Michael Silence: Campfield blogs on red-light cameras » Knoxville News Sentinel

Michael Silence, writing for Knox News, applauds state Senator Stacey Campfield for maintaining government transparency by leveraging the internet:

When elected officials are active online, everyone benefits.And while he gets heat for what some consider controversial positions, one has to applaud state Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, for being one of the highest profile elected officials in the state on the Internet.

Great article, especially as the bulk of it is dedicated to the upcoming consideration of legislation concerning red-light cameras.

Full Disclosure: I gladly clicked the “Like” button on Kill Tennessee Traffic Cameras.

Memphis Gets Mention in Economist

The world in figures: Industries: Infrastructure The Economist.

GOP Sweep in Shelby County (of Contested Races)

Results of the contested races in the Shelby County General Election:

  • Republican Mark Luttell easily took County Mayor over Democrat Joe Ford (57.8 to 41.5)
  • Democrat incumbent Steve Mulroy easily bested Republican challenger Rolando Toyos for County Commission District 5 (65.5 to 34.5)
  • Republican David Lenoir took the County Trustee office away from incumbent Democrat Regina Newman, who was unanimously elected by the county commission to serve as interim Trustee last September (49.3 to 46.4)
  • Republican Bill Oldham beat Democrat Randy Wade, although Wade has yet to concede even though he lost by over 7,000 votes (51.9 to 48.0)
  • Republican Jimmy Moore easily defeated Democrat Ricky Dixon for Circuit Court Clerk (55.4 to 44.6)
  • Republican Kevin Key eked out a win over Democrat incumbent Minerva Johnican for Criminal Court Clerk (48.7 to 45.7)
  • Republican Joy Touliatos gratifyingly tromped Democrat snake-oil-salesman Shep Wilbun for Juvenile Court Clerk (51.4 to 43.9)
  • Republican Paul Boyd beat Democrat Sondra Bection for Probate Court Clerk (52.1 to 47.9)
  • Republican Wayne Mashburn handily beat Democrat Corey Maclin for County Clerk (54.8 to 45.0)
  • Republican Tom Leatherwood stomped Democrat Coleman Thompson for Register of Deeds (58.4 to 41.6)

Republicans won 9 of the 10 contested races in Shelby County, often by surprisingly wide margins against Democrat candidates with establish name recognition (e.g., Joe Ford and Shep Wilbun). Congratulations to the Shelby County GOP leadership for believing that the party could do this well in a county dominated by Democrats (57 percent of the voters voted in Democrat primaries during early voting).

Also deserving note, my heartfelt congratulations go out to personal favorite and acquaintance Heidi Shafer for being elected to the County Commission (District 1, Position 2).

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Machines Lose in Shelby County

The Ford machine has won a lot of races in Shelby County. A lot of races. Including one on Thursday for state Senate District 29, won by incumbent Ophelia Ford.

But yesterday Joe Ford was handily defeated for County Mayor by Sheriff Mark Luttrell by a whopping 16-point margin:

The result denies Memphis’ Ford family of something oft-imagined but never achieved — an elected Mayor Ford.

Luttrell, the Republican nominee, got 58 percent of the vote in a county where 57 percent voted in Democratic primaries during the 16-day early-voting period. That it was the closest county mayor race since the first contest, in 1975, was no consolation to Ford (42 percent), who also lost a 1999 bid for Memphis mayor.

In other news, incumbent US Rep. Steve Cohen fought off a challenge for the 9th Congressional District’s Democrat primary by five-time Memphis Mayor and self-proclaimed deity, Willie Herenton. This margin was even larger: 79 to 21.

Both Ford and Herenton are members of political machines with vast reach and influence. But both lost on Thursday.

But the real winners are the citizens of Shelby County. Finally.

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Humor: Republican Truck

Received via email. Sounds old, yet still funny:

I stopped by the Toyota Dealership yesterday for a look at the new  Tacoma .

Just for fun, I took it out for a test drive. I wanted to sense that new “feel” before they become extinct.

The salesman (wearing an Obama “change” lapel pin) sat in the passenger seat describing the truck and all its “wonderful” options.

The seats were of particular interest. He explained that the seats directed warm air to your butt in the winter and directed cool air to your butt in the summer heat.

Feeling like messing with his mind, I mentioned that this must be a Republican truck.

Looking a bit angry, he asked why I thought it was a Republican truck.

I explained that if it were a Democrat truck, the seats would blow smoke up your ass year-round.

I had to walk back to the dealership. Dip-shit had no sense of humor.

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AlphaPatriot’s Election Picks for 2010

Election day is August 5th, but early voting starts tomorrow (July 19 – 31). The list of offices and candidates available from the Shelby County Election Commission runs a full 7 pages, so hopefully you’ve done your homework.

If you want a little help, I’ve provided my picks below as well as a (prettier and better formatted) PDF that you can download and take with you to the polls. I’m sorry I don’t have time this election season to research more of the races nor even publish my reasons for making the choices that I have. Life is busy these days.

If you want to know where to vote early, click here. If you are going to wait for election day, click here to find your precinct.

Most importantly, vote.

 

AlphaPatriot’s Picks for

Tennessee State and Federal Primary Election

and

Shelby County General Election

5 August 2010

Read the rest of this entry »

Billion Dollar MCS Budget Deserves Questioning

It’s budget time for Memphis City Schools (MCS), which means the city council will be asked to fund another billion dollar budget. But first, journalist John Branston has some hard questions for MCS Superintendent Kriner Cash. In part:

  • On the report card, enrollment is 104,829 in 2009 and 110,753 in 2007 and 116,528 in 2006. But there are more administrators (439 to 359), schools (199 to 194), teachers (7,259 to 6,438), and per-pupil spending ($10,394 to $9,254) now than there were three years ago. Why is that?
  • The report card classifies 100,617 of the 104,829 students in MCS as “Title 1,” which is federal government-speak for “high-poverty schools.” Are you telling us that there is no middle class and no upward mobility in Memphis, a city that takes great pride in its entrepreneurship, flagship companies, and aspirations to become a “city of choice”? …
  • Approximately 86 percent of MCS students are classified as “economically disadvantaged” and eligible for free and reduced price lunches. Have you ever audited this number, and how and when does MCS ask kids or their parents to document their family income?

    A full-price lunch in a school cafeteria costs $2 and includes an entrée, two vegetables, bread, and a beverage. That’s $10 a week, or less if you brown-bag it. If everyone is that poor, then why do you need a cell phone policy?

The entire article is brilliant. Unfortunately, questions like these rarely get asked to anyone in a meaningful forum.

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Arizona No-Permit Carry

Later this summer, Arizona will become the third state to allow citizens to exercise their God-given, constitutionally enshrined right to bear arms without intrusive government licensing. Governor Jan Brewer signed the legislation today:

“I believe this legislation not only protects the Second Amendment rights of Arizona citizens, but restores those rights as well,” Brewer said in a statement.

Alaska and Vermont now do not require permits to carry concealed weapons.

By eliminating the permit requirement, the Arizona legislation will allow people 21 or older to forego background checks and classes that are now required.

Another one down, 47 to go. Anyone in the Tennessee legislature listening?

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Idaho’s Firearms Freedom Act

From the 10th Amendment Center:

Today, Idaho Governor “Butch” Otter signed House Bill 589 (HB589), the Firearms Freedom Act. The Senate voted 27-7 and the House passed it by a vote of 53-15. Idaho is now the 7th state to pass the act into law, joining Montana, Tennessee, Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Arizona.

The bill makes law that guns or ammunition manufactured and sold in Idaho are to be exempt from all federal laws and regulation, including registration requirements – as claimed by D.C. under the power to regulate commerce “among the several states.”

Now that’s good news.

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Bulldog 1, Police Car 0

This is what happens when a junkyard dog escapes.

The Jackson Sun reports:

A city police spokeswoman said Sunday that Officer Clayton Holmes had been checking traffic speeds with radar and stopped to fill out a report when he felt his car shaking. He found a bulldog chewing on the tires.

After the dog attacked two passing cars and a second police car, officers used pepper spray and a Taser on it, but the animal wasn’t deterred.

The owners have been cited and Winston the dog has returned home.

Those Chattanooga dogs are tough!

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