Tag Archives: desk

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.”

It’s Summertime & Not Thinking Straight Gets a Lot of Attention

With the Legislature out of session and our sitting governor being a generally dull fellow insofar as generating controversy for Tennessee political junkies, interest has turned this summer to such weighty matters as:
_Rep. Julia Hurley, R-Lenoir City, has acknowledged carving her initials, JCH, on a desk in the House chamber during the early morning hours of the last day of the legislative session, triggering amazing array of commentary by bloggers around the nation.
“I wasn’t thinking straight,” she said.
From Time.com to Wonkette.com, most of the postings were less than complimentary of the lady lawmaker who once was a waitress at a Hooters restaurant and wrote an article about her experiences.

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Harwell: Rep. Hurley Will Pay to Restore Defaced Desk

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A freshman Tennessee lawmaker who admits carving her initials into her desk in the state House chamber is going to have to pay to fix it.
House Speaker Beth Harwell said Tuesday that Rep. Julia Hurley’s initials will be removed at the fellow Republican lawmaker’s expense.
“In the excitement of being a freshman at the end of session, Representative Hurley etched her initials into her desk,” said Harwell, a Nashville Republican.
“As with any state property, we will take action to have the desk restored and I’m sure Representative Hurley will be more than happy to compensate the state to make the repairs.”
The desk carving was first reported by WSMV-TV. Hurley on Monday confirmed to the Knoxville News Sentinel that she made the etching into the desk during a late-night floor session in May.
“It was like 1 in the morning on the last day of the session,” Hurley told the paper. “I wasn’t thinking straight.”
Hurley, 29, of Lenoir City, said she doesn’t remember what she used to cut her initials into the desk.
“To ask me details about what happened three months ago, I couldn’t tell you,” Hurley said. “I don’t understand why it’s news, and I don’t want to talk about the desk.”
Hurley beat a Democratic incumbent last fall to win her seat representing all of Roane County and part of Loudon County.
Hurley drew national attention in February for crediting her success in politics and business to the time she spent working at Hooters restaurants in a two-page story for the chain’s magazine.
She said in the article that her Hooters career taught her how overcome obstacles on her way to the state Capitol. “If I could make it at Hooters, I could make it anywhere,” she wrote.
Hurley in March wrote a letter to Col. Tracy Trott, the commander of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, to apologize for how she treated a state trooper who pulled her over for speeding.
“I was pulled over for speeding, and in my frustration, behaved in a way I should not have,” she said in the letter.

Rep. Hurley Acknowledges Carving Initials on House Floor Desk

From Bob Fowler in the News Sentinel:
Yes, she carved her initials in her desk on the floor of the state House, state Rep. Julia Hurley, R-Lenoir City, confirmed today.
“It was like 1 in the morning on the last day of the session,” Hurley said of that late-night session in May. “I wasn’t thinking straight.”
Hurley was responding to a recent report on a Nashville television station about the incident. The station reported several other desks also have marks on them, ranging from initials to a dollar sign.
Hurley, 29, said she doesn’t remember what she used to carve her initials — J.C.H. — on the desk as she and other representatives waited on the state senate to adjourn.
“To ask me details about what happened three months ago, I couldn’t tell you,” the first-term lawmaker said. “I don’t understand why it’s news, and I don’t want to talk about the desk.”