Although the women of the United States are confined within the narrow circle of domestic life, and their situation is, in some respects, one of extreme dependence, I have nowhere seen woman occupying a loftier position; and if I were asked... in which I have spoken of so many important things done by Americans, to what the singular prosperity and growing strength of that people ought mainly to be attributed, I should reply, To the superiority of their women.

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Friday, July 13, 2012

TN Congressional Race: District Six

At my new home, I've been blessed with the most exciting races in America! In this one, we have two women, Diane Black and Lou Ann Zelenik. I voted against Diane when I was in high school in my very first election in 1998 when she was running for state senate. I was right then and I was right now. She wouldn't be anywhere without her super-rich husband, CEO of Aegis Science, which makes mega$$$ off of drug testing services. Gee, I wonder why they want to drug test welfare recipients with a new bill?



In 2010, Lou Ann called Diane out for profiting from her husbands connections in a campaign ad.  A charge that got Diane to bring a defamation lawsuit against Lou Ann.

In the lawsuit filed Thursday morning in Davidson County Circuit Court, Aegis Sciences Corporation, a drug testing company owned by Dr. David Black, claims that ads run by the Zelenik campaign will damage the business and its reputation and asks for a temporary restraining order to keep the ads from airing.
The ads allege Diane Black helped her husband's company obtain a $1 million state contract.
Specifically, the ads state that "[Diane] Black's spending spree included a million bucks for a drug testing company; the company's owner, Diane Black's husband.  Diane Black, big spending that hurt every Tennessee family, expert hers."
While the statements are being spoken, the video displays the words, "Diane Black Spending Spree" and depicts Senator Black holding an oversized check written on the account of Tennessee Taxpayers and payable to Aegis in the amount of $1 million.  The check is signed by Diane Black.
The video then depicts Senator Black handing the check to a man whose face is distorted but is identified as her husband, the lawsuit states.
But just in time for this election, Lou Ann Zelenik as WON in the lawsuit, because it's not defamation if its really true. Her statement as reported in this New5 piece:
While I was not the first candidate to shine the light of truth on this matter, I was the first to be ahead by 15 points with only 10 days remaining in the election.  The ad was never about the company, but was completely about Diane Black.  Her response was to use her money and alleged power to defame and lie about anyone who would get in the way. Over one million dollars later, it worked by 283 votes out of + 80,000 cast.Furthermore her consultants and agents invaded my family's privacy by obtaining my late mother's medical records.  Please tell me what this has to do with a congressional race in 2010?  They contracted a "push polling" firm to call into Tennessee homes labeling me a liar, and even claimed I had voted to raise taxes----an impossibility since I have never held public office.One of my attorney's, Lee Davies, has also pointed out the bottom line to this entire matter: ‘In granting the motion for summary judgment, the court found as a matter of law the political ad was not defamatory.  The court went on to hold the truth is an absolute defense.'I found it interesting that David Black immediately issued a statement using the name of Aegis to continue the attempt to deflect attention from Diane Black. It is obvious he really wants Diane to be a congressman and remain one.My colleague and dear friend, Andy Miller, who was in the courtroom, commented immediately afterwards, ‘maybe, just maybe, David and Diane learned a lesson.'  It appears they have not." 

The Blacks are following the time-tested Frederic C Howe rule: Go political- make society work for you. With the man running a corporation, and his "help-meet" working the US Congress, to what heights they can climb! I'm sure that's what they're thinking. They're using our system, which is predicated on Christian values, integrity, and such against a trusting public. I better watch what I say, or else there might be a lawsuit headed my way. But this little object lesson means that Lou Ann is on the look out for Crony Capitalism. She gets on the Islam threat pretty hard, and I'll be the first one to admit that there's something definitely creepy and not right about he mega-mosque they're building in Murfreesboro. I wonder if she'll be able to ask some of the hard questions in Congress, like why is the UN relocating Muslims here and paying them to get established? Instead of blaming the mammoth religion of Mohammedism, seems like we ought to be paying attention to the why and how they're getting over here.

Oh, and Erick Erickson lambastes Diane as well, saying that it's a great opportunity to change out for a better Republican.

If you go to Diane's site you'll see her logo is a modified TN flag, with a black background. The Tennessee flag is supposed to be three white stars, which represent the three grand divisions on a blue background. But since she'll not change her name to Diane Blue, the flag on her logos will be temporarily changed black to promote her. Does anyone else find this disrespectful? Also in her TV ad, she's wearing Jeans with a very Grandma blazer. Is she taking fashion advice from Michelle Obama or is she trying to be a grandma hipster? Anyway, I'm put off and weirded out. I've talked to a couple of people who've met Diane personally and she seems to universally put people off with her arrogance. That's what's going on where I'm at, do you have exciting local races going on where you are?

 I think Tea Party values are great, but unless they're aware of how the banksters operate, they're going into a gunfight with no bullets. It's like they're going into that head-chopper boobie-trap in Indiana Jones and get compromised or side-lined. I just hope Lou Ann knows what she's going into.

14 comments:

  1. Ok, so I am on the other side of this issue. Having watched Diane Black, since the beginning of her public service, I've had an opportunity to discuss public policy with her, disagreed with her at times, voted for her the first time on a friend’s recommendation, but I have voted for her enthusiastically every time since.

    At the risk exaggerating, Diane Black is an impressive woman. She’s an extraordinary mixture of common sense and uncommon courage. So, it was natural for me, inspired by her leadership, to inquire about the serious charges being leveled at her of some alleged unethical conduct. I looked into it myself, and this is what I found.

    What is the charge?
    Black's opponents charge, that she, while holding state office, unethically benefitted her husband Dave's company, (which does laboratory forensics work), from her position in State government.

    However, before I tell you my story, I can say, unequivocally, that all lawmakers who are obligated to vote on any State budget while they have a spouse, family member, or a friend who works within or is part of the same government budget; the same charge could be leveled against everyone of them.

    It is an inherent conflict, the elimination of which would require that all Legislators restrict any personal relationships, only to individuals without State jobs or individuals who do not work within companies providing contract work on behalf of the State. Any simpleton knows that is an absurd premise to pursue.(cont....)

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  2. (continued....)But I want to take this charge, against Black, seriously. I think we can all accept that Legislators have an inherent conflict when voting for an overall budget. But really, what exactly was the unethical benefit Black is alleged to having received? This is where my story becomes personal.

    A dear and longtime colleague of mine suffered the loss of his 25 year old son in a suicide. I had known this young man since the day he was born. Despondent, he shot himself to death in his own car. It was incomprehensible. No good explanation, except the recent jilting by his young girlfriend. Yet this was a handsome and popular young man. Blood samples were taken and sent to State Tennessee of Bureau of Investigation toxicology lab for a report. Meanwhile we buried his son with no answers.

    After four months, having received no toxicology report I felt it was appropriate to inquire. The answer was, “sorry, it takes this long,” because the State of Tennessee has so much of this type of work to do they are at maximum capacity. I can understand that, and yet this is painful, this could have been my son. It was then I first learned of David Black the Congressman’s husband involvement in a business that provided this type of service. So I contacted him to learn more about it. It was actually a hope in vain of expediting the report on the young man’s suicide.

    It was then I first learned that when the Tennessee’s Bureau of investigation, is behind in their work, from time to time, they contract outside toxicology laboratory services, in an effort to get caught up on the backlog. But oddly enough, this was not one of those times. It took 6 months to receive, but when the report finally arrived, we learned the deceased young man was under the influence of an illegally acquired sedative Xanax, when he killed himself, but this late in the investigation there was no way to identify the source of drug crime.

    How can this be? A taxpaying hard working family in the State of Tennessee suffering this kind of tragedy and yet all the TBI can do, with its hundreds of millions of dollars in State budget appropriations is deliver an untimely report, 6 months following the incident? That is pathetic. So as you can see I am very tuned into this issue. (cont...)

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  3. (continued...) What is the amount of the actual contract work provided by David Black's company? So I called Dr. Black first to ask him if I was allowed to submit a bid to the State of Tennessee in order to secure contract work and provide toxicology services like he does. Evidently, I am allowed to submit a bid. Of course I don’t know the first thing about toxicology but, like everyone else, I am eligible to bid on services for a State contract. To acquire it, I simply needed to submit the low bid and demonstrate my eligibility.

    Ok, so now how much is State contract worth? So, I asked Dr. Black and what I found out astonished me. Over the dozen or so years which Dr. Black had provided services for the State of Tennessee, the gross amounted of the contract was less than the salary of one TN State psychiatric doctor, without pension or benefits. The average was $215K per year in contact services. Out of that gross revenue the toxicology lab was required to pay its staff and all its operating costs. As it turns out, the contract amounted to less than 1.5% percent of the Black company's gross revenue.

    Consequently, I see this entire matter differently. I am outraged that the State of Tennessee isn’t spending far more money to contract Dr. Black’s toxicology lab services. Each time I see some lazy State worker, with all their benefits, paid holidays and vacation time, their pensions and their mediocre work product, I think about the 6 months we waited in vain to find to find out why that young man shot himself.

    I don’t think much of Lou Ann Zelenik’s charge. I think it is a petty, self serving exploitation of a superficial fact which is impossible to refute in a sound byte and yet, in the final analysis, Zelenik is willing to demagogue the issue completely ignorant of the pain suffered by my friends, because she can use it to advantage her lust for power. That is not a leader, folks that is a scumbag!

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    1. I appreciate your detailed comment. I am wondering about the push to drug test welfare recipients fits into the lab business. If you look around my site, you can see that I like to look at connections between the public and private sector. From the lawsuit results, you can see how that gives the impression that is what is going on. Furthermore, is it not true that Aegis Science has expanded nationwide since Black took office in 2010, and did her influence in Congress have anything to do with it?

      As far as Xanax goes, I really should start posting about that stuff more. In my utopia, doctors prescribing that stuff should be treated like drug dealers. In my family, we had a close call with Xanax, my husband's cousin literally flipped out after taking (under dr's orders) at age 11 (even though the insert says not to give it to anyone under 18). He wound up at Vandy psych under suicide watch. Praise God he's living with his dad out on the farm living a wholesome life with cattle and sunshine--totally drug free. Whenever I hear of someone committing suicide, my first thought is what kind of drugs are they on? The word sorcery in the Bible is translated from the Greek word for drugs, pharmekia.

      I had my encounter with TN science/lab work when my newborn had her screen done and their spect machine broke. I didn't get a memo saying that, I had to figure that out on my own after being called by the ped. saying my kid had a rare disease, freaking out for a week, and then getting it through the grapevine that the machine had broke and my kid was normal. If I could purchase those services independently, I would now. If Aegis wants to expand, I think there would be a huge market for testing heavy metals in children, vaccine titers, newborn screens (keeps baby's blood away from the State), etc.

      Thanks for giving us the other side, Tony.

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    2. Tony your letter was sounding as if it were from an impartial, reasoning person. Right up until the last sentence where you called Lou Ann a 'scumbag'. Frankly, I know her and she's a very good and honest person. The mere fact that you would use such language kind of makes you look like you're a part of Diane Black's attack team.

      First of all, I don't know Diane well, but the times I've met her she came across as a perfectly fine and likable lady. My problem with her is twofold however. First, when asked why she and her husband were continuing a lengthy and expensive lawsuit after the 2010 race, her reply was that "it was her husband's suit, not hers." Do you really think if she wanted him to end it he would not have? Hardly. Wives are a powerful force, don't you think? During the long ordeal (18 months) David Black told Lou Ann in court one day that 'when he got finished with her, she wouldn't own a home and was going to ruin her financially". The level of vitriol was scary.

      Secondly, as Republican mother pointed out, her vote to raise the debt ceiling went against what the majority of her constituents asked from her. Scott DeJarlais stood up to the 'party game'and supported his people. I've heard the 'party' isn't happy with him. But he stood on PRINCIPLE. Why didn't Diane do the same? We are at the edge of a very tall cliff as a country and we must stop playing DC games with 'go along to get along' representatives.

      Last, but not least, are the methods that Diane Black's campaign team are using in this current race. They have followed Lou Ann to EVERY event she has spoken at, setting up tripods with cameras to record her every word. There have been vans set up to watch her campaign managers homes 24/7. Reportedly one was caught going through the man's garbage can. Diane is also using a Romney 'attack dog' as her advisor by the name of Ward Baker. Mr. Baker worked for Diane in 2010 also as noted in a 2010 article in Knox News along with work he did for Marsha Blackburn. An article originally published in the Murfreesboro Post on Sunday, June 17th written by Jonathan Fagan was also ran by their 'sister' publication Cannon Courier. The headline was "Judge Finds Merit In Zelenik's attack Ads Against Diane Black." I heard that Black's team had attacked the Courier for running this so I called to ask what had occurred and was told that a (and I quote) "brutal" call was made to Michelle Willard (a Post staffer) and it was so vicious that Michelle (normally very tough) hung up on the caller. Who was the caller? Jennifer Baker. Wife of Black's professional attack strategist.

      I don't know about you, but I'm sick of these tactics in politics. Usually they're confined to the Democrat party but Diane is bringing them to the Republican side now. This is truly atrocious.

      The reason the tea party arose is that we are tired of the BS in DC and the main reason it occurs is from a lack of character. That is what I'm seeing occur within the Black campaign that tells me she does not deserve our support. Character matters, and Diane and her team are woefully showing they're devoid of it.

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  4. Tony, I see corporate welfare which drains the public funds every bit as much ss individual welfare. I would vote for Diane in a general but I like the idea of giving others a chance to represent us. The problem in the past (and still today) is that the incumbents begin to think it is their birthright to office and thus become non-responsive to the public. I disagree that a conflict of interest is a superficial matter. Lou Ann is not demagoguing the issue to hurt Diane but rather having open discussion of whether such a conflict exists. Questions such as: Should we be doing business with Diane Black's husband's business? Could we have got a better deeal from another company? Do we really need the lab service at all? I doubt with the conflict of interest that Diane Black could seriously consider such questions which the public wants to know. This is how government grows out of control. Clearly you have a bias. I really don't. Supported Diane in the general and would do so again against a Democrat but I want a fair and open discussion of such matters and the defamation suit was the wrong thing to do when it was the issue of business conflicts is raised. Diane needed to bury the hatchet; the lawauit showed me she is not a skillful politician. I hope she grows and learns you can't lash out at potential allies. Look what happens: Challenged in your first re-election campaign.

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  5. Examples of corporate welfare are everywhere. I have no opposition to exposing them. Notwithstanding, the entirety of the Black family's business contracts with the State of Tennessee amounts to less, in dollars, than what the marriage to a low-level employee, working in State government would be without any long term benefits. Seriously!. Please get in the line to expose the outrageous examples of corporate welfare. This is not one of them.

    Why re-elect Diane Black as an incumbent?
    It's easy to see why, as a freshman member of Congress, she has zoomed into leadership.
    I want this woman's life experience, on the front lines in the health care reform movement. She has been there working it at the hospital, in the trench, at the State level on the Health and Welfare Committees, and now at the Federal level. This is not a Republican talking point for her. She has worked in the health care system from the ground up. Her best girl friend is a pediatric nurse.
    Despite her husband's success in business, Black raised her three kids from a prior marriage as a divorcee. Her family has several military vets, she knows that pain.
    The list goes on. She has hands on experience in entitlement reform, child upport reform she has community development expertise, she has grandchildren in local schools.

    She "gets it" and she "gets it" quickly. While Diane Black is not going to satisfy my anger, in the style of Lou Ann Zelenik by venting her spleen, when the time comes, Black maintains a very sharp knife and is not afraid to use it on her own. Don't kid yourself this is no whiner baby. When she uses the knife it is very shocking.

    Diane Black is a political leader the calibre of which we are very fortunate to have in our community. This re-election campaign, like so many now, has decended into a vulgar display of accusations and pettiness. I am sure Lou Ann Zelenik has redeeming qualities but she has made it clear to me that this is not about public policy. Zelenik has made this campaign her personal vendetta.

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    1. The problem with Diane is that she voted for raising the debt ceiling, funding Planned Parenthood, increasing the deficit, etc. That's the kind of junk the Tea Party is supposed to be putting a stop to.

      I'm not sure what the knife metaphor is about, but it's a little "disturbing?" Sounds like Diane's bio is like several people I know, working in health care, what's your point? Also "community development expertise" scares the bejeezes out of me. Is Diane aware of Agenda 21, the UN program to inventory and control every resource and land parcel in the world?? That's my litmus test, and to be honest, Lou Ann doesn't measure up to my ideal Congress person who is educated on these issues. But she seems to be further down the pike than Diane.

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    2. Egads! I'm in agreement with you republicanmother about the "knife" analogy. I'm starting to think "Tony" is Ward Baker (or his wife), the political attack dogs that are working on Diane Blacks campaign. Very scary stuff indeed. So I'll repeat what I said earlier... CHARACTER COUNTS!

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    3. On my dear Tony, she"zoomed by buying her way onto these committees the good ole political by contributing substantial amount of money to each of the members reelection campaigns, this was reported in the media, check it out for yourself. Stop the self delusion. She and one of her male counterparts were reported to have arrived knowing how the game is player. I don't know about you but I am tired of being the pawn in the game. Lakota Woman.

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  6. She increased the debt ceiling enough said...

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  7. The couple times I talked with Diane, I received political balderdash responses to my questions. Not definitive answers. We surely don't need another politician in D.C. We need an authentic down to earth person who can give straight honest answers to her constituents. I was witness to Dianes financial dog and pony show she put on at her town hall meetings. What a bunch of smoke and mirrors that was. Diane talks out of both sides of her mouth. Last time she ran, her television ads with her granddaughter were so "sincere". She was concerned about the debt we were leaving our children and our grandchildren. Yes, she was so concerned she voted to raise the debt ceiling. HMMMMM let's think about that one a while. How's that taste in your mouth? Enough said. Vote her out. Let's try our luck with a new one.

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  8. Calling Lou Ann a scumbag is like spitting on Mother Theresa.

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  9. Wow, the comments on this post really did heat up. I told ya'll it was an exciting race to watch.

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