Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Mayor Berke?

You won't have Chattanooga's Sen. Andy Berke to kick around at the legislature for much longer:

State Senator Andy Berke announced Tuesday that he will not seek re-election to the State Senate District 10 seat he has held since 2007...

...“Although I am not running for re-election, I am dedicated to growing jobs in our area and working on issues that affect my neighbors,” Berke said. “I am excited to continue to serve Southeast Tennessee, and I look forward to new challenges and opportunities.”
So, in other words, he's giving up his chance to be one of a handful of Democrats in a Republican dominated Senate in order to serve *cough*Mayor*cough* in new *cough*Mayor*cough* ways.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Don't Say Stacey

Gender neutrality in the allocation of names is a crime against God.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Richard Exton on being in the loyal opposition

It looks like Richard Exton has moved beyond simply collecting signatures for a possible Senate District 20 race, and began making his pitch for his candidacy at a Bellevue Democrats (there are some...really) breakfast. (h/t Dru Fuller).

Friday, February 17, 2012

Jameson Wins Bar Poll

Judge Jameson has once again curried favor with his fellow Nashville Bar members who have overwhelmingly chosen him to be their candidate for the Democratic nomination in the March 6th election:

In results released by the Nashville Bar Association today, Judge Mike Jameson dominated the field in recommendations by his peers to remain on the bench. Judge Jameson, who currently presides over the General Sessions Division VIII court, was "highly recommended" five times as often as any other candidate and received the recommendation or high recommendation of almost 700 of the 1,062 attorneys contributing to the poll. 
"My service to Nashville has always been an honor, but no more so than today," Judge Jameson said. Judge Jameson's success in the NBA survey comes on the heels of a recent stream of endorsements from the Nashville Firefighters, the Neighborhood Defense Fund, the SEIU and the Central Labor Council. "Our local courts should be places within which the expertise of the law is matched with service to the the individual. On the bench, I've tried to balance the rights of individuals with the mandates of the law. Earning the support of so many attorneys, civil rights, labor and neighborhood groups confirms that aim."

Sometimes good people do bad things

I'm sure all of you know by now the news about Councilman Brady Banks.  I won't get into the details, you can find that elsewhere.  As it seems traffic is being driven to my blog because of a story I wrote a couple weeks ago regarding his potential for the Senate District 20 spot, I thought I'd say something.

I understand the "game is the game," I'm one of the worst offenders in treating politics as sport. We've all, at one time or another, experienced some level of schadenfreude over the failings of a politician because they were a member of another party or because we didn't like them. So I understand the inclinations of some Republicans or people who hate the Mayor as to why they would relish in this news.

For many of us though, especially many readers of this blog in Nashville, this is a personal story about a friend who made a horrible mistake and has deeply and perhaps irreparably hurt his wife and marriage.  His political career is irrelevant at this point, for those closest to him that is what we are concerned about.  So, I ask all of us to try and be better people, not just in our own lives but in how we treat those who fall, because we have all done things we aren't proud of at one time or another, and being a real friend means being there for someone in good times and in bad.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Petitions Pulled in 53

News of Sontany's desire not to run for re-election has inspired two women so far to pull petitions for the district.  One, a Republican, is Nikki Goeser, a gun advocate who has gone around the country arguing for looser restrictions on carry permits after her husband was killed in a bar.

Another, a Democrat, is Shannon Stoner, but I don't have any info on her yet.

On the State Senate side, three Democrats have pulled petitions for District 20.

James Baxter, a TSU History Professor and perennial candidate.

Kevin Doherty, lawyer and creator of ChangItNow.us, a political reform advocacy group.

and Richard Exton, a real estate appraiser who ran in 2007 for Council At-large.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Why I Like Mike

Today is election day in Nashville and around Tennessee.  I know many of my Democratic friends in Nashville are going to be tempted to vote in the Republican primary for either the worst or the least worst option...don't.  While it may not be glamorous, we do have important local elections in Nashville, and one in particular is that of Metro Sessions judge.

I'm voting for Mike Jameson, and here's why.  Sometimes I vote for someone because I like him or her better than the alternative, in this case, with Judge Jameson, I've voting for him because I believe he is what other public officials should aspire to be.

I've been to a few of his events recently, and he's taken to telling a story about his first day on the job.  Jameson, being a politician, is conditioned that whenever you meet someone, you reach out your hand.  Now, in the world of judges, this isn't commonly done because, hell, you don't know where that hand has been or what is in there.  But Jameson did it his first time, and despite protestations from courthouse staff, he has continued to do it ever since because the first man whose hand he shook told him that he'd never had a judge do that before, and they made a human connection, however brief it may have been.

What I want in a judge is someone who will look at the person standing in front of them, not as a statistic or a case number, but as a person whose life will be impacted by their decision, and I want a judge who will take that responsibility seriously.

I don't know if Rachel Bell or Jack Byrd are those type of judges, they may be and my interactions with Rachel Bell indicate she's a good person who'd do a great job.  But I know Mike Jameson, I've considered him my representative in the council even when I didn't live in the district, I know him to be a good person with great principles, and we need those people in our courts and government offices.

So, resist the temptation to meddle in GOP affairs, and vote for Judge Mike Jameson in the Democratic primary.

Alright, show of hands, who IS running for re-election?

Rep. Janis Sontany has added her's to the list of Democratic incumbents who won't be collecting their 25 signatures over the coming weeks. Stating that she "never wanted to be a career politician" (and admirable and under-represented quality actually), Sontany leaves a newly redrawn district that has shifted "dramatically" according to Caucus Chairman Mike Turner who understood her decision to spend time with family instead of trying to relearn a largely new district.

Based on the numbers I have less than 30% of the residents of the newly drawn district 53 were in the old 53. So, yeah, in a sense this is a whole new district.

I haven't heard who is running or eying the seat just yet. I'm sure the names will start popping up shortly.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Jameson Bags CLC and Firefighters

The Central Labor Council and the Firefighters Union have endorsed Mike Jameson for Judge:

"Judge Jameson began his legal career in General Sessions court. He has gone on to practice in every court in Tennessee, giving him the perspective a good judge needs -- all while demonstrating concern and dedication for the working men and women who are Nashville's firefighters.” said Mark Young, President of Local 140.
Lewis Beck, President of the Central Labor Council of Nashville and Middle Tennessee said, ”Based upon [Judge Mike Jameson’s] past record, we know he will continue to dedicate himself to the service of men and women who live and/or work in Davidson County.”
Jameson is up for election on the March 6th Democratic Primary Ballot.

On Bad Legal Advice

Has the Tennessee legislature not learned about Google? Well, if so, they probably won't be reading this blog post, but just in case, might I recommend that the Republicans exercise their rights to use Google's free services when deciding who to bring as "expert" legal testimony?

Case in point, Van Irion. He served as Rep. Bill Dunn's legal expert in the House Judiciary Subcommittee as they sought to pass HB2619, which makes it a crime to enforce laws that Republicans don't like. Basically, Van Irion argued that the bill to criminalize the enforcement of laws without first gaining the permission of a local sheriff is not "nullification," and even it if was, its necessary in order to challenge federal laws in court.

Who is Van Irion? Why, not only is he a failed Congressional candidate, but he was also acting as one of the attorney's in a recently failed lawsuit challenging the President's eligibility to be on the ballot. Yep, Irion's a birther lawyer. Not only that, he's so awfully wrong on the law that even with a judge hostile to the President's legal defense team, he still couldn't get a judgement in his favor even though the President put up zero legal defense. Yeah, that's right, Irion couldn't win an argument with a brick wall.

This is who the Tennessee legislature has acting as their legal counsel...I'm sure that'll end well.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Haslam Prefers His Own Do Nothing Approach to Health Care

Governor Haslam has signed on to an amicus brief presented by the Republican Governors asking the Supreme Court to invalidate the Affordable Care Act because they claim it would cost them too much to implement.

“The Obama administration’s approach is an unaffordable healthcare mandate that is a significant overstep of the federal government’s authority,” Haslam said.

“I’m committed to controlling health care costs and finding meaningful ways to improve the health of Tennesseans by encouraging healthy choices, personal responsibility and accountability. Forcing mandates on states and individuals is the wrong approach, and if Obamacare is implemented, healthcare costs will rise significantly, putting a serious strain on state budgets across this country.”
So, apparently, if the Obama administration were to have done nothing, health care costs would've magically stopped rising significantly? Because, I seem to remember there being a little problem with bloated health care inflation that necessitated action by the federal government in the first place.

Oh, but wait, Haslam has his own novel approach to encourage "healthy choices, personal responsibility and accountability." Could someone fill a brother in on what that is? Are we talking about their plans to protect negligent doctors from legal repercussions?

The Fabian Bedne Story

The Tennessean had a great story this weekend on Councilman Fabian Bedne and his story of going from the military dictatorship in which thousands of people were disappeared by the government, to becoming Nashville's first Hispanic councilmember.

Bedne was elected Metro Nashville’s first Latino council member, three years after that council debated a measure that would have kept any city documents from being written in his native language — or anything other than English. Voters defeated it.

“Living under a dictatorship made me really resent being disenfranchised,” he said. “When people don’t have a way to get their point of view heard, I find that to be wrong.”

He survived a Nashville house fire. Was defeated in an election once before. Was asked about his citizenship on the campaign trail. But today, he wants to protect his constituents from that same feeling of voicelessness, and spends hours each day talking to them about shaping Nashville.

We ♥ Our School Employees

The SEIU is putting together a rally tomorrow to speak out on the decision by Jesse Register to rescind the MOU's regarding the support staff of Metro Public Schools.
Employees of Metro Nashville Public Schools, elected officials, parents, local clergy, and community leaders.
Concerned citizens will speak out against Dr. Jesse Register’s actions against MNPS employees and his controversial decision to rescind the School Board’s labor policy without approval from the board.
This Tuesday, Feb. 14, 4:45 pm.
MNPS School Board
2601 Bransford Ave.
Nashville, TN 37204

Friday, February 10, 2012

Hate That For Ya

Update: Unfortunately, Lynn seems to have taken down this note from her Facebook page...more unfortunately, I did not print a copy before she did.

While its difficult for me to feign a large amount of sympathy for Rep. Susan Lynn, I find her story detailing the underhanded and spiteful nature of Mae Beavers' campaign tactics to be thoroughly enjoyable and so may you. Its quite lengthy, so I'll just give you the gist.  Basically, Mae Beavers "loaned" 50,000 to a newspaper editor during the same time said newspaper editor began lambasting her opponent over an ethics issue...an ethics issue that resulted from the filing of a complaint by the employee of Mae Beavers' finance chair.

Now, obviously this is a one-sided account coming from the second half of a bitter, bitter, did I mention bitter, rivalry between Beavers and Lynn...a rivalry that caused Beavers to drop out of a Mayor's race she was almost certain to win just to block Lynn from winning the State Sen. seat Beavers was vacating. But, still, it raises some interesting questions.  Not the least of which is, where did Beavers get that $50,000?

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Is That a Republican Under That Robe, Or Are You Just Happy To Be Running

Michael Cass done drummed him up a story on Nashville defense lawyer Jack Byrd's voting history as a Republican. Byrd is one of two challengers, along with Rachel Bell, hoping to debench the recently appointed Judge Mike Jameson.  Byrd is running as a Democrat in the Democratic primary.  His records show he's voted in four GOP primaries and two county primaries (of which Republicans rarely ever post candidates), but he's telling Cass that he is in fact of the Democratic persuasion.

Now, I can't know what's in Byrd's heart as an individual, so unless there is stronger evidence to the contrary, I guess you sort of have to take him at his word...until he says something like this:

Byrd said he might change his mind about who deserves his vote by the time the general election rolls around. Asked if he voted in the 2002 Republican primary because he supported Van Hilleary or another GOP candidate for governor, he said he was “fairly certain” he ultimately voted that November for Phil Bredesen, the Democratic nominee who defeated Hilleary in the general election.

“But I can’t swear to that, because honest to God, I don’t remember,” Byrd said.
You don't remember if you voted for the former Mayor of Nashville over the mentally handicapped right-wing Republican Van Hilleary? That shit just slipped your mind? I could see if it was a council race or something, or hell a judicial race (God knows I can't remember who all I've voted for in those things) but you can't be sure who you backed in the run for Governor at a time when the incumbent was at historic levels of unpopularity?

C'mon. Really?

Quite frankly, I somewhat agree with Byrd that these races shouldn't be partisan...but they are, and whether someone is presenting themselves as something they are not speaks to honesty and judgement.  Again, maybe in his heart of hearts he's a Democrat, but this answer hardly assuages disbelief.

If You Leave It, They Will Come

The decision by Sen. Joe Haynes not to seek re-election has resulted in many politicians both current and past to jut their fingers up skyward to get a sense of where the political winds may be blowing.

On the Republican side, it appears that Dickerson will have a challenger, either in the form of David Hall, who defeated the establishment backed Jeff Hartline in the 2010 Republican Congressional primary.  Or Eric Crafton, our xenophobic former Councilman from Bellevue who seems to have run and lost for all manner of races in the past couple of years.

On the Democratic side, the field also appears deep.  Ronnie Steine has expressed interest in exploring a race, but with a stated affinity for the ability of local government to effect change at a faster and more dramatic pace than that of the Tennessee State Senate. Tim Garrett's name is also in the mix as a guy with money who could buy his way into the seat.  I've also heard former Council at-large candidate Richard Exton's name being bandied about, in addition to David Briley who was recently drawn into the 21st Senate District and would have to move in order to run for the seat.

All told, the first open Senate seat in Davidson County since the 1980s is unsurprisingly going to result in a tough fight on both sides of the aisle.

The Catholic Vote

I've had MSNBC on this morning in the background and they keep coming back to the Obama Administration's decision to say that employees of religious affiliated are accorded the same health care protections as those in the secular workforce.  The assumption is that, somehow, people who might normally vote for a pro-choice Democrat, a prospect which some in the Catholic leadership say will put your immortal soul in peril, will now rally around a Republican all because some Catholic affiliated hospital won't be able to carve out exclusions in health care insurance policies so that the pill is not covered?

This is utterly and fantastically absurd.  Yes, there are some Catholics who might otherwise vote for Democrats but for social issues...but those are already either voting Republican or not voting at all.  It would take the exceptional person in the electorate to have this odd cognitive dissonance wherein they are fine voting for a candidate who supports a woman's right to an abortion, but oh God, if a catholic affiliated corporation, who competes within a secular workforce, isn't allowed to proactively tell insurance companies what their employees can do with their insurance...well, that is just going too far.

And, really, besides the Talkerazzi, who the hell is complaining about this?  That clown Bill Donohue and his organization The Catholic League?  The self-appointed slander policeman who goes after any perceived slight against Catholicism, no matter how convoluted?  Like he was on the verge of backing the President?  Or some right-wing Bishop or Cardinal somewhere who has almost zero connection or influence to the Catholic laity?

Now I'm not saying I have a great deep insight into the mind of the Catholic voter.  Yes, I was baptized by a Catholic priest and I am preferable to the Catholic tradition over those wannabe hippies who go around playing acoustic guitars and singing about how much they want to make love to Jesus...but all the same, it seems like a pretty simple logical argument to make, that few people who make their voting choices on the basis of reproductive rights are going to be swayed in one way or another on the basis of this policy.  Perhaps if this ruling were that Catholic churches would have to set a bowl of Plan B next to the holy water...then I could see this being an issue, but otherwise, this is just thugs like Donohue trying to use their status to intimidate the White House into rolling back rights for the religiously affiliated, but ultimately secular, workforce.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Its Halftime America

"I've seen a lot of tough eras, a lot of downturns in my life, times where we didn't understand each other...it seems that we've lost our heart at times.  The fog of division, discord and blame made it hard to see what lies ahead. But after those trials, we all rallied around what was right, and acted as one." -Clint Eastwood

Whether intended or not, this is an implicit endorsement of President Obama who took a chance on America's industry when it needed it, while Republicans like Mitt Romney sat on the sidelines cheering for failure. A President who has called for America to come together and act as one to solve our problems, versus a candidate who has called for Americans to fend for themselves.

Update: Karl Rove and Michelle Malkin form group called "Americans for the Failure of America". 

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Vanderbilt Students Bristle at Notion of Inclusiveness

Some of Vanderbilt's conservative Christians are singing "we shall overcome" after being told by their University that in order for them to be recognized as official organizations, they have to adhere to the University's non-discrimination policies.  One of these is Justin Gunter, a second year law student at Vanderbilt who has decided to cherry-pick out of context some quotes in recent Supreme Court decisions to conclude that Vanderbilt's policy is wrong.

Example one:

In a controversial 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled in a case called CLS v. Martinez that an all-comers policy definitely is not required, but may be legal if it is universally applied to all groups on campus. While a bare majority of the court thought the policy was legal, they also questioned whether it was right, noting that this policy was “an intrusion into the inner structure or affairs of an organization” that “sometimes produces discord.”
Umm, no they didn't. These quotes were taken from two different parts of the decision. The first "an intrusion into the inner structure or affairs of an organization” was actually a quote from the 1984 Roberts v. Jaycees decision which was used by the plaintiffs. Ginsburg referenced those quotes after declaring "the expressive-association precedents on which CLS relies, in contrast, involved regulations that compelled a group to include unwanted members, with no choice to opt out." Meaning that Vanderbilt groups, like CLS, have the option of meeting as a group, just without official recognition by the school.

The other out of context quote was "sometimes produces discord," which actually was used to say that if a policy produces discord, "Hastings can rationally rank among RSO-program goals development of conflict-resolution skills, toleration, and readiness to find common ground." Meaning, its an opportunity to hone life skills that don't involve discriminating.

Gunter also references the recent Supreme Court decision Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC. Gunter describes the case as this:

Three weeks ago, in Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC, the Supreme Court addressed the importance of having strong leaders in the context of religious organizations. The unanimous majority asserted that religious groups’ freedom to choose their own leaders was a foundational precept of America. In other words, it is not only legal, but it is right for religious groups to choose leaders who agree with their beliefs. A concurring opinion authored by conservative Justice Samuel Alito, and joined by liberal Justice Elena Kagan, argued these restrictions were both legal and right because “(a) religion cannot depend on someone to be an effective advocate for its religious vision if that person's conduct fails to live up to the religious precepts that he or she espouses.”
First off, Hosanna-Tabor was about the ability of a school to differentiate between a "called teacher" and a "lay teacher," and then fire said "called teacher" after she got sick on the grounds of "religious beliefs" because "her threat to sue the Church violated the Synod's belief that Christians should resolve their disputes internally."

Second, what the Supreme Court decided was that Hosanna-Tabor was a religious institution and the employee in question was working in a religious position, therefore, the EEOC protections against discrimination don't apply.  What the court DID NOT find is that student organizations wishing to discriminate on the basis of religious beliefs or sexual orientation can still do so while being officially recognized by the school.  Just as you may have the right to freely associate with people of one religion, gender or sexual orientation, so too does Vanderbilt have the right to freely associate or disassociate with separate groups on the basis of a set of rules of their choosing.

So, while Gunter may wish to twist the words of the Supreme Court justices to pretend if there is some unanimity on behalf of their cause, the simple truth is no one is trampling on their rights, nobody is telling them they can't believe what they want to believe, all they are being told is that if you want the official Vanderbilt University stamp of approval, you have to meet their qualifications for getting said approval. If that requirement is too cumbersome, then you can disassociate yourselves with the university or go to a more discriminating institution.

Haynes Is Out, Who's In The Bullpen?

So, another one bites the dust.  After three decades in service to his district, Sen. Joe Haynes has decided to let someone else take over representing the significantly altered 20th Senate District.

The most likely Republican candidate is Steve Dickerson, who tried his hand at defeating Sen. Henry two years ago and was clearly unsuccessful.  Moments after the Senate Republicans announced their intentions towards Davidson County, he pounced on the opportunity to run in the more Republican friendly 20th.

On the Democratic side the picture is a little less clear.  The Tennessean reported that Nashville lawyer Kevin Doherty has been mulling a run for this seat.  Doherty has been an active giver to the Democratic party and its candidates in the past, and has recently launched a non-profit organization whose intention is the change the political system which is geared towards gridlock and demagoguery, especially in Washington.

Another name that I've heard being floated from some of those famed "Democratic insiders" is that of recently elected Councilman Brady Banks.  Banks, 33, won his Republican leaning 4th Council District by a nearly 20 point margin against his tea party supported Republican challenger Dave Patterson. Banks is a Hermitage native who has a Divinity degree from Harvard and worked for Sen. Roy Herron on his State Senate race in 2004, and later left the Mayor's Office of Neighborhoods to work on the Senator from Dresden's short-lived 2010 Gubernatorial campaign. Oh, and he and his minister wife just had a baby...so, if you were to create a Democratic candidate in a lab to run in this district, you'd be getting something roughly similar to Brady Banks (unlike lab-grown Mitt Romney though, he has a likeable personality).

Brady's roots in eastern Davidson County coupled with his strength and organization in southwest Davidson could be a political asset were he to run in a general election against Dickerson who would have to run up the score in heavily Republican Belle Meade. But, of course, that all depends on whether he'd want to run another race after just going through a year long council race and having a baby.  Either way, you can expect that Democrats will compete heavily for this district, and against a politically inept but well-funded Dickerson, we have a strong shot at holding it.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Obama (Probably) Gonna Be On Georgia Ballot

Some World Nut Daily folks were crying into their beers tonight as their best hopes to wrangle the President in front of a court to attest for his whereabouts on the day of his birth were dashed by the same administrative judge who had originally tried to compel the leader of the free world to prostrate himself in front of a bunch of lunatics on a legal fishing expedition.

“Neither defendant nor his counsel, Michael Jablonski, appeared or answered. Ordinarily, the court would enter a default order against a party that fails to participate in any stage of a proceeding. … Nonetheless, despite the defendant’s failure to appear, plaintiffs asked this court to decide the case on the merits of their arguments and evidence. … By deciding this matter on the merits, the court in no way condones the conduct or legal scholarship of defendant’s attorney, Mr. Jablonski,” he said.
Hell, in all likelihood they were probably hoping that this judge would have denied the President ballot access. Its not like Georgia will make a lick of difference in the general election, as winning Georgia would mean a national landslide, while his campaign has already written it off for the their neighbors in Florida and North Carolina. On the other hand, a nice story about a bunch of Georgia conservatives blocking the President from being on the ballot would've made for a helluva fundraising haul.

Really though, what the hell do they expect the President to say, even if by some ridiculous interpretation of law it was decided that he has to defend his citizenship to any yahoo with a law degree?  I don't know where the hell I was born but for my parents and a piece of paper telling me it was Columbus, Ohio.  For all I know, I was born in Kenya and my citizenship was all part of some elaborate scheme to one day allow me to become President...if so, I'm so very sorry you all went through the trouble for nothing.  Is the President to confirm or deny where he was born based upon memory?  

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Jobs4TN a Rousing Success?

That is what the folks at ECD, whose job it is to implement the Jobs4TN plan advocated by the governor, are saying in a report on 2011 economic activity.  Last week, Politifact got into some hot water for mischaracterizing the President's statements on jobs, claiming that he was taking credit for private sector job growth when there was scant evidence of that actually happening.  Well, I think the case is a bit more clear for the Governor's administration using better job growth numbers in 2011 as vindication for his recently implemented Jobs4TN plan:

The results of the Jobs4TN strategy are tangible. In 2011, job creation in Tennessee hit its highest mark of the last five years and since the onset of the global recession. ECD projects and private sector growth tracked by the department accounted for 28,535 jobs created in Tennessee in 2011 and more than $4 billion in investment.
They made similar claims later in the report, stating:

As a result of this year of transformation, ECD reached a peak it had not achieved since before the onset the global recession. Over 2011, ECD projects and other job growth in Tennessee’s healthy business climate resulted in 28,535 new jobs created in the state.
So, did reorganizing the Department of ECD to cut jobs, staff was reduced from 210 to 126 according to the report, really result in all these jobs gains statewide? Or, rather, was this the culmination of long-standing proposals for corporate relocations, expansions, and the overall improving economic situation?

Did GM and Amazon expand locations because of this ingenious strategy or some new-found lax regulations, or was this the result of years of hardwork by the Bredesen administration, local authorities, and in the case of GM, the Obama administration?

Mittens on the Poor

And the Lord thy God came to thee and said, "forgeteth about the very poor, for they have their reward, and it is food stamps and crappy housing. Verily I say unto you, it shall be the middle income bracket to which you shalt be concerned, for they do vote more easily for thyne Republican party." - Romney's interpretation of Jesus.