Defining Republicans and the Reason Karen Carson was Never a Credible GOP candidate

While the media likes to paint the Republican primary process as one dominated by “right-wing extremists,” the idea that every GOP primary is a race to the right is a stubborn narrative that won’t go anywhere soon. The fact that many liberals (and some so-called Republicans) don’t want to face is this: The majority of Republican primaries are actually pretty simple. They’re a choice between a candidate who actually supports Republican principles and a candidate who just runs because they know the Dems don’t have a chance.

Take for example the recent race between Karen Carson and Jason Zachary for House District 14. What if I told you that a few weeks before early voting, Gloria Johnson was begging members of the far-left organization SPEAK to go and vote for Karen Carson in the special Republican primary. I possess a multi page document (10 to be factual) that shows the Facebook postings of the commentator and their comments, in case someone decides to hire a lawyer.

Amy Cross Cate
July 30 · Karns, TN
Debate.. Who are the voters voting for in District 14 for Ryan Haynes seat? Karen Carson or Jason Zachary?
2 people like this. Comments

Jeff Ownby I don’t have vote in that district
July 30 at 7:45pm · Like

Julie Marie Me….undecided
July 30 at 7:58pm · Edited · Like

Gloria Johnson Most I know don’t like their choices…but if you care about public education or Insure Tn…you better not vote for Jason Zachary. Don’t vote for who you like or who is nice to you, vote for the person most likely to support the issues that are most important to you. We often end up losing rights on our job because we vote for folks who say “I support teachers”, but are funded by every person in this state who has taken away teachers rights and students joy of learning. Yes, the worst offenders of education attacks are donors to the Zachary campaign.
July 30 at 9:02pm · Edited · Like · 4

Sally Reid Absher NEITHER CANDIDATE is a friend of public education. Period.
July 30 at 9:19pm · Like · 2

Mary Taylor Vote for Jason Zachary!
July 31 at 1:09pm · Like · 4

Kimberly Hamilton I voted for Jason Zachary. Seeing how Karen Carson has been a rubber stamper on the BOE, I feel she will do whatever Haslam wants, which is not in the best interest of education in Tennessee.
July 31 at 2:02pm · Like · 8

Linda McDonald Oglesby Vote for Jason Zachary.
July 31 at 3:29pm · Like · 5

Mary Taylor I have seen Carson in action, she does not listen when people talk at school board meetings, that is what I judge her on.
July 31 at 4:51pm · Like · 7

Joan Croce Grim Vote your jobs.We don’t elect a person, we elect their team of advisors, the party leaders & their funders. it’s a good idea to look at who will be pulling the person’s strings, so to speak.. If Zachary gets any funding from Education PACs, The Beacon …See More
August 3 at 2:48pm · Edited · Like · 3

Terri Clark Harris Not a fan of Karen Carson, she was horrible on the state PTA board in my opinion.
July 31 at 6:20pm · Like · 4

Susan Swan In my opinion Karen Carson has done so much harm to KCS. If she is elected it would get off the BOE, but then she would go on to do even more harm to students at the state level in my opinion. Karen Carson hasn’t a clue to the damage she has done. That is the really scary part!
July 31 at 7:17pm · Like · 10

Amy Cross Cate I have heard that since this is a fill in position to complete Haynes term …. Carson could serve out the rest of his term if elected AND finish her term on the BOE. I hope that is not correct statement.
July 31 at 8:15pm · Like

Gloria Johnson I am going to get a screenshot of this thread for when the votes start rolling in next session, this is not about who you like, it’s about your job and our kids education.
July 31 at 8:26pm · Like · 3

Jeff Ownby She said that is what she is going to do so commission doesn’t appoint her replacement
July 31 at 8:27pm · Like

Gloria Johnson She has to be in Nashville Mon-Thurs when session is in and would miss every vote.
July 31 at 8:29pm · Like · 2

Teresa Brown Now, I do like that point, Gloria Johnson!
July 31 at 8:40pm · Like · 1

Jeff Ownby The BOE allows for Skyping in her votes
July 31 at 8:48pm · Like

Amy Cross Cate I wondered about voting in abstentiA, Skype would work that way.
July 31 at 8:50pm · Like

Jeff Ownby Yes or she can call on speaker phone
July 31 at 8:54pm · Like

Amy Cross Cate Ugh!
July 31 at 8:54pm · Like

Teresa Brown Thanks for the info, Jeff Ownby.
July 31 at 8:58pm · Like

Gloria Johnson I have never heard of them doing that? Have they done it before? I have seen many folks miss votes who could have called it in…but have never seen them do it.
July 31 at 9:00pm · Like

Jeff Ownby It has to be for a good approved reason, in the hospital or in this case you are serving in Nashville.
July 31 at 9:16pm · Like

Amy Cross Cate How is it legal for a person to hold 2 offices like this? It gives someone too much control!
July 31 at 9:20pm · Like

Jeff Ownby It’s not right but in this case it is legal
July 31 at 9:21pm · Like

Gloria Johnson He is owned by the Charter and Voucher people, when the votes come rolling in, please remember this conversation-that is all I ask…and call Jim Wrye again, I think you may have misunderstood him on this. I’m done trying to
convince people to vote in their best interests…we can discuss it again in May of 2016 and see how folks feel. Happy voting everyone!
July 31 at 9:21pm · Like · 3

Teresa Brown Your words are not falling on deaf ears, Gloria Johnson. I know you are very knowledgeable, and I am listening.
July 31 at 9:29pm · Like

Amy Cross Cate Promise he said that statement, Gloria!
July 31 at 9:42pm · Like

Gloria Johnson Carson will give up her BOE seat…but it may not be until session starts in January…but will give up seat
July 31 at 9:44pm · Like

Sherry J. Morgan Only a couple of school bd. members in the past have Skyped – Thomas Deakins and Indya Kincannon. Deakins was on business trip and Indya with sick father.
July 31 at 9:45pm · Like · 1

Amy Cross Cate Not her .., she wants total control and would never agree to County Commission Appointing someone to her seat.
July 31 at 9:46pm · Like · 3

Gloria Johnson Well then, you will have caught her in a lie, she said it.
July 31 at 9:48pm · Like

Amy Cross Cate I hope you are right and she would resign.
July 31 at 9:49pm · Like

Amy Cross Cate Is she wanting to retire from the hospital?
July 31 at 9:49pm · Like

Amy Cross Cate I would not thinking she would want to give up her day job,
July 31 at 9:50pm · Like

Gloria Johnson I have no idea about that, I doubt it. Most legislators have another job…it isn’t a salary that most can live on.
July 31 at 9:50pm · Like

Elizabeth Bean Y’all better heed Gloria. This guy’s a clone of Eddie Smith, Bill Dunn, etc. Remember the old saying about the devil you know…
July 31 at 9:52pm · Like · 1

Gloria Johnson here is part of the Zachary mailer, notice who paid for it…if they are doing mail for him, he has agreed to vote for vouchers and charter issues-count on it! These are the same folks who spent over $100,000 on dishonest mail and TV about me, because they knew I would support public ed 100%. It says TN Fed…but it is based in Washington DC.
July 31 at 10:58pm · Like · 2

Gloria Johnson Here are the same folks lying about me…guess they are playing nicer because this race is within the same party…but he is owned by DC voucher special interests.
July 31 at 11:00pm · Like · 1

Gina Brock Oster I don’t vote in that district, but my opinion is if the voters give Karen Carson a larger and more powerful platform they will regret it. She has been a rubber stamp on BOE, I believe she will try to stay on BOE if elected, Jeff Ownby is correct and sh…See More
August 1 at 12:01am · Like · 6

Gloria Johnson She voted against charters, she lobbied against vouchers, she supported public schools right to have representation. Teachers agree with everyone of those things. Zachary is against every one of this things. That is what comes up at the state level. Who in her camp are people supposed to be afraid of? More afraid of than Jason Zachary’s dark money from Washington DC?
August 1 at 12:08am · Like · 1

Gina Brock Oster Gloria Johnson we will agree to disagree on this one. Sorry too many interactions with her over the years. Not people to be afraid of Leary of. Of course this is my opinion, but she has an agenda and I don’t believe it is a good one.
August 1 at 12:10am · Like

Gloria Johnson Yes, I disagree with her much of the time at BOE meetings…but on the issues the state will be voting on, she votes right.
August 1 at 12:12am · Like

Gloria Johnson No, I get that totally Gina…but sometimes we have to look at the votes, they speak loudest.
August 1 at 12:14am · Like · 1

Gloria Johnson Or even better, go to look at the legislative agenda for the last 5 years…that she has voted for…see what state lege she supported…then see if you still feel the same.
August 1 at 12:16am · Like

Gina Brock Oster I don’t mind to do that, of course I don’t have a vote.
August 1 at 12:18am · Like

Gloria Johnson Ha! I don’t either, but the idea of one more voucher vote in Nashville and these DC lobbyists buying our state really makes me angry!
August 1 at 12:20am · Like · 2

Gina Brock Oster Oh Gloria Johnson we agree on DC needs to get out of the education business.
August 1 at 12:22am · Like

Sally Reid Absher I thought someone from the election commission determined that she CANNOT hold two elected positions at one time! I’m sure she would if she could but I believe Jeff is mistaken about this.
August 1 at 6:35am · Like

Gloria Johnson That is what I heard too Sally.
August 1 at 4:28pm · Edited · Like · 1

Lala McKinney Smith I went with Karen Carson………for some reason (that I knew about) that Gloria mentioned. But, the main reason is that she supports Insure TN and Zachary does not and he is a fundamentalist and a Tea Partier.
August 1 at 7:30am · Like · 1

Jeff Ownby Maybe but the law department told me she could hold both but I could have misunderstood
August 1 at 7:31am · Like

Libby Wright Yes I would vote for Karen. Same reasons Gloria has.
August 1 at 7:40am · Like

Mary Taylor I would never vote for someone I had seen in action and didn’t like what she said or did. The thing that really did it was when her own daughter stood in front of the school board and said mean things about her teacher! Yes, I do vote on how I think the person treats others!
August 1 at 8:00am · Like · 14

Terri Clark Harris Any hope for a write-in candidate?
August 1 at 9:07am · Like · 2

Teresa Brown You have convinced me, Gloria Johnson! Wish I could vote in this election!
August 1 at 9:21am · Like · 1

Elaine Davis This is a quote from the Knoxville News Sentinel, July 30, 2015 article entitled, Teachers Helping Teachers, “This week, Knox County Schools’ newest teachers participated in the district’s annual New Teacher Academy at Dogwood Elementary and Central High School. About 140 elementary teachers and 175 secondary teachers participated.”
August 1 at 4:02pm · Like · 2

Elaine Davis So that appears to be 315 NEW teachers for this year. I know folks keep talking about jobs and it looks like Knox County Schools LOST 315 veteran teachers in my opinion.
August 1 at 4:04pm · Like · 4

Mary Taylor Elaine, didn’t you run for school board a few years ago, I think the last time Carson ran? I had a sign in our yard for you and thought you would have been such a good school board member!
August 1 at 4:25pm · Like · 5

Sherry J. Morgan Elaine Davis, this number also includes resignations and retirements. At my school, we had retirements and resignations.
August 2 at 7:01am · Like

Susan Jones Johnson Never Carson…..
August 2 at 8:49am · Like · 6

Christy Jones McCord Zachary all the way!!!!!
August 2 at 9:37am · Like · 5

Lance McCold Zachary is tool of those aiming to destroy public education. He is supported by the groups that are reforming our schools into oblivion. He is supported by the Haslam crowd that promises money for schools but never comes through.
You’ll live to regret voting for him if you have children in our public schools.
August 2 at 7:20pm · Like · 3

Sally Reid Absher (From a neighbor with VERY close ties to Haslam): Neither candidate is supported by Haslam but Carson claims she will work with Haslam to “continue education reforms in TN.” She is endorsed by Richard Briggs who supports vouchers and charters.They will vote the same way. No good candidate for public education in this race unfortunately…
August 2 at 7:33pm · Like · 1

Gloria Johnson Carson says she will not vote for vouchers. She told me this a couple of weeks ago when I called to clarify and I asked her husband when I saw him last week. I say folks give K Carson a call and ask her, you should hear it from her and not me or a neighbor.
August 2 at 7:39pm · Like · 1

Sherry J. Morgan Gosh, I may have to write myself in.
August 2 at 7:51pm · Like · 7

Lance McCold Carson is thin skinned. She can be a pain, using her position to put down parents, teachers and community members who she disagrees with. Misguided as she sometimes is, she is a honest—she will tell you the truth as she
understands it. And, she a frien…See More
August 2 at 7:54pm · Like · 4

Jane McLemore Buckner Neither one is worth a $=!+
August 2 at 8:40pm · Like · 2

Elaine Davis I did run against Karen. She had publicly stated that she would “term-limit” herself. She is currently serving her third term. On the Save Our TN Summers Facebook page, Tina Bruno states that in this upcoming legislative session early school start d…See More
August 3 at 11:36am · Like · 7

Louise Brambani Povlin Karen Carson supports common core, standardized testing (including K-2) and data collection…in my opinion none of what is coming out of the Common Core State Standards Initiative is public education friendly. Karen
Carson takes people to task for be…See More
August 3 at 1:37pm · Like · 2

Gloria Johnson Jason Zachary is ill-informed because the Hospital Association has agreed to pay all costs so that the state of Tennessee pays none. He also supports the privatization of our schools through Vouchers.
August 3 at 1:39pm · Like · 3

Steven Rodgers Despite not wanting to endorse either of them, if you like public education and people not dying, Carson seems to be the better choice.
August 3 at 1:47pm · Like · 1

Gloria Johnson Jason Zachary is beholden to the Washington DC lobbyists who are funding his campaign and paying for his ads. I would take my chances with someone who is funded by Tennesseans and much more likely to listen to Tenneseans rather then DC special interests.
August 3 at 2:02pm · Edited · Like · 3

Louise Brambani Povlin Tennessee’s hospitals have agreed to support the state’s portion of funding through an increase in the annual hospital assessment, not all of the costs. I’m not against an insurance program, I just need to know it sustainable when the federal government starts messing with the funding.
August 3 at 4:11pm · Like

Gloria Johnson The hospital assoc. has agreed to cover the percentage that the Feds don’t cover. We can stop the program any time we like. 300,000 people need care now and this plan costs TN nothing…and will allow thousands of Tennesseans
to be able to get back to work and create 10,000 new jobs each year for at least the first 5 years.
August 3 at 5:04pm · Like · 2

Kelly Edwards Wright From what I’ve heard around from listening to different people before, the people I talked to did not like Carson but between the two ( a double edged sword) they would have to go with Carson…. They said they couldn’t
believe they’d ever be supporting Carson- none were fans but of the two they said better go with Carson
August 3 at 10:33pm · Edited · Like · 2

Gloria Johnson Kelly, that’s about the sum of it.
August 3 at 10:35pm · Like · 4

Joan Croce Grim Vote for your job, your job security & your TN pension. If not, it will disappear overnight. There is some seriously toxic legislation that needs to be both undone & will be rising out of the bowels of ALEC and DC lobbyists this next session. They all…See More
August 4 at 6:57am · Edited · Like · 4

Setting aside the illegality of crossover voting in Tennessee and the absurdity of SPEAK trying to play in a GOP primary, it does raise the question of what makes a Republican “Republican enough.” No one person could claim to have the answer, but we can safely say that Gloria Johnson’s seal of approval isn’t a good sign.

So what do voters look to when it comes to Republican bona-fides? The Republican party platform is a great place to start.

Take, for instance, the issue of school choice: charter schools, virtual schools, and opportunity scholarships/vouchers. It turned out to be a major contrast with Carson–having never worked in private business—and her record of voting against the Emerald Charter School and opposing Gov. Haslam’s opportunity scholarships. Jason Zachary—a business owner in the
telecoms industry—was a firm supporter of school choice, even in the face of criticism.

So what does the party platform have to say about school choice?

“We do not believe in a one size fits all approach to education and support providing broad education choices to parents and children at the State and local level.”

“School choice –whether through charter schools, open enrollment requests, college lab schools, virtual schools, career and technical education programs, vouchers, or tax credits – is important for all children…”

“The Republican-founded D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program should be expanded as a model for the rest of the country.”
-GOP Platform: Renewing American Values, Consumer Choice in Education

Okay, maybe that’s not clear enough. Let’s see what if some other Republicans may have differing views…

NOPE. Karen Carson didn’t just oppose a position on the party platform, she opposed the position of every Presidential Candidate and RONALD REAGAN.

Despite what the media likes to say about primary elections, Republican voters aren’t dumb, and they won’t forgive far-left swings on fundamental conservative principles. This is not because they’re extremists, but because they know it’s a bellwether for your values generally.

This isn’t just advice for new candidates. Legislators should take heed too. Consider the case of long-time lawmaker Dennis “Coach” Roach (R), who went into the 2014 Republican primary as a member of the Tennessee Education Association, an organization that sends member dues to the National Education Association to support Planned Parenthood and Barack Obama for President (They recently voted to endorse Hillary Clinton).

Coach Roach voted for Jimmy Naifeh as House Speaker, and supported an income tax. And like Karen Carson, Republican voters bounced the good Coach in favor of a candidate who was “extreme” enough to actually be a Republican.

It took a long time for Tennessee to turn red. But it’s only recently that the legislature is starting to be populated by Republicans. And thanks to the activity of Republican primary voters, Tennessee is continuing to move in the right direction.

Now let’s get ready for another great 2016 election cycle!

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1 Response

  1. When will they learn? says:

    SPEAK started out as a good group. But it was quickly taken over by Gloria Johnson. After that, the education discussion diminished. It got to the point where only five or six people were doing all the posting. It was about unions and how evil Republicans are. And of course how the world would end if Gloria Johnson didn’t win her race against Eddie Smith. Eddie Smith won and the world did not end. SPEAK could have been a factor in the last school board races. But it wasn’t. And you can thank Gloria for that. Gloria Johnson sticks her snout in every race in Knox County. She is already spouting off about the Knox County Commission 2nd District race. Which is good. Means Republican John Fugate will win. At the end of the day Gloria Johnson is the best weapon local Republicans have. She’ll end up like Pete Drew. A perennial candidate that never wins.