Democrats Say Republicans Dodging Jobs Creation Legislation

House and Senate Democrats teamed for a news conference Monday to accuse Gov. Bill Haslam and Republican legislators of neglecting campaign promises to work for jobs creation and for opposing bills they sponsor that would help create jobs.
“Now more than ever, we need people who place priorities on performance rather than politics,” said Sen. Lowe Finney, the Senate Democratic Caucus Chairman. “Instead, we’re up here debating whether dogs should wear seat belts, or rewriting science books or talking about creating our own currency.”
The reference is to Republican-sponsored bills that would make it a misdemeanor to allow a dog in your lap while driving, to protect teachers from discipline if they discuss alternatives to scientific theories such as evolution and to have a study committee recommend whether Tennessee should establish its own currency.
House Democratic Leader Craig Fitzhugh and others also criticized an op-ed piece written by House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick as highly partisan and having “the audacity to say government shouldn’t help create jobs” — when Chattanoogan McCormick’s own area has benefited from government-subsidized business expansions including Volkswagen and
As for Haslam, Fitzhugh said: “We need our governor to do what the candidate for governor said he would do”
Notes: A news release handed out at the news conference is below.
And state Republican Chairman Chris Devaney was impressed enough to issue a news release denouning the Democratic “dog and pony show.” It’s below, too

Democratic Caucus news release:
After 86 Days, Democrats Still Asking for Answers on Jobs
Governor’s campaign promised regional jobs creation strategy more than a year ago
(Nashville) – Following another month of rising unemployment in Tennessee, Democrats Monday again asked for answers on promised job-creation strategies from the administration and the Republican majority in the legislature.
“Now more than ever, we need people who place priorities on performance rather than politics,” said Senate Democratic Caucus Chairman Lowe Finney (D-Jackson). “Instead, we’re up here debating whether dogs should wear seat belts, or rewriting science books, or talking about creating our own currency.”
While national unemployment rates dropped to 8.9 percent last month, the state’s unemployment rate rose to 9.6 percent. Meanwhile, Gov. Bill Haslam gave raises to his commissioners of 11 to 20 percent, even though they were already making six-figure salaries.
Democratic leaders also are questioning the use of more than half a million dollars in federal stimulus money, sent from Washington, to fund three R.V.s to drive around the state to teach Tennesseans resume-writing skills.
“A resume doesn’t matter if there’s nowhere to send it,” said House Democratic Leader Craig Fitzhugh (D-Ripley). “They’re telling rural West Tennessee how to apply for jobs, yet the governor didn’t include the West Tennessee Megasite in his budget. It doesn’t make sense.”
Democrats again asked Republicans to consider their jobs creation plans and work together to help 300,000 Tennesseans searching for work. The call came on the same day House Republican leaders claimed that Democrats had rejected a seat at the table with them.
“I sit at the leadership breakfast table every week with the governor and the majority party, and I have yet to hear a word from them about our jobs crisis,” said House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner (D-Old Hickory). “Tennesseans deserve to have their elected officials working together to put Tennesseans back to work.”

Republican-Controlled Government: Still No Jobs
Jan. 15 (Day 1 of Haslam Administration): Newly-elected Gov. Haslam signs an executive order closing financial disclosures for himself and his cabinet.
Feb. 2 (Day 18): Senate Republicans ram through a committee vote to stop Memphis City Schools from merging with Shelby County Schools. The bill is passed by House and Senate Republican majorities and signed by Gov. Haslam on Feb. 11.
Feb. 10 (Day 26): Union City Goodyear plant announces it will close, putting 1,900 Tennesseans out of work.
Feb. 14 (Day 30): Senate Republicans pass a bill to require photo ID to vote, jeopardizing the voting rights of 500,000 Tennesseans.
Feb. 16 (Day 32): Senate Republicans vote in committee to strip teachers of collective bargaining rights.
March 5 (Day 49): Gov. Haslam tells Rutherford Co. GOP at a fundraiser that “the government doesn’t create jobs.”
National unemployment rate in January: 9.0 percent, down from December.
Tennessee unemployment rate: 9.4 percent, unchanged from December.
March 14 (Day 58): Gov. Haslam releases budget with no funds for the West Tennessee Megasite, despite repeated pledges of support to West Tennessee voters and media.
March 23 (Day 67): A House subcommittee hears presentations on Haslam’s biggest “jobs plan” to date: tort reform.
March 31 (Day 75): Gov. Haslam hosts a $3,000- to $25,000-per-couple fundraiser at the Governor’s Mansion. February unemployment numbers released same day.
National unemployment rate: 8.9 percent, down from January.
Tennessee unemployment rate: 9.6 percent, up from January.
April 5 (Day 80): Gov. Haslam announces three stimulus-funded RVs stocked with flat screen TVs and wireless Internet will go to rural Tennessee to help with job searches.
Haslam in Commercial Appeal, March 19:
If you think governments can go create jobs, go look and see how much was spent on the (federal) stimulus plan from Washington – trillions of dollars – and did that really help create more jobs? I don’t think so. I just don’t believe in that process.
April 6 (Day 81): AP story details average 11 percent raises for Gov. Haslam’s commissioners. State employees would get 1.6 percent raise amidst 1,200 job cuts under Haslam’s budget.
April 7 (Day 82): House Republicans debate for hours over changing science curriculum in schools and requiring dogs to wear seat belts. No discussion on job creation.
State Republican Party press release:
NASHVILLE, TN – Yesterday, a group of top Democrats again attempted to portray themselves as experts on economic growth, even after years of proposing job-killing legislation that has been consistently rejected by groups such as the Chamber of Commerce and, more recently, voters across Tennessee.
“The Democrats keep rolling out this dog and pony show, and the fact that they are lecturing on job creation and economic growth is a joke,” said Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney.
“Their record includes a litany of job-killing bills which is driven by the misguided-Obama philosophy of throwing around taxpayer money as a stimulus to create jobs. The Democrats’ plan has consistently created an obstacle to investment by the private sector,” continued Devaney.
“Governor Haslam’s top priority is, and always has been, creating an environment for economic growth, not simply throwing money and rogue legislation at the problem. This is accomplished by ensuring that we keep taxes low, invest in our schools to create a well-educated workforce, and pass much-needed tort reform in our state,” said Devaney.

2 thoughts on “Democrats Say Republicans Dodging Jobs Creation Legislation

  1. Eric Holcombe

    I guess Finney considers making “emeritus” positions and giving them a secretary or staking out Kentucky convenience stores to steal legally-purchased cigarettes, or taxing the propane on your BBQ grill, or having Michael Jackson day serious job creation by the Democrats.

  2. govskeptic

    The Demos are seeking any publicity they can
    muster during this session. Their current and pass legislation has done nothing but continue the status quo within this state for 50 yrs. So, as they say “where’s their Beef” this yr other than to assist a few long loyal contributors to their party?

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