McCormick, Casada on GOP legislators ‘evolution’ toward bucking the governor

Andy Sher has a story on the new trend of Republican legislators defying Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, most recently illustrated by a House vote to delay Common Core testing, with comments from House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick and House Republican Caucus Chairman Glen Casada.

McCormick, R-Chattanooga, said Haslam, elected in 2010, is the first Republican governor since shortly after the Civil War to have a GOP-controlled Legislature.

“You have a new governor and we had a ‘supermajority’ with our new governor and we had an extended honeymoon period,” said McCormick, who carries the governor’s package of bills and often speaks for the administration on the House floor.

After nearly four years, McCormick said, “I think it’s kind of swinging back in the other direction where [many Republicans] … want to feel like there’s a balance, and a lot of them feel like the balance has been toward the governor.”

Last week’s rebellion “was a good example of that,” McCormick said.

“They were going in a completely different direction from the Legislature on this. Today, the message was ‘you need to carry us along with you and persuade people rather than just assume we’re going to approve everything the governor does.'”

…Asked whether there’s a Republican-backed attempt to either defy Haslam or curb his power, Casada said, “I contend it’s an ongoing genesis.”

“If you look at the history of Tennessee, 50 years ago the governor basically appointed the speakers,” he said. “And from that point you’ve seen a slow movement away from a strong executive to a strong Legislature. And this is just part of that evolution.”

Note: McCormick’s comment brings to mind this post, ICYMI