For the past week, I have been reading comments and analysis about my write-in campaign for District 1 Commission seat. I thought it might be time for me to weigh in and tell the reason for my decision.
Of course, every time my motives are analyzed and my name is mentioned, there is the usual reminder that I am a hairdresser. I suppose that is to belittle me. But, quite to the contrary, I am proud to have been a hairdresser where I have had the opportunity to listen to the concerns of real people for the last 39 years. Being a hairdresser has afforded me the pleasure to become friends with people from all walks of life; from millionaires to single moms who have to save for weeks to get their children’s hair cut to those on fixed incomes who have their weekly trip to the beauty shop figured into their tight budgets. I have won coveted spots in photos in many baby books giving kids their first haircuts. I have also had the task of shaving the heads of some of my best friends when they were undergoing chemo therapy and then crying with them when I finished. So, if your intent is to make me feel that hairdressing is a lowly profession, it will not work. I take great pride in what I do.
I would, however, like to wager a little bet with those who buy ink by the barrel. I bet I could do your job in a week and I bet you couldn’t do mine in 10 years. BTW, do you newspaper guys ever get haircuts? If I was your hairdresser, your mother would not recognize you when I finished.
One of the main reasons for my write-in campaign is the fact that Democrats choose Hamilton County’s Republican candidate for Commissioner in District 1. I know this because over 500 more voters cast ballots in the Republican primary than have ever voted before in District 1 - and only nine Democrat ballots were cast in all of District 1. No, I am not a sore loser. It might be fine with many members of the Hamilton County Republican Party for Democrats to pick their candidate, but, not with me.
Early on in the last campaign I noticed who was aligning themselves with certain candidates. When some of the most liberal, tax-raising politicians hitch themselves to a Republican candidate’s wagon, you have to wonder what is going on. Since I know all of the players, it did not take me long to figure it out. It was Politics 101. Pick the candidate you think you can beat and help them get elected. Then you run your candidate against them. When some of my friends heard one of these tax-raising individuals was getting ready to run as a write-in, they asked if I would consider doing the same. At first I laughed, but, when I heard he was heading to the Election Commission to fill out the paperwork to be a write-in candidate, I decided to beat him to the draw. I did not want someone who has raised taxes in Soddy-Daisy three of the last four years to be the Commissioner for District 1.
Geno Shipley filled out the paper work to be a write-in candidate on Tuesday, May 20, and then withdrew his name on Thursday, May 22. He then said, “After looking at ideals and opinions of the candidates” he endorsed my opponent. I wonder with which of my ideas he disagrees? The only ideas I have mentioned so far have been finishing the projects Commissioner Skillern and I have been working on for years. Those projects include the entrance to Daisy Elementary off Sequoyah Road (we have been working on this over seven years), a track for SDHS (they have not held a track meet in over 15 years), a football field at Sale Creek and extending the sewer past Soddy Lake to Sale Creek. Which of these ideas does he not agree with? Or maybe he does not agree with my No Tax Increase stance. After all, he was one of the votes to increase taxes in Soddy-Daisy three of the last four years.
Sometimes I have to laugh when I read some of the articles involving me in the paper. I just don’t know where they get some of this stuff. In one article I am a dumb blonde hairdresser who cannot possibly be smart enough to add numbers in a budget and in the next article I am helping to run the county from a smoke-filled back room at the courthouse. I now read the paper and wonder how much of it to believe. Other times columns are so juvenile. As was the case with David Cook’s article using his new verb “Skillerned”. The only word I have heard that is more ridiculous is the word “Rhondaed” used by Pam Sohn in her May 21st article. The word “Thurmaned” would have made much more sense. I guess since David has mentioned both Fred and myself in past articles, I suppose you could say we have been “Cooked”. See, I can already do this editorial thing.
When I saw Mr. Bennett’s May 21st, cartoon calling me a “Shameless Opportunist”, my first thought was, “I wonder if he sells his prints so I can add it to my other framed cartoons?” My second thought was “Shameless” by Garth Brooks could be played at my Kick Off Campaign Rally on June 6th. But instead, I have decided to use Jerry Reed’s Smokey and the Bandit theme song, East Bound and Down. The words “We’re going to do what they say can’t be done. We’ve got a long way to go and a short time to get there.” is a much better fit. And it also goes along with the “smoke-filled”,” back room deals”, “good ole boy” story line the paper uses with me.
Another reason I decided to be a write-in for District 1 Commissioner was because the only reason I have heard why the most fiscally conservative member of the Commission needed to be replaced was because “it is time for a change”. The last time I heard that reason for voting someone into office was when Obama was elected. And we all know how that turned out.
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The people voted, but not as you wished? It's easy to point out what you think others do incorrectly. It's also easy to say "no tax hikes."
Eventually however, there will come a time when you will need to offer solutions instead of explaining how great you are. Otherwise, an interesting letter.
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I have two thought on Mrs. Thurman's opinion piece:
1) It is interesting that this "hairdresser" does not know the difference between an "Ideal" and and "Idea." She may need a little more schooling to know the difference. It is concerning to have someone that does not understand the difference on our school board to say the least.
2) To contend that Democrats picked Randy as the next commissioner is naive. Look at the vote records and everything makes sense. There was a swell in the Republican vote, Dem stayed the same.
It is understood that you were supposed to be appointed to the commission once Skillern resigned. This has been documented for years. Just accept the loss graciously. This "write-in campaign" will only be embarrassing. It is desperate at best.
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I am clear on whether Ms. Thurman does not want Democrats voting in District 1, or that there are no Democrats in District 1.
As for Obama, it is understandable that when a person only gets their news and information from right wing media, that they would would think things are bad and have not gone well. In reality, the economy was stabilized from a near collapse under Bush and we now have the lowest unemployment rate in over eight years, the housing market has rebounded and the stock markets are at all time highs. The Irag war was ended and our troops were brought home and our remaining troops in Afghanistan will soon be home this year. Bin Laden was found and killed. For the first time ever, affordable healthcare is now available to all and unlike the right wing predictions, costs have not sky rocketed and premiums are actually lower for the vast majority of people. Chrysler and GM were both saved and are now productive and profitable again.
These are only just a few of the good things that have gone well and if not for Republican obstructionism, there is no telling what more could be achieved. So, all in all, it has turned out pretty well so far. It is a shame that so much time and effort has gone into trying to discredit this President and his achievements to date, instead of governing.
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I'm not sure where Fricke got those rose-colored glasses, but I will take 11 pair of those babies. He has the "bestus ones" in all the kingdom. Even better than those on some TV news channels.
Go Rhonda. I love it when you rile 'em up.
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There you have it. folks. One of the clearest indictments of our political system, rolled up in the last two responses. Mr. Fricke ignores the extremely lengthy diatribe of Ms. Thurman with the exception of the one word - Obama - which he proceeds to defend, much to his discredit. At least make it sound realistic, John. That description on no way defines the world most of us have been living in for the past six years.
Then we have Mr. Snider, a shining example of some of Ms. Thurman's supporters, whose remarks are intelligible at best, other than the fact he likes it when she "riles 'em."
Neither bother to actually read Ms. Thurman's ode to herself and the horribly unfair world we live in, at least in District 1. One of the points Mr. Fricke attempted to make was that of the Democratic voter. I wasn't sure there actually were any in District 1... However, in the event that there are, are they excluded from the voting process if there are no Democratic candidates? What if the Democratic candidate is the sister's dead beat ex-husband that we don't even speak to, let alone vote for? Are they not allowed to vote for a Republican candidate? Apparently not, at least in District 1.
Perhaps the most important omission by Ms. Thurman in her grand attempt to justify her write-in campaign is any reasoning against the current Republican candidate, Randy Fairbanks. While she rails incessantly against the voting record of one of her Soddy-Daisy elected officials, never once does she ever talk about the actual candidate for the seat - Randy Fairbanks. Why? Apparently there's nothing bad to say about Randy Fairbanks. In fact, I haven't heard anything but good. So why not vote him county commissioner? Because it's Rhonda's seat - didn't you know that?
Vote Randy Fairbanks in District 1. Apparently he is the people's choice, just not Fred and Rhonda's.
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I couldn't help but laugh (more than once) after reading Mr. Fricke's response. In a truly perfect example of the pot calling the kettle black, he says, "It is understandable that when a person gets their news and information from right wing media, that they would think things are bad..." He then reciprocates that notion, basing his entire letter on left wing media and showing us all how that makes one think things are going just fine and dandy.
As for mentioning Bin Laden's killing as some accomplishment of Obama's? That is, at best, a slap in the face to the men and women who actually are responsible for it. It's also a true example of how desperate left-wingers are for good things to say about him.
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After reading Rhonda's rationale for launching a write-in campaign to be the county commissioner for District 1, I believe the public deserves some facts to her claim that Democrats crossed over to help Randy Fairbanks beat Commissioner Fred Skillern in the GOP primary race earlier this month.
The voting record shows 26 people voted a Democrat ballot in the May 2010 county primary, which is a slight increase from the 14 people who voted a Democrat ballot in the May 2006 county primary. When compared to the last two county primary elections, I believe the nine people who voted a Democratic ballot in the 2014 primary election is closer to the norm rather than unusual for District 1.
Face it... anyone in District 1 will tell you that Randy worked hard in this race and provided a strong case for why District 1 voters should vote for him rather than Commissioner Skillern. On election day, his hard work paid off, and Randy was elected to be the Republican nominee for the upcoming general election in August.
Rather than focus on moving forward, Rhonda and Fred now want to ignore the political process in a last ditch effort to overturn the will of the voters in District 1. After reading her column, it's clear they want people to believe Randy is no different than Obama, and Rhonda can provide a better solution for representing the people of District 1. Yet, the facts clearly show Randy is a proven conservative leader that is known for his community involvement and strong support of conservative causes.
If Rhonda truly believes she can provide a better vision for the district, then she should respect the primary process for the Republican Party, wait four years and run for the County Commission during the next county primary in 2018. I, along with many others throughout District 1, believe the primary process does matter. On Aug. 7, I ask that you join me in supporting the Republican nominee for this race and voting for Randy Fairbanks as the next District 1 county commissioner.