Friday, April 03, 2009

Things Are As They Are, Not As They Should Be

It is not exactly a secret that The World supports Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey for Governor in 2010, but Ramsey isn't exactly demonstrating smart political acumen of late:

Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey says he's considering trying to change a state law that prevents him from raising funds for his gubernatorial campaign while the legislature is in session.The Blountville Republican said Thursday that the law is unfair because his GOP rivals for governor — a congressman, a former Knoxville mayor and a district attorney — don't have the same restriction.

"It's unfair ... because it doesn't limit what a mayor can do, what a congressman can do, or a district attorney," Ramsey said. "So I think there needs to be some changes."

Governor Ramsey is right, of course. These rules are unfair because they were put in place to prevent bribery and corruption from lobbyists upon politicians, but they only apply to members of the General Assembly. As the laws of our fair State are presently written, one would think that mayors, aldermen, county commissioners, sheriffs, or district attorneys are exempt from the political influence of money, while members of the General Assembly are the only people liable to be corrupted. The law should be changed to apply to all Tennessee public officials or to none at all. Because the law does not apply to everyone equally, it might even make for a good court case.

While Governor Ramsey certainly has a point, the problem is that he himself brought the issue up-as a member of the General Assembly who happens to be running for Governor. Yes, it is not fair in the least that his primary opponents-all of whom (at this point) are Tennessee elected officials, have an advantage over him for no other reason than that he is a member of the General Assembly while they hold other offices. The situation should be rectified for the future, but for Ramsey to bring it up now (as opposed to say, two years ago) looks like sour grapes. Ron Ramsey knew that he would be at this disadvantage going in, but decided to run for Governor anyway.

For now, he must deal with the situation as it is.

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At Saturday, April 04, 2009 9:19:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You just gotta love the laws the legislature imposes upon itself and others -- and exceptions and exemptions for friends thereunto.
The research you have left undone is how did Ramsey vote on the bill when it was originally passed and what did Ramsey say then versus what Ramsey is saying now -- and what did he say about any proposed changes in the intervening period?

At Tuesday, April 07, 2009 12:21:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A note to Ramsey - If you try to change this to suit your own goals you will be viewed as a hypocrite and will lose supporters.


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