Press release from the Tennessee Firearms Association; May 24, 2012:
The Tennessee Firearms Association has been stating for 2 years its growing concern that the Republican controlled General Assembly, primarily the leadership, has gone completely “Big Business” at the expense of the citizens and in derogation of our citizen and civil rights. Other organizations are stepping up and publicly agreeing…..
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey have claimed their priorities as “pro-business.” Last month, Governor Haslam complained to the press that “it was sometimes difficult” to keep the focus where he wanted it, on his ‘pro-business’ agenda. And the Lt. Governor has repeatedly taken to The Twitter to crow about a fluffy little survey of chief executives by Chief Executive Magazine (HA!) resulting in the pronouncement by said chief executives that Tennessee has the 4th business-friendly reputation in the nation.
And while our two Governors are busy giving you the business, the other part of the ruling majority in the General Assembly is all focused on the social issues that pander to a small group of social conservatives extremists.
In that context, what ultimately happened during the legislative session makes a whole lot of sense. While the Governor and the Lt. Governor are all, like, “we’re helping the ‘job-creators’” (FYI, we know they’re actually not “job-creators” but rather ” the source of lobbying funds that keep the system rigged“), and while their friends in the House and Senate were busy passing legislation that not only divides us but actually does harm, what got lost in the shuffle was what certain corporate and political interests really wanted lost in the shuffle: legislation that reduced transparency, accountability, access to the courts, access to the democratic process, and access to safe and healthy work places so a parent can work one job and make enough to support his or her family.
Tennessee Citizen Action states that it
… works in the public interest as Tennessee’s premier consumer rights organization. Our mission is to work tirelessly to improve the overall health, well-being, and quality of life for all people who live and work in Tennessee.
The purpose and goals of Tennessee Citizen Action are as follows:
- To improve and protect our system of civil justice…for all Tennesseans.
- To improve access to quality, affordable health care…for all Tennesseans.
- To ensure safe and healthy work condition…for all Tennesseans.
- To promote opportunities for better living conditions for the poor, elderly, disabled, and unemployed populations.
- To preserve, protect and improve the environment.
- To engage in activities as will promote a healthy democracy and social well-being.
Indeed, these concerns are well known by some. The Times Free Press has reported:
Tennessee businesses, professional and trade groups as well as other organizations spent at least $458,000 on legislative receptions during this year’s General Assembly, records show.
Expenditures ranged from breakfast, luncheon and dinner receptions to an ice cream “social,” heart health screenings and the opportunity to ride in a Nissan Leaf electric car. All told, there were 67 such events by the time lawmakers adjourned May 1.
While TFA’s issues are different than those of TCA, the root problem that burdened both and most other conservative, constitutionally based and/or grassroots organizations is that the Republican controlled Tennessee Legislature and particularly its leadership were so focused on bowing to the check writers at Big Business that all they showed the rest of us was their “south sides”. While some might view that as the affront that those in leadership intended, it also provides the perfect “target” on those like Rep. Debra Maggart for TFA members, NRA members, Tea Party members, TCA members, TRA members, and others to use their voting “boots” to kick them out of office for their repeated, intentional and blatant transgressions.
News reports are already starting to surface that indicate that Bill Haslam was involved in the schemes to block 2nd Amendment legislation from coming to the floor for a vote this year as he has started to reveal that he plans to campaign, perhaps even in primaries, for incumbents who were his “friends” (or is that “operatives”) in the Legislature. WPLN reports this week:
Haslam Plans to Help Friends in Primary Races
By Blake Farmer
May 23, 2012
Governor Bill Haslam plans to spend part of the summer campaigning for Republicans in the General Assembly. The governor says he’ll help his “friends” during the primary season as well as the general election.
To Haslam, it’s not about retribution toward GOP lawmakers who tried to block parts of his agenda. He says he wants to return the favor to Republican colleagues who’ve aided his administration.
“I don’t know that I had anybody that left the friends list, but I think anybody…it’s just natural. You’re going to work harder for people who helped you more.”
Many Republicans are facing primary challenges. Haslam hasn’t named those who will get his attention. But one lawmaker now facing criticism for siding with the governor is Rep. Debra Maggart of Hendersonville. She helped block controversial gun legislation from coming to a vote. Now her opponent has gained support from the Tennessee Firearms Association and Tea Party groups.
While governors often shy away from picking sides in primary battles, former Governor Phil Bredesen also got involved from time to time. In 2010 he helped longtime State Senator Doug Henry win a Democratic primary.
Of substantial concern to all is that Haslam’s personal fortunes (which he invested heavily to purchase the governor’s office) and his ability to raise funds from the very Big Business resources that he cultivates can be easily directed by him to his “friends” to purchase their protection from the voting booths. Citizens must take action, combine and retake the offices of their legislative representatives and reassign those offices to individuals who can and will represent the voters rather than dance on the financial strings of the marionette puppets that they have so willingly become at the hands Big Business.