Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Can We the People take our Country Back from the Super PACs? (Looks Bleak)

Crockett Buzz for 7-14-15

Dawn of the planet of the superPACS

Let’s make the South stop lying: The right’s war on our history — and truth — must be defeated now

Dying, naturally, is our right

Conservative 'Super PAC' bankrolls ads for David Fox

An out-of-state conservative "Super PAC" has bankrolled a wave of new advertising to boost the Nashville mayoral campaign of David Fox.
Right-leaning Citizen Super PAC has paid $100,926 to air pro-Fox commercials on network and cable TV for one week beginning Tuesday. That follows a new mail advertisement funded by the same group that calls all six of the other candidates in Nashville's mayoral race "liberal" and labels Fox the race's only "conservative."
"Which candidate for Nashville mayor is not like the others?" reads the mail piece, which hit mailboxes on Friday.
There's also a new radio advertisement, paid for by the same political action committee and airing this week on WWTN-99.7 FM, that echoes the same theme. It calls Fox the only true conservative, references the fiscal-conservative principles of financial author Dave Ramsey and recites Fox's "Nashville Way" campaign theme. It also highlights Fox's focus on infrastructure and debt.
Citizen Super PAC, based in Texas, has paid $18,490 to buy radio advertising from July 9 through Friday, the first day of early voting. It was not immediately clear how much they've spent on the mail campaign. LINK

Tennessee's new anti-DUI campaign called sexist

A new advertising campaign put out by the Governor's Highway Safety Office has stirred up controversy, as some have said the campaign takes a sexist approach to encouraging young men not to drive under the influence.
The campaign boasts slogans that refer to girls looking "hotter" when guys are under the influence and finding out "a marginally good-looking girl" later is "chatty," "clingy" or "your boss's daughter" as signs that maybe a man has had too much to drink.
Despite what some are calling a sexist message, Charlie Bob's waitress Tiffany Cannon, who recently found the campaign's coasters and fliers at the Dickerson Pike bar Saturday, said the most offensive words were written below the slogan, "Paid for by the TN Governor's Highway Safety Office."
"My first reaction was cool, we got free coasters," said the 25-year-old, who also works as a bartender at the restaurant. "But then one of my customers pointed out what was on them, and my jaw dropped."
After an inquiry by The Tennessean, the office sent a statement from Director Kendell Poole that took credit for the advertising campaign, saying it was intentionally designed to reach the "young male demographic."
"We take feedback from the public seriously and want to thank all of those who have reached out to share their opinions with us," the statement said. "It was never the intent of our office to offend anyone. This new initiative was designed to reach the young male demographic, who are statistically more likely to drive under the influence. Well-known adages, like dating the boss's daughter, were used to grab their attention within the bar environment. Our office continually experiments with new strategies in order to be effective with various target demographics, and we will be closely monitoring the results."
"They were anti-feminist. It was ridiculous and rude to both genders," said Cannon, who became even more angry minutes later when she walked into the women's bathroom and found a flier with similar advertising glued to the wall.
One of the fliers reads: "After a few drinks the girls look hotter and the music sounds better. Just remember: If your judgement is impaired, so is your driving." LINK

House Democratic chair bill would repeal N.B. Forrest Day

On Nathan Bedford Forrest Day, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Stewart announced he will file legislation to abolish Nathan Bedford Forrest Day in Tennessee next year.
July 13 was the Confederate general’s birthday and, under a statute enacted in 1971 the governor has duty to issue a proclamation designating that date annually as a “day of special observance.” Gov. Bill Haslam did so this year.
From the News Sentinel report:
“I can’t think of anything more appropriate than using today as the beginning of the end of Nathan Bedford Forrest Day. We do not need a special day to remember that Forrest commanded the forces who massacred soldiers at Fort Pillow after they had surrendered and laid down their arms,” Stewart said.
“In a state that has produced many genuine military heroes we should not be elevating that sort of service.” LINK

 Dawn of the planet of the superPACS

The stunning $114-million fundraising haul announced Thursday by Jeb Bush’s team did more than firmly establish his place at the front of the pack of GOP presidential hopefuls.
It officially ushered in the super PAC era of presidential politics.

Any lingering doubts have been erased about whether the lure of seven-figure checks would be powerful enough to offset concerns about a patchwork of recently gutted — and loosely enforced — laws intended to restrict the effectiveness of unlimited political spending.
In this new reality, there’s less incentive for prospective commanders in chief to invest time and money in building an army of small- and medium sized donors for their campaigns, and more incentive to cultivate a handful of billionaire backers to pour cash into supportive big-money vehicles like super PACs.
The super PAC supporting Bush, Right to Rise USA, raised more than $103 million. His official campaign committee, on the other hand, which is limited to maximum donations of $5,400 per person, brought in only $11.4 million – or about 10 percent of the total haul.
The numbers validate the Bush team’s pioneering strategy of using the super PAC as a central vehicle to test the waters for his prospective candidacy. But they also raise concerns that billionaire-funded, big-money groups may erode the power of the political parties and even the candidates themselves. LINK

Let’s make the South stop lying: The right’s war on our history — and truth — must be defeated now

For years, the right has waged a war on history every bit as relentless as and even more effective than its war on science.  George Orwell famously observed that “who controls the past controls the future.” In America few outside the political right took his point. It has carried the fight to colleges, media, government and especially public schools. An ineluctable lesson of Charleston is that the left must finally fight back.
As far back as the early`80s the religious right sought to elect its people to school boards, often instructing them to conceal their views until after they were elected. Sex education was their top priority, but they also dove into history and other social studies. In her book “As Texas Goes: How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda,” New York Times columnist Gail Collins tells the story of the Texas School Board. Only she could make this chilling tale amusing. Texas is America’s second biggest purchaser of textbooks and the state controls the purchasing so publishers have long bowed to its dictates on content.
The board was always conservative but when real fanatics took it over they began furiously rewriting curricula, substituting ideological cant for scholarship wherever possible. 2010 was a banner year for them. They bumped Thomas Jefferson from a list of “influential thinkers”—they felt him misguided in the mater of the separation of church and state—but promoted Phyllis Schlafly to take his place. They also encouraged study of George Wallace, the NRA, the Moral Majority, Jefferson Davis’ inaugural address and the Heritage Foundation and told schools to tell kids Joe McCarthy was right about communists infiltrating government.
The right does its most insidious work in classrooms but it wages war on history almost everywhere. LINK

Dying, naturally, is our right

In Tennessee, "Every person has the fundamental and inherent right to die naturally and with as much dignity as circumstances permit …," as stated in Tennessee Code Annotated 32-11-102(a).
The state's Right to Natural Death Act protects medical caregivers from prosecution when they carry out the wishes of a dying patient. The act says that Tennesseans can "accept, refuse, withdraw from, or otherwise control decisions relating to the rendering of the person's own medical care, specifically including palliative care and the use of extraordinary procedures and treatment."
In his suit against the state, John Jay Hooker is asking the state's courts to recognize that our right to "otherwise control decisions about how we are treated" includes the decision to get a prescription for a lethal dose of medicine. It is currently against the law for a doctor to assist in a patient's suicide.
Hooker contends that our state constitution ensures broad individual liberty that government cannot take away, including the right to terminate our life when we choose and with dignity. LINK

Crockett Policy Institute

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