Jan 25 2006
11:39 pm

From today's inbox:

From: Phil Bredesen
Date: January 25, 2006 12:45:35 PM CST
To: [redacted]
Subject: I need your help — today

Dear Friend:

It's hard to believe that another election year is upon us. Now is a time to reflect and move forward.

Together, we've accomplished a lot during the three years since I stepped into the Governor's office. We've added hundreds of new pre-kindergarten classrooms. We've grown Tennessee's economy by more than 70,000 new jobs. We've passed tough legislation cutting illegal methamphetamine labs by 50%. We're exploring options for expanding health care to the uninsured. And the list goes on.

I've been truly honored to serve as your governor. Now, as my re-election campaign gears up, I need your support once again.

To run for re-election, I'm required to submit a nominating petition with the names of registered Tennessee voters. I want to show my commitment to running a 95-county grassroots campaign by collecting as many names as possible by April 1.


It's personally important to me to collect as many names as possible -- as soon as possible -- in order to demonstrate a clear and convincing mandate for re-election. Again, please take a minute to add your name to my online petition.

Moving forward, you'll hear more from me about my campaign. In the meantime, if you have any questions or need more information, feel free to email or call my campaign office at 615-256-4480. It's an honor serving as your governor, and I thank you for your continued support.

We're exploring options for expanding health care to the uninsured???

Guffaw... Oh, the irony here is just too rich to ignore. That, by far, is the best part of this "grassroots" beg letter.

Let's go over this again, now, shall we?

Bredesen's approval ratings among Democrats are 20 points lower than his same approval ratings among Republicans.

Bredesen has yet to field a credible opponent, and the primary is only 7 months away.

Under Bredesen's tenure, Tennessee is still ranked 41st among "smartest states" as of 2005, having lost points from the prior year.

If the economy added 70,000 jobs, and the population went up by an estimated 328,000 -- is it possible that our state is behind the curve? How many of those 70,000 jobs paid any more than minimum wage? A living wage? A comfortable wage?

And despite the fact that methamphetamine seizures were down 50%, does that indicate that the program is successfully shutting down meth labs, or does that mean that the bad guys are getting smarter and harder to catch? Is meth production actually down? How about rates of meth addiction? And if the rates of meth production are down, how is that impacting the street price of the drug and crime rates where people are addicted and need a daily fix?

All that aside... I would really like to think that Bredesen is doing a good job, especially since my wife and I supported his campaign wholeheartedly back in 2002.

Yet, it seems to me that someone who's really committed to grassroots support wouldn't be paying lip service only when it counts. It seems like someone who's committed to the Democratic Party statewide wouldn't treat it like his own personal re-election committee. Seems to me that someone who was committed to the grassroots of the party wouldn't be openly trashing the Democratic Party's candidate for the presidency. Seems to me that a grassroots Democrat would have been successful in maintaining his own party's majority in the state Senate, rather than the embarrassing losses that he backed with whatever political muscle that he could muster.

Oh, and let's not forget how a mainstream Democrat might be persuaded to have more political sense than to back a worker's comp reform package before getting the buy-in of in-state trial lawyers and the unions. That was not what you would call finesse, by any means. The same and more goes for how he went about "reforming" TennCare.

No, instead of acting like a man of the party, he acted like the party was beholden to him and to his proud inner circle. (And, for that matter, what the hell he's thinking by backing up Dave Cooley in this THP scandal, I have no idea. C'mon, Phil. You could find a wet mop head with better political instincts than that.)

So, Guv, I think I'll pass on signing your petition, much like I'm thinking about sitting out your campaign this time around.

RedDog's picture

Yes, I do generally support

Yes, I do generally support the Republican ticket - but not in all cases. For instance, I never voted for or supported our former Republican governor D Sunquist. And yes, I have supported our current governor P Bredesen and plan to continue to support him and vote for him. He has consistently applied a level of common sense and practicality to the realities of what our government should offer.

PS Mr Axel - please note in the future that there is no "Democratic Party." There are parties that are democratic, such as the Democrat Party and the Republican Party - but I do not know of a party known as the "Democratic Party."

Andy Axel's picture

P.S. Mr "Dog": I do not

P.S. Mr "Dog":

I do not know of a party known as the "Democratic Party."

As the saying goes, ignorance is no excuse.

Maybe you should refer to the Democratic Party's website:


Take particular note of their banner.

And if that doesn't work, try this:


Just 'cuz you don't know doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Ta.

R. Neal's picture

Yes, I supported Bredesen

Yes, I supported Bredesen last time around. He doesn't seem to have accomplished much, and hasn't delivered on his promise to fix TennCare (unless you count eliminating it as fixing it).

Regarding employment, unemployment in Tennessee in Nov. 2005 (the last date for which final numbers are avaiilable at the Bureau of Labor Statistics was 5.7%. In Nov. 2002 before Bredesen took over, unemployment was 5.3%. Unemployment reached as high as 6.2% in May of 2005, the highest it has been in over ten years.

Tennessee was once known for having fairly low unemployment, being a right to work state and having lots of government jobs, but that trend seems to have reversed on Bredesen's watch. (At least it's still fairly stable in the Knoxville metro area, mainly because of all those government jobs.)

The fact that a number of Republicans seem to be enthusiastically supporting Bredesen seems to tell all one needs to know.

P.S. From my Webster's dictionary:

dem-o-crat (dem'uh krat ) n.
1. an advocate of democracy.
2. a person who believes in political or social equality.
3. a. (cap.) a member of the Democratic Party.

Andy Axel's picture

Seriously -- I'd like to

Seriously -- I'd like to hear from a Bredesen supporter who isn't a self-described Republican or a Yoosta Bee Democrat.

Why should Democratic Party supporters rally to his cause this time?

And for the Republicans out there -- anyone know who Bredesen might draw in the general election? I talked to a professional lobbyist who's a self-described R the other day, and while he's confident that Breddie will have a credible opponent, no name was forthcoming. So who? Mary Beth Harwell? Hilleary?


If we heard mortar shells, we'd cuss more in our songs and cut down on guitar solos

WhitesCreek's picture

I guess I qualify as a

I guess I qualify as a Bredesen supporter who is not a Republican. Am I 100% happy with him? No. I reflect on how I would feel if Van Hilleary were governor, though, and I think I am 100% better off.

Bredesen inherited a disaster from Sundquist and had to know the choices he would be forced to make would be unpopular. The legislators he has to work with are either morons or prostitutes or both. (Sorry Tommy, Sorry Dennis, of course I don't mean you guys)

I am amazed at how much good he's actually accomplished. You can rail about Tenncare, and there is justification, but I don't know what could actually have been done considering the realities of the political field of play.

R. Neal's picture

I reflect on how I would

I reflect on how I would feel if Van Hilleary were governor, though, and I think I am 100% better off.

Well, there's that!

Andy Axel's picture

Van Hilleary would probably

Van Hilleary would probably have been a disaster, sure.

And elsewhere, I've addressed the great lurking problem facing progressives in this state -- that the stranglehold that the Mafieha [sic] has held on the lege has probably done more harm to the progressives than it has to the conservative agenda.

I guess I expected someone with a little more vision. Bredesen did a respectable job as mayor of Nashville. He did manage to put a couple of bombs into the GOB network here. But that drive seemed to go out the window when he won in '02. (Did you know he actually had the leadership at the TNDP office replaced after they won the campaign on his behalf? That's gratitude for you... and but a sign of how he'd show his thanks to his supporters in the next couple of years.)


If we heard mortar shells, we'd cuss more in our songs and cut down on guitar solos

rikki's picture

I reflect on how I would

I reflect on how I would feel if Van Hilleary were governor, though, and I think I am 100% better off.

Actually, it's only about 70%

Anonymous's picture

Bredesen, Cooley, Nicely is

Bredesen, Cooley, Nicely is a triumvirate that is currently reeking havoc in Tennessee and especially Nashville. Where they cant find someone to hang, they are creating someone. They spin it to make it look like they are cleaning up corruption but they are simply creating their on regime of power. They are making unsubstantiated claims of accomplishments. They have no real understanding of State government or how to fix it, but they have an excellent understanding of political power brokering and media relations. Bredesen will win a second term and more low level, politically powerless people will be persecuted for not supporting him. His administration is truly the most frightening I have seen in Tennessee.

Andy Axel's picture

And rumor has it that he

And rumor has it that he wants to run for President. Yipes.

...more low level, politically powerless people will be persecuted for not supporting him.

True dat. I don't know that people outside of Davidson County have really seen a lot of it, because it doesn't make the news, but it's been a real meat grinder.

God forbid, however, that you have a modicum of political power and dare to oppose his agenda.

The depths of ugly are truly breathtaking.


If we heard mortar shells, we'd cuss more in our songs and cut down on guitar solos

WhitesCreek's picture

Guys, don't think I disagree

Guys, don't think I disagree with anything you're complaining about, 'cause I don't. This state and the country as a whole seem like a freight train headed toward fascism and I can't see anything that's going to turn it around all at once short of an armed rebellion Central American style. Problem with that method is that you can get your revolution stolen, like Nicaragua did. So what we have is a situation where the Dems are corrupt and the Repubs are corrupt and evil to boot...So what is a Progressive to do? I see absolutely nothing to gain by ever ever ever voting for a Republican, except on a local level where all corruption begins.

I feel a full scale rant coming on so I'm headed over to (link...) to continue on a bit.

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