Steve Osborn Commentary: It’s Time for Tennessee’s Grassroots to Back Diane Black for Governor

by Steve Osborn


The folks in the grassroots conservative movement have been working hard these last few years trying to be the Vanguards of Liberty, and trying to undo the damage inflicted on our nation by liberals. We may disagree from time to time on issues, tactics, or candidates, but we remain steadfast and united in our common goals: defending the Constitution, restoring our constitutional Republic, and preserving our long-held American values.

However, some of us have been choosing to support one candidate over another because of what is said on the campaign trail or what we’ve heard from someone else without doing any research from reputable sources on our own. In many ways, we’ve acted like we’re electing a high-school class president based on a popularity contest without truly knowing who best shares our values, or who would best represent us in the state.

We have to grow beyond that.

Just doing basic research of the candidates would either support what is said on the trail, or prove that a candidate is simply pandering for votes. Consequently, we’ve been electing Republicans in Tennessee who’ve run as conservatives only for them to show that they’re actually liberals once they’re in office. Hence, the acronym RINO (Republican In Name Only).

Once again, we have candidates running for governor who say they’re conservative, but do not have a good track record backing up their claims, except for one.

For instance, Bill Lee says he’s a conservative. Yet when it comes to same-sex marriage, he’s perfectly happy to take a hands-off approach, and let the liberal courts decide the issue. He also refuses to take a common-sense, conservative stance against grown men using a woman’s public restroom.  He seems to willfully ignore evidence of sexual predators using that liberal policy to seek out and abuse our vulnerable daughters.

While Randy Boyd is a successful businessman and may be a great guy to sit down and have a beer with, he doesn’t share our conservative values. For instance, he recently donated $250,000 to an affiliate partner of the National Council of La Raza.  And when asked on June 26th of 2017 for a statement regarding Nashville’s proposed sanctuary city policy change, he refused to denounce the proposed policy. But two days after that article went public, he suddenly changed his tune, and issued a statement against the policy.

I think a casual observer can safely assume that the reason for releasing the statement was because he refused to condemn the proposal when given the chance, and saw that his silence was damaging his campaign. Still, one has to wonder how a candidate can be against sanctuary cities when that candidate contributed to an organization that works hard to implement the practice.

It’s been said that a Harwell administration will be a Haslam administration 2.0; the same administration that tried to expand Obamacare in Tennessee, and then gave us the latest gas-tax increase.  I’ll leave it at that.

In stark contrast to the candidates mentioned, Congresswoman Diane Black has a track record of being a conservative. For example, she openly opposes same-sex marriage. As a State Senator, she sponsored a resolution declaring marriage to be between one man and one woman, saying that any other marriage ceremony is not recognized by God. In addition, she’s signed onto the Southern Baptist Convention’s National Statement declaring the same thing. She has also publicly opposed transgenders using restrooms not of their birth sex.

While Boyd contributed to La Raza and refused to denounce Nashville’s sanctuary policy, Black sponsored legislation in Washington that would financially penalize cities harboring illegal immigrants. She also fought – and won – to prevent the Library of Congress from using language such as “undocumented immigrant” on government documents. That may seem like a small issue, but it goes a long way in preventing future Congresses from softening language in official documents designed to alter the public’s perception of illegal aliens.

Diane is also staunchly pro-life. While in the State Senate, she and State Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) co-sponsored SJR 127, which became Amendment 1, the measure that would give the state the power to amend or repeal state statutes regarding abortion, including for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to protect the mother’s life. The people of Tennessee voted to approve that Amendment, and it is now part of our State Constitution.

Diane has also made clear that there is no reason to raise taxes on Tennessee families when the state has a surplus, and if the legislature were to repeal the gas-tax increase, she would sign it as soon as it hits her desk.

She also recognizes that there are significant problems with the Civil Asset Forfeiture process and has pledged to work with conservative advocates and her Law and Order Coalition to address abuse and overreach. Law enforcement needs every resource at their disposal to do their jobs, but we need to make sure we protect the Due Process guaranteed in the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and Article 1, Section 7 of our State Constitution. Diane Black will address this issue in a way that addresses the concerns of constitutional conservatives while not handicapping law enforcement.

These are just some of the reasons why I personally endorse Diane Black for governor. She is the only viable candidate in the race who is proven to share our core values.

This is an off-year election, and turnout for the primaries is expected to be as low as it has been in years past. Meaning, it won’t take much for a liberal candidate to win the race, especially knowing that our state still has open primaries wherein democrats can vote for liberals running on the republican ballot. All it would take for a liberal to win the nomination is for conservatives to not turn out in droves. If that happens, then our fight for our conservative ideals will suffer a major setback.

It’s time for conservatives to understand this, and coalesce around the only candidate running for governor who shares our values: Diane Black.


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Steve Osborn is the Chairman of the Sevier County Tea Party. His views do not represent an official position of the organization or the rest of its members.

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23 Thoughts to “Steve Osborn Commentary: It’s Time for Tennessee’s Grassroots to Back Diane Black for Governor”

  1. Dwayne Oxford

    As usual the GOP is a TOTAL FAIL. Sickens me that Mae didn’t get their backing. She was the ONLY Conservative, the rest are TRASH RINOs to one degree or another.

    1. Dalton Jones

      Tennessee republicans have to hope blue state democrats keep paying their taxes so they can get government money to fix their roads, bridges, infrastructure in general. Because they don’t have the money. They gave it away in the PILOT program. Tennessee is a welfare state who takes from the poor.

  2. G. Lamar Wilkie

    Are you KIDDING??? You’re kidding, right? Do you really want the defendant in a malicious intent lawsuit as your governor? Lest anyone forget: recall that in 2010, Diane was up against tremendous primary opposition in grassroots favorite Lou Ann Zelenik. In fact, it looked like Diane was going to lose the primary: so she flooded the district with ads and mail outs talking UP her legislative achievements and talking DOWN Lou Ann. Zelenik, determined to take the high road, simply responded with Diane’s own voting record… and Diane filed a defamation lawsuit against her! She knew that Lou Ann couldn’t afford a campaign AND a legal defense – so Lou Ann had to withdraw at the last minute, at the edge of a primary victory. When the case went to court, the judge threw it out, saying “the truth is the ultimate defense.” Now, Lou Ann has filed a lawsuit against Diane for malicious intent; Diane’s deposition was last October and, from what I hear, it was NOT pretty. Don’t be fooled by this con artist! As far as I’m concerned, Diane Black is the Hillary Clinton of Tennessee: and if she’s the best that Tennessee can elect for governor, then Kentucky is looking better all the time.

  3. Donna Locke

    I have no illusions about any of the candidates, and I don’t agree with Diane on abortion or LGBT equality issues — I support those civil rights — but I will vote for Diane based on her dependable positions and long history on immigration enforcement issues.

    I really want to see an end to corporate incentives/welfare but doubt we’ll get that under anyone elected.

  4. Lee

    Great article! Congresswoman Black stepped outside the box to help me personally with care giving for a loved one. She is sensitive to her constituents from tea party to rinos. I’m just a nobody in the world of politics but I appreciate a politician who cares about real people.

  5. Donna Locke

    I’m voting for Diane Black.

    1. 83rgtop50

      That’s 1 vote. And just why pray tell? I really need convincing that she will be any better than Haslam.

  6. DDS

    Very disappointed and perplexed by this op ed. Frankly, it’s a slap in the face to TRUE grass roots conservatives who have worked hard to unseat RINOs like Diane Black. Voters in the 45th rose up and got rid of Maggart in 2012. They’re seeking a formidable candidate to get rid of lying RINO, Diane Black, the proverbial “head of the snake” in the Congressional 6th. We have a golden opportunity to be rid of this wayward Never Trumper RINO.

  7. John Bumpus

    Steve Osborn–another East Tennessee ‘Conservative’ Republican ‘leader’ who wants us to support another Tennessee RINO candidate for statewide office! How many times does one have to ‘run around the track’ before he ‘gets’ the message? (When I played high school football many decades ago, a young player who ‘goofed up’ was told by the Coach to ‘take a lap around the track,’ and after a lap or two the young player usually ‘wised up’ and didn’t make that mistake again.)

  8. Papa

    Black is the only Tennessee representative that hes NEVER answered my e-mails. I don’t like Corker nor Alexander but they would reply even if it was with a lie. She has been in the swamp too long. I’m not sure who I will vote for in the primary but it certainly will not be at the request of Osborn. It’s time to be rid of the career politicians.

  9. Tracy Thompson

    Who is Mae Beavers backing?

    1. Andrea

      Mae is NOT backing the Black plague. Diane Black deposed Mae just this year already in a lawsuit with LouAnn Zelenik! Diane uses her wealth to attempt to squash people. As this article says, do your research…and Black will come up wanting!!

    2. Name Withheld to avoid suicide

      I am pretty certain that there is no remote chance at all that Mae Beavers will support lying Diane Black. Just look at what the Nashville court has already said about her regarding the stunts in the congressional race years ago with Lou Ann Zelenik and look what the Tennessee Firearms Association dug up on her just a little over a year ago.

      She, like Haslam, manipulates the public information as a “Never Trumper” to give the impression she wants people to have – not the truth

  10. Jay

    How can both of these be true?

    “However, some of us have been choosing to support one candidate over another because of what is said on the campaign trail or what we’ve heard from someone else without doing any research from reputable sources on our own.”

    “It’s been said that a Harwell administration will be a Haslam administration 2.0; the same administration that tried to expand Obamacare in Tennessee, and then gave us the latest gas-tax increase. I’ll leave it at that.”

    The author says that we shouldn’t choose who to support based on “what we’ve heard from someone else” yet, this is exactly what was done to not support Harwell.

    1. Albert Lustig Jr.

      I’m sure the same will apply to anyone that is voted in… once in…everything changes!

  11. Stuart I. Anderson

    I don’t believe you wake up one morning, check your net worth, decide you want a high political office and can afford to run and have me vote for you despite the fact that you have absolutely no record of conservative political involvement. There are certain offices that simply aren’t entry level positions, e.g. Governor of a state, CEO or CFO of Lee Company. . .you get the idea. As for Harwell or Black, I don’t believe either will give conservatives much trouble. Over the past eight years Diane has compiled an average Heritage Action tepid conservative score of 78%, while Beth generally hasn’t been an obstacle to conservatives she hasn’t been a conservative advocate either. Perhaps representing a district in Davidson County has held her back.

    Randy! is obviously the liberal outlier of the bunch whose election means at least four but probably eight years of struggle for conservatives. Tell you what, I will let all of you sort out which candidate has the best chance of preventing Randy! from becoming governor (though I hope its Harwell) and that’s the candidate who will get my vote, because as far as I’m concerned it’s ANYBODY BUT BOYD.

    1. DDS

      Correction: Diane Black, the Never Trumper, has a 63% CONservative voting record. She abuses power, the taxpayers, and the courts. She is the worst option and will never get my vote again. Obamacare ALONE should send every swamp RINO packing. Keep the swamp out of Tennessee. Deport Diane!

    2. Donna DeSopo

      Correction: Diane Black, the Never Trumper, has a 63% CONservative voting record. She abuses power, the taxpayers, and the courts. She is the worst option and will never get my vote again. Obamacare ALONE should send every swamp RINO packing. Keep the swamp out of Tennessee. Deport Diane!

  12. John J.

    Oh really! Did East Tennessee legalize pot or something? With Beavers out, the TN gubernatorial race is becoming a beauty contest between alligators. Anybody can cherry pick issues to try and make one candidate shine over another!

    But Diane Black is certainly NOT a Conservative! She’s as RINO as they get! She’s NEVER met an omnibus spending bill she didn’t support. Thank you Diane for $20 trillion dollars in Federal debt! Plus, as Chairman of the House Budget Committee did she defund Planned Parenthood? NOPE! Does she caucus with the House Freedom Caucus? NOPE!

    As my rep, she has NOT done a very good job representing the TN 6th Congressional district, why would we give her a promotion to represent the entire State of Tennessee?

  13. Karen Bracken

    Diane Black also voted to bring Common Core to TN as a state Senator and she voted in support of HR5 while in the US House which brought us the dreadful.ESSA. ESSA whivh codified CC aligned standards into federal law. It also did not return local control. Perhaos she should have read the bill before she voted for it. While HR5 had some better ideas than the Senate bill it was unconatiturional and sold using the same deceitful practices as Race to the Top and Common Core.

  14. Karen Bracken

    Sorry Steve but that dog just don’t hunt. Sounds more like you have jumped on the bandwagon of picking who you think can win over who should win. What about backing an Independent or maybe Kay White. Both eould be a better choice than Harwell, Lee, Boyd or Black. My vote goes to who would be best for TN not who the big money is backing. Mae Beavers was the best choice and because the so called conservative groups and voters failed to support her she is now gone. I refuse to vote for a candidate that will harm TN. So for me it will be an Indeoendent or Kay White. I understand she had her differences with Mae but I do not believe she is a bought and paid for political hack. My first choice though will be to vet any Independents that run. In the primary it will be Kay.

  15. 83ragtop50

    Comparing Congressman Black to the Lee, Boyd and Harwell is guaranteed to make Black appear conservative not because she is a core conservative but rather because the others are indeed RINOs. Black is my representative. I have paid attention to her rhetoric versus her actions. She sure does talk a good game but her actions are frequently inconsistent with her comments. How about comparing her to a real conservative like Mae Beavers?

    1. Dave Vance

      It would be a shame to see conservative grassroots organizations support an Obama Republican like Diane who was found to be ethically challenged before she went to congress!