Friday, March 30, 2007

Faulk Gains Early Endorsements!

Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey, U. S. Congressman Zack Wamp, and Conservative Talk-Show Icon Steve Gill all told those attending the Claiborne County Lincoln Day Dinner last week in Harrogate at Lincoln Memorial University that Mike Faulk, former First Vice-Chairman of the Hawkins County Republican Party, will be, with their help, the next State Senator from the 4th District.

Faulk, who has made no formal announcement, continues to lay the groundwork for a bid for the Tennessee Senate to return the seat to the Republican Party.

Faulk told those attending the Bi-Annual GOP Reorganization meeting that he had urged our current State Senator to vote for and elect a Republican Lieutenant Governor by e-mail and leaving a message at his office just prior to the January 8, 2007 historic vote. "I have no idea whether he got the message and, if he did, whether it made a difference."

Faulk's message included an additional incentive: "I said he wouldn't have me to worry about as a primary opponent if he voted for and elected a Republican Lt. Governor." After the Senate elected a new Lt. Governor, Faulk continued to make the rounds visiting all over the Fourth District just in case the incumbent Senator chose not to seek re-election.

"Now that he is no longer a Republican, I can quicken the pace of laying the groundwork for a Senate bid. Since he thinks the our party left him, I feel free to begin preparations in earnest for the August 2008 GOP Primary," Faulk said.

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Corker to Hold Town Hall Meeting in Rogersville on Tuesday, April 2, 2007

U. S. Senator Bob Corker has scheduled a Town Hall meeting for 1:45pm on Tuesday, April 3rd at the Chancery Courtroom in the Hawkins County Courthouse. Everyone is invited and welcome.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Guilty Conscience? The Truth About Our Senator Leaving the GOP

The Metro Pulse, the Knox County weekly paper, has the story this week of Sen. Williams very public departure from the Republican Party, calling it a "Political Divorce."

The Senator accuses County Republican Party organizations of withdrawing our affections for him after he cheated on the GOP by "getting into bed" with then Lt. Gov. John Wilder.

To quote the Metro Pulse article:

Williams has told Capitol Hill reporters he has been shunned by Republicans in his district since he voted for Democratic Sen. John Wilder for Speaker two years ago. Williams says he is not invited to party functions, like the annual Lincoln Day Dinners, fund-raisers in which officeholders get to make a pitch to the party faithful.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Even after his cheating on us by voting for 85 year old Democrat John Wilder instead of Republican Ron Ramsey for Speaker of the State Senate in 2005, I personally invited him or called his office to invite him to each and every Hawkins County Lincoln Day Dinner until this year. He hasn't been to any Hawkins County GOP function since teaming up with Wilder.

I talked to Judi Swilling, Chairperson of the Republican Party in Claiborne, and learned that she, too, had either personally talked to the Senator or to someone on this staff and invited him to the Claiborne County dinners. He was even invited to the dinner held in Harrogate last Saturday night and his invitation was not withdrawn even though he left us to be "independent". And Chairperson Swilling also confirms his absence for GOP events since becoming Wilder's Speaker pro tem.

Hobart Rice, Chairman of the Jefferson County Republican party, confirms Sen. Williams was invited but has not attended Lincoln Day Dinners in Jefferson County since he was last elected in 2004.

And, as Paul Harvey says, "here's the rest of the story". The Capitol Hill press wouldn't know to ask, but Mike Williams was the Keynote Speaker at the 2006 Grainger County Lincoln Day Dinner and, although he arrived late, was a speaker at the 2006 Union County Lincoln Day Dinner. Hancock County has not had a Lincoln Day Dinner since Sen. Williams was unfaithful to the Republican Party.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Hawkins County GOP Reorganizes

Hawkins County Republicans meet pursuant to notice today at the County Courthouse to elect officers in its Bi-Annual Convention. Delegates assembled at 11:30 a.m., were called to order by Chairperson Cecile Testerman, held preliminaries, and heard from Juvenile Judge James "Jay" Taylor, Chairman of the Nominating Committee.

The following slate of officers were nominated and elected unanimously:

Chairman - Charles "Chuck" Holt
First Vice-Chairperson - Cecile Testerman
Second Vice-Chairman - Frank Davis
Secretary - Kathy Cradic
Treasurer - Lois Mayes
Parlimentarian - Jim Pat Larkin
Sergeant-at-arms - Carolyn Stewart
Co-Chaplain - Boyd Goodson and Charles Sharits

The newly elected officers will be sworn in at the 2007 Lincoln Day Dinner scheduled in Rogersville at the American Legion on Main Street on April 28, 2007. Former Congressman Bill Jenkins will be Master of Ceremonies. Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey will introduce featured speaker, Congressman David Davis.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Chorus for Williams' Resignation Grows Louder

DANDRIDGE, TENN. - Thursday H. T. Devault and Cecile Testerman, the two elected Committeepersons for the State Republican Party for the 4th Senate District, asked Senator Mike Williams to resign from the State Senate since he was elected as the Republican nominee but he no longer claims to be a Republican.

As the Chairpersons of the three largest counties in the 4th Senate District, we want to add our names to the list of those calling for his resignation. Hawkins, Jefferson & Claiborne Counties comprise almost three quarters of the registered voters in the 4th Senate District.

Sen. Williams announced last week his official departure from the Republican Party to become an Independent. Since he has abandoned the party whose nomination he sought and used for his election, we call on Senator Williams, as a man of principle, to resign his seat in the Tennessee Senate and to ask Governor Bredesen to schedule a special election to fill the vacancy in the 4th Senate District.

If, indeed, our Senator's abandonment of the Republican Party is a matter of principle, we call for a full measure of principle and not just a half measure. To continue to serve in the office to which he was elected as a Republican - when in fact he professes he is no longer a Republican – is not fully principled.

Cecil Testerman
Hawkins County GOP Chairperson
Rogersville, Tennessee

Hobart Rice
Jefferson County GOP Chairman
Dandridge, Tennessee

Judi Swilling
Claiborne County GOP Chairman
New Tazewell, Tennessee

Also joining in our call for resignation from the Tennessee Senate is Jack Rhyne, immediate past Chairman of the Union County GOP, and Nadine Stansbury, Chairwoman of the Grainger County Republican Women.

Friday, March 16, 2007

State GOP Executive Committeepersons Call for Williams' Resignation from Senate

The following is the Press Release that H. T. Devault and I, in our roles as your elected State Executive Committeepersons, sent yesterday afternoon to the Tennessee Republican Party for distribution statewide to all mainstream media across the state.

If, indeed, our Senator's abandonment of the Republican Party is a matter of principle, we call on him for a full measure and not just a half measure of principle. To continue to serve in the office to which he was elected as a Republican - when in fact he is not a Republican - is not taking the high road. It is, in fact, less than principled.



BLAINE, TENN. - Twice now since he was last elected, Senator Mike Williams has broke faith with the Republican Party which gave him its nomination and elected him to the State Senate. As a consequence of his breach of faith, and in spite of a Republican majority, Democrat John Wilder was returned as Speaker of the State Senate in 2005. Yesterday, Sen. Williams completed his abandonment and officially left the Republican Party to become an Independent.

Since he has abandoned his party, we call on Senator Williams, if he is a man of principle, to resign his seat in the Tennessee Senate and to ask Governor Bredesen to schedule a special election to fill the vacancy in the 4th Senate District.

The precedent for such action was established by Sen. Phil Gramm of Texas. When Sen. Gramm could no longer support the Democrat party, he did not violate the trust of the party that elected him. Instead, he resigned his office, asked the Governor to schedule a special election, and stood for election as a Republican.

The principled way for Mike Williams to abandon the Republican Party which elected him, but which he can no longer support, is to resign from the State Senate and stand for election as an Independent.

As we understand the law, special primary elections are to be held within 55-60 days of the call and general elections between 100-107 days.

So the people of the 4th Senate District will be represented during this entire session of the General Assembly, we ask Senator Williams to make his resignation effective at a date in the near future but giving sufficient advance notice for the Union County Commission to legally include the appointment of a successor on its next agenda.

Given the ethical cloud that has hovered over our State Senate over that last few years, Sen. Williams should do the honorable thing: resign and stand on principle, offering himself for election as an Independent, but not as a Republican.

H. T. Devault
Cecil Testerman
State GOP Executive
4th Senate District

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Williams Shuns GOP for Independent

Nashville - Sen. Mike Williams of Maynardville announced today that he will leave the Senate Republican Caucus and will become an Independent.

Williams' move will leave the state Senate with 16 Republicans, 16 Democrats, and one Independent.

At a brief news conference, Williams said he believes the Republican party is stressing partisanship and divisiveness that could lead the legislature to a gridlock.

Williams said he admires many Republicans such as former U.S. Sen. Howard Baker and former state Senate Republican Leader Ben Atchley. Current party figures are not following that tradition, he said.

"Some in this party are leading us down a path of bitterness and divisiveness and in doing so, they have left me," he said. "I have not left them."

Reaction was mixed to Williams' announcement.

Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey said he believed the change would have no practical effect.

"Mike has always been pretty independent," said Ramsey. "I don't know that anything will change."

On the other hand, Sen. Paul Stanley said, "Good riddance."

"Every now and then the herd needs to be culled," he said, vowing to campaign against Williams in the next election.

Sen. Democratic leader Jim Kyle said Williams' move could help Democrats line up needed votes at times. Williams will now be free of "peer pressure", said Kyle.