Friday, September 7, 2012

2012 Democratic National Convention

I have just gotten back from my hotel in Charlotte, NC as being a part of the Tennessee delegation at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.  I wish I could articulate everything that I have experienced this past week.  I made a post earlier today, prior to President Obama's speech, on Facebook that kindly sums up the week that I have had.

Today's my last full day in Charlotte and I wanted to reflect briefly on how amazing this experience has been. While here I have had the opportunity to not just see democrats come together, but Americans come together and work towards something positive. 

Everyone has been nice. The volunteers have been 
wonderful, cordial and knowledgeable. Folks here that are complete strangers have not only embraced me, but everyone here no matter what they look like, where they are from, what color their skin is, what religion they practice, or who they love.

Folks helping everyone with disabilities no matter if they know them or not. Everyone is embraced, and I am so proud to say that THAT is the America I live in. I am so incredibly honored and humbled, and look forward to what the rest of the day has in store.

Thank you for this opportunity Tennessee.

I want to elaborate a little more from everything tonight.  First of all, I want to share this accompanying picture.
I took this just before we the Democratic delegation from Tennessee got to cast our votes for President Barack Obama late Wednesday, September 5th, 2012.  I wish I could convey to those that do read this blog just how inspiring, enlightening, and educational that this trip to Charlotte has been this week.  While, I was not a full delegate for Tennessee, I was an alternate delegate.  I did get to partake in just about everything, and per the suggestion of a friend, Will that was part of the delegation in 2008, I did make it to the floor just before we cast our vote, and took this picture above.  The smart, articulate, talented, and beautiful author, advocate, self-proclaimed feminist, and actress Ashley Judd represented the state of Tennessee during our roll call during the Convention.  
via msnbc
After this week I could not describe any further the incredible high that I am on.  My aforementioned comments on this week basically sums my feelings up.  I could go further and discuss how inspiring Thursday night at the convention was.  Senator John Kerry gave one heck of a speech.    Had that speech come out eight years ago he might have won office that year and we might not be have been in as bad of a situation as we were in prior to President Obama taking office.  Vice President Joe Biden killed it.  I feel that I can speak on behalf of the delegation that represented the state of Tennessee when I say that we concur with what our President said to us tonight.  Thank you again to my county, Carroll, our state, our state party, the TNDP, and to the United States of America for giving me this opportunity to be inside Time Warner Arena in state of North Carolina tonight.  This was exactly what I needed!!!

And on the record, the infamous question of the RNC was, "are you better now than you were four years ago?"  I can speak confidently and securely that myself and my family ARE much better off now than we were four years ago!!!!

Oh, and one more thing.  God bless the United State of America!

Friday, August 17, 2012

think before you post...again

When you are running for office, or are in office, I would think that one would think before posting.  Publicly posting status messages on facebook where people can see is not the smartest thing in the world.  It's open information and gives people a real insight into a candidate or someone they may have casted a ballot for previously.  For instance, a post that Andy Holt made on his facebook page earlier this week that received eighteen comments and twelve "likes."  Here is the post

Now folks went on and on with ignorant comments, and that is fine and all.....until you get to this post:.  There is a comment from a Jeni Hines.  Upon further research, Jeni (or Jennifer) Hines is the legislative aid to Representative Joe Carr of Murfreesboro.  Sorry, but if one of my employees was on facebook asking "Who's butt should I kick, Andy?" then I'd be seriously reconsidering the type of person that I hired.
Again, this is just another example of the kind of people Andy seems to surround himself with.  If he associates with people that conduct themselves in this way there's not telling what more we will learn about Representative Holt in the coming weeks before the election.
Just another thought for constituents of the 76th District here in Tennessee to think about before hitting the polls this November.
If you feel that Ms. Hines did not conduct herself in the manner that one in her position should do then I encourage you to email her boss, Joe Carr, at then email Speaker Beth Harwell  letting her know that you don't like it either.    And lastly, I would encourage you to let Mr. Holt  know how you feel too about him making unsubstantial remarks about Mark Maddox and how his friends, especially those like Jeni Hines, make threatening remarks and you don't appreciate it.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

the unspoken rules of campaign season

During the campaign season, one would like to believe that there are unwritten or unspoken rules that are understood by candidates running.  When unfortunate or unexpected situations arise, like the loss of a loved one that is the family member of someone running for office, their opponent usually suspends their campaign, at least publicly, during the time of mourning.

   Tennessee House District 76 Democratic candidate, Mark Maddox, lost his sister, Janet Maddox, earlier this week.  Here is her obituary, as listed, on the funeral home's website:

Services for Miss Janet Leigh Maddox, 51 of Dresden, will be held August 9, 2012 @ the Dresden Cumberland Presbyertian Church @ 2p.m. in Dresden, TN., with burial to follow in the Sunset Cemetery also in Dresden. Ms. Janet's visitation will be held August 8, 2012 @ Dresden Cumberland Presbyterian Church from 4 til 8 p.m. It will resume August 9, 2012 @ 10a.m. til funeral time. Janet is the daughter of Sam Maddox & Bonnie Jones. She is also survived by her Step-Father Kenneth Jones, two brothers, Mark(Kerri)Maddox of Dresden, TN.& Ricky(Bianca)Jones of Tulsa, OK. She was preceded in death by one brother Tommy Maddox. The Family has requested in lieu of flowers all donations maybe made to CDS Center in Martin, TN. or Dresden Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Dresden, TN.
First, and foremost, I would like to express my deepest sympathy to the Maddox family for your loss of beautiful Janet.  I have heard such wonderful and inspiring stories about her, and I know that her impact on the lives of many will continue on.  For those of you who do not know Janet, she was part of  Community Developmental Services (CDS) and the Maddox family are big advocates of this program, and what it does for members of their community.  The Maddox family, as mentioned in the obituary, asked that donations be made to CDS or the Dresden Cumberland Presbyterian Church in lieu of flowers.

Janet passed on Monday morning.  At 10:23am, that same day, State Representative and current Republican candidate Andy Holt had the audacity to notify all members and staff of the Tennessee State Legislature via an email from his assistant Donna Anderson of the loss of Janet:

Rep. Andy Holt just learned this morning of the passing of Janet Maddox, sister of former Rep. Mark Maddox. We will give more information as it becomes available. Please remember the Maddox family during this time of sorrow.
While it was a nice thought, it apparently was only a thought, and not fully thought through.  In my opinion, Andy had NO right whatsoever to take it upon himself to make this known to everyone.  I know that if I was running for office, and an incident like this occurred just a few hours after the passing, I would not take kindly to my opponent for doing something he had no business in doing.  Some people might feel that this isn't horrible or as tasteless as I find it to be, but it does get worse.  I made the mention of an unspoken rule known by anyone running for office to temporarily suspend their own campaign, AT LEAST PUBLICLY, for a period of time for the candidate and their family to grieve peacefully.  Unfortunately, Mr. Holt doesn't believe that these sort of unspoken rules apply to him.  Not only did he take it upon himself to notify the legislature of Janet's passing, but he even had someone put an Andy Holt Conservative for Congress sign up within 100 feet of Mark's mother, Bonnie's, home.  His mother had to pass this sign at least five different times this day while going back and forth making arrangements for Janet.  Call it a coincidence or maybe plain matter what you call it, I would bet on it that this was pre-meditated by Andy, or his campaign staff, without a doubt.  Not only is this tacky and tasteless, but it truly shows what kind of a character Andy Holt really has.  Not to mention, there is nothing conservative about crass ploys like this during a campaign.  The more people I talk to about Andy Holt and how he consistently believes that nothing ever applies to him...kinda like he thinks that he is the supreme ruler of his Andy Holt world that is....the more people are completely turned off by him.  Andy, do you really have no shame?  Next time you try to pull something like this i IMPLORE you to think, think, and think again.  My mother always told me to think before I speak or's unfortunate that no one taught you how to do the same thing.

Lastly, I would encourage those that are in as much shock as I am over the way Andy Holt has conducted himself this past week to counter his ignorance by either making a donation to CDS or the Dresden Cumberland Presbyterian Church in honor of Janet Maddox or to Mark's campaign that he is running against Andy Holt.  Let's respond in a positive manner to Mr. Holt's negative one.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Election Day Issues - Weakley County

Well it seems as though Tennessee's Primary on August 2nd did go not off without a hitch.  After the disaster in Shelby County with around 1000 early voters were given incorrect ballots, the question remained of what else would happen leading up to August 2?  Well, at a polling station in Weakley County in the town of Dresden something almost did happen.  A woman by the name of Nicolle, walked into to her designated polling location and showed her VALID state photo ID as now required due to the passage of a law in Tennessee in 2011.  The elderly woman working the poll asked for her voter registration card.  Nicolle told her that she didn't have her voter registration card.  The elderly woman then told her that she would be unable to vote if she didn't have it.  Fortunately, this voter, was VERY familiar with the voter ID law and knew what the specific requirements were to vote in Tennessee.  She flat out told the woman that she knew that she didn't need her voter registration card, and after a short time, that included another elderly woman trying to tell her the same thing, she finally did get to cast her ballot.  This pegs the question....How many other voters at this polling location that day were turned away because they didn't have their state-issued photo ID AND their voter registration card????  Sadly, there probably were others that were not as familiar with the requirements to vote in Tennessee, and chalked it up as an "oh well, maybe next election."

How and why are we letting people work the polls that do not know the proper requirements that are and are not needed to vote in the state of Tennessee?  How does this Election Commission who has vehemently backed their state-issued photo ID law requirement allow mistakes to be made at a voters' expense?  Their argument of voting fraud is a joke.  As you can see, the error that was made in Memphis, and locally in Dresden, will continue to discourage voter's from actually voting in elections.  Voter turnout will continue to drop due to restrictions, valid or not, put (or falsely put) into place.

How do we fix this issue?  How do we stop discriminating in the state against the elderly, minorities, and youth voters with this law and the intentional ploys they try to pull to stop voters from actually voting?  This is yet another reason why folks need to educate themselves, not only on law requirements, but on candidates, so they know that they are voting for someone with their best interests at heart.....not voting against their own interests.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

even your OWN party doesn't want you, andy holt!

That's right folks.  Many moderate Republicans in Nashville want Andy Holt out.  I have to admit, you must be pretty awful if your own party doesn't want to keep you in office.  In fact, the support coming out from all over the state, and probably even further, for opponent and Democrat Mark Maddox is astonishing.  This blog has reached across the state too, as I have been getting inquiries about what people can do to help campaign for Mark and get Andy out of office!  I have never seen support, for a candidate at the state level, in my short time here in Tennessee.  To be honest, it couldn't go to a better candidate.

What happened in 2010, not only here in West Tennessee but across the state, was defeating for democrats. There was a huge backlash from Republicans because of our support for our President and those elected Democrats in Washington.  It's an obvious reason why, and certainly those here in the South cannot deny it no matter how sad it is.  However, what I am seeing at the emergence of the 2012 campaign season is a completely different outlook to what we saw, and inevitably knew was coming, in 2010.  The legislature in this state has taken away rights from anyone who isn't in a high enough tax bracket.  Hitting everyone from teachers, to union employees, to women as a whole, to the working class (which if I'm wrong makes up much of Tennessee).  They fought to increase privileges for the rich and fortunate, in exchange for about 3 dollars a year savings in sales tax.  They introduced legislation to bring slaughterhouses for horses to Tennessee.  A bill that would protect teachers who allow the criticism as such scientific theories like evolution in their classrooms.  This opens a whole new door about where the separation of church and state comes into play.  It wasn't eight months ago that I sitting in a biology lecture at UT Martin listening to an older woman insisting that the bible has proven theories that creationism is in fact certain and the only real and logical scientific theory.  She went on and on, and I won't waste your time with her gibberish.  Yes, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but when you start bringing religion into the class that can, and very well may, offend another classmate of mine because they might not be Christian, or they are a Christian and completely accept evolution, but is being told they are wrong and going to hell for doing so IS A PROBLEM.  I will go a little further and say that when you start criticizing these ideas at a younger age where students are much more impressionable you will not only be improperly educating our future, you are further lowering our state's "excellence in education."  We have fallen back to 47th in the country.  FORTY-SEVENTH!  We're at the top with spending (thanks to Race to the Top), but at the opposite end in terms of the quality of our education.  Yet, we want to protect teachers that allow students to spew fallacies and criticize theories proven true over and over again.  We went from a pretty good moderate environment within the state in 2008 to as far right as possible in just a couple years.  To me, that's scary.  And guess is to a LOT more people now, as well.

So with that being said, I'm going to make a guess.  With as much disgust there is across the board.  Here in the state of Tennessee , including the federal level too, there will be a turnover in incumbents.  I can almost guarantee that Andy Holt will not be in office again next January, and some West Tennesseeans (not myself sadly) will be able to breathe a collective sigh of relief from the tyranny that is Andy Holt.

I encourage more folks that are interested in donating, volunteering, making calls or anything on behalf of Mark Maddox to please let me know.  I want to see all of Weakley County and the portions of Obion & Carroll now in the 76th covered with Maddox for State Rep signs, bumper stickers, or anything with his name on it for that matter.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"posting" remorse, Mr. Holt?

I want to link the Tennessee Democratic Party's blog post in regards to our very own, Andy Holt.

I'd like to think that this blog is pretty self-explanatory.  If not....for someone so intent on keeping the federal government and "their" regulation out of Tennessee, you sure are willing to chomp at the bit for any farm subsidies that your federal government is willing to give to you for being a pig farmer.  What's that phrase again? "Do one thing, say another?"  Let me remind you that your district is watching you VERY closely Mr. Holt.  Fortunately, we only have 223 more days til we get to vote you OUT and Mr. Maddox back IN!  So if I were you, I'd be careful what I post on facebook because, as you can see, it's just a screen shot away from being documented for anyone to view.  Reason, I say this is because Mr. Holt pulled the initial post as screen shot in the TNDP blog, and re-posted it today (i'm guessing after the blog came out) saying this...

West Tennesseeans thank you for yet another reason to NOT vote for you come November.  

Mark Maddox for State Representative District 76!

UPDATE:  It appears that Mr. Holt merely "blocked" the post as it is, coincidentally, now viewable by those that are NOT his friends on facebook.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Tennessee delegates & the at-large delegates next week!

I want to say that I was humbled, honored, and enlightened at the 8th Congressional District Delegate Convention today in Milan.  I am proud to announce that I was elected as the alternate delegate today, and would like to congratulate the other three delegates: Nicolle Crist (Weakley), Angela Callis (Weakley) & Najonna Coleman (Gibson).  It was truly an honor to be elected among you three.

There were three other candidates that ran today that did outstanding and I was thoroughly impressed with all of them.  LaTarsha Hanna-Huff of Madison County, Shalanza Hawkins of Haywood County, and Kayla Porter of Stewart County.  I want to go on the record and say that all seven of us deserve to go to Charlotte in September!  I hope that the three of you move on to the at-large delegate selection next week in Nashville.  I would proudly lobby for any one of you!

With that in mind, I want to informally lobby for any of the previously mentioned women to anyone in this state that has the ability to cast a vote next weekend.  These women would be outstanding representations of Tennessee, especially West Tennessee.  They have all contributed significantly to the Democratic Party from the local to the national levels.  They are well-spoken, dedicated, and I personally would love to have each one of them in Charlotte with me and the rest of the Tennessee delegation.  So, if you read this blog, and you can share this with anyone that can make this happen for any of these women please help me!  Let's get them to Charlotte!!!

Again, thank you to everyone from all the counties that were a part of the convention today.  Today was a dream come true.  A whirlwind for sure.  Something that I will never forget.  Thank you for being a part of it, and, most importantly, for giving me the chance to go to Charlotte.

One more side note, congratulations to the three men from the 8th District that were elected today: Gus Radford (Carroll), Chas Uffelman (Houston), & Jim Midgett (Madison).  I look forward to seeing you all again next weekend!