Bredesen on Purcell, Haslam, Collective Bargaining, Etc.

Excerpts from a City Paper Q&A with former Gov. Phil Bredesen:
On the Legislature repealing collective bargaining rights for teachers since he left office:
“I was a little sorry to see the Republican stuff, especially on the collective bargaining, just because it really isn’t an issue in Tennessee. I mean, this is not New Jersey or New York, and the unions really had stepped up, a little reluctantly at times, but they really have been willing to play in a way you can’t even imagine happening in one of the Northeastern states. And so to kind of turn around and slap them down, you know, solving a problem that we really don’t have, I thought was a little bit misguided. “
On what people think about him: “You take a poll about people’s opinions of me, OK, um, contrary to what you might think, I will do much better in the Waffle House in Lewisburg than I will on the Vanderbilt campus.
On his relationship with Bill Purcell, who succeeded him as Nashville mayor, compared to Bill Haslam, who succeeded him as governor. He’s responding to a question on whether there talk of clashes between him and Purcell are overblown:
No, I think it’s real. I mean I don’t dislike him or have some distaste for him. He had a very different style than I did, and spent what I thought was an inordinate amount of time explaining how he did things so much better than the previous administration, although I think most people looked at my years as a reasonably successful time in the city. That was irritating. But, you know, we get along fine. I see him at things, and we do that, but I sort of got the picture. See, I can talk about things now that I’m not in office. I sort of got the picture when I really worked hard the end of my time as mayor, which I also did as governor, to make sure there was plenty of dry powder financially.
…So I left them with a really healthy balance. Whereas, the usual thing in the past has been the mayor cleans the cupboard out on his way out the door. I left them a really healthy balance. And I think he had not been in office six months before they spent all the balance, and they were doing all these things because they were so much better at running things than the previous administration.
That was probably the beginning of the certain test during that period of time, but I would say Haslam has not — has absolutely not done that. He’s bent over backwards. I mean, I left him in really good shape, and he’s acknowledged that, and he’s continued on a very sensible course.

One thought on “Bredesen on Purcell, Haslam, Collective Bargaining, Etc.

Leave a Reply