|Conservative message draws supporters to Reagan Day Dinner |
|Posted: Monday, February 20, 2012 10:00 pm |
|By GLENDA CAUDLE |
Special Features Editor
“Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty.”
So said President Ronald Reagan, who was quoted repeatedly and to enthusiastic response at Saturday night’s annual Obion County Republican Party Reagan Day Dinner.
Staged at the Eddie Cox Senior Center in downtown Union City, the major fund-raising event featured Vietnam veteran and conservative political favorite Col. Jim Harding of Huntingdon, District 77 state Rep. Bill Sanderson of Kenton, District 76 state Rep. Andy Holt of Weakley County and Congresmman Stephen Fincher from Frog Jump, representing Tennessee’s Eighth Congressional District.
Capping off a night of good food, political speeches and candidate recognition was a presidential straw poll that saw Newt Gingrich claim 20 votes, Ron Paul capture three, Mitt Romney take five and clear favorite of locals Rick Santorum register 41 among those voting.
Jackson talk radio personality Mac Andrews was the emcee for the evening and Connie Tittle, Fara Tittle and Jamie Spaulding provided musical entertainment. Their gospel and patriotic numbers set the stage for what Phillip Senn, chairman of the local GOP organization, said he had envisioned as a positive, uplifting and encouraging focus on the issues.
Senn introduced special guests, including long-time Republican stalwarts Jim and Dora Stone of Union City and Mrs. Bill King of Troy, widow of the former chairman of the Obion County Republican Party, and gave credit for the evening’s success to leaders in the local Republican Party.
Danny Jowers of Kenton, who recently announced his intention to seek the GOP nomination for the state Senate seat currently held by retiring Weakley Countian Roy Herron, shared dinner talk with his potential primary opponent, John Stevens of Huntingdon, who has not yet filed in all relevant counties but has expressed an interest.
“It’s not about passing laws and changing policy,” Sanderson told the audience. “We (members of the General Assembly in Nashville) are the last place some people can turn to. So if you run for any other reason (than to help those citizens), it’s for the wrong reason.”
Holt agreed, quoting Reagan, as the other speakers frequently did, to underscore his theme that power should not ultimately reside with elected officials but with the people who elect them.
Fincher, who was swept into responsibility in Washington at the same time Sanderson and Holt were tapped for service in Nashville, established his concerns soon after taking the microphone.
“We’re in trouble, folks,” he said. “We’re $15 trillion in debt, plus the president’s budget keeps us on the same track we’re on.”
He noted that Massa-chusettes Congress-man Barney Frank, a liberal Democrat who has signaled his intention to retire, will be leaving vacant his post as ranking member and former chairman of the powerful Financial Services Committee on which Fincher serves. Frank will be replaced by California Congressman Maxine Waters, whose political credentials are no more acceptable to conservative voters.
Taking off the gloves with no advance notice, but to the delight of the crowd, Fincher said, “I’ve been trying to figure out their (Democrats) intent and it’s this: To get into every aspect of our lives. Why do they want $5 a gallon gasoline? I started watching people like Pelosi and I’ve realized it’s a power game. If they can keep the private sector down and dependent, then the power is in Washington. But that’s not what was intended.”
Harkening back to the nation’s Founding Fathers, he warned that the country’s only hope is in returning to the core principles advocated by those men in the nation’s early history and enshrined in its foundational documents.
“This isn’t a Democrat-Republican issue as much as it is a liberal-conservative issue,” he suggested. “They (liberals) say anything. We believe what we say, but Barney Frank walks up to the podium and just says anything.”
Fincher went on to detail conservative success stories in the House of Representatives related to unemployment insurance, closing the gap in the payroll tax cut extension that was allowing money collected from hard-working tax payers to be spent in places like strip clubs and liquor stores, and correcting other abuses and misuses of tax dollars.
“But Harry Reid (Democrat Senator from Nevada) habitually keeps such bills from getting to the president, who doesn’t want to have to sign them. So, folks, we’ve got to win the White House this year,” he said.
“I’ve been disappointed in a lot of decisions made by our leadership,” the freshman congressman admitted, adding, “I don’t want to see our government shut down, but we can’t keep going down this road we’re on. Greece is an example of what’s coming.”
Fincher expressed optimism about the GOP’s chances of taking over the Senate in the fall elections and said it was vital to make voters aware of the issues over the next few months.
He pointed to Tennessee as an example of a good turn-around with the right leadership at the top.
“Our president’s message is ‘Give, give, give.’ Our message is a harder one, but it’s the very one our forefathers fought, bled and died for.”
Wrapping up his fiery speech, Fincher echoed an earlier theme when he noted, “You’re what I love about this job. The job itself is terrible because I have to deal with such scumbags. But this is your government and your money. It’s not mine. So pray for our leaders to do what is right and vote this November.” Published in The Messenger 2.20.12