5.) McCormick Addresses Rep. Curry Todd’s DUI Arrest
House GOP Leader Gerald McCormick’s reaction to news that Memphis-area Republican Curry Todd had been arrested Oct. 11 on suspicion of driving drunk, possessing a firearm while impaired and refusing a breathalyzer test: “I know that he would agree with me that people drinking should not have loaded handguns with them… I don’t know if we can trust the sponsor to carry or not.” Todd later stepped down from his chairmanship of the House State and Local Government Committee, saying he is “deeply sorry.”
4.) Maggart Defends Voter ID Law
House Republican Caucus Chairwoman Debra Maggart fields questions from reporters about a new law requiring voters to show a state or federal government-issued photo ID at the polls. “They have to have an ID to do that, a photo ID to do that. I have a hard time believing that all these people don’t have an ID.” Since then, Gov. Bill Haslam has said he’s concerned the law will make it “unnecessarily hard” for some people to vote, although he is not asking the Legislature to reconsider or tweak the law.
3.) Haslam on Anti-Anti-Anti-Discrimination Sentiment
The governor responded to reporters’ questions about the controversial bill he signed reversing Nashville’s anti-gay discrimination policy for companies that contract with the local government. “We just think that businesses should get to decide for themselves what they have in their policies,” Haslam told reporters who jumped on news that the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce was changing position to oppose the bill.
2.) Turner: ‘Barefoot & Bucktoothed’
House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner complains that “extremist” bills are giving the state a black eye, including legislation that would ban teachers in younger grades from addressing homosexuality to reversing an anti-discrimination ordinance in Nashville seeking to protect gay and lesbian employees. “We had an image that everyone is barefoot and bucktoothed with cowlicks on both sides. We came a long way to diminish some of that,” Turner said. The “don’t say gay” bill stopping teachers from addressing homosexuality passed in the Senate but stalled in the House, although the anti-discrimination measure was written into law and is now the subject of a lawsuit.
1). Favors Fears Legislature Going to the Dogs
Rep. JoAnne Favors, D-Chattanooga, a Chattanooga Democrat, howled her disapproval of dogs in the House after she encountered an unbound pup bounding playfully about the halls of Legislative Plaza. In response, majority pack leader Gerald McCormick growled out a command that henceforth animal lovers should refrain from bringing non-human advisers to the Capitol with them.
Bonus: The Favors-McCormick video, which garnered more than 30,000 Youtube views, also whelped a cute spoof (Woof! Woof!).