Fox News has called me for a possible national feature interview on a story that ran
I woke up this morning to front-page news of how I had asked for the
bylaws of a state funded organization and was denied them. Actually,
it's an old story.
Back in the spring, I had asked the leader of the black caucus, Johnny
Shaw, for a copy of the bylaws. Johnny said he wanted to see a copy of
the Republican Caucus bylaws first. I agreed and had a copy sent to
him in less than 10 minutes.
When my assistant returned from dropping them off, she notified me that
Shaw did not want to give me a copy of the bylaws. I called Johnny
Shaw back and he said unless I had a court order or attorney general's
opinion, he was not going to give me anything.
I later asked him again for a copy and was again rebuffed. I asked why
I couldn't have a copy and asked what he didn't want me to see. Johnny
said he didn't have to give me anything and asked why I wanted the
copy. “Do you want to be a member?” he said.
I said “I don't know. Are you asking me to join?” Johnny said “No!
You can't be a member.”
I asked “why?” He answered “because you are white.”
I work hard to represent all people of all races fairly and equally in
Nashville. My district is comprised of a diverse population, with a
large percentage of minority citizens. Many of my friends and neighbors
are considered minority. So although Johnny Shaw's question of asking
if I wanted to be a member was not out of the question, and actually
might be beneficial to many of my constituents, I stepped back and
dropped the issue because of his hostility and obstruction.
Until today of course, when I open the Knoxville News Sentinel many
months later to read the account from many months ago.
The timing is quite interesting since about a week ago on this site I
posted a story about how Johnny Shaw (who is serving on the ethics
committee) was pushing a bill through the legislature that would personally
and directly benefit him financially in his radio business.
I guess Shaw didn't like the message, so he tried to shoot the
messenger. In other words, he didn't like that I pointed out his questionable
ethics regarding the radio bill.