published Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

McWherter for governor

It’s not surprising that polls show Tennessee’s Republican candidate for governor, Pilot Oil scion Bill Haslam, well ahead of Mike McWherter, his Democratic opponent, in support from likely voters. That’s what you get for opening your wallet. The wealthy Haslam paid a ton of money for television advertising to win the name recognition he needed for victory in the tightly contested Republican primary, and he’s continued to wallpaper the state with ads in the run-up to the November election.

McWherter, by contrast, was virtually unopposed in his party’s primary, so he didn’t have to advertise much to win. Whether that’s a good thing for McWherter’s campaign, of course, remains to be seen.

Haslam has not only run up his name-recognition; he’s also reaping the benefit of an energized and highly motivated GOP base that’s fueled by tea party energy and mid-term fatigue with the party in power. All the over-time campaigning McWherter can layer on in the next few weeks will test his election strategy.

Still, if voters are interested in the personal core of the candidates, McWherter has the stuff to make a better governor.

He’s a traditional centrist, anti-income tax Democrat, in the mold of his prominent father, former Gov. Ned McWherter, and our current Democratic governor, Phil Bredesen.

He personally financed and built up his own business, a beverage distributorship in Jackson, Tenn.; it wasn’t handed to him. Thus he’s got bona fide hands-on understanding of what makes small businesses tick, the necessary fuel for ginning up the state’s most reliable job generator.

And he has the art of handling gubernatorial duties in his DNA, the result of daily family tutelage from his father’s successful two terms as governor. That gave him a deep understanding of how state government works, the levers of power and a strong interest in helping move the state forward.

McWherter’s platform has strong positive themes, and a legitimate issue with his opponent. He has laid out a program to provide the same sort of tax cuts or credits for new hires to small companies, those with less than 125 employees, that the state currently provides to big companies. Such incentives would not cut into state operating funds, he argues, because they would directly boost employment and collateral consumer spending, which underwrites the state’s economy and the state’s main source of revenue.

He would focus his job recruitment program on small businesses as well as large ones, though he would specifically target the supplier plants that ultimately will serve larger companies like Volkswagen, Wacker Chemical, Hemlock and Alstom.

His strategy differs notably from Haslam’s. The Republican proposes to create new regional centers for industry and job recruitment. Because Tennessee already has regional development offices across the state, McWherter logically sees Haslam’s proposal as just another layer of bureaucracy.

McWherter also pledges to fully fund the state’s Basic Education Program, the chief source of state education funding. That would be welcome and fair. Hamilton County continues to be hamstrung by the state’s refusal to fully fund the BEP formula and ante up the $12 million annual loss to county schools in its BEP account.

He also supports full funding for the pre-Kindergarten program, as the state’s economy recovers. In a globally connected economy where education is key, he is right to support the pre-K initiative, and Haslam is wrong to diminish it.

Lastly, he rightly calls for Haslam to make a full disclosure of his income and to quit blatantly misrepresenting Pilot Oil as a purely family business. McWherter charges that the company’s equity partner, a Luxembourg corporation, does business with Iran and has influence on the business.

McWherter has made a full disclosure of his income. He also pledges to put his assets in a blind trust if elected. Haslam has refused to disclose his assets, and will not commit to a blind trust. That, McWherter correctly points out, leaves him with potential conflicts of interests in his dealings as governor with the corporate world.

That should not be tolerated. McWherter is on the right side of this vital issue. Haslam is not. Does Haslam have something to hide?

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Francis said...

"scion"...."wasn't handed to him"...this piece uses the only thing libs have left,

the class envy card.........aside from the race card.

whether you were "handed" a business or started it from scratch....the government is coming after you. it's all the same to them.

your money is there money.

i couldn't care less how much money haslam has, or mcwerter has..what assest they have..or anyone else....i don't care how much obama has..or clinton.. or any other candidate or any neighbor for that's none of my business, nor is it the's purely control

if someone stands in the way of me making money or keeping it..then money should be an issue.....

mcwerter doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of winning...not because he's not qualifed..but because obama has made sure that democrats will have a hard time getting elected dog catcher

September 29, 2010 at 11:10 p.m.
tnprogressives said...

If McWherter does not win it's because the man is not a billionaire spending uncounted MILLIONS. And no Mr Haslam, politicians are not the only persons wanting to know how you are funded. (Haslam made the comment that only politicians wanted to know in the first debate). Zach Wamp rightly wanted to know during the primary and Tennesseans have a right to know who is pulling the strings. Haslam is also running on history and false rhetoric when it comes to health care reform.

1 The bill is law. (Even Bob Corker conceded it can't be repealed). Why are republicans still running against it?

2 Haslam favors the UN 'Fair Tax'. You want to pay a 30% sales tax the next time you buy something? THAT IS WHAT IS STANDING IN THE WAY OF PEOPLE'S MONEY!!!

Even Bob Corker said there is no repealing the health care law. The votes aren't there so we better make sure we have someone in office who knows how to work with the federal government on this issue.

Every reader here needs to know that thanks to Democratic Leadership Tennessee has the lowest amount of debt in the COUNTRY! The lowest amount in the country and Haslam is running against that.

The first thing Haslam will do is raise the state sales tax. Then we can all go out of state to buy every large purchase and that tax revenue can go to that state. Then we can all come back home and see our property taxes have went up too. (That's the first thing Republican governor Christie did).

Please Tennessee, Vote Mike McWherter!!!

September 30, 2010 at 4:25 a.m.
whynot73 said...

Thank you Francis! Your comment vividly illustrates just how important supporting McWherter is. The correct use of "their" or "there" is elementary grammar. Thank you for showing us the desperate need for attention to education in Tennessee.
The debate made it apparent just what these men are about. McWherter believes in education. Haslam believes citizens should fund corporations. The choice is clear. Educate! Participate!

September 30, 2010 at 9:22 a.m.
Musicman375 said...

"#2 Haslam favors the UN 'Fair Tax'. You want to pay a 30% sales tax the next time you buy something? THAT IS WHAT IS STANDING IN THE WAY OF PEOPLE'S MONEY!!!"

Nice job posting part of the facts about Fair Tax. Don't forget that while you are paying a higher sales tax, THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO INCOME TAX (see I can use all caps too). With the fair tax system, you pay taxes based on what you buy and put back into the community, not how much money you make. That's part of the reason it's called "Fair Tax."

The rich people who buy more expensive products and services will still pay higher taxes across the board, so you should be happy with it. Do some actual research on it. You might just be surprised at how fair it actually is compared to the current tyrannical version of a tax system we currently have.

September 30, 2010 at 9:53 a.m.
carlB said...

Username: Francis | On: September 29, 2010 at 11:10 p.m.


Character and Judgment of people, another way of saying it:

What can we say about any person's character and judgment if they deliberately give out false information? Then what are their true opinions of the people who knowingly continue accepting and using false information just for dividing the people and whatever it is they are trying to do. In addition, there is something different about the people’s honesty that deliberately keep putting out information they know is not the truth. Surely, there are not people who want to have their “life’s decisions” made on false information given to them by our power hungry “want to bee’s”? Everyone makes an honest mistake at times but there are differences in the honest mistakes made and those mistakes deliberately made by persons in producing false information.

September 30, 2010 at 9:54 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

I've looked at McWherter's web-site. The guy is a nut job!

Thanks tnprogressives. I did not know Haslam supported the FairTax. One more reason to vote for him!

October 1, 2010 at 12:58 p.m.
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