Reflections On Bredesen's Choose Chattanooga Event - And Response

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

This week, Governor Phil Bredesen hosted his “Choose Chattanooga” ideas forum. The former governor presented a variety of ideas and solutions to problems everyone here in Southeast Tennessee is familiar with. He spoke about reining in the national debt, improving care for veterans, and providing access to affordable health care. But, unlike his opponent, Governor Bredesen stands out for consistently addressing issues that are specific to Tennessee and matter to Tennesseans. And some of these are tough issues like the local opioid crisis and opportunities and protection for women.

I really liked his idea about TVA as the provider of internet to communities that lack access to the service. In contrast to Marsha Blackburn, he thinks strategically. A couple of years ago she blocked legislation that would have allowed local broadband networks the opportunity to provide internet to communities in rural Southeast Tennessee. She prevented EPB from expanding Chattanooga’s internet, which is the fastest in the world. Due to her actions, communities less than 15 minutes away have some of the slowest internet speeds in the state. Now rural Tennesseans are paying more than they should for low-speed internet. 

Her track record of placing special interests above the needs of Tennesseans indicates she will continue this pattern in the Senate. 

I support Phil Bredesen because I know his solutions will help Chattanooga, and Marsha Blackburn has a record of opting to please lobbyists over locals.

Cartter Patten 

* * *

Mr. Patten,

I am not voting for Phil Bredesen for U.S. senator. As expected Phil did the soft shoe shuffle around the question of whether he supports Judge Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court. Phil’s party is dragging out the hearings in hopes of keeping the seat open until they think they will be the majority in the senate. So it’s not unreasonable to ask a candidate how he would vote in case he has to vote in January. This is a huge question for Tennesseans.

Rather Waltzin’ Phil wants to avoid that topic and speak in generalities about reining in the debt. That’s always a standby topic for Democrats when they are out of power. Presumably he means the national debt, the amount of money the government owes creditors, mainly China, from excessive government borrowing and spending. Democrat Barrack Obama is responsible for  raising that very debt by a record $8.5 trillion in his eight years in office to the astounding $21 trillion today. 

Cue the Tennessee Waltz, Phil is about to waltz again. Phil wants us to ignore the fact the candidate of his party, the man he voted for raised the debt to such a dangerous level. Now he wants us to forget that and vote for him to reign it in. He and others could have just done that by not voting for Barrack Obama.

Waltzin’ Phil also wants to dance around the issue of health care. In true political form, in a 2010 book interview Phil said he supported a single-payer plan (meaning government run health care) but in the next breath he said a single payer plan would be disastrous. (Source: PolitiFact, Sept 20, 2018, Jon Greenberg). So confusing as his position may be regarding “affordable health care,” I don’t want to take a chance for me, my children or my grandchildren so I’m not voting for Phil.

And finally I’m not wearing a “make TVA great again” cap. Phil may want to make them a big monopoly providing internet services to rural communities but in my lifetime I’ve seen such noble sounding ideas expand into complete government control. Not coincidentally, it’s Phil’s party that always proposes  these plans that grow out of control ($8.5 trillion out of control).

I’m not supporting Phil Bredesen because I know his solutions are not solutions, just political rhetoric designed to restore his party to the majority. That’s not good for Tennessee or America.

Ralph Miller


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