Monthly Archives: August, 2014

SEC Prognostications

No, not that SEC. This is not about football, unless you are talking about political footballs.

The Republican State Executive Committee will be meeting this weekend and RTP will go out on a limb to predict the #1 nostrodamusitem on Chairman Chris Devaney’s agenda:

Rigging the rules.

Devaney, who is ending his second and presumably last term as chairman of the state’s GOP, is said to want to run again. But there are complications against doing so – such as the fact he his term limited — that would take a change in the SEC’s rules before his term expires this fall.

SEC members would do well to remember this is the same chairman who reportedly had his cronies fund a secretive organization called Strong & Free Tennessee to elect members to the SEC.  This organization apparently broke the law when they sent out mailings on behalf of SEC candidates while conveniently forgetting to file the required papers to report their existence.

Will Devaney pull it off? Will he steamroll the Executive Committee and keep control of the party finances and agenda?


Meanwhile, back at T.E.A. Headquarters…


Tennessee Education Association reviewing their campaign contribution vs.  races they lost.

Tennessee Education Association reviewing their campaign contributions vs. races they lost.

Alexander loses his home county. Plus 28 others.

Alexander’s “victory” was more like a “near death” experience.

Major Mainstream Media fail as they refuse to report the embarrassing results.

Analysis of the recent GOP senate primary has revealed some remarkable facts — facts which have been ignored by by traditional media, either out of laziness or their latest attempt to prematurely write the obituary of the Tea Party movement. Almost entirely unreported were a couple of politically awkward stories:

1.  Lamar Alexander lost his home county (Blount) to underfunded and unknown challenger Joe Carr, as well as two neighboring counties (Loudoun and Sevier).  This is astonishing.  It is akin to Bill Haslam winning the GOP nomination, but losing Knox County in the process.  The insult is even more pronounced because Alexander was supposedly a true “favorite son” of the tight-knit communities there.  Alexander, is a 7th generation Blount Countian whose parents were school teachers there for decades.  He still has a vacation home in Blount County.  There is even a major highway through the county named the Lamar Alexander Parkway.  For him to lose to the unknown Carr is a direct slap at his record in the U.S. Senate.  For good measure, he also lost his current home county, Davidson.

2.  Joe Carr beat Alexander in 29 counties.  And he came within a 100 votes of winning in another six.  In fact, Carr won, or came within a hair of winning almost every county in Middle Tennessee.  Quite an accomplishment for someone heavily outspent and derided.

3.   A shift of just 5% of the voters and Lamar! would be gone.  Alexander received less than half of the votes in last week’s primary.  If just 1 out of every 20 voters had changed their minds (or even seen a Joe Carr TV ad), the election could have gone very badly for the Senator.

Lost in what passed for reporting and political analysis is the fact there has been a major shift in the mood of the GOP electorate the last couple of elections in Tennessee.  Lamar was lucky to escape those changes with his political life.

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 4.30.08 PM


Maybe winning the U.S. Senate for the GOP isn’t a full-time job.

One of the more embarrassing moments from election night was the “victory” speech delivered prematurely by Jim Tracy, who eventual lost to Scott DesJarlais by 35 votes (although there are still some votes to be counted).

In that speech Tracy thanked a number of people for their contributions to his “victory.”  Among those named was Ward Baker, the current political director of the Republican US Senate campaign committee.ward baker

So what was Baker doing getting personally involved with a House challenger?  That’s probably the question Speaker John Boehner plans to ask Senate campaign committee chairman Mitch McConnell the next time he sees him.

We hope Ward’s sage political advice to Tracy isn’t a harbinger for the GOP’s Senate prospects in the November election. races.

Sargent: Bitter, ungracious winner

Rep. Charles “Last Term” Sargent avoided political execution by the thinnest of margins last Thursday. For that he should be happy, but one would never know it to listen to him.sargent

According to multiple sources, Sargent was fuming that someone had the temerity to oppose him in a fair and open election.

“There’s gonna be repercussions. I’m going to get those who made me go through this. I will run [Steve] Gawrys out of the county.” Sargent allegedly said in front of several people at his election night party.

Go after them for what, Chuck? Actually having to work to get re-elected? Actually having to stand before the voters and ask them to let you keep your job?

Just how arrogant can one politician be?

And making public threats to run someone out of the county is just stupid.

If the voters remember Sargent’s ugly behavior in 2014, he will be just a memory in 2016.

Fires lobbyist’s wife/campaign manager.

One week before the election, Sargent political advisor, Jeff Mosely, reportedly forced out Sargent’s campaign manager, Mary Kate Brown – wife of Pfizer lobbyist Josh Brown. Reasons for the dismissal are unknown, but the thin margin of victory indicated that Sargent knew he was in trouble.  Of course this and this may have had something to do with it.  And who could forget “Slushie-Gate?”

Evidence something was wrong back at Sargent HQ came on election night, when Ms. Brown was not celebrating with Sargent as the results came in. She was seen and heard trashing Mosely at the Glen Casada victory party. Time for the Browns to do one of their patented Facebook posts?

Sargent to lead fight against Common Core!

The day after the election, Charles Sargent declared in the Tennessean:

“[Sargent] said he was definitely not for Common Core.”

We’ll believe it when we see it.

Sources say that in the days since the election, Sargent has been telling everyone who will listen that Common Core “is dead” and that he will sponsor the legislation to kill it.

Okay, Chuckles. RTP and the people of Tennessee intend to fully hold you to your word: Exactly when will you sponsor and introduce legislation to repeal the hated Common Core agenda of Gov. Bill Haslam and Kevin “I Voted for Obama” Huffman? Let’s see the legislation with your name on it that actually kills Common Core. And don’t try to fool us with a bill that has a good title, but no oomph in the details. It has to be unequivocal.

Oh, and while your at it, how about signing that letter demanding Huffman’s resignation?

If you do all that, we might cut you some slack.

Welcome to Tennessee Republican politics, Mr. Wrye. Now bend over.

Jim Wrye

Jim Wrye

One of the bigger losers in the closely-watched Williamson County school board elections was the chief schmoozer for the Tennessee Education Association, Jim Wrye.  Wrye and the TEA-backed five candidates, and they all LOST.  TEA also  backed the School Board Chairman in Sumner County – he LOST in a shocker.

The TEA also played heavily in open-seat Republican primaries (the gang at RTP remembers when the TEA couldn’t even say “Republican” without choking).  The results were disastrous.

In the 22nd House district race, TEA-backed Adam Lowe, who LOST. Joshua Evans in the 25th Senate race – LOST. Judy Venneman in House district 4 – LOST.

House district 94, the TEA-backed candidate came in a very distant third, and LOST.  Tommy Crangle in District 27 – LOST. In the 66th House district race, TEA went against Doc Kumar and – you guessed it – LOST that race as well.loser simpson

In fact, in 6 out of 7 open-seat Republican primaries where the TEA endorsed a candidate — those candidates LOST.

Just for good measure, the TEA backed Rep. John Regan’s opponent and backed Rep. Coach Roach and LOST both races. They backed Rep. Steve Hall, who LOST. They backed Cheri Hammond, a former Williamson County school board member who ran against Rep. Glen Casada. If you guessed that she LOST, you would be correct.

We could go on, but perhaps we should pause here and offer RTP’s expert analysis of just why Jimbo and the TEA took it in the shorts.

Could the reason so many TEA-backed Republicans lost in the primary be because they were backed by a freakin’ left-wing labor union???

Toothy grins and back-slapping sycophancy down at the LP cannot cover the ugly truth. Jim Wrye is a hard-core Democrat (see here) working for an Obama-backing labor union run by Democrats, trying to make a Republican super majority believe the TEA leadership are born-again conservatives. We haven’t seen these guys in our church for about 50+ years, so you will excuse us if we doubt their claims of a political epiphany.

Many Republicans have eagerly accepted TEA contributions like a Hoover set on maximum suck, including most all of leadership.  The lesson:  taking the TEA’s money may ultimately cost you your job.

Just ask the Coach.

If election results are any indication, Ms. Smith, you were never here…..

Empty threat of the day….

“I’m very disappointed that Common Core is the hot button issue,” parent Jennifer Smith [who] is part of Williamson Strong said.

Williamson Strong parents group, that supported many of the defeated incumbents, will be monitoring the situation closely.

“I don’t know what the future will hold but we’re not going away anytime soon,” Smith said.

You may want to contact the SEIU, Jennifer.  We hear they want their money back, and you know how ugly it cant get with union thugs….

The Weird Caucus takes a hit.

Adios, Senator Nacho Libre. So sad the “strange” is over.

Sen. Campfield

Sen. Campfield

Can anyone match Stacy’s entertainment value?

First Ophelia left the building and/or the bar.  Then Jim Summerville returned to full-time work cooking hamburgers for Popeye and Olive Oyl.  But RTP was crushed to learn Senator Campfield will not be returning for another show, er, session at the LP Theatre of the absurd.

Why, you ask?   It’s simple:  who can possible replace the sheer novelty of the Great Campfield?  We were so looking forward to one of his classic pieces of legislation that would, say,  commission a study to determine who gave AIDS to monkeys in the first place.  Think about how much fun it would it be to watch Lucian Geise have to pull a fiscal note out of his ass so that Charles “Last Term” Sargent and Mike Harrison could kill it House Finance.

GOP Voters give Lamar! a retirement gift.

Over 50% of Republicans vote against Alexander

Despite being outspent approximately a gazillion-to-one, state representative Joe Carr narrowed his race against the incumbent U.S. Senator to single digits by election day.

In what must have been a bittersweet victory, Alexander will return for his final lap around the political track knowing that over half of the Republican primary voters felt he needed to retire immediatley.

Nevertheless, RTP wishes the Senator the best of luck in what remains of his long career. And ask that he please at least try to vote more conservative.

Haslam Declares War

Let the retributions begin!

Regardless of which candidates win in next week’s GOP primaries, the gauntlet has been laid down. In a move unprecedented in modern Tennessee politics, a sitting governor has used his office and his fundraising capabilities to attack and/or try to defeat incumbent members of his own party as well as candidates in open seat races In addition, he has helped withhold support for select incumbent Republican legislators, hoping they can be defeated by challengers.

To make matters far worse, the Governor apparently dispatched his chief of staff Mark Cate to recruit candidates to run against those Republicans the governor deemed “undesirable.”

And why? Because the targeted legislators would not automatically rubberstamp the governor’s agenda on everything from Common Core to ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion.

On more than a few instances the governor and his people have conducted their activities through a PAC (jobs4TN) – a PAC whose early and main funding comes from the Haslams with contributions to “reliable” legislators with safe seats, who then “wash through” the contributions to other candidates – as if that would somehow giver the governor deniability. But the more nefarious activity — $150,000 worth so far – was an independent expenditure committee (Advance Tennessee) run out of a non-descript office on Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington, DC, which used media and mail vendors in Los Angeles and Wisconsin.  To date, nearly all of the $150,000 was raised from Tennessee-based lobbyists, business associates and friends of the governor and Mark Cate.  But 100% of the expenditures for services were spent outside the state – an obvious attempt to keep their attack ads and mailers under wraps until the last minute.  Clearly, they attempted to hide their identity.

Here are the recently filed campaign reports of the Advance Tennessee PAC.

But what does this all mean?

It means there will be hell to pay come next legislative session. Nothing like creating enemies of numerous members of your own party while making other members resent the governor and his minions for going after their friends (and wondering if they’re next). One should remind Leslie Hafner and her Kiddie Corp of legislative liaisons just how badly they were surprised and mauled during the March 13th Common Core votes. If Haslam wants to turn Fitzhugh into the House version of John Wilder — relying on a coalition of Dems and Republicans to control the House on key issues – he could not have seeded (ceded?) the ground any better than he has over the last few weeks.

It could be a bitter harvest, indeed.