This Guy is the Speaker of the House

In case you missed it, our friends at The TN Holler posted a video of former Congressional candidate Justin Kanew confronting Speaker of the House Glen Casada about his decision to make Rep. David “Coach” Byrd chairman of the K-12 Education Subcommittee. Byrd has been accused of sexual misconduct (specifically, fondling and inappropriate forced touching) by THREE of his former basketball players. Byrd’s even on tape apologizing to one of the women. He was asked to resign by former Speaker Beth Harwell and by Lt. Governor Randy McNally.

You really should just watch the video for yourself and while you’re at it, read The Holler’s whole story. And definitely follow, share and retweet The Holler on Facebook and Twitter.

Gross, huh? The Tennessean even wrote about The Holler’s video:

‘If I was raped, I would move’: Speaker Glen Casada doubles down on support of Rep. David Byrd

But, covering up for, defending, and making excuses for a man who preyed upon kids is par for the course for Casada.

Let’s take a little stroll down memory lane, shall we?


2018

Republicans cut $250,000 earmarked for Memphis as payback for their removal of Confederate statues last December. Casada voted for the retaliatory bill.


When the bill to ban child marriage was first scheduled for House Civil Justice Committe, Casada was convinced to send the bill to summer study after an email from attorney David Fowler of the Family Action Council of Tennessee, a well known anti-LGBT group.  Fowler’s argument was that he intended to file a lawsuit to challenge the Supreme Court’s decision on marriage equality, and banning child marriage would make it harder for him to argue his case. His premise for this is so ridiculous that it’s not worth trying to summarize, but you can read for yourself.   (Casada later changed his opinion.)


In a very unusual move, Casada “rolled” another legislator’s bill in a committee hearing.  The bill concerned banning bumpstocks, filed just months a man armed with multiple AR-15s, twelve of which were outfitted with a bumpstock, opened fire on a crowd of country music fans at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival, killing 58 and injuring over 400.  The committee chair and Casada were aware that survivors of the Las Vegas shooting had flown in to testify about their first person accounts of surviving the deadliest mass shooting in American History. Although allowed, it is considered poor form to roll another legislator’s bill against their will.  Casada made the request at the beginning of the committee at a time when members were settling into their seats.  When questioned about the move, Casada said that he wasn’t even sure what bumpstocks do and that he hoped the witnesses would return when the bill came up again.  

A few weeks later, when the bill came up again, the survivors again traveled to testify, but Casada used some questionable procedural motions to scuttle the bill, again denying the witnesses a chance to speak, and killing the bill.


2017

Casada was named in a complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission related to series of potentially illegal donations and contributions. The complaint further alleges Casada, as well as several other legislators, violated federal campaign finance laws, labeling the legislators “straw donors.”


Following the removal of Confederate statues in Memphis, Casada and House GOP Caucus Chair Ryan Williams called for a “special investigation”.


New West Tennessee legislator Mark Lovell resigned shortly after arriving at the Tennessee General Assembly following accusations that he engaged in “inappropriate touching” of a woman.  Since this occurred not long after the Jeremy “Pants Candy”  Durham sexual harassment scandal, some lawmakers expected an investigation.  When Speaker Harwell announced she would not continue any probe into Lovell’s behavior, Democrats suggested that the Davidson County District Attorney may need to investigate.  When Casada, the GOP House Leader, was asked about whether legislative leadership has a moral or legal obligation to report information they might have about a potential crime to police, he responded: 

“Should we report everything that we find offensive? I just think it doesn’t work that way…So, I just think we run the run the risk of clogging up the law enforcement (system) and being like a McCarthy-era, where everything someone does is looked upon and it becomes a very scary place,” Casada said.

“I think it just smacks of McCarthyism to, every time someone does something I don’t like, I report it. That’s not a good place to be as a free people.”


Casada reverses himself on the issue of legislator per diem, asks for more money for those lawmakers who live within 50 miles of Nashville. Casada, who lived within 50 miles of the Capitol, was going through a divorce and spending less time at home.


Casada lies about an “altercation” and “vandalism” in a legislative office following a chaotic press conference held by Sen. Beavers and Rep. Mark Pody. Casada reported that he had been told that the protestors were violent and threatening and knocked a vase off a desk in Pody’s office. In reality, the vase had been accidentally knocked off by a news cameraman. Casada used the made up “facts” of the incident as justification for a proposed policy to require all visitors to the legislature to show an ID and be issued a badge.


2016

Casada stood by fellow Williamson County legislator Jeremy Durham, even attending his re-election kickoff, after Durham was accused of multiple accusations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior.  Even after the Tennessee Attorney General wrote to House leaders, “Based upon the information gathered thus far, Representative Durham’s alleged behavior may pose a continuing risk to unsuspecting women who are employed by or interact with the legislature” Durham was required to move his office out of Legislative Plaza. He was also barred from having contact with almost all staff or interns. Casada said that as long as Durham denied the accusations, he believed him.  

Casada changed his tune ONLY after questions about Durham spending campaign money on personal expenses.

Casada seems to embody a view of the world that it is OK to abuse people as long as you don’t get caught abusing campaign funds.


Clerk of the House Joe McCord flips off the 2-year-old child of a legislative staffer.  When asked about it, Casada says McCord was just joking.

“A lot of people will kid in a way that, it’s just a manner of joking. It’s not actually the emotion of anger, it’s just the way of kidding.”


Photos and video of Casada (then the House Majority Leader of the GOP/Party of FAMILY VALUES) at Bar Louie with his hand on a woman’s thigh are posted on Rocky Top Politics, a GOP-leaning gossip/insider info blog that everyone at the legislature reads.  Casada issues weak denial. Casada’s wedding ring is visible on the same hand he uses to touch the woman’s leg.  FYI – the woman was not Mrs. Casada.


Casada, speaking of President Obama’s guidance on transgender students and school bathrooms, said:

The action of this president only happens in dictatorships. In our country, in a republic, Congress makes the laws, and they fund those actions. What we have is a president whose Department of Justice and DOE overriding the will of the people.”

He even suggested a special session to address Obama’s directive regarding equal treatment of transgender kids. (Note: Casada was not interested in a special session for Insure Tennessee).


Casada sponsored a bill to limit “prohibit public disclosure of most body camera recordings made by Tennessee law enforcement officers for at least a year — and potentially keep video of police misconduct under wraps for even longer.”


Casada called for the Tennessee National Guard to round up Syrian refugees, who he likened to terrorists, for removal and to prevent future refugees from arriving in the state. 

“We need to activate the Tennessee National Guard and stop them from coming in to the state by whatever means we can.”


2015

Casada, in defense of the “guns in parks” bill says that guns are no more dangerous than bicycles and that accidental shootings of children are “acts of God.

Reporter: So if there is an accident, a permit holder is in a park, there’s a high chance it’s going to hit a child.
House Republican Caucus Chairman Glen Casada: There’s accidents with bicycles in parks, should we outlaw bicycles?
Reporter: Yeah but bicycles very rarely kill people. Guns are weapons.
Casada: Oh, oh that’s not true.
Reporter: Guns are weapons. You’re saying a gun is as safe as a bicycle?
Casada: If used properly I am. If used properly.
Reporter: In the event of an accident, which is more likely to kill someone?
Casada: I mean, now we’re back in the theoretical. I think in Tennessee we’re dealing with a lot more questions than guns in parks. This is a minor thing in the scope of what we’re doing good in Tennessee.
Reporter: So if someone is hit accidentally with a bullet, you guys are fine defending this bill?
Casada: If someone gets run over by an automobile accidentally, there’s nothing I can do about that. These are things beyond, they’re called acts of God, they’re beyond our control.

2009

Casada joins a proposed legal action to force President Obama to turn over his birth certificate.

We Are Watching Endorses Craig Fitzhugh for Governor

There are many exciting races in Tennessee this year, and many worthy candidates. An unprecedented, at least in recent years, number of Democrats are running in 2018. While we have held off on endorsing any candidates this year, in the race for governor, we are making an exception.  We Are Watching Tennessee is endorsing House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh for governor.  There are many reasons for this decision, but it really comes down to this: Fitz is one of us.

When We Are Watching formed in early January of 2017, one of our primary goals was to educate and inform members of our movement about legislation being considered by the Tennessee Legislature, and to encourage members to hold legislators accountable for their votes. For the entire 2017 legislative session, We Are Watching members showed up at the Capitol every single Monday to greet state representatives and state senators as they went into session. One of our most popular chants was “You work for us!”

While all the Democratic legislators appreciated our presence, the lawmaker who seemed to appreciate it the most was Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh.  He’d exit the elevator and walk through the crowd with a beaming, contagious smile, shaking hands, thanking people for showing up.  He’d take selfies and hand out his business card and his personal cell phone number.

One Monday, Leader Fitzhugh actually brought a “soap box” to the Capitol and he and other members of the House Democratic Caucus took turns climbing onto the soap box to address the crowd. Fitz and the other Democrats proudly proclaimed “WE WORK FOR YOU!”

Many We Are Watching members developed a relationship with Fitz. His door was always open and he’d make time to talk to anyone about a bill or a vote. He welcomed the opportunity to hear from us and never missed an opportunity to thank us for showing up. If he saw you in the hall, he’d take a minute to stop, and say “Hey there! How are you? Glad to see you here today! Thanks for being here!” even if he was in a hurry.

Fitz is one of us.

There are other compelling reasons to vote for Fitz. For example, many feel that he as the best chance to win over moderate Republicans and Independents, especially those in rural areas.

Mark Braden, a Republican political operative in Nashville, says the Dean campaign is hoping to woo crossover voters, as former Gov. Phil Bredesen is attempting to do in the Senate race — but he doesn’t see that strategy working.

Braden, who is a senior vice president at Mercury Public Affairs, says that as a Republican, he doesn’t feel threatened by Karl Dean’s candidacy. “But Craig Fitzhugh scares me,” he adds. “I don’t think Dean can coalesce the modern Democratic party and the rural Democrats — I don’t see him connecting with those Reagan Democratic voters that have now left the party.”

Fitz is the only rural Democrat in the entire Tennessee Legislature. For year, he’s been re-elected in a ruby red district, a feat that’s virtually unheard of. As a banker in a small west Tennessee town, he sits across the table from farmers worried about making ends meet and setting aside enough money to send their kids to college. He talks to them about their concerns about affordable healthcare.

They trust him because he listens to them. And they vote for him because they know he means what he says.

Fitz has received many important endorsements from groups that We Are Watching supports. He was one of only 44 national candidates to be endorsed by the National Indivisible Projectone of only four governors endorsed by the group.

Prior to the national endorsement, Indivisible of East Tennessee unanimously endorsed Fitz. They gave each Democratic candidate an opportunity to answer a questionnaire in their own words.  Their answers were very telling and offered tremendous insight into their positions.  You should read them both for yourself.  Here’s Fitz’s and here’s Karl Dean’s.

Our friends at The Women’s March – Power Together Tennessee also endorsed Fitz.  You can read about their endorsement here.

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Fitz was the only candidate to even acknowledge the national #FamiliesBelongTogether marches taking place earlier this month. And he didn’t just acknowledge them, he delayed the grand opening of his Nashville headquarters that day to attend and stand with members of The Women’s March – Power Together team.

fitz families

Fitz is the only Democratic candidate that opposes the growth of charter schools, an issue very important to many public school advocates. His dedication to education earned him an endorsement from the Tennessee Education Association and led to over 70 middle Tennessee educators pooling their money to take out this advertisement in all the local neighborhood papers.

Craig Fitzhugh Full Page ad _ The News (2)

The only newspaper in the state endorsing gubernatorial candidates is the Chattanooga Times Free Press.  Their endorsement? Craig Fitzhugh.

We’ll stick with the very real Craig Fitzhugh, who is solidly living and demonstrating Tennessee values, even as he is running slightly to the left of Dean, who seems to be trying to outrun his reputation as an urban Democrat.

Fitzhugh recently sent out mailers proclaiming himself “a Democrat who isn’t scared to be one.”

That alone should get Craig Fitzhugh your vote.

Other very important endorsements include:

The Tennessee State Legislative Caucus

The Tennessee State Employees Association

The Coalition for Nashville Neighborhoods

MNPS School Board Member Amy Frogge

LGBTQ Rights Advocate and Attorney Abby Rubenfeld

Former president of The Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition and educator Dr. Marisa Richmond

Through his years serving in the legislature, Fitz has built relationships across the political aisle.  Even the Republicans who may differ with him ideologically still respect him and like him because of his reputation for honesty and transparency. He is a straight shooter known for honoring his word. As minority leader, he’s spent plenty of time in the governor’s office and could “hit the ground running.”  And, more importantly, he is best suited for finding common ground with moderate GOP legislators who share Fitz’s positions on issues like expanding Medicaid, providing in-state tuition to Dreamers, and legalizing medical marijuana.

His campaign video does a great job of summing up his values – OUR values – the simple concept that we all do better when we all do better.

Let us be very clear: in November, we will support and endorse whichever Democratic candidate is on the ballot.  We must all unite and support the Democratic slate of candidates across the board.  However, in this primary, we are #TeamFitz because he best represents our values.

And because he’s one of us.

#GimmeFitz

Election Day is August 2nd.

-The We Are Watching Team

Faith, Family and A Little Assault Now and Then

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By now, everyone has heard that Republican candidate for Montana’s congressional seat, millionaire Greg Gianforte, has been charged with misdemeanor assault after he slammed Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs to the floor on the eve of the state’s special election to fill Ryan Zinke’s vacant position. (Zinke was named Secretary of the Interior leaving his seat open.) Gianforte’s campaign issued a statement last night that contradicted the actual audio of the altercation and the eyewitness account provided by Fox News reporters who were also in the room.

The Montana papers who had endorsed Gianforte quickly rescinded their endorsements. Because duh. But outrage from the right has been hard to come by. Paul Ryan said that Gianforte should apologize. Apologize – as though the GOP candidate had called the reporter a nasty name or insulted his wife or engaged in locker room talk or something.

Gianforte has until June 7th to report to court. Meanwhile, despite assaulting a reporter who dared to ask him what he thought of the just-released CBO score on the Republican healthcare plan, Gianforte’s chances of winning are still pretty good. Many people have already voted and others are likely not to care. Montana went overwhelmingly for Trump. And, we know how Trump and his fans feel about the press.

Of course, if you live in Tennessee and have been paying attention to politics for any period of time, you know that GOP voters don’t really mind if their candidates assault people. They don’t even care when they assault their spouses. Sometimes people just need somebody to shove.

Let’s take a walk down memory lane…

Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 5.37.29 PM
hawk mug shotIn March of 2012, Greenville Republican Rep. David Hawk spent a night in jail after his wife told deputies he “struck her in the face with his hand, knocking her to the ground.” His then wife was Crystal Goan Hawk, a Greeneville attorney and at the time of the incident, she was the president of the Greene County Republican Women.

According to the Greenville Sun:

The sheriff department’s report stated that Mrs. Hawk told deputies the couple had been drinking on Saturday night and Rep. Hawk became angry about 1 a.m. Sunday after “looking through her cell phone.”

“Throughout the course of the morning she stated they had been arguing,” the report said. She told officers that the argument culminated in her being struck in the face about 8 a.m.

According to the report, she said that Hawk struck her while she was holding the couple’s 11-month-old daughter.
The report stated that Mrs. Hawk told deputies that, after she was struck, Rep. Hawk “took the child from her and went to a neighbor’s house.”

The report stated that Mrs. Hawk went to a friend’s house on Crockett Lane. Deputies were called and spoke to her there.

Rep. Hawk was later located at home and taken into custody, the report said.

The criminal complaint filed against Hawk in connection with the domestic assault charge alleges that he committed the offense “by grabbing the victim by the arm, striking her in the face, causing injury and knocking her to the ground.”

The victim “had bruising and swelling on and around her right eye, an abrasion (to) the upper and lower right side of her lip, and a large bruise on her left upper arm,” the complaint states.

Hawk was later convicted of of misdemeanor reckless endangerment. He and his wife are divorced. He went on to win re-election in 2012, winning his primary by nearly 400 votes and the general by over 3,000. He also won in 2014 and 2016.

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In March 2015, Sen. Joey Hensley the “family values” legislator who just a few years
before had gained national notoriety for sponsoring the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, found himself in the news again after his wife Gina accused him of hitting her with his car door.

From a WSMV story:

The order says that on Feb. 18, Hensley’s ex-wife, Gina, said she was moving into her new home in Hohenwald following their divorce when Hensley showed up and claimed she had taken items that did not belong to her.

At some point, she said she was standing by the driver’s side door of Hensley’s car with him behind the wheel.

In the report, Hensley’s ex-wife said, “Joey put his vehicle in reverse and hit me with the door, knocking me (sideways). I yelled out, ‘Stop Joey, you are going to run over me.'”
She claims Hensley then tried to shut the door, hit her again with the door and “Joey then stated he would be back.”

Hensley said it didn’t happen that way.

“She was telling me to leave, so I was trying to leave. She was standing in the open door, and she claimed that the door hit her before I could back out,” he said.

Hensley claims the door did not hit her.

His ex-wife wrote in the order that she called 911 and got the order of protection after, “I had been in fear of Joey’s anger and that his actions would escalate into physical abuse.”

Gina Hensley took out an order of protection but later withdrew it. 13190_Hensley_PalmCard_v7-t8

In 2017, we learned that in addition to divorcing Gina, his fourth wife, he also had an affair with his second cousin who was also his employee. The cousin also relies on him for her botox injections and he has prescribed her narcotic pain medication for her back pain.

This year, Hensley sponsored a bill named for conservative provocateur and renowned racist Milo Yiannopolis which drew public outcry and was never scheduled for a hearing. He also filed the “insemination bill” that would have made children conceived via artificial insemination to be legally illegitimate. (Yes, that’s actually what the bill said.) That bill also was also widely criticized and was never placed on a committee calendar. He was able to pass SB1180, despite opposition from a number of groups including the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists. Because what do a bunch of lady parts doctors know about pregnancy? Certainly not more than a small town doc who shoots up his nurse/girlfriend/cousin with botox.

Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 5.51.17 PM
martindanielIn the summer of 2016, Knoxville Republican Martin Daniel found himself in a crowded and contentious primary. That July, Daniel appeared as part of an 18th District GOP candidate forum on on NewsTalk 98.7. He and opponent Steve Hall got into a verbal argument during the broadcast that led to Daniel shoving Hall, all on live radio. You can hear for yourself here.

Hall filed a complaint with the Knoxville Police. According to a report filed by WBIR:

“(Hall) stated that he and (Daniel) became embroiled in a verbal disagreement that involved name calling,” the KPD report states. “During this debate, the suspect got up and threw off his headset and moved like he was going to exit the studio door behind the victim. Mr. Hall advised that the suspect came over and stood above him, attempting to intimidate him.

“He stated that he stood and in doing so, the suspect took both hands, flat handed and shove (sic) him in the chest area roughly, assaulting him.”

Program host Hallerin Hilton Hill relayed what had happened to listeners and replayed the recorded incident on air. It was not recorded on video.

Daniel, who the year before had written an enraged letter to the Knox County Board of Education because he was angry his fourth grade daughter was being forced to learn about social justice, oppression, and discrimination, went on to not only win his primary milobut also the general election.

Daniel co-sponsored the Milo Bill in 2017 because presumably he was down with Milo’s brand of “in your face conservatism.”  To be fair, the GOP finally eventually stepped away from Yiannopolis this spring when video of him defending pedophiles surfaced.  Apparently, being a xenophobic, racist, sexist is totes OK with Republicans like Daniel and Hensley, but pedophilia is a bridge too far. That’s something, we guess.

So, don’t be surprised if Gianforte wins his election tonight. And don’t be surprised when his party doesn’t register outrage or even concern because, as we’ve seen in Tennessee, Republicans really don’t care about a little assault every now and then.

Family values, ya’ll!

Protests for thee, but not for me?

UPDATE: This post, originally written in February of 2017, is once again relevant and a reminder of the rank hypocrisy of some on the right.  As Trump and other Republicans decry “liberal mobs”, few criticized the “mobs” more than Marsha Blackburn.  Following her Nashville campaign event where protestors were forcibly removed, Marsha complained about an “angry mob.” Pretty hypocritical considering she was the ringleader of the anti-income tax protest circus back in 2001.  Read below to learn more:

After refusing to answer constituents’ questions about two controversial bills that target the LGBT community at a town hall meeting on the gas tax last week, Sen. Beavers and Rep. Mark Pody were greeted by citizens, many of them Wilson county constituents of theirs, at Legislative Plaza yesterday afternoon.  The duo were holding a hastily thrown-together press conference and were perhaps not expecting constituents and concerned citizens to be there.  Just a few minutes into the event, after the people in the audience asked them to pull the bill, Beavers and Pody walked out of the room.  Frustrated citizens followed them to their offices.  Both legislators ended up leaving the plaza, accompanied by State Troopers.

Sen. Beavers was not happy that people wanted her and Rep. Pody to answer questions.  She complained to the media that the citizens, many of whom held signs that noted they were from the zip code 37122, meaning they were her constituents, were “bullies”.  It’s worth noting that many of these bullies were families. She went further than that today, telling the AP that “the protest was “despicable,” and suggested that the protesters should be imprisoned.”

Now, let’s go back in time a bit, shall we?  In the late 90s and early 2000s, there was a heated battle going on in Tennessee over a proposal to pass a state income tax.  The anti-income tax contingent was loud and angry.  Fueled by talk radio hosts Phil Valentine and Steve Gill, protestors drove around the state Capitol honking their horns and blocking traffic for days.  They also showed up at the Capitol and some of the protests grew very tense, with protestors banging on the doors, and at least one protestor punched a reporter he mistook for Sen. Bob Rochelle, one of the leading proponents of the income tax.  Beavers, then a state representative, would go on to beat Rochelle and has been in the senate ever since.

The protests were reported nationally, such as this story in the New York Times:

Tennessee lawmakers abandoned plans to resurrect a plan for a state income tax today after protesters chanting ”No new taxes” broke windows at the Capitol.

The state police locked the Capitol after about 200 people banged on the doors of the Senate chamber, broke office windows and accosted lawmakers as they made their way through hallways with police escorts.

A state employee trying to lock a side door to the Capitol injured his hand as the weight of the crowd pushed against him. There were no other injuries reported, and no arrests were made.

Two state troopers were dispatched today to the home of Senator Robert Rochelle, a Democrat who is a leading proponent of the income tax, after one talk-radio host encouraged demonstrators to drive there and honk their horns.

Reporting at the time in the Desert News stated, “Protesters hurled rocks through Capitol windows, chanted “no new tax!” and banged on the locked doors of the Senate chamber where Tennessee lawmakers were debating the creation of a state income tax.”

From SweetLiberty.org, a conservative website:

As protestors began to gather outside the legislative chambers Monday evening, several legislators were taken away by ambulance and hospitalized for blood pressure and heart problems as tensions rose and tempers flared.

By Tuesday morning, tax protestors were brandishing signs reading, “Let’s send them all to the ER!”

Leading the charge against the income tax were then-Representative Mae Beavers and then-state Senator Marsha Blackburn.  In fact, Beavers and Blackburn worked closely with the talk radio hosts who were firing up the anti-income tax protestors.  In the days before ubiquitous smart phones, Beavers and Blackburn were the eyes and ears feeding the radio personalities with insider information.

From a World Net Daily story in 2000:

WorldNetDaily reported last week that mass tax protests spurred by Nashville talk radio stations prompted a virtual shutdown of the legislature when it became apparent that passage of a state income tax was imminent. Tennessee is only one of nine states without a state income tax.

State legislators fighting the tax increase say they are under intense pressure from legislative leaders pushing for the tax, but the outpouring of public support for their position has emboldened their resolve.

“The tax protests have made all of the difference,” said Rep. Mae Beavers, an outspoken anti-tax legislator. “If people hadn’t come out and made their feelings known, the votes would have been there last week to pass the income tax. All the horn-honking and daily protests shook a couple of their votes loose.”

So, you read that last paragraph, right? 

“The protests have made all the difference.”

Seems like when protestors are on her side, she thinks that they make a difference.  But, when they oppose her, she thinks they should be locked up?

Conservatives like to accuse citizens that show up at town halls and their capitols voicing dissent and frustration of being “paid protestors”, there to incite violence and create chaos. The president has accused people exercising their first amendment rights of being “anarchists and thugs.” 

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State Senator Paul Bailey recently accused protestors in Nashville of being paid, from out of state, and bused in.  He even shared a video, purportedly of protestors leaving a #MoralMondays rally at the Capitol boarding charted shuttles.  Of course, as he knew when he shared the video, the shuttles were there to take legislators to a reception at the Ryman.  But, why let facts get in the way of a chance to push #alternativefacts, right?

But here’s the rub: the widespread protests we’re seeing across the nation mirror the Tea Party Protests of 2009 and 2010.  And, the #MoralMondays rallies at the Tennessee Capitol and the impromptu protest Wednesday are not that different than the anti-income tax protests – EXCEPT that there’s been no violence, threats, punches thrown, broken windows, protesters dispatched to lawmakers’ homes, or legislators sent to the hospital.

Many of those anti-income tax protestors twenty years ago were viewed as heroes by the same people who are now angry that constituents drove all the way from Lebanon and Mt. Juliet to get answers from their legislators.  And, it’s the height of hypocrisy for lawmakers to praise some protestors for their beliefs but call for the imprisonment of protestors whose beliefs (and in this case, whose rights) they oppose.

Show me what hypocrisy looks like? THIS IS WHAT HYPOCRISY LOOKS LIKE.

But, guess what?

WE’RE NOT GOING AWAY – WELCOME TO YOUR EVERYDAY

A recap – #BeaversLogic

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These protestors are bad.

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These protestors are good, even the one with the airhorn.

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These protestors are bullies.

cars

These protestors jamming the road around the Capitol are exercising
their first amendment rights.

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#MoralMondays protestors and State Troopers at the state Capitol.

troopers

Anti-income tax protestors and State Troopers after a rock was thrown
through the Governor’s window.

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Then state Senator Marsha Blackburn standing in solidarity with the
anti-income tax protestors.  Now, she’s keeping details about her Town Hall
under wraps due to concerns that protestors will attend.