Friday, May 27, 2011

It's all true...Except when it isn't.

Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey and Speaker Beth Harwell have put out a press release on the Planned Parenthood debacle...

“The confusion surrounding the language in the budget regarding Planned Parenthood has been unfortunate. The Office of Legal Services advised House and Senate leadership that it is unconstitutional to amend general law through the appropriations bill (Article II, Section 17), an interpretation which would have put the entire budget document in jeopardy. It was not our intent to allow funding for Planned Parenthood. Our majority in the General Assembly clearly meant to defund them. We are currently working with pro-life activists to resolve this issue with legislation and we will put it to rest immediately upon the legislature’s return in January.”

Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey and Speaker Beth Harwell


As with any press release with bad news, it was dropped late on Friday before a long weekend and no one is available for comment or elaberation. Since I have not been made privy to what is going on regarding this issue or these press releases previous to their release, I guess I will just have to interpret on my own. Since no one who put out the presser is willing to talk about it, I will. Lets go line by line shall we?

The confusion surrounding the language in the budget regarding Planned Parenthood has been unfortunate I agree. The best way to end confusion is to put the facts on the table, respond to questions and undo what caused the problem as soon as possible. That can be done by the governor doing a line item veto.

The Office of Legal Services advised House and Senate leadership that it is unconstitutional to amend general law through the appropriations bill (Article II, Section 17), Again, I agree. That is why Tennessee Right to life, myself and other legislators worked for over three weeks to make sure our wording would not change any current law. Only funding in the budget.

an interpretation which would have put the entire budget document in jeopardy. Half true. It would put the entire budget in jeopardy if the entire budget was all about changing laws and nothing about a budget. You see there is this thing in all budgets called a sever-ability clause. It says if any part of the budget is found to be unconstitutional then that part of the budget shall be stripped out and the rest of the budget shall not be harmed. The only way the entire budget could be harmed was if the entire budget changed laws and none of it dealt with the budgeting.

It was not our intent to allow funding for Planned Parenthood. Our majority in the General Assembly clearly meant to defund them. Again, part true. I have been on the phone non stop with legislators who thought they had defunded Planned Parenthood with the budget language only to find that someone (yet to be named) took it on themselves to allow the funding to continue. It was someones intent to allow it to continue. We just don't know who that someone was. So yes, the majority wanted to defund. Just not all of them.

We are currently working with pro-life activists to resolve this issue with legislation and we will put it to rest immediately upon the legislature’s return in January.” Really? Who are these "Pro life activists" Tennessee Right to life has said they do not support this press release and want the governor to veto the pro Planned Parenthood wording now. The Susan B Anthony Pro life group are not in favor of the Pro planned parenthood wording and want it vetoed by the governor now.

9 comments:

  1. C. Richard ArchieMay 27, 2011 at 11:29 PM

    We as Citizens simply want the truth of the matter.

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  2. Thanks for the line-by-line analysis Stacey! "What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive."

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  3. I'm a liberal and I don't like the policy change that Campfield is pursuing. However, it's amazing to me that the budget can be secretly amended like this. Anyone who believes in democracy and transparency should be troubled by all this.

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  4. Kudos Alcibiades. Thanks Sen.

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  5. AMEN! Please, let's get to the truth on this matter and get right what has been done wrong.

    lucy overstreet

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  6. Wow, Ned, Alcibiades, I'm impressed.

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  7. This is quite selective. I have a list of stuff I, and a bunch of other Tennesseans, would like defunded.

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  8. Stacey, Only a pit bull of a lawyer like Herb could stop these idiots in their tracks. Remember, he brought down the Hutch. See if he wants the fame at stopping legislative illegality.

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  9. The biggest issue here is tampering with the finalized budget document, after it had been clearly passed in the Legislatures. Secret behind the scenes maneuverings, like this, bring our entire legislative process into question.

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