Tuesday evening we attended AMAC’s October meeting (Association of Mature American Citizens), a conservative alternative to AARP. The keynote speaker was Rep. Mike Carter (TN House District 29- Ooltewah/Birchwood/Collegedale/SaleCreek).
Attendance at this meeting was sparse; at best, only one or two of the attendees were in Rep Carter’s district. Also, it was Mike Carter’s birthday! Given all that, you’d think he would have cut short his comments. Instead, Rep Carter spent the evening explaining various legislation, how it came about, answering questions, etc. We were spellbound listening to Mike…frankly sharing his experiences in the legislature, explaining the impact of many of the decisions made on a daily basis, and affirming his commitment to the welfare of Tennesseans. For example:
1) Anybody ever heard of Civil Asset Forfeiture? Mike Carter (House) and Todd Gardenhire (Senate) co-sponsored the US Attorney General Edwin Meese Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act, a measure that would protect individuals whose property is improperly seized by local law enforcement officials … Wahoo! Now who wouldn’t like that!
2) How about something we’re all required to do? Emissions testing…
Rep. Carter learned that, for many years, ‘emissions testing’ hasn’t been testing for emissions (on most vehicles) due to the cost of the test itself, it’s a scam, yet we continued the charade. You wouldn’t believe the back story to this requirement and how Rep. Carter uncovered the truth of what was really happening.
Now Tennessee is the only state that EPA air quality had been met in every county— which in itself is justification for not testing any more. So in May of this year, Mike Carter co-sponsored a law starting the process of ending emissions testing in Tennessee.
3) Mike Carter (House) and Bo Watson (Yea, he’s our amazing senator in Dist 11) co-sponsored a bill to prevent municipalities from forcibly annexing areas in order to increase tax revenues, without the consent of those annexed. A big wahoo, here, don’t ya think?
At one point Rep Carter spoke of the wisdom of the authors of our Tennessee state constitution, which prohibits raising overall property taxes (of existing properties on the tax roll) by assessment, preventing politics from ‘changing’ assessments.
Did you know? Mike is the only legislator who doesn’t take a dime from lobbyists.
And although encouraged to run for Congress, Mike Carter quipped that, as an individual legislator in Tennessee, he can have a positive impact on each of our lives. As we listened to the ‘behind the scenes’ stories of various legislative efforts, it was clear Mike isn’t afraid to incur the ire of the ‘establishment’ where principal is concerned. Those narratives testify to his tenacity as well as to his scholarship.
4) Did you know Mike Carter was one of only five that voted to treat Jack Daniels Distillery the same as the rest of us. No to special tax ‘breaks/carve outs’ that would have to be made up elsewhere, obviously not a popular stance in Nashville, but one he took. Unfortunately those five were unable to stop it. Seems Mike Carter’s commitment to making sure all citizens are treated fairly was integral in his being awarded the Tennessee Leadership Award from TNAAO.
By the way, these are decisions— with Mike Carter’s input— that positively affect us all., Republican and Democrat alike. Gotta say, this man is impressive. I wish we’d taken notes. If you want more information on Mike Carter, check out FACTn’s Tennessee Voter Guilde to see how he compares to his opponent.
One last thought. This was a meeting everyone needed to hear. ‘Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.’ Why not show up at the next AMAC meeting, Tuesday, Nov. 13? It’s at the Crazy Buffet, 5104 Hixson Pike, Hixson; (6 p.m. if you want dinner —each pays for his own; the program starts at 6:45.) Hope to see you there.
Jo and John Peckinpaugh