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Tuesday, May 03, 2011

House needs a "Come to Jesus" meeting

For years in the state house we sort of chuckled at the senate. We knew we house Republicans were the conservative body in the legislature. Now it is looking like the other way around. The senate Repubs have gone conservative and the house Repubs are all over the place. While the house has good members, they are not positioned very well. So some old problems keep coming back up. Today's example was the bill to remove one unions monopoly from negotiations on contracts.

In the senate it sailed through. In the house it has been a battle. Beth Harwell has had to come in to brake a tie to get it out of education sub committee and today the house finance committee sent the bill back to the education committee.

Oh, did I mention the education committee is already closed for the year?


Speaker Harwell will probably have to re open the committee to try and get it back out, but it just looks bad. It was a bill she clearly supported and her own supporters are not giving her any help or even the benefit of the doubt when it is needed.

There are comments being made that some members are more interested in negotiating tactics to get other, non issue related, things added to the budget then they are about passing the bill. Way to think for the team. Most members know this session is an all or nothing type deal for them. If the unions can stop the balancing measures they will come after the members who have already stuck their neck on the line to support those measures with a vengeance.

The house needs a "Come to Jesus" meeting or they can get ready to kiss those sweet positions on leadership as part of the big majority good bye.


  1. Why are the Naifeh boys still running the show?

  2. I don't understand how conservatives could vote against a bill to give a voice to all teachers, not just the AFL-CIO, Obama aligned TEA/NEA monopoly. This is about keeping the TEA leaders in their high-paying jobs, not about good teachers.

  3. Two questions. First, why is it so important to even have parties - as it seems you clearly subscribe to one- let alone unified party members, when legislators' jobs are to represent the citizens wishes? The citizens across Tennessee all have different goals and desires, and I think those ambitions are different depending and what your community and area are. So, it's understandable for things to not be so smooth. Second, you seem to feel for Senator Harwell's predicament, but again, why is the support so important? Are you condemning people for not jumping to support the bill because it's a really good bill that will help a lot of people, or because they're Republicans and ought to? I'm not sure I see how party mentality necessarily benefits the people of Tennessee, or anywhere else, and, as a resident of Knoxville, would love to hear your opinion on this.

  4. Rep. Campfield, let's amend T.C.A. 2-5-151 to extend the power voters have to recall county elected officials to include state elected officials. Voters have shown a great deal of prudence in their use of the state's recall law. 17 states have the law. Give us the power to hold law makers accountable to their campaign promises. Our current law works so well, no county has ever requested it be repealed. It's time to give us voters the tool we need and have shown to use carefully and in nonpartisan fashion for years.

  5. Rochelle,

    "There are comments being made that some members are more interested in negotiating tactics to get other, non issue related, things added to the budget then they are about passing the bill. "


    I think there is A measure for legislative removal in place but as I said I would support a referendum measure.
    Nuff' said.

  6. Rep. Campfield, the measure in place for legislative removal is the state's Ouster Law (T.C.A. 8-47-101). If you read it, it clearly only applies to criminal legislators. As you know, it's not a crime to lie to voters to get the job only to vote a completely different agenda. Extending the right voters already have to recall county officials to also include state elected officials will empower the voter with the tools they need to protect ourselves from liars as well.

  7. Can you give me an example at the state level where there has been such an egregious issue you feel this should be used or is this a "I just want to mess with somebody" type thing?

  8. Rep. Campfield, my guess is such occasions are as rare as the current recall law has been used on the county level in Tennessee or in 17 other states that provide voters a recall provision for state elected offices as well as local. But, I'm sure you have way more examples than I could possibly imagine. The point here is to send a message to elected officials to stay focused on our priorities by empowering us with the tools any boss needs to fire their employees. That's the kind of business accountability that keeps the private sector focused, and I'd like to see some of that from the General Assembly to the Governor's Office.

  9. dear stacey,

    seperation of church and state. stop with the jesus talk. thanks.

    everyone with a brain


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