INTERVIEW: CONGRESSMAN STEVE COHEN

Congressman Steve Cohen joined us LIVE!

Check out the podcast here, and some clips below.

TN Dem County Chairs To Call On Exec Committee To Ask GOP/Mcconnell-Backing DNC Rep Bill Owen To RESIGN

As The Intercept recently reported, TN Superdelegate Bill Owen, who has been leading the charge to attempt to organize a way to stop Bernie Sanders through a brokered convention in Milwaukee, is “A SIGNIFICANT GOP DONOR, HEALTH CARE LOBBYIST” who has even contributed to a PAC that backs GOP Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, of all people.
It seems many Tennessee Democratic County Party chairs are not taking that sitting down, and plan to release a letter (BELOW) calling on the State Executive committee to ask for his resignation.
First, here’s what the Intercept initially reported about Owen’s contributions to Republicans, including Mitch McConnell:

Owen, who runs a lobbying firm called Asset & Equity Corporations, donated to Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., and Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, and gave $8,500 to a joint fundraising committee designed to benefit Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in 2019.

“I am a committed Democrat but as a lobbyist, there are times when I need to have access to both sides and the way to get access quite often is to make campaign contributions,” said Owen, in a brief interview with The Intercept.

“I’m a registered lobbyist and I represent clients and they have interest in front of Congress and I attend the Senator’s Classic, which is a Republican event, each year,” he added.

Owen noted that he understood how his GOP donations could open him up for criticism but stressed that he also gives to Democrats. Federal Election Commission records show Owen has donated to Democrats in previous years, but has not donated to his own party’s congressional candidates this cycle. Owen has not given to any presidential candidates this cycle.

A former member of the Tennessee state legislature, Owen is currently an executive member of the Tennessee Democratic Party and DNC, making him one of the 771 unpledged delegates, also known as superdelegates, who could play a hand in selecting the presidential nomination. Owens is a supporter of former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, and has pushed to use superdelegates to make Biden the nominee.

The Tennessee Democrat worked in 2018 to block a Sanders-backed plan to weaken the role of superdelegates in the nomination process. “If we don’t have a vote, then what good are we?” Owen told Politico at the time.

Full Disclosure: We’re of the belief that a brokered convention taking the nomination from a candidate with popular support amount young voters and voters of color with a clear delegate lead would lead to incalculable damage to the present and future of the Democratic Party.
Below is the email being circulated among Party chairs by chairs who, crucially, are not Bernie supporters, calling for Owen’s removal – exclusively obtained by the Holler.
Friends & Fellow County Party Chairs, 
 
The TNDP State Executive Committee re-elected Bill Owen, a healthcare lobbyist, for another 4-year term as East Tennessee’s *DNC representative at their January 11th meeting. Yesterday, an online media outlet reported that Mr. Owen contributed thousands of dollars to Republicans, including a joint fundraising committee backing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
 
Sara and I independently reviewed FEC filings of his individual contributions and found that in 2019 alone, Bill Owen personally contributed $18,000 to Republicans, including $8,500 to the GOP Senators Classic Committee, which funds McConnell and more than a dozen other Republican Senators. Mr. Owen did not contribute a single dollar to Democrats in 2019. 
(Bill Owen’s FEC contributions are recorded HERE, List of beneficiaries of the GOP Senators Classic Committee are recorded HERE)
 
While there is not a mechanism for Mr. Owen to be removed at the state level, we believe that in light of this information, State Executive Committee members have an obligation to ask for Mr. Owen’s resignation and if he does not resign, State ECs should call on the Democratic National Committee to remove Mr. Owen.
 
We ask you to call on your (elected!) State Executives to act and we invite you to participate in an open letter with us, which we intend to publish and release to media after Super Tuesday. 
 
If you are interested, please reply to this email. 
 
In Solidarity,
Sarah Herron, Blount County Democratic Party Chair |  865-599-2038
Sara Thompson, Sevier County Democratic Party Chair | 865-607-0934
(State Executive Committee District 2) 
 
*Bill Owen’s DNC position automatically makes him one of Tennessee’s Superdelgates. He has been drawing national attention for his public comments concerning his intention to undermine voters as a Superdelegate if it appears Sen. Bernie Sanders may win the nomination. We believe it is worth noting that Sarah Herron is a delegate candidate for Joe Biden, and Sara Thompson is a delegate candidate for Sen. Elizabeth Warren. 

State Executive Committee

Marjorie Ramsey
District 1- Cocke, Greene, Hamblen, Sevier
(423) 623-7610
marjorie4statehousedist11@gmail.com

Barbara Wagner
District 2- Sevier, Blount
(865)-654-4496
bntwagner@aol.com

Debbie Harley McClaskey
District 3- Washington, Carter, Unicoi
(423) 676-3567
debbie@debbiefortennessee.com

Lori Love
District 4- Sullivan, Carter, Johnson
(423) 367-7627
arvillove@gmail.com

Anne Backus
District 5- Anderson, Knox, Loudon
(865) 556-3099
backusanne@comcast.net

Sylvia Woods
District 6- Knox
(865) 414-4161
sylviawoodsknox@aol.com

Emily Gregg
District 7- Knox
(615) 557-6737
emilyjgregg@gmail.com

Rachel Fuentes
District 8- Jefferson, Claiborne, Grainger, Hancock, Hawkins, Union
(203) 918-9006
ractfuentes@gmail.com

Pam Weston
District 9- Monroe, Bradley, McMinn, Meigs, Polk
(717) 515-2336
p_weston@bellsouth.net

Demetrus Coonrod
District 10- Hamilton
423-314-9897
demetrescoonrod@yahoo.com

Rachel Campbell
District 11- Hamilton
(423) 227-0759
shelbysabrina123@gmail.com

Tracey Vought Williams
District 12- Morgan, Campbell, Fentress, Pickett, Rhea, Roane, Scott
(865) 742-6569
tracey.nsl2014@gmail.com

Caroline McGee
District 13- Rutherford
carolinefmcgee@gmail.com

Tanea McClean
District 14- Bedford, Lincoln, Marshall, Moore, Rutherford
(629) 335-0698
taneamcclean14@gmail.com

Cheryl Vickers
District 15- Putnam, Bledsoe, Cumberland, Jackson, Overton, White
(931) 260-4467
cherylvickers4tn@gmail.com

Betty Fraley
District 16- Franklin, Coffee, Grundy, Marion, Sequatchie, Van Buren, Warren
(931) 703-1143
bfraley@bellsouth.net

Carol Brown Andrews
District 17- Smith, Cannon, Clay, DeKalb, Macon, Wilson
(615) 347-0193
andrewcarol@gmail.com

Kristi Cornett
District 18- Sumner, Davidson, Trousdale
(615) 454-0490
kristi@cornettclan.com

Katharine Heriges
District 19- Davidson
(615) 390-9253
katharine.heriges@gmail.com

Jolie Grace Wareham
District 20- Davidson
(630) 418-0395
jgwareham3@gmail.com

Marjorie Pomeroy-Wallace
District 21- Davidson
(615) 212-9409
marjorie.pomeroy@gmail.com

Linda Crenshaw
District 22- Montgomery, Houston, Stewart
(931) 801-2014
lindaadamsbarnes@gmail.com

Kelly Baker-Hefley
District 23- Williamson
(615) 631-7577
kbh@hefley.org

Angela Callis
District 24- Weakley, Benton, Carroll, Gibson, Henry, Obion
(731) 587-2468
ang.call@hotmail.com

Martha Shepard
District 25- Dickson, Cheatham, Hickman, Humphreys, Robertson
(615) 330-0419
marthashep2@gmail.com

Meryl Rice
District 26- Hardeman, Chester, Decatur, Fayette, Hardin, Haywood, Henderson, McNairy
(731) 609-3236
meryl.rice@gmail.com

Patsy R. Johnson
District 27- Madison, Crockett, Dyer, Lake, Lauderdale
(731) 668-7139
prjtnd@bellsouth.net

Pame Morrow
District 28- Maury, Giles, Lawrence, Lewis, Perry, Wayne
(931) 626-5836
pame50@att.net

Allison Brownlee
District 29- Shelby
(901) 744-4467
allison_brownlee@comcast.net

Jasmine Boyd
District 30- Shelby
(678) 472-1160
jasmine.boyd@gmail.com

Adrienne Pakis-Gillon
District 31- Shelby
(901) 355-6879
apakis@earthlink.net

Deborah Reed
District 32- Tipton, Shelby
(901) 500-8423
deb117reed@gmail.com

Kendra Lee
District 33- Shelby
(901) 830-9348
kendranlee2010@gmail.com

Adam Haynes
District 1- Hamblen, Cocke, Greene, Sevier
(423) 736-1398
ashaynes@outlook.com

Tony Webb
District 2- Blount, Sevier
(865) 386-6181
holcweb@att.net

Mike Hampton
District 3- Unicoi, Carter, Washington
(423) 330-4671
smalltownmikey@hotmail.com

Logan Combs
District 4- Sullivan, Carter, Johnson
(423) 773-0050
combsln@gmail.com

Jim Hackworth
District 5- Anderson, Knox, Loudon
(865) 603-4225
repjimhackworth@yahoo.com

Daniel Brown
District 6- Knox
(865) 258-3777
dt.brown@comcast.net

Mark Harmon
District 7- Knox
(865) 524-4026
markdharmon@yahoo.com

Stephen Miller
District 9- Monroe, Bradley, McMinn, Meigs, Polk
(423) 836-8210
sambama37354@gmail.com

Chris Anderson
District 10- Hamilton
(423) 503-0595
chrisandersontn@gmail.com

Ryan Scofield
District 11- Hamilton
(423) 991-1707
ryanvhs91091@gmail.com

Bob Cowan
District 12- Roane, Campbell, Fentress, Morgan, Pickett, Rhea, Scott
(865) 466-0418
rcowan10@gmail.com

Brandon Thomas
District 13- Rutherford
muckrakerthomas@gmail.com

Mark Farrar
District 14- Bedford, Lincoln, Marshall, Moore, Rutherford
(615) 604-4616
mfarrar712@aol.com

Amos Powers
District 15- Putnam, Bledsoe, Cumberland, Jackson, Overton, White
(931) 265-2769
amos.powers@live.com

Bobby Bush
District 16- Coffee, Franklin, Grundy, Marion, Sequatchie, Van Buren, Warren
(931) 607-0779
arcprofessionals.inc@gmail.com

Aubrey Givens
District 17- Wilson, Cannon, Clay, DeKalb, Macon, Smith
(615) 568-2778
contactus@givenslawfirm.com

Leonard Assante
District 18- Sumner, Davidson, Trousdale
(615) 512-6297
lassante@yahoo.com

Will Cheek
District 20- Davidson
(615) 292-3967
willcheek@bellsouth.net

Richard Langford
District 21- Davidson
(615) 484-8640
richnnash@gmail.com

Charles Uffelman
District 22- Houston, Montgomery, Stewart
(937) 220-5236
csuffelman@gmail.com

Brandon Schexnayder
District 23- Williamson
(504) 228-5635
bmschexnayder@gmail.com

Donald Farmer
District 24- Gibson, Benton, Carroll, Henry, Obion, Weakley
(731) 234-8411
Don.farmer@hotmail.com

Gentry Allen
District 25- Dickson, Cheatham, Hickman, Humphreys, Robertson
(615) 636-7291
gentry@superiorcaregivers.net

Toney Campbell
District 26- Decatur, Chester, Fayette, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood, Henderson, McNairy
(731) 549-9202
toneyc@tds.net

Ernest Brooks
District 27- Madison, Crockett, Dyer, Lake, Lauderdale
(731) 293-4187
ebrooks2law@yahoo.com

Greg Hanners
District 28- Maury, Giles, Lawrence, Lewis, Perry, Wayne
(931) 215-2148
hannersg@bellsouth.net

Darrick “Dee” Harris
District 29- Shelby
(901) 691-8453
ddharris901@gmail.com

Bryan Carson
District 30- Shelby
(901) 314-4617
1bryan.carson@gmail.com

Dave Cambron
District 31- Shelby
(901) 830-3283
davidpcambron@gmail.com

Jeffery Alen “J” Dewitt II
District 32- Tipton, Shelby
(901) 326-2100
jdewitt@ibewlocal474.com

Issac Freeman III
District 33- Shelby
(901) 690-8023
freemanissac2013@gmail.com

VIDEO: HOW THE TENNESSEE PRIMARY PROCESS WORKS

Democratic National Committee At-Large Member Marisa Richmond (1 of our 9 superdelegates) clearly explains a process we found confusing… until now!

Hope this helps. Registration deadline for the March 3rd Primary is TODAY!

TN GOP Rep. Smith Blames Rise in Youth Suicides on “Leftist Indoctrination”, Schools, Climate Science

There’s a lot going on right now, but we wanted to make sure to show you this remarkable post from TN GOP State Rep. Robin Smith (R-Chattanooga) in something called the Patriot Post, which was brought to our attention by former congressional candidate Chris Hale.

In the post Smith lays the rise in youth suicides at the feet of “leftist indoctrination” – apparently meaning schools, climate science, biology, and sex, coupled with her misguided sense of the Democratic platform as a whole.

Keep in mind, Smith was previously the chair of the Tennessee Republican Party, and recently ran for House caucus chair, so she’s not exactly a fringe player.

She starts out with a simple fact:

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data this past week that youth suicide rates increased 56% from 2007 to 2017 among 10- to 24-year-olds.”

Smith then notes that the author of the article says “researchers aren’t certain” what exactly the causes are… but who needs research? The causes are clear to Rep. Smith:

“The Wall Street Journal’s analysis of this report includes the statement that researchers aren’t certain of the cause, yet factors such as a “rise in depression, drug use, stress and access to firearms” along with the influence of social media are cited as areas of interest and study.

Access to firearms” is not all that different from 50 years ago, but let’s take an honest look at the cultural forces and influences on our youth and young adults today that may offer some real causation, not just correlation…”

Notice how Smith doesn’t like the “access to firearms part”, so she throws that out – claiming it hasn’t changed in 50 years, when there is absolutely no evidence that’s the case.

Proliferation of firearms in America has continued over the last 50 years, so it would stand to reason that access to firearms for teens would increase along with that. Calling something “an honest look” doesn’t make it so. But we digress.

Smith then talks about the detachment that results from phone and social media addiction before pointing the finger squarely at our schools for teaching about science in the form of climate change, biology, and sex:

“Once our kids are out the door, they’re headed to middle school, high school, or some type of instruction in a two-year college or four-year university. And what do our kids encounter in their day at these “institutions of higher learning”? Of late, the message has been that the Earth will cease to exist in less than 12 years because of climate change. Our kids are told that it’s their right to determine their own gender rather than live within the capacity of their biological being while maximizing their gifts and talents. Too many students hear that life is a wad of cells until a baby is outside the mother’s womb and wanted by both the biological donors — formerly called the mother and father.

Students of all ages hear that part of growing up is being sexually active, having access to abortion as a type of birth control and part of a female’s health care, and that choosing a life of discipline, maturity, and restraint is not possible — much less a characteristic of an individual living at the fullest extent of their “rights.”

Smith’s use of quotations around “institutions of higher learning” are reminiscent of the calls for the abolition of state-sponsored higher learning by Republican senators Kerry Roberts and Mark Pody. When asked, Roberts claimed he was joking – but it has become clearer and clearer that doing away with state-backed higher education is a popular policy position in the TN GOP.

It’s one thing not to believe in Climate science, but linking gender, climate, and not calling parents a mother and father (say what?) to youth suicide is quite the stretch.

Smith then says our schools are “populated with activists”, and points to Democratic policy proposals like health care, education, and higher wages (the horror!) as somehow causes of suicide because they make kids “wards of the state”:

“Our institutions entrusted with the high trust of academic instruction are populated with activists who are invested in more than educational excellence and accomplishment and are now turning to the playbook seen in failing cultures of sameness for the common good and a posture of dependency rather than self-reliance. Don’t believe this? With the demands for “free” college tuition, free health care, a universal wage for those who don’t even work and for the express doctrine of this sameness to guarantee no individual excels above another, the role of government metastasizes to a cancer that consumes its host to pay for those who don’t excel and aren’t driven to self-reliance. Shorter, we’re teaching kids to be wards of the State.”

So helping kids learn, see doctors, and earn more money makes them want to take their own lives. Or something. Hoo-wee.

To clarify: “Free” college tuition means we pay for it with our taxes and our kids go to school, as we already do with lower education.

“Free health care” again would mean we pay taxes, and we get what we pay for – as opposed to now where we pay taxes, and premiums, and deductibles… and many are still going broke and dying for lack of coverage, especially here in Tennessee.

And say what you will about a universal basic income proposal – which has gained little traction in the Democratic Party – but it’s worth noting Smith opposes the Democratic proposal for a “living wage”, which means raising the $7.25 an hour minimum to a number people can actually live on.

Tennessee is #1 in % of minimum wage jobs, so that would actually help a lot of people.

The upshot of all of this is that Robin Smith may disagree with things like climate science, and biology, and making sure everyone can see a doctor when they get sick, and higher education, and paying people for their work – but blaming people who support those things for youth suicides with ZERO evidence? That’s unconscionable and downright shameful.

If Smith was really as pro-life as she claims to be, she should reverse her position on not expanding medicaid, which we know is killing people, or blocking common sense gun safety reform, which is also contributing to the deaths of many.

Teen suicide is a serious issue. It’s not something to baselessly politicize for the sake of scoring cheap political points.

Holler at Rep. Smith HERE if you agree.

INTERVIEW: JOHN HENSON, Food Network Halloween Baking Championship Host & Comedian

Holler co-founder Justin Kanew chatted with Comedian JOHN HENSON – former host of TALK SOUP and WIPEOUT! and current host of THE HALLOWEEN BAKING CHAMPIONSHIP on the Food Network. John is also a politically savvy tweeter who regularly engages with those who disagree with him. He sat down with us to diagnose the political infection our country is currently suffering from.

“Everybody becomes a firefighter when your house is burning down.”

Follow Him: @John_Henson

Subscribe to the podcast on Itunes!

 

TNDP Exec Member Resigns After Hate-Speech Video Goes Viral (Bonus: He’s Also a Mayor)

A member of the Tennessee Democratic Party Executive Committee and elected official in East Tennessee has resigned after a hate speech-filled video of he and his wife aired on YouTube. (Warning: This video contains obscenities.)

Bill Fannon, mayor of Tazewell in East Tennessee, resigned from his District 8 seat following posting of the video which showed him evicting tenants from an apartment owned by the Fannons.  The video is filled with obscene language and features Fannon and his wife, Kat, insulting and threatening teenage renters and their mother.

“Wait till the cops get here and I’m going to let him know about you and then I’m going to knock your teeth into the back of your g–damn head,” Fannon says to one of his tenants, a 17-year-old boy.

His wife, Kat Fannon, calls the boy a “queer” and says “I wouldn’t touch you: I might get something,” while calling a young woman shown in the video a “whore” and “poor trash.”

In the two minute video, the Fannons say the teens didn’t pay rent, while the renters in turn say the couple didn’t make necessary repairs to the property.

Another TNDP Executive Committeenmember, Robin Smith, former mayor of Decherd and committee member from District 16,  resigned after being indicted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation on charges he allegedly stole money from misdemeanor probationers under his supervision and used it for his own use.

Members of the TNDP Executive Committee said they were notified about both Smith’s and Fannon’s resignations via e-mail Sept. 9.

The resignations bring the total number of vacancies on the TNDP Executive Committee to eight.

Robin Smith, former Tennessee Democratic Party Executive Committee Member and former mayor of Decherd was indicted by the TBI.

(Editor’s note: Tennessee Holler co-founder, Holly McCall, ran against Mary Mancini for chair in January 2019.)