NASHVILLE – A House committee today approved a Republican-supported resolution urging conservative radio talk show host Sean Hannity to move to Tennessee despite objections of a Democrat who asked, “Why do we want another troublemaker in our state?”
The resolution (HJR642) is sponsored by Rep. Andy Holt, R-Dresden, and comes with Hannity making his plans to relocate from New York a frequent talk show topic.
When the measure came before the House State Government Committee Tuesday, Rep. Johnny Shaw, D-Boliver, first asked Holt for an explanation.
“Mr. Hannity is a conservative individual who possesses, I guess, some amount of wealth,” responded Holt. “We would like to attract any individual, whether they have wealth or not, to a state that offers so much opportunity.”
“I would invite anybody to come to Tennessee,” said Shaw. “But are we going to do resolutions for everybody who’s rich to come to Tennessee.. or conservatives?” replied Shaw.
Holt noted the resolution urges not only Hannity but other “like-minded New Yorkers” to relocate to Tennessee, adding that amounts to a “blanket invitation.”
“We’ve got our own troubles down here without Sean stirring up some more,” said Shaw. “Why do we want another troublemaker in our state?… Why don’t we just say all good rich folks who live in New York?”
Rep. Shelia Butt, R-Columbia, said Hannity “has made a point of the fact that he’s leaving because of high taxes” and the resolution would “show that Tennessee has low taxes, one of the reasons he would choose to live here.” Hannity has discussed Florida and Texas as options, she said, and Tennessee should become part of the discussion, too.
“We would certainly get some kind of publicity for our great efforts at lowering taxes in this state,” Butt said.
Rep. Ryan Haynes, R-Knoxville, chairman of the committee, quickly called for a voice vote and declared the resolution approved in the Republican-dominated committee.
But Rep. Curry Todd, R-Collierville, got in a last comment on a suggested amendment to the resolution before Haynes slammed the gavel to adjourn the meeting.
“I want to make sure to keep the liberals up there (in New York). We don’t need them down here,” said Todd.
Note: In the last paragraph, I initially understood Todd as saying ‘locals’ instead of ‘liberals.’ Listening again after this was pointed out, the word has been corrected from when first posted.