August 30, 2012

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If you read the news the morning after the Aug. 2 primary elections for Tennessee’s 3rd Congressional District, you might have never known a Democrat was running for that office. But Mary Headrick emerged victorious against competitor Bill Taylor—and she’s serious about her candidacy in a district that hasn’t been served by a Democrat in 18 years.

First of all, congratulations! Let’s start with the primary elections on Aug. 2. We were somewhat surprised that not only did you win the Democratic primary for the 3rd Congressional District, but you won by a commanding 2-1 margin over competitor Bill Taylor. Neither one of you appeared to have much money to spend on advertising, but Taylor seemed to have been more visible. On a ballot that included a fringe candidate for Senate (the disavowed Democratic candidate Mark Clayton), was it surprising to you and to what do you attribute that support?

I entered election night happy because I liked Bill Taylor, his positions, intellect and integrity, and knew I would help him if he won.  I expected our vote totals to be very close and was surprised by my margin of victory. I think I won because I made more voter contacts than Bill, and “H” comes before “T’ for those who voted alphabetically and didn’t know us. Some voted for me because I am a woman, but I distinguished myself as a Progressive Democrat rather than Bill’s Yellow Dog or Moderate Southern Democrat. I think that gained me some votes.

What was also surprising to us was the lack of coverage of your win in the daily paper. On the day after the election, one would have thought there were no Democratic candidates for Congress. We saw your name only in the last sentence of the front-page story heralding Chuck Fleischmann’s victory over the other Republican candidates. Were you insulted?

I was not insulted, but I am very frustrated by media bias in favor of the Republicans. Media bias cheats the public. My uphill challenge is to engage the voter with factual information, to synthesize complex issues for voters in a way that gets past the anger and sound bites. Too many voters are polarized by wedge issues.

On the plus side, the TFP’s left-leaning Times-side editorial ranked Democrats above the Republican candidates. They wrote: “The irony of the lopsided focus is lamentable. Headrick and Taylor both stand head and shoulders above the GOP contenders in the range, quality and insight of their thinking on the issues that most affect the overwhelming majority of Tennessee voters and families.”  Does the local media matter in the sense that their endorsements affect voters one way or the other?

I did not have much print nor TV media coverage. I think everyone should listen carefully to Harry Austin. Bill, not me, was endorsed by the Knoxville News Sentinel, so the weight of print media endorsements in the primaries seems minimal. I suspect it will be the same in the general election.

In your view, what is the biggest issue facing the 3rd District and what do you intend to do about it?

Money currently buys laws, regulations, budgets and enforcement via campaign donations, lobbyists and large public relations firms. This benefits the pocket books of large, often multi-national corporations, and wealthy individuals. Therefore, the middle class, the underrepresented, is disappearing, falling into the low-income class. Jobs are going overseas. Water, air and soil are threatened. Public education is under attack. “Labor” is being crushed by “Capital.” I will help voters understand when their interests are being attacked. I’ll work hard with all officials who hold the interest of  the people at heart. Our economic system is rigged to help the rich get richer and destroy the security and happiness of the average American.


August 30, 2012

Comments (5)

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Dr Headrick: "alternative"?

To you does "alternative" mean "liberal"? To me it means different from what currently goes on--the more different the more alternative, though not necessarily the better. The more different the wider the range of thought. Dr Mary Headrick is alternative to Chuck Fleischman, but she's no alternative to standard US liberalism; not very alternative to President Obama, since she thinks he's "doing a good job." We libertarians are more alternative than she.

And maybe more thoughtful? She's mad at Bill Gates "for threatening public education and competitors." Do tax-paid schools encourage competitors? Do we pay for Mr Gates's product whether we use it or use another? Is his offered at no charge to the user, as if it cost nothing? If public education were subject to the Sherman Antitrust Act would it be declared a monopoly? Is she mad at Jim Scales and his successor for not subjecting their system to level-playing-field competition? Does it bother her about President Obama that he sent his daughters to private school while trying to deny the same option to poor residents using the D.C. voucher program to escape the most expensive and worst public schools in the world? (Possibly I exaggerate, but not by much.) Sometimes I think the nanny state (babysitter government), or liberalism, consists of rich people taking options away from poor people. (Bush said we can't buy cheap drugs from Canada.) She thinks she has answers. Has she even asked questions, as we fundamentalists do? ('Everything I say, you should regard not as a statement but as a question'--Neils Bohr to his graduate students. See also Socrates.)

In her own profession, medicine, would she de-monopolize doctors? I once went to the ER for pain from a toothache, figuring I needed an antibiotic to kill an infection and a strong painkiller so I could sleep. I think the ER wanted $400. I paid $50; insurance paid $100 and got the ER to write off the rest. So there was a $400 medical expense that produced nothing whatsoever; I could've talked with a pharmacist and gotten what I needed. (In Pakistan, where I grew up, anyone who walked into a drugstore with the money could buy anything it had in stock.) That $400 expense was due to law, not to the cost of care. Care to let competitors into your own field, Dr? Or even think about it?

Why should a doctor wanting to open an office here have to get approval from a board? Let him try. If we can't support his/her services, let him flip burgers or try elsewhere. If he can, supply up means cost down.

Likewise for other professions--barbers and taxi drivers, for instance, which use laws to protect themselves from competition. Let the poor sell such services, profiting as producers and benefiting from lower prices.

Andrew Lohr more than 1 years ago

Elect Mary Headrick

It is time for the US and the TN voters to elect all of the Democratic candidates running for the US House of Representives,
In our local TN 3rd US congressional District the Democratic candidate we need to elect is Dr. Mary Headrick.
The other Democratic candidate is Eric Stewart, He is running for the TN 4th District US Congressional Seat.
If the voters want to get rid of the "stalemate" in the US House of Representives then they need to vote for and elect the Democratic candidates, doing away with the Republican obstructionist in the House and the Senate. This will give President Obama the backing he needs to get this Republic's job growth of production and manufacturing jobs here in the USA.
Remember to show the best judgment: "VOTE FOR THE TRUTH NOT THE LIES"

Carl Brackin more than 1 years ago

People Forced Into Poverty

Here is the main question for voters who think they are immune to the Republicans' "trickle down" plan to maintain their increasing class warfare where everyone from the top down will continue to slide toward the bottom "rung." What or how would their long-term objectives eventually end up as, from what the Republicans are telling us what their are trying to do?
Even with the 50 million people without jobs and income to afford Healthcare insurance, the "Affordable Health care Plan" will provide these families a path for Health care. Did the Republicans care or have a plan to help the people living in "forced poverty" or would the Republicans let the people "fend" on their own as they are saying? If anyone does not believe this obstructive plan of the Republicans is not occurring, then you have to be one of them and part of the planned destruction of this Republic. Otherwise, why are the people buying into the Republican Party's objectives, along with the other opponents of President Obama?

more than 1 years ago

What roles do VOTERS want the gov. to play

The arguments being used against President Obama by his opponents are only a "farce" because they agree that he inherited the effects of the 2007 deep recession and their other crisis conditions. Yet, the Republicans made a "PAC" to obstruct and prevent the President from accomplishing any of his economic policies. Thus handicapping President Obama's use the US government to help the people forced into poverty and in the spending of any money for maintaining our public service jobs and creating private sector production and manufacturing jobs for stabilizing the effects of the 2007 recession to prevent another great depression. Just as the Republicans did in 1929, when we hear them talk about reducing the roles of "big government" without any plans for recovery from the great depression, they continue trying to convince the voters that it is the private sectors' free enterprise market systems' responsibility, not the role of the US Government to interfere in what they want to do to the workers or to the consumers. The Private sectors continue to want to have their freedom, without any controls to do as they please in destroying themselves along with the US economic well being.

more than 1 years ago

It is the VOTERS' choices!

Who has the correct answers, the proper judgment, and the realistic reasoning for getting this Republic back to the proper balance after the effects of the 2007 deep recession?
There is not any sensible reasoning or understanding of the tactics or the strategies being used by the opponents of President Obama because of what they are wanting to do in continuing to prevent the recovery of the deep recession, keeping the US on the verge of another great depression or even causing it to fall into another great depression. Why would the voters even think about voting for the Republicans under normal conditions, much less during all of the unfinished crisis issues/conditions that their last administration left this Republic in? It appears that the last Republican administration actions were deliberate in trying to weaken the US government's role by more than doubling of the National Debt during the Bush/Cheney eight years, leaving a long list of unfunded policies/conditions for President Obama to pay for.

Carl Brackin more than 1 years ago

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