McDonald’s Parting Shot & Maggart’s Return Fire

State Representative Mike McDonald (D-44) used this session’s last Government Relations Meeting of the Gallatin Chamber last week to review his 18 year career, re-cap the good and bad of the most recent session and get a few things off his chest, reports the Hendersonville Standard

After re-capping highlights and lowlights from the past legislative session, McDonald drew fire from State Representative Debra Maggart for his comments on the Voter ID Bill.
“One of the most disappointing things to me this year, and I’m not picking on my Republican colleagues, I like both of them (referring to Maggart and State Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver who was also in attendance), but when the paper runs headlines like “Back alley bills makes Tennessee tremble; Extremists groups push nutty legislation and it’s becoming law,” that’s kind of embarrassing,” he said showing photocopied newspaper headlines. “Stuff like the Tennessee Currency Bill and the Slaughter Healthy Horses bill and the Tax Strippers bill, and we’ve talked about the guns on college campuses, I just disagree with Debra and Ms. Weaver on the Voter ID Bill. It’s over, it’s done but I call it the Voter Suppression Bill. They never could prove fraud. I think people’s constitutional rights are going to be violated.”
McDonald recounted an account of the difficultly of a voter having to go back to the state of this birth, Georgia, to get a birth certificate and then presenting it to get a photo ID.
“Let’s be intellectually honest about this; the idea is to suppress young votes and to suppress elderly votes.”
Maggart took exception to the comment and interrupted McDonald saying, “Michael, I was going to say that I have enjoyed working with you…but I’m not going to sit here and let you say we did that… bless your heart, that’s not true.”
“I’m being real nice about this; we just disagree on this issue,” McDonald responded.
“On the last day (of the session), a sponsor of a bill to allow unlimited, unrestricted campaign contributions, he was going to try to pass it but said ‘everybody’s too tired and I don’t think we are going to work on this this year.’ That’s why you see headlines that say, “The Stealing of America,” again showing a photocopy of a newspaper.
McDonald said the article was about the “incestuous” relationship between corporate America and government, making a claim that private companies that operate prisons are modeling legislation to arrest more people to put them in prison, so the prison companies can make more money off the prisoners.
“I didn’t write this stuff,” he said. “I’m just reading what they are doing, and I think it’s wrong. We really ought to be concerned about unlimited corporate campaign contributions.”
Maggart again interrupted McDonald to make a point with a “Michael” but McDonald responded, “I’d like to finish, Debra, I’d just got five minutes and I’d like to finish.”
McDonald concluded by reading a piece explaining that corporations do not have the rights that the Constitution gives private citizens.

HT: Trace Sharp.

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