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Ramsey: The Conservative Case to Replace the TN Supreme Court Justices

Letter from Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey; August 1, 2014:

Dear Friend,

If you’ve been following the state Supreme Court election, you know that for the first time in decades, Tennesseans are learning about our Supreme Court through the constitutionally-required election process.

You may remember that I began an educational effort to make sure that voters, victims-rights advocates and members of law enforcement knew an important election approached. My goal was to have an engaged and informed electorate so the retention ballot would be a real election rather than a coronation, as in years past.

At that time we knew, based on decisions the Court had made, that their judicial philosophy did not fit the values of most Tennesseans. I believed my role would be limited to raising awareness about the importance of Supreme Court elections.

Today, we know far more about our Supreme Court. Despite asserting that they are nonpartisan, their campaign team is made up entirely of Democrats – and not just any Democrats. Liberal Democrats with direct ties to Obama, Harold Ford Jr., and state Democrat Party chairman Roy Herron.

While their campaign is run by Obama liberals, their fundraising efforts are being executed by trial lawyers who have a vested personal interest in the outcomes of Supreme Court decisions.

The Tennessee Forum, an organization started to oppose Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign and fight a state income tax, is doing exceptional work on this replacement effort. They share the same conservative principles and mission as RAAMPAC, the organization I started over a decade ago to push the legislature in a more conservative direction.

RAAMPAC has always been about more than just obtaining numerical majorities — it has been about promoting the conservative cause. I cannot in good conscience sit on the sidelines while Obama operatives distort the record of this liberal Supreme Court and attack the reputations of those who oppose them.

My cause is the conservative cause. And the place for conservatives to be is fully behind the effort to replace a Supreme Court that is out-of-touch and out-of-line with Tennessee values.

That is where I am. If you have already voted REPLACE, thank you. If not, I hope you will join me in voting to REPLACE Connie Clark, Sharon Lee and Gary Wade.
Sincerely,

Ronald L. Ramsey
Lieutenant Governor
Speaker of the Senate

1 Legislative Plaza
Nashville, TN 37243
(615) 741-4524

TN Forum Criticizes AG for Silence on Federal Release of Immigrant Children

Press release from The Tennessee Forum; July 29, 2014:

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Forum today chastised Tennessee’s Supreme Court-appointed Attorney General Bob Cooper for failing to take any action against the federal government for releasing 760 illegal immigrants into the state of Tennessee.

“Barack Obama has once again imposed what amounts to an unfunded mandate on the state of Tennessee and once again Bob Cooper has failed to act,” said Susan Kaestner, president of the Tennessee Forum. “This is just the most recent example of what happens when you have a liberal Supreme Court appointing a liberal attorney general.”

“An attorney general is supposed to look out for the legal interests of the people of Tennessee. When the federal government falls short or oversteps, we need to have an attorney general we can count on to stand up for our interests,” Kaestner explained.

“Connie Clark and Gary Wade did not call Cooper to the carpet for his refusal to stand up against Obamacare. Instead they defended his actions. Now he has gone and done it again,” Kaestner stated. “How much abuse must our state take from the Obama administration before our Supreme Court and its attorney general deem it appropriate to fight back?”

“It is time to vote replace and send this liberal Supreme Court home. Maybe then we can get an attorney general who actually stands up for the state and looks out for the interests of Tennesseans,” Kaestner concluded.

Bill Haslam wrote in a letter to President Obama last week that he had learned of the White House’s dumping of 760 illegal immigrants in Tennessee only after seeing a notification on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website. He had previously asked the Obama administration to give him advance notice of any illegals who were on their way to his state.

As of this writing, the Attorney General Cooper has made no public statements on the matter and taken no legal action.

Attorney General Cooper previously failed to stand up for Tennessee by refusing to join any of the various multi-state suits against Obamacare. Supreme Court Judges Connie Clark and Gary Wade defended his refusal. Wade said it was the “right decision for taxpayers.” Clark argued that the refusal was justified because Obamacare was a “federal issue.”

TN Forum: Congrats to Supreme Court Justices on Endorsement by Davidson Co Dems

Press release from The Tennessee Forum; July 24, 2014: 

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Forum President Susan Kaestner congratulated Democrat Supreme Court Justices Connie Clark, Sharon Lee, and Gary Wade on their endorsement by the Davidson County Democrat Party today. In an email to Democrat party activists and supporters, Gary D. Bynum, Chairman of the Davidson County Democrat Party, said, “Remember when Democrats don’t vote, Republicans are elected and we ALWAYS support the Democratic ticket…Vote to “RETAIN” the current Supreme Court on August 7.” A copy of the email can be viewed HERE.

“I congratulate Justices Clark, Lee and Wade on earning the support of their base – the liberal left of the Democrat Party,” Kaestner said. “It should not be surprising that Democrats would endorse the judges given that they are, in fact, Democrats. Chairman Bynum makes clear that Clark, Lee and Wade are key components of the ‘Democrat ticket’ for voters to consider this August.”

“Partisanship is nothing new for Clark, Lee and Wade,” Kaestner said. “They earned the respect of their friends in the Democrat party by being ultra-partisan activists and donors throughout their judicial career, despite claims to the contrary.”

A review of campaign finance records by the Tennessee Forum reveals a strong pattern of partisan behavior by all three Supreme Court judges up for retention this August. The political contribution histories of Judges Clark, Wade and Lee directly contradict the public mythology perpetrated by the judges and their Democrat operatives that they are “nonpartisan.”

“The judges’ political contributions put in perspective the level of deception they are peddling to the people of Tennessee,” said Kaestner. “The judges can masquerade as apolitical, but the facts are the facts. Normal Tennessee citizens go to work, raise families and go to the polls on election day. They do not consistently and generously give large amounts of money to Democrat candidates. There is a term for people who do that: Partisan Democrat.”

Records show that Clark has given a total of $5,435 to political candidates over the years. 80% of those donations have gone to Democrats, including former Democratic Senate Speaker John Wilder, former Senate Democrat Caucus Chairman Joe Haynes and former state Representative Rob Briley. The candidate receiving the largest total contributions from Clark was former Democrat Governor Phil Bredesen. Bredesen appointed Clark to the Supreme Court in 2005.

Clark’s partisan roots transcend her donation record as well. She was elected to the Tennessee Democrat Party Executive Committee, the most partisan and highest ranking political organization one can be a part of at the state level. As a member of the state Democrat Executive Committee, Clark helped set policy, elect the party’s chairman, and worked to elect Democrat candidates across the state.

Wade, the largest political contributor of the three judges, has donated over 70% of his money to Democrat candidates. Wade’s political contributions total at least $27,311 and include former Vice President Al Gore, Harold Ford, Jr., current Democrat Party chair Roy Herron and the Democratic National Committee. Wade also gave at least $3,000 to former Democrat Governor Phil Bredesen. Bredesen appointed Wade to the Supreme Court in 2006.

Publicly available campaign finance records indicate Lee is the most partisan of the three. She gave over $8,000, 92% of which went to Democrats. Recipients of Lee’s political generosity include Harold Ford, Jr., 2010 Democrat gubernatorial candidate Mike McWherter, current Democrat Party chair Roy Herron and ActBlue. Lee joined her two colleagues in supporting the Democrat Governor who appointed them. She gave Bredesen’s campaign over $3,000. She was later appointed to the Supreme Court in 2008 — by Phil Bredesen.

“These records are public and searchable by anyone with an internet connection. The judges don’t want voters to know their entire campaign is predicated on deception,” said Kaestner. “These judges are candidates for the highest court in the state and they are denying basic truths about their political history.”

“Ironically, their campaign is an argument for replacement. If you truly want nonpartisan judges on the Supreme Court of Tennessee your only choice is to vote ‘replace’ on Judges Connie Clark, Sharon Lee and Gary Wade.”

The general public can search databases of state and federal political contributions free of charge at http://www.fec.gov and http://www.tn.gov/tref.

TN Forum: ‘Predictable’ that TN is First State Sued Over Obamacare

Press release from The Tennessee Forum; July 23, 2014:

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Forum today reacted to the news that Tennessee is now the first state in the union to be sued over Obamacare calling it “predictable.”

“When 28 states around the country were banding together to resist the federal intrusion of Obamacare, Attorney General Bob Cooper was missing in action,” said Susan Kaestner. “Today, it looks like the Obamacare fight has come to him. This was the predictable result of a liberal Supreme Court choosing a liberal attorney general.”

Just last week, Chief Judge Gary Wade defended the attorney general’s refusal to fight Obamacare asserting that it was “the right decision for the taxpayer.” Connie Clark agreed saying it was the right decision because Obamacare is “a federal issue.”

“Obamacare certainly doesn’t look like a ‘federal issue’ today. And the taxpayer will continue to get a raw deal across the board,” Kaestner continued. “The Supreme Court’s decision to pick a partisan Democrat as attorney general looks worse and worse everyday. These judges are responsible and the voters need to hold them accountable by voting to replace Connie Clark, Sharon Lee and Gary Wade.”