A modest theory on the Leadership voteState Representative Stacey Campfield took the time to try and assure me that Ward Baker did no arm-twisting to try and convince Representatives to vote his way:
He didn't twist any arms. The caucus ALL owe Ward, BIG TIME. He raised over six figures for the caucus. If he wanted he could have put pressure on people but he didn't. Ward is hard core conservative.
Fair enough-I believe Stacey. Six figures is a lot of money for the Caucus, though, and as Stacey points out, the Caucus owes this man in a big way-and if Baker is good friends with Glen Casada, that does get the wheels to turning...
I will venture to raise a modest speculative theory: Baker wanted his man Casada in as Caucus Chair. Charles Sargeant was the odds-on favorite to win the Number Two spot in the House over Casada, the clear conservative in that contest. Baker lobbies Republicans in the Caucus for Glen Casada, his buddy and the conservative choice. The trade-off, however, for a Casada victory in the Caucus Chair contest was that Bill Dunn , the proven and effective Republican Leader, would have to go. He would be replaced by the less-combative Jason Mumpower (whose actions we hope will be as big as his words-if they are, we are behind him). Again, a speculative theory, but given the circumstances of the last 24 hours, it is a theory that is altogether possible.
If there is any truth to the whole notion that the Leadership vote was a trade-off, it also lends at least minor credence to Jay Bush's idea that Boss Hogg was in on the Leadership vote to a degree. I don't question that Boss wanted Bill Dunn gone in the least, and I am guessing that Boss had a champaign party to celebrate the fact that he didn't have to deal with Bill Dunn anymore. Rumors abound that the Democrat Leadership all wanted the less effective Mumpower. He may have been the trade-off to get Casada placed in a position where he may eventually be Leader himself.
Just a modest speculative theory-it may or may not have merit, but I think it is certainly plausible.
Labels: Tennessee politics