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Haslam: Not Joining ‘the Name-calling Deal’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam said Monday he will rise above name-calling after speakers at a tea party rally over the weekend called him weak on efforts to do away with teachers’ collective bargaining rights in Tennessee.
At the rally outside the Capitol on Saturday, the speakers likened Haslam to the late children’s television host Fred Rodgers and to former Republican Gov. Don Sundquist because he has taken a neutral stance on the collective bargaining proposal.
“You know, we’re going to be with people that are trying to fix problems, and I’m never going to be part of the name-calling deal,” Haslam told The Associated Press. “I don’t think that helps anybody.”
The Republican governor’s comments came after a ceremony at the state Capitol to swear in Jim Henry as commissioner of the new state Department of Intellectual Disabilities. Henry’s starting date had been delayed because he was undergoing cancer treatments.

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