Pettigrew: Ashamed of NaifehThis morning, Stacey Campfield and Schree Pettigrew debated on Hallerin Hilton Hill's morning program on WNOX. Two of Mrs. Pettigrew's opening shots caught my attention because they show that she either thought the listeners were ignorant boobs or that she is completely unaware of regular affairs in the Tennessee House of Representatives.
When asked if she would pledge not to support the House's resident falsifier and income tax prop, Speaker Jimmy Naifeh, for a leadership position, she said:
"I am not going to speculate on a race where I don't know who the candidates are going to be."
Is Schree Pettigrew asking us to believe that she is so ignorant of the regular procedures of the House that she is not already aware of who the candidates will be in the official vote for Speaker-one of the first votes that she would cast if elected?
Well, Mrs. Pettigrew, let me educate you.
As things stand now (assuming the Democrats retain a majority, no certainty by any means) the candidates will be Jimmy Naifeh, who you apparently don't know is running, and House Minority Leader Bill Dunn of Knoxville. The choice will be between the man who presided over the House as perhaps the worst scandal in the history of our State unfolded (who also happens to be a big income tax supporter), and a shrewd political operative who knows how to craft acceptable compromises without selling out who is also a decent, quiet family man. If I had a vote on the question, I know what my choice would be, party aside. I also happen to know where Stacey Campfield stands, and where his officemate Frank Niceley stands, and we are all of one mind on the matter.
If what you said is true and you really don't know who is running for Speaker of the House come January, then you are utterly clueless and have no business serving even a millisecond in the Tennessee House of Representatives.
However, I don't think that's the case at all-you are an intelligent lady, and you are not clueless. What's more, you know darn well who is running for Speaker, and you know where your allegiance lies, because Jimmy Naifeh came to Knoxville campaigning on your behalf. If that's true (and I strongly suspect that it is) than you got on the radio this morning and lied through your teeth.
Oh, you'll cover it up by saying that we don't know for sure whether Naifeh is running again, but if that's the case, you are the only person in the State who is unaware of that reality.
Then you said: This race is not about Jimmy Naifeh...
Apparently you don't read the papers much. The Republicans are only four seats shy of a majority, so this race is very much about Jimmy Naifeh, and it is about whether we want the kind of corruption that Naifeh presides over to continue-if you don't understand that you'll be asked to cast a vote of confidence on Naifeh's leadership straightaway, you don't understand the very first issue you will confront as a member of the House.
What is the problem, Mrs. Pettigrew, are you ashamed of Jimmy Naifeh? Do you want to bury the fact that he and his cronies are some of your biggest backers (along with the trial lawyers who love Naifeh too)? Its alright-I understand...I really do. I would be ashamed to take support from such a character too, let alone cast a vote in his favor on the floor of the House-but that is what you will be doing. I would be very ashamed of that, and apparently you are. This shows that if you have nothing else, you may have a conscience that bothers you about this-people whose consciences bother them try to avoid the issue that is troubling their conscience.
Lots of Tennesseans are ashamed of the Speaker of the House. I am, and I know Stacey Campfield is too. The difference is that you have taken support from that which you are ashamed of, but Stacey Campfield has not. What's more, Stacey Campfield is ashamed enough of the disgrace that Naifeh and his pack of wolves has made of our House of Representatives that he wouldn't vote for Naifeh even if he were a Democrat.
You can't be honest about your support for Jimmy Naifeh because you know that he may not be an issue for you, but he is an issue with a lot of honest East Tennesseans, and such open support of Naifeh would doom your chances for election. You are in Naifeh's pocket-you know this, I know this, and the people of East Tennessee who are informed-they know it, too.
At least be honest-tell the people you'll be voting for Naifeh...oh, I forgot, if you did this, you would not only be beaten-but badly beaten.