Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Meet Dr. Bryan Terry for TN's 48th District

Dr. Bryan Terry is running for State House Representative for District 48 (the seat soon to be vacated by Joe Carr). I have known Dr. Terry for several months and he has been kind enough to talk with me about his political positions and world view. I reached out to the other candidates in this race, asking them to take part in my questionnaire. They ignored me. Dr. Terry on the other hand, took the time to give detailed answers and explanations to my questions. I would like to share those answers with you and broaden the scope of this article to dive more into his views and the method he uses to come to his conclusions.

A Quick Bio

Dr. Terry was born in Oklahoma and is a member of the Choctaw Nation. His family has been in the farming and auto-salvage for generations and Dr. Terry spent much of his youth working for his family business. He began to study medicine and as a medical intern in 1995, he was actually working in the local ER during the horrific Oklahoma City Bombing, which killed 168 and injured nearly 700, and helped to treat many of the casualties.

He has been married to his wife, Cheryl, for 21 years and has two children, Brayden and Breeley. Dr. Terry has lived in the area for 16 years and is a license anesthesiologists working at MTMC; as such, he would be the only doctor serving in the State House if elected.

Dr. Terry takes great pains to think about problems and to find the best solutions to apply. He is required to be methodical in his profession (lives really are on the line), but beyond that, the way he thinks is truly a part who he is, not just something he learned. He takes the time to study an issue and to arrive at a solution based on evidence and reality. While you may or may not agree with his ideas, there can be no doubt that his conclusions are sound, and not merely the product of knee-jerk reactions or towing a particular line just to get elected.

Two questions I asked him relating to why he decided to and his background were:

Why run for office?

I know that my parents worked long and hard in the auto salvage business to see that I would have better opportunities than them, and I did.  However, over the years, I have seen the political establishment from both parties make things worse all in the name of helping. 

For me, my passion is my children and their generation.  I go to work every day with my children on my mind looking to give them a better life.  I will continue working as a physician to do just that, but if I don’t work just as hard for the values, liberties and ideals that we value, then I am not doing all that I can.  

What sets you apart from other candidates?

I have a very unique background compared to a lot of people either in office or running for office. My grandparents, parents and I all worked in our auto salvage.  Because of my severe asthma and allergies, I took personal responsibility to heart, and worked to become a physician.  

Additionally, having been involved with patient care following the domestic terrorist bombing of the Murrah Building (Oklahoma City) and having a family farm destroyed by a tornado are two heartbreaking, yet spiritually growing opportunities that, to my knowledge, are unique to me.  I think that these experiences, as well as my background, provide me with a real world foundation that when combined with my principles, process, and passion will allow me to reach out in a manner that speaks to the constituents, as well as, be able to carry a message for the district.

His Process

Before I get into specific issues, I want to explain the principles and process he uses when determining a solution or position. For me, if you can't explain why you came to a conclusion, or you can't defend your ideas with anything more than "because", then you're just an ideologue (basically, towing the party line without question).

Dr. Terry's three main principles are 1) Do no harm; 2) Is it Constitutional; and 3) Is it right?
He believes it is very important to not just legislate because you "think" something is right, but because you truly believe it is right, based on the Constitution, and doesn't harm the inherent rights of other people.

To come up with the best course of action, his process involves the need to answer these four questions:
1. What is the problem?
2. What goal are we trying to accomplish?
3. What options do we have to achieve that goal?
4. How feasible are each of the options?

According to Dr. Terry, "I believe that my principles and my logical process for dealing with issues combined with my passion will not only lead me to the correct decisions, but provide me with the tools to work with legislators and constituents in order to find solutions that work best for Tennesseans."

The Issues

Here are his views on some issues that few other candidates are addressing (based on my questionnaire). For other issues like gun rights and taxes, please visit his website.

TCA-5-8-301 allows for local governments to invest surplus revenue. In the case of Rutherford County, this money amounts to well over $10 million and earns fractions of a percent in interest. All the while, the County pays multiple percentage points in interest payments on the debt. Moreover the maturity date for the investments don't coincide with the budgeting process, effectively making this ever growing pile of money impossible to use. Statewide, similar examples can be found and the total amount of invested money is in excess of $1 billion. Governments should not tax us only to perpetually invest the money while raising taxes. I asked Dr. Terry his thoughts on changing the law to make it easier for local governments to withdraw these funds in lieu of raising taxes.

  • The premise of the question is that Rutherford County invests funds in low interest vehicles that could or should be used in the budgeting process; yet barriers exist in accessing these funds.  Thus, local governments are raising taxes as opposed to using the invested funds.  As with any bill, I would have to sit down and look at it through a process that determines possible consequences of any action or inaction.  On the surface, though, the analogy is one of an individual investing in a low yield CD for a year.  Then that same individual uses a high interest credit card to purchase certain items instead of accessing the money tied up in the CD.  Assuming that is the case, I would definitely think that we should look at solutions that would rectify that situation.

His views on the role of Federal & State governments:

  • I believe that Tennessee is one of fifty sovereign states as opposed to one of fifty federal districts.  As the Tenth Amendment reads, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States, respectively, or to the people.”  I believe in the individual, in personal responsibility and in the creativity and productivity that goes along with competition.  The further you get away from that, the more group think you get and the less individuality and creative spirit you achieve. 
  • I like to draw the simple analogy of the relationship of the states and federal government to that of schools.  Within schools, you have cliques, clubs and individuals.  The school should protect the individual rights and clubs, and encourage innovation; yet, provide for a safe environment.  However, the school shouldn't be in the business of requiring everyone to conform to one club or clique.  

How does Obamacare affect local doctors and what are some steps, if any, Tennessee could take to mitigate those problems?

  • I refer to Obamacare and other regulatory burdens placed on the medical field as the “Headache to Health Care Imbalance”. As the government intrudes more and more in the patient-physician relationship, there are more speed bumps to health care.  Doctors are spending more time and money dealing with issues that are not direct patient care.  So, doctors have more headaches to deal with in order to deliver health care.  Patients, on the other side, are going to have less access and less time face to face with a physician.  Patients will see their headaches to health care ratio rise.
  • The first step for Tennesseans is understanding that the patient-physician relationship is the cornerstone of health care and we must work to remove barriers to that relationship.  Another step would be to help elect candidates at the local, state and federal level that will work to mend our broken system.  On a local level, St. Thomas Rutherford Hospital will be starting residency programs in Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine.  This is a huge step in helping patients in Rutherford county deal with health care access issues.

If you could pick one single and specific issue that you would most want to accomplish, what would it be? 

  • For me, there are several issues or causes that I would like to address, but the goal I most hope to accomplish is self governance.  I see and hear the frustration from voters with the political process and with politicians.  People are sick and tired of good old boy politics.  People are tired of elected officials abusing their power.  There is a lot of disappointment with elected officials and it leads to apathy and a sense of helplessness on the part of voters.

The 48th district has a population of over 75,000. If elected, how do you plan on staying in touch with your constituents?

  • With the advent of social media, I think that it is getting easier and easier to reach constituents.  I get weekly and sometimes daily updates from Diane Black, Marsha Blackburn and Joe Carr.  Congressman Justin Amash of Michigan does a fantastic job of reaching constituents using social media including providing updates and reasons for how he voted.  There is software that will allow elected officials interact with their constituents.  I would explore the option of using that kind of software to interact with constituents. 
  • To my knowledge, I am the only candidate that has given out my personal cell phone number.  I am available to talk right now.  As well as holding an open house, I have frequently held “Tuesday’s with Dr. Terry” at a local restaurant and talked to many constituents.  If elected, I would plan to either attend or hold many events for constituents to come and talk to me.

Campaign contact info:

Campaign website:

Contact E-mail:

Phone number: 615-801-2999

Facebook page: Dr. Bryan Terry

Twitter: @TerryFor48

Friday, July 18, 2014

Principles, Power, and Precincts - Part III

---This is Part III of a three part series, here's Part I and Part II---

Here is the third and final part to Bruce Cavender's series "Principles, Power, and Precincts". In this article we learn about the precinct process itself and how it can be a powerful tool for reclaiming our communities. The key to solving the problems facing us is become educated and active, only then can anything of real substance be done. For far too long those who have been active (thus "in charge" by default) have been those who only want power for power's sake or to appease special interests at the expense of everyone else. We need every good man and woman to help reverse this, and the good news is, it doesn't a multitude or vast amounts of time. Feel free to contact Bruce or Jacob Bogle if you would like to become involved.

Part III, Precincts

Contrary to what you have been told, a small number of people really can make a difference. Read that sentence again and let it sink in. I have seen it. It is also clearly true that there are those that don't want you to get involved and make that difference. They want the power for themselves. They are self-serving, special interest tyrants. Let me give you an example tied to the Precinct Process.

Several years back, a teacher sent me a copy of a document she received from her union that not only admonished her to get involved in the Republican Precinct Process, but laid out in great detail how the process worked and how to become a part of it. They sunk some real resources to make this document.

Now think about that for a second.

Traditional Republican Principles stand for Free Markets, Individual Rights and Meritocracy in general. Unions clearly are not bastions of the free market principle of “price discovery” when it comes to the value of their members' hourly productivity or encouraging high individual performance. Just as Crapitalists damage our system, unions seek influence that benefit their own special interests … or, failing that, at least disrupt who they see as those opposing their desired ends. Either works for them.

A little after that, I spoke at another County's Party Meeting. When I asked to meet the Chairman, I saw several executive committee member roll their eyes. One person finally spoke up and said that the Chairman was a teacher (and union member) that said he had to work late that night and couldn't make the Party's meeting. Several nodded when one finally stood up and said, “He has done absolutely nothing and needs to go.”  I left there thinking just how much damage a single person can do to the morale and effectiveness of an organization. It also reinforced the point that people's driving principles need to be critically understood before electing them to positions in any Party or Government.

Whether you are electing the President of the United States or a Delegate to a local precinct, the quality of government you get out depends on the principles and degree of commitment of the elected.


The Precinct Process is the method by which county members of a political party choose (a) the executive leaders of the party that will represent them (a convention) and (b) actually select party candidates for office in a Delegated Election (also known as a Caucus). 

A county party's executive committee deals mostly with internal activities, the state party, the local election commission, occasional media releases and local/state government officials to responsibly represent its county members. It is governed by State and County Bylaws as well as Robert's Rules of Order enforced by a parliamentarian. Usually this committee has fewer than 20 members.

Whether electing officials via a caucus or a new executive committee via a convention, the process of electing qualified delegates via 'Precinct Meetings' in the County is the same. The sitting executive committee sets a date, time and location for a delegate election in the precincts (Precinct Meetings) and give legal notice via local advertisement. If you don't read the classifieds each day, it is easy to miss entirely. It is up to you to get connected and in this loop. Go to a monthly party meeting or hook up with someone that is already knows the ropes. Be diligent. Scope out someone that is on the ball, tell them you are interested in volunteering and want to be involved in the party.  Be principled and professional, not adversarial. That will kill your chance to influence the process.  Find out what precinct you are in and ask how to contact your Precinct Captain.  If there is a captain in your area, call them and tell them you would like to be a delegate.  Your captain should welcome you, take your name and contact info for the upcoming Convention or Caucus. Make a note and check in with the party in case the captain doesn't execute. Write the date down and be diligent.  Conventions to elect party executives generally occur in the first quarter of odd numbered years, giving them a frequency of one every two years. 

If there is no current precinct captain in your area, volunteer to fill that space through appointment by the Party Chair. This is almost always welcome and very much appreciated by the Chair.

Despite the title, the Precinct Captain has no special authority or power. It is a position of leadership within the precinct that sees a wide range of participation.  Some captains only get involved for a very short amount of time for Convention or Caucus elections. Others take deep interests in political happenings in their local area and can spend as much time as they like on local issues.  It is a great way to meet lots of people, learn the game and move the process ahead.

Precinct Meetings

The first order of business at a Precinct Meeting to elect delegates for a Convention is to elect a captain to serve for the next two years, starting with electing delegates for the upcoming Convention. If the Precinct Meeting is for a Caucus and a Captain exists, the current captain simply proceeds to handle the  delegate election process. (Note: In some states, precinct delegates are elected via full primary elections. Rutherford County's parties do not function this way. In my humble opinion, this is good right now because Tennessee's “Open Primary” dissipates most differences between parties and choices for the electorate because Democrats crossing over into Republican primaries elect Republicans that are most like Democrats … and vice versa. This results in a mushy uni-Party that isn't responsive to voters. One has to ask, if 25% of people pulling a Republican Primary Ballot historically vote Democrat, is it still a Republican Primary?)

Each Precinct in Rutherford County is apportioned a number of delegates in accordance with the number of votes cast in that precinct during the last Presidential election. The Republican Party calls for one delegate to be elected to represent for each 200 votes cast.  For example, if 850 votes were cast in your precinct, four delegates would be elected for the first 800 votes and one more delegate would be added to represent the 50 votes over the prior 200 vote unit … or 5 delegates could be apportioned in the process to vote in the actual Convention or Delegated Election. Some precincts are small, some large. If the turnout is small in the general election and only 190 votes are cast in a precinct, only one delegate can be elected to the precinct process.  Some precincts will see well over 1,000 to 2,000 votes cast and could have 10 to 12 delegates elected.  It can vary, but on average, only six to seven delegate positions per precinct are available to be filled. If a precinct, qualifies for some number of delegates, it also qualifies for that same number of “alternates”.  Alternates do not vote in a Caucus or Convention unless the total number of delegates allowed is not met. Alternates regularly are called upon to step up because of sickness or other absence of elected delegates at the full Convention or Delegated Election.

After delegates and alternates are elected at Republican Precinct Meetings, the results are gathered and sent to the Contest and Credentials Committee.  The C&C committee checks each delegate and alternate to see if they are a registered voter in Rutherford County and a bona fide Republican in good standing.

Qualifications can be:

A. Any individual who is actively involved in the Tennessee Republican Party, his County Republican Party, or any of recognized auxiliary organizations of either; or

B. Any individual who has voted in at least two (2) of the four (4) most recent state and/or local Republican primary elections; or

C. Any individual who is vouched for to the satisfaction of the State Chairman as a bona fide Republican, such as by an officer of the TRP, a member of the Executive Committee, the Republican Party of the County where the individual resides, or a Republican elected official. The State Chairman may require additional verification that the individual in question is indeed a bona fide Republican, and shall have final authority to make the determination.

If a person does not, qualify as being in good standing, the C&C Committee notifies them in writing as to what the deficiency was and an Alternate takes that Delegate position. A and C can be a bit subjective, so the reality is (B) is the objective choice for quick acceptance/rejection of being bona fide.  The Rutherford County Election Commission sells a spreadsheet that quickly allows a registered voter's record of primary choices to be determined. A candidate wishing to run for a position on the County Executive Committee in a Convention must have pulled the GOP Primary Ballot three times out of four primaries to be eligible to enter a Convention race.

Usually Precinct Meetings occur two weeks before the County Convention that selects a new executive committee or Delegated Election (Caucus) that selects candidates to go on a general ballot.

Tiny Numbers Call the Shots

In a county like Rutherford with 48 precincts, 200 to 350 Republicans that understand “The Process” select the local party leadership in a convention or the ballot candidates for an upcoming election by caucus. Typically, precinct meetings do not get 6-7 applicants and many delegate positions go empty. Many times precincts cannot even elect a precinct captain and a temporary 'host' must stand in to fill out the paperwork so the precinct is not completely disenfranchised. This lack of participation concentrates power into an even smaller amount of people.  Low participation in full on elections is a bad thing.  Poor participation at Precinct Meetings, adds significantly to the temptation of special interest groups to insert their members to exert a very strong and broad influence with only a handful of people. Voters excuse themselves from going to the polls because they claim parties only bring poor candidates to the ballot. This is a pernicious cycle because voters' absence at precinct meetings are filled by special interests that get their way by no more than “showing up” to be counted. Believe me. These groups want you to remain uninformed about the Precinct Process and out of the loop.

In Rutherford County, I have been told that the Democrat's “Precinct Process” captures only about 20 percent of the tiny participation that Republicans see.  This means about 50 in-the-loop people that show up get to decide who the leadership will be that represents all the Democrats in the County.  I find it unfathomable that out of 100,000+ Democrats, that there are not at least 100 that are Pro-Constitution, Pro-Free Market, Pro-Rule of Law and Pro-Liberty that would invest a few hours a year to get involved and demand quality candidates do the right thing for their people.  Likely most of the 100,000+ Democrats love the USA, they just don't know “The Process” and use it.

From the research I have done, this exceptionally low turnout is typical, if not endemic, across the US for the Democrat Party.  This may well be an indication of how our current president, with almost no history or political experience found enough convention votes to get to the general election.  With ~3100 counties in the US, 150,000 Democratic precinct votes may have been the key to his election.

Rutherford is nearing a population of 300,000 and literally 300 - 400 folks are selecting who will run both political parties and what kind of candidates they will promote.  The next paragraph is key.

The critical opportunity here is that if just 200 Republicans and 100 Democrats that still believe in the Founders' Constitution simply showed up and became delegates, our governance could be totally changed. The dirty tricksters could be history.   Most counties across Tennessee are much smaller in size. That means that even smaller numbers of pro-Founders folks could make a very big difference.  One rich Crony Capitalist and one rich Progressive Liberal Socialist only get only one vote each. The Middle Class could squash both of these special interests like a flea and in a heartbeat, if they only would “show up”, understand what is happening and vote.

You can be part of this reform process if you will take the time to understand the Precinct Process, get connected and clean up our house. Everyone I know wants a return to sanity with good people at the helm. We must improve the quality of candidates we send to handle the peoples' business. That is in everyone's best interest for the long run.

Legacy Republican or Tea Party.

Direction is more important than speed.

Bruce Cavender - July 9, 2014

Links & Further Reading

The 5000 Year Leap

Chinese Cultural Revolution

Chinese Universities Embrace British Model vs Mao

Normalcy Bias

The Precinct Process Links

Use “precinct process strategies” with your favorite search engine. There is a massive amount of helpful information available where people like you have blogged about what works and what does not.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Principles, Power & Precincts - Part II

---This is Part II of a three part series, here's Part I and Part III---

Part II of Bruce Cavendar's insightful article, "Principles, Power, and Precincts".

Part II, Principles and Power

Are principles still important today or have they become mostly unnecessary in our “post-modern” society? One congressman unwittingly summed up the problem of ignorance about principles when he stated that “the Constitution is 100 years old”, attempting to imply irrelevancy.

As an engineer with four decades under my belt, I have seen principles obeyed and principles abrogated. Consider this question: Would you trust an unprincipled engineer to design your jetliner wings, river bridge or electric transmission lines over your head? I have seen these handled correctly as well as the fatal aftermath of rare failures of all three. The bottom line is that when principles are ignored, people inescapably endure disaster, pain and death.  Read that last line again.

Principles related to economic, legal and political systems are only different from the prior example by the scale which disaster, pain and death can reach. This is why that there is no more important educational process than to understand the different types of political systems and their consequences.

The book (and audiobook), The Five Thousand Year Leap, speaks to how the observance of the principles of natural law allowed the United States to produce achievements in two hundred years that had not been made in five thousand.  To go from axes to chain saws, voodoo to magnetic resonance imaging and ox carts to space ships is inarguably the greatest leap in civilization in 5000 years … and worth studying thoroughly. The deeply reasoned philosophy and processes that the Founders and State Legislators of the time worked a miracle unheard of in human history. I cannot recommend this book/audiobook more strongly to every person that loves their current life in the USA and has the desire to see their children enjoy the personal freedom and liberty that is not diminished or destroyed. What country and system of government would you move to if for some reason the freedoms, liberty and economic opportunities of the USA were no longer available here. To deny that the United States could sink back to third world status in healthcare alone would be a gross failure of imagination.

The book enumerates 28 principles that are responsible for the success of the United States. The first three are especially important right now to our Country's health and survival.

Principle 1:  The only reliable basis for sound government and just human relations is Natural Law.

Principle 2:  A free people cannot survive under a republican constitution unless they remain virtuous and morally strong.

Principle 3:  The most promising method of securing a virtuous people is to elect virtuous leaders.

Simply put, without the Rule of Law, free people that do not choose to exercise moral behavior by selecting virtuous leaders, must become slaves to the tyrant with the biggest fist and largest gun.

We only need to look back to the 1960s and study what happened to citizens during Chairman Mao's “Cultural Revolution” to see a modern example of what our Founder's spent so much time to avoid by investing the power in the People through a three branch, 'limited' government with checks and balances rather than a monarch or dictator.  Mao's famous statement … “That all Political Power comes from the barrel of a gun” is an apt confirmation of a tyrant's desire to rule over slaves unable to challenge even their slightest whim. Narcissism and the desire to enslave others is a fault of human nature … which is also as timeless as natural law.

It is interesting to note that most of today's high level leaders in China came of age during Mao's central micromanaging control, purges and genocide. They saw first hand the destruction and death of those that were summarily deemed 'politically unacceptable' (politically incorrect?) The horrific suffering, though largely unacknowledged, is clearly not lost on them today. The Chinese are not to be underestimated. They are beginning to study in depth how long lived countries deal with change through reform rather than revolution.  That link to the article in The Guardian, gives insight into Chinese Universities that are now studying the writings of Edmund Burke, Alexis de Tocqueville among others of our Founders' time that advocate for reform over time, but admonishes against pushing citizens to revolution that brings unnecessary mayhem and death to a country. Consider our direction right now.

A couple years back, I had lunch with a very respected businessman and past Chairman of a local political party.  After discussing numerous political problems, he summed up the situation with a single quote:  “Direction is more important than speed.”

People living today in the USA have never seen revolution on our soil and largely believe it cannot happen. What has always been, will always be.  This is normalcy bias. It is dangerous and totally illogical to believe as impossible. The educational system certainly is not the same as several decades ago, along with entitlements, debt, militarization of the police, invasions of privacy among others.

In terms of personal freedom, Mainland Chinese are still far, far worse off than citizens of the USA, but they are moving in the right direction. Business, science, technology, education and governance. We are not. 

Direction truly is more important than speed.

So what can we do?  The answer lies in the first three principles above.

ONE: We must study and understand why moral behavior is a prerequisite to our nations' survival.

TWO: We must demand of ourselves a return to competent, virtuous and moral behavior.

THREE:  We must publicly and soundly rebuke those that believe they are above our national, state and local laws and can abrogate them at will (this includes the bylaws of our political parties).

If we cannot understand these principles, take them to heart and put them into practice we risk losing the benefit of the 5000 Year Leap that we received on a silver platter from our forebears. Returning to the misery of third world status is the judgment we face from immutable Natural Law should we choose to disobey. We must recognize evil for what it is and treat it so. The Unprincipled are actively destroying our nation.


A number of years back we spoke with a wise, very well respected Legislator who was a Rutherford County native. They quietly believed that reform was critical, but couldn't take a stand for personal reasons.  Their explanation of how the local political culture worked proved to be an excellent insight. Historically, there was a very small group of folks that viewed themselves as community 'leaders' who operate in the 'best interests' of the people and everyone else essentially acquiesced under that leadership. This group was unelected and nontransparent. The system worked relatively to the benefit of the County during the time when it was more rural and genteel, but as land values skyrocketed and large sums of money came to the County, a shift occurred from benevolence to self benefit. Despite the strong facade of Democrats vs Republicans in the county, there is a small number of 'leaders' whose 'party loyalty' quietly fell second to their economic benefit. This kind of structure is neither transparent to the public nor surprising when considered, but the takeaway is that its easy for a neophyte in political waters to be bitten at an inopportune time if they are unaware of the situation they are dealing with.  Money talks, cliques form, plans are hatched. It is a negative, but it can and must be dealt with.

In the past five years there have been numerous instances of support by members of one party for another that has more to do with connections, business relationships or quid pro quo support for future circumstances. Some very subtle and some laughably obvious. A few that publicly speak the loudest about the importance of party loyalty are the worse offenders and have zero reticence about destroying their internal party structure over a single issue that benefits themselves or their clique. Ugly, but true. Deal with it, get over it. It is not going to go away by itself.

After only being involved for a short period, it became clear to me that the vast majority of middle class citizens are deeply disaffected with local political parties. Over time, even “Disaffected” didn't really come close to describing it. Most expressed their distress with words I will not use here. Even worse, what I wasn't to discover until a few years later was that the thinking middle class is not really wanted in the process by those who are very entrenched. Frankly, “unwelcome” would be the polite term that I would use here to describe the efforts by people with 'special interests'.  Put yourself in the position of being a very small number of people that want to exercise significant political power. Maybe that power makes you a lot of money. Especially so long as people don't look too closely at what you are doing. Would they welcome a large cadre of folks looking in-depth at their budgets, decisions and always sniffing for conflicts of interest in their conduct of the People's business?

The answer is “not only no”.

Having 40 hours a week to dig into this, I became far more involved than simply voting in the Precinct Process. When I objected to bylaws being abrogated, I was blocked out. When special interest forces manipulated to reverse valid votes, my protests were ignored.  Even though I was just a single vote, that was threatening enough to certain special interests to send me a 'message' by shooting our car windows out. (The same day a close friend that worked with me politically also had a car window shot out.)  Additionally, I was approached twice by different 'ladies' that held out the possibility of a 'personal liaison' (not the way they expressed it). It doesn't take an IQ of 200 to recognize a blatant attempt at political manipulation, but I was at first taken aback at the cowardice and raw evil that was actually at work behind the scenes. This was a wake up call for someone trying to see the good in all people.  The few in the opposition that would do this showed just exactly what they were made of.  Pure Evil.  This only redoubled my determination to root out the worst of those that are corrupting our system and literally making war on the Middle Class.

To be honest, at first I kept these indiscretions quiet, as I thought them an embarrassment to the organization. I certainly didn't like to talk about them. It was ugly.  When I saw others run into dicey situations, most just threw up their hands and quit. Good people really don't want to be anywhere near those kinds of activities.  Then one day it hit me.  The steady stream of bad behavior, dirty tricks, etc. was not random, but clearly intentional. Maybe they are even funded. Think about it.  If your special interest clique is very small in number, is it easier to sell the idea that your clique should get to call all the shots to a very large number of people or would it be easier to just keep the party organization in the state of extreme weakness by constant disruption to where it cannot be effective against you?  Would there be any real surprise that those that believe 'the ends-justify-any-means' would choose that?

I have been called every name in the book from “Nutjob” to “Anti-Capitalist”.  The irony of the situation is that all the vitrol sent my way was a result of just calling for obedience to the Rule of Law (and bylaws) and basic principled behavior.  (“Nutjob” was a fun term of endearment, but “Anti-Capitalist” was the most hilarious after I spent twenty years allocating capital for large projects in a Fortune 100 company, among others, before retiring to Rutherford County.)

While this juvenile behavior is ugly and needs dealt with, there are even worse concerns. I was researching a budget question in a state office in Nashville and one of the meeting attendants was a legislator. I stopped him alone in a quiet hallway to ask about a current bill that would strip Constitutionally elected County Officers of handling citizens' money and setup an unelected official in their place. I was not ready for his response. This legislator looked at me and said “I think we need to do away with the Constitutional Officers and have them appointed by the County Mayor.”  Stunned, my job dropped. His plan was even worse than what the bill would do. All I could say was “Why?”.  He just pointed out to the street many stories below us. He said … and I quote … “The People are too stupid to elect someone smart enough to do the job.”  I was at once struck with the pure, absolute arrogance of this legislator's disregard of those that trusted and elected him. Secondly, I was struck by the fact that if his logic carried, then he was incompetent to fulfill his duties by his own admission.  I was heartbroken as I had deep trust in this person that was just completely shattered. I was angry with myself for not vetting him better for my support. Clearly we had elected an unknowledgeable, unprincipled legislator that was in favor of writing a bill that would take away power from the People's Constitutionally Elected Officers and concentrate it in unelected hands. Like the old movie, Catch-22, it made me think we need to more carefully screen those that just can't wait to get into office.   On the way home, all I could think about was the fact that this legislator had taken “The Oath” to support and defend the Constitution. I have been disappointed in people before, but I never, ever in the entire world expected to be let down so badly by someone that previously acted like they would always defend the People. (This bill failed, but I am confident it will be back.)

So why am I telling you this?  As discouraging as it is, it is instructive for what we need to do and where we need to go. We must understand the ground we are on and what we are fighting for.

First, we need to strengthen ourselves. We are in a fight for what is right.  We must become determined and impervious to our enemy's ploy of “being-as-bad-as-they-want-to-be” to simply scare us out of the game. Evil wins when we give up.

Second, we need to recognize this is a long term battle and understand our enemies.  I have scratched my head over and over when “Republicans” denigrate the “Tea Party”.  If you make up a list of things that people in both of these groups historically hold as principles, it is almost an exact match.  Constitutional Rights, free markets for business, uniform commercial code, equality for all.   However, when you judge people by their actions, many Republicans in government today are committed to gaining and retaining power-at-any-price. The recent election in Mississippi where 'Republican' members joined in league with Democrats to defeat Republicans with Founders' Principles exposes their complete disloyalty to their Party's principles.  This is far from the virtuous expectations that the Founding Fathers demanded in their time. Remember what happens to your airplane, bridge or power lines when you ignore principles?  This is not just political positioning, this is treachery.

I find it interesting to note that those 'Republicans' who scream the loudest against the “Tea Party” do not even realize that it was their own unprincipled activities that spurred the outrage that got the “Tea Party” in their face to begin with.  The 'Unprincipled' created the 'Tea Party'.   If they had not abrogated their responsibilities and the law, I certainly would have stuck to the activities I had planned for retirement rather than focus my resources on fighting with them. 

Full Circle:

We live in interesting times.  Socialist/Communists on the Left still want all the means of production to be property of the State (at their diktat of course) and seek to waste and destroy as much capital as they can in the process.  A portion of the Large Business Community on the Right refuses to obey the discipline of free markets and seek government grants, loans, protections, subsidies, long tax free holidays, restrictions on their competitors, etc to give them big buck advantages and special treatment.

The Progressive/Socialist/Communist bloc is stronger, strategically smarter and more emboldened than ever. Each time they get away with breaking the law, it only makes them try something even bigger.  Crony Capitalists (Crapitalists), also willing to embrace any evil or antisocial behavior, are  traitors that have abandoned their traditional positions of defending the Rule of Law, Free Markets, Freedom and Liberty. Anything goes to get what they want. Only getting caught is deemed bad.  Even though the time frame for their harm to show up is longer, those that have abandoned our Founder's Principles are no less treacherous than the narcissistic Benedict Arnold at Fort Ticonderoga.  Clearly, these are the Bad Guys now.  I regard them as worse than Marxists. At least Marxists understand hanging and tell you to your face that they will hang you given a chance.  Crapitalists' actions are setting up the Middle Class, and ultimately even their own businesses, for destruction … much to the glee of the Progressive/Socialist/Communists that wish to disempower the USA through destruction of our Rule of Law, de-industrialization, skyrocketing energy costs and destruction of our kid's future.  Khomeini executed clueless Leftists that helped him into power. Present day Crapitalists should expect no less.

If we fail to act against this evil, we are giving our tacit sanction and approval to their actions.

Not to act, is to act. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Principles, Power & Precincts - Part I

---This is Part I of a three part series, here's Part II and Part III---

Here is a wonderful guest article by Bruce Cavender in which he takes us through his personal political "awakening" and lays out why it is so important for everyone to stick to their principles, become involved in the political system, and why the precinct process is the best way to affect change in our communities.

I want to thank Bruce for taking the time to write this and for his continued efforts.

Part I, an Introduction

When Jacob asked me to write this article about the Precinct Process, my first thought was that I could knock it out in 20 minutes because the basic mechanics of how to participate in this very influential process are simple and straightforward. At the lowest level of participation, the basic activity can be carried out in a few hours every other year after a person becomes familiar with the procedure.  Even more can be accomplished by those willing to invest even a modest amount of time.

However, to only explain the mechanics of “The Process” in isolation would be about as valuable as walking into a movie halfway through. So I took a deep breath and expanded the scope to put together a cogent analysis … that basically could only be delivered by alternative media and link sharing among people that are deeply concerned about where our Country is going.

My goal here is to promote the understanding of (a) the context of how the Process works, (b) how special interests are involved and, maybe most important to understand, (c) how citizens' lack of participation actually becomes a sanction of the very waste and injustice that plagues us. Many, many people feel system reform is necessary for a broad array of reasons. As an old systems engineer and business manager, much of what is wrong, the waste, corruption and injustice, jumps out at me like sparks from a downed electric pole or blood spurting from an artery.  We have significant problems that threaten to cause great harm to our Country right at our doorstep. People are awakening to these threats and becoming involved to solve them. We need every hand on deck to do what is right for our County and our Country, especially younger folks. We have let much get out of hand and there is much to do.

I also want to pass along discussion about certain key principles that the United States was founded upon because of their exceptional relevance, no, necessity in making our situation better.  The United States of America is the greatest 'startup' this planet has ever seen. My greatest wish is to see it endure for my children and people who are like Thomas Jefferson that appreciates dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.

It is clear that there are those that do not share the Founders' understanding and philosophy about how and why their system works. Too many are totally ignorant of how our system came to be. There are also those that want to destroy the Founders' model completely and make no bones about doing it. Some because they truly are tyrants like the Founders risked their lives to protect us from … others because they simply seek money and power and really don't think about the consequences of selling rope to those that would hang us. The worst offenders among us are those just don't care about injustice, waste and who gets hurt in the disaster they create while they are 'getting theirs'.  Over the last five years, our reform process has seen numerous successes, but it needs to be taken to the next level. We must fully understand what the higher level problems are and how to work within the system to bring about the reform that is necessary to prevent the loss of freedoms and liberties for ourselves and our children.  Let's start by thinking about you, the reader, personally.

A Question:

“Why should you become involved in the Precinct Process anyway?  Or put a different way … “What are the consequences if enough people like you do not become involved in the Precinct Process?

The Precinct Process is not taught in our schools, there is seldom free food, the people can be grumpy and you will not be remunerated for your time. Why not just stay home and turn on your thousand channel cable and zone out?  You work 40 hours a week. You pay your bills. You raise your kids right and set a good example for them. Maybe you even volunteer in church or civic organizations to try to help others. You vote, sometimes, even though you have this strong, nagging feeling that doing it 'makes no difference' … but can't logically put your finger on a solid reason why.

But that's all we need to do to be good citizens, right?  Besides … Politics … it’s a dirty business … who would want to be associated with that?  This, as it turns out, is a pivotal question to ask and far more important than I ever could have imagined when I joined “The Process” five years ago.

The description above was me for 35 years. I worked, I voted … in the big elections, but I left the rest for 'somebody else' to do.  I was a “Sheeple”. However, not to act, was to act. By not participating in governance of my County and Country, I gave my 'personal sanction' to all of the injustice and ills that were being visited upon us. I was guilty.  However, 2008 was a watershed year where it was clear to me the 'system' had come off the rails in a number of important ways. It was reaching inside our home and I wanted to know why. I felt that the system was directly threatening my children and without intervention, my kids specifically would not have even the basic chances at personal and economic freedom that my wife and I had enjoyed.  This was on our radar as a real threat.

Instead of a golfing retirement, I spent five years looking at where our Country came from, what it was doing, where it was going and who is taking us there. I have talked candidly with executives in our federal, state and local governments. Ditto regional Fortune 100/1000 companies, Mom & Pop family businesses and lot of regular citizens. Universally, everyone individually knows that 'something is wrong', but they don't know where the problem lies or how to do anything about it. Well, they are right. Something is wrong. Fortunately, there is much to do about it, but as with any problem, it must be properly understood before it can be solved. A problem buried, is a problem unresolved.

Let me share my wake up call and part of my journey to see if it resonates with your experience.


After clicking off another upsetting newscast halfway through, our family sat down for a weekend dinner. My son was home from his university and told us about a professor that interrupted a group of students taking a critical final exam by barging in and announcing “Half you are going to fail and wash out of this program!” I was incredulous. This kind of despicable behavior by a person in 'authority' could not be happening in a learning environment ... not in a “prestigious” university classroom. When I expressed my shock to my son, he simply frowned, looked me in the eye and said “I can give you the phone numbers of five of my classmates who were there.” I wanted to escalate this incident to his chairman, dean, university president or the media, but my son told me I couldn't or he would never have a chance to graduate because of retribution. I was floored. I was angry because my son was being harmed, our family money was being wasted and there was not single thing I could do about it without making the situation worse for him.

From the other side of the dinner table, my daughter told me about an electronic media arts history professor at her university that was requiring them to memorize 5000 individual photographs, the names of the photographers, the dates taken and the technologies used to develop each of them. 5000?  I thought, this is a “university” level course? I remember thinking, with my poor memory, I would have zero hope of passing this 'course requirement'.  Wait. Why is this even happening?  The reason for studying the leaps of historical achievement is so students have the chance to blaze new trails ahead … innovating in the here and now just like the great leaps of the past. Right?  No. My daughter's tuition money being spent to indoctrinate her with skills of basic, dulling, rote memorization. “University”?  Was this to prepare her for a career competing against a $60 multimedia database program that would be 100,000 times faster than her and perfectly accurate every time?  Nope. On further digging, this prof had a track record of grinding down students into dropping his class and failing half of those that attempted to actually make it through. My daughter similarly feared retribution and my hands were tied again.  To my daughter's credit, she passed the class, the second time she took it, but all I could do was shake my head at the malinvestment of tuition money in a mismanaged educational system and her time that was wasted forever.

Something was very wrong here and it hit me like a baseball bat to the face. The system that had worked for my wife and I nearly a half century ago was now clearly harming our children. Our students were unhappy and we were furious. Our money was disappearing and we were getting nothing for it.   Most worrisome, our student’s future prosperity was being threatened.

The Moon:

I clearly remember a different time. In the 1960s and 1970s, those in our educational system had their marching orders to produce students proficient in science, technology, engineering and math.  I will never forget John F. Kennedy's speech setting the goal of putting a man to the moon. I remember my eyes growing large. What inspiring leadership! Later a fellow from NASA showed up at my high school. After showing some slides and models, he lit a small kerosene lamp on the front of the stage and while describing a rocket engine, he lifted a gloved hand holding a flask of liquid oxygen as high as he could reach and let the stream pour out onto the burning lamp. The liquid stream turned into a mist just above the small flame. As the oxygen touched the flame, that dinky little lamp filled the auditorium with a rocket's roar that set everyone back in their seats. This tiny demonstration got inside our heads. Everyone talked about it incessantly and we left that day thinking differently.  Anything seemed possible to us … because those teaching dared us to think it was. The road ahead was clear and we were welcomed to it. Those teaching were rooting us on. We were to do great things. In retrospect to me, it was a defining moment for many students that day.

The Teachers working behind the scenes that orchestrated this simple demonstration wanted us to succeed. They wanted to motivate us to success. They got it. Now contrast the leadership and vision of that line of thinking to those of the university profs that have done everything possible to set up students to fail through behavior like I just described.  Either they are are hopelessly incompetent or they have a covert mindset intentionally designed to rob students of both their tuition money and their future economic prosperity.  Clearly, neither of those two situations are good or acceptable … let alone be allowed to continue.  $100s of millions of dollars of palatial campus buildings do not guarantee a mind capable of logical, critical thinking … let alone a mind that is full of enthusiasm for learning every day going forward. Don't just take my word for this.  Ask any university student now out looking for good paying, meaningful work about how useful they feel their classes were for their future economic prosperity.  Do you see enthusiasm or burn out?  If you see Burn-Out, you have confirmation of my problem.

Now if you are still with me, it is likely that you have also experienced some defining off-the-rails moment and need a way to make the situation better. 

The news is bad and good.

Bad news:

The bad news is that there is a significant number of people out there that are willing to do unethical, even evil, things to get their way and many of them are in positions of political and government power.   Many that are out of bounds are simply self serving or ignorant of the right path, thus open to correction. A small handful are very aware of the impropriety of their actions, but the end goal of power-at-any-price is the justification for their means.  These people are incorrigible and must simply be removed from the 'system'. Our situation is not unique. This has occurred for millenia and is simple human nature. Similar situations in history developed only two ways: (1) descent into destruction or (2) reform back to health. The actions of the People and their leaders determine the outcome.

Good news:

The good news is that the self-serving, unethical or just plain evil guys' numbers are small relative to people that need free markets, a stable rule of law and fiscal sanity in our nation and that every one of them can be removed, from all levels of government, national through local, by the voters. When a large enough number of people tire of corruption and become involved, they can be taken out, but there is no guarantee. The only question is will the system be cleansed via an orderly reform process or will there be a systemic moral and economic convulsion with an unnecessarily dangerous probability of uncontrolled mayhem, disaster and even death. There is a tsunami coming either way and it is time to choose our ground.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Voting Record Questions for Rep. Scott DesJarlais

In 2012, US Representative for Tennessee's 4th District, Republican Scott DesJarlais, overcame a number of scandals to win re-election against Democrat Eric Stewart. The general election results for 2012 placed Rep. DesJarlais at 55.8% to Stewart's 44.2%, however, DesJarlais' win came in nearly 4% under his 2010 victory.

DesJarlais has generally been handicapped since the beginning. He only won 37% of the vote in the 2010 primary, but thanks to the overall shift toward conservatism, he was able to win the general election against the then incumbent Democrat Lincoln Davis.

He has now had nearly four years in Congress to show us just how much of a limited government conservative he is. I've gone over his voting record and I have a few very serious questions about why voted the way has.

Voting Record Scores

Here are the scores issued by four different organizations.

According to FreedomWorks, his score for 2011 was 77%, during 2012 it was 55%, and for 2013 it was also 77%.

The New American gives him 77% for 2011-12 and 80% for 2013-14.

Heritage Action gives him 69% for 2011-12 and 81% for 2013-14.

Then there is his environmental score card from the League of Conservation Voters which gave him 6% in 2011, 3% in 2012, and 4% in 2013. For 2014 he seems to be on track for 0%.

Voting Record


DesJarlais voted for HR 1947, the 2013 Farm Bill. The bill not only includes vast amounts of subsidies (something he has publicly opposed before), but it will cost $940 billion over ten years. On top of spending, the bill gives the government more power to control the price of dairy products instead of the free market (producers and consumers). For the "Dairy Market Stabilization Program," private suppliers & distributors will have to pay an estimated $100 million in compliance fees.

DesJarlais voted against cutting $1.5 billion from government sponsored "alternative energy" research. (H.Amdt. 258 to H.R. 2609). Yet, just a month after, during an August 13, 2013 town hall, Rep. DesJarlais publicly denounced subsidies for such things.

He voted against the Republican Study Committee's "Back to Basics" budget reform which would have cut billions from discretionary spending, actually reformed Medicare and would have helped to make it solvent again. Remember, the Medicare fund will run out of money in a short 12 years. It would have also realigned the Social Security retirement age to match ever increasing lifespans.

He voted against Amendment #46 to H.R. 2379. The bill itself was to reauthorize the 2001 "Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Terrorists." Our Founding Fathers never intended for us to be at war without end, and our government has continually failed to outline what exactly we're fighting against. Moreover, it has failed to outline how we plan on winning. "Terrorism" is a nebulous word that can mean just about anything, the job of Congress is to declare wars and to fund them, and if there is no actual deceleration it is their job to stop it. Simply allowing the President to use the military however, whenever, and for however long he wishes, is an abuse of war powers and a forfeiture of Congress' power. The amendment would have required Congress to properly define and authorize the military actions which place our young men and women at harm.

He voted against Amendment #12 to H.R.1960 which would have prohibited the indefinite military detention of anyone apprehended in the United States and would require them to be formally charged and face trial. The law doesn't end just because you're a criminal, nor does the Constitution stop applying just because you may have committed a crime - which terrorism is. Our laws provide that all persons arrested must be charged and face trial. We put Timothy McVeigh on trial, we put Saddam Hussein on trial, we put Hermann Goering and Albert Speer on trial - we can, and should, put anyone arrested in the United States on trial. How are we to defend our way of life and protect our moral standing if we turn our backs on one of the most important and sacred foundations of our country?

He voted for CISPA (Cyber Intelligence and Sharing Protection Act). We have known for years that the NSA and other federal agencies have been gathering personal data on Americans and on those whom we contact overseas. CISPA would have granted the federal government far reaching powers to collect, store, and share our electronic communications (e-mail, Internet searches, chat room contents etc.) and would have forced Internet providers and other companies to hand over that information to the government. There is zero reason for the government to know everything about us. Whether you have something to hide or not, the Constitution makes it very clear, the government is only allowed to search you if they have a warrant. Treating every American like a criminal is antithetical to freedom, to our Constitution, and it is an insult to the nearly 1 million soldiers who have died in wars fighting to defend our freedoms.

He voted for the FISA Re-authorization Act of 2012. This allows the government warrantless access to communications to American citizens by potential "targets". As we have seen with the NSA, this type of power can be abused. FISA is an incredibly secretive agency with little to no real oversight. They operate by a set of secret rules and ostensibly only answer to the President. The existence of "kill lists", the fact that the Administration killed a 16-year old American citizen the year before this vote, and the fact that the label "terrorist" could be pinned to nearly anyone - for all these reasons and more, it should make a so-called "Constitutionalist Congressman" reject giving the federal government any more power without looking at serious reform and demanding substantial oversight.


He voted to continue imposing countervailing duties on countries like China and Vietnam. While this is done to "punish" those countries for manipulating prices, it actually only serves as a form of trade-warfare and in the end, like always, it drives up the costs consumers must pay. These costs are always felt most by those who can least afford it.

On a related issue, he also voted to reauthorize the "Export-Import Bank", which is a completely obsolete federal bureaucracy. Founded in 1934, this "federal bank" provides loans to companies to help them export American-made goods to other countries. Specifically, the bank provides loans & guarantees for transactions that would most likely not take place from private-sector banks because they are unable or unwilling to take the risks (which sounds an awful lot like the federal mandate which directed banks to provide loans to high-risk home buyers, a mandate that caused the horrific 2007-2008 economic crisis). It also serves as another form of corporate welfare. In terms of dollars, 75% of the Ex-Im Bank's loans went to the country's 10 largest exporters, including GE and Boeing.

He voted against closing the "Economic Development Administration", which was established in 1965, and serves to "lead" the federal economic agenda by promoting various businesses. This is another completely obsolete and redundant program and is used by members of Congress to further their pet projects and agendas, and for 2014, cost taxpayers $247 million.

On May 18, 2012, DesJarlais voted against Rep. Adam Smith's amendment to H.R. 4310 (Amdt. 1127) which would have prevented the indefinite detention of American citizens without charge or trial. Because of this, any American citizen may be held for their entire life if the government desires without access to a lawyer, without knowing the charges against them, and without the ability to refute the charges and defend themselves. I cannot stress this enough, if we disregard our laws and Constitutional - God-given - rights, then we have become exactly the type of nation real terrorists want us to be.

He voted for increasing the Export-Import Bank's lending cap by $40 billion. That vote placed the American people at risk for an additional $40 billion if the loans are not paid back. Remember, the Ex-Im Bank's very purpose is to provide high risk loans.


He voted against House Concurrent Resolution #51 which would have required Obama to remove U.S. troops from Libya pursuant to the War Powers Resolution which requires that the President gains the support of Congress for any troop deployment (be it one soldier or one million) for periods greater than 60 days. During the Libyan crisis, Obama had time to consult the UN, the African Union and the Arab League, yet apparently didn't have time to consult Congress, in which the powers to declare war are vested. In other words, DesJarlais voted to allow Obama to violate the law and risk American lives for a conflict in which we had no real national interest to fight.  

He voted for S. 990 of the PATRIOT Sunsets Extensions Act of 2011. According to The New American this,
"extended for four years three provisions of the Patriot Act that were set to expire: the "roving wiretap" provision that allows the federal government to wiretap any number of a suspect's telephone/ Internet connections without specifying what they will find or how many connections will be tapped; the "financial records" provision that allows the feds to seize "any tangible thing" that has "relevance" to an investigation; and the "lone wolf" provision that allows spying on non-U.S. citizens without a warrant. These provisions violate the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which requires that no warrants be issued "but upon probable cause" (a much higher standard than "relevance"), and that warrants must contain language "particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Franking is essentially "official mailings" which are paid for by taxpayers and it enables legislators to keep in contact with their constituents. Franking has been a part of our government since its inception and dates back much earlier. However, abuse and misuse has been a real problem over the years and franking has actually been abolished on several occasions. Since 1973, the rules governing franking have been refined and strengthened, but the fact still remains that there are loopholes and that these mailings are paid for out of taxes.

For someone claiming to be a fiscal conservative, one might expect that their franking bill would be on the low end. Unfortunately, Rep. DesJarlais is one of the largest users of franking. For all of 2011, his mailings cost taxpayers over $282,000 coming in at #4, meaning he outspent 431 other members of Congress! For FY 2012, Congress spent $24.8 million on mailings, and while this amount is small compared the entire Congressional budget, this is one easy area in which spending can be cut, especially since it is also an area which has seen lots of misuse.

Closing Thoughts

It is more than apparent from his voting record, that he has violated his oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, that he has lied to us regarding his support for subsidies, and that he is not, by any means, a fiscal conservative. We can and must do better. I urge each of you to reject DesJarlais in favor of someone who isn't either a big-government spender or a career politician, and to support one who has a sound understanding of the Constitution, the role of the federal government and who doesn't think a bureaucracy can solve the problems facing us. There's only one candidate I can think of who genuinely believes in your ability to govern your own life and who is a strict Constitutionalist, and that is Steve Lane.