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Tuesday, February 21, 2012


While I support the peoples right to protest their government something happened today that about sent me over the edge (I know, not such a far trip). Today a few minutes before I was to go to state and local government committee I started to receive calls on one of the governors bills. The bill would have changed criteria for keeping an employee from seniority based to ability based. When the calls came in one of the people on the other end of the line wanted to let me know they were a 25 year state employee in the department of human services. She wanted to let me know she was against the bill.

I interrupted her with one question. "Are you on the government clock right now?"

"Yes. Yes I am but I consider this part of my job".

Wow! that made my blood boil! I cant count the number of times I have heard from some departments how over worked they are. How they don't have time to do any more work. Then I get a call like this.

I let her know that while I appreciate her right of free speech on legislation I do not think the state should be paying her to do it.

I feel the same way about e mails supporting or opposing legislation sent from government computers. Send all you want but not from a government computer or government e mail address or on government time.

I will be bringing an amendment to the TEAM bill that will amend it so that sort of activity can not happen on government time or on a government computer or e mails. This sort of lobbying is getting out of control.


  1. Its already there under the Hatch Act. No political activity and a state employee has to use annual leave. They cannot use sick leave as this is considered.state time. Verify what I've siad with dept of human resoirces / personnel.

  2. I talked to legal and they thought hatch might cover activity for actual elections but not for legislation.

  3. This is greatly needed, but unless you put in a punishment for disobedience the law will be ignored. There are many laws on the books which tell government agents what they can and can't do, but without an enforcement mechanism the laws can be and often are ignored.

  4. Senator, I would encourage you to try and understand why these people are contacting you, at work, on government computers, etc., instead of your getting so upset over this. Many of these people have voted you into office, expecting you to be diligent in listening to "the cry of the poor."

    Many of us, not as young and capable as yourself, have constantly been bombarded, in recent years, with learning extremely complex new tasks on our jobs - so much so that it is really difficult to keep up with all the changes. You just can't imagine how technical and how difficult many people's jobs have become. I'm talking about the jobs of clerical/administrative people, as well as others in higher positions.

    These people are crying out to you, possibly because they are SCARED HALF TO DEATH that, if they are judged totally on ability and not partially on seniority, that they will be out of a job and have no way to support themselves and their families. This would be especially tragic for older people.

    One of these days, if you stick around long enough, you will start getting older, and learning all this new stuff on computers, etc. will not be as easy as you might wish. Maybe there will be lots of new restrictions on being a landlord that you have difficulty understanding. Maybe you will be afraid that you won't be able to earn a decent living until your social security and retirement checks kick in.

    Won't you please have mercy on these people, instead of judging them so very harshly? When a person has, to the best of their ability, served an employer for many, many years, that should have some merit to that employer. That should have great value. Won't you please consider both sides of this issue, we need you to do that!

  5. How about tapping our greatly overwrought Tennessee Ethics Commission?

    Oh!, that's right, they only regulate "ELECTED" individuals.

    The Ethics cake goes on the table, but once having removed every slice, all that remains regulated, are donations to Stacey Campfield.

  6. You mean when Boss Hogg was sending out those $1000/plate breakfast invites on the state fax machine in the middle of the day, he wasn't supposed to do that?


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