Why We Are

What’s the point of a political club? Why did we form one?

People have asked that of members of the Midtown Republican Club.

My answer: yesterday’s election.

Yesterday, when I was a judge at my precinct, people complained that they didn’t understand the ballot. Why did you have to choose a party, was a question frequently asked. Who are these judges and clerks running? Why should I care? Does it really matter who they are? An election official even said to me that with families, kids, work and schedules, it was impossible to make an informed vote.

I couldn’t disagree more!

If you value your freedom, if it means something to you, you’ll take the time.

If you realize the import these people’s decisions will have on your income and personal life, you’ll take the time.

If you care about the direction of the city and country, you’ll take the time.

And that’s where our club comes in. You can attend candidate rallies, read their positions in the newspaper (if you trust they will not be biased) and watch some of them on TV. But the club allows a forum for the candidates to come and talk directly to the voter, especially in the smaller races that won’t be profiled on TV. It gives us the opportunity to ask them questions directly and hear what they have to say without any editing.

It means that if we like a candidate we can make calls for them, write letters and inform our friends. It doesn’t mean we are all in lockstep. Members make their own decisions on voting.

The result, I think, is that more informed voters stepped forward and helped our near total Republican sweep.

Big turnout as club meets

Bill Giannini
Club members, including some new first-timers, listen to Shelby County Election Commission Chairman Bill Giannini.
Midtown Meets Downtown
Georgeann King, left, welcomed new downtown club organizer Joan Schmitt.

“This is the easiest country in the world in which to vote, but the one where the fewest people do,” declared  Bill Giannini to the Midtown Republican Club last night at Cafe Eclectic. Making it easy and fair is what he has been tasked to do as  Shelby County Election Commissioner and Mr. Giannini can report much success in his efforts since he took control of it last year.

“We’ve knocked 80,000 voters off in the last year and a half,” he said, “reduced the precinct number from 274 to 236, moved the Election night headquarters from downtown to Shelby Farms and reduced the cost of advertising by 50%.” In addition, they have added  early voting centers in Lakeland and at Bellevue Baptist, alleviating  crowded polls and making it easier for residents there to vote early.

The EPBs – electronic poll books – are another innovation he points to as helping increase efficiency and cut down on costs.

“It costs $375 per day per site for early voting alone. It takes 2,000 people to do an election,”  Giannini notes, explaining why cost cutting is so important. “We have to train everyone of them and it’s a challenge to find 2,000. ” He cites his cost cutting methods have saved the county a lot of money. In this election, it has also resulted in a big early voting turnout.

“We had 10,700 people vote last Friday. On Saturday, which is 6 hours as opposed to the 9 hour opening, 6,300 people voted.

“We have not had a single problem with a machine.” he said.

The situation, however, is slated to change in 2012.

“Few people realize this, but there was a state law passed to force us to have paper ballots in the next election. We will take the $5 million spent on computers and turn it to pen and paper unless the law is changed,” he said. “We’ll be selling EPBs and equipment on Ebay and the paper cost will be astronomical. The storage, transfer and security cost will come into play unless the legislature stops this, he warns.” We’ll be using optical scanners and it will take longer.  Our legislators need to hear from voters about this,”

Commenting on tomorrow’s election Giannini concludes “small elections have more importance than the presidential ones as they affect our lives more. Go out and vote, get your neighbors to vote!”

Can’t miss meeting

Bill Giannini

Tonight the Midtown Republican Club will welcome Election Commissioner Bill Giannini as our guest speaker.
He should shed a lot of light on the election, voter fraud and the changes he’s made since he took over.
In addition, anyone following the news knows that voter fraud has become a big issue.
J. Christian Adams highlighted the Department of Justice’s unwillingness to prosecute the Black Panthers for their voter intimidation in Philadelphia. Analysts in Minnesota recently came to the conclusion that the felon vote pushed Al Franken to victory after a six month contested battle with Norm Coleman. Locally, several cases of voter fraud have been brought up in Shelby County. And, there has been talk of disqualifying overseas military ballots through mailing deadlines and other connivery.
Anyone wanting to hear Mr. Giannini can come to Cafe Eclectic, 603 N. McLean, at 6 for the meeting.

Some pre-election questions

Shelby GOP chairman Lang Wiseman has some questions for the press. With the election days away, I would like to know, too.
He writes: “Where are the stories reminding the voters about the tax liens, court judgments and personal financial problem of some of the Democrat candidates?
“Where are the stories reminding the voters about Democrat Juvenile Court Clerk candidate Shep Wilbun’s previous term in that office – that is, before the voters threw him out after the Tennessee Waltz investigation started poking around?
“Where are the stories about Democrat Trustee candidate Regina Newman’s recent $260,000 purchase of a new phone system that the County Finance Administration called unnecessary?
“Where are the stories about Criminal Court clerk candidate Minerva Johnican and the employee travael scandal that occurred during her previous term in that office – that is, before the voters threw her out? Or her effort to raise salaries before the new clerk could take over after she was defeated in the election? Or her incendiary comment back then that ‘the only good Republican is a dead Republican’ – a comment for which she has never apologized?”

I’d like some answers, too, and the voters surely would.

Satire? No, the future

money-go-roundI had just put up my bicycle in the garage – so much room in there now since the government and Ed Begley Jr. persuaded me to dump my carbon footprint making, gas pedal throttling Toyota – when I realized I had forgotten to buy a replacement light bulb.

A few weeks back I had (clumsy me!) dropped my energy efficient mercury light bulb. Weeks of cleaning furniture, washing bedding, removing carpet and airing out the room for days (I follow my EPA directions!) ensued. Now, when I finally was able to remove my gas mask and pedal to the store I left my list behind and forgot the bulb.

How could I have forgotten it? Well, there’s a lot on my mind since my aging parent had to report to the Donald Berwick Senior evaluation center. Her hip was hurting a lot for months and she was hoping to get a replacement. At 63 they deemed she would be an inefficient use of the taxpayer money under our new Health Care Reform bill (they’re probably right, she was a stay at home mom and a real drag on society) so Mom’s going to move in with us.

Now the builder and my EPA agent were going to arrive soon to talk about making an extra bedroom for her and it would have to be done in the dark.

Yes, it will be costly to make a new bedroom. But, lucky for me, without car payments I was able to pay for the thousands of dollars in environmental compliance upgrades mandated by the Home Star Retrofit Act of 2010. And with my Smart meter installed I don’t have to rely on my own eyes to check the thermostat to make sure it’s at the most energy saving level; the government does it for me! Think of the money I’ve saved paying out thousands in energy savings. And they say Obama doesn’t care! Sure he does, and Congress, too, since they passed the Home Star Efficiency loan and I can conveniently use Fannie Mae as my official lender.
But back to the bedroom. We won’t make it too big, especially since I’ll have to pay for the installation of proper hookups for charging an electric vehicle. Not that I have one, but the guy working for the builder will have to charge his up somewhere, as he makes improvements, won’t he? He was one of the 400,000 lucky people in the right demographic group allotted his for free! Isn’t government wonderful? I’m sure he could use it with all his family now coming across the border since Obama declared amnesty.

Should anyone think this scenario is far fetched and unlikely, take a look at the latest Senate energy bill unveiled last week. These proposals are in it buried under pages devoted to “Oil Spill Response,” “Reducing Oil Consumption,” “Protecting the Environment” and other innocuous sounding titles. In essence, though, it is a move towards more government spending and social engineering.

Check out the article “Poison Pill: The New Senate Energy Bill” at www.americanthinker.com and then tell me this can’t happen here.

More on Andy

A caller to Rush Limbaugh today commented on the Health Care Reform ad made by Andy Griffith.
Rush said he was not surprised at it as Griffin is a well known lefty who campaigned for Obama. In fact, according to Rush, Democrats in 1994 urged Griffith to run against Jesse Helms for the Senate seat in North Carolina.
The caller detailed an incident 35 years ago in California when Griffin came by his store in his Rolls Royce. Griffith was rude, demanding and wasted no time talking to anyone. Limbaugh concurred that he had that reputation.
EIB then played a funny parody of Andy and Barney skewering them on Obamacare.

A Tale of Two Weddings

(R) vs. (D):  Could there be a better illustration of what they are than contrasting Jenna Bush’s 2008 wedding with Chelsea Clinton’s 2010, much ballyhooed affair?

Start right there – ballyhoo. The press has been fawning about it all weekend. The glamor, the glitz, the celebrity, the cost; it can’t be too much or too good for a Democrat’s daughter. Of course it must be lavish with lots of guests. Small and intimate is for losers like President Bush and Jenna.

Cost? Anywhere from 3 to 5 million for Chelsea. Estimates asses the catering at $750,000; flowers $250,000; music $40,000;  lighting 75-100,000; invitations $50,000. The supposed cost of the wedding cake alone is $11,000 which approximates to $22 a slice. Jenna had a tres leches cake with dulce de leche and whipped cream icing. Chelsea opted for a  politically correct vegan, gluten free wedding cake.

For Jenna it was $100,000 for the whole wedding.

The Bushes did it at their own home in Crawford, Texas, a red state if ever there is one.

The Clintons did not use their own home. They preferred to use  the Astor estate in New York, epitome of the blue state.

Donors paid for Chelsea’s big day, significantly George Soros, billionaire plus.

The Bushes paid for Jenna’s. They preferred family and friends to political chums.

But then again Jenna is a schoolteacher who went to Latin America and wrote a book about the young girl she found struggling with AIDS there, “Ana’s story.”

Chelsea worked for a Soros hedge fund and her husband was at Goldman Sachs.

I think those differences pretty clearly outline where Republicans and Democrats are coming from and their attitudes.

Tennesseans support Arizona

District 83 State Representative Mark White is returning today from Arizona with two other Tennessee legislators. They went to deliver a resolution to Governor Jan Brewer showing Tennessee support for the controversial law.

White said he wanted to see how we should address the problem of illegal immigration since the state will address the issue in the 107th General Assembly which will convene in January 2011, according to an article in www.mainstreetj.com.

As for the appeal to the 9th circuit court of appeals, the Democrats may have made a big mistake.

The Department of Justice argued against Governor Brewer’s request for an expedited case. Now, the case will be scheduled to start November 1.

With the midterm elections the next day, Nov. 2, voters will be reminded of the issue as they go to the polls.