Press release from the Tennessee Firearm Association; April 24, 2012:
Senator Kyle moves to recall Safe Commute bill to Floor for Vote.
Senator Kyle has moved the Senate on April 23 to bring SB3002 to the floor of the Senate for a vote. The vote failed with at least 12 Republican senators voting to prevent any public vote on the merits of the bill and 3 more Republican senators standing by looking on but not voting – a move largely consistent with the recent “predictions” by Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey. Sen. Kyle issued a press release. The Kyle press release states, in part:
NASHVILLE — Senate Democratic Leader Jim Kyle called on House and Senate Republicans to support floor votes on a bill allowing Tennesseans to store guns in vehicles on businesses’ parking lots, regardless of the business owners’ personal preferences.
“I would respectfully ask that the minority yield to the majority of members on this bill, so that we might have a fair and open vote,” Kyle said. “I can’t vote against this bill if the members won’t allow it to be heard on the floor.”
Kyle’s motion to suspend the rules and place Senate Bill 3002 on Tuesday’s Senate floor calendar failed with 17 yes votes. The motion requires two-thirds of members pressing a button – either yes, no or “present not voting” – to support the motion.
Of the 13 members who voted no or registered as “present not voting,” 12 were Republicans. Another three Republicans were in the Senate chamber, but did not press a button at all.
The Senate Rules, Rule 63, do not require a 2/3 majority on a recall motion. The Senate Rule, unlike the House rule, only requires a majority vote. If the motion was a Rule 69 motion to suspend the rules, that type of motion does require a 2/3 vote. Fault again lies with the Republican Senators and their leadership for the refusal to pass this motion to bring the bill to the floor.
The Senate video on the motion starts at time point 2:29.
Note that in the Senate video, Senator Kyle asked Senator Faulk (who sponsors the bill and who Chairs the Senate Calendar committee) whether the bill would be heard in Calendar this week. Senator Faulk danced around the issue but essentially said no. Sen. Kyle then moved to bring the bill to the floor stating he could not vote against it if it was not brought to the floor for a recorded vote.
Here is the vote to suspend the rules, to override the Sponsor’s resistance after all his prior work to bring it to the floor for a vote, and to have this bill heard this week on the senate floor:
YES TO SUSPEND:
Barnes, Beavers, Bell, Berke, Campfield, Finney, Ford, Harper, Haynes, Henry, Herron, Kyle, Marrerro, Norris, Overbey, Steward, Tate.
NO (Against the motion)
Burks, Gresham, Johnson, Ketron, Roberts, Summerville, Watson, and RAMSEY
Blue – abstained (equals a no vote)
Kelsey, Massey, McNally, Tracey, Yager
PRESENT NOT VOTING
Crowe, FAULK, Southerland
Note that with the exception of Sen. Burks (D), all those voting to defeat the motion for a floor vote on SB3002 were Republicans including many in Republican leadership.
House Republican caucus
News reports starting Monday night indicate that the House Republican Caucus has held a “secret” meeting in which they voted against brining the Safe Commute legislation to the floor. This is both an interesting and troubling move.
Although the meeting was “secret” there are some within the caucus who know that what leadership – including specifically Debra Maggart – are forcing them to do “as a caucus” is not what the majority of them want to do as elected representatives. Indeed, as voters we must ask why a bill that is such a daily topic in the news and has had huge debates take place in the halls and committee rooms would not be brought to the floor for a public vote so that the voters could see proof of how these individuals legislators voted.
Since the vote was “secret” we do not know – on the record – who voted or what was said. However, we do have indicators that the ring leaders of this stunt included Debra Maggart, including the fact that it was she that reported this “news” to the news. It is also consistent with a comment that Debra Maggart made last week to a Tea Party group that was long before the apparently “secret” vote in the caucus.
One must also question the important issue of who counted the vote. If the vote was not recorded or disclosed by member within the caucus, then there is an element of fraud or perhaps more politically “deniability” as to who voted and how they voted. We must remember that in crooked elections the only vote that matters is the one of the person who counts the secret ballots. Its the same problem with the election of Harwell as Speaker.
Indeed, given what so many of the House Republicans have said and responded with in emails to their constituents it is not likely that any vote was against having a floor vote on the Safe Commute law unless many or most of those elected Republicans have been dishonest with their emails and statements to their constituents.
Rep. Debra Maggart
Rep. Debra Maggart has been identified by TFA and we understand by other grassroots organizations as the symbolic figure of a Republican legislative leadership that has trampled on the 2nd Amendment rights of citizens these last two (2) years, that has made knowing misrepresentations to the citizens regarding their support and that of the caucus for the 2nd Amendment and the rights of citizens, and that demonstrated an unsettleing willingness to abuse the rules to defeat legislation on grounds other than the merits in open recorded floor votes.
Rep. Debra Maggart’s political career needs to end much as the Romans crucified criminals – not just to end her tenure but as a glaring example to other Republicans that you cannot take the grassroots groups or the rights of citizens for granted and then put your hand out to Big Business for their support all the while expecting to be re-elected. Symbolicly, it is time to display a used crucifix at the entrance to the General Assembly as a warning. Rep. Debra Maggart’s race is not a race limited now to the 45 District from which she claims power. Her race is a statewide race for constitutional conservatives to stand up from all 99 districts and proclaim we will not be taken for granted and we will not have our rights as citizens sold for a measure of silver.
Rep. Maggart has a primary challenger in the Republican Primary. The challenger is Lt. Col. Courtney Rogers. Lt. Col. Rogers is raising the funds necessary to offset the enourmous Maggart warchest that we can assume has been funded in many respects by Big Business and related interests. Lt. Col. Rogers’ campaign is asking every firearms owner and conservative in the State who has been taken for granted by Debra Maggart and her peers to contribute “$45 for the 45 District”. It is interesting that the 45 is the caliber that has been used in the handguns of patriots and our armed forces for more than a century to defend the freedoms we cherish in this country. If just 10 percent of the 340,000+ handgun permit holders could make that small effort it would practically ensure that the voices of conservatives would no longer be taken for granted by the elected Republican leadership in Tennessee.