As the Democratic primary for Tennessee Governor is already set with Mike McWherter being the only candidate, we turn our attention to the Republican primary.
Ron Ramsey might be an appealing candidate for Democrats to run against, but as liberal, left-wing Democrats we cannot in good conscience recommend him. He would reduce the size of State Government, cut taxes, eliminate social welfare programs, and work aggressively with Tennessee's Congressional delegation to fight federal involvement in such matters as health care, energy, and the environment. In short, he would be a disaster for the Obama-Pelosi agenda and everything liberals stand for.
Zach Wamp seems like a nice enough fellow, although a little intense at times. But he's been in Washington too long and gotten too much support for Tennessee jobs in the automotive and defense industries, which aren't in line with our liberal, left-wing ideology. Not only that, he has voted to restrict abortions, voted against cap and trade, and voted against the stimulus bill. Wamp is clearly out of step with the progressive liberal agenda.
That leaves us with Bill Haslam. Even though he's running as a Republican, is he really? The only elections he's won were non-partisan, so who knows? But actions speak louder than words. Or party labels.
Haslam has brought millions of federal dollars to Knoxville to improve neighborhoods and appointed a known Democrat to oversee it. He has gotten millions more in federal funding for homeless housing and secured large development fees for non-profit builders to build it. He has gotten more federal funding plus committed millions more in future local property tax revenues to revitalize Knoxville's blighted downtown and help out struggling real estate developers.
Although he recently joined the NRA, Haslam at one time supported more restrictions on gun ownership and only reluctantly allowed guns in parks and playgrounds out of concern that the laws banning them were too confusing. And he's not afraid to raise taxes when it has to be done.
As best we can tell, the only reason he's running as a Republican is because that's what candidates in East Tennessee do to get elected. With recent endorsements by various Tea Party groups and all his anti-federal, states-rights posturing, Haslam is simply running hard to the right in the primary and will govern to the left if he gets elected. Democrats could do a lot worse. (See above.)
While we'll be voting for Mike McWherter and encourage all other Democrats and Independents to do so as well, we endorse Bill Haslam in the Republican primary because he stands alone among the GOP candidates as best representing the liberal Obama-Pelosi left-wing progressive Democratic agenda.
Reminder: Early voting starts a week from this Friday, and today is the last day to register!
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