Wednesday, September 21, 2005

TN Blog Lunch with Ed Bryant (Repub Senate Candidate)

Since I'm new to Tennessee and not that familiar with the political scene, I grabbed at the opportunity to meet with a candidate running for the Republican nomination for the Senate through Bill Hobbes. Got the ok from Bill and the next step was to find the restaurant (Sunset Grill). I have this one deficiency (really it's only that one) and that would be I'm directionally challenged. I take more unscheduled tours than Robin Leach gives tours of the rich and famous. If it's supposed to take 45 minutes to get somewhere and I've never been there before then I give myself and hour and a half. Then, I just might get there on time. I got there after (ahem) having to call the restaurant to get the last 2 miles to the restaurant. I'd already been driving in circles for 30 minutes! BTW - the restaurant was a keeper for future stops.

Ed Bryant is a US Representative and to be honest I can't remember if he's currently serving or not? Sorry Ed. Some of the issues covered were the current state election in Memphis, Roe v Wade (pro-life, anti-abortion, pro-abortion) and whatever jargon you want to use to camofluage your position, capital punishment, Katrina and spending for reconstruction, illegal immigration and border security. I'm sure I'm missing a few things but I took few notes.

There were bloggers from both sides of the aisle in attendence.

Ed Bryant is definitely pro-life and sees life as starting at conception. I'm not a biggie on the whole abortion issue when you get into the grit of the details. But I do see Roe v Wade as a states rights issue. The surprise for me was that Bryant emphatically stated that Roe v Wade was not a states rights issue. Oh! News to me.

What did interest me was his position on illegal immigrants. Bryant was not impressed with President Bush's current illegal immigration plan. He sees illegals as law breakers and they should not be rewarded for breaking the law. Personally, as anyone who has read my blog will know, I agree wholeheartedly with this view. Bryant even mentioned the possibility in his mind of changing the law so troops could be used on the border (with caveats attached). But from an election perspective, the bloggers who spoke up thought this was a non-issue for an election. The thought was this was not a vote breaker since illegal immigration crosses both parties. I'm not totally convinced of this position.

Bryants position on spending in Congress was also attractive in that he said there should be a decrease in the growth of spending. Because as you all know, there is never a cut in spending there is only a cut in the amount of the increase for the next budget. Bryant also mentioned that he thought Federal Government should be on a 2 yr bienniel budget but it will never happen. He said the reason was the House Committee heads derive their power from the budget process, hence what happens to their "Power" in the off budget year? Hmmm.

I enjoyed the lunch and it was fun to meet other Tennessee bloggers even if the meet and greet time was limited. Hopefully, I'll be able to attend future lunches to meet other Tennessee political candidates.

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