Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Roller Coaster Legislature

Stacey Campfield has published word that Kent Williams may soon be removed from the Tennessee Republican Party. If true, there is some debate, even among conservatives, as to the wisdom of the move. Some have said that it is better to keep him in the party until the next election, that this will isolate him politically. For my own part, I have come to the conclusion that Williams must be removed for no other reason than that it shows those members of the House Republican Caucus who might be tempted to vote for Democrats for Speaker or Speaker Pro Tempore of the House of Representatives that there will be political consequences in a negative way for their actions.

One thing that many on all sides are coming to see that the events of January 13th at the State Capitol created a caustic climate in the General Assembly in which it will be very difficult to do business. Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey has said that at least he had a good working relationship with Jimmy Naifeh, that he has no trust for Kent Williams.

Among members of the House, many Republicans feel that their efforts to gain a majority have been nullified by an organizational vote. Kent Williams was untruthful with Republican leaders, none of whom now believe that he will ever be completely straight with them. Democrats cannot really trust Williams, as he has already demonstrated that he will lie to them as well-he had said he would vote Democratic for constitutional offices. Further, many Democrats doubtless know that if Williams would deceive his own party, he wound have no qualms about stabbing the Democrats in the back as well.

There is very little trust and much suspicion among all parties in the 106th Tennessee General Assembly. Hence, there is likely to be little in the way of a middle ground in how this session will progress. This is entirely speculative on my part, but I believe we will either see an incredibly short session, where legislators scurry to pass a bare-bones budget and then go home, or a very long one marked by heavy scrutiny of nearly every bill and delays in the normal progress of daily business on the Hill. As one legislator told me "I've cleared my calendar until the 4th of July."

The First Session of the 106th General Assembly will very likely be something of a political roller coaster ride.

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At Tuesday, January 27, 2009 3:50:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a news flash, Kent doesn't like Jason Mumpower. A bunch of people don't like Mumpower. Get over it. Is this the best thing our party has to do? Name 10 things that republicans want to accomplish. Of I guess Reaganism is dead too. 11th commandment and all. He also was a democrat. Maybe the party can take up kicking Lincoln out too. After all but for Lincol, we wouldn't have Obama.

At Wednesday, January 28, 2009 1:46:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was mumpowers lack of leadership that caused this

At Wednesday, January 28, 2009 2:10:00 AM, Blogger Dave Oatney said...

How interesting that people who make comments rooted in either ignorance or the obvious duh-"Kent doesn't like Jason Mumpower." Hide under an anonymous veil.

Many more of us really don't like Kent Williams for what he has done. This wasn't about Williams' dislike for Mumpower, for if that were merely the case, Williams could just have voted for Naifeh and lie once, as opposed to compounding his lies. This was all about the ambition of Kent Williams. He is no more a Republican than Barack Obama.

He will be a one-term Speaker, regardless of who has control of the House in 2010.

At Wednesday, January 28, 2009 10:00:00 AM, Blogger Steve Mule said...

I have to agree to what both Anonymous' said.
It was Mumpower's lack of leadership that allowed this to happen. His previous conduct toward Williams was abysamal. What about it makes what Williams did so hard to understand?? Good leaders don't threaten, let alone threaten anyone when all you have is a ONE VOTE MAJORITY! Mumpower is a fool. Plain and simple.
Nothing was stolen, the Repubs still have the Speakership and the majority. No legislative mandate was over turned, a ONE VOTE majority is NOT a mandate.
Mumpower played this like a hayseed thug and had his head handed to him by the big boys. Get over it, David.


At Wednesday, January 28, 2009 12:16:00 PM, Blogger Dave Oatney said...

I was there...I saw Williams lie to Mumpower at least once and declare his support for Jason-Jason says he did it at least twice more, and I have no trouble believing this. The Caucus acted on good faith believing Williams would keep his word, and they TRUSTED him to tell the truth. Imagine that-the truth!

I witnessed the betrayal firsthand, I was on the House floor when it happened. What happened was bad enough, but the lies and deception surrounding it were far worse.

Firstly, if you find that justifiable, it doesn't say much for the moral charater I thought you had.

Secondly, you don't live here anymore, so at best you are hearing about what happened thirdhand, none of your dogs are in the fight.


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