Showing 11 reactions

  • Ann Rausch
    commented 2019-07-09 20:55:50 -0500
  • Jacy Phillips
    commented 2019-03-25 16:35:45 -0500
    I am writing concerning the upcoming hearing on SB1178 or the Red Flag Gun Confiscation bill. I would hope that this will not pass. It is just one step onto the road of total gun control or No Gun Control. I understand the background checks and I have no problem with that. I feel this is the beginning of a real “take your guns” issue. I do not think I am the only Tennesseean who would tell you up front-Out of my cold dead hands. The liberal left wing democrats are going way too far. Outlaw the guns and only outlaws will be armed.
  • Ben Osterlund
    commented 2019-03-20 15:35:33 -0500
    Senator Roberts,


    I just wanted to reach out to you after yesterday’s Senate Committee Hearing. Although I think we disagree about SB 705, I appreciated your presence on the committee and admired your questioning of some of the other folks that came before you.


    As a Vanderbilt student who is graduating soon and would love to commit his life to public service, I wanted to see if you might have some time to talk with me about how to best orient myself to serve others. I am happy to come to the Capitol or wherever is convenient for you.


    Thanks for taking some time for me and for serving your constituents.


    Warmly,

    Benjamin Osterlund
  • Tim Palmore
    commented 2019-03-18 15:32:03 -0500
    Hi, has anyone put forward a bill for TENN to stop daylight saving time.

    This is no longer needed and has no bearing on saving anything.

    this was generated many years ago for Farmers and no longer serves a purpose for us.

    Current time change is perfect. Also has a study ever been done to see if being light longer help reduce crime?
  • Glenda Stark
    commented 2019-03-15 18:15:03 -0500
    The Honorable Kerry Roberts;


    We are asking that you look into the behavior of our CEMC CO-OP. You’ve seen the proof first hand of them covering up for the safety supervisor who they were told was driving while intoxicated for several years and were asked to investigate his behavior. And they were also shown proof of him having alcohol in his work truck and they did nothing about it, (these actions are against their own policies), they chose not to protect the general public and us the members from his behavior. And now with his recent DUI arrest and in possession of hand guns while being in a work truck, along with the recently retired CEMC general managers DUI arrest, shows even more evidence of the cover up.


    This behavior has many members questioning and looking into how our co-op is actually being ran and what our rights are as owners of the co-op. Many members are unaware of their rights as members. Such as in pursuant with codes 48-66-101 & 48-66-102

    Members are allowed to look at co-op records & their books, request all details about meetings, find out what the board members are reimbursed & what their perks/benefits are and request policies and bylaws. But CEMC has denied a member three times to have a formal meeting to discuss some of these very issues.


    In our research, we also have discovered member owned co-ops across this country have been involved in some major corruption. Most recently in South Carolina.


    In South Carolina, when their members discovered corruption in their member owned co-op , the members demanded the board members step down and demanded change and were successful in doing so. Now they’re trying to get the laws changed to have co-ops to be more transparent and have more accountability.


    https://www.thestate.com/news/politics-government/article226340885.html


    The laws would include the following-


    Require co-ops to post on their websites details of their meetings & boards’ per-meeting pay; total compensation; fringe benefits, including health and life insurance; and breakdowns of their travel, hotel and conference expenses.


    Make it easier for co-op customers to vote in board elections by holding early voting and requiring polling machines to stay open for at least four hours on voting day.


    Prohibit board candidates from campaigning within a certain distance of a co-op’s annual meeting.


    Prohibit co-op directors from filling board vacancies themselves.


    Steer co-op boards away from self-dealing by prohibiting directors from having a business relationship — such as working as a contractor — with the utility they govern. The bill also would prohibit co-op directors from hiring their own family members as co-op staff or appointing them to co-op committees.


    And as members of CEMC, we want the same transparency and want this same information posted on the CEMC website. This will allow for more transparency & accountability of our co-op and the board members.


    We also discovered that Representative Jim Cooper started to take note of the member owned co-ops behavior & actions and even tried to pass laws to make them more accountable & transparent. You can read his following statement-


    https://cooper.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/subpoenaed-witnesses-evade-house-oversight-committee


    OPENING STATEMENT OF REP. JIM COOPER, AS PREPARED FOR DELIVERY


    Committee on Oversight and Government Reform


    Opening Statement of Rep. Jim Cooper

    June 26, 2008


    Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I regret that we must have this hearing. I love rural electric co-ops and don’t want to see any of them harmed… but I also don’t want to see any co-op customers harmed. I don’t even like to draw attention to co-ops because I know how publicity-shy they are. So far, I have not introduced any legislation to change co-ops because my only goal is to return them to their roots. My father helped start a rural co-op and I have represented the customers of over 20 co-ops during my time in Congress, perhaps more than any other member.

    I started learning about co-ops almost two decades ago when I first attended a co-op annual meeting in my district. For almost ten years I have been talking privately with co-op leaders, speaking at co-op conventions – both state and national – to warn them about problems that even I could see as a co-op observer. I’ve worked hard for many years to solve co-op problems within the co-op family. But I was rebuffed at almost every turn, so here we are today with 1) the largest electric co-op in America in a serious scandal, 2) its former leaders hiding from federal marshals, and 3) loads of other co-op problems bubbling, publicly, to the surface.

    For much of the last ten years, I didn’t know for sure whether my co-op worries were justified. But then I saw the outstanding reporting of Margaret Newkirk at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and of Claudia Grisales at the Austin American-Statesman chronicling the abuses of Georgia and Texas co-ops. I also found that TVA Inspectors General had been complaining about Tennessee co-op misbehavior for a long time but, due to co-op pressure, hiding their report from Congress and, as the IG put it, “shrill media attention.” I also stumbled upon the national co-op trade association’s own secret, password-protected website and discovered that some of my worst fears were substantiated by the NRECA itself, the same organization that had been stonewalling me. That’s when I decided to write a law review article which is being published this week by the Harvard Journal on Legislation. If you’ve got to wash your dirty laundry in public, you might as well get it clean.


    I want to make seven quick points:

    0. If you think Pedernales is the only electric co-op scandal, then you believe that there can be only one cockroach. If such abuses can happen in the largest co-op in America, founded by a former U.S. President [SHOW Picture of LBJ], within sight of regulators in the Texas state capitol in Austin, they can happen anywhere. Co-ops serve portions of 47 states. [SHOW MAP and keep it up there] We already know of other, completely unrelated, co-op scandals near Atlanta, Birmingham, and Ft. Worth. Is your state next? How would you even begin to know, unless you’ve seen your co-op’s audited financial statements? Or do you just take the co-op lobbyist’s word for it? That’s exactly what legislators in Texas did for too many years.

    0. Co-ops don’t have to be mired in scandal to have serious problems. It doesn’t take a spike in temperature; this chronic, low-grade fever could even be the most damaging to co-op health. The NRECA has been issuing reports for over 30 years warning all co-ops that they need to be refunding more money to customers because, if they don’t, they risk losing their tax-exempt status. For decades, too many co-ops have turned a deaf ear to their own trade association on this other issues regarding their precious tax-exemption. Why would NRECA go to so much trouble, and pay for such expensive, secret reports as this one [Cooper: WAVE Report], unless they were really worried about an IRS crackdown? Much of this hearing will be spent reinforcing NRECA’s own message to its members.

    0. Are co-op customers being treated fairly? Remember, co-ops were founded under Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal to be the most pro-consumer organizations in America. Co-ops brag about the “Co-op Difference.” Yet NRECA itself has written that countless co-op customers pay an extra $220 a year — why? — just so their co-op can remain inefficient. [Cooper: SHOW “A Framework for Change.”] According to the NRECA itself, if small co-ops simply merged with other co-ops, they could save their customers two months of electricity bills every year. Wouldn’t it be nice to give customers a two-month holiday from their light bills?

    0. Private property rights. Co-op customers really do own their co-op. And this isn’t like taxpayers who, in theory, own an undivided interest in, say, the Smithsonian Museum. Co-op customers literally have, or will have, legal title in their own name to their piece of $31 billion of co-op equity, which is roughly the market value of Amazon.com. This averages out to $1,824 per customer, an amount comparable to the economic stimulus checks that Congress passed this spring. [PICTURE of Stimulus Check and keep it up] Yet how many co-op customers have ever been told exactly what they own? Have any? I have not found one yet, except for one top power company executive who got all his money out every time he moved from one co-op to another. Why can’t regular customers get this benefit, or is it reserved for VIPs? After all, internal co-op software calculates individual ownership to the penny; co-ops just run out of ink on their monthly bills before they disclose that ownership stake. All this leads me to conclude that this $31 billion is probably the largest lost pool of capital in America. I estimate that co-ops could safely return $3 billion to $9 billion of customer funds this year. That money could help millions of rural ratepayers today who are having a hard time in a soft economy. And it’s not a government handout; it’s just returning their own money!

    0. When co-ops do not tell their customers the truth about exactly how much of the co-op they own, they break faith with their customers and they effectively confiscate customer property without permission. What if your bank or credit union refused to tell you how much is in your account? And when co-ops fail to make any refunds, they are unable to settle the accounts of former customers. As a result, many co-ops today are increasingly owned by dead people and people who have moved away, possibly destroying the legal status of the cooperative itself. Co-ops were never intended to be ghost houses.

    0. This year, giant energy companies are trying to take advantage of co-ops’ strong balance sheets and tax-exempt borrowing authority in order to finance new power generation, particularly new coal-burning units. They want co-ops to generate more power, to increase pollution, and to issue billions of dollars of bonds to be sold on Wall Street. The last time co-ops fell for such a sales pitch was in the 1970s and 1980s, and many co-ops went bankrupt as a result. I think co-ops should make energy conservation their first priority and then, once they have helped reduce their customer’s bills, think about other ventures. Let’s keep co-op customers healthy and take care of Main Street before we take care of Wall Street.

    0. We need more disclosure from co-ops because sunshine is the best disinfectant. Today, even the richest co-ops insist on receiving full federal subsidies, even though some of them don’t let the government, or even their own customers, look at their books. Without full disclosure, co-op democracy is a sham and co-op regulation is impossible. The official biography of the lending arm of co-ops, CFC, says that it was formed to tell Wall Street how rich co-ops are, while NRECA is telling Washington how poor they are. When did this double-talk become part of the honorable co-op tradition? Why do co-ops spend almost as much money as Boeing trying to influence Congress? If all co-ops are really as good as motherhood and apple pie, why do they have to spend so much money on politicians? Or are these political contributions just a narcotic to keep the regulators and watchdogs asleep?

    Thank you again, Mr. Chairman, for holding this hearing. Thanks also to the best staff on Capitol Hill. We have a chance today to help 17 million co-op customers, and probably 40 million rural and suburban residents, get better treatment from their co-op. In my state alone, hundreds of thousands of co-op customers own close to a billion dollars in co-op equity that they have never been told about, and never received a penny of in 70 years. Pedernales also never refunded a penny in 70 years until it was forced to, under pressure. Our job today is to persuade electric co-ops, these wonderful New Deal organizations, to give today’s customers a better deal. Co-op customers are getting electricity today, but most of them don’t have much power, and virtually all of them are in the dark.


    He also wrote this very telling paper about co-ops and how they went from a good deal to a bad deal…


    http://www2.owen.vanderbilt.edu/lukefroeb/files/cooper%20harvard%20journal%20draft%201-18-08.doc


    We are urging you and others to become more aware and educate yourself, the commissioners and others about our rights as co-op owners. This isn’t just about a wrongful termination; but about their treatment of an innocent man who was trying to bring this corrupt behavior to their attention (board members and the general manager of CEMC) and their refusal to investigate these actions and their lack of accountability. And because of this, members are beginning to educate themselves on how our co-op operates and what are rights are as owners of this co-op. We want transparency, accountability and for board members to start doing their jobs or risk being removed by the members.


    You, the commissioners, Mr. Kerry or any other TN representative, represent us, the people of this county and many of you are CEMC members yourselves. Please help the members you represent.


    Thank you,


    Concerned Cumberland Electric Member
  • Brenda Durham
    commented 2018-11-14 09:57:49 -0600
  • susan allen
    commented 2018-11-07 09:35:57 -0600
    Kerry, Joi Wasill of Decisions, Choices and Options and I would like to schedule about 30 minutes of your time in November with you before the next session starts to update you on issues concerning Robertson, Cheatham and Dickson counties….your counties ….schools and the Dept. of Health grant that we were awarded. Rep. Kumar, Senator Haile, Rep Lambert are aware and involved. We want you to be fully aware of this important issue regarding school presentations on abstinence and promotion of adoption as an issue. We could come to the radio station following your Monday show if that is the most convenient to catch you. Actually Joi is going to be on a Memphis show discussing this. If there is another time and place, let us know. I suggested that because I felt it would be most convenient use of your time. Thanks and congrats on another great victory
  • Susana Freund
    commented 2018-10-21 12:52:15 -0500
    I have a high interest in stoping the state of Teneseesee for being a SANTUARY STATE !!!! It is very alarming to see how we are being “taken over” by illegals in this state. There are many illegals working in all industries “under the table”. The employers are being sanction by the government for hiring illegals, but illegals are being caught by ICE and then realese. So the employer is the only one “paying the price” while illegals keep enjoying all the “perks” from our government, our taxes. We have to stop this invasion!!
  • Eric Miller
    commented 2018-10-16 13:38:25 -0500
    What do you think about Governor Haslam’s association with the Muslim Brotherhood?
  • Taylor Henning
    followed this page 2018-09-27 20:31:25 -0500
  • John Shorter
    commented 2018-09-13 09:09:12 -0500