The state’s two most powerful lawmakers could direct troopers to clear protesters from the streets and sidewalks around the Capitol under legislation on the fast track at the statehouse.
Just let that sink in for a moment.
Now, I wasn’t happy about ADAPT’s protest last week. Not because I agree or disagree with their position, but because they made a nuisance of themselves. But the beauty of an unfettered First Amendment is that when somebody takes free speech too far, it often backfires on them and their cause.
Take a more extreme protest, flag burning, for example. I, obviously, abhor the idea of burning the American flag under which I still proudly serve. However, it has its purpose: as James Taranto likes to point out, flag burning makes it a lot easier to “spot the idiot.”
Irrational and violent protestors do their cause a disservice by their illegal or vitreolic protests. However, the response is not to outlaw protest, but to to vote against the idiots.
Those legislators who don’t want idiots parading outside the Capitol only confirm that the real idiots are inside.Comments (4)
Knoxville’s upcoming elections will not be decided on election day. Instead they’ll be decided in court. Much of this could have been avoided if there were credible opponents qualified to run in each race. Of course, all of this difficulty would have been avoided if people who didn’t think term limit laws applied to them, actually would have followed the law.
All of this reminds me of one of my old Professors who used to joke with plebes that their girlfriends were going to ditch them, since the girls* were off at a real college while we were cloistered at West Point. He advised that you “gotta keep a bench.” He was right.
* For the ten percent of West Pointers who were female, the same lesson applied.
Counterintuitive though it might sound, this opinion from State Election Chief Brook Thompson probably makes sense:
“The election code does not provide for any alteration of the ballot within 40 days of an election,” Thompson told The Commercial Appeal.
Bailey and Kirk remain ineligible to serve another term because of the Supreme Court ruling, but people can still vote for them.
(ht: MS)Comments (1)
State House Majority Leader Kim McMillan will not run for re-election this year, the Clarksville Democrat told The Leaf-Chronicle newspaper.
This is good news that Rep. McMillan is stepping down. No, not because she’s a Democrat, but because she is one of those legislators who does not see her conflicts of interest as a problem.
I’ve heard rumors of at least two other incumbents stepping down because their day jobs and their legislative assignments put them into a conflict of interest given the newest ethics rules (one from each party). Of course, they could just ignore ethics laws like other people seem to have done.Comments (3)
a. This is a mess in Knoxville.
b. Does this ruling apply to the Mayor’s job in Nashville? What about the school board?
c. I don’t always agree with Mayor Bill Purcell, but thank you, Mr. Mayor, for not running for a third term, and leaving Nashville in the same position in which Knoxville now finds itself.
Back room deal making is likely taking place in Knoxville today. From Stacey Campfield comes the quote of the day (and no misspellings!)
If you are into politics this is like draft day and trading deadline for an expansion football team in one day.
This should be a lesson to political parties: Never assume that an incumbent is safe or unbeatable. There should always be a competent option on the ballot.Comments (2)
On March 3, barely two weeks after signing the new ethics bill into law, Bredesen appointed powerful Tennessee AFL-CIO Labor Council lobbyist A.J. Starling to serve on the Tennessee Human Rights Commission.
According to the Registry of Election Finance, Starling is still a registered lobbyist with the Tennessee AFL-CIO. (Note: Starling also still sits on Davidson County’s Election Commission.) The Human Rights Commission has authority over workplace and employment rules–the very areas where Starling lobbies for the AFL-CIO.
It was just these kinds of conflicts of interest that the recently passed ethics legislation was supposed to make illegal. Tennesseans have long had ample reason to believe that their government officials have their own personal interests at stake, and not the interests of their constituents. Sadly, Governor Bredesen’s ill-advised appointment confirms this view.
I’ve said it before, and I will continue to say it: It’s time for a change!
hat tip: Thanks to Drew Johnson and the Tennessee Center for Policy Research for highlighting this issue. You can read the press release at the TCPR website.)Comments (11)
Being that he is in a State Senate seat that is not up for reelection this year, I assume that Steve Cohen won’t step down from his current position unless he wins the 9th Congressional race. But if that happens, it will be a loss for the Tennessee Senate.
On some matters, Steve Cohen and I don’t agree, but on the most important issue in the state–governmental ethics–we agree a great deal. Cohen is an intellecually honest and ethical legislator; those are qualities, that are, unfortunately, in short supply on Capitol Hill.Comments (4)
Sarcastro pointed out yesterday that Nashville’s pro-illegal immigration rally was better planned than many other similar rallies around the country.
Unlike other minority and special interest groups. The Hispanics are doing their’s after work. That’s right, they make sure they put in 8 hours before going out for a flag waving stroll. Despise and fear the immigrants if you wish, but don’t knock their work ethic. Be it TennCare protestors or welfare queens or the horn honking taxtards or Mothers Against Irish Drivers or both sides of the abortion debate or those dumbass Not in Our Name broads, they all seem to have one thing in common. Nothing better to do in the middle of the day than complain. Not the Amigos. They have the decency to wait until after rush hour has subsided and the courtesy to finish their chores first.
Hwever, there was one more thing rally organizers could have done to make themselves look less, well, foreign.
. . . opponents of amnesty believe that immigrants should come here legally and assimilate in American culture.
They said the message delivered by amnesty supporters at the end of the march should have been delivered in English.
Little stuff like that would help their cause.
One other note about the whole immigration issue. Much has been made about how this is splitting the GOP. Certain news outlets and commentators seem to love focusing on that angle.
Well, if my hours spent listening to Air America radio yesterday were any indication, this issue is splitting both sides. Yesterday’s Randi Rhodes Show was actually tolerable–if not even pleasant. Of course, it might be because Thom Hartmann replaced Rhodes, who was out sick. Hartmann actually made logical, instead of wishful, economic arguments. He argued, and numerous callers agreed, that illegal immigration is an economic disaster for American workers and for the Mexican economy. I don’t necessarily agree, but his anti-illegal immigration message was based on some economic sense rather than just vindictive and spite.
This is just one of those issues where you can’t look at the letter after someone’s name and automatically assume how they think. In fact, I rather like how the issue is busting down labels.Comments (2)
In this story about Cynthia McKinney (aside: if you don’t know who McKinney is, if she were on the ballot running against John Ford, rational people might vote for Ford) the Georgia Representative uses an odd meaning of the same word three times.
“I was rushing to my meeting when a white police officer yelled to me. He approached me, bodyblocked me, physically touching me. I used my arm to get him off of me. I told him not to touch me several times. He asked for my ID and I showed it to him. He then let me go and I proceeded to my meeting and I assume that the Police Officer resumed his duties. I have counseled with the Sergeant-at-Arms and Acting Assistant Chief Thompson several times before and counseled with them again on today’s incident. I offered also to counsel with the offending police officer.”
Is this one of those unnecessarily stilted uses of the word, like when someone uses dialogue as a verb? Or is she just plain wrong to use the word counsel like this? Either way, it sounds silly.Comments (2)
How much would Bill Hobbs pay to own his very own New Orleans school bus? Think of the BillHobbs.com advertising possibilities.Comments (4)