No sooner than RTP had sounded the alarm about the governor’s “Gang Who Couldn’t Shoot Straight” and their next foolish adventure into electoral politics, we came across a recent column that attempted to distort and explain away the defeat in the August election of one of the governor’s most loyal supporters. It is apparent the Advance TN gang are not willing to admit their last effort was a failure. While they were busily trying to knock off Republicans who disagree with the governor, they neglected the home front. Even though two of the governor’s antagonists targeted by Advance TN were defeated, the governor failed to protect two of his most ardent supporters (meaning there was a net gain of zero votes for his legislative agenda).
Here is the story of the defeat of one of those Friends of Bill and a rather sad and inept attempt to re-write history:
$500,000 spent to defeat Rep. Roach?
So says Rep. “Coach” Roach and his defender, Betty Bean of the Halls Shopper (before you folks in middle and western parts of the state start to laugh, the Shopper is a “must read” for politicos in the Knoxville area).
Bean kicks off her defense by saying the opposition attacked Coach Roach for “ghost voting,” a practice of letting your seatmate in the legislature cast votes while you were absent from the floor. Bean dismisses ghost voting as nothing more than “innocuous” frat-house pranks among the good ol’ boys in the legislature.
No, Betty, having someone else vote for you is deceitful and a dishonest abuse of what the taxpayers expect of their elected officials. At a bare minimum, they expect you to show up and cast your own vote. If it wasn’t a big deal, why is it now banned? Here’s an idea – maybe Betty will find a neighbor or friend to use her name to vote in the next election. She could then just explain to the DA it was just a harmless, “innocuous” prank. Yeah, that should work.
Bean went on to claim outside groups spent a half million dollars to defeat Roach — a ludicrous and easily proven load of manure. Those numbers are such wild, over the top exaggerations they invite derision if not outright laughter.
If indeed “outsiders” spent $500,000 on a GOP primary in rural East Tennessee, it would have resulted in 1 million pieces of mail for 8,300 primary voters or approximately 15,000 radio ads (which would buy about 28 straight days of every available drive-time commercial slot on the local radio stations!
Heck, the total amount claimed spent against the Coach grew from $400,000 (his number) to $500,000 (Betty’s number) just within the same article. You need to get your stories straight before you take your claims out for a walk in public.
The Coach says the vote against him in Union County “hurt.” We bet it did. After millions being spent on the Virtual School with horrendous results, the Coach’s solution was to throw more money at the problem — a classic example of tossing good tax money after bad. Could it be that voters were as upset with such pork-barreling tactics as they were that the county school budget was about to lose its riverboat gamble with the K12 corporation?
Coach was and is a good guy on a personal level. He just forgot his principles long enough to get himself beat. And all the Grainger County tomatoes in the world and all the wild revisionist history by Betty Bean and the Coach won’t change that fact.