Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Roane County TEA Parties State Representative Debate

On May 17, the Roane County TEA Party hosted and sponsored a debate with all the candidates for State Representative District 32. The Republican candidates are Incumbent Julia C. Hurley and Republican Challenger Kent Calfee. The Democrat candidate is Jack McNew and the lone Independent candidate is Allen Cole.
By previous agreement, the candidates addressed the TEA party in alphabetical order. Then a period of questions and answers commenced.

Roane County TEA Party as they began the State Representative Forum. Roane County TEA Party is one of the larger TEA parties. 
First Republican Kent Calfee spoke, he said that his decision in running for State Representative is to provide more accountability and professionalism to the position. He is a husband, father and grandfather. he is retired from ORNL. He is concerned about the public schools. While at ORNL many of the high school interns were not local students. He said the difference between he and his opponent in the primary is how he will interact with local officials. He has met with all local officials.
Republican Candidate for State Representative District 32 Kent Calfee 
During the question and answer period, a gentleman wearing a Hurley t shirt asked if he had supported Lincoln Davis financially? (the former Fourth District Congressman, who was/is a Democrat) Calfee responded that his wife did, that his wife was an employee of a defense contractor and that it was a nominal amount. He was asked if he had voted more Democrat than Republican and if so why not run as a Democrat? Calfee said he has not looked at his voting record at the courthouse. But that the Democrat party had gotten to extreme for him. Roane County Republican Party Treasurer Brandt Williams (a former Kingston Councilman) asked Calfee how many elections he had been elected to. Calfee responded, 5.

Second was Independent Allen Cole. Cole said we need to make changes to get jobs in Roane County and Lenior City. He supports putting prayer and paddling back in the schools. He said that he has seen the industrial park sit there like it is for many years. Cole said that when NAFTA (North American Free Trade Act) the factories closed up. He said "I can't promise nothing, the only one that knows what's going to happen tomorrow, is the Good Lord." He reiterated that we have to get more work, we have VW. But we need to keep our kids here. He said "I am just an ordinary person with a 20 year old daughter, a daughter graduating high school and a son.

Independent Candidate for State Representative District 32 Allen Cole. 

Next up was Incumbent State Representative Julia Hurley. She said that it had been an insane two years. In response to Mr. Calfee's comment about accountability. She said that Governor Haslam said "that we are the most accountable liegislature in TN history." She stated that VW and a bio tech industry was brought to Roane County and "I did that for you." To Mr. McNew the Democrat in response to Obama-care, in Nashville we have a plan. "We have our own state compact that was vetoed, we didn't have enough Conservatives in the legislature." She said that we passed over 500 bills this year. While much of the media attention was about guns and sex. Only four bills had guns and sex in the caption title. The death tax was repealed and the TN Voter id law became law. She said "I passed the bill for drug testing welfare recipients. Hurley was asked if she will support drug testing for government officials, she responded that she had said that she would not take a drug test in her office. She said that she did not like the good ole boy system of Roane County that have been in office for years. She said that she would like to meet with the Commission Liaison Committee. Asked if she supported Agenda 21. She said no. The issue of ghost voting came up. Hurley was asked has someone ghost voted for you and have you ghost voted for someone? She said Yes and Yes.

Incumbent Republican State Representative District 32 Julia Hurley
Last to speak was Democrat Jack McNew. He got up and said that he is a progressive Democrat. The crowd laughed and someone asked for a definition of "progressive democrat" McNew said I ain't like them (the Republicans and one Independent) He is retired from Oak Ridge and works with the volunteer organization CASA. He was asked if he supported Obama, he said he did. He told the group, I should get applause for showing up. Clearly, the message got through because he was warmly received although the crowd clearly is not in favor of Obama.

Democrat candidate for State Representative District 32 Jack McNew
One of the most contentious time came when a lady asked Rep. Hurley when the last time she had been in a classroom. Hurley introduced her mother and daughter, who she said "is a teacher and owns her own school and my daughter is a student." After the meeting, a source informed me that Rep. Hurley's mother home schools the Representative's daughter.

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