Tag Archives: Mae Beavers

Beavers selling Trump stuff for PAC profit

State Sen. Mae Beavers and her husband, Jerry, are selling homemade Donald Trump campaign materials with profits going to Beavers’ political action committee rather than the Republican party or the Trump campaign, reports The Tennessean.

Beavers, who served as a Trump delegate and chair of Tennessee delegation at the Republican National Convention, has a booth at the Wilson County fair this weekend as well as a storefront operation.

Interested buyers will be able to choose from a host of different options ranging from $15 hats and T-shirts to $3 buttons and $5 yard signs.

Although the material, which features Trump and vice presidential candidate Mike Pence’s name on it, may look official, it was actually printed by the Beaverses.

“My husband and I have purchased it,” she told The Tennessean, explaining that the couple spent $5,000 to print gear that includes camouflage, red, black or blue hats and black and blue T-shirts that go as large as 2XL.

On Friday, Beavers said the fact that she’s selling homemade Trump gear, which she said was all made in the United States, is not an unusual practice.

“Everybody’s doing this all over the state,” she said. Continue reading

Sen. Beavers to chair TN GOP delegation (Haslam didn’t run)

Sen. Mae Beavers was elected to chair the Tennessee delegation to the Republican National Convention at teleconference meeting of the delegates Thursday, becoming the first woman ever to hold the position. Beavers, an elected at-large delegate for Donald Trump from Mount Juliet, defeated Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro in the voting, according to a party spokesman. The “delegates only” meeting was closed to media.

Traditionally, governors have always served as chairmen of Tennessee delegations to national political conventions – both Democrats and Republicans. Gov. Bill Haslam, who chaired the delegation at the 2012 convention and who will go to Cleveland in July as a Marco Rubio delegate, did not seek the chairmanship, a position that has relatively few duties – other than announcing the state’s votes on the floor. Some delegates say an informal nose count indicated the governor would have lost to Beavers had he tried for the chair.

The delegates also elected Tennessee members to four standing convention committees, one man and one woman to each. Six of the eight seats will be held by Trump delegates; two by Rubio delegates; none by Ted Cruz delegates. Trump won 33 Tennessee delegates; Cruz 16 and Rubio nine.
The Credentials Committee, which decides contests over the seating of delegates, and the Rules Committee, which has rather broad powers, are the focal points for potential conflict. Have

Linda Buckles of Kingsport, who chairs the Tennessee Federation of Republican Women, and Chris Hughes, an executive committee member from Hendersonville, won the Credentials Committee slots. Buckles was appointed a Trump delegates; Hughes won his seat in the March 1 delegate elections.

The Rules Committee seats went to state party Vice Chair Betty Cannon of Nashville and John Ryder of Memphis, who is outgoing RNC national committeeman from Tennessee as well as RNC general counsel. Both were appointed to their positions by vote of the executive committee, though neither figured directly in charges from the Trump camp that the appointment process included efforts to “steal” delegates from the billionaire frontrunner. In fact, Trump himself sent a tweet afterwards declaring he was honored to have Ryder appointed to represent him.

Permanent Organization Committee members will be Beth Campbell, an executive committee member from Nashville who is a Rubio delegate, and Chad Blackburn, son of U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn and a Trump delegate. Elected to the Platform Committee were Trump delegate Connie Hunter of Brentwood and former Knoxville Mayor Victor Ashe, a Rubio delegate.

Note: Below is a release from the Tennessee Republican Party.
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Beavers seeks resurrection of ‘natural marriage’ act

News release from Sen. Mae Beavers
NASHVILLE, (February 29, 2016) — State Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) today reiterated support for legislation she is sponsoring in the Tennessee General Assembly to defend marriage as a union of a man and a woman as recognized by the people of Tennessee in the State Constitution. Beavers said the only constitutionally sound resolution of the Obergefell v. Hodges opinion would be for the legislature to ignore and nullify it on the basis of the Tenth Amendment alone, which is the aim of the bill called the Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act.

“Justice Antonin Scalia characterized the Obergefell ruling as ‘lacking even a thin veneer of law,” said Senator Beavers. “The U. S. Constitution specifically enumerates the powers of the federal government, including the judiciary. The Tenth Amendment precisely states that the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the states respectively or to the people. As the regulation of marriage is not a federally enumerated power, no branch of the federal government has the constitutional authority to interfere with the institution.”

Beavers said that the actions by Governor Bill Haslam and Attorney General Herbert Slatery recognizing same sex marriages as legal in the days following the Obergefell decision plunged Tennesseans into a moral and constitutional quagmire. “This was the equivalent to an illegal decree,” added Beavers. “Because the Tennessee Code can only be enacted by the General Assembly, the governor’s and attorney general’s actions were, in and of themselves, lacking even a thin veneer of law as Justice Scalia said.”
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TN legislators want to reduce auto emission testing

By Erik Schelzig, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee lawmakers are set to vote on loosening vehicle emissions testing requirements as soon as they return in January, undeterred by Volkswagen’s recent admission that it had been gaming the tests already in place.

The bill is the latest in a series of efforts by Republican lawmakers to dial back the state’s emissions testing program, which currently applies only in six of the state’s 95 counties.

It speaks to the lack of political will in much of the country, even in the aftermath of the Volkswagen scandal, to require the kind of rigorous testing that would catch widespread cheating by automakers. Experts say technology is capable of catching more violators, but with the cost of making repairs largely borne by vehicle owners, elected officials who already have an aversion to government regulation are wary of programs likely to impose new costs on their constituents.

In Tennessee and elsewhere, some still push for more lenient testing programs.
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Beavers-Pody bill voids same-sex marriage in TN

Legislation filed in General Assembly would declare “void and of no effect” within Tennessee the U.S. Supreme Court decision authorizing same-sex marriages. The announcement news release and a partial text of the bill follow.

News release from Sen. Mae Beavers
NASHVILLE, September 17, 2015– On Thursday, almost a thousand conservative Christians gathered at the Tennessee state capitol for a rally today that featured many Republican state legislators prepared to fight the Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage.

At the rally, State Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) and State Representative Mark Pody (R-Lebanon) announced legislation calling for Tennessee to defend current state law and the constitutional amendment adopted by voters in 2006 specifying that only a marriage between a man and a woman can be legally recognized in the state. The “Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act” rejects the Obergefell v. Hodges decision handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court in June giving same sex couples the fundamental right to marry and calls on the attorney general and reporter to defend any state or local government official from any lawsuit to the contrary.

House Bill 1412 / Senate Bill 1437 also aims to protect court clerks and ministers who have religious objections to marrying same sex couples from prosecution or civil action.

“This decision defies constitutional authority and is one of the most glaring examples of judicial activism in U.S. Supreme Court history,” said Representative Pody. “It not only tramples on state’s rights, but has paved the way for an all-out assault on the religious freedoms of Christians who disagree with it. This bill calls for Tennessee to stand against such unconstitutional action in hopes that other states will stand with us against an out-of-control court legislating from the bench.”

“Natural marriage between one man and one woman as recognized by the people of this state remains the law, regardless of any court decision to the contrary,” said Senator Beavers. “The Obergefell case is clearly and blatantly an overstep of the Supreme Court’s Authority and it is time that states, like Tennessee, stand up against the judicial tyranny of which Thomas Jefferson so eloquently warned. This legislation deems that any court decision purporting to strike down the state’s definitions of natural marriage, including Obergefell v. Hodges, is void in Tennessee.”

“Thomas Jefferson was quoted as saying, ‘Whenever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force,'” said Beavers.

Beavers’ and Pody’s legislation says, “No state or local agency or official shall give force or effect to any court order that has the effect of violating Tennessee’s laws protecting natural marriage.”

It also says, “No state or local agency or official shall levy upon the property or arrest the person of any government official or individual who does not comply with any unlawful court order regarding natural marriage within Tennessee.”

“Our clerks and Tennessee’s clergy need protection to exercise their religious beliefs,” added Beavers. “This law would help protect them from prosecution or civil actions.”

State Representative Andy Holt (R-Dresden) praised Beavers and Pody for their willingness to stand and fight.

“I’m so thankful to have Senator Beavers and Representative Pody fighting for the Tenth Amendment here in the State of Tennessee,” said Holt. “Together, we will be the voice of our constituents. Whether the Court likes it or not.”

Tennessee’s marriage protection amendment specifying that only a marriage between a man and woman can be legally recognized in the state was approved by 81 percent of voters.

The General Assembly will take up the bill upon convening the 2016 legislative session in January.

Note: The bill has a seven-page preamble of “whereas” clauses, followed by the following language:

(b) Natural marriage between one (1) man and one (1) woman as recognized by the people of Tennessee remains the law in Tennessee, regardless of any court decision to the contrary. Any court decision purporting to strike down natural marriage, including Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. ___ (2015), is unauthoritative, void, and of no effect.

(d) The attorney general and reporter shall defend any state or local government official from any lawsuit regarding the official’s recognition of natural marriage as defined by this section.

(e) No state or local agency or official shall give force or effect to any court order that has the effect of violating Tennessee’s laws protecting natural marriage.

(f) No state or local agency or official shall levy upon the property or arrest the person of any government official or individual who does not comply with any unlawful court order regarding natural marriage within Tennessee.

Beavers’ effectiveness debated (& her letter to challenger Boyd)

Clark Boyd, a former chairman of the Wilson County Republican Party, says he is challenging Sen. Mae Beavers, a 20-year veteran lawmaker, mainly because he believes she has lost her effectiveness, reports The Tennessean.

But the Mt. Juliet Republican takes exception… She points to a recent review by the nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation, which found her to be one of the state’s most effective — as well as conservative — members.

The controversies Beavers stirs up have come at the expense of constituent services, he says. Her ability to deliver on promises has been compromised as less senior lawmakers jump over her in the legislative hierarchy. Meanwhile, Republicans in the district have been divided into camps that favor Beavers or her rivals.

“I think she was the right person for the job 10 years ago,” said Boyd. “It’s like she got into self-promotion mode, and a lot of career politicians do that.”

…Beavers makes no apologies for such (controversial) measures. She says they spark debate, even if they don’t become law.

“I bring a bill, and I don’t count the votes,” she said. “I want the discussion.”

…But Boyd says such measures come at a price. Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey stripped Beavers of her chairmanship of the Judiciary Committee in 2013, and she also has lost her position as Senate Republican Caucus treasurer.

Those demotions demonstrate Beavers’ diminished stature, says Boyd. Businesspeople and Republican leaders in the district complain to him, he says, that Beavers can no longer deliver when they ask her for help.

“Occasionally conservatives do need their senator to do something for them,” he said. “And people are finding the senator is not very effective.”

Boyd has been endorsed by two lawmakers in the district: state Rep. Susan Lynn and U.S. Rep. Diane Black.

Note: Beavers recently wrote an open letter to Boyd, distributing copies to media. It’s below.
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Senate votes to allow open carrying of pistols without a permit

The state Senate approved a bill Tuesday that, would allow any Tennessean who is not legally barred from possessing a gun to openly carry a handgun on their persons, without a permit, as long as it can seen by others.

Further from the Commercial Appeal:

Current Tennessee law requires a handgun-carry permit to carry a gun either openly or concealed. Prerequisites for a Tennessee permit include training on firearm safety by a certified instructor, a criminal background check and a $115 fee. Senate Bill 2424, which passed on a 25-2 vote with virtually no debate, would remove the permit requirement — and thus its training mandate — for the “open carry” of a handgun in Tennessee and leave a permit and training requirement only for “concealed carry.”

But in either case, the carrier must be legally eligible to possess a gun, which excludes convicted felons who have not had their citizenship rights restored.

Open carry means the gun is carried in plain view of others, such as in a belt holster, on the streets and any place where guns are not specifically banned.

To become law, it must also win approval in the House of Representatives, where it is awaiting review in the House finance subcommittee.

The bill’s Senate sponsor, Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet, read from her bill’s prologue that the “right to keep and bear arms is protected” by the U.S. and Tennessee constitutions and that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in its 1943 Murdock v. Pennsylvania case that “no state shall convert a liberty into a privilege, license it and attach a fee to it.

“Requiring Tennesseans to pay for and obtain a permit to publicly carry a handgun in all forms, including openly and while in a motor vehicle – current Tennessee law — converts the right to carry a handgun into a privilege,” she said.

Note: The House companion bill is in the House Finance Subcommittee, where it is being held until the panel’s ‘last calendar’ of the 2014 session — an indication that it’s not likely to pass.

Beavers gun bills shot down by Senate Judiciary Committee

A Senate committee has killed legislation declaring federal firearms laws cannot be enforced in Tennessee and that anyone trying to do so would be committing a misdemeanor crime.

The bill by Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mount Juliet, was drafted as an expansion of the “Tennessee Firearms Freedom Act,” enacted in 2009 to declare that any gun manufactured in Tennessee and remaining in Tennessee is exempt from federal firearms laws. A similar law in Montana has been declared invalid in a federal appeals court.

Beavers’ expansion bill (SB1607), meanwhile, had been deemed unconstitutional by a state attorney general’s opinion, though she told the Senate Judiciary Committee that there are strong legal arguments otherwise.

“I don’t believe with the Second Amendment in place that the federal government can put any restrictions on our firearms,” she said. “I feel we are well within our rights in passing this legislation.

Committee Chairman Brian Kelsey,, R-Germantown, disagreed, noting the bill declares “that the federal law cannot be enforced in any way, shape or form” and that runs contrary to court rulings nd the attorney general’s opinion.

The bill still got three yes votes – two short of the number needed for passage. Four senators voted no and one abstained.

Also killed by the committee was a Beavers’ bill (SB1733) that would prohibit an employer from firing an employee who holds a handgun carry permit because of a gun kept in a locked car, even if the employer prohibits weapons on company property. That bill, too, got just three yes votes.

The yes votes, in both cases, came from Republican Sens. Stacey Campfield of Knoxville, Mike Bell of Riceville an Mark Green of Clarksville.

Elected attorney general proposal fails again in Senate

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A proposed constitutional amendment calling for the popular election of the state’s attorney general has failed again in the Senate.

The measure sponsored by Republican Sen. Mae Beavers of Mt. Juliet was defeated 16-15 on Thursday after failing to get a majority of 17 votes. It failed to pass 15-14 last month.

Under the state’s constitution, the attorney general is appointed to an eight-year term by the state Supreme Court.

Senate Majority Leader Jim Kyle was the only Democrat to vote for the measure on Thursday.

Kyle has said the popular election of the attorney general could present the best opportunity for a Democrat to run a competitive statewide race. The only current positions elected by the entire state are the governor and the Tennessee’s two U.S. senators.

Under Senate rules, Beavers cannot bring the measure up again.

AG says two Beavers gun bills are unconstitutional

State Attorney General Bob Cooper says two pending bills that would declare federal gun laws void in Tennessee are unconstitutional.

In separate opinions, both requested by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Brian Kelsey, Cooper addressed two bills, both sponsored by Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mount Juliet, and Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, R-Lancaster. They are SB1756 (opinion HERE) and SB1607 (opinion HERE).

The opinions note that similar legislation has been declared in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause by previous attorney general opinions.
The new opinions use identical language in stating that the bills, though differing in some respects, “intended to create an actual conflict with federal law such that compliance with both state and federal regulations would be a physical impossibility.”

“For the reasons set forth in our prior opinion, such action would be inconsistent with and impermissible under the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution,” says one opinion.