Posts tagged election
Blount County Chainsaw Massacre
Yes, I know this is what you are thinking, and you are almost correct.
No body parts found along HWY 321 or HWY 411, but an attack on free speech, personal property and free election campaigning by person(s) unknown, at least for now.
It appears that campaign signs posted by Blount County Commission candidate for the 7th District in Friendsville, Tona Monroe, displeased, to say it politely, someone enough to apparently take a chainsaw to the signs to remove the message.
County Commission candidate Monroe stated:
“I painted some signs, just simple hand-painted, nothing fancy, that said ‘Greene wheel tax you,’ and painted a tire on there just to remind the voters of my district that Greene supported the wheel tax,” Monroe said.
Greene was one of 13 commissioners who voted to hold a special election in June 2013 on whether to levy a $35 wheel tax on automobiles to help plug a shortfall in the county schools’ budget. It failed 8,885 to 4,087.
“It went over 3-1 against in the 7th District,” Monroe said. “In Friendsville in particular — 82 percent of voters voted against it. I thought that would be a very good campaign issue to focus on because he seems to be very much out of touch with what the citizens of the 7th District want, which is a strong fiscal conservative. He’s not been that. I will be a strong fiscal conservative who will focus on cutting waste rather than their family budgets.”
The Wheel Tax referendum which Monroe references has been shot down 3 times now, the latest vote last year which the Commission wasted $80,000 for the referendum vote. Some people may not want this waste of Blount County taxpayer money reminded to the voters.
The Blount County Tax Revolt issued a press release and has offered a $500 reward for information leading to the person who is responsible. Also, they have volunteered to donate 2 more signs for each that have been vandalized.
Media coverage of the event posted in the links below.
Tona Monroe keeps a watchful eye on wasteful spending in support of the Blount County taxpayers with her site Blount County Public Record.
Ron Paul Rewind: Questions US Meddling in Ukraine…in 2004!
Ron Paul questions US Ambassador to Ukraine John Tefft on US meddling in Ukraine back in December 7, 2004. Rep. Paul presents the Ambassador with evidence at the time that the US was deeply involved in internal Ukrainian affairs by openly funding NGOs affiliated with certain presidential candidates. He suggests that an audit be made of all US aid to Ukraine.
Do We Need More Political Parties?
Published by NextNewsNetwork
WASHINGTON DC | Possible presidential candidate Rand Paul can’t seem to stay out of the news lately. The Kentucky senator’s latest issue is that he sees a gloomy future for the Republican Party. In a recent interview with neo-conservative radio host Glen Beck, Paul went so far as to say that the Republican Party may never again win a presidential election if it doesn’t broaden its appeal.
That curious statement comes when many of the Republican Party’s most conservative critics have been saying for years that the GOP’s “big tent” is already too big.
These critics have pointed to the gay GOP faction known as Log Cabin Republicans and other realities to underscore their belief that the Republican Party already tolerates so much variety that clearly defining the GOP’s mission is nearly impossible.
However, Paul has a different take on the matter. As we reported in today’s newscast, Paul believes NSA surveillance abuse can help the GOP reach out to young voters who might otherwise side with Democrats. But even so, there is a split in the GOP on that issue, as some Republicans are fine with increased NSA spying in the war on terror.
But looking at the big picture, could it be that America needs more viable political parties? Wouldn’t that be better than stretching the mission of existing parties to the point where their identities collapse?
Switzerland, for example, has at least 12 fully viable political parties. Four or five of those parties are represented in the Federal Council. That executive body has seven members from which a president is annually chosen by the parliament to serve a one-year term. There is no presidential cult of personality and the people settle in whatever party best suits their beliefs.
On the other hand, on President’s Day today, let’s recall the George Washington preferred there’d be no political parties. He felt that voting on principle, on a constitutional basis, was the ideal for America to pursue. But due in part to human nature, political parties took root and have become a force unto themselves. The way money is allowed to oil the political machine is another major reason parties have prevailed over principle.
In the fall of 2012, the new group Free and Equal Elections organized the first-ever nationally televised debate featuring optional presidential candidates from the Green Party, the Constitution Party and other parties. National TV personality Larry King hosted the debate in Chicago.
The debate indicates that a desire exists to break the two-party duopoly. Refocusing the Republican Party’s mission to attract more young people may sound like a worthwhile goal. But perhaps it’s time to exit the two-party box and get more enticing options on the ballot for the voting public.
To keep choosing between Democrats and Republicans may keep the nation captive to entrenched party interests that don’t want real changes for the better.
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Will GOP lawmakers do anything about the “Too Big To Fail” bank subsidy? Probably not.
Dave Camp in the House and David Vitter in the Senate are looking to address the implicit subsidy granted to banks designated as too big to fail. These banks are able to borrow at lower than true market rates because they are backed by the US taxpayer. Their smaller competitors who do not have this taxpayer financed guarantee must borrow at higher rates and so are at even more of a disadvantage versus the big guys. Over time this means that capital will increasingly move from small banks to large. (This is just one of the problems with Dodd-Frank.)
This undermines the very foundation of the marketplace and our economy.
Perhaps Camp and Vitter can figure something out, but it will be tough. The big banks dump piles and piles of money into the coffers of members of Congress on both sides of the aisle.
(From The Washington Post)
“Eliminating the megabanks federal handouts is a simple matter of common sense,” Vitter recently said. “Megabanks have been growing at a rapid pace since the financial meltdown, largely on the backs of U.S. taxpayers.”
Neither Vitter nor Camp could be considered liberal sympathizers. Rather, their interests in ending big bank subsidies center on a key Republican tenet of protecting the free-market economy. Subsidies create market distortions that fly in the face of that tenet.
Still, a vast majority of Republicans are unlikely to jump on the too-big-to-fail bandwagon. The securities and investment industry pumps millions of dollars into the party’s coffers, handing $3.5 million to the National Republican Congressional Committee this election cycle, according to Center for Responsive Politics.
Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org
About Nick Sorrentino
Nick Sorrentino is the co-founder and editor of AgainstCronyCapitalism.org. A political and communications consultant with clients across the political spectrum, he lives just outside of Washington DC where he can keep an eye on Leviathan.
The Next Florida Governor Adrian Wyllie?
Published by NextNewsNetwork
With the presidential elections now behind us, and all the excitement and hoop-la that comes with it, many Floridians are slowly turning their political minds toward the next big election that will have a direct impact on all of them — the 2014 gubernatorial elections. As of our count today there are 18 challengers to the incumbent Governor Rick Scott; 4 Republicans, 4 Democrats, 6 Independents, 2 Libertarians, 1 American Third Position, and 1 undeclared write-in.
With more and more voters disenchanted with the status quo and the continual ruination to our economy and what some see as the continual degradation of rights and expansion of the federal government — people are looking for a change. One such Libertarian candidate looking to bring exactly that for Florida — change, change to established values of freedom and liberty our great nation was founded upon. He was chairman of the Florida Libertarian party until earlier this year when he stepped down to run for Governor. He has been a host of a syndicated AM radio program that focuses on libertarian issues and is an investigative journalist and constitutional activist and our guest today — Adrian Wyllie.
Next News Network’s WHDT World News Program airs daily at 6pm and 11pm Eastern on Comcast, DirecTV and Over-the-Air and Online at http://usmediavault.com/WHDT.html
U.S. Helping Iranians With Surveillance Circumnavigation Technologies
There’s never a shortage of irony when it comes to the U.S. government.
We know that while Americans get their genitals grabbed (or a shot of radiation) at the airport to protect us from Al Qaeda, the U.S. government gives weapons to members of Al Qaeda over in Syria, because those are the good ones that want to take down Assad.
As if that’s not enough…
Today, while Americans are (amazingly) making a big deal that the NSA is spying on everyone, Obama comes out and fervently defends the practice. You see NSA spying on you is the good kind.
The “bad” surveillance happens over in Iran.
So what else for the U.S. government to do than supply Iranian citizens with surveillance circumvention technologies!
“The U.S. State Department is helping develop a number of general-use surveillance circumvention technologies,” Sascha Meinrath, founder of the Commotion Wireless Project, a non-profit group trying to build such devices, said in an email.“
The irony is so thick, you can barely see!
Our every digital move is being watched in the U.S. and the circumnavigation technologies are heading to Iran! Courtesy of the U.S. government!
The excuse is, of course, Iran’s tightly-controlled June 14th presidential election.
To which we Americans say: Remember when Ron Paul ran for President?
Tennessee Needs a Political “Cage Match”
Those of us in Tennessee have seen nothing short of political waltzes performed for our entertainment. Occasionally a small spat may arise but then the waltz continues. This show is scheduled prior to elections in Tennessee, and as normal, one must lead and one must follow. Once the show is done we find that the “leader” only has the leadership ability to lead their hand into our pocket.
Time for a revival, of political sense, is on the Tennessee horizon perhaps. The cage match is about to begin, and lucky for us it is a tag team event. The announcer yells into the microphone… “In this corner, wearing the blueish red, or maybe reddish blue trunks, are the current title holders”. Sadly these titles include expanded spending, complete disregard for those they were elected to represent and the safeguarding of the welfare, and occasional warfare state, by the contributing corporations that fuel their re-election campaigns.
The announcer continues… “representing the great state of” (audience thinking - please don’t say it!) “Tennessee, Alexander, Ramsey and Corker!”. The crowd goes wild, with boos and a chant of “RINO” that is shaking the rafters.
The announcer continues… “and their opponent in the opposite corner wearing red, white and blue trunks, Glenn Jacobs”. Now the crowd stands and cheers thinking maybe this one time justice for We The People of Tennessee will be served.
Final words for the announcer… “Let’s get ready to rumble!”, and we are!
Glenn Jacobs, also known in the wrestling circles as Kane, is considering a run in political arena. Although the match with three to one odds are unfair, for the three, due to political regulations Glenn Jacobs can face but one opponent at a time. In this opening match, titled “RINO Hunt”, should Glenn climb into the ring located a Neo-Con Plaza, Vegas books have Jacobs as a 3:2 favorite despite a slew of early wagers by lobbyists from all corporate and military avenues supporting his potential opponent, Lamar Alexander. Alexander has his share of supporters, but this is unable to be immediately confirmed until all the lobbyist phone numbers have been collected, called and results tallied.
Glenn Jacobs, better known as Kane, is a smart and likable guy. He’s considering a run for U.S. Senate against incumbent Lamar Alexander in 2014. Alexander is everything one might loathe in a mainstream GOPer — he’s for interventions abroad and at home, which in Joe Sobran’s playful definition makes him a “moderate.”
Note in the article, at the Daily Caller, that Jacobs’ influences are Austrian economists. Ron Paul is routinely made fun of at the Daily Caller — duh, Ludwig von who? — for his supposedly eccentric interests (eccentric meaning they’re not held by Mitt Romney or Ted Cruz), but the Caller seems favorable toward Kane. That’s great; I never gripe when one of our people is treated respectfully. I suppose it couldn’t hurt that Kane could pound a neocon into the ground while doing 20 other things (but since he believes in the nonaggression principle, he wouldn’t).
Then we have this brief video piece from Gary Franchi’s Next News Network.
Finally, here is an interview that I posted here for fellow Tennesseans and people elsewhere that Gary and N3 held with Glenn Jacobs recently, to get a better understanding of Glenn Jacobs and his thoughts on the issues.
Folks, should this match come to fruition, and if you have had enough of the lobbyist controlled, Obama supporting, status quo champions of the welfare and warfare state, loving to redistribute your hard earned money to their own special interests, corporate partners and Wall Street, and should you think the great state of Tennessee is long over due for intelligent and responsible leadership, take a look and a listen. You know what, there might be some hope after all this time! It may be time to take the blinders off of those who are unknowingly stuck in the political party “box” mentality, thinking that supporting these lap dog politicians is the only choice they have.
By Tona Monroe
Wheel Tax is latest ploy demonstrating hypocrisy of Republicans
Blount County voters will once again decide if they wish to pay a Wheel Tax, in the specially called election on June 11. The cost to the taxpayers for the special election will be at least $80,000, but saving money is of little concern to the resolution sponsors who have a habitual history of tax and fee increases. The Wheel Tax is the latest demonstration that being a Republican doesn’t necessarily mean limited government and low taxes.
All 21 members of the Blount County Commission were elected as Republicans in 2010, at a time when people were angry with Democrats and calling for a return to constitutionally limited government. The Blount County Republican Party sent a post card mailer warning people not to vote for local Democrats because of the big tax and spending Democrats in Washington DC. The three Democrats on the Commission were easily defeated.
Blount County voters handily defeated a wheel tax in 2006, with 71% of the voters rejecting it. Voters rejected a sales tax increase in 2008. Both of these votes took place prior to the current Commission, but Republicans had a super majority on the previous Commission, with a majority of the current Commissioners sitting on the previous Commission.
The current all-Republican Commission voted to raise the property tax rate the first year of their new term in 2011. While some of the Republican Commissioners voted against the tax increase, many of them voted for most or all of the spending that caused the tax increase, which makes them guilty of big spending and culpable for the tax increase.
Instead of creating a Committee to cut waste, the Commission created a Committee to Study Lost Revenue. The all-Republican Commission finished out the last month of the first year of their current term with litigation fee increases, with the resolution reading “WHEREAS, Blount County is in need of additional revenue.”
Rather than increase property tax in the second year of the current term, a sales tax increase was proposed in 2012. Blount County voters defeated the proposed sales tax increase a second time, but with a much narrower margin of defeat than in 2008.
Now the Wheel Tax is back, as the all-Republican Commission faces a huge spending increase from Blount County Schools, in its third year. The timing of the special election is interesting, the middle of June when School is out and people are taking vacations. The Commission has been unable to get voters in November elections, when voter turnout is at its highest, to approve tax increases. The date of the election appears to be deliberately set to catch people off guard so that the tax can be slid through, knowing that government employees usually vote, while hoping that those opposed are unaware or busy during the specially called election.
Republicans gave Blount Countians a property tax increase and fee increases in their first year. Republicans tried to give Blount Countians a sales tax increase in their second year. Now Blount Countians are faced with a Wheel Tax. The Commission could implement a Wheel Tax on its own authority with a two-thirds majority vote during two consecutive Commission meetings. Republican Commissioners don’t want to do this, partly because they hope to get the voter to do it for them.
The other reason is because the Wheel Tax won’t fix the School Budget problem entirely. The $86.8 million School Budget means a funding deficit of $6.9 million. Commissioner Holden Lail, one of the Wheel Tax resolution sponsors who is a retired Blount County educator and is married to Blount County educator, doesn’t know how much the Wheel Tax will actually generate. Estimates range from $2.5-3.5 million, which is far short of the $6.9 million needed. The Commission would then have to decide whether to increase the property tax rate to fund the deficit or tell the School Board to cut its budget.
The Wheel Tax proposal is sloppy, slothful and sly. It’s sloppy because the amount it generates is unknown but the best estimate shows it only providing about half of the requested increase. It’s slothful because it raises taxes without making any attempt to cut wasteful spending. It’s sly because it’s planned to avoid a general election so that County employees can ramrod it through.
The people of Blount County need to critically evaluate the performance of this all-Republican Commission. Voters have rejected all proposed tax increases, while the all Republican Commission has proposed a tax increase each year. Republicans railed about the dangers of big government Democrats in Washington DC in 2010, but the people of Blount County have an all-Republican Commission that hasn’t gone a single year without trying to increase taxes since their rhetoric about the Democrats in Washington DC.
Tona Monroe, a regular contributor to BCPublicRecord.com, is actively involved in state and local politics having a keen desire for restoring privacy and our right to travel. She resides in Greenback, Tenn. with her husband and dogs and enjoys a healthy lifestyle and dog rescue work.
It’s a matter of time until the United States becomes more involved with the Malian occupation. However with indication from Senator Chris Cons, that involvement could come through politics. So far, the U.S. has provided logistical support, refueling, and training to Malian soldiers, and most recently, the $50 million President Obama signed to Western forces.
Now, with the Malian elections coming up, the U.S. looks bright-eyed to have some effect or influence on the cycle. The Herald Sun notes that U.S. officials “cannot work directly with the Malian army until a democratically elected government replaces current leaders who came to power after a coup,” which will probably be the excuse for involvement in Mali’s elections. It’s inevitable that U.S. interests will get involved with Mali’s government, something that happens in nearly every country that America occupies.
Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Africa sub-committee, Chris Coons, told reporters, “There is the hope that there will be additional support from the United States in these and other areas, but … American law prohibits direct assistance to the Malian military following the coup,” calling on more of a U.S.-installed government than what is in place currently. “After there is a full restoration of democracy, I would think it is likely that we will renew our direct support for the Malian military,” Sen. Coons said.
Sen. Coons went on a bipartisan trip to Mali to meet with interim president, Dioncounda Traore, and French and African defense officials. Foreign policy analyst, Jason Ditz reminds spectators, “Before one takes that with a grain of salt, one must remember that the US considers Yemen’s democracy fully functioning after an election with a single US-selected candidate.” In all, Yemen is far from being a perfect government and is experiencing many corrupted problems.
The EU will spend more than $3 million on ‘troll monitors’ to trawl Eurosceptic debates on the internet ahead of European elections in June 2014, UK media reports. It comes amid fears that hostility against the EU is growing.
The new strategy will include “public opinion monitoring” to “identify at an early stage whether debates of a political nature among followers in social media and blogs have the potential to attract media and citizens’ interest,” according to internal documents reportedly discovered by the Telegraph.
Spending on “qualitative media analysis” will be increased by more than $2.6 million. Most of the money will be found in existing budgets, although an additional $1.2 million will be needed.
“Particular attention needs to be paid to the countries that have experienced a surge in Euroscepticism,” a confidential document said.
The monitors’ roles are clearly laid out in the documents. The controversial plan is designed to promote a stronger Europe, while engaging in conversation with those who hold an anti-EU sentiment.
“Parliament’s institutional communicators must have the ability to monitor public conversation and sentiment on the ground and in real time, to understand ‘trending topics’ and have the capacity to react quickly, in a targeted and relevant manner, to join in and influence the conversation, for example, by providing facts and figures to deconstructing myths.”
“In order to reverse the perception that ‘Europe is the problem’, we need to communicate that the answer to existing challenges… is ‘more Europe’ – not ‘less Europe’.”
But the EU is facing an uphill battle, as it seeks to change the minds of those who associate the bloc with economic crisis and high rates of unemployment.
“It is evident that the EU’s image is suffering,” the document said.
The information has been met with disapproval by many, who say the strategy is a waste of time.
“Spending over a million pounds ($1.5 million) for EU public servants to become Twitter trolls in office hours is wasteful and truly ridiculous,” UK Independent Party Deputy Leader Paul Nuttall told the Telegraph.
Training for the so-called “Twitter trolls” is set to take place later this month.
The news comes as Eurosceptic moods continue to gain momentum in the union.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to renegotiate the terms of Britain’s EU membership.
Without reform, “Europe will fail and Britain will drift to the exit,” the leader said in a January speech.
Cameron has been dubbed a “trendsetter” by Conservative MP David Campbell Bannerman, who believes many other countries are seeking more flexibility within the EU.
But it’s not just governments looking for a bit more leeway when it comes to EU membership – individual workers in crisis-hit countries are unhappy with the bloc’s leadership and austerity measures, too.
Last Wednesday, anti-austerity protesters in Athens broke into a government building and threatened the labor minister. Riot police then responded with tear gas, batons, and pepper spray.
Even German citizens have expressed interest in leaving the EU – despite German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ongoing support of EU policy.
Last September, a poll conducted by the Bertelsmann Foundation showed that 49 per cent of Germans believed things would be improved by leaving the European Union.
And the Germans aren’t alone – 34 per cent of French citizens also said they would be better off without the EU.