Archive for the ‘Chair’s Message’ Category

Message to all Cumberland County Democrats from Dennis Gregg, Chair

Saturday, August 9th, 2014
Dear fellow Democrats,

There is little to celebrate from the August 7th election.  Only one Democrat won a contested race, Ron Thurman, and that was because his opponent was so ill-equipped that even Republican leaders campaigned against him.  In contest after contest, more experienced, better qualified Democratic candidates with proven track records were passed over in favor of men with “R” after their name.  In the non-partisan county commission and school board races better decisions were made with a couple of exceptions, highlighting the impact of party loyalty on the Republican side.

The failure of our candidates can be traced to two things – the intense loyalty of hard core Republicans fueled by their hatred of President Obama, and the lack of enthusiasm among traditional Democratic voters.  We can’t do much about the Republicans, and many voted for Thom Hassler and Randy York, but we need to face the challenge of the Democratic voters who did not vote.  We need to engage with family, friends, and acquaintances who should have voted Democratic and find out if they voted, and if not, why.  We need to really listen to what they say so we can figure out how to engage them.  We need to talk to the normal allies and find out whether we are getting the union votes and the teacher votes and the state employee votes, all of whom should be voting straight Democratic.  But again, we need to listen first.  If a teacher tells you that they vote Republican, even though the Governor and the Republican legislature have made it clear that they want to privatize the public schools in TN and turn them over to corporations, we need to understand what they think the Republicans are offering that is more important to them than losing public education.  Let’s have these conversations so we can learn how to do better.

I want to end by thanking all our Democratic candidates for their committed efforts.  Lots of money, time, sweat, and tears by the candidates, their families, friends, and supporters were expended by good men offering themselves up for service to the community.  Aside from the ugly things that get said about you, it is painful at the end of the election to be rejected by the voters in favor of another candidate when you believe in your heart that you can do the better job.  Some of the candidates I have known for a long time, others I got to know through this campaign season.  Every one reflected the positive values of our community and conducted themselves in ways that reflected their high moral standards.  They represented the Democratic Party without apology and their personal integrity shown through and at least in some cases cut through the negative stereotypes that have been perpetrated by the Republicans.  After the Forum, one tea party person came up to me and said, ‘I didn’t know that these kinds of people were Democrats,” meaning she was impressed.  We DID have impressive candidates from top to bottom.  Thank you all!

Dennis Gregg, Chair

 

Welcome to Crazytown

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

CrazytownRemember “Dollar” Bill Ketron and his plan to set up a Tennessee state currency? [Tennessean, March 1]

How about the Tennessee GOP’s new spokesman? Disgraced actor Charlie Sheen, a known abuser of drugs and women. [Nashville Scene, April 29]

Welcome to Crazytown.

Since the beginning of the year, Republican politicians have made no secret of their plans to hand over our state and our democracy to big corporations while sending working- and middle-class families down the Tennessee River.

Sadly, you could overlook the extreme agenda and Tennessee’s Republican politicians would still give you plenty of reasons to scratch your head.

From desk carvers and communist lovers to lunch dates with radical governors and allegations of political corruption, the Tennessee GOP has got it all:

  • GOPer Speaker Beth Harwell giddy for radical Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. Walker attacked the rights of Wisconsin workers and families, passed an undemocratic voter ID bill, and gave tax breaks to the rich and big corporations. Considering Beth Harwell accomplished many of the same things, no wonder, in a tweet, she called him “one of our best Republican governors.” [Beth Harwell Twitter, June 29]
  • Tennessee GOP gaga for Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels at big, corporate fundraiser. How do you get Tennessee Republicans to fawn over you? Write a budget plan that crashes the U.S. economy, voice your strong support of privatizing Social Security and slash millions in funding for public schools. Naturally, Republican lawmakers lauded Daniels’ destructive record at a high-dollar fundraiser last week. [TN Report, May 18]
  • State representatives caught in TBI investigation with naughty nurses. The Kingsport Times News reported three suspended nurse practitioners accused of contributing to two patients’ deaths somehow got their licenses restored. State Rep. Tony Shipley told the paper, he’s the “rascal behind the scenes that made it happen.” [WPLN, July 20]
  • Desk-carving GOPer grabs national headlines. Back in Nashville, state Rep. Julia Hurley carved her initials in her desk on the floor of the state House. She said she was bored during a late session and said, “I wasn’t thinking straight.” Unfortunately, her voting record against teachers and Tennessee families showed us that all year. [News Sentinel, July 11]
  • Out-of-touch Obion County Republican praises communist China’s government-run economy within a day of 1,900 factory workers in his hometown losing their jobs through no fault of their own. Rep. Bill Sanderson, on a trip to China, marveled at the “smooth and efficient” Chinese government. Impressed by the government-run economy, the Republican said China has “taken what we do and are now doing it better.” Yes, Mr. Sanderson, the Chinese are taking what we are doing, like the 1,900 jobs at the Goodyear plant in Union City. But Mr. Sanderson, they will never do it better than Americans. [Bill Sanderson Blog, July 11]

Republican politicians may be proud of their party’s scandals, embarrassing gaffes and out-of-touch policies, but Tennesseans aren’t laughing.

We are looking to add 100 new grassroots donors for the month of July.  Click here to help today with a gift of $5 and show your support for returning to common sense and effective leadership in Tennessee.

It’s time to shutdown Crazytown.  With your help, we can do it.

Thanks for all you do,

Chip Forrester
Chairman, Tennessee Democratic Party

 

GOP Overreach

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

It’s crystal clear that Tennesseans have soundly rejected the extremist GOP agenda rammed through the state legislature this year.

A new, statewide Vanderbilt University poll found that support for the Republican-led state legislature has “plummeted 20 percentage points since January.

The GOP honeymoon is over and Tennesseans are riled up like never before over lawmakers stripping teachers of their right to collectively bargain for smaller class sizes, school supplies, and text books while cutting millions from public and higher education budgets.

Attacking teachers and our public schools is outrageous!  Please contribute $5 or more to help us fight back.  A generous Democrat will match your gifit dollar-for-dollar making your donation go twice as far.

Teachers and public education weren’t the only targets of the GOP.

Since January we have seen a systematic assault on Tennessee values:

  • IGNORED JOBS CRISIS. In 2010, Republicans campaigned on a platform of jobs, jobs, jobs. Less than one year later, the majority party buried its head in the sand and ignored the crisis facing 300,000 Tennesseans looking for work. And since the GOP took charge, Tennessee’s unemployment rate has climbed to nearly 10 percent.
  • LAVISH RAISES. Gov. Bill Haslam made cuts to important health programs while handing out more than $250,000 worth of raises to his top cronies, all of whom already made six-figure salaries. One commissioner even got a 32% raise — in his first week on the job!
  • PROTECTED PREJUDICE. The GOP gave into the radical right-wing of its party, bowing to demands to overturn Metro-Nashville Council’s CANDO ordinance that required businesses with city contracts to employ non-discrimination hiring policies.

Click here for a more complete look at damage done by Republicans this year.

In short Republicans junked their promise to strengthen the state economy and create jobs in favor of ideological pet projects that harm our families and the least among us.

This poll shows that Tennesseans regret giving Republicans a chance behind the wheel and have quickly become sick of their reckless driving.

Tennesseans are not interested in political retaliation against teachers, they want good schools for their children.

Tennesseans are not interested in the anti-woman demands of the far right, they want to make sure their mothers, sisters and babies are healthy and well cared for.

Tennesseans are not interested in protecting reckless corporations from the damage they do, they want to protect victims and hold corporations responsible for their actions.

Republicans have given us no reason to think they will come to their senses in 2012. Last month Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey bragged on Facebook:

“This year was just an appetizer. Next year, and in the years to come, you will see the main course.”

Whatever Ramsey has in mind, you can rest assured it won’t be good for Tennessee.

If you want to stop the GOP’s radical agenda and put Tennessee on a  path to a thriving economy where prosperity is shared by all, a path where a good education is available to every student, regardless of their circumstance, a path where government serves the people and is not beholden to moneyed special interest then stand with us.

Your gift of $5 or more will be matched dollar-for-dollar, doubling your effort to take back our state for working and middle class Tennesseans.

We can win this fight, but we can’t do it without your support.

 

Memorial Day Statement: Honor Our Heroes By Ending Afghan War

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Chip Forrester, Chairman of the Tennessee Democratic Party, issued the following statement in commemoration of Memorial Day Weekend:

As we pay respects to those who have died in pursuit of preserving this great nation — from the Revolution to the Civil War and forward — let us honor these fallen soldiers and their heroic efforts to protect freedom by resolving to end the war in Afghanistan.

With the killing of Osama bin Laden fresh in our minds, there is no better tribute to the 1,500 soldiers slain over the last decade in Afghanistan than to hasten President Barack Obama’s troop withdrawal plan and start bringing home those legions of brave men and women.

We should never forget the sacrifices of our American servicemen and women. This Memorial Day, we should honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice by remembering and supporting fully the new generation of warriors and veterans who have served this country fighting for the same cause.

BACKGROUND

The Hill: U.S. House narrowly defeats effort to scale down Afghan war in close 204-215 vote. [The Hill, 5/26/11]

Bipartisan Tennessee delegation, consisting of Democratic Reps. Jim Cooper, Steve Cohen and Republican Rep. Jimmy Duncan, vote to end Afghan war. [U.S. House Clerk roll call, 5/26/11]

State Dem Party Chair Statement on the Killing of Osama bin Laden

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Democratic Party Chair Chip Forrester issued the following statement Sunday evening regarding the death of Osama bin Laden:

“Thank you to the courageous men and women of the United States Armed Services for your commitment to justice since September 11, 2001, and thank you to President Obama for your leadership and unwavering dedication to the mission. May we all remember the sacrifices of our brave US servicemen and woman — many Tennesseans — at this time of victory against a despicable enemy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who died on 9/11, and the loved ones of those who sought justice in the years that have followed. The debt of honor we owe to the US soldiers who continue fight to promote freedom around the globe grows each day.

“We applaud President Obama for delivering on his promise to bring bin Laden to justice. Under his leadership, our military refocused its efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan and delivered.”