Monday, December 08, 2008

Standing Up to Bredesen

It speaks volumes about the state of the Tennessee Democratic Party that the Democratic Leader in the Tennessee House of Representatives continues to take shots at the Democratic Governor. House Democratic Leader Gary Odom is rightly concerned about the illegal background checks performed on citizens by members of the Tennessee Highway Patrol. In many cases, the citizens in questions were people who were politically involved and who have been opposed to Governor Phil Bredesen or many of his measures, while the THP officials involved appear to be allies of the administration:

“The first [problem the Governor has with Odom] is the continuing saga of the illegal Highway Patrol background searches that were performed on a still unknown number of Tennessee citizens. It is my belief that this issue should be thoroughly investigated by a federal agency, which is not subject to state government political interference.

Representative Odom is absolutely right when he says that the issue of illegal Highway Patrol background checks on the Governor's political opponents should be investigated to the fullest extent possible, and likely by an outside third-party agency. Thus far, those elements within the apparatus of State Government which are allied with the Governor seem to have impeded any serious investigation into the matter, which suggest that either the Honorable Phil Governor, his political allies, or both, all have something to hide.

Were this issue to reach the highest levels, it would qualify as something that could bring impeachment proceedings. Undoubtedly, Odom is aware of that reality, yet chooses to pursue justice in spite of what the political consequences could be for his party.

I do not agree with Odom's political views, and frequently find myself actively opposed to many of the initiatives that he sponsors. However, it is on occasions such as this that Odom shows that he is a person of integrity, because he knows that many of the people who have been wronged because of these illegal checks are Republicans.

Gary Odom is doing a service to Tennesseans by continuing to press this abuse of power by the executive branch.


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