published Sunday, July 29th, 2012

Anyone but Mayfield

With only four days until Election Day, we have a pretty good grasp on the race for Tennessee’s 3rd Congressional District. Incumbent Chuck Fleischmann has a strong record of fiscal conservatism with a few negatives here and there. Weston Wamp is an articulate and energetic candidate that is willing to put solving problems above partisan loyalties. Ron Bhalla is an American success story with an idealistic and interesting — but impractical — plan to allow constituents’ to direct him how to vote in Congress.

And Scottie Mayfield, well…

We’d like to tell you where Scottie Mayfield stands on the issues, but we can’t. He refused a number of offers to speak to us (and by “us,” I mean the conservative editorial page in the largest newspaper in the district).

Mayfield wasn’t just the only candidate in his race who was unwilling to speak with us. He was the only one of the 28 candidates spread across 11 races we invited to have a conversation with us who refused.

As a challenger with little policy background, we were hoping to learn something about his ideas.

After all, Mayfield began his campaign by refusing to tell a group of College Republicans what he hoped to accomplish in Washington. Then he declined all invitations to debates, except for a single health care forum.

He only recently put a few broad issue statements up on his website, and even those were largely borrowed from Heritage Foundation studies and then reworded.

Mayfield is probably a wonderful guy. Heck, he invented the mini ice cream sandwich, so that puts him pretty high in our book. However, a candidate who is unwilling to explain and defend his positions is a poor candidate and a poorer use of a vote.

A much better use of a vote would be in support of Weston Wamp. The 25-year-old son of former 3rd District Congressman Zach Wamp has spent much of the campaign trying to distinguish himself from his old man, while trying to capitalize on the name recognition brought by being his father’s son.

Weston claims that he’s learned from his father’s big-spending, term-limit-pledge-breaking, bailout-supporting ways and professes to be more fiscally conservative and more focused on big-picture issues, like debt and entitlement spending than his father.

His professed desire to reach across the aisle to solve problems is commendable, but ultimately means a lot of log-rolling and compromise. For principled conservatives, that can be a little hard to swallow.

While not having the name recognition garnered by being a fourth generation dairy industry magnate or sharing a last name with an eight-term congressman, Rep. Fleischmann has one thing that the other candidates don’t: A voting record.

When pouring over that voting record, some very positive things stand out. For example, Fleischmann voted against Obamacare, and votes to repeal it at every opportunity. He voted to defund NPR, trim Congressional office budgets by 5 percent and expand responsible offshore energy exploration.

Fleischmann also sponsored some very good bills, including H.R. 3318, which would eliminate the capital gains tax for two years. That bright idea would stimulate economic growth by allowing more money to be invested back into the economy, rather than by being captured – and largely wasted – by the federal government.

But, as Weston Wamp correctly pointed out in this paper, Fleischmann’s record also indicates that he puts his desire to garner funding for projects at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which sits squarely in the 3rd District, above his desire to remain responsible with tax dollars.

Has Fleischmann made votes that make us cringe? A few. But, in reviewing his first term in Congress, we can find no fireable offense.

On the whole, Fleischmann stands up for free market, limited government legislation more often than not. He has pledged not to vote for any tax increases. His voting record displays a consistent commitment to addressing the most pressing issues of the day in a reasonable, fiscally responsible way.

We endorse returning Chuck Fleischmann to the United States Congress.

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Weston Wamp? Articulate and Energetic? He's reading off a script full of vapid platitudes and relying on fancy production work in the video editor.

Not that Mayfield is any better, per se, but you're really reaching with that endorsement.

And your support of Fleischmann's voting record is predictable. So he voted for repeal after repeal after repeal. Great, what a productive use of time. Were we supposed to appreciate the jobs that came from wasting time on that nonsense? It'd be one thing if he'd gotten behind some better idea, but even the Republican Leadership backed away from the idea of an actual replacement.

July 29, 2012 at 12:09 a.m.
DJHBRAINERD said...

The 25-year-old son of former 3rd District Congressman Zach Wamp has spent much of the campaign trying to distinguish himself from his old man, while trying to capitalize on the name recognition brought by being his father’s son.

Weston claims that he’s learned from his father’s big-spending, term-limit-pledge-breaking, bailout-supporting ways

yeah he learned all right he has recycled the 1994 contrat with america that got his father elected, you know tho one where he told us what we wanted to hear then did exactly the opposite once he went to washington. Is that what Weston learned? Talk a good game smile pretty and hope the R by his name is enough. Unfortunatly for us he may be the best choice out of the sorry lot since noone in this district will even look at the qualifications of the folks running on the other side. You know the ones with real working experience and hard taught life lessons.

July 29, 2012 at 12:50 a.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

Ron Bhalla's Reform of Government would effectively turn power and wealth back over to the general population. Yet, of course, this would break down the strongholds of many who currently hold power. The Constituents ( general public voters)are thought of as ignorant and unable to know what is best for them. They are thought of by current power holders as being too ignorant to govern themselves.

Ron Bhalla wants to give this power back over to good people with their Wives, Husbands, Children, Grandchildren, etc. This is about the wealthy and powerful wanting to keep control over all these good families of the 3rd district.

Please go to www.RONFORCONGRESS.net and learn how 'PRACTICAL' and Secure Ron's system really is. This reform of the political system will give pure representation to good people who deserve to be heard.

July 29, 2012 at 9:11 a.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

Addendum:

Remember Albert Einstein said: Two statements by A. Einstein:

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but, expecting different results". (paraphrased).

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." (exact).

Ron Bhalla knows the above is true. Will we continue using the same system that got us into this disastrous mess in government? It is time for a very 'PRACTICAL' and Doable reform. Please go to Ron's website, study and learn, then do something different...that will make a beautiful difference!

July 29, 2012 at 9:19 a.m.
aae1049 said...

While I am impressed that 25 year old, Weston Wamp, is versed on complex issues, and a savvy communicator, he should not have run for his father's former congressional seat. It is simply not palatable to the voters, due to the strong appearance of handing the baton or 3rd congressional office off as a family legacy. No family should control TN 03 over a long period of time, too much incumbent and concentrated political power over time.

The idea that a person would graduate from college, work one year, and head to congress is not going to be embraced by voters in my opinion.

Weston Wamp will be a force in the future, clearly his communications skills are much better than any of the other candidates. I just wish he would find another office to run for. Run against Coker in the future, maybe.

July 29, 2012 at 10:47 a.m.
aae1049 said...

Meant Corker.

July 29, 2012 at 12:07 p.m.
Prob said...

Let's see, why would Mayfield choose to talk to the Chattanooga Free Press? After all, they have managed to butcher each response he has given so far. Why would a solid, respected, individual choose to run for office when at every possible turn they are criticized by those who are too afraid to share an intelligent thought? Is it reasonable, responsible journalism for a newspaper to choose sides in an election? Is it reasonable, responsible journalism for you to hide articles about Chuck Fleishman's chief of staff's federal indictment while choosing to openly exploit a secretly taped video of Mr. Mayfield? And Weston Wamp...from Chattanooga??? He grew up in Washington, and will continue the same ole business when he is old enough to complete thoughts on his own. Today was the last paper I will ever buy from the Chattanooga News Free Press.

July 29, 2012 at 1:59 p.m.
aae1049 said...

Prob, you will be back.

July 29, 2012 at 3:17 p.m.
jesse said...

apparently Prob has no idea what an op-ed page is for!!

I plan to vote for Mayfield because what we got isn't doing to well and Wamp need to live a little before moving to D.C.!

July 29, 2012 at 4:04 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

I agree that there is no reason to vote for Mayfield as he has not given us enough information about his intent. Anyone that would expect us to trust him and vote based on name recognition alone deserves to be kicked to the curb.

Fleischmann has a pretty poor score from Club for Growth, 46 or 48 percent last time I heard. He is eager to make meaningless votes to repeal Obamacare and then does what the votes were really intended for, grandstand with his meaningless vote for repeal of Obamacare. He even sent me an email once claiming that they had repealed Obamacare. You would think that a lawyer would be careful enough with language (unlike myself) to avoid making such a patently untrue statement.

Fleischman voted for NDAA and renewal of the Patriot Act without amendment, those two votes alone are enough to prohibit him from getting my support going forward.

Bhalla’s idea of to try to create a perfect democracy by letting his constituents guide his votes show that he does not recognize the dangers of a pure democracy and as such is not too intellectually sharp. His novel approach allows him to avoid taking real stands on actual issues and leaves a voter wondering how he might conduct himself if and when his wacky constituent vote tells him to support unconstitutional legislation. The Constitution should come before any popular vote, so Bhalla is not a worthy candidate in my mind.

At least Weston Wamp talks the talk that 3rd district conservatives want to hear. I guess I am left voting for him in the hope that he will live up to his rhetoric. Where is Van Irion when you need him?

July 30, 2012 at 11:22 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

ORRMEANSLIGHT said... "Ron Bhalla's Reform of Government would effectively turn power and wealth back over to the general population."

Ron Bhalla seems to be a nice guy, but a perfect democracy is no different than mob rule. If every Congressman used his approach we would have pretty close to a perfect democracy. In that world, the minority will have no protection from the majority. Anytime a law was being voted on that benefitted the majority at the expense of the minority the majority would prevail. That would not be a just system of government.

July 30, 2012 at 11:57 a.m.

Bhalla's ideas do include some filtering, in case you aren't paying attention to the details.

Several other politicians taking the same route (one in New England, and another out West) have also covered it. Jeremy Hansen for example:

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/12/06/14/160233/vermont-senate-hopeful-jeremy-hansen-responds-on-mostly-direct-democracy

There is a "release valve" in all of this: the representative. I am not suggesting unfettered direct democracy. Part of my proposal is to reserve the right to vote in opposition to majority sentiment if I have a moral (or in this case, Constitutional) objection. At that point, I offer my constituents the opportunity to initiate a vote on whether everyone believes I should remain in office. If the majority votes that I made a mistake overriding the previous vote, I step down.

I would hope Ron Bhalla is as perceptive. If not, well, I know somebody sent him a link to that page.

July 30, 2012 at 12:11 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

happywithnewbulbs said... Bhalla's ideas do include some filtering

I listened to Bhalla speak at a *** meeting and he did not mention the Constitution once. He downplayed his own political beliefs and promised to be the voice of his constituents. He did not have a plan to control his polling process either. He left me very uncomfortable.

July 30, 2012 at 6:07 p.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

I respectfully ask that you would take a moment to evaluate a written pledge. (subject to lawsuit if broken). With approximately 23 Congressional staff members, Ron Bhalla and his staff will consult with Constitutional experts when questions arise.

           ~My Campaign Pledge To You~

               "I Solemnly Affirm
              and Pledge To You That
        I Will Deliver You Majority Vote
      To Congress 100% of the Time, Provided 
  That There Is No Conflict With The Constitution

of The United States of America. Also, I Faithfully Adhere to The Manhattan Declaration."

Signed,

Ron Bhalla, 'Your Candidate for Congress'

www.RONFORCONGRESS.net

July 30, 2012 at 8:05 p.m.

Well, not being at that same event, I can't say what you heard. I don't expect him to talk about the Constitution every time he speaks, that would be silly.

But as I said, there's potential to cover your concerns, so it doesn't bother me on the principle of it. As I said, I would hope Ron Bhalla to be as perceptive.

If not, well, he's not the only person endorsing that method. Others can always bring it up.

And it's even at its worse, I'd still take the people at large over the elite councils.

July 30, 2012 at 9:46 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

I hope you are right. You prompted me to look at his site and I did see a couple of qualifiers added referring to an exception when a bill violates the Constitution.

I am still concerned about what his interpretation of the Constitution is. In today’s world of rampant reinterpretation of the Constitution through contemporary eyes I have found many people who have very little understanding of what it all really meant to the Founders. I believe the Founders had a profound understanding of the science of politics that is lost on our current crop of politicians and citizens. Let's face it; the US has become pretty much a socialized nation, all within the new interpretations of the Constitution.

If you could point me at a resource that outlines Bhalla's interpretation of the Constitution on the key issues maybe my concerns could be put to rest. Maybe I'd even be able to change my intent to vote. I did not vote early.

July 30, 2012 at 10:57 p.m.

Well, if you disagree with his interpretation of the Constitution, that's a whole different problem.

My point was to address the matter on principle. If you want to find out what he believes, try find out from him is all I can suggest.

As far as it goes, I have found that the people who appeal most stridently to authority the Constitution are the ones most often using it to violate the very principles of it, and I am always highly concerned when somebody rests their position on an appeal to the Founding Fathers.

But I discussed that particular matter just a day or so ago, so I'll refrain from getting further into it.

July 30, 2012 at 11:20 p.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

happywithnewbulbs,

This is to confirm that Your very important link has been submitted/delivered to Ron Bhalla. http://yro.slashdot.org/story/12/06/14/160233/vermont-senate-hopeful-jeremy-hansen-responds-on-mostly-direct-democracy

Thank You & Kindest Regards

July 30, 2012 at 11:58 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

*happywithnewbulbs said...

"As far as it goes, I have found that the people who appeal most stridently to authority the Constitution are the ones most often using it to violate the very principles of it, and I am always highly concerned when somebody rests their position on an appeal to the Founding Fathers."*

Hummm. The ones who "appear" most strident... This is the problem with accepting Bhalla's "filter" without knowing what it is. Two people can have two completely different interpretations of the Constitution. The public education system has done a beautiful job of not educating the population so partisan politics and a mostly left leaning media can fill in the void.

Who filled in Ron Bhalla's "void"?

July 31, 2012 at 8:58 a.m.

No, I said "appeal" not appear. And again, I'm not saying I accept Bhalla's positions on anything, just that your problem can be remedied. It is not that there is no consideration of the perils you brought up, or consideration of the Constitution, your problem is now moved elsewhere, to the question of what Ron Bhalla actually believes.

For that, you will have to inquire of him.

But actually, the problem is the media doesn't stand up enough to lies and deceptions, but gives them too much credit and equal time.

The problem isn't that the media is left-leaning, but that it tries too hard to be unbiased, so it gives credit to lies.

July 31, 2012 at 11:33 a.m.
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