Monthly Archives: September, 2015

What Are They Hiding?

Critics say TN school Islam curriculum amounts to indoctrination.

Chuck Cagle: Lobbyist/former TSBA attoney/current TOSS lawyer instructs school administrators: “Don’t tell them what you are doing.”

Businessman Throwing his Money Around

Common Core Cash Cow Chuck Cagle is trying to block parents and others from revealing how and what they teach Tennessee school children about Islam. You remember Chuck. RTP exposed his grotesque conflicts of interest and the moola he made representing schoolbook publisher Pearson, the TSBA and numerous individual school districts. Check out these moldy oldies:

Now Chuckles is trying to keep interested third parties from determining exactly what is being taught about Islam and how. He claims the group who asked for the record is an out-of-state group and does not have a right to ask or access such records. A transparent legal dodge if there ever was one. Uh, Chuck, last time we checked your one-time client Pearson is an out-of-state (actually out-of-country) organization. If there is nothing to hide, then what is the problem with looking at what should be public information?

And where is the Main Stream Media who have been writing editorials and venting their collective spleen over attempt to make public access to public records more restrictive and onerous? Where is the ACLU? Not one damn word about Cagle’s attempt to keep the public from seeing the public records they paid for.

Also, RTP tipsters have told us that it’s not just the textbooks. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) a pro-Islam group with ties to terrorist organizations, apparently has been directly sending teachers and other educators study guides and suggested readings via the internet, asking them to copy and distribute the propaganda to their fellow teachers.  And if that was not enough, here are the real owners of Pearson:

According to the Financial Times, the Libyan Investment Authority was founded by Muammar Gaddafi’s son, Seif al-Islam; more than five Gaddafi family members own shares. The Council on Islamic Relations (CAIR, a recently designated terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates), Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the Muslim Brotherhood invested in Pearson Education through the Libyan Investment Authority.

Washington Times 4-7-2015

So to put this in context, Chuck Cagle, who for years represented Pearson, is trying to use his position as the TOSS attorney and the attorney for 70 school districts to keep people from seeing what is inside the textbooks paid for by Tennessee taxpayers. If there is no problem with the curriculum, why is Chuck and his friends so desperate to hide what is in the curriculum and how it is taught? This is all really sleazy, even for the abysmal low ethical standards set by Chuck Cagle.

To all this, RTP says to Chuck Cagle – and we think we speak on behalf of the overwhelming majority of Tennesseans – “Screw you.”

Some superintendents, like cattle, have dutifully lined up and and refused to provide the information. In so doing, they demonstrate astonishing ineptness. Do they really think they can keep this information secret?   Their arrogance is exceeded only by their political stupidity.

Who will be the first school superintendent who steps up and opens his/her doors and books to the inquiry?

And who will be the school superintendent who will become an instant folk hero by telling Chuck Cagle and his ilk to shove it where the sun don’t shine?


Idle Speculation

One of the favorite pastimes for the crew here at RTP is to pull out the old crystal ball, which is actually a half full bottle of Jack and peer into the future. (It is amazing how clear the future can appear the lower the brown liquid in the bottle gets!). So about three drinks apiece into our prognostications, we decided to discuss who might emerge as the next Governor and perhaps next Senator(s) for Tennessee.

While the list of potentials and wannabees is not as long as those seeking the GOP nomination for President (but it’s close) there are a lot of folks who seem to be interested in the few statewide spots available in Tennessee. All of this gross speculation is based, of course, on the expectation there will be no retirements or vacancies at the top. If something like that happens, all bets are off (and we will need a lot more whiskey to work our way through that minefield).

Some are more active than others in doing things that indicate a sincere interest and a willingness to lay the groundwork for a possible run. Others are seemingly just waiting for lightening to strike. That seldom happens.

Governor Haslam is a lame duck who looks increasingly lame, especially with a legislature that is growing more and more openly hostile to his left leaning agenda of Common Core, Obamacare, raising taxes, etc. So the 2018 Governor’s race, especially the Republican Primary, is already getting started. Senator Corker has a similar out of step voting record. Bob should remember the voters of Tennessee gave Senator Lamar Alexander a scare and voted him down in two dozen counties (including his home county of Blount) to heavily underfunded Joe Carr. So expect a tough primary for Corker in 2018, and perhaps a lot of out of state “Beat Corker” funding, especially after his pushing for a federal gas tax and having his butt handed to him by Obama in the disastrous Iran deal.

Of course, Bob might have been hoping to take another job and avoid a messy re-election, but his prospects of becoming Secretary of State under President Jeb! seem to be waning.

greenState Sen. Mark Green is open about his ambitions to be Governor in 2018, as if they were ever a secret. He is already paying consultants, doing speaking engagements far outside his Senate district, etc. Has resources to self-fund a start up effort. He has limited name recognition outside of his district, but the same is true of anybody else who might run. He is in. Who else will join him?


harwellSpeaker Beth Harwell is being coy about her plans but has about $1.3 million in her PAC and reelection accounts. They can be used in a Governor’s race, but NOT in a Senate campaign. However, she can’t raise money during the legislative session and any attempt to change that law won’t make it through the Senate. Just ask Ron Ramsey why. Ron won’t be hiding in the bathroom like Beth did. Beth needs to make some strong right turns to distance herself from the Haslam policies she has supported to have a chance to win conservative votes and she had better do it soon.  There is noticeable grumbling among her caucus members that it appears she is using her position to raise money meant for helping the caucus, but has hoarded most of it for herself and her future ambitions.  Not smart to tick off so many elected officials from every part of the state,

hagertyFormer ECD Commissioner Bill Hagerty. He has self-funding capabilities, great fundraising connections and the gravitas to be an excellent Governor or Senator. Doesn’t seem to be a natural campaigner, but neither was Haslam. Perception that he is a RINO from his associations with Romney, Haslam, the Bush family, etc. would be a hurdle in a Republican primary, unless there are several conservative candidates dividing up the base.


BoydCurrent ECD Commissioner Randy Boyd. Word is he is the Haslam family pick to follow Bill. Has significant personal resources from selling pet doors and invisible fences. Those who have seen him on the stump say he probably has even worse campaign skills than Haslam. No name recognition and will not appeal to the conservative base at all, particularly since he has had to carry water for Haslam on Common Core, expansion of Obamacare and now the Governor’s gas tax increase plan. Other than that he looks like a shoo-in.

OglesAFP State Director Andy Ogles. Certainly on the right side of the issues from a conservative base standpoint, and though he doesn’t look to be a self funder he has the potential resources of the Koch Brothers at his disposal and is developing a grassroots activist network across the state that could easily be used personally at some point. Probably a more likely Senate candidate than Governor.


diane blackCongresswoman Diane Black. Her consultants would certainly like her to run statewide for Governor or Senate, and would be more than happy to spend hubby David Black’s virtually unlimited money in multiple media markets. Not a particularly strong campaigner, but has a bigger base to start from than those coming from State Senate districts. And did we mention she has plenty of money? Would likely be a candidate only in an open seat situation.

blackburnCongresswoman Marsha Blackburn. Plenty of money in her campaign fund and gets regular media attention. Strong campaigner. Might take a shot at Governor, but unlikely to challenge Corker. She has long been rumored to want to be the first woman governor, but that rumor has hung around for years without much activity in that direction. Not really a risk taker, so the bet is that she stays where she is.

fincherCongressman Stephen Fincher. Has significant resources at his disposal and is an excellent campaigner. More likely a Senate candidate than Governor, and has yet to step outside his district in any regular appearances that might indicate preparation for a statewide run. Until he does, he is in the “probably not” category. Perhaps the only member of Congress who might take on Corker rather than wait for an open seat.

Mark NorrisSenator Mark Norris is often mentioned but lacks the base of name recognition or self-funding capabilities to be a serious contender at this point. Has long been considered “a minor threat for every major position.”


CarrFormer State Rep. Joe Carr gets mentioned more for the Senate race against Corker than Governor, but he could go either way. This is someone to watch closely. Carr received over a quarter million votes in his primary run against Lamar. From where we sit, no one else considering a run has done what Joe Carr did in 2014. He was grossly outspent, but held a living political legend to under 50% of the primary vote. If Carr gets serious about running, he will be a serious contender.

If our loyal readers have other suggestions, send them to our world famous tip line:

When we sober up, we’ll take a look at ‘em.bottle

Ingram hired: Jeb! is Toast!

Tom Ingram

Tom Ingram

Tom Ingram has joined the Jeb! Bush campaign. The death watch for Jeb’s! presidential prospects has now officially begun.

Fresh from spending Charles Robert Bone’s millions in his failed attempt to elect a Nashville mayor, Ingram has joined the legions of consultants who are sucking on the teat of Bush’s $100 million+ campaign fund.

Ingram was the mastermind behind the unsuccessful Lamar Alexander presidential campaign back in the 90’s. Maybe he got hired this time because he was the genius behind the Lamar! logo that the Bush campaign copied this time around.

Better get paid up front, Tom

But not so fast. One of RTP’s tipsters hiding out in Washington says the town is buzzing with info that Bush campaign has begun laying off people just at the time they are hiring Ingram. The problem is that while the Bushies have raised of $100 million for his super PAC, the campaign did not create a broad enough base to generate enough money in hard dollars that pay for the campaign’s day-to-day operations, staff, expenses, etc. (which is what happened to Rick Perry just a few weeks ago).  Often cited as examples of mismanagement is Jeb’s addiction to private jets (to the tune of $300,000 a month) and flying his campaign manager, Danny Diaz, back and forth from Miami to D.C. just so he can sleep in his own bed on the weekends.

Oh, and all those super PAC millions? Just a couple of days ago the Bush super PAC announced it was spending $25 million in advertising, starting next month. Why spend that kind of dough so early? Well for one thing, the Jeb! campaign is trailing just about every candidate whose last name is not “Bush.” That, and those advertising consultants want to make sure they get their 15% commission on $100 million dollars in case the campaign folds up.

Ingram should send his invoice out today, while the getting is good.

Bob Corker comes up short.

Corker Obama

“Bob, you must be this tall to play Foreign Affairs with the big boys.”

Sen. Bob Corker has been taking a national pounding from conservative Republicans. And IOHO, it is well-deserved.

Corker’s Iran bill was, from the start, a surrendering of power to the executive branch by the Senate. Corker, having drank a couple gallons of the bi-partisan Kool-aid, was completely snookered by Obama and Congressional Democrats. Allowing them to define what was a “treaty” and what was not, meant that they could avoid an up-or-down vote on the merits of the Obama/Neville Chamberlain plan of appeasement for dealing with the terrorist leaders of Iran. So eager was he to sign up any Democrat support he could scrape up, Corker watched with amazement as Harry Reid (surprise!) pulled the rug out from underneath him.

From the very start, no one believed Corker could round up 13 Dems needed to reach the 67 votes to overturn a presidential veto (that right there should have told him his plan was stupid). But as it turns out, Corker couldn’t even get the 6 Dems needed to avoid a filibuster and even bring his crappy bill to a vote.

But with his humiliation now complete, don’t expect Corker to admit defeat. Establishment Republicans like Corker, engaging in their desire to be “relevant” or admired, continue the game of pretending like they are doing something when they know full well it’s all a kabuki dance to lull low-information voters into voting for their re-election. The bumper stickers will say:

“Re-elect Corker. He fought the good fight,”

and likely not

“Re-elect Corker. He had his ass handed to him on a platter.”

Building shopping centers may have made Bob Corker rich enough to buy a Senate seat, but it didn’t make him smart. And it sure as hell didn’t prepare him for international politics and dealing with Islamist thugs – or even liberal Democrat thugs like Harry Reid.

Get a grip, Grant.

grant gtip edited

Writing in an obscure blog hosted by Richard Vigurie (is Richard still alive? Good for him), Californian congressional candidate Grant Starrett (who is running in the 4th district of Tennessee, having moved there about 45 minutes ago) penned a 600-word thought piece on the whole Iran deal thingy. We won’t bore our readers with a lengthy dissertation of the article, but we do have a couple of observations:

  1. Grant sure does like big words. He must have taken the “Multi-syllabic Words and How to Use Them” course in college at Stanford (School Motto: “Diplomata pro quorum pecunia compensationis unitatis posset cooperire nactus.” which translates loosely to “Diplomas for everyone whose trust fund can cover the tuition”).  Well RTP can play that game too, and we will — just as soon as we can find our Thasarus, Thusawrus, Tyrannosaurus, Thesaurus.
  1. Grant refers to his opponent, Scott DesJarlais, as an “establishment Republican.” Okay, on that one RTP is convinced Grant is now pulling our legs. Seriously? That right-wing wild man DesJarlais, who voted against John Boehner for Speaker, is part of the “establishment?” What else would DesJarlais have to do to prove he is not part of the establishment – beat up Mitch McConnell?  Geez, Grant, just calling someone an “establishment Republican” doesn’t make them a RINO, any more than calling you a congressional candidate makes you a Tennessean.
  1. Grant signed his article as “Principled Limited Government Constitutional Conservative Grant Starrett.” Wow, that “big words” course at Stanford continues to pay off, doesn’t it? But all those big words won’t fit on a bumper sticker, so the helpful crew at RTP will help Grant out with a new one:

starrett bumper sticker

Harrison Out?

Rumors are rampant around the LP that Rep. Mike Harrison (R-Rogersville) is looking to make an exit from the state legislature.  And it may come sooner rather than later.

HarrisonThe controversial chairman of the House Finance Subcommittee is said to be tired of schlepping back and forth to Nashville and is looking for another job that pays better — perhaps in local or county government.

Harrison won’t be missed by all those conservative legislators who watched Harwell, McCormick, Sargent and others used Harrison to kill bills that would have likely passed on the floor of the House.  Such dictatorial tactics subvert the will of the people.  The pernicious “fiscal notes” that sometimes appeared anonymously in the dead of night was a favorite tactic of Harrison’s.

If true, this could mark the beginning of the unraveling of current House leadership, which has so far held off the conservative majority within the GOP caucus.

Rocky Top Politics hits a milestone.


250000+ - Copy - Copy That’s how many of your desperate political junkies have tuned in to our humble little website since we launched last year.  Not bad, considering we rarely publish on the weekends and the holidays (which includes Christmas, Thanksgiving, Arbor Day, Flag Day and National Pumpkin Week).  And we never, ever publish unless at least one of the RTP crew is sober enough to remember the secret launch codes.

But on this auspicious occasion, we will let you in on a little secret:  RTP was never about reaching the masses of low-information voters (which comprise about 96% of the Tennessean’s circulation).  No, we focused our extensive insider network and vast collective political expertise on those policy makers, pundits, gossips, activists, beauticians, auto repair mechanics and other people of influence.

But as the big numbers attest, Rocky Top has become something much larger, with RTP stories picked up in places flaming dog pooplike Colorado, Alabama, Kentucky, Virginia and that snake pit of conventional political establishment politics, Washington, DC.  Even so, numbers as big as the one above are largely irrelevant to our main mission:  To decorate the front porches of the right people in Tennessee with our little stinky, flaming bags of truth.

You may be asking: “Just who are the “right” people and how do I get on the list?”  If you have to ask that question, you are automatically off the list.

So on behalf of the entire crew at Rocky Top (especially the Hot Chick) we say: “Thank you.”  And if anyone out there can figure out how we monetize this thing, we are open to suggestions.  If we could get just $5 per viewer, we would already have over $1.2 million and you could all kiss our butts goodbye.  That kind of money is chump change for someone like, say, Bill Haslam.

Think about it, governor — one check and all your troubles would be in the rear view mirror.

Haslam surprise


Another notch in Jim Wrye’s belt

The problems keep coming for the TEA and Mr. Wrye.

From Education Intelligence Agency:

NEA’s Memphis Blues

Written By: Mike Antonucci – Sep• 08•15

September 8, 2015

NEA’s Memphis Blues. I thought I was long past the time when I would be writing about issues related to Tennessee and secession, but recent events in the Memphis-Shelby County Education Association (MSCEA) forced my hand.

Chalkbeat Tennessee broke the story of an attempted disaffiliation by MSCEA and its reported 4,500 members from its parent unions, the Tennessee Education Association (TEA) and the National Education Association. TEA has responded by refusing to recognize the move, and creating a new region, TEA West, promising it will continue to provide services to MSCEA members. Chalkbeat helpfully provides the correspondence between the unions, but some background is missing, so let me fill in the gaps.

Note to the Memphis Teacher’s Union. If you want to make sure Jim Wrye receives your letter giving notice that you are leaving the TEA, you might want to send it to P.O. Box 1292, Brentwood, TN

Mailbox photo

That way he’ll be sure to get it


In a recent RTP article “So Who Regulates the EPA” we sought to juxtapose the hypocrisy of EPA’s disastrous toxic spill in Colorado compared to the ludicrous and disproportional pursuit of Rep. Andy Holt for a relatively minor alleged infraction.

In our opinion, the EPA has still not proven its case against Holt.  Some have pointed out our article did not make that opinion clear.

We do so now.

What’s in the water in Bradley County?

We don’t know what they’re drinking, but whatever it is, could they please bottle it up and send a case of it to the Governor?


Bradley County Commission Votes 14-0 To Ask State To Defund Planned Parenthood; Vote Against Insure Tennessee

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Bradley County Commission, after an impassioned plea by Commissioner Dan Rawls, voted 14-0 on Tuesday night to ask Gov. Bill Haslam and the Tennessee General Assembly to defund Planned Parenthood.

Too bad they didn’t take a vote on the Gas Tax.