reform4's picture

Where do I donate and volunteer?


Andy Axel's picture

I can get behind a KnoxViews

I can get behind a KnoxViews 4 Briggs campaign.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


We're supposed to wait and see if any Dem files...but yeah, I'm pretty jazzed.

B Harmon's picture


Glad to see him run but I am waiting to see the Democratic candidate.

trobinson's picture

It seems that Brian Stephens

It seems that Brian Stephens is running. Why don't more people know about it?

Bbeanster's picture

I know about Stephens, but

I know about Stephens, but there's something about him that makes me queasy.

trobinson's picture

Campfield and Briggs give you

Campfield and Briggs give you the warm fuzzies? You need to get that checked. :)

c'mon Betty, a yellow dog would be better than what we have now. The bar is pretty low right now.

At least give him a chance before shooting him in the starting gate. I don't know about him either and I want to find out more. Maybe Randy could set up a forum to hear more of what Briggs and Stephens think.

Bbeanster's picture

This is why I hate political

This is why I hate political parties. I'm obligated to be "for" this guy I never heard of till he started running for office just because he's going to run as a Democrat?

trobinson's picture

Actually, he didn't "come

Actually, he didn't "come out" as a Dem until this month. He was riding the fence for months. Don't know if that makes you feel better or worse...

I'm obligated to be "for" this guy I never heard of till he started running for office just because he's going to run as a Democrat?

No. We expect you to ask the tough questions.

R. Neal's picture

Re. Stevens, discussed

Re. Stevens, discussed previously here.

He stopped by and answered some questions. He had a good answer about vouchers, but didn't seem to be aware of the statewide charter approval issue or other issues such as Medicaid expansion and state insurance exchanges in relation to ACA. I guess he could learn on the job.

He also said somewhere that he's a "social libertarian," whatever that is, and that he doesn't refer to himself as a Democrat or something to that effect. An article quoted him as saying the only reason he was running as a Democrat was "mostly for the purposes of raising his odds against Campfield" or something.

I didn't think he was serious at first and thought he sounded more like a publicity seeker. Looking at his website, though, he seems serious enough, and has raised some money from relatives. It's not clear, though, what qualifies him other than his desire to run.

And if he's just looking for a different job, I wonder if he knows how little being a State Senator pays and will he still be serious when he finds out? Or maybe he's a trust fund kid and it doesn't matter.

trobinson's picture

I read that, not very

I read that, not very "transparent". Neither is his website in the about section. Doesn't give much info on why he's qualified either altho I found out that he's been Six Sigma trained. That might be the cause of some of Betty's queasyness. See 30 Rock explanation here: (link...)

I still want to give him a chance. Everything will come out in time.

TroyCG's picture

Brian Stevens

Brian Stevens was an active supporter in our campaign against Lord Duncan. He came to multiple campaign events, and helped us get word out on Facebook.

Brian was also an active participant in the rallies at Krutch Park and Market Square against the New Jim Crow Voter ID law.

Anybody who teaches stats at UT definitely has some smarts.

I don't think his trying to show an independent streak puts him in any kinda GOP-Lite category. Anybody running with a 'D' by their name for State Senate in Knox County is gonna need a lot of support beyond the Democratic base.

'Social Libertarian' means pro equal rights and pro reproductive rights. I think folks should give Brian a chance to show more of what he's about.

R. Neal's picture

Thanks, Troy. That's helpful

Thanks, Troy. That's helpful information. (He should study up on the high-profile issues of the day, though. And I'm sure those issues will evolve over the next year and a half of crazy in Nashville.)

Anyway, I will try to keep an open mind. I can't vote in that district/race, but I can give a few bucks and offer a venue to help promote in some small way whoever the 'D' candidate is.

(And the "anybody but Campfield" candidate in the 'R' primary, just this one time.)

Rachel's picture

Anybody who teaches stats at

Anybody who teaches stats at UT definitely has some smarts.

I dunno. I did it for 3 quarters and look at me. :)

(And BTW, this whole "stats" thing must be new. I see that usage a lot lately. But when I was in undergraduate and graduate school - admittedly eons ago - nobody ever said "stats." It was either the full word or "stat," as in "I was a stat major.")

Rachel's picture

It's not my district, so I

It's not my district, so I can't vote, and if I could I would wait on the Democratic candidate.

Still... good news.

AnonymousOne's picture

If a Democrat runs, would the

If a Democrat runs, would the Dems make a "chaotic" move in the GOP primary?

Bbeanster's picture

I'm just posting as an

I'm just posting as an observer here, not as a reporter.

Seems to me, though, that given the unlikelihood of a Democrat winning in this Republican-gerrymandered district, that Dems might prefer the incompetent, ineffective Campfield over Briggs, who is altogether likely to get in there and accomplish something y'all would hate. Stacey does have a lot of entertainment value, and is a huge embarrassment to all but the paleorepublicans.

bizgrrl's picture

Good point.

Good point.

Rachel's picture

I'm not endorsing, but

I'm not endorsing, but personally I'd take Briggs over Stacey any day.

I value decent government more than the fun of taking potshots at Stacey.

lonnie's picture

You are right. His crazy

You are right. His crazy bills will never go any where even with the ultra conservative dominated legislature we have now. And the publicity he receives on national programs sure does not help the Republican brand. Briggs would take the Haslam approach 99% of the time. Of course, with the super majority the Republicans have in the state legislature, there is not much hope for the near future. The party of Haslam is so far to the right of the party of Howard Baker or Gerald Ford or even Richard Nixon it is a shame. A Democrat in that district cannot win at this point, but a Dem needs to run. No seat should be handed over to Republicans w/out a fight. Make them spend resources that take away from other districts and might lead to Dems winning in other more competative districts.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


An old friend--a former Knoxvillian but now living out of state--e-mails this morning to suggest that this Campfield character is really making Tennesseans look "dum."

I sent him this link and suggested he remit his Briggs campaign contribution pronto.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Personally, Betty, I can't imagine that Briggs would push any legislation I would dislike more intensely that any bill Campfield might introduce...

Briggs is sane and he is ethical, I think.

trobinson's picture

Betty's right. A moderate

Betty's right. A moderate repub will only further harden the GOP super majority and that's not good. Campfield is not a very successful legislator and is probably getting less so every time he opens his mouth.

reform4's picture

It depends how much Briggs is willing.....

... willing to buck his party on the REALLY CRAZY shit.

What holds back the crazy legislation are the quiet committee votes that keep things from getting to the floor, and it's quite possible for a relatively moderate Republican who thinks a bill is really dumb to keep it from coming to the floor.

Would Campfield keep stupid bills from coming to the floor? Hell no, he's authoring them. And he'd certainly support somebody else's trans-vaginal ultrasound bill.

Briggs, on the other hand, being a DOCTOR, might realize how stupid it is and use his expertise diplomatically to keep such stupid things from seeing the light of day.

He's not going to vote like a Democrat, but he is very very smart, good at making his case, and has shown on Commission to be capable of voting his conscience against a party block.

I don't buy this "ineffective batshit crazy is better" argument at all. We should never accept an idiot in our leadership no matter what.

R. Neal's picture

Case in point: Ramsey

Case in point: Ramsey squelched Kelsey's bill prohibiting Medicaid expansion.

lonnie's picture

Many Republicans at the state

Many Republicans at the state and national level are intelligent and mean. They are approving legislation that is destroying public education, taking away our constitutional voting rights, killing the sick by lack of healthcare, hurting our environment, killing our men and women in war, and padding the pockets of billionaires. I would take a dummy with a heart that votes against this type of legislation over an educated Republican that agrees with the sub-human Rush Limbaugh. There are many qualified and intelligent Democrats that could represent the party well if given the support of the party.Briggs is obviously intelligent, however, he will support the Republican platform, therefore , he does not deserve my vote or anybody's vote.

Rachel's picture

Whoa now...

Dr. Briggs is certainly a conservative - much more conservative than I am - but it's WAY too much to say he is "mean", or that he "agrees" with Rush Limbaugh.

Disagreeing on policy is not the same thing as being a bad human being. I have found Dr. Briggs to be intelligent, reasonable and a person who seeks consensus. Those are good qualities and ones the current Senator sorely lacks.

I agree with you about the Republican platform, and I think the super-majority in the legislature is likely to run amok this year. If I lived in the district I would support a REAL Democrat.

But I still like and respect Dr. Briggs even when I disagree with him on issues. And that's a good thing.

lonnie's picture

He is your doctor and I

He is your doctor and I appreciate the fact that you are loyal and speak up for the character of someone you know personally. The fact of the matter is, however, that I have family members and friends that voted for our Republican Tennessee governor and legislators. They are intelligent people that do not take the time or make the effort to see how the people they are putting into office are destroying our state. Many good people can be dead wrong on politics. I think Dr. Briggs would vote for the educational initiatives that have been enacted over the past couple of years. He would support the terrible voter laws that have passed. He would vote with his party on most all issues. I remember former County Commissioner Mark Harmon making the comment that the issues he dealt with on County Commission were not partisan type of issues. I have always felt that County Commission elections should be non-partisan for that reason. Dr. Briggs would be dealing with partisan issues if elected to the state Senate and he would do what the other Republicans have done and he would not represent the interests of most Tennesseans.Becky Duncan Massey and the Republicans are trying to change state law and make school board elections partisan. Briggs would add his vote to that nonsense too. We need a Democrat to run and represent Democrat and Republican interests.

lonnie's picture

Any intelligent person that

Any intelligent person that goes along with the Republican voter laws that have been enacted across the country is mean spirited. There is no other way to interpret the intent of those laws except mean spirited people taking away the constitutional rights of the elderly, the poor, and the young. The Republican position on health care and many other issues is very mean spirited. If you endorse the Republican platform you are supporting a cruel and inhuman set of beliefs. They hurt and kill people and destroy our environment. That is being mean whether intentional or not. An intelligent person should have the sense to know the results of their actions.

Average Guy's picture

Rush is the Republican Platform

Listen for a week, then listen to Republican talking points the next week.

He may not represent all Repulicans, but his voice is heard above all others.

AnonymousOne's picture

Remember having Campfield

Remember having Campfield elected again could possibly set him up for bigger and better things.

Some would say "impossible," but how many would've guessed he could make it this far?

Observer's picture

A good poll question would be

A good poll question would be to see how many Knoxviewers live in Campfield's district. Compare that to the margin of victory in the last two elections. The press that Campfield gets may keep people from voting at all. But may make his base more likely to vote. He is on the front page of the paper every week.

B Harmon's picture

Still holding out

I am still holding out for a better Democratic candidate. We are well over a year away for this election.

Local Citizen's picture

Just a minute!

Don't write Campfield off! He is a smart and tough campaigner that will work day and night. Briggs will have the mainstream politicians and money backing him but Campfield has never had that crowd. If another candidate with any name recognition gets in the Republican Primary, Campfield will win. It probably will be a close race with only Briggs and Campfield running. Moderate candidates doesn’t run very good in the Republican Primary.

TroyCG's picture


Racey Stacy gets a friend or two to run against him in the GOP primary, watering down his opposition, and then wins the nomination. He takes that to the bank about every election!

fischbobber's picture

Six pair of shoes.

It will take wearing out six pair of shoes in the next year to beat Campfield. Candidates not willing to campaign are just wasting everyone's time.

AnonymousOne's picture

Campfield is politically

Campfield is politically smart. He does campaign ALL the time, but I think his door knocking abilities may be exagerated.

He "won" the last primary. But only because of Hill.

Campaigns learn from others' mistakes.

The only thing that I think could help Campfield would be if Obama declares martial law.

But you never know what can happen. The election will be somewhat based upon the issues during the campaign.

To what degree , and how much Campfield can exploit them, are the questions.

AnonymousOne's picture

Campfield didn't get the

Campfield didn't get the majority of votes in the last primary.

Haslam didn't get them either.

Different demographics and reasons.

But nothing's a sure thing.

fischbobber's picture

Last election

When you were knocking on doors for Randy Walker in the last election, what were they telling you?

What they were telling me was that Stacy had been there first and told them what they wanted to hear. One guy told me that his wife was voting democrat, he was voting for Campfield. So we've got that going for us.

fischbobber's picture

Knocking on doors

He's knocked on mine.

Bbeanster's picture

Stacey's friends don't get

Stacey's friends don't get enough votes to flip an election. Steve Hill did that.

TroyCG's picture

Come Again, please...


Knox County, TN – Official Ballot for State Primary and County General Election – August 05, 2010
TN Senate 7th District, Vote For 1...
Campfield 41.19%
Ciparro 2.98%
Steve Hill 25.31%
Ron Ledbetter 30.52%

Maybe "friend" was an overstatement. Either Hill or Ledbetter was a stooge for Campfield. Stacey didn't get a majority of GOP primary voters. I trust my source on this...

Bbeanster's picture

Neither Hill nor Ledbetter

Neither Hill nor Ledbetter was a friend of Stacey's. Ciparro was Campfield's stalking horse and his candidacy was a popcorn fart in the wind. Ledbetter would have won had Hill not gotten into the race.

Subsequent to the race Hill was "rewarded" with an interim appointment to the senate to fill the vacancy left by Burchett's being sworn in Sept 1., but he had no love for Stacey when he got into that race, and he was quite convinced he was going to win.

Bbeanster's picture

Neither Hill nor Ledbetter

Neither Hill nor Ledbetter was a friend of Stacey's. Ciparro was Campfield's stalking horse and Ledbetter would have won had Hill not gotten into the race.

Subsequent to the race Hill was "rewarded" with an interim appointment to the senate to fill the vacancy left by Burchett's being sworn in Sept 1., but he had no love for Stacey when he got into that race, and he was quite convinced he was going to win. As was Ledbetter. They are both longtime Republicans with no ties to Stacey's wing of the party.

TroyCG's picture


From what I've heard about him, and from my conversations with him, Ciparro is a Libertarian. Not the sort to be in cahoots with a social far right-winger Republican like Campfield.

I have heard differently from what you're saying, but maybe you know best. My source would Know, but I'll keep this person's identity close to the vest.

Bbeanster's picture

Haven't checked recently, but

Haven't checked recently, but I did a search awhile back and Ciparro used to be a frequent, friendly commenter on Stacey's blog. They appear to know each other pretty well.

The notion that Stacey "put" Steve Hill into the race wasn't hatched by anybody who talked to Steve Hill (or his supporters) about it. They worked hard and truly believed he was going to win, no matter what anybody said.

The first I ever heard of Ron Leadbetter, he one of UT's first YAF-ers – he was demonstrating in favor of the Vietnam war, and then later sued UT for sex discrimination for promoting a woman over him in the general counsel's office (the judge didn't have much sympathy for his claim). Ron cleaned up better than Campfield, but, really, he was Stacey before there was a Stacey.

Hill is a GOParty animal, so it's totally unsurprising that he supported his party's nominee after the primary, despite all the crap he said about him during the campaign. That's what party loyalists do. And, yes, he got rewarded for it. It looked bad. I wrote a column about that.

Haslam and Burchett also supported Stacey. I wrote a column about that, too. I hope they're proud.

My bottom line is, yes, Campfield obviously does try to splinter the opposition; however, the kind of people he commands are outliers who are unlikely to siphon off enough votes to amount to more than a popcorn fart in the wind.

TroyCG's picture


...for the info.

AnonymousOne's picture

Hill was a useful fool, and

Hill was a useful fool, and I'm being nice.

He may not have had any "love" for Campfield, but he and The Sen made up awfully quick, after Hill's initial claim "anyone but Campfield."

BTW, what has been Hill's post-election political involvement?

Leadbetter is still pretty involved in Republican activities.

Mary Wilson's picture

Like I said in my KNS letter, 2/4, Dems ought to run a donkey.

And winning the primary with that per centage sort of proves the point...his theory and strategy is just to keep his name out there and a majority of his voters will keep on voting for him.
I am reserving judgment on Dr. Briggs unless and until he provides correct medical facts to refute Stacey's distortion of
how hetrosexuals do NOT contract AIDS
where babies really come from
and other ridiculous claims...'parents MUST be punished if their children do not make good grades'...stuff like that. I still could not vote for a Republican, since I believe "IKE" was the last honest, non-crook GOP President.

And we will hold Dr. Briggs to a much higher standard than his other GOP/TEA seat holders if he was to creation of JOBS, encourage new businesses to come here...with well trained workers, not 'low pay and no benefits' workforce...

Rachel's picture

...'parents MUST be punished

...'parents MUST be punished if their children do not make good grades'

Dr. Briggs was on either WATE or WBIR tonight saying that entire families shouldn't be punished because one child gets bad grades.

WhitesCreek's picture

The next election is all about field position

Democratic organizations need to understand that it is important to run someone who can define the difference between R's and D's in every contest, especially the "unwinnable" ones. Conservatism is a complete failure for working folks and that needs to be pointed out...over and over and over...

bizgrrl's picture

WBIR reports:Campfield says,

WBIR reports:

Campfield says, "I'm a Chil-fil-A traditional family conservative. I'm not wavering on tax increases. I support the free market and I support the people's right to vote [for currently appointed public officials]. Those aren't things I think he [Briggs] can say."

Briggs says, "I want to go almost diametrically the opposite direction," said Briggs. "I want to bring businesses into the state, to create jobs, to create a better educational system, and also to look to see what we can do to reduce the cost of higher education."
Briggs voiced a general opinion that he wants government to stay out of people's lives as much as possible. He also said problems in schools are best handled by local school boards and the teachers who work with the issues first-hand rather than what Briggs described as "know-it-alls in Nashville who have never had a child of their own go through the public school system."

Min's picture

You know...

That Briggs fellow kinda sounds like a Democrat.

Local Citizen's picture


Do you mean sort of like a liberal?

R. Neal's picture

Campfield says so much crazy

Campfield says so much crazy shit he's having a hard time keeping his story straight.

Today, Tom Humphrey reports that Campfield's latest "don't say gay" bill is not at all about outing gay kids:

On the "Classroom Protection Act," which has provisions calling for parents to be notified about a child's homosexual activity under some conditions, the senator said, "There's a misperception that we're going to out little children who say 'I'm gay' or something like that... That's not true. This is only dealing with someone abusing a child or a child abusing someone."

That's not exactly what his bill says:

A school counselor, nurse, principal or assistant principal [may counsel] a student who is engaging in, or who may be at risk of engaging in, behavior injurious to the physical or mental health and wellbeing of the student or another person; provided, that wherever possible such counseling shall be done in consultation with the student's parents or legal guardians. Parents or legal guardians of students who receive such counseling shall be notified as soon as practicable that such counseling has occurred...

And here's how he explained it to Nashville NPR a little over week ago:

But it [the bill] requires a school nurse, counselor or administrator to tell parents about discovering any "urgent safety issues." That includes homosexual behavior, says state Senator Stacey Campfield of Knoxville. "I can’t speak from personal experience, but being homosexual in and of itself is not deadly or dangerous. The act of homosexuality is very dangerous."

Bbeanster's picture

Humphrey indulges Campfield

Humphrey indulges Campfield to a degree that is rather sickening.

AnonymousOne's picture

The media likes Campfield. He

The media likes Campfield.

He is a caricature of many in the GOP.

He's easy to kick around and that makes him popular with most of the media, local and national.

With Briggs, they won't find it easy.

Plus, Campfield makes them look good, although he is somewhat their creation.

He uses them; they use him.

Mary Wilson's picture

Stacey does use others, and delights in attention.

And Dr. Briggs would have to vote in the affirmative for ALL the crazed bills that punish women and their MEDICAL rights and the rights of their DOCTORS to provide the best choices for their patients...Stacey has provided most of those hate-filled, ignorant bills...the first and worst by declaring that ALL fetuses that died in miscarriage, or by preventing a birth that was the result name the reason...these 'babies lost, (a true misnomer!) would have to be issued death certificates. Dr. Briggs may not WANT to challenge all this idiocy, BUT if any of these were to come to a vote, guess what? He would have to VOTE.
And of course Campfield does NOT care about any of these bills, OR about the real people involved. His ONLY goal is keeping his name out there, daily and weekly. I don't know the limit of bills allowed to be submitted, per Legislator, per Session; but Stacey, so far, has submitted 42.

Rachel's picture

I have to say, the way some

I have to say, the way some of you are talking about Dr. Briggs sounds like Republicans talking about Democrats.

I will say again, just because you have policy differences with somebody (and Mary W. - we don't even KNOW how Dr. Briggs would vote on the bills you mention) does not make s/he a bad human being. That's the way Republicans (Rush included) talk about Democrats.

Cut it out. You're making us look bad.

My point wasn't to ask you to vote for Briggs anyway, just to say that he's head, shoulders, torso, legs, and feet above our current Senator.

And BTW, I voted for Haslam (one of the few times I've voted Republican except in local primaries where that's the only choice). I did it because I thought he had been a good Mayor and because I couldn't find a single reason to like Mike McWherter although I tried really, really hard. Am I sorry? I'm not sure - I'm not pleased with Haslam, but honestly, based on the platform he ran on, I'm not sure McWherter would have been that different.

So you want to take off on me now?

lonnie's picture

Everybody that voted for

Everybody that voted for Haslam, including many of my family and friends, were very wrong if they thought they were voting for a person that would represent the average person in our state. If he does not represent today's Republican Party, I don't know who does. People that voted for him voted for the Republican platform. The legislation he signed into law his first year in office took us back decades. Can you think of anything he has done as governor that has been in the best interests of average citizens? If anybody that voted for Haslam does not regret their vote, they should not make any claim that they are a Democrat or Progressive or even an Independent. If you still question whether Haslam is good for the state your philosophy has to be more Republican than anything else. Teachers and other misguided individuals that voted for Haslam deserve what they get.

R. Neal's picture

Can you think of anything he

Can you think of anything he has done as governor that has been in the best interests of average citizens?

He fired the DCS commissioner. Oh, wait. He hired her, too. Never mind.

lonnie's picture

I rest my case! Haslam and

I rest my case! Haslam and his Republican cronies are losers.

TroyCG's picture

The Opie Complex

In the case of Lord Duncan, way too many Republican voters have a peasant mentality. Yer Betters will take care of you and protect ya from the Big Bad Federal Guvment, never mind the fact that John J. Duncan the 2nd is the Federal Government round these parts.

And...way too many Republicans, Independents, and more than a few Democrats were snookered by Bill Haslam's "aww shucks" demeanor and his Opie Taylor/Ritchie Cunningham persona.

The same with Racy Stacey Campfield! Person to person and on TV he comes across as a nice boy...respectful and even reasonable. But he's a hater, pure and simple.

As far as Haslam is concerned, since his veto can be over-ridden by a simple majority he has to be 'on board' with the GOP Lunatic Fringe or his leadership will spin out of control.

It's a sad state of affairs in the Volunteer State, pure and simple.

lonnie's picture

It defies logic....but you

It defies logic....but you are right.The overwhelming majority of people vote against their own interests. It is like they are under a magic spell. Sad indeed.

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