Chattanooga is on the verge of something great. We all feel it. I grew up in Tennessee, went to school in the Northeast, and worked on Wall St and in Silicon Valley. We’ve made great strides in the past 20 years, but I believe that this region has the potential to be even better. Which is why I’m supporting Weston Wamp. Not because of what he is or isn’t. But because of what he has the potential to become. He represents what we all have the potential to become.
In the few short years I’ve known Weston, I’ve seen a young man with an intellectual curiosity and a passionate desire to move our country forward, mature into a poised, articulate and infinitely credible candidate for Congress. We should all be proud to send Weston to Washington DC to represent our region.
I recently had a friend from California’s Silicon Valley visit Chattanooga. He was blown away with the entrepreneurial activity in our city. And he was downright jealous of our technologically advanced infrastructure (“the gig”, the smartgrid, etc). When he asked “How?” I simply told him the truth: that our entire city is full of passionate, talented people who care more about the city and the greater good than their own selfish priorities. After working with Weston for over two years, I can tell you this: Weston cares more deeply about our city and our country and our future than anyone I’ve ever met.
We have a vision at the Lamp Post Group: that properly empowered, passionate people can, by working together towards a common goal, change the world. Our companies do that every day for their clients. And having seen the work ethic of Weston Wamp first-hand, I’m confident that he will do that every day that he represents us in Congress.
I have seen the world, having lived and worked in San Francisco, New York City, London and India. And I know what progress looks like and what hinders progress. Progress doesn’t come from those who refuse to engage in civil and patriotic discourse. Or “Yes” men who only perpetuate the status quo. Progress comes from passionate, fearless, thoughtful leaders. I’ve seen the world changers, the earth shakers and the difference makers. Weston Wamp is one of them. Let’s make him ours.
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Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!
The last thing we need to do is send a yes man for the establishment back to congress.
But neither do we need to send someone who has very little life experience to congress either.
A lot of us have "seen the world," as Mr. Studer states he has. We've seen countries in war, rebuilding from past wars, and from decades, if not centuries, of dictatorial government. We've seen those nations with constant internal conflict. We've seen those nations attempting to rebuild after their government has brought them to complete and total economic collapse.
One need only look at any of the various news sources to see that London's on fire, and has significant financial problems. India, for all of its rich history and newly developing technological industry, is still a third world nation. California, home of innumerable advances in oh so many areas of technology and industrialization, is bankrupt, as are many of its cities, and its industry is leaving on a jet plane. Gosh, that sort of reminds me of a song.
I was a charter subscriber to Inc. magazine. I don't know how I got there, perhaps a customer who felt sorry for a dumb kid just starting out in business and in hock up to his eyeballs, but it doesn't matter now, 30 some odd years later. I'm often reminded of a feature article early on about the Marriott organization.
It seems that Bill Marriott had four children, and didn't want them to be labeled "the boss's kids," nor did he want anyone, including his children, to think they couldn't make it on their own in the real world, the world of profits and losses and returns on investment, that they had positions in the family business merely because their maw and paw owned the joint. So the bottom line was this; they could work for the family business while they were in high school and college, but not in management jobs. They worked in maintenance, housekeeping, food services, the laundry, and anywhere else they might be needed, but not management. After college they weren't allowed to come to work in the family business until they had gone off to work elsewhere and proved themselves, gone through their own respective trials by fire, become seasoned in their own right if you will. He wanted everyone to know that if his kids worked with the Marriott gang, it was only because they had proved their worth in the real world and not because they were daddy's boys... or girl.
There's a lot to be said for that philosophy. There's also a lot to be said for everyone having to work on straight commission, or purely upon what they produce no matter what it is, at some time early in their careers. Robert A. Heinlein once wrote "Do not handicap your children by making their lives too easy." (Time Enough for Love, The Notebooks of Lazarus Long)
To hand over responsibility of governing to someone who's never proved his chops is tantamount to having a brand spanky new engineer, right out of engineers' school, design the newest jet airliner all by himself. Who wants to fly in that baby?
I'm very much an advocate of youth in government... like Russell Collins, who's pulled papers to run for the Lakesite Commision, and not only has proven his abilities to his employer but owns a small business on the side as well. He likes dogs, too. But education, drive, and energy, with no experience, is like a muscle car with no wheels. It might make a grand noise, but it isn't going anywhere.
We don't send Marines, Sailors, Soldiers, or Airmen into a war zone right out of Bootcamp with no training. We don't put Cops on the street or Firemen into a blaze without a lot of training and mentoring. Neither should we be sending elected officials to Washington without a great deal of life experience.
We have the most incompetent congress in our nations history, the greatest nation to ever grace the face of Planet Terra, right now. We need to be sending our most seasoned and proven individuals to Washington possible.
That seasoning doesn't need to be guided by those who've done their own part bringing this nation to the point it is.
Royce E. Burrage, Jr.
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While I agree that people should be hard workers and being handed things doesn't exactly give them an appreciation for what they have. However, I don't think that is the only deciding factor in a
Congressman. The voters of the 3rd District are voting on who we believe is best suited for this position to represent us and stand in our corner to fight for us.
I have not been around Weston long enough to know him that well, however I have been to a few of his events and impressed is an understatment. He is young, and the least experienced of the
candidates, but if that is what is the only thing holding people back from voting for him then shame on them. As a young nurse I don't know how many times I was denied an interview because of inexperience. How can I gain experience unless someone gives me a chance? I feel this
way about Weston. What he lacks in experience he has an excess of initiative and determination. He is very is determined to get out in the community and be part of the solution, not the problem.
As a country we have been electing "experienced" candidates in office for years and that's why we are in the mess we are in now. Experienced in no way means they have the answers. In many cases it means they are disconnected from the real world they have very few answers. So, it is
time for us to do something about it. Maybe, just maybe someone with a fresh perspective would be a good idea and bring some new ideas to the table.
I heard him speak the other evening about all the main topics - healthcare, goverment spending, etc. All of his ideas were good and very plausible. The most important thing he said really resonated with me. He said that he stands not as a Republican or a Democrat, but as someone who desires to support the United States of America. This is what we need. Someone who sees past party lines and is focused on the big picture, not age, or race or financial gaps, but making it a
better country for our future generation.
That is why I support Weston Wamp.
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I don't live in congressional district TN3, but I do own property there. I'm 63 years old and grew up in East Tennessee so politics there is a concern to me. Some time in the next 3 to 5 years I plan to retire back home with my wife, as soon as this young wipper-snapper, as he is proud to call himself at the ripe old age of 30, who is buying our company is capable of handling all the day-to-day operations by himself. He understands he lacks some experience. He accepts that. He understands that he's a very good technician who has been performing, and doing quite well, some of the basic administrative tasks required in this business but there are things he doesn't know how to handle. I also have to teach him that being referred to as a "flat-lander" by one of our suppliers is not necessarily a pejorative, especially when that supplier gives us what he calls the "Tennessee Homie" discount. We currently have 5 employees, down from 37 only 6 years ago. My personal income has decreased by over half during the last 5 years. My employees' income has remained the same. We have a backlog of orders, about 3 years worth, that have been put on hold because our customers aren't sure what impact the administration in Washington will have on their businesses.
In the 24 years I've owned this business, I've never laid anyone off and none of my employees has ever had to go without a paycheck. But I have, so they didn't have to.
Like Mr. Studer and Mr. Burrage, I've seen the world outside of these United States. I've taken leisurely walks through the jungles of Southeast Asia and was deeply, deeply offended to see a US congressional candidate using pictures of a national cemetery and a veteran's headstone in his campaign ad. I've given candy to street kids in Olongapo City, and thrown coins from the bridge to the girls swimming in the river. I've seen the city lights of Bangkok, Tokyo, and Seoul. With the United States Navy as my chauffeur I've visited many of the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, taken liberty in some that did not. I've installed equipment we've built in Canada, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, and Peru. We've built equipment for American companies who then sent it to their facilities in foreign countries such as Taiwan, Singapore, Korea, Malaysia, and the San Francisco Bay Area.
I've managed several hundred people over the past 40+ years, first as a member of the military, then as an employee and an employer, as a company owner, independent contractor, and a project manager employed by a company. I've been an employee. I've been a soldier. I've started at the bottom and worked my way up that proverbial ladder. I've started several rungs up from the bottom, but never without having proven myself beforehand.
As a relative outsider looking in, I see a lot of back and forth about the candidate Mr. Wamp. His supporters seem to be focused on his youth, energy, determination, the impressive manner with which he speaks.
But what of his track record? What has Mr. Wamp actually accomplished in his life? How many times has he had to look adversity in the eye, buckle down, go into what some of us call "survival mode", and advance forward? How many times has he had to work through the night, or several nights, to meet a deadline? Has he ever had to make a decision that would drastically affect someone else's life, a person's very future?
Ms. Santos states that she's been denied job interviews because of her lack of experience. I think we've all been to that place. But when we look back on those instances, did the job actually require more experience than we had? I suspect so, if we can be totally honest with ourselves. We may feel that we can do the job but in the end, it's the person doing the hiring who must make that final determination. If a prospective employer requires minimum qualifications there's generally a reason. Experience gives us a basis to handle a variety of situations, some that might determine whether someone lives or dies, that training cannot.
Adversity and disappointment, even though we have all heard it time and time again and don't like to admit it, are character builders.
We don't put junior enlisted or officers in charge of companies and battalions on the battlefield.
Companies that wish to succeed don't hire managers with no credentials other than college to lead major divisions. When was the last time anyone has seen an industrial plant manager fresh out of college? Has anyone ever seen a department manager who just recently graduated from college with no, or little, experience? How about an office manager?
Do we elect people to corporate boards of directors who have no experience? I hope not, but maybe that's how we have so many corporate executives who get paid more when they fail than they did when they ran the company.
Congress is not the local home owners' association or garden club. People's lives and futures, and the futures of their children, are affected by the decisions made by congress. Should we be sending someone to congress based upon our own emotion-based desire to see someone have a chance to do better than what we have when they haven't had time to show what they really can do when lives are in the balance?
Mr. Burrage stated that we have the most incompetent congress in history in Washington. I would add inept, self serving, power hungry, elitist, and several other terms and phrases that aren't printable. Lying might be a bit harsh, but when they tell us one thing and do something else what else can it be called?
We have a President who was elected with no real life experience. Many voted for him hoping for positive change while overlooking that he has, and had, no history of accomplishment in his life. None that was provable and demonstrated.
Hope and change, a new day with youth in the lead, new ideas for a brighter future, blame those rich people, blame those young people, blame those old geezers, blame those white people, blame those lazy people, blame those business owners, blame those Christians, blame those atheists, blame those who want to pray, blame those teachers, blame those Wall Street financiers, blame those bankers, blame those gun owners, blame those pet owners, blame those production line workers, blame those college students; how are all of these working for us?
How has sending men and women to congress with no proven abilities, who couldn't make it on their own in the real world, worked for us? How has electing officials without looking hard at their real credentials worked for us?
We blame everyone but those with true responsibility, ourselves.
I truly hope my "Tennessee Homies" look at ability, proven ability, when they go to the polls this year.