Woody Degan, who is challenging Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris in the Aug. 2 Republican primary, says the Department of Economic Development has hired a woman to make the department compliant with Sharia law.
Not so, says Politifact Tennessee.
Here’s the Degan quote:
“They’re making our Economic Development department Sharia compliant. They hired Samar Ali, who came directly from the Obama administration, who specializes in Sharia compliance. That’s what her job is.”
Ruling on the truth of that statement: “Pants on Fire.”
State Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville is facing an opponent for his state legislative seat from within his own Republican Party for the first time ever, reports Richard Locker. Woody Degan, 48, who operates a private airfield in Fayette County and produces charitable and musical events, said he’s in the race because he was encouraged to run by a coalition of tea party groups.
Degan is specifically upset about Norris’ sponsorship of a bill Degan says essentially allowed water polluters to buy their way out of liability by paying into a conservation mitigation fund. The bill failed but Degan says the issue grew out of a fight he waged with the state over flooding of his airport in 2011 from construction of the mammoth intermodal rail yard nearby.
While in Nashville fighting that bill, Degan said he met conservatives who were asking lawmakers to pass resolutions opposing “Agenda 21,” the nonbinding 1992 United Nations program for sustainable development that opponents argue infringes on property rights.
Norris, 57, a Memphis lawyer who lives on a farm north of Collierville, was elected to the state Senate in 2000 after six years in the Shelby County Commission. He faced no opposition, in either the Republican primary or the general election, that year and has faced only one opponent, a Democrat in 2004, in his two re-elections. He has been Republican majority leader for the last six years.
Degan said Norris would not see him when he visited Nashville.”I’ve been on the wrong end of one of these political deals and I’ve understood that being a public servant is about sitting on the other side of the desk and listening to a man or a woman or a group with a problem.,” Degan said.
As Republican leader, Norris handles Gov. Bill Haslam’s legislative agenda in the Senate, which included last year’s sweeping changes in civil liability law that, among other things, placed caps on noneconomic damages in liability lawsuits.