Last night, Mark White, Tennessee State Representative, District 83, addressed the monthly meeting of the Midtown Republican Club.
After we toasted the spectacular 9 out of 9 GOP election win of August 5th, White talked about what motivated him to get into politics.
“Why did I want to go to Nashville after 25 years in business? I believe in the business community and that it is business that generates jobs,” White said. “We’ve lost our way in government. We’re not governing ourselves anymore. We have a Constitution that is just a few pages,” he said, holding up a pocket copy. “But now we have bills that are 2-3,000 pages.”
His first week in Nashville serves as an example. Eager to do something substantive to help his constituents, he found his first bill to tackle concerned whether to allow fish tanks in barbershops.
“A woman had wanted to open a barbershop and when the code enforcer came he found she had a big fish tank there. We spent two weeks discussing this issue! When I brought up what about beauty salons, we spent another week talking about that,” White said. “Then we found that a beauty salon is in a completely different category – cosmetology.”
He continued to discuss the need for less intrusive government.
“Look at Walmart vs. the Post office. The latter has been in business for 235 years and still doesn’t have it’s act together. They’re broke. Social security is 75 years old and they’re broke. Fannie Mae 72 years and broke. And Medicare/Medicaid 45 years old and broke.”
White says he is wary of more government takeovers and an expanding bureaucracy.
“The Department of Energy was begun 33 years ago with the purpose of developing domestic sources of energy. It started out small and now has 16,000 employees and a budget of 24 billion. And now we import more energy than we ever did in the past.”
On the Health Care Reform act he noted that the bill will “cost us millions to run it alone.” White hopes that a new Republican governor in Tennessee will appoint an attorney general unlike our current one and that he will join other states in suing the federal government about it.
As for immigration, that’s another issue he sees the new Tennessee legislature addressing next year.
“”Tennessee was the only state to recognize Arizona’s new bill. I flew out to meet Governor Jan Brewer with some other congressmen at our own expense to give her the resolution. Although I didn’t know it before I left, Governor Brewer is a big Elvis fan. I took her some stuff from Graceland and she really appreciated it,” White added.
He has hopes that the next Congress can take on the budget. “Stimulus money will be gone in 2011 and we’ll begin to feel it. Republicans say they will not have an increase in taxes in the budget. But,” he noted, the state of Tennessee has less debt than Shelby County.”
White, having won his primary, is unopposed in the November 2 election.