Posts Tagged ‘Donn Janes’

Tennessee’s 8th, Continued — Ducking the Debates

September 20, 2010

A little local politics, again, from the arena of the 2010 election, in the race to replace retiring “Blue Dog,” John Tanner.  Do we swap him for another Democrat hack, a probable RINO, or a real Constitutional conservative? I sent this letter to the editor to the Jackson (TN) SUN, today (9/20/10), concerning the apparent difficulties of getting the candidates together for a debate. The Democrat is willing, an Independent conservative is able, but the Republican (RINO?) is — laying low.  Why? And, why not go ahead without him?

Here’s the letter to the editor:

To the Editor,

Over here in the northeast corner of the 8th Congressional District, I feel somewhat slighted as to the coverage of the Congressional Race.

Stephen Fincher is ducking opportunities to flesh out his views and demonstrate his ability to think on his feet. How? By refusing to debate the other candidates on the issues.

This is disturbing, because one’s views and one’s ability to defend them in public are qualities that make or break a successful lawmaker. Is Fincher afraid he lacks those qualities?

Yes, I’ve seen the Fincher signs, with the slogan, “Plow Congress!” What does this mean, exactly?

I’d like a little more detail on how Fincher proposes to fix the way Washington has turned its back on the Constitution over the past few decades. If he is unwilling to commit on any of that, well, that’s his choice, but it doesn’t make me want to vote for him just because there’s an “R” after his name.

Independent candidate Donn Janes has declared he is ready to debate the Democrat candidate, whether or not Mister “Plow Congress” wants to come out and play.

I really hope Donn Janes will get the chance to do so. Somebody needs to stand up for Constitutional principles, and if the Republican can’t or won’t, let Janes step into the vacuum and put his own views and principles on the line.

If WREG-TV can’t make it happen, perhaps the Jackson (TN) Sun will find some other venue. I sure hope so.

Tom Cox
Dickson County, TN

Tennessee’s Eighth, and Conservative Ideals versus the Republican Establishment

February 14, 2010

More on Tennessee’s Eighth

I got some reactions from Donn Janes on my earlier essay on history and current events in the Tennessee Eighth Congressional District. His comments add great value to the discussion, so I thought I’d produce an addendum trying to take them into account.

The most important item is that I need to correct a crucial factual error. I described Donn Janes as one of “two Republicans [who] have stepped up…” to fill the seat to be left vacant by Tanner’s retirement.

Oops. Fundamental error… Janes is running as an independent, having explicitly divorced himself from the Republican Party and its many betrayals of Conservative standards and ideals. I registered as an Independent in Dickson County when we moved here, after decades as a Republican in Indiana, for the same reason. I should have been a lot more aware of the difference.

As if to scold me immediately for neglecting the best arguments for the parting of ways between Establishment Republicans and constitutional conservatives that has taken root in the last few years, I found a column by Alan Keyes posted Friday, February 12, in World Net Daily that distills the grounds for divorce. Some excerpts are reproduced here, but I strongly recommend the original article for the patient, scholarly and thorough dissertation that Alan Keyes, as usual, produces.

“In the days when my awareness of the U.S. political scene was just budding there were politicians in the Republican Party who openly identified themselves as liberals. For this sort of fact Wikipedia is as reliable a witness as any other:

“‘In the 1930s ‘Me-too-Republicans’ described those who ran on a platform of agreeing with the Democratic Party, or proclaiming only minor or moderating differences. A prime example is presidential candidate Thomas E. Dewey, who did not oppose New Deal programs altogether, but merely campaigned on the promise that Republicans would run them more efficiently and less corruptly. …’

“’From 1936 to 1976 the more centrist of the Republican Party frequently won the national nomination with candidates such as Alf Landon, Wendell Willkie, Thomas E. Dewey, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Indeed, other terms for liberal Republicans include Nixonian and Rockefeller Republican.’

“If this take on the GOP presidential candidates of the 20th century is accurate (and I think it is) it confirms the notion that, for all their posturing in opposition to the Democrats on particular issues, the controlling powers of the Republican Party have no quarrel in principle with the New Deal worldview. On grounds that are at once aesthetic, practical and self-interested, they decry the excessive Democratic tendency toward openly populist egalitarianism. Yet, impelled by a self-adulating sense of noblesse oblige, they tacitly concede that the Democrats’ “liberal” agenda represents the higher ground of moral sophistication. What the liberal GOP elites reject is their frequent lack of sophistication in carrying out that agenda.

“In this respect, I suspect that the preferred candidate of the GOP elites in the 2008 election was … Barack Obama. He had all the outward appearances of cool sophistication, purposefully controlled moral passion and seeming respect for the ironically unselfish elite ambition benevolently to secure a position of unchallenged control over every aspect of human life. He seemed so moderate.”

Ouch. A better rebuke for my neglectful lumping of a conservative independent and a nominal Republican together was never delivered. Thank you, Doctor Keyes.

Stephen Fincher certainly impressed me in our telephone conversation as a conservative at heart, using the Republican establishment framework to get to power. That was a subjective impression, however, with no corroborating evidence.

As I said, Mike Pence’s interest in Fincher made me interested in him. However – always, the however – as I mentioned before, Mike and I are not in lockstep on several issues of importance.

I have not forgotten Mike’s embrace of a very McCain-like form of “immigration reform.” It was a rotten idea when McCain championed it, and it was no better with Mike Pence out in front of it.

I also do not agree with Mike’s tendency to go along with “anti-terror” legislation that has the effect of making America less of a fortress than a prison. If we want a safer country, let’s put the bars on the outside, not on the inside.

I have always harbored the irrational hope that  Mike was immune to the effect of cumulative exposure to the insidious, Inside-the-Beltway atmosphere he has been subjected to since January, 2001. Rationally, I have to admit that no one is completely immune to those effects – even Mike Pence.

I doubt that he has succumbed to the wiles of special interest like the United Autoworkers Union or the Sierra Club, but I can’t rule out that he may have been co-opted by an equally-powerful influence in his environment – the Republican establishment.

I described before, my phone conversation with Stephen Fincher. It would be reassuring to see the conservative, constitutionalist views I heard from him then, explicitly laid out on his Website. I would be especially impressed to see him step away from the farm policies that are the oldest vestige of socialism in American government, and that have done as much damage to the free market in agriculture as government involvement in health care has done, and will continue to do, to the free market for that industry.

My favorite civics text is by Libertarian P. J. O’Rourke: PARLIAMENT OF WHORES — a Lone Humorist Attempts to Explain the Entire U.S. Government. The author of this caustic, penetrating and hysterically funny appraisal of our “system” of government yields up the following observation concerning American “farm policy:”

“Farm policy, although it’s complex, can be explained. What it can’t be is believed. No cheating spouse, no teen with a wrecked family car, no mayor of Washington, D.C., videotaped in flagrant has ever come up with anything as farfetched as U.S. farm policy.”

If Stephen Fincher can convincingly break free of the web of obligation and obfuscation of current farm policy, emblematic as it is of what is wrong with the U.S. government, I, self-appointed mayor of Lower Danley Road, northeastern suburb of the unincorporated area of Bellsburg, Tennessee, will give him a serious, second look. As a farmer in a farming community, Stephen Fincher would be showing his allegiance to principle over economic and political self-interest by disavowing government farm policy, and the integrity required to take that step would be very impressive. As cordial and genuine a gentleman as Stephen Fincher is, I’ll have to wait to believe that when I see it in print.

The problem right now in Tennessee’s Eighth is the same problem we have had all over America as a result of going along with the Republican Establishment. The elephantine elite are distinguishable from Democrats/Progressives/Socialists/Economic Fascists only in style; not in substance. We who have followed this herd have swept up enough elephant dung to keep the compost heap going indefinitely. We don’t need any more.

Or, as Alan Keyes summarizes, in the piece cited above:

“People are now rising in opposition to the all-too-conclusive evidence of the Obama faction’s repugnant extremism. But they urgently need to ponder the fact that the phony moderation of the GOP leadership elites did more than anything else to put Obama where he is. Unless we look beyond the false alternatives they offer, we will only enable equally false election victories that will not put an end to the destruction of American liberty Obama represents.”

With apologies to Stephen Fincher, if I had to vote in the Tennessee primary today, I’d vote for Donn Janes.

Tennessee’s Illustrious Eighth — a Congressional District with a Colorful History

February 13, 2010

When we moved to hilly, middle Tennessee from the flatlands of Indiana, we moved to a congressional district with as many historical ups and downs as it has of the physical sort.

According to the Wikipedia page on the subject, both the recent and not-so-recent history of this area have been…. colorful.

Tennessee’s Eighth, carved out of the old Seventh, used to lump our rural home in Dickson County in with Memphis. As a result of the 1980 census, the legislature in 1983 left Memphis and most of Shelby County to fend for themselves as the new Ninth, and Dickson County in the Eighth, to face the future with most of Northwest Tennessee.

Tennessee's Eighth Congressional District

The Wikipedia list of US Representatives from the Eighth and its antecedents goes back to 1823, and lists party affiliations that include a Jacksonian Democratic-Republican, three Jacksonians, one Anti-Jacksonian, seven Whigs, a Know-Nothing, an Opposition Party (Whig spin-off) member, an Unconditional Unionist (not surprisingly, an artifact of the War of Secession, AKA up north as the “Civil War”), and more recently, fifteen Democrats and six Republicans. Talk about colorful…

The last time this seat was in Republican hands was 1973-75, when Dan Kuykendall was re-districted into it from the Ninth. Before that, the last Republican this area sent to Washington was in 1921-23 — so it’s safe to say that doesn’t happen every day. Given the generally Democrat history of the Mid-South, that shouldn’t surprise anyone.

That’s the history. In 2010, however, things could be different. At the end of 2009, John Tanner, the latest Democrat to hold the seat, and having held it for eleven terms, announced his resignation. Tanner, in the tradition of the culturally- and fiscally-conservative Democrats who tend to prevail in the district’s demography, takes credit as a co-founder of the “Blue Dog” Democrat faction of Congress.

Indeed, his voting record may be more conservative than Madame Speaker probably finds to her liking, if the account on his page on Wikipedia is to be believed:

“Tanner is strongly in favor of balancing the budget and paying down the national debt. He has been a strong opponent of the fiscal policies of President George W. Bush, voting against many of the tax cuts passed during his terms; yet, he was one of 43 Democrats to vote to repeal the estate tax in 2006. Tanner was one of the few Democrats in the House to vote in favor of CAFTA and has long distanced himself from the majority of his party on issues such as bankruptcy law and lawsuit reform. He voted for the Federal Marriage Amendment, the ban on “partial-birth” abortions, limiting death penalty appeals, and has voted against most gun control measures. On other issues he is more liberal: he often votes with his party on separation of church and states issues, and has consistently voted against the Flag Desecration Amendment. Tanner voted with the majority of his party to expand stem cell research and against renewing the controversial portions of the Patriot Act. He also supports affirmative action and public education. Tanner was firmly opposed to Bush’s attempt to reform Social Security.”

That sounds kind of moderate, for a long-term Democrat. Somehow, though, Tanner voted liberally enough to earn an 80% rating from the experts on liberalism at Americans for Democratic Action, based on his votes during 2008, the most recent year for which there are scores on their Website.

Wikipedia characterizes this voting pattern as “moderate,” but it might also be described as, “confused,” or, “expedient,” if one could see into Tanner’s motivations.

Only one member of the Tennessee delegation, Steve Cohen, who succeeded Harold Ford to the Ninth District seat that now includes Memphis, finished higher according to ADA standards than Tanner. Cohen scored 100% for 2008. Harold Ford has been in the news lately as a potential Democrat candidate for the US Senate in New York, so Cohen’s district is no stranger to liberal representation.

For comparison, even Senator Lamar Alexander, who is somewhat squishy on illegal immigration, and voted for the nomination of hard-core leftist nominee Sonia Sotomayor to the US Supreme Court, got a chilly 25% rating from the ADA.

Reporting from the other side of the political spectrum, the American Conservative Union gave Tanner a 13% grade for his 2008 voting record, an “F” in most grading systems that don’t pass everybody, and Alexander garnered  72% for the period, which was a low, low  “D” when I was in school.

Which makes one wonder: if John Tanner (80% from ADA; 13% from ACU), a founding Blue Dog, was a friend to the conservatives in Tennessee’s Eighth… did they need enemies?

More recently, the Eighth has had some color of another sort. The highest-profile potential opponent to Tanner from the (nominally) Republican side in the last few elections has been James Hart. To say that Hart has unconventional political views is to make a spectacular understatement. (See for yourself at his Website.)

Hart’s political orientation is a weird cross between an anti-government, neo-isolationist fringe that makes Ron Paul seem calm and conventional, and a white supremacy/eugenics theme that would be at home among hard-core, 20th-century Progressives like Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger.

The Tennessee Republican establishment has backed away from him at every opportunity, as he recounts at his site. The lack of more credible GOP opposition in recent years is perhaps due to a perceived invincibility on the part of the incumbent, as fortified by McCain-Feingold, the Incumbent Protection Act. Certainly, Hart’s frequent use of the politically-radioactive phrase, “favored races,” has done nothing to encourage the Elephant Party Elders to embrace him. He embraces their rejection. It’s that kind of relationship.

This phrase has earned Hart Favored Villain Status among progressive observers of Tennessee politics, despite the historical roots of Eugenics being firmly bedded in Progressivism.

Anyway, that brings us more or less to the present. Tanner is headed for a cushy Congressional retirement, perhaps doubling as a lobbyist, or maybe just as a gentleman farmer, or a coddled academic, and the vacuum must be filled.  Two Republicans have stepped up: Stephen Fincher and Donn Janes.

I haven’t made up my mind, yet, but so far, I like both, and I suspect that either would be an improvement of several orders of magnitude over recent representation of the Eighth in Congress.

In email correspondence with Donn Janes, he impressed me as a firmly-rooted Constitutionalist. His lack of association with the Republican establishment doesn’t put me off at all, considering how incompetent and/or deceptive that establishment has been in recent years, as I have described in detail in “Compassionate Conservatism,” and other Reasons Why the Republicans Lost, and elsewhere.

In this case, it is not Eugenics looniness that seems to repel the Elephants, but the suicidal stampede of the pachyderm patriarchy to embrace Liberal Lite over grassroots conservatism. If this is their reason for giving Janes a dismissive sniff of the trunk, I consider that a major positive. Janes’s Website lays out his beliefs in some detail, and I can find nothing there to disagree with. I see no effort at obfuscation or deception in any of it, and I am strongly inclined to believe that he believes as he says he does.

On the inevitable other hand, Stephen Fincher also strikes me as the real deal. Fincher spent fifteen or twenty minutes on the phone with me, in which I gave him a gentle grilling about several issues I see as definitive. His Website, as I have noted elsewhere, was a little vague in some details I was looking for, but he filled in a lot of that in the time I had with him.

I asked him if he would refuse to vote for legislation for which no justification could be found explicitly in the Constitution. He said yes. He went into some detail, leading me to believe that he is a strict constructionist, and not a blank-check-ist, as far as interpreting the limits on government power delineated in the Constitution. In other words, I don’t see him signing off on something under the cover of the horribly abused “general welfare” provision.

I asked him a question I’d like to see answered by all 535 members of Congress. I call it the “regulation without representation” question. In the event that a federal regulatory agency passed a regulation that violates the Constitutional constraints on government power, would you vote to defund the agency involved, starving it of the resources to enforce such regulation?

I proposed the hypothetical (but all too likely) example of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) re-establishing a “Fairness Doctrine” that would impose restrictions on First Amendment freedoms of speech and press. Fincher said that yes, he would do anything he could to defund the FCC in that case, or in any case in which regulators attempt to bypass the legislative process on their way to violating the Constitution. I think he meant it.

I would love to see our regulatory royalty deprived of their salaries, expenses and benefits while they re-think their ambitions for violating the Constitution.

What does Stephen Fincher think of term limits? He says no member of the Senate should serve more than two (six-year) terms, and no member of the House should be there longer than six (two-year) terms.

(I think membership in either house should be seen as just as much a matter of disagreeable obligation as jury duty, rather than a lifetime occupation from which one retires early and lives like a king at taxpayers’ expense. Take away the perks of power, make the retirement benefits much less luxuriant, and see if we still have self-important hacks and crooks of any party hanging around like a persistent fungal infection.)

The FAIR TAX – Is Stephen Fincher for it? Yes, if he can assure himself that we wouldn’t wind up with a grasping IRS collecting income tax AND a sales tax, he would support the Fair Tax, or a reasonable variant.

Does he agree with my standard for bill size – “any bill too big for a regular human to read before it comes up for a vote is too big to vote for”? Yes. He says the huge size of recent bills is nothing but a haystack for hiding needles from taxpayers, such as pork barrel, bribes for special interests, and unconstitutional power grabs.

I strongly suspect that Donn Janes would answer all of these questions pretty much to my satisfaction, as well.

Stephen Fincher does, undeniably, have more connections with the Republican establishment than Donn Janes, but they are of a conservative pedigree. Fincher told me he is in touch with Mike Pence, Republican Representative from the Second District of Indiana, who is chairman of the House Republican Conference.

Mike Pence is a solid conservative, and has become something of a kingmaker among the conservative Republicans in Congress and elsewhere. While Mike is more conservative and less Libertarian in orientation than I am, I know and respect him from a long-time acquaintance going back before his time in Congress, and I believe he, too,  is “the real deal” — honest, intelligent and respectful of his obligation to uphold the Constitution.

If he says Fincher is a solid individual who would faithfully represent the interests of Tennessee and obey his oath of office, I’m inclined to believe it.

I am also inclined to believe that of Donn Janes, although I have less, independent corroboration.

Where does that leave us? I think we have two, good candidates to go up against the one the Democrats pick in their primary. Which one will I vote for? I don’t know, yet, but I’m glad to have “an embarrassment of riches.”

That is  much more agreeable than a choice between a tightly-wound Eugenics fan and an invulnerable incumbent with a C+/B- grade from the premier liberal organization, and yet the ability to pass himself off as a Blue Dog moderate.

2010 — Last Exit Before the Obamaland Socialist Utopia

January 11, 2010

My fellow Boomers will remember the family road trips we took as kids. Those of us who grew up in urban areas and the suburbs remember marveling at how spread-out things were, Out There.

Before the Griswolds were even an idea,  billboards on deserted stretches of pre-Interstate-era, US highways warned, “Last Gas Next 150 Miles,” or words to that effect. Dad glanced at the gas gauge, and Mom took an informal poll of passengers as to how far we could tolerate going before our next bathroom break.

These days, we wonder if we will survive the grand social experiment that is the Obama era. Is there an exit from this nightmare before our freedom is gone? Are we stuck in the fast lane to a haven for foreigners who hate us and our way of life? Will our country grovel before the oil-producing dictatorships around the world, while we freeze in our homes, and other countries develop our domestic energy and sell it to us?

What will those of us collecting or about to collect Social Security do, when the money runs out? If our medical problems rise above a certain level of expense, will we be invited to visit the local suicide clinic? Will the Department of the Interior decide our retirement homes are a danger to the habitat of the Rocky Mountain Spotted Tick, and put us in the street, or will the local government decide, as in Kelo v. New London, that our homes need to be bulldozed so a pharmaceutical plant can be built there?

It may be too late already, if the aging radicals who currently run things have their way. Every illegal alien, convict, corpse and cartoon character in the world will get the right to vote in the 2010 election, if these aging hippies and Mao-worshipers get their wish. All of those new voters will automatically vote absentee as Democrats, since the Democrats will promise to give them the income, homes and cars of all those people who earned them.

Out of completely unfounded optimism, I will assume for a moment that this last step in the takeover will run into problems. Fictional characters, and residents of Cuba, Venezuela, the Gaza Strip and Iran will not get to vote in this year’s American elections.  Real people who can read and write English, understand the Constitution and do not agree that it is obsolete and irrelevant, will get to vote.

I know, it’s crazy talk, but let’s brainstorm. This applies to the Eighth Congressional District of Tennessee, (where I happen to live), but there is a similar situation near you. Find it, and deal with it.

My district has been “represented” in the US House by a self-described Blue Dog Democrat (in fact, he is credited with helping to found the Blue Dogs), John Tanner. I wrote on Center of Mass  about a “Telephone Town Meeting” Tanner had last August, which I sort-of attended, if you could call sitting at home, listening to the meeting go by, attending.

I waited through the meeting to hear Tanner address my questions, which had been submitted at the beginning of the meeting, but, of course, they weren’t answered. As he invited us to, I wrote up my questions, and emailed them to his office. I got not even an acknowledgment of receipt, and certainly no answers.

Tanner claimed to be a conservative, but it’s hard to tell from here how often he voted for the Constitutional way, and how often he caved to Comrade Pelosi when the blinds were drawn and roll call votes were not required.

Did he, like a couple of nominal Republicans in the senate, vote for the procedural steps that allowed leftist bills to advance, and then vote against them when Pelosi had secured enough votes from other Dems to be sure of passage? That way, he could come home to our district and claim, honestly, that he had “opposed” this or that anti-Constitutional power grab, or this or that confiscatory tax or regulation.

Nice arrangement, if that’s what he did. However, and this may be “damning with faint praise,” Tanner is seen by the political establishment as one of the most conservative Democrats in the House. Regardless, it’s all irrelevant.

It’s irrelevant because Tanner announced on December 1st that he has decided not to run again.

The vacuum is being filled, of course. Two Republican candidates for the primary have surfaced, with an interesting move being made by one of them.  Stephen Fincher is a farmer and gospel singer from (no kidding) Frog Jump, which is a not-necessarily-officially-incorporated community in Crockett County.

Copied directly from his “On the Issues” page is this bullet-pointed, somewhat vague list of Fincher’s positions:


Stephen stands strong with Tennesseans on the issues:

  • Stop runaway spending in Washington that is bankrupting America’s children and grandchildren
  • Never vote to raise taxes, and I will fight to end forever the death tax and marriage penalty
  • Stop any health care plan that fails to protect America’s seniors, families and our right to make our own medical decisions
  • Protect Medicare and Social Security, and all the promises we’ve made to our seniors
  • Recruit jobs and businesses that will thrive in rural and small town Tennessee
  • Develop a comprehensive energy policy to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and grow markets for our farmers
  • Honor our veterans and keep the promises we’ve made to those who serve our country
  • Defend traditional marriage, the Right-to-Life and the Second Amendment
  • Keep America strong, safe, free and secure

[end of excerpt]

I sent an email to Mr. Fincher’s contact address on January 8th, asking for some details to flesh out the bullet points, and to see if he identifies with any of my bullet points:

I was glad to see that a Tennessee businessman with real, private sector experience is thinking of running for the seat to be left vacant by John Tanner’s resignation.

However, after visiting the “Issues” page, I still don’t know where Mr. Fincher stands on some issues of importance to me.

Some examples:

Constitutionality tests for new legislation: Will Mr. Fincher commit to vote against legislation that violates the United States Constitution?

Regulation without Representation: Will Mr. Fincher commit to supporting and voting for legislation that removes funding for federal agencies, such as (but certainly not limited to) the EPA, the BATFE or the FCC, when their regulations violate the Constitution?

Term Limits: Will Mr. Fincher commit to serving no more than two terms in the House of Representatives in a row, and will he support and vote for legislation that sets term limits?

Taxes: Will Mr. Fincher commit to supporting and voting for legislation that abolishes the IRS and the progressive income tax, and to the adoption of the Fair Tax?

That is just a start, but it is a good one. Please let me know where I can find more information about Mr. Fincher’s position on these issues.


Thomas D. Cox


Will somebody from the Fincher campaign reply, with enough specificity to convince me that Fincher is not just another plug-in Republican, but also a committed follower of the Constitution? Not as of January 11, three days later

I’m standing by.

I’d also love to know what Mr. Fincher has to say about a speech given by the namesake of his home county, Colonel David Crockett, regarding the confiscation of one man’s wealth by government, to be given as “charity” to another?

Here is a small excerpt, but the entire speech is required reading for anyone who wants to see the most common-sense argument ever made against the “redistribution of wealth”:

I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of the public money.

What does Mr. Fincher think about the simple but profound truth expressed in Colonel Crockett’s speech?

Stephen Fincher is not the only Tennessean to step up and state he wants this Congressional seat.

Donn Janes, another West Tennessean, navy veteran and networking engineer, has also stepped forward. Janes declared his intentions in June.

The big news about Donn Janes is that he just announced that he was separating himself from the national Republican apparatus and running as a Tea Party candidate. The text of his press release, which I received as an email, is reproduced below in its entirety:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                    January 11, 2009

Contact 901-482-6705

Donn Janes announces he will run as a Tea Party Candidate; pulls out of Republican Party primary.

BRIGHTON, TN –  This past Saturday, Donn Janes, a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in Tennessee’s 8th District spoke in Paris, TN, to an estimated 300 Tea Party activists from the West Tennessee area.  There he announced, As of today, I am no longer going to run for the U.S. House of Representatives as a Republican. …we need to change the way we elect our representatives. We continue to rely on the two-party system to provide us with different choices; but thanks to this corrupt system, there is little difference between the two of them. Both parties voted to increase the size of our government; both parties voted to trade your freedoms for security; and both parties are responsible for our monstrous debt, our failing economy and the exporting of our jobs overseas.  I will be running as an independent Tea Party Candidate, a candidate who doesn’t answer to or work for party leadership, but a candidate who will work for the people of West Tennessee.”

When asked about what led to this decision, Mr. Janes stated that the National Republican Party continues to aggressively support candidates who lack depth on issues and conservative values, but instead focus on candidates who are able to self fund or raise large sums of money.

During the extended question and answer portion following his speech, Mr. Janes was asked if he thought his running as an independent would split the vote. “I intend to.  I will be asking for votes from both Democrats and Republicans, many who are fed up with their party’s refusal to adhere to their respective party platforms. Over the course of my traveling within the 8th District, I believe there are enough conservative Democrats and right-minded Republicans who will enable me to win.”

Janes was asked about the Proposed “Contract From America”.  He replied, “We’ve had a ‘Contract From America’ for over 200 years.  It’s called the Constitution of the United States.  That’s the only contract we need.”

Donn first attended a TEA Party event in Memphis, TN, on April 15, 2009.  He later challenged the views of ACORN founder, Wade Rafke, at a University of Memphis Lecture.  Janes participated in a “Pink Slip” TEA Party event in Nashville on November 7, 2009, to protest the currently proposed health care legislation.  Last month he attended the FCC meeting in Memphis to challenge the expansion of its responsibilities.

Donn Janes is a candidate for the United States House of Representatives for Tennessee’s 8th Congressional District. A Navy veteran and businessman, Janes is an outspoken critic of how both Republicans and Democrats have continued to ignore any calls for fiscal responsibility, causing the United States to plunge deeper into debt.

[end of release]

I just revisited Donn Janes’s Issues page, and there is a lot more meat there than one finds so far on Fincher’s site. From browsing the whole site, I get the impression  that Janes is positioning himself as more of a Constitutionalist than the average Republican, and certainly much moreso than the average Democrat, Blue Dogs included.

I haven’t spoken or corresponded with either candidate, but as of now, having seen all I could find on the positions of both on Constitutional issues, I am inclined to vote for Janes in the primary and general elections.

The Republican establishment needs to understand that we will no longer settle for Republican candidates and officeholders who are indistinguishable from Democrats when it comes to their actions, as well as their public stances.

This may well be the last exit before the Obama Socialist Utopia. It’s where we need to get off.