Tag Archives: criticize

Haslam Condemned for Hiring Gays, Democrats and a Muslim

Rank-and-file Republicans, including some in the party’s suburban Nashville stronghold, have condemned Gov. Bill Haslam for policies that include the hiring of gay individuals, Democrats and a Muslim-American lawyer.
Further from Chas Sisk:
At least two western Tennessee chapters of the Tennessee Republican Party — and possibly as many as eight statewide — have passed resolutions saying Haslam has shown “a consistent lack of conservative values” and calling on state party leaders to sanction the governor.
Meanwhile, the Williamson County Republican Party has passed a more narrow resolution that criticizes the governor for hiring a Tennessee-born Muslim to a trade position.
The effort highlights the continued concern about Sharia, or Islamic law, among grass-roots Republicans throughout Tennessee. The resolutions also come as Haslam has been elevated to the state’s top spokesman for Republican candidates, including GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
…Republicans in Stewart and Carroll counties listed eight grievances. Those include Haslam’s decisions to retain personnel hired by his Democratic predecessor, Gov. Phil Bredesen; to allow openly gay individuals to make policy decisions in the Department of Children’s Services; and to hire Samar Ali, a Muslim lawyer from Tennessee, to serve as the Department of Economic and Community Development’s international director.
The county chapters also criticized the governor for not supporting gun legislation and for refusing to sign a legislative resolution that condemns Agenda 21, a 20-year-old United Nations policy document that some believe is a secret communist plot.
They say Haslam’s “policies are worse than the actions of Kent Williams,” the Elizabethton lawmaker who broke from the Republican Caucus in 2009 to elect himself speaker in an evenly divided legislature. And they call on the Tennessee Republican Executive Committee, the board that oversees the state party, to take action against the governor.
The chapters do not specify what that action might be, but the executive committee stripped Williams of his Republican Party credentials after his election to the speakership.
The Williamson County Republican Party passed a separate resolution last week that criticizes the governor for hiring a “Sharia complaint finance specialist” at ECD, a reference to Ali and her prior work as a financial adviser to Muslim-owned companies.
Although Ali is not involved in finance in her current role, the Williamson County GOP says Haslam has “elevated and/or afford(ed) preferential political status to Sharia adherents in Tennessee, thereby aiding and abetting the advancement of an ideology and doctrine which is wholly incompatible with the Constitution of the United States and the Tennessee Constitution.”
The Williamson County GOP does not call for any sanction against Haslam.
…The Tennessee Republican Party urged members to remain united in an election year.
“All Republicans should stand together on the core Republican principles that unite us,” Chairman Chris Devaney said. “Anything else is just a distraction.”

Note: Chas has copies of the relevant resolutions posted on a Tennessean blog, HERE.

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.

Republicans Bash Fed Regulations; Democrats Bash GOP

Gov. Bill Haslam, Economic Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty, the state’s two U.S. Senators and a trio of congressmen teamed up Monday in Murfreesboro for a concerted Republican critique of federal regulations. Democrats responded with a critique of the Republiican gathering.
A sampler of the some of the media attention:
From TNReport: State officials are paving the way for job growth at the state level, but there’s nothing more they can do when the federal government issues piles of regulations that discourage economic development, Commissioner Bill Hagerty told the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
From The Tennessean: The Environmental Protection Agency, the National Labor Relations Board, the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, and the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act came in for the most criticism. U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, who chaired the hearing, framed it as a preview of regulations that could be scaled back if Republicans take control of the Congress and the White House in the fall.
From the Nashville Business Journal: “As a country, we need to be moving in exactly the opposite direction,” U.S. Sen. Bob Corker told members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
From WPLN: Rep. Diane Black laid into rules from the Environmental Protection Agency, saying they can cost billions, without much benefit. “Rolling back the costly and unnecessary regulations is imperative to jumpstart our economy and provide certainty for our job creators.”
That put Senator Lamar Alexander in an awkward spot. Lately Alexander hasn’t gone along with colleagues trying to undo new clean-air rules for coal plants. He argues keeping Tennessee’s air clean is vital to recruiting jobs, even though he’s not a huge fan of the EPA either. “Even a stopped clock can be right twice a day, and on these two clean-air rules I think they are right for Tennessee.”

From the Chattanooga TFP: About the same time as Republicans’ event at Middle Tennessee State University, DesJarlais’ Democratic opponent, Eric Stewart, held a much smaller, seven-person roundtable in downtown Murfreesboro at Pa Bunk’s Natural Market and Cafe. Stewart, along with the businessmen, farmers and students, discussed ways to help small businesses and protect federal student aid. Several said some types of regulations are necessary to protect people’s health or consumers.
Stewart described DesJarlais’ event as “a lot of folks coming down from Washington, and, as I understand, it’s pretty partisan. “We’re not going to do that.”

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Democrats Bash GOP ‘Reforms’ in Education Legislation

Eight Democratic candidates for state House and Senate seats criticized recent education moves by the General Assembly at an education roundtable on Thursday hosted by the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and the Hamilton County Democratic Party.
More from the Chattanooga TFP report:
The candidates rallied against what they called the privatization of public education through Republican-favored charter schools, for-profit virtual schools and voucher programs.
Rep. Tommie Brown said many Republican education efforts were aimed at spreading conservative ideals, like the recently so-called “monkey bill,” which encouraged discussing the weaknesses of scientific theories like biological evolution in classrooms. Brown said many pieces of conservative legislation originated from right-wing think tanks that drafted boilerplate bills to be used across many states.
“Let’s not see it as an isolated thing,” she said.
Many candidates criticized recent education reform efforts, like changes to teacher tenure and the new teacher evaluation model that ties teacher performance to test scores. They encouraged better teacher pay and an end to or heightened accountability for virtual school programs that make a profit.
Sandy Smith, a retiring Hamilton County teacher vying for a seat in the House of Representatives, said many reform efforts were aimed at busting unions. She said those efforts would ultimately lead to broadened achievement gaps.

TNDP: Veterans Criticize Haslam Ending Veteran Hiring Preference

News release from Tennessee Democratic Party:
Governor Bill Haslam’s stealthy effort to eliminate veterans’ preference for state hires looks poised to hit a very public stumbling block — Tennessee veterans.
Haslam’s TEAM Act would eliminate civil service rules, such as veterans’ preference, that protect taxpayers from political patronage, a corrupted hiring system that centralizes authority and rewards friends and campaign donors with government jobs and contracts.
William Woolet, of Knoxville, served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War from 1945 to 1952 aboard the U.S.S. Princeton, an aircraft carrier. Woolet says it’s wrong to take away rights from veterans when so many young men and women are coming home without a job.
“Maybe Governor Haslam doesn’t understand that there just aren’t enough jobs out here right now,” Woolet said. “That means getting a job for a veteran is pretty a big deal. It doesn’t make me feel very good that he’d want to change veterans’ preference. These soldiers deserve better when they get back.
“And I can promise you this: If a veteran is qualified to do the work, you cannot find an employee who’ll do the work and get the job done better than a veteran,” Woolet said.
The unemployment rate for young men and women returning from Iraq and Afghanistan is upward of 30 percent, according to estimates. In a state with multiple military installations and more than 400,000 veterans, Haslam’s decision to eliminate veterans’ preference is making headlines.

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