What the Hell is Up With Tennessee Politics?

Remember two years ago when Tennessee Democrats picked an anti-gay goofball with no political experience to take on a sitting Republican senator, apparently because he was the first name on the ballot? Well they’ve done it again, this time with a guy who says he wants to put the governor in the electric chair who didn’t even run for the office.

On Thursday, Tennessee Democrats picked a statewide candidate with zero political experience. His campaign platform is based on sending incumbent Gov. Bill Haslam (R) to the electric chair. Charlie Brown, a retired engineer from Oakdale whose name is misspelled on his own Facebook page, may owe his victory in the gubernatorial primary to appearing as the first name on the ballot. But he gives full credit to God. “I got down on my knees and prayed about it,” he told Mother Jones, when asked about his campaign strategy. “That hit you pretty hard, huh? That took you for a loop, huh?”…

The 72-year-old Brown did not raise money or campaign actively for the seat. Instead, he sent two letters to the editor to every major newspaper in the state, outlining his plans for Tennessee, which included bringing back teacher tenure, restoring benefits for civil servants, spending his gubernatorial salary on large deer for hunters, and raising speed limits on the interstate highways to 80 mph “because everyone does anyway.” (Brown says he has been pulled over for speeding, but “not lately.”) “Let me give you something: My main interest is to put the Bible back in school,” he said on Friday. “You can write that down.”

“I’d still like to put his butt in that electric chair and turn it on about half throttle and let him smell a little bit,” Brown said of Haslam. “You can print that if you want to.”

Shortly before the election, he says a higher power intervened on his behalf. “I was sitting on the interstate waiting on a guy,” he said, “and something hit me just like that, and it said to get down on your knees to pray. I got down right there on the interstate. There’s a wide place, where there’s a pullout. There wasn’t anybody there. And I got down and asked the Lord to get me through this thing and he did. Now listen, I’m not no preacher, I’m just a Christian. I’m just a sinner saved by grace. I’m just like everybody else.”

He’s now the Democratic nominee to be the next governor. Is this some elaborate piece of performance art that all the Democrats in the state are in on?

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  • busterggi

    Southern Dems like this one are the ones that hated the north so much that even the Rethugs couldn’t recruit them.

  • Phillip IV

    Well, I guess he does sound pretty liberal, in the context of the Tennessee political spectrum: teacher tenure, benefits for civil servants – and he wants the Bible put back in school, specifically, rather than everywhere, as most other Tennessee politicians.

    Add to that that he only wants to half-execute his political enemies, and he qualifies as a full-blown bleeding heart. Especially since even members of his own party want Haslam at least 3/4-executed.

  • matty1

    You have to admit though that his large deer policy is genius

  • sh3baproject

    Tennessee: its where you can pull bullshit so far up the ass you can accidently hit your head if your not careful.

  • Nemo

    Clearly people thought they were voting for the cartoon character.

  • matty1

    His name was misspelled on his Facebook page? How the hell do you misspell Charlie Brown?

  • http://www.facebook.com/den.wilson d.c.wilson

    Tennessee: For people who think West Virginians are too hoity-toity.

  • Moggie

    He won’t win. Lucy van Pelt will snatch it away at the last moment.

  • UnknownEric the Apostate

    Good grief.

  • whirligig

    It sounds like he’d still make a better governor than Rick Scott or Scott Walker. The guy’s random and insane instead of corrupt in a focused and effective way.

  • Childermass

    Let me guess: No serious person thought they could possibly win the election running as a Democrat.

  • blf

    So if I change my name to Fecking Bastard — which some people say it is anyways — and stumble for governor in the dummies primary, I’ll win!? Do I need to enumerate any policies, such as replacing petrol with concrete (to cut down on air pollution) and initiating a search for the Entwives (to prove Tennessee is really Middle Earth, and increase the lumber supply)?

    A-ha-hah! Fame, riches, and my very own dominion, here I come!!!

    (Maybe I should enter a second time as A. Aardvark just to be sure…)

  • abb3w

    No real evidence to support applying the conjecture, however….

    New York was at one point famous for its Democratic political machine. There were a few areas which were massively Democratic — upwards of 80% of voters. One of the dirtier tricks that Democrats would pull for local races in such districts (according to my dad, who helped back in the 1960s) would be to send a bunch of folk to crash the Republican caucuses in numbers sufficient to overwhelm the actual Republicans, listen to the candidates speak, and vote for the biggest boob in sight. Doing so helped make it even more difficult for Republicans to be taken seriously.

    Looks like the GOP turnout was roughly three times that for the Democratic primary — which is about the point when having party crossing troublemakers is a safe stunt.

    Of course, others are correct to note that old idiot Dixiecrats might play a factor.

  • jefferylanam

    Southern Beale blogs about Tennesseee politics. She has some comments about the Tennessee Democratic Party.

  • tubi

    Next time, the party endorsed candidate should change his name to “AAAAA Plumbing, Inc.”

  • Nentuaby

    Completely apathetic democratic voters seems more likely than primary crashers. People who figure their primary selection for dem governor candidate is completely irrelevant in such a deep, deep red state. “Stupid machine wants me to make a selection for governor before I can select candidates for the actual contests? Whatever, first dope on the list. Now about that school board…”

  • grumpyoldfart

    It’s funny now, but one day people like him will actually get into power, and then it will be too late.

  • busterggi

    Joe the AAAAA plumber?

  • macallan

    Welcome to TN. Here ( eastern end of the state ), we got to choose wether to send a confirmed wifebeater to congress, or a DINO who’s only running as a D because he failed to convincingly out-crazy the teabagger types. Wifebeater won of course.