Tag Archives: carving

Julia Hurley Offers Explanations; Others Offer Critiques

Via an email to constituents, state Rep. Julia Hurley has responded to what she describes as “liberal media” accounts of various activities that have drawn attention over recent months.
Meanwhile, Hurley’ s fame is spreading. She has been listed in a Washington Times list of the nation’s “30 hottest political women,” along with Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann. It’s just a mention — she is described only as “a former Hooters waitress who is now a member of the Tennessee Legislature.”
As an example of the emailed commentary, here is Hurley’s response (writing of herself in third person) to reports that she carved her initials on her desk in the state House of Representatives chamber:
“Representative Hurley carved her initials in her desk in Nashville. Yes, she did. If you have ever visited Nashville or Washington D.C. you will see MANY names and initials carved into the tops, sides, legs and inside drawers of desks with over a hundred years of history.
“Not only did this make front page news, the liberal media decided to associate Representative Hurley as being a vandal, while two hundred years of history has shown this to be a traditional act in all aspects of Legislators services.
On top of admitting that she did this, Representative Hurley paid to have the entire desk revamped. Something that no other legislator has ever been asked to do or been attacked in the media for doing.”

Hurley also reviews her run-in with a Highway Patrol officer (who, she says in the email, is “the sister of Dennis Ferguson’s campaign manager. Ferguson is the former Democratic legislator defeated by Hurley in 2010.) and two episodes with her dog.
On one occasion, she brought the dog, Pepper, into the Roane County Courthouse where pets are not authorized. In her report, Hurley says that, at the time of her encounter, “Property Assessor Teresa Kirkham had just left with her two dogs, leaving behind their dog beds and two mice were just brought in the the courthouse to feed the 4-H pet snake held on the third floor.”
On the other, most recent occasion, Hurley had posted on Facebook a video of Pepper “air swimmng” – paddling with her paws as she was held outside a moving car.
“I cannot even imagine what the people who accuse Representative Hurley of abusing her dog consider abuse. Are these the same people that leave their pet outside in hot or cold weather? Do they also clothe their dogs? Feed them gluten-free food? Bathe them daily after having to wear 100spf sunscreen from being in the sun? Let their canine sleep in their bed so they do not shiver at night? I feel it necessary to say these things, because I love my pet. I take care of things I care about… much like the 32nd District.”
In Tennessee, Hurley’s activities have inspired considerable commentary among the state’s politically-oriented bloggers.
Especially notable, Steve Hale has a rundown, including videos, of Hurley’s “greatest hits.”
See also, for example, Betsy Phillips latest, which is on the hijacking of Hurley’s website. The website episode also inspired Trace Sharp to offer some advice to other politicians, namely Own Your Own Identity.
Though Hurley’s email says copies were sent to the press, yours truly didn’t get one and neither did Bob Fowler, the KNS reporter who initially wrote about some of those activities. But Brian Hornback and RoaneViews did and have posted the email in full (Hornback has also posted a rebuttal from a fellow mentioned by Hurley.)

Note: This updates, replaces and expands an earlier post.

Rep. Julia Hurley Interviewed

The Roane County News has “part one” of a Q&A with state Rep. Julia Hurley, R-Lenoir City, that includes commentary on her House floor desk initials, gaining weight during the legislative session and her views on the media attention she has attracted. (Subscription required.)
On carving her initials on her desk: “Well I don’t know why it attracted so much attention, not even sure who made it such a big deal…. I don’t know how many people know how open that area is, but we have kids vandalize those desks constantly.
“I have come into my legislative desk with gum in my chair and Cheetos. We open it to classrooms of kindergartners to high schoolers and you leave them in there long enough they’re going to go through your drawers and they’re going to eat your snacks that you try to hide for yourself for the floor. They’re going to leave little notes, so people do stuff to those desks all the time, but when I was asked if I had done that to my own, I said yes ….
“The desk is fixed. It’s good. Even the weird coffee stain on the desk is gone, and that wasn’t mine, so it looks like a really great, brand new beautiful desk.”

Answering a question on whether the media has been fair to her: “What I would like to see is sell your newspapers, but please inform people, too.
“I’ve got 50 bills that I co-prime sponsored that are huge and nobody knows, and I’m like, please tell that side, too … I don’t care to be out there, but if you wouldn’t mind printing some of the good things that I do, it would be awesome.
“Let people know what I’m doing besides all the crap that I do.
“Let them know that I’m out here passing bills and I am out here working. I am out here representing cancer awareness and child abuse awareness.”