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As you are all aware, the Tennessee legislature has been relentless the last two years in attacking union rights, civil rights, voting rights,  and public education. Now we have a chance to send a real liberal to Nashville.

Jim Lewis of South Pittsburg is running for State Senate in District 16. Our current senator, moderate Democrat Eric Stewart, is running for US Congress against teabagger Scott Desjarlais. The Democratic primary to replace him is Thursday, August 2, and there are 5 candidates running. The first order of business is to win the Primary. We need your help.

Many on this site have said that if we would just run real Democrats, rather than Blue Dogs, we could win. This is our chance to do that. If you want to help elect an FDR type Democrat, please contribute to Jim through ActBlue.

Jim Lewis served as state senator from 1982 to 1990 and was a strong advocate for teachers and public education during that time and he will continue to be a voice for public education if elected. He is the son, husband, and father of public school teachers so he knows about the issue. Here is what he said recently about public education.

I oppose the privatization of public schools. It seems as if those currently in power desire public schools to fail. Their only solution to ‘saving public education’ is ‘public education for a profit.’ Tennessee teachers know how to fix public education. We should listen to them rather than renting public schools to private corporations.
Emphasizing that it is teachers who have the best knowledge of how to improve public education, Jim has decried spending tax dollars for educational consultants who do not have hands on experience in the classroom and are often cronies of the politicians who pay them.

You can find more of Jim's thoughts on public education in this essay "Attacking Public Education." Here is an excerpt.

Sorry folks; this is just another scam to destroy public education by forcing it to fail and then selling or renting public schools to “Free Enterprise” businesses and Master’s of Business Administration types to run our public schools in the same devastating fashion that they now run our banks and healthcare system. Their point is not improving finances, or healthcare or public education, but improving profits for themselves. Michelle Rhee, a former teacher, should be ashamed of aligning herself with the forces opposed to public schools rather than actually working for their improvement.
Concerning union rights, Jim recently said the following:
Tennessee is a "Right-to-Work" state; meaning people have a right not to join a union if they so choose. Doesn't "Right-to-Work" also mean that if you want to form a union or join a union, you also have that right? Isn't a union, in effect, just a business where the capital is your ability to work rather than money? No one in this country would object to forming a business, would they?
As you can see, Jim has a great ability to use humor to frame an issue in a new and unique way.

He is not afraid to take on the powers that be in Tennessee.

Those currently in control in Nashville are not representing average citizens in Tennessee. Our citizens deserve far better. The rich have enough representation. The average citizen and the poor have almost none. While Tennesseans need jobs, those in control are talking cuts—cuts in civil rights, women’s rights, voting rights, workers rights, healthcare, and public education. It seems as if those in control of Tennessee believe they have an obligation to punish all Tennesseans.
One last example of Jim's humor and outspokenness is this letter to the editor written in May of 2005:
Recently I noticed an MSNBC News headline that proclaimed “Giant Rats May Inherit the Earth”. Using the theory of evolution, a scientist has projected that rats and roaches would be likely survivors no matter how man pollutes and poisons earth. Now republicans have taken over the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court. It seems we can no longer deny the scientific validity of the theory of evolution.
I have known Jim Lewis for 45 years since we were in college together. I know him to be a delightful man and a committed liberal Democrat. When he worked at a hospital in Chattanooga and was teased by his Republican co-workers for being a Democrat, Jim told them "I am not just a Democrat; I am a secular Humanist, pinko commie, bleeding heart, liberal Democrat."  That is what we need and I hope you will help by contributing to his campaign and if you live in District 16, voting for this fine man.

District 16 includes Franklin, Marion, Grundy, Coffee, Sequatchie, Van Buren and Warren Counties. If you live in one of these counties and can volunteer, please contact me or go to Jim's Facebook page and leave a message.

Finally, here is the link for Jim's campaign and a link to his website DemocraticPulse which not only has great articles about a variety of issues, but also sells Democratic coffee mugs, prints, and bumper stickers.

Originally posted to Three Star Kossacks on Mon May 07, 2012 at 04:31 AM PDT.

Also republished by Nashville KosKats and Southern Action.

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