Monthly Archives: August, 2014

Somewhere out there is a restraining order with Debra Maggart’s name on it.

Politicians in heat!   Cover your kid’s eyes.   Hide the dog!

From an outfit called EverythingHendersonville.com, comes a riveting tale of intrigue, crime, lust and politics. It involves former Republican state legislator — now Democrat lobbyist — Debra Maggart, her alleged paramour — GoodeHendersonville Alderman Paul Goode — and a host of colorful characters that would make Fellini blush.

The story goes that Goode filed a criminal complaint last month when someone removed one of his yard signs.  EverythingHendersonville says they have it all on tape, having secured the audio of the police interview with Goode when he filed his complaint.  This, of course, begs a couple of obvious questions:  What political idiot (a) files a criminal complaint over a $5.00 yard sign and, (b) allows the police to record him?

We will take a moment to let you read the whole thing…..

[elevator music interlude, or you can hum the theme from Jeopardy…..]

Done?

Okay, our first takeaway from this sordid story is that Debra Maggart needs serious professional attention. Ever since hernra-maggart1 humiliating defeat by Rep. Courtney Rogers over two years ago, she has frenetically bounced around looking for some sort of redemption or meaning to her life. She was seen earlier this year at the Democrat’s Jefferson/Jackson fundraiser. Then she takes a job working for a Democratic lobbying firm.  This has got to be a cry for help….

And now, according to EverythingHendersonville, Maggart has sought solace in the loving arms of an unhinged Alderman Goode.  Goode is a small-time politician whose website looks like the old “I love me” wall you used to see in obscure congressional offices. Take a look yourself (http://paulrgoode.com/Photos) then say he doesn’t give narcissists a bad name.  Please tell us he does not have “private” photos of Maggart.

To all this we say: Ew-w-w.

Maggart, Goode and company seem obsessed with fellow Republicans who they have determined are “crazy.” If anyone knows “crazy,” they should. If these two don’t get a grip and stop attacking fellow Republicans who have different opinions, they may find themselves in a real tough spot one day — surrounded by other Republicans who loathe or don’t trust them, or both.

Just like the governor.

ACT scores go up one-tenth of 1%…………….. Huffman declares victory……………………. Everybody gets a trophy!!!!

Media dutifully repeats the propaganda without bothering to look at the record.

We are the 99%!  No, wait:  We are the one percent!.  No, that’s not right either:  We are the 0.1%!  Aw, to heck with it.  Everybody gets a trophy!

dunce

In a shameful act of spin, the Haslam administration trotted out a press release earlier this week that said ACT scores went up 0.3 percent over last year.  And like pigs to slop, the mainstream media regurgitated the numbers as some big improvement.  What the Haslam administration failed to point out — and what the media failed to research — was that the 0.3 increase came after a 0.2% decrease in scores the year before.  Overall, Huffman has presided over a net increase of only 0.1 percent improvement in ACT scores since his first year in office.

After 1/2 billion dollars in Race to the Top money, millions spent by SCORE trying to pimp for Common Core, hundreds of thousands spent by Haslam’s friends to try and defeat Republican legislators, along with untold hundreds of millions more just from Tennessee taxpayers,  the exalted leadership of the genius that is Kevin “IVFO” Huffman has resulted in a whopping 0.1 percent increase in our students A.C.T. scores.  Wow.

At this rate of “improvement” it will take approximately 12 years and $6 billion in more tax money for Tennessee to reach even the U.S. average (21.0) in A.C.T. scores.  These scuzzballs really have no sense of shame, do they?

Haslam has been quoted as saying Huffman was one of the “two best hires” he has made as governor.  If that’s his best, one shudders to think what his worst hire might be like.

Well THAT didn’t take long…

Chief Inspector Jackman

Chief Inspector Jackman

It took less than 24 hours after RTP took a jab at Montgomery County teacher’s union boss, Becky “Inspector Clouseau” Jackman for talking out of her patootie about the Koch Brothers and RTP,  for Jackman to react.  Miss Becky showed up with not one, but two fellow union heavies at a meeting with the county’s school superintendent, Dr. Worthington.  The “show of farce” left everyone scratching their heads as to its purpose.  These days, just being mentioned in Rocky Top Politics seems to be enough to get an over-reaction from some folks.  Just ask Bryan Kaegi.

One of the union enforcers Miss Becky brought along for protection was the ever-popular, ever-militant Maria Uffleman (Uffleman from the OE: Offal, meaning “full of cow dung”). All that was missing were their black truncheons.TEA Headshots and Group Shot on May 22, 2013. Photos by Donn Jones Photography.

Anywho, glad to see the TEA is hard at work trying to make themselves relevant.

Oh, and the Koch Brothers say “Hi.”

Haslam flips off Republicans — AGAIN.

monkeyHaslam appoints two Democrats to the State Board of Education.

What is it with this guy? Why does he seem hell-bent to prove he is a closet Democrat? Did something happen in his childhood that makes him seek out Democrats over Republicans? Does he have “acceptance” or “inclusion” issues? Why the compulsion to seek the approval of the sworn enemies of his own political party? What is it?

“Republican” Gov. Bill Haslam announced a whole series of appointments today. Not lost on observers were the the following 2 names (out of three appointments) to the BOE:

cato johnson1.  Cato Johnson

 

 

wendy tucker2. Wendy Tucker

 

Tucker’s appointment was particularly odious to Republicans, since she is the education advisor to Karl Dean, the lefty liberal Mayor of Nashville. Yeah, just what we need: someone who has advised the Democrat mayor on the unmitigated disaster that is Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS motto:  “Thank God for Memphis”).

The other name is Cato Johnson, who was most recently listed on the “Democrats for Alexander” press release (8/10/2014).

To make matters worse, RTP has learned that Haslam has now personally signed off for his closest advisor, Tom Ingram, to work for the campaign of uber-Democrat Charles Robert Bone, who is running to succeed Dean as mayor.

The Haslam Political Doctrine:  Find ways to piss on Republicans.  Appoint Democrats to key positions.  Repeat.

RTP Outed!?

Boy, those T.E.A. union leaders are SO smart!

Chief Inspector Jackman

Chief Inspector Jackman

Montgomery County union president, Becky Jackman,was holding court in Clarksville the other day, regaling everyone with her insider’s knowledge of the “real” puppet masters behind RTP.  Naturally, the folks here at RTP were trembling with trepidation that our dark, horrible secret was finally being exposed.  According to Miss Becky, the real funders behind RTP was — wait for it — the Koch Brothers (gasp)!  BJ said she was at a meeting with other high union muckety-mucks and they were all talking about it.

Okay, you got us.  The game is up.  Your detective abilities are astounding.  It’s true — all true!  We make a full and total confession!   RTP is totally funded by the Koch Brothers.  Every dime, every inch of our pockets are lined with their money.  We are their bitches.

koch editWhat’s more, we can also now reveal that one of the RTP team members is also the love child of one of the Koch brothers, born of an affair one of them had in college with a coed who was unfortunately not a true libertarian and who was un-pure in thought and, apparently, deed.  To prove it, we are releasing a photo of that team member taken when they were a baby.  Do you see the resemblance?  It’s a little blurry, but it sure looks like David Koch to us.  Good job, T.E.A.!

clouseauSo what can we expect to be “uncovered” next by the cracked team of sleuths from the T.E.A.?  The location of Jimmy Hoffa’s final resting place?  Photos from Area 51?  Jim Wrye’s membership card from the Alabama Democratic Party?

Let’s see if the T.E.A. leadership can find their butt with both hands. After all, that appears to be the location where they retrieved their latest fevered conspiracy nonsense.

What a bunch of morons.  It’s a wonder your members let you guys out of the office unsupervised.

PS:  And for the record:  No, we do not get one thin dime from the Koch Brothers — directly or indirectly or from their  friends, their butler or the guy who does their dry cleaning.  Unless you’ve got evidence to the contrary (and you don’t), then kindly stop your incessant and uninformed blathering.  It’s starting to embarrass the entire teaching profession.

PSS:  If either of the Koch Brothers are reading this, we welcome any contributions you might send our way.  We take cash , VISA and Mastercard.  Or livestock.

ADVANCE TENNESSEE Attacks on Conservatives: The core was from S.C.O.R.E.

Frist, Woodson and SCORE linked to Governor’s war on Conservatives.

Governor Haslam giving Mark Cate lessons on how to govern.

Governor Haslam giving Mark Cate lessons on how to govern.

RTP researchers have found that over 1/3 of the money used by the governor and his friends in the unprecedented effort to defeat Republican legislators who disagreed with him came from just three contributors and/or their families.  Those three individuals also just happen to sit on the board of directors of S.C.O.R.E.

Available reports released thus far show that the three contributed $40,000 in last-minute money to the Washington, DC-based Advance Tennessee PAC just days before the primary. Advance Tennessee spent at least $137,000 in direct mail, radio and TV against 8 GOP legislators who had stood their ground and voted against Haslam’s plan to force Common Core onto Tennessee public schools.

SCORE board member Orrin Ingram and his brother John contributed a total of $20,000.  Ingram publishing, and its subsidiary, Ingram Content Group, stand to rake in in millions in profits from the sale of expensive new textbooks and content that are “aligned” with the new Common Core standards.

But the strong-arm tactics and cronies’ money used by the governor and Cate were a failure.  Six of the eight targetted legislators won re-election.  And the two “pick-ups” by the governor were off set by the defeat of two of the governor’s incumbent allies.  So the net effect of the $150,000+ expenditure netted exactly…. zero.  It did however, galvanize members of the governor’s own party who are now hell-bent on opposing the governor at every opportunity,  Talk about your law of unintended consequences.

Oh, and RTP wants to make sure to mention Brian Kaegi in this post.  Kaegi was paid thousands by Advance Tennessee for creating mailers that attacked Republican incumbent legislators.  We mention Brian here not just because he is relevant to the subject at hand, but because it really ticks him off whenever we mention him.

Unregistered lobbyist Brian Kaegi

Unregistered lobbyist Brian Kaegi

C’mon, Rick. Tell us how your REALLY feel…

The “Point of the Spear” has spoken.

In what some in the GOP caucus are describing as either a “Conservative Manifesto” or a “Declaration of Independence” from the Haslam Administration, Rep. Rick Womick (R-Air Force, Rockvale) has let ’em have it with both barrels.

Rep. Rick Womick

Rep. Rick Womick

Rep. Womick gave voice to the seething resentment felt by conservative members of the GOP caucus over “Republican” Gov. Bill Haslam’s ham-handed and in-your-face attempts to defeat incumbent members of his own party in the recent primaries. Womick’s letter was also a tour de force rebuttal to the state Attorney General’s convoluted opinion that tried (and failed) to tamp down the outrage over education commissioner Kevin “I Voted for Obama” Huffman’s manipulation of student test scores after he conveniently failed to report the results of said scores in time for inclusion in students’ final grades (an action which also, it must be noted, created a long enough delay for 400 education writers who were in Nashville at the time to get out of town before it all blew up in his and the governor’s face).

NOW do you see why Lt. Gov. Ramsey tried to get rid of the AG by replacing the Democrat Supreme Court justices who hired him?  It was to try an avoid this kind of crap from  happening over and over again.  (Editor’s note:  After the attempt to replace the justices failed, AG Cooper applied for another term the very next day.  What a surprise…..).

"No Comment"

“No Comment”

So far, not a word from the governor on his explicit and implicit management of the attacks on his fellow Republicans.  Cowards usually hide when the going gets tough.  And believe us, governor, you haven’t even BEGUN to see just how tough it is about to get.

 

 

We have provided a copy of Womick’s letter below.

WARNING:  You may need oven mitts to turn the pages….

 

 

Mr. Cate:

Your recent letter dated July 9, 2014, excoriating me and the other fourteen State Representatives for having the audacity to uphold state law, and the Legislative intent behind those laws, is laughable.  But then so is this Administration’s integrity as it pertains to the manipulation of TCAP scores and the treasonous targeting, in this month’s primary, of Republicans who oppose your flawed and failing education policies.

The blatant disregard for state law and the Clintonesque “it all depends on what your definition of the word is, is” spin exhibited by Commissioner Huffman and Attorney General Cooper as it pertains to TCA 49-1-617 is nothing more than an orchestrated cover-up designed to conceal the disastrous TCAP scores and the fraudulent “post equating” process that was used to artificially inflate those final TCAP scores.

Given the Attorney General’s (AG) opinion, it is clear that he has colluded with Commissioner Huffman and the Department of Education (DOE), compromising the integrity of his office, by adopting earlier “talking points” issued by the DOE.  His “opinion” claims that TCAP does not play a role in the State’s student assessment or school accountability efforts, and that the inclusion of TCAP scores required by TCA 49-1-617, “is not required by federal education law…”  The AG goes on to explain that “While final course grades certainly determine a student’s academic performance within his or her school, they appear not to determine student or school performance at the state level.  The requirement of TCA 49-1-617, therefore, can be waived.”  The AG further declares that the statutory requirements of TCA 49-1-617 (d) (1) (J) are not related; in essence he declared that TCA 49-1-201 does not apply to the enforcement of TCA 49-1-617.

What the AG fails to address, and conveniently avoids, is the fact that TCA 49-1-617 is a statute that governs LEA’s and it does determine a student’s performance as it relates to that student’s final spring semester grade.  That is the whole purpose of the law!  It has nothing to do with federal law or the DOE’s performance at the state level!  In TCA 49-1-617 the Tennessee General Assembly has required, by law, that LEA’s will, in the grades 3-8, count at least 15% to 25% of a student’s TCAP score as a part of their final spring semester grade.

Additionally, the recent revision and unanimous passage of TCA 49-1-201 by both houses of the TGA, has specifically denied the commissioner of Education the power to waive any and all state student assessments.  However, in an attempt to conceal the disastrous results of this years TCAP scores and to buy more time to perform “post equating” and the altering of those TCAP scores, Commissioner Huffman’s unauthorized waiving of TCA 49-1-617 has put many LEA’s directly in violation of TCA 49-1-617, since they were unable to acquire TCAP scores and thus ascertain actual final semester grades, that were inclusive of TCAP scores, for their students in grades 3-8.

Furthermore, for the AG to declare that TCA 49-1-201 (d) (1) is not related to certain parts of the TCA as it pertains to public education, renders his entire opinion indefensible.  TCA 49-1-201 specifically defines and limits the Commissioner of Education’s power and jurisdiction, as it pertains to regulatory and statutory requirements governing LEA’s!  Again, we call upon Governor Haslam, to remove Commissioner Huffman as Tennessee’s Education Commissioner on the grounds that he violated, and continues to violate state law, as it is written and intended by the TGA.  Additionally, we request the Governor abandon all Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and return our schools to the Tennessee Diploma Project Standards, which is the will of over 80 State Representatives who voted to repeal CCSS this past spring.

One last item, as it pertains to your claim that “The Administration reached out to every member of the General Assembly…” and the Governor’s publicly professed desire to maintain an “open dialogue” with all Representatives in the Tennessee House; we simply do not see such an attempt.  We have tried to set up multiple appointments with the Governor, we have tried calling the Governor, and we have tried sending letters directly to the Governor, but the best we ever get is a response from one of his unelected minions; case in point, your letter.  His insincerity is on full display, and his direct, personal involvement, in collaboration with you, Jeremy Harrell, Jamie Woodson, SCORE, its Board of Directors, and other Administration officials, in targeting and opposing Republican representatives who don’t agree with his policies, in the recent August 7th primaries, has been fully exposed and will not be tolerated.

In summary, the purpose of this letter is twofold.  First, is the necessity to respond to the untruthful spin you profess regarding the success of Commissioner Huffman and CCSS.  Secondly, this letter is the result of multiple requests by my fellow representatives who want to express their dissatisfaction with Commissioner Huffman, the Administration’s implementation of Common Core State Standards, and the political retribution imposed by the governor upon representatives of the TGA who openly oppose his education policies.  Because of the latter, the names and signatures of other State Senators and State Representatives will not be placed upon this letter.  As duly elected representatives we serve and answer only to those citizens who elected us.  Rest assured, we will continue to represent and listen to them!

Allow me to close with a bit of advice for the future; be careful with whom you choose to pick a fight.  For those of us who are military officers, our Oath of office is for life; it has no statute of limitations.  We are loyal, we are dedicated, we are unwavering, and we are willing to die upholding that oath.  But more specifically, as an old Air Force fighter pilot, we may live in fame, or we may go down in flames, but we will always stand firm and fight!  There are always consequences for decisions we make in life; but woe to those are the repercussions for betrayal and disloyalty.
Respectfully,

Rick Womick
State Representative
34th Legislative District

Amazing what happens when you shine a little light on the cockroaches….

100,000 and counting!

Rocky Top Politics has hit the the big 100K mark in less than 5 months of our inception.  That works out to over 20,000 readers per month!

RTP wants to give special thanks to Tom Ingram, Bill Haslam, Jamie Woodson, Kevin “IVFO” Huffman, Mark “Who elected you?” Cate, Brian Kaegi, Charles “Last Term” Sargent, Beth Harwell and the rest of the gang for all the good stories and driving all those readers to our little spot on the Internet.

We couldn’t have done it without you!

Commissar Huffman employs Pravda-style tactics

Translation:  Common Core for the Masses!

Translation: Common Core for the Masses!

Remember how the old Soviet apparatchiks used to make people who fell out of favor “disappear?” They would scrub away someone or some thing by removing all previous references to the target. For good measure, they would airbrush people out of photos.

Inspired by this “cleansing” of awkward facts from the record, Education Commissioner Kevin “I Voted for Obama” Huffman decided the very words “Common Core” (or was it “Commie Core?” We get so confused by all the jargon sometimes…) had become so toxic that they had to be removed.

With some of their typical excellent reporting on education issues, the Momma Bears have alerted the public to the “revisionist history” employed by the fellow travelers at DOE.

Who needs Putin when we got Huffman?

Worker’s Arise! Power to the Proletariat!

“Dasvidaniya, Common Core”

The previous TN DOE websites proudly splashed the words “Common Core” everywhere they could find a space.  NOW look at ‘new and improved” website.  See the words “Common Core” anywhere?

AFTER

AFTER

SMOKING GUN: Governor linked to attacks on GOP legislators

Haslam’s personal war on conservatives confirmed.

Targeted (and non-targeted) GOP legislators are furious.

It has been rumored for several weeks that the attacks on conservative legislators were directed by Gov. Haslam through his staff and consultants.

There were numerous hints and substantial anecdotal evidence that chief of staff Mark Cate personally attempted to recruit candidates to run against conservative legislators who had drawn the ire of the governor for daring to oppose his agenda, especially on Common Core. There were suspicions the governor had directed some of his closest financial and business associates to fund the attack. There was talk that political consultants who were working for the governor were involved in creating and delivering the attack ads.

It now appears to all be true.

RTP has learned, thanks to its Merry Band of Tipsters, of direct links between the governor and the unprecedented (at least for the GOP) attacks. Below is a promotional page produced by a direct mail company called Persuasion Partners, Inc.   Advance Tennessee was a last-minute PAC formed and funded by a handful of wealthy individuals, most, if not all of whom have close political and/or business relationships with the governor.

Advance Tennessee, is located above a UPS store on the second floor of an old, nondescript Capitol Hill townhouse in Washington, DC. Interesting choice of locales.

Advance Tennessee HQs in Washington DC

Advance Tennessee HQs in Washington DC

Gee, locating a PAC to influence just Tennessee legislative races in Washington makes all the sense in the world.  Why, when RTP wants to influence political races for, say, city council in the District of Columbia, our choice for PAC headquarters is Bulls Gap, TN.    Yeah, right.

But Advance Tennessee didn’t stop there with its obfuscation. In a rather obvious attempt to hide or misdirect those trying to uncover who was behind the effort in the closing days of the primary election, the PAC listed its direct mail firm, Persuasion Partners, as having a Madison, Wisconsin address. But what the PAC did not reveal in its filings was that persuasion Partners has an important presence in Tennessee. It seems that one of the Persuasion Partners’ partners is none other than Brian Kaegi.

Brian Kaegi

Brian Kaegi

Ah, yes – Brian Kaegi. RTP readers will remember him as the lobbyist who refuses to register as a lobbyist and who has particularly close ties to Gov. Haslam. Just how close? Well, on its self-promotion ad, it lists Gov. Haslam as one of its leading clients (along with TNGOP chairman Chris Devany). Brian is the brother of Kim Kaegi, the fundraising guru to Gov. Haslam as well as Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander. All of these officials are current clients of Tom Ingram, the governor’s closest advisor.

Brian is a protégé of Ingram. It is absolutely inconceivable that Kaegi would move to attack other Republicans unless he received prior approval from Ingram.  And there is not one chance in Hell that Ingram would sign off on the Kaegi attacks on fellow Republicans without checking in with the governor first.

Bill Haslam, either directly or by acquiescence, is responsible for trying to defeat sitting Republican legislators. Period.

And that is what has the legislature in an uproar. RTP has spoken with numerous legislators and staff since the election. The animosity towards Haslam by targeted lawmakers would be understandable. But a significant number of legislators who were not believed to have been directly targeted are just as furious. One told RTP he figures he “could be next” on the governor’s hit-list and is not looking for ways to hit the governor’s agenda. “I will not let some SOB attack me or my friends without a fight,” he said.

Wow, governor. That’s quite an accomplishment. You and your cronies spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and defeated exactly two legislators, while those opposed to your Common Core agenda picked up two seats of their own – a wash?  But your attacks did succeed in one critical area: There is now a large portion of your caucus who is royally pissed off at you and can’t wait to try and kick your butt, starting with Common Core.

Have a nice session, governor. You’ve earned it.

PPI