January 22, 2006

Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price

Maryville Screening One of Over 3,000 Across the Nation;
Part of National Grassroots Campaign

MARYVILLE The controversial new film Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price will debut in Maryville this Thursday as part of an unprecedented grassroots effort that will see over 3,000 screenings across the nation.

The screening – on Thursday, January 26, 2005, at 7:00 pm – will take place at Maryville College’s Lawson Auditorium, located in the basement of Fayerweather Hall. Immediately following, there will be a group discussion about the effect Wal-Mart is having on Maryville, and the entire nation.

Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price is the newest film from director and producer Robert Greenwald, and the first from his new venture, Brave New Films.

The film takes the viewer on a deeply personal journey into the every day lives of families struggling to fight against a goliath. From a small business owner in the Missouri to a preacher in California, from workers in Florida to a poet in Mexico, dozens of film crews on three continents bring the story of an assault of families and American values. Current and former employees, managers and executives will tell all about the corporation’s inner-workings. Wal-Mart is based on individual human beings, all over the world, at all levels of society, telling their story in very personal terms.

The event is open to the public. Please RSVP to attend. You can RSVP online here.

Who: Anyone who is interested in the effects of Wal-Mart on our community.

What: Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price screening and conversation.

Where: Maryville College’s Lawson Auditorium located in the basement of Fayerweather Hall

When: Thursday, January 26, 2005, at 7:00 pm

Cost: Free

January 21, 2006

TFCD Statement on Ethics Reforms

Following Governor Bredesen’s special session on ethics reform, and the discussion of ethics reform at our Nation’s Capitol, the Tennessee Federation of College Democrats released the following statement:

Nashville - The Tennessee Federation of College Democrats recognizes that America is at a very important point in our history. Politicians who abuse the sacred trust of the American people have become so prevalent and their greed has reached such depths that it can no longer be swept under the rug. Our federal and state governments are both in the middle of re-writing laws that have been shredded by greed. We must all insist that strict ethics laws are enacted by both our federal and state representatives.

The time is now to fix the problem.

The Majority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives has been convicted four times of ethics violations, and is under indictment for money laundering; the Majority Leader in the Senate, one of our Senators, is under investigation, both criminally and civilly; and for the first time in 135 years someone working in the White House has been indicted. Here at home in Tennessee, long-trusted elected officials sold our trust for a few thousand dollars.

This has to end.

“We believe that ethics reforms should be of highest standards,” said
Christy Holden, TFCD President. “Democrats are committed to making government once again open and honest.”

Democrats in Congress have proposed a plan to end business as usual in the nation’s capital. With their “Honest Leadership, Open Government” Act, Democrats pledge to:

  • Fix the gift and travel rules that allowed the Jack Abramoffs of the world to buy Republican influence in Congress,
  • Increase transparency and accountability in government,
  • Allow the public to see exactly what their elected representatives are doing in Washington , and
  • Close the revolving door between government and K Street lobbying firms.

“We will expose the deepest roots of the culture of corruption that has so pervasively strangled the Senate and House, and give the American people a government they can at last respect, because it will be a government that respects them,” said Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY). “And my friends, together America can do better, because America is better. We’re going to take our country back. And we throw the gauntlet down today.”


January 19, 2006

Gallagher hits Blount Today

Democratic Candidate for Blount County Mayor, Joe Gallagher hit the papers with a splash. Last week Blount Today had this to say about the County Mayor race, citing that Gallagher is the only candidate speaking up for Democrats in the Mayor’s race compared to the three other Republican Candidates:

Joe Gallagher, 78, of Louisville, is a New York-native who moved to Blount County six years ago from Houston after a career as a television producer.

"I don’t know what sets me apart," he said. "I know what I stand for. Basically, my main goal is to have managed development in Blount County, to bring economic development that would be structured in a certain way or operate in certain area, not residential areas."

"That primarily is our goal, the future of Blount County as a scenic county. That’s No. 1. No. 2 is, we will have what I call conflict-interest-free government; that may be a utopia, some kind of fantasy, that’s something we have to work for," he said. "We have conflicts of interests at all levels. It’s something I hope we can get rid of. You see it on regular basis on the planning commission and county commission and how they deal with zoning questions and certain developments."

According to Gallagher, the county needs a leader now.

"In my judgment, the administration of the county has been catering to development, and that has to change. That would be my first priority, do things to change that direction," he said.

Gallagher, the only Democrat in the campaign, said he realized the Republican candidate often wins the office in Blount County.

"I recognize it is a long shot. My goal would be to be a lobbyist for the people," he said.

Gallagher said he didn’t expect to have much in the way of campaign financing. "I’ll have my hand out, and I imagine I’ll have enough support to conduct a modest campaign and develop visibility and hopefully get my message out. I don’t mind saying, I recognize my long-shot status," he said. Gallagher said he favors cutting the commission in half, from 21 members to 11 members.

"It’s still essential for a county mayor to be able to work with the county commission," he said. "I’ve had experience working with Vince Lombardi and long-time coach at Oklahoma Bud Wilkinson, and I’m sure I can work with the county commission."

Gallagher said the strength he would bring to the county mayor’s office would be creative leadership. He says his weakness is the fact he is not a native and that some people think he has only been here a couple of years. "Beginning with being a newcomer and having a Yankee accent are two things that work against me, and it shouldn’t matter," he said.

January 11, 2006

TFCD Statement on Alito’s True Identity

The Tennessee Federation of College Democrats realeased a statement today concerning the true identity of Judge Alito.

An interesting game known as the Samuel Alito confirmation hearings began in Washington this week. The game will provide the American public with enough misleading quotes by conservative senators to fill up Scott McClellan’s press room. In yesterday’s kickoff, we heard from various conservatives who spun myths about the type of nominee they would like to have and would like the American public to think they have. It may be true that Alito maintains the credibility that nominee Meirs lacked, but he is a conservative – one who could prove to be more conservative than Justice Scalia and one with the ability to do serious damage to Roe v. Wade. So don’t let your local senators fool you – Mr. Alito is no moderate.

Despite conservative senators’ claims, Alito has a history of legislating from the bench. Senators Mike DeWine (R-OH) and Charles Grassley (R-IA) both praised Alito for showing judicial restraint throughout his career, but his record proves otherwise. While on the bench, Alito has stepped over judicial boundaries and overturned existing laws. He has been described as “an activist conservative judge” and even Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) admitted that Alito “was legislating” in the case of U.S. v. Rybar.

Despite conservative senators’ claims, Alito has allowed his personal views to influence his work. Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) claimed Alito never allowed his work to “influence political ends.” In reality, since Alito belonged to the right-wing Concerned Alumni of Princeton group, his politics have influenced his work. While applying for a job in the Reagan administration, Alito said that “the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion” and while in the Solicitor General’s office, he was able to “help advance legal positions in which [he] personally believe[s] very strongly.” These were his personal views and not those of his employer.

Despite Alito’s own claim, his decisions have all followed a conservative bent. Alito said yesterday that he was taught to decide every case on an individual basis. However, a review of all the cases Alito has heard shows that Alito’s 41 dissents as an appeals court judge “are almost uniformly conservative.” In addition, in a majority of cases, Alito urged a more conservative position than his colleagues. Throughout his tenure on the 3rd Circuit, Alito has seldom sided against conservative interests.

Gallagher for County Mayor

Former Blount County for Kerry-Edwards Chairman and community activist, Joe Gallagher, is running for County Mayor!

In a recent email from the Joe Gallagher for County Mayor Campaign, Mr. Gallagher outlines his campaign in the months to come. “It really doesn't matter in local elections whether you are a Democrat or a Republican,” says Gallagher. “What will count next August 3 is which candidate projects a vision for our scenic community that combines our present rural atmosphere with managed quality growth.”

Mr. Gallagher will be hosting a reception on Monday, January 30th from 5:00pm to 7:00pm at the Blount County Library.

“This election cycle we will see candidates from the Democratic Party that will talk about the issues that matter most for this community,” said Maryville College Democrat President Alex Youn. “Joe Gallagher is an excellent candidate for Blount County Mayor. We need more leadership like Mr. Gallagher who care about the future of the county. We fully applaud the Gallagher for County Mayor Campaign for talking about issues rather than partisan politics.”