town Hall. Doors will open at 11 am for registration. Lunch will be provided to UCDP members. Doors will be locked at 12 noon and the reorganization will begin.

New Party Officers and Executive Committee members will be elected. Offices open for election include|: Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer. Four Executive Committee members consisting of two men and two women will also be elected. The election will be conducted in accordance with the bylaws of State Democratic Party and the bylaws of the Unicoi County Democratic Party.

NOTE: The Unicoi County Democratic Party Bylaws can be found above on this page under GOP Dirty in the red banner.

The reorganization is open to the public. You must be a registered voter in Unicoi County and a bone fide Democrat to participate in reorganization.

Wing Nut Legislation from Nashville

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

One can only be amazed at the break neck speed with which the wing nut legislation is moving through Nashville. There is no longer need for debate or logic, ignorance based bills are passed in record time, most recently, one bill passed in six minutes, there is no longer need for intelligent discussion.

After two years of working hard for lobbyists, the Tennessee legislator has moved Tennessee into the national lime light of ignorance. The race to the bottom by the backwoods boys of the Tennessee legislator has paid off; Tennessee has become the blunt of jokes on a weekly basis on late night sitcoms. The wealth of ignorance by the legislation has produced a wind fall of material for late night comedians and national news networks.

Legislators like Marsh Blackburn have become regulars on news stations, as she insists the good people of Tennessee love the Sequester, the Sequester what will eventually give Tennesseans 40,000 lay off slips.

After four years of struggle, while unemployment moves upward across the state, the Tennessee House of Representatives capped off four years of foolishness with their signature bill that would let handgun owners with permits carry their weapons in their cars anywhere they go, putting an apparent end to a four-year fight between business owners and gun rights advocates.

Other bills like “don’t say gay” have gained even more national recognition and laughter. The more Tennessee is associated with bigotry, intolerance and ignorance, the more we are dragged down, economically and socially. What employer wants to relocate to a state that guts education and condemns science and technology?

Sadly, the current work of the legislature is focused on gutting workers compensation. Basis protection to workers who become injured at work will likely be dismantled when this legislation is rushed through without discussion or regret.

Other legislation moves toward gutting public education in the state. TNGOP touted K12 “virtual schools”, the savior of education, even as administrators of these schools were instructing teachers to delete and hide the falling grades of the students involved in this “voodoo” education option.

If you don’t like the K12 option, you can always go with the school voucher scam. Lobbyists are lining up to get their hands on tax payer education dollars in Tennessee. They want to pilfer, plunder, and profit from the privatization of public schools and the pickpocketing of public funds.

On another note, in the coming weeks, Gov. Bill Haslam and the state legislature will be making a decision on whether to fully implement the Affordable Care Act by expanding TennCare, our Medicaid program. It’s a decision that will have long-term effects on health care for working families and a huge impact on our state economy.

The legislation from Nashville affects every aspect of your life, from your education to your job, from your standard of living to your wellbeing as a senior citizen. If you don’t pay attention to laws that affect you, you will find yourselves with no “safety net” protection.