Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Van Hilleary An Embarrassment To All Tennesseans

It appears Van Hilleary's chronic foot in mouth just keeps getting worse.
As our blog has pointed out before, Van is a habitual liar. It seems he feels the need to lie when he feels threatened, as he does right now in this campaign.

Van knows he has nothing to offer the people of Tennessee. He has no solutions to the problems that face our state and nation. He has no new ideas that can help move us forward from the mess we are currently in. He has nil.

On Monday, Van opened his mouth and once again showed everyone his stupidness and deceitfulness when he said the following:

"I think Harold Ford is unelectable. He is wrong on guns, abortion and taxes. Half his family is under indictment."

In response, Ford spokesman Michael Powell used actual facts and issues to combat Van's lie saying, "As Mr. Hilleary knows, Harold Ford is running for the United States Senate - not anyone else in his family," Powell said. "If anyone is unelectable, it is Van Hilleary. He has taken thousands of dollars from convicted felon Jack Abramoff. He has voted to increase the federal debt by over a trillion dollars, and he has a long record of cutting health care and other benefits to our nation's veterans."

Powell is 100% in his analysis. It is Van Hilleary who is unelectable. Democrats know it and even Van's fellow Republicans know it. That is why they have been urging him to drop out of the Senate race. (Also, I find it a little bit ignorant and deceitful to call Ford unelectable when it was Van himself who lost the gubernatorial race in 2002, becoming the first Republican to lose a statewide race since 1994)

But what else can we expect from Van besides lies and empty platitudes? That is his style and always has been.

The paper trail on Van's deceitfulness and lack of substance in campaigns is well documented.


One of the biggest lies that Van kept pushing in 2002 was that if elected, Bredesen would try to implement a state income tax, just as Don Sundquist did.
  • "U.S. Rep. Hilleary's "BredeSundquist" ads featured a picture of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Bredesen morphing into Gov. Sundquist. The ad suggested that Mr. Bredesen, if elected, would continue Gov. Sundquist's push for a state income tax. Gov.-elect Bredesen, former Nashville mayor, defeated Rep. Hilleary by about 50,977 votes in the Nov. 5 general election, according to the State Election Commission's unofficial results. Gov. Sundquist was constitutionally prohibited from seeking a third term." -- Chattanooga Times Free Press, 11/14/02

As we all know now, Bredesen has not implemented a state income tax and has already ruled out pushing for a state income tax if elected to a 2nd term this November:

  • "Gov. Phil Bredesen told Nashville business leaders yesterday that he would not seek a state income tax if re-elected in 2006. "I'm not interested in an income tax in a second term," Bredesen told reporters after a speech to the Nashville Rotary Club...Bredesen first declared he doesn't think a state income tax is necessary during his 2002 campaign for office." -- Tennessean 09/27/05

In fact Van's lies were so blatant against Bredesen, newspapers all across the state called him out on them:

  • "We only wish it were true that Phil Bredesen supported a state income tax. But it's not true. And Van Hilleary can't make it true by running ads intended to mislead." -- Chattanooga Times-Free Press, 09/27/02

  • "In a statewide television ad that is, by turns, churlish and childish, Hilleary not only attacks his Democratic opponent, Phil Bredesen, but takes a puerile punch at a fellow Republican, Gov. Don Sundquist.

    In trying to identify his Democratic opponent as a stealth supporter of a state income tax, the current Hilleary ad resurrects comments Bredesen has made concerning various taxes, some going back 32 years in a different state. It's the sort of hit-and-run technique that not even a conservative icon like Ronald Reagan, who voted four times for Franklin Roosevelt, could withstand…

    Meanwhile, the Van Hilleary campaign continues its embarrassing course, buoyed like a bottle by its own emptiness. But the old questions remain: what kind of future do residents want for their state? What is the vision for Tennessee's future? What's the plan, Van, for getting the state there? -- Kingsport Times-News 2002

The Commercial Appeal pretty much summed it up in 2002 when they said, "Hilleary, a four-term congressman from Spring City, has shown signs of chronic foot-in-mouth disease as scrutiny of the race for governor increases." (Memphis Commercial Appeal, 07/14/02 )


  • Kingsport Times-News called Hilleary's gubernatorial campaign empty of ideas: "In a statewide television ad that is, by turns, "Meanwhile, the Van Hilleary campaign continues its embarrassing course, buoyed like a bottle by its own emptiness. But the old questions remain: what kind of future do residents want for their state? What is the vision for Tennessee's future? What's the plan, Van, for getting the state there?" -- Kingsport Times-News

  • Hilleary gubernatorial campaign lacked comprehensive, thoughtful positions on key issues: "In place of comprehensive, thoughtful positions on key issues, Hilleary has largely relied on glib slogans about listening to people and rolling up his sleeves and getting his hands dirty and bringing everybody to the table. He is asking voters to take a lot - too much - on faith." -- Commercial Appeal, 10/20/02

  • No specifics and little details…The Van Hilleary Way: "Hilleary has been even less specific, suggesting that the current tax structure will provide extra money once the nation's economy bounces back. Hilleary is also fond of saying more funds will be available once TennCare is fixed. But then, he's short on specifics about how to improve TennCare." -- Tennessean, 09/10/02

  • Hilleary gubernatorial campaign characterized as "an empty exercise in ducking tough questions, making promises he can't possibly keep, and just generally muddling through": "Many GOP leaders have refused to support Hilleary's candidacy, concerned that he doesn't understand the severity of the state's budget and health care problems. Nor do they believe he can solve them. A stinging editorial in the Kingsport Times-News, published in the heart of GOP territory, criticized Hilleary's campaign as "an empty exercise in ducking tough questions, making promises he can't possibly keep, and just generally muddling through. "The cure for admiring Republican gubernatorial hopeful Van Hilleary is to listen to what he says,'' the editorialist wrote.'' -- Commercial Appeal, 06/02/02

  • Un-smart?: "Said Hilleary in his own defense: "I don't get hammered in the columns, even by the liberal editorial reporter at the Chattanooga Times, who are not with me politically. But they don't think I'm unsmart.'' -- Commercial Appeal, 11/21/01

I hate to tell you Van, but your game is up. No one is falling for your childish tactics anymore. You are all alone and that must be sad.

Everyone knows that you are a failed politician who can do nothing now but lie to try to cover up your own pitiful state of hollowness and irrelevance.

I would gladly welcome a Ford-Hilleary match up this fall.

The difference between the two candidates could not be more stark.

While Van offers nothing to our state and nation, Harold Ford Jr. represents a new generation of leadership that is poised to take the reigns and get our nation back on the right path.

With that being said, I say bring it on Van.

91 Days

Days of Congressional Inaction on Ethics

Above is the number of days that have passed since Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty to bribing Congressman.

It is also the number of days in which Congress has failed to pass an ethics reform bill that would limit private travel, ski and golf junkets, and would call for a full disclosure of expenses by lobbyists on members of Congress.

It is time for Congress to step up and pass an ethics reform bill that would do all of the above. In addition, it is time to end the pork barrel spending system as we know it and establish an independent ethics commission that would review ethics complaints against members of Congress.

I am proud Congressman Harold Ford Jr. is fighting for that reform!

Read Congressman Ford's call for reform of the House rules here!