Roy Exum: New Year’s Day, 2014

Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

My New Year’s Resolution is to get my country back. I believe that I am a staunch patriot and subscribe fully to not just the American Dream but the Promise ours is the greatest nation since the beginning of time. I also believe, very strongly, that the nation I adore was founded on Christian principles and biblical truths. Now, quite frankly, I have become weary and find my patience has grown short for those who I believe hinder our daily goal of being the best we can be as a nation, a state, a city and as an individual.

That is why I am announcing today, on this the very first day of an election year, I will never vote for Senator Lamar Alexander or Congressman Chuck Fleischmann again. While I am confident neither incumbent could care less, I believe the time is nigh for the American people to rid Washington of its growing riffraff and unworthy flotsam. I have voted a conservative ballot most of my life but the time has come for the American people to demand accountability and clear results from those we send to represent us.

I like Chuck Fleischmann. I admire his family. But in the past two years I believe he has been very instrumental as part of “the worst Congress in the history of the United States” and, while he did very little in his first term, his second has been an abomination. He has never written a bill to my knowledge, much less passed one, and the realization that his is nothing more than another whining voice in some “bully brigade” makes me sick to my stomach.

Lamar Alexander, who I have never before failed at the ballot box, has become a bitter disappointment to me.  Alexander is now 73 and I believe the former Tennessee governor has lost his compass. I’m not a big Tea Party person but a number of conservative groups across the state are really down on him for some puzzling decisions he has made. He is quick to point out Obama’s mistakes but I can’t see where he has done anything to counter them.

He was interviewed by the Editorial Board of the Nashville Tennessean several weeks ago and, when asked specifically about a bill that would strengthen federal legislation in curbing horse abuse in Tennessee, he said that while “Soring is wrong. It’s illegal,” he told the group some of the bill’s provisions are unnecessary. Lamar said the horse industry should “self govern” but fails to recognize a half-century where that has failed miserably.

The better story is that Steven B. Smith, the State Finance Chairman for Alexander’s 2014 campaign, is deeply involved in the callous Big Lick crowd that is solely responsible for the need to reform the federal laws. Smith, just elected as president of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association, has also used his influence in the state’s Republican circles -- neither of the state’s senators or not one of seven Representatives dare endorse the bill, which is tragic. (Note: 248 members of Congress from other states have endorsed HR1518, while 37 Senators have endorsed S.1406.)

Please! Lamar Alexander and Chuck Fleischmann are both members of Tennessee’s Republican Party that shamefully – and infamously -- shunned Barack Obama when the President came to Chattanooga in late July and visited our Amazon plant. Fleischmann was even seen at the airport that very day and claimed he “had to get to work” rather than display the statesmanship his constituents should demand of the now bedraggled and much-maligned GOP.

The biggest problem is the fact that the best-suited challengers wouldn’t get into Washington politics on a bet right now. While it is much like football fans who cry “Fire the coach” and then find there are no replacements any better, I am so disenchanted and frustrated with Alexander and Fleischmann that I’ll take anybody. I mean, anybody.

Alexander, with a rich war chest, is a heavy favorite to beat challenger Joe Carr in the Republican primary on August 7 and, while I know little about Carr, I can promise that on this first day of January he already has my vote. Alexander’s approval ratings are lousy, said to be less than 50 percent in some polls, As things progress and if Carr shows promise, I’ll ask my family and friends to vote for Joe, too.

Chuck Fleischmann, at present, is unopposed but I am confident someone will emerge in coming weeks because he is so vulnerable.  I like Weston Wamp much more than Fleischmann, for example, and I’m told there may be others who believe they have a chance for a November upset. I sure hope so.



Why Are Drugs So Expensive?

Diabetes seems to affect more people than any other chronic illness. It causes heart disease, liver and kidney failure and blindness. Eventually it is instrumental in the individuals death.  So why is there no cure?  Go ahead and call me a conspiracy theorist.  My fiancée recently started Trulicity. A once weekly self injection to help control blood sugar.  ... (click for more)

Oh, Woe, What's Next?

Oh woe, what is next is an apt introduction to a topic that lots of people talk about but little actually gets done and the product improves. The product, children, is a blessed event most of the time unless you are black, brown or not readily acceptable to the majority. I saw the prejudice in my small town as Polish, Italian, Latvian immigrants moved to work in the factories ... (click for more)

Red Bank Finalizes 20-Cent Property Tax Increase

The Red Bank commissioners voted Tuesday night to adopt the fiscal year 2018-2019 budget that includes a property tax increase. Mayor John Roberts said that along with the increase in both commercial and residential development, comes increased traffic. Infrastructure has not kept up with the growth, including the secondary roads. The cost of paving these roads is $1 million. Money ... (click for more)

Attorney Poston Says Man In Viral Video Seen Fighting Officer Was Trying To Break Up Fight

Attorney McCracken Poston said William Alexander Floyd, the young man seen in the recently published “viral” video who is seemingly engaged in a boxing match with a Chattanooga police officer, started out trying to break up a fight.   The attorney said, "Things are not always as they appear. There is a much more interesting story in the seconds leading up to the events ... (click for more)

Voice Of The Vols John Ward Dies

John Ward, the former “Voice of the Vols,” has died. Senator Lamar Alexander said, “When it came to UT sports, listening to John Ward was almost as good as watching the game. In fact, many Vol fans at many games brought their radios to make sure they could do both. John was a generous, courteous, enthusiastic ambassador for the University of Tennessee. He brought joy ... (click for more)

Belmont University's Mark Price Named Baylor School's Boys' Basketball Coach

Baylor School has named Belmont University's Mark Price as the boys' varsity basketball coach, following veteran basketball coach Austin Clark's announcement in April that he would be retiring after 36 years of coaching the Red Raiders. "I am very excited that Mark will be leading our boys' basketball program.  Throughout this process, we interviewed many individuals who ... (click for more)