Win For a Reasonable Stacey Campfield

The state House of Representatives on Monday night approved for the first time a bill sponsored by Rep. Stacey Campfield, who has failed in such endeavors since his election to the House five years ago.
The vote was 74-21, indicating, perhaps, that 21 representatives find the Knoxville Republican so abhorrent, given his past conservative activist activities (OK, some would say right-wing crazy crusades), that they cannot support even a rather reasonable proposition with his name attached.
The proposition behind HB804 is that a divorced parent in military service, who has visitation rights with his/her child, should be able to assign those rights to a relative when he/she is assigned to visit Afghanistan/Iraq or some other place that makes it impossible check in on the child personally.
As in, “I want my sister to visit with little Johnny and let me know how he’s doing while I’m watching for improvised explosive devices, or dodging bullets.”
During debate, even Campfield opponents were occasionally complimentary. Rep. Jeanne Richardson, the lady who had a hypothetical sexual encounter with Stacey on another bill, declared his was “very gracious” in accepting an amendment in committee.
Richardson’s argument came during discussion of an amendment proposed by Rep. Sherry Jones, that basically said anyone taking the parent’s place in visitation must have a long-term (12 months) relationship with the child in question.
Great and convoluted debate ensued over the amendment – including House Speaker Kent Williams remarking at one odd parliamentary point, “Are you kidding me?” And Jones appealed to Republicans (without much success) that, “This is not partisan… this is about the best interests of the child.”
Actually, the amendment probably didn’t make much difference, one way or the other, insofar as the average impacted individual was concerned. It was symbolic.
Campfield chose to oppose it, contending that the bill, as revised, already assured that a judge could block some oddball designation of prospective child visitor by the non-custodial parent.
The vote on the amendment was 50 for Stacey, 45 against — a squeaker that relied upon winning a few key Democratic votes, including Memphis Reps. G.A. Hardaway and Mike Kernell, who (as I understand, but have not verified) have both been through divorces and are thus somewhat sympathetic on the matter of dad visitation rights. Vote count on all the stuff HERE.
The upshot: Stacey Campfield, when willing to compromise in committee and deal with selective Democrats, can be effective in advancing a reasonable piece of legislation despite otherwise making a lot of Democratic people mad and some Republicans uneasy. But just barely.

One thought on “Win For a Reasonable Stacey Campfield

  1. Tony Gottlieb

    Regrettably, we have those in the Tennessee House whose personal pettiness supercedes any ability to do that which is just.
    HB0804 by Campfield – FLOOR VOTE: AS AMENDED PASSAGE ON THIRD CONSIDERATION 3/30/2009
    Passed
    Ayes………………………………………..74
    Noes………………………………………..21
    Representatives voting aye were: Armstrong, Barker, Bass, Bell, Brooks H, Brooks K, Campfield, Carr, Casada, Cobb C, Cobb J, Cobb T, Coleman, Coley, Curtiss, Dean, Dennis, Dunn, Eldridge, Evans, Faulkner, Ferguson, Fincher, Floyd, Ford, Hackworth, Halford, Hardaway, Harmon, Harrison, Harwell, Hawk, Haynes, Hensley, Hill, Johnson C, Johnson P, Kelsey, Kernell, Litz, Lollar, Lundberg, Lynn, Maggart, Matheny, McCord, McCormick, McDaniel, McDonald, McManus, Miller, Montgomery, Moore, Mumpower, Niceley, Pitts, Ramsey, Rich, Roach, Rowland, Sargent, Shepard, Shipley, Swafford, Tidwell, Tindell, Todd, Towns, Watson, Weaver, Windle, Winningham, Yokley, Mr. Speaker Williams — 74.
    Representatives voting no were: Bone, Borchert, Brown, Camper, Cooper, DeBerry L, Favors, Fitzhugh, Fraley, Gilmore, Jones S, Jones U, Naifeh, Odom, Pruitt, Richardson, Shaw, Sontany, Stewart, Turner L, Turner M — 21.

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