By Joe Rector
By the time this column is printed, the primaries will be finished. I say, “Thank you, Lord!” Like most people, I’m tired of the endless television commercials, recorded phone calls, and colorful junk mail that have bombarded my home for several months.
I no longer want to receive recorded phone calls from candidates who are begging for my vote. I especially don’t want to hear from Laura Ingram again. I despise the woman and have no intention of listening to anything she has to say because it’s laced with hateful venom and half-truths. Supposedly, my phones are on a no-call list; however, it must not include inane political calls from politicians.
I’ve grown weary of watching ads about candidates for whom I can’t vote. That’s Zach Wamp vs Chuck Fleischmann. Those commercials are on local television due to the gerrymandering of districts borders by individuals and groups who are determined to make sure their candidates are chosen over the other party’s. How else can you explain the commercials for politicians whose home bases are Ooltewah and Chattanooga?
What drives me to the edge of irrational anger are the constant PAC-sponsored commercials that air both day and night. I woke up this morning before 7 a.m., turned on the television, and saw one of them within ten minutes. One PAC is named Character Counts. Most folks might associate it with the program that is used by public elementary schools, but that’s a wrong assumption. To the contrary, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that “The Character Counts Political Action Committee is funded solely by one of Wamp’s bosses at the Lamp Post Group where Wamp works.” The Lamp Post Group is an investment company run by three millionaires who graduated from Samford University in Alabama and gave birth to Access America. Their commercials call out the opponent and praise the skills of Zach Wamp and his ability to help the country get back on the right track.
Chuck Fleischmann has his own supporter. It is called Americans for Prosperity. This PAC has a mere 29,000 members from Tennessee, yet their commercials would have us think they speak for the entire state. Its stated goal is to educate citizens about economic policy. I suspect the PAC is more bent on preaching a specific economic principle and then turning its advocates loose on communities.
A whopping $425,000 dollars donated toward defeating three Tennessee Supreme Court justices has come from State Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey’s own PAC. The commercials accuse the justices of all sorts of terrible things, which records show simply aren’t true. Many in the federal government lament President Obama’s blurring the separation of powers of the three branches. It would appear that Ramsey is doing the same thing on the state level. Isn’t his job to lead the senate in drawing up legislation and enacting it?
What I’ve noticed most about the 2014 campaign is that it’s strong on personal attacks and half-truths and short on ideas. Most of the time, commercials slam opponents. I, for one, am “sick and tired” of candidates claiming they are “true conservatives” who have fought Obama and his liberal agenda. The truth is that most of them have had no real involvement with any such things.
Instead of telling what they WILL DO, they tell what they WON’T DO. Our country has witnessed a congress that has done less than any other. We need folks in office who present ideas, work to compromise, and enact legislation that helps ALL people.
I’m numb from the avalanche of ads and attacks and demonizing that is gone on. It’s too bad we can’t oust them all and start over again. Perhaps the best representatives are unable to run because they must make a living to support their families. Maybe they don’t have a PAC that will pour money into attack ads and empty campaign promises. I just want all of this to be over for a while. How about you?