This is in response to the May 27 endorsements of Patsy Hazlewood who is running for the state House of Representatives in District 27:
How do you determine who you're going to vote for? If you don't know the candidate personally, perhaps you have friends that do? Or if your 'party' endorses a particular candidate, is that enough to secure your vote? Best of all scenarios, if the candidate has a voting record .. doesn't that speak volumes louder than anything else?
How many of us have listened to the dazzling speeches of a candidate running for office, only to be shocked once that person is in office and we see a voting record in direct conflict with their earlier promises?
Let's face it…regular voters like us often can't really know a candidate on a personal level. Consequently, we place great credence on the endorsement of the party which most closely aligns with our values. Hence, as 'constitutionally fiscal conservatives', we used to call ourselves 'Republican'.
The first indication that something was afoot were photos of Haslam officials/local GOP officials enthusiastically endorsing Patsy Hazlewood, who had made late entry into the District 27 race…prompting another contender - Tom McCullough - to drop out. His explanation that 'another strong candidate' has entered the race made us wonder if he felt Ms. Hazlewood to be a foregone conclusion? Is there something he knows that the rest of us don't? Does the Haslam camp routinely pre-select representatives for us? If that's the case, why bother with a primary?
All this prompted further research. Since Ms Hazlewood has never held elected office, we looked at her primary voting records. This should give us the strongest indication of where she stands on issues, don't you agree?
In 2008, she voted in the Democratic presidential primary (Clinton/Obama); In 2004, she voted in the Democratic presidential primary (Edwards/Kerry); in 1994, Democratic in the state primary and again in 1992, Democratic in the presidential primary (Clinton/Brown). Now we have no idea how she's voting in the general elections, but this concerns us. None of those candidates reflect any of our values.
Another candidate for that office is Charles White…once again, we don't know Mr. White personally but his primary voting record indicates that since 1998, he, too, has voted in four Democratic primaries, including the 2008 Clinton/Obama primary.
As a matter of fact, a search of the voting records reveals that the only candidate that has consistently voted Republican is Tommy Crangle. So what is the criteria used in pre-selecting our candidates?
We can't help but wonder what the local GOP establishment is thinking.
We don't need any more RINOS in government; we don't need folks who say one thing and when elected and/or the winds change, do another.
We do expect Republican Party candidates to - at the very least - consistently reflect the values stated in the party platform.
So we've gotta ask…just how did this happen? What is the criteria used in pre-selecting our candidates? Could this be 'quid pro quo' for time in Haslam's administration?
Patsy Hazlewood has numerous civic accomplishments and in no way do we intend to disparage her personally…. It takes courage to step up and make yourself vulnerable to public scrutiny..and we applaud folks for doing it. We're just wondering if she is the best candidate for the job??
Unfortunately, it's clear to us that we can't trust the 'party' to translate their stated values and goals to viable candidates wearing the GOP label. Certainly, as Tom McCullough commented, Patsy Hazlewood is a strong candidate. We're just wondering for which party?
Jo and John Peckinpaugh
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Boy, that didn't take long.
I don't know Patsy Hazlewood but she must be the most qualified. What I've learned in politics is that the whispers begin early when the Grumpy Old Partisans or the Too Extreme Activists Party don't have a puppet in the race.
Based on Ms. Peckinpaugh's demand for a straightline voter to match her definition of a Republican, I suppose if you don't go to your same church, Ms. Peckinpaugh representing the Tea Party and the GOP, you aren't Christian enough to be a real Christian.
We've got a Congressman who can't string sentences together in the 3rd District who's a "real conservative" and a President who says a lot of very good-feeling things but is not qualified to do anything right who's driving our nation in the ground. Now, according to the Peckingpauh line of thinking, we need to vote for anyone who the GOP/Tea Party deems is Republican. Forget about being qualified.
That's how elections should be determined. A small group of grumpy control freaks deciding who's the most Republican and most Christian and most conservative and most constitutional and the most this and that.
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A very well stated, most interesting, and informative letter. I have known Tommy for some years now I can attest to his conservative values and qualifications. He is the only candidate in the race we should even consider for this office and we are dang lucky to have someone of his high charter and proven conservative values willing to run and represent us in Nashville.
All important things to consider before casting a vote in this upcoming Republican primary election.
Robert M. Soule
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The writer does well to ask how do we know who to vote for but then falls in the typical traps of politics by using the classic magicians trick of illusions. In particular he brings up both the voting records of the opposing candidates to his man Tommy "I have a coin from a general" Crangle.
It is obvious that this writer was either not paying attention during the last two Democratic elections or he has chosen to hide the facts.
Let me enlighten you, many many conservatives changed parties so that they could vote against Obama or Hillary for example. Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh specifically called for it on his radio show dated Feb. 26, 2008, when he said "I know I'm fighting an uphill battle here, folks, on trying to convince you Republicans in Ohio and Texas to cross over, pimp yourselves for a day, vote for Hillary to keep this campaign going, this Uncivil War, Democrat Party. I know what's going to happen. Even if I convince you to do it -- remember what this is, this is about us winning."
Many other voices called for votes for and against Hillary in an attempt to destroy the Democratic party. I personally didn't agree with that tactic, however I refuse to make my decisions based on a voting record that only shows up as D, R, G. How many of us Tennessee Independents/Tea Party/Constitutionals are forced to vote under R/D anyway? I would rather listen to the candidate and see where their head is today.
This country is in dire straits and desperately needs someone in office who understands business, who understands basic economic principles. They don't need someone who feels that a coin given to them by a general should somehow give them the vote that's why we are in the situation we are in now. A candidate flashes something shiny in front of our face and they get our vote without the least hesitation. Tommy Crangle isn't the only Republican but he sure is a politician and he will never get this two time combat veterans vote.
US Army Vet
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It all boils down to integrity to me.
So many people have put their trust in men and women who are elected to represent the people of Tennessee, then they take the oath office to uphold the Constitution and do just the opposite. It seems that many of the candidates aren’t even knowledgeable about the Tennessee or U.S. Constitutions and yet they pledge to uphold them.
Our state and country are in jeopardy because of the lack of integrity and commitment to our state and country on the part of some of our elected officials. They are more into themselves and what the position can do for them and not what they can do for the people and the freedom and liberty we cherish. We are put in bondage with people who favor Agenda 21, Common Core and other liberal programs.
However, we are so fortunate to have Tommy Crangle running for District 27. I know of his integrity and his knowledge and love of the state and U.S. Constitutions, and the benefits of having limited government instead of more government.
Tommy Crangle knows how to listen to the people and he understands that he would be representing the people.
I know he loves the state of Tennessee and the United States of America. A vote for Tommy is a vote for the people of District 27.
Mary L. Blosser
Resident of District 27
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Robert, I ,too, have known Tommy for several years and agree 100 percent with your comments about him. We will be very fortunate to have such a man to represent us.
Resident of District 27