The ProcessBy now most of my readers know that I have favorites in the contested Constitutional Officers' races before the Tennessee General Assembly-and in the contest for Treasurer I have a particular favorite. I not only show such favoritism because the person in question is a friend whose integrity and passion for Tennessee can't be questioned, but because the friend who I support is an unwavering conservative.
Yesterday, I spoke with a source up at the Capitol who flatly said that my favorite didn't have a chance, but his reasoning wasn't that the other major candidate is more qualified (he does have an extremely impressive resume), but that the other candidate has given quite a lot of money to certain candidates and to the Republican Party, and so as a result, the other major candidate is likely to be elected. It was with great sadness that an assessment of the seriousness of the process was also delivered by this source:
"Most legislators on both sides of the aisle neither know nor care what it is that these
constitutional officers actually do every day. They do know who had given them
the most money in the last election. For that reason, your candidate has very
little chance to win."
These were the kinds of practices of the previous majority, of course. Overlooking those who didn't give money or play political ball was the common practice of Jimmy Naifeh, and one would hope that the joint Caucus hearings that were just held involved something more than just a show for the press and the camera. There is also the legitimate reality that those asking the questions clearly did have an idea of the duties of these constitutional officers.
What was disturbing, however, was that this was an open hearing where Senator Norris and Representative Mumpower acknowledged the presence of other members of Caucus and even invited them to join the questioning panel-yet few if any did. Were I present and an elected member of the House, I would want to question potential officers so that I had a better idea of how to vote, and so that my constituents know that I am taking the process seriously.
We do want to take the process seriously, don't we?
Labels: Tennessee politics