It started with an audible gasp-Lt. Governor RamseyBy now, nearly everyone in Tennessee's blogosphere is aware of the historic events that occured today in the Tennessee Senate. It would be the case that on such an important day in the history of our State, Blogger was down for an extended period. This proved to be significant because I had planned to live blog the Senate session this afternoon, at a time when the words I write here would have had a bit more impact-largely because you the reader would have been able to glean the precise nature of my reaction to today's events in Nashville.
Even though the problems with Blogger did not allow me to blog events live as they were occuring (and Talkshoe was down so I could not be on the air as the Senate was in session), I was able to watch the Senate session live.
Did anyone else catch the prayer from that African-American lady preacher? I believe that was the longest invocation at any public meeting that I have ever seen. I'm not saying it was bad-quite the contrary. I am glad that someone is unafraid to invoke the name of Christ in the halls of power. After all of that rebuking the devil, casting out of demons, and denouncing the spiritual enemies of the State, I was beginning to believe I was watching a televangelist on TBN at a Sunday Service. When the prayer finally ended, I was called back to reality when Speaker Wilder called for the roll, and Senators signified their presence by electronic divice.
I knew something was up when the Democrats called for a recess to have a Caucus meeting in the Speaker's Room. Any meeting the Democrats (or the Republicans) needed to have should have been taken care of before the Senate met today. Wilder called for a voice vote on the yeas and nays on the recess motion and I don't know if the ayes really had it or not, but Wilder said so. I figured the Democrats were either trying to pull some shenanigans or they didn't have the votes to re-elect Wilder.
When the Senate returned, Mike Williams presided over the election of Speaker and Lieutenant Governor. I thought of the irony of that since it was Republican Williams' turncoat vote that kept Wilder in power. As the voice vote commenced, I was shocked as Jerry Cooper decided to vote for Wilder after he reportedly demanded that Wilder step aside in the sudden caucus meeting the Democrats called. However, the shock came when Rosalind Kurita, one of the most liberal Democrats in the Tennessee Senate, voted for Ron Ramsey. I don't know exactly why, but I have heard from a couple of sources that she was peeved at Wilder for pushing many of her bills to the back burner, and at the way the Democrats treated her during the U.S. Senate Primary. Whatever her reasoning, her vote both doomed Wilder and produced an audible gasp in the room and a smattering of applause. Mike Williams' vote for Ron Ramsey assured that he (Williams) may be re-elected-especially since the vote did not come down to him.
When it was over, Ron Ramsey had won-and I have to wonder if Jason Mumpower knew something of this when I interviewed him yesterday. So ended the reign of the longest-serving leader of an elected legislative body in the world.
Oatney On the Air-January 9th 2007 (Before the Senate vote)
Oatney On the Air-January 9th 2007 (After the Senate vote)
Labels: Tennessee politics