Saturday, November 8, 2008

Look to these legislators to preserve progressive values in Tennessee amid severe budget cuts

I've never liked one political party controlling legislative and executive branches.

I supported Sen. Barack Obama in the Democratic primaries before Texas and in the general election. I am enthused about the mandate he received Nov. 4.

I'm not as enthused with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. They passed the ridiculous bailouts and have a legislative agenda geared more to special interests than real people.

In Tennessee, one political party also controls the same branches, unofficially. Gov. Phil Bredesen -- D- Tennessee-- governs as a Republican except on choice. Now there will be a Republican-controlled General Assembly in January.

So who can we turn to for people who are hurting to protect them from the budget cuts to come? Here are a few people I know. I hope there will be more to step forward.

Sen. Diane Black, R-Gallatin. She is a former nurse and House member who stood up to Speaker Jimmy Naifeh. She is compassionate. She also helped us fight the TennCare cuts in 2005.

Sen. Doug Jackson, Democrat. He also has a heart and a very intelligent mind. He needs to listen to Frank Buck more.

Sen. Ron Kyl, Democrat.

Sen-elect Michael Stewart, D-Nashville. He was recommended to me by a good friend whom I greatly respect. I've talked to the man. He has a heart for the people of TennCare and education. He took some real unfair knocks from the Nashville Scene.

Sen. Joe Haynes, Democrat from Davidson County. He has the tenure to make a difference. And he married way up.

Rep. Gary Odom, Democrat from Davidson County. He is the House Majority Leader but made it plain he wanted to run against Naifeh for Speaker. That was before Nov. 4. Now his place in House leadership is in doubt. He has spoken up recently for the people on TennCare.

Rep. Ben West, Democrat from Davidson County. I always found him as a man willing to do the right thing, particularly on ethics.

Rep. Henry Fincher, Cookeville. He has a law degree from Harvard University. He is young by legislative standards but has a streak of impressive integrity.

If you have some other names to recommend, I'll post them. They'll need our support in January and beyond. God bless and help them all.

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