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Campfield stumps at Farragut GOP

State Rep. Stacey Campfield took aim at politicians he blamed for various state and federal economic ills during a speech in Farragut last week.

Though the 18th District representative — speaking to Concord-Farragut Republican Club during its monthly meeting Thursday, Sept. 10, in Estelita’s restaurant — blasted a pair of Democrats, he first took aim at GOP state House Speaker Kent Williams.

Campfield blamed Williams for dividing too many committees equally with Democrats despite a GOP House majority (50 of 99).

As a result, Republicans were able to pass only “about one-fifth” of what they could have passed with total, or majority, control, Campfield said.

“The committee’s divided up three-to-three or six-to-six, you can’t pass anything. Everything’s a tie vote, and tie votes don’t go to the floor for a [full] vote.”

Campfield said when Democrats had majority control of the house, “They ruled everything. ... We didn’t even count, they didn’t even talk to us.”

Campfield brought up such bill proposals as “insurance across state lines, tort reform” and asked, “Have you heard any of these ideas being put forward in a bipartisan manner that the Democrats are supporting?”

About President Barack Obama being shouted down for “lies” by a member of Congress during an address to that body last week, Campfield said, “A rose by any other name is still a rose. A liar by any other name is still a liar.

“Nobody’s questioning whether it’s true or not,” Campfield added. “Can illegal immigrants get medical services in the health care plan? ... They have absolutely no enforcement.”

Campfield said many people voted for change in fall 2008 “without asking is it positive change. ... I think what people are realizing now, it’s negative change.

“You’re seeing it in tea parties, you’re seeing it in health care forums where people are saying, ‘this is not what we want, this if not what we talked about.’”

While conceding some situations nationwide late in the George W. Bush administration “might have been not so good,” Campfield added under Obama, “they are terrible, a disaster.”

Labeling former Democratic President Jimmy Carter a failure, Campfield added, “Jimmy Carter brought us Ronald Reagan. We now have Jimmy Carter Part 2, and he is way worse than Jimmy Carter ever was.”

In Tennessee, Campfield warned by the end of the current fiscal year “if we’re not a billion to a billion-and-a-half shy [deficit], I’d be surprised. There’s going to be a classic battle coming up in the legislature. How are we going to close that gap because we have to have a balanced budget: increase taxes or cut spending?

Campfield said he “didn’t think” a state income tax is likely because Democrats “took a beating ... lost a lot of seats” due to previous support of that tax.

Taking away sales tax exemptions is one thing Campfield said Gov. Phil Bredesen might advocate.

Bredesen then was blasted as a “raider.”

“He’ll probably raid every rainy day fund there is until they’re empty,” the state rep said. “He’s going to take all the stimulus money he can.

“And in 2010, I hate to say it, but I’m expecting a big dip,” pointing out various “reserve funds” including TennCare, and how Bredesen “is balancing the budget right now [by] stealing from all these reserve funds. ... He’s paying for the next four years of road improvements in the next year.

“What happens in years three and four when there’s absolutely no money left and there’s potholes or there’s a bridge needs replacing?

“The numbers aren’t going to last, there’s going to be more cuts necessary.”

Confident in the GOP presidential chances in 2012, Campfield said, “We have a great stable of candidates.”

Campfield said the GOP lost its way during the fall 2008 elections nationwide “not because we weren’t liberal enough, but because we weren’t conservative enough.”

Recalling a “female colonel in the Marines who used to sit right in front of me in the Legislature,” Campfield remember her advocating, and applying, a military creed in her politics: “’attack, attack, attack.’”


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