Yesterday I attended my first meeting of the TN Task Force 45.
If you’re not familiar with it, it is a pro Trump Republican group led by Elaine Ervin. It was held at Owen Brennan’s and the guest speaker was State Senator Brian Kelsey, with about 28 people in attendance.
Ms. Ervin opened the meeting by emphasizing that their immediate purpose was to get Kelsey re-elected in his distrct, which embraces parts of East Memphis, Collierville and Germantown. She suggested we need to start building at the county level and make sure that Tennessee is in line with President Trump’s agenda. That means we do not become a sanctuary state and that we focus on improving the education for Tennesseans.
“We can’t have the current divisiveness,” she said. “We need to build on what was left us by President Reagan.”
The buzz of the day was the ridiculous confirmation hearings for Judge Brett Kavanaugh, with Senator Corey Booker upset about documents the committee had not seen – only they had. “Senator Booker is not respecting any law of the U.S. or of the U.S. Senate,” Kelsey said. “To oust him would require 2/3 of the vote in the Senate, which is unlikely, but they should at least censure him. He admitted he was violating rules.”
Senator Kelsey knows Judge Kavanagh personally. Kavanaugh had called Kelsey to work with him in the Bush White House in the office of the White House Counsel. In addition, Kelsey’s wife works on Capitol Hill. A native of Kentucky, she has worked in the office of Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell.
“Trump has done a fantastic job with the judiciary,” Kelsey said, “particularly with Kavanaugh,” for whom he has great praise.
“I think the Democrats are hurting themselves by jumping up and being so extreme,” Kelsey added.
On his own State Senate election, Kelsey said, “I’m not taking this race lightly.” Although his opponent, Gabriela Salinas, is just 30, a graduate student without any job experience, Kelsey noted that “the Democrats have flipped 20 legislatures, so voters can’t stay home.”
Salinas often retweets what Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez writes, Kelsey added. She’s definitely in the Socialist mode.
“But she’s got a compelling personal story,” Kelsey warned, referring to her recovery from childhood cancer, injuries in a car accident and loss of her father.
Also, “the Democrats have said their No. 1 target is me and also Jim Coley. Steve McCormick in District 96 in Cordova also needs help.”
Kelsey said he is emphasizing something that Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee found were the most important issues he sees in the state: safe communities, education and jobs.
Kelsey also can boast of his successful effort to amend the state constitution to prevent an income tax from happening.
As for the U.S. Senate race, Kelsey has experience working with former Governor Phil Bredesen. Although he’s trying to appear as impartial, Bredesen “is the most partisan official I’ve ever worked with,” said Kelsey. “He would never have voted for the tax cut.”
He also mentioned Bredesen’s solar company, something that he got into after, according to the Chattanooga Free Press, “Bredesen pushed the recruitment of clean-energy industries as governor, put his personal financial muscle behind a private solar energy venture spearheaded by his former revenue commissioner and chief business recruiter, according to a published report.”
November 6 is our opportunity to see that he doesn’t join the Senate and that local Republicans get elected, particularly after our big losses on August 2.