Sat
Sep 8 2007
02:27:am

Hats off to Randy for providing Blount County with this forum.

From what I’ve been reading here bad guys run this county, the newspaper’s a rag and the opposition is pretty weak. Fair enough. Probably true on all counts. But that begs the question. How’d it get that way?

In my humble opinion democracy simply works. People tend to get the government they deserve.

Nobody stole the last county election. Jerry got elected without ballot stuffing or goons at the polls. Rag or not, the Daily Times has 20000+ Blount County subscribers (myself included). The organized opposition (Ravens, CAPPE, Democrats, etc.) are so self centered they rarely even talk with each other.

That’s not to say it’s gotta to be that way.

Show me 400 or 500 motivated Blount Countians who’ll donate 1 or 2 days a week through November 2010, who’ll donate a significant portion of their disposable income to partisan political races and are willing to boycott every last advertiser on every page of the Daily Times… show me that and we’ll turn this thing around !

You think I kid ? Let's look at what we're up against.

The Blount County Republican Party has 150 to 200 Executive Committee members who PAID to be part of their organization. 65 percent of Blount County voters consider themselves Republican. Half of those believe you go to hell for voting for a Democrat. The other half has a vested interest in maintaining the status quo, our own version of the “Permanent Republican Majority”. Don’t kid yourself. These guys are well funded, very motivated and could really give a crap about what you and I think is fair.

It will take a lot of hard work by a lot of motivated people for a very long period of time just to level the playing field.

All that said.

I’d like to hear a few voices who can offer concrete practical ideas on how to change that status quo. We can not get to where we want to go by pouring our emotion through a computer terminal. We can not spend our time and energies dreaming up good ideas with no idea how to implement. In my opinion, you have to get to the streets. You have to engage the voters. You have to beg for money. You have to invest your time. You have to commit to governance.

How can we expect hundreds of Blount County residents to engage in this type of personal sacrifice if we're not willing to do the same ?

Wild Blue Sky

We can not get to where we

We can not get to where we want to go by pouring our emotion through a computer terminal.

I understand your sentiment. I do feel this blog and KnoxViews bring the minority party together and let others know they are not alone. Through BlountViews and KnoxViews I have discovered a much different East TN, a much more pleasant East TN.

These blogs are a gathering of ideas, some of which grow and get implemented. Most of which gain strenght, to give strength. BlountViews participants are gaining momentum, give it time.

The organized opposition (Ravens, CAPPE, Democrats, etc.) are so self centered they rarely even talk with each other.

I don't know this is completely true. In response to this statement, let's discuss Joe Gallagher. He is a great motivator for Blount County Democrats. I'm not sure there was any energy in the Blount County Democratic party prior to Joe. Joe is also a member of the Raven Society, thus I would suspect they talk to each other. Joe and the Raven Society are, I believe, interested in managed growth for Blount County. I believe they have stated they are against the Pellissippi Parkway extension (I could be wrong). Therefore, I think there is some common ground with CAPPE.

I have never attended a meeting of CAPPE or the Raven Society. Each group has their own agenda, which is completely understandable. They work together are certain things but each has their primary focus. Is that why they appear self-centered?

In my opinion, you have to get to the streets. You have to engage the voters. You have to beg for money. You have to invest your time. You have to commit to governance.

I agree. There is a lot to be done. Everyone has their part. Many tasks can be performed on an individual level. Group efforts (Democratic Party, Raven Society, CAPPE) for most causes are essential.

We hope you continue to contribute to this venue. We, progressive liberals (?), need your passion.

Also, regarding: the Daily

Also, regarding:
the Daily Times has 20000+ Blount County subscribers (myself included)

We are subscribers as well. I like The Daily Times. I don't always agree with their reporting. That is not unusual with any newspaper. We are lucky to have a daily newspaper, IMO.

Not that hard

Causes will always be localized – corruption is everyone’s business. The immediate goal has to be to weed out those in it for profit, so the real debate can begin.

I think we can agree that the Mayor protects the Sheriff, the Sheriff protects the general fund (Green Bank/ Lewis), Commissioners Lewis, Burchfield and Helton protect the Sheriff and it’s Dave Bennett’s job to maintain a convoluted web that enables all of this corruption.

Everything he is currently doing in the community is to get influential members of the community to say; “Awe, ol Dave’s a good guy, he really helped so and so out of a jam, so I’ll give him my vote.” Remember, GW got elected because he was a “compassionate” conservative. Even after all his illegal, corrupt, stupid shit – GW still gets 30% approval. Wild blue says; Half of those believe you go to hell for voting for a Democrat. This is who Dave and the group above are counting on.

The other 70% of us have to ask, “How long are we going to allow our local (and national) policies to be set by the Bush, Cunningham, Berrong, Bennett, Tim LeHay crowd? You know, the we’re praying for Armageddon, but we’re for damn sure going to get rich first crowd. (link...) The kids in that link are the next generation legislators if we don’t fix this one.

Mello wrote; While there is no doubt that I am a Democrat, on this local level of politics I have a hard time defining things as Dem or moderate. Rather, I see it as those who want accountability and those who are simply part of the Good Old Boy Program.

This is correct. There will be plenty who will not listen to reason because of stupid pride or complacency. But I believe those who want accountability can come up with plan that would focus on those in it for profit. Expose the circle and its center through talking points that get updated every time they circumvent the citizens. We can’t change what they do; we can only expose it – over and over. When this stuff is thoroughly vetted and well known and still nothing changes, then you are correct; People tend to get the government they deserve.

exposure

I agree this can't be it, but don't discount this avenue. I did, unitl I saw what impact Knox Views had on Knox County. While Lewis Cosby was the force who actually counted the beans, the questions and ideas posed on Knox Views drove the issue.

We have our Lewis Cosby, it's Jim Folts. Problem with Jim is there was no Halleran Hilton Hill or WBIR to cover him on a regular basis. Which bring us back here, to Blount Views. With no other outlet, this has to be the place. If you e-mailed this to 10 of your pissed off friends and they mailed it to ten others, we could get to that 500 number pretty easily.

But I agree with FA, there needs to be 3 or 4 issues centered solely on corruption, not causes.

Folts is not the answer, just another problem

Are you sure that Jim Folts is "our" Lewis Crosby? From what I know about Lewis Crosby, he is a CPA. He has audited Knox County and other counties before. Is Jim Folts a CPA? Has he ever conducted an audit? Sure Mr. Folts was a businessman, but that is totaly different from government finance. If you think it is the same, then you are missinformed to the point to where you are totally wrong. They are two different areas. Government focuses on services provided to the public. Businesses focus on the bottom dollar. There are serval other points I could list, but I am not going to give an accounting lecture.

Mr. Folts has been wrong on his numbers in the past. If you will recall in October of 2006, he made a flier saying the county would be millions of dollars over budget. Did that happen? NO! He said that Sulilvan County has only 130 Sheriff vehicles. Was this number correct? NO! Sullivan County has 218 vehicles.

Make sure you know you are endorsing!

Government focuses on

Government focuses on services provided to the public

How is the public served by land deals like this one?; (link...) How was the public served by our “good ol boy” leaders trying to give a private Christian school money it apparently doesn’t need?; (link...) How is public served by having twice the number of patrol cars than we have patrolmen?

Make sure you know you are endorsing!

Government finance and

Government finance and accounting DO focus on services provided to the public.
I again say MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE ENDORSING! It is the responsibility of the people to elect the members of our government. If we do not liek how the government is handled, there will be another election!
The members of the government are the people who have been making the decsions. If you don't like what has happened, tell the person that was elected to respesent you. Then if enough people dislike what has happened, maybe something will change. This is how it works.
As far as the specifics you mentioned; would these things not provide a service to the people of our county? Misguided on not, can you not see that this county would benefit from these things?

I do have a few questions for you.
Did the county not sell teh racetrack? How much did the county sell it for?

How many patrol cars would you suggest the county own? What would you say if someone broke into your house (or worse) and the response you received from the Sheriff was that there was not a patrol car avaialable due to damage or insufficient vehicles? Having back-up vehicles is a good idea. These men are professionals who have been working in this area a long time. They know there job. How long have you worked in law enforcement?. I have not ever worked in law enforcement, but I can understand having a back-up vehicle. It is also my understanding that all the vehicles are not patrol vehicles. Does the figure not include ATVs, vans, trailers, and other non-patrol vehicles?

When it comes to the public's money, everyone has an interest and an opinion. We also have a say. We elect the members of our government to respresent us. If you think you are not being represented, maybe you are the only one who shares your same opinion.

That's just my opinion. What is yours?

Dear Thing One and Thing Two

news flash. Jim F would most likely never call himself a democrat. He is one of the most conservative guys I have ever met.

Get over the car mess folks. I have. The state has a list of VIN numbers from the 2005 county inventory. The state knows what has been bought since then and what has been sold. When the state comptroller releases his findings then we can talk about it.

Until then, your diversionary rhetoric only amuses your friends who drive county cars.

Pay mine

As far as the specifics you mentioned; would these things not provide a service to the people of our county?

Why yes, I think the county should always pay double for land than what it is appraised for. Instead of buying the Jackson farm from his estate for the R&D center at Pellissippi for less than $3 million, I feel it was better to pay Darrell Tipton and Mike Ross $20 million for it. I think we should give as much money as we can to private schools that don’t need it for things like civic centers they have total control over. As Knoxville will tell you, these civic centers are a cash cow. And for cars, maybe we should stock back-ups for our back-ups, three cars for every officer! And yes, the fairgrounds with toxic buildup from 40 years of racing would have been a great place for 4H functions.

If you believe all that, I have some ocean front property in Arizona I’d like to sell you.

Jerry did make a good deal getting rid of the track as fast as he could. But had the Atomic not closed the deal wouldn’t have happened.

Does the figure not include ATVs, vans, trailers, and other non-patrol vehicles? Show me the state audit that says it does.

What would you say if someone broke into your house…
It’s not what I would say; it’s what I would do. As an advocate of the 2nd Amendment, I would call a hearse to pick up the body. I’ve never called the police in my life, and don’t plan to.

If you need that much protection, you can pay my taxes too.

Folts

I recognize that you don't like giving accounting lectures, but perhaps you could help me understand how a department's annual budget in a company is different from a department's budget in government? Perhaps you could also help us understand the differences in techniques for controlling budgets in county government and private industry.

Folts said in October that if spending continued at the rates for the first four months of the year, the county would be over budget. After he sounded the alarm, the rate of spending increase moderated. Could this have been cause and effect?

The numbers shown on Sullivan county's web site agree with those Folts shows. See (link...)

Difference

The annual budget of a company is a guideline. There is no one making them adhere to it. A government budget is a law. There are consequences for going over budget.
As far as controlling budgets, a private industry can do whatever they want. The truth of it is, a private industry is not forced to have a budget. It is bad business not to have one, but they are not forced to ahve one. In government there are several things that controll budgets. I think one thing people misunderstand is that once a budget is passed, it is up to the elected official or department head to controll it. If they need more money (for whatever reason), they have to go to the commission and ask for it. That is where this county has gotteon in trouble in the past. The commission has given everything that has been asked. This past year the commission did a good job of curbing that.
Now for Folts. It was not a cause and effect! There are certain expenses that have to be paid upfront. These expenses are once a year. Don't you think that there is someone over in the courthouse looking at these numbers to make sure they don't go over budget.

Just Wait

Don't you think that there is someone over in the courthouse looking at these numbers to make sure they don't go over budget.

Yes, the same finance director that "negotiated" this deal; (link...) Bennett has never met a dollar he didn't want to spend.

But I agree with Mello, let's just wait on the state audit, that way you won't have to give any "lectures" - you'll have the facts.

You don't seem to have much

You don't seem to have much real world business experience. A budget in a well run private organization is a commitment by the department head to the rest of the company. Going over budget is a very serious matter. The profit a company makes is a very small difference between two very large numbers - sales, and budgeted costs and expenses. In many organizations profit margins are less than 10%. If department heads go more than 10% over budget - there is no profit. If a small organization goes 20% over, it may cease to exist. That is why over-budget situations in well run companies are tightly monitored and controlled.

Your statement that "a government budget is a law" is simply not true. I'll bet you can't give me a TCA reference for that one. If a budget is law, how did the Sheriff take $500,000 from the School Resource Officer budget and use it as he pleased, while our kids went unprotected.

As far as someone at the courthouse looking at the numbers, have you looked at the report that Bennett provides to Commissioners to monitor the county budget? It is nearly incomprehensible. If a private company tried to operate with this kind of report - they would soon be out of business.

BUDGET LAW

Try T.C.A. 5-12-101 thru 5-12-114. Specifically the budget being a law thing is answered for you in 5-12-109. Also, if you need help, a resolution is a law. If you are interested in Blount County focus on Part 1. Blount County voted to go back to the 57 Act.

Let's move this thread!

now.

When people say stupid

When people say stupid things (The organized opposition (Ravens, CAPPE, Democrats, etc.) are so self centered they rarely even talk with each other.), it is hard to take seriously the rest of what they say.

Grow Up

I think you just proved wild blue’s point. You don’t like what was said so you’re taking your ball and going home. This is why many moderates and independents see the Dems and say; What are you really fighting for? Yourself, your interest, your country, your county, etc. – what is it?

If blue is stupid, then by default so am I. If we have the wrong perception, is not taking us seriously the answer to your problem?

Where is the big Dem tent that has the 400 to 500 people in it blue is asking about? If you can’t tell us where that is, maybe your problem is more than just perception.

Get a little thicker skin – or just take your ball and go.

I did not say anyone was

I did not say anyone was stupid, only that someone said/wrote something that was. Maybe a better word would be wrong.

It is factually incorrect to say that the Ravens and CAPPE do not talk to each other. It is also not true that CAPPE and the Ravens are also Democrats or necessarily "the opposition" to the Republicans. Each organization was organized for what one could call "narrow" purposes and each has lots of Republican members. It is easy enough to learn what each stands for and against. Neither pretends to be a big tent or a political party. But there is no Pellissippi Parkway Extension or Sports Complex or tripled residential density in the R-1 zone.

It is less clear to me what the Blount County Democratic Party stands for or against. It is easy enough to figure out what Commissioners Ballard, Proffitt, and Pitts-Reeves stand for and against by looking at how they vote and what they say, but there is no clear set of goals, objectives, and principles that the local party has articulated, or if there is, I do not think many people know about it.

There are a lot of Republicans who agree with Mr. Folts (and with CAPPE and the Ravens).

How can these issues be framed so as to put together a bigger and better Democratic presence in Blount County?

I never said there was a 500 person big tent so how come it is my job to tell you where it is?

Maybe the dems and like

Maybe the dems and like minded republicans can call all media outlets to the court house and in a unified voice say this building has been hijacked.

There are elected officials treating it as if it were an extension of their business offices. And according to a concerned citizen, because we can’t understand our finance directors books, we feel this is costing our fellow citizens somewhere around ten million unnecessary dollars.

Getting like minded republicans to join you would be key. If you get them, it would be impossible for the good old boys to claim partisan politics.

Let there be debate!

How can these issues be framed so as to put together a bigger and better Democratic presence in Blount County?

Frame it like this;
Causes will always be localized – corruption is everyone’s business. The immediate goal has to be to weed out those in it for profit, so the real debate can begin.

Explain it like this
Mello wrote; While there is no doubt that I am a Democrat, on this local level of politics I have a hard time defining things as Dem or moderate. Rather, I see it as those who want accountability and those who are simply part of the Good Old Boy Program.

Set goals to get rid of them;
I think we can agree that the Mayor protects the Sheriff, the Sheriff protects the general fund (Green Bank/ Lewis), Commissioners Lewis, Burchfield and Helton protect the Sheriff and it’s Dave Bennett’s job to maintain a convoluted web that enables all of this corruption.

But there is no Pellissippi Parkway Extension or Sports Complex or tripled residential density in the R-1 zone.
Well said and the groups deserve to be proud of their achievements. However, our traffic issues are a big problem and must be debated. But with so many issues centered on corrupt behavior and policies, the debate can’t be had. In Blount government you are more likely to be “attacking” an official’s investments than just casually debating an issue.

You sound like a person looking for some decency in your government, like myself. There may come a time when Reeves, Ballard, and Proffitt (and don’t forget Graham, Murrell, McCully, French and others) call on all of us to help with the issue of corruption. We all have to show up for them, because we know what they’re up against.

I think supporting all the

I think supporting all the commissioners who seem to want accountability and responsibility is essential. But it complicates the local partybuilding agenda of the Democrats because accountability and responsibility really are not party issues. I wish one of the Republicans would put together an "Accountability and Responsibility Caucus" and create an identity people could support as a group, regardless of party.

That would require the Dems to determine what other issues distinguish them from the Repubs.

There are several groups with ideas about dealing with traffic issues. Hunter Interests' proposals in their work for the City of Maryville (several concentric road connections using roads that exist already); Bill Dunlap's Wilbur Smith studies of deficient roads; and CAPPE's alternatives to the PPE (including upgrades of East Broadway) are all points of departure for discussion. But nobody wants to pay for any of it, so they just complain. Most of the complainers apparently never have gone anywhere else or they would realize traffic is not all that bad here anyway, with a couple of exceptions that could be addressed rather easily (see the above-referenced lists).

Of course there always are the people who stand to make money on roadbuilding and land speculation, but they are not really interested in "traffic issues."

one man's caucus

one man's caucus is another man's violation of sunshine laws.

Allow me one more pass at

Allow me one more pass at this.

In my opinion this forum is great for working through issues, developing ideas, keeping people informed, and perhaps even inspiring people to action. All vital components of the democratic process.

However until all of us who care about good government learn how to extend the process to include replacing inept and corrupt elected officials we are leaving the process unfinished.

We need to learn how to vote the GOBs collective butts out of office.

In my opinion until we learn how to develop candidates, volunteers and campaign revenue we’re simply not in the game.

I’m not looking to debate how things got to this point. That’s a different discussion.

I’m looking for a discussion on how to change the facts on the ground. In my opinion electioneering is our best bet.

No ?

Wild Blue

why yes!

I am all over the place on this WildBlue. I never have learned the connection between the local party, the state party and then the national levels.

What I am sure of is that each time one of our dyed-in-the-wool democratic elected officials like Ballard and Reeves stand up and ask questions they are doing the whole party a huge favor. Not just on a local level but right up to the national level. I know that all the Dems in our household would like to reach out to Pelosi and Reid and shake the crap right out of them. I can't do that. But by golly David and Wendy are within an arm's reach!

However, those two don't need shaking. They need rank and file support at meetings because they are doing their jobs. They are asking the questions that everyone wants answered. Not just the questions that Blount County Dems want answered. The fact that Ballard got booted from the Budget Committee shows just how much of an impact he is making here at home. Watch for a fight to keep Wendy on the Ethics Commission because she too did her job.

And you know, even if the Daily won't cover it, we will. Anyone who thinks that the GOP vote in BC is sewed up is wrong. I hear it all the time from neighbors and friends who are GOP but not GOB. The masses are not happy WildBlue and they are looking for new leaders. It might work well to simply start at the local level then if we can work our way up, that would be great.

Just like the DSCC and DCCC pick targets and focus on those targets we too should just come out and say it. There are five county commission seats we will be going after. We find five homegrown candidates now who are willing to stand up, be counted and most importantly become informed and we will be able to make great changes in Blount County. The kind of changes that will effect everyone not just the Blount County Dems and Friends.

Need more than one pass

I’m looking for a discussion on how to change the facts on the ground. In my opinion electioneering is our best bet.

The facts on the ground are as I laid them out above. I gave answers how to frame it, explain it, and who the Dems should be focused on.

We need to learn how to vote the GOBs collective butts out of office.

There is nothing to learn. You know who attacks your commissioners either directly or by proxy. How you will change it was explained by Mello; They need rank and file support at meetings because they are doing their jobs. They are asking the questions that everyone wants answered.

Five people are easy to marginalize – fifty are not. If the Dems and like-minded people showed up in large numbers, it would be too big to be ignored. But until others show up, we really don’t have a democracy - we have autocratic plutocracy.

In my opinion, you have to get to the streets. You have to engage the voters. You have to beg for money. You have to invest your time. You have to commit to governance.

All that is good, but you have to actually get the Dems to understand the larger issues that face them first. This can only be accomplished by attending the meetings. That way when you do go knock on doors, the issues that face us could be thoroughly explained. A story with infographics like the one Frank Cagle did here (link...) would really help. Make sure to click the infographics on the right.

Ask to put it on the Dem’s website with maybe a new slogan; Blount Democrats; a party of policy – not of profit. We are not against making money, we just prefer it be done outside government and without using your tax dollars. Please help us with these local issues, we’re all in it together. Then just use the list Folt’s has on blounttn.net for your examples.

If you want these people out of the government, you are going to have very aggressively go after them. You’ve been getting punched for years, time to hit back.

The TN Democratic Creed

FA, it is on the Blount Dem's website.

(link...)

Read these two lines together

  • We will be faithful stewards of our economy by supporting sound fiscal and energy policies that will create opportunities for all citizens now and in the future;
  • We will be faithful stewards of our communities by supporting efforts to control crime and promoting policies that will encourage better planning to ensure a rich quality of life

Relating this to a local level we get

  • We will stop wasteful county spending.
  • Our deputies deserve a fair wage and all actions taken by the dept and its people must be done in a fair, open and legal manner.
  • DeFacto zoning on 411 South must be stopped.

Be Leaders and Innovators

Nice creed, the Hunter folks should pay you for it.

and by defending it against all who would threaten it; Dems need to expose who is the current the threat and go after them publicly
and energy policies that will create opportunities for all citizens now and in the future - Think BIG! Ethanol is created by using corn and “stills”. (link...) I would say in Blount we already have both. This would enable Dems a policy of “functional” preservation. Lease large farms on a long term (100 yrs?) basis at a fair price. Grow as much corn as you can utilizing farms that won’t have to be turned into sprawl. Make land valuable for something other than development. (link...) Once you have established production, the savings on county vehicles should enable a quick return on investment. Most automakers are promoting E85 (link...) If production has surplus, sell to McNutt, Downey and Pilot (link...) and use these funds for education and/or more preservation.

ethanol is not the answer

This should be a thread on its own but ethanol is not the answer. When my hometown landed an ethanol plant I was so happy! I picked up the phone and called my sister because she would be directly affected. The family she married into farms several thousand acres of beans and corn.

The news was not good for the Small American Farmer and even worse for the state of the soil where those crops would be grown.

My hero Wendell Berry has a bit to say about this (link...)

My hometown hero Gene Logsdon has even more
(link...)

And my sister who I never hear mutter a curse word had things to say that I can't put on this website.

Give it time

The hotter a commodity corn becomes the more people will grow it. There will be “growing” pains, but all solvable.

The argument that corn cost more to produce than money it saves is currently true. But that is based on the fact all the tractors, machines, and transport trucks in the line of production are running on gas. What is the price if everything in supply line gets converted?

As far as people going hungry, I don’t know anyone who eats switch grass. Kidding aside; check out our state seal (link...) Agriculture didn’t get above commerce because we’re not an agrarian people. Not saying it would be easy, but it’s better than the alternative. I’d rather Blount have its own than depend on ConAgra.

C’mon Mello, you’re sounding like a big oil exec! ;)

Y'all should start another

Y'all should start another topic post on this, but I have to agree with Mello. Once we've burned up all the oil, we're going to burn up the last ten inches of topsoil. Then what?

We need to get off oil, but more important we need to get off internal combustion. It's 150+ year old technology. And biofuels are a step back to an even more primitive technology. We used to feed hay and oats to our horses. Now we want to feed it to our cars? This is the best we can come up with? It's almost as primitive as using nuclear fission to boil water.

pick your poison

Agreed, but an engine change is not foreseeable any time soon. A war with Iran is.

The only other options being discussed now are batteries. I trust our farmers with their land more than I do the government with their dumps. Is that what we want to leave, “Hey kids, there’s cell battery mountain!”

BTW – how have we farmed this area for the last 222 to 8,000 years (depends on your view of history) without ruining the topsoil? I don’t know any farmers who are trying to go out of business.

Make sure our Finance

Make sure our Finance Director doesn’t negotiate the deal. I suspect the Mayor might get around $785,000 per acre for his land.

I'm going to post the whole thing here

Very important reading for our community, and some people just don't click on links:

Stewardship: The Tennessee Democrats’ Creed
We Democrats believe that we exist not merely as individual “owners” of those things we possess, but also as stewards on behalf of those in need and those who will follow us.
Therefore:

We will be faithful stewards of our children’s education and we will promote quality job training for all citizens seeking the skills to thrive in a technologically and intellectually challenging world;

We will be faithful stewards of our economy by supporting sound fiscal and energy policies that will create opportunities for all citizens now and in the future;

We will be faithful stewards of our natural resources by pursuing sustainable environmental policies and by leaving this planet in a better condition than we found it so future generations may enjoy its beauty;

We will be faithful stewards of our health and well being by promoting policies that will create access to affordable health care, and by supporting research to improve health conditions and fight diseases;

We will be faithful stewards of our communities by supporting efforts to control crime and promoting policies that will encourage better planning to ensure a rich quality of life;

We will be faithful stewards of our democracy, by honoring those who have sacrificed to safeguard it, and by defending it against all who would threaten it;

And we will be faithful stewards of our freedoms of equality, religion and expression so that men and women of all races and faiths can live, follow their beliefs, and express their views without fear of discrimination or reprisal.

We, as Democrats, understand and accept our responsibilities to our fellow Tennesseans. We follow the scriptural and cultural admonitions that call on us to care for the least among us, and to prepare for that which is to come. We look to the future while living our lives and remembering our past, and we gratefully accept our role as stewards of God’s creations.

Source:The Tennessee Democratic Party

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