Tag Archives: praise

ACLU, Animal Protection Groups Hail Haslam’s ‘Ag Gag’ Veto

The Humane Society of the United States, the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the American Civil Liberties Union promptly issued news releases to hail Gov. Bill Haslam’s veto of a bill requiring anyone making a photo or video of livestock abuse to turn it over to law enforcement authorities within 48 hours.
Here they are:
News release from Humane Society of the United States:
(May 13, 2013)¬†NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Gov. Bill Haslam vetoed the anti-whistleblower “ag-gag” bill, SB 1248/HB 1191, after hearing from thousands of Tennesseans urging the veto and a report deeming the bill constitutionally suspect by the Tennessee Attorney General.
Animal protection groups, First Amendment advocates and newspaper editorial boards across Tennessee opposed the bill, which would criminalize undercover investigations at agribusiness operations and stables. More than 300 Tennessee clergy also spoke out against the bill, as did several Tennessee celebrities, including Priscilla Presley, singers Carrie Underwood and Emmylou Harris, and Miss Tennessee USA 2013. The bill also received national criticism from talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, who invited Wayne Pacelle, the president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, on her show to discuss the issue.
Leighann McCollum, Tennessee state director for The HSUS, said: “We thank Gov. Haslam for listening to his constituents and honoring the Constitution by vetoing this recklessly irresponsible legislation that would criminalize the important work of cruelty whistleblowers. By vetoing this bill, the governor is supporting transparency in horse stables and our food system.”

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Obama: Other Republicans Should Be Like Bill Haslam

Shunning the partisan rancor surrounding the nation’s latest budget battle, President Barack Obama on Monday praised Tennessee’s top Republican as a model for a stubborn Congress, according to Chris Carroll.
Hosting the nation’s governors at the White House, Obama singled out Gov. Bill Haslam as a flexible leader House and Senate Republicans should imitate. The mention came right after the president slammed fiscal hawks for refusing to bend on $85 billion in across-the-board budget cuts scheduled to begin Friday.
Nine congressional Republicans call Tennessee home and consider Haslam an important political ally. But unlike them, Obama hinted, governors know “compromise is essential to getting things done.”
“That’s how Governor Haslam balanced his budget last year in Tennessee while still investing in key areas like education for Tennessee’s kids,” Obama said. “Like the rest of us, [he knows] we can’t just cut our way to prosperity. Cutting alone is not an economic policy.”
Called “sequestration,” the automatic cuts comprise part of a 2011 deficit reduction bill. They were designed as an incentive for Congress to find a reasonable path toward eliminating $1.5 trillion over the next decade. Lawmakers failed, and the sequester could trigger as early as Friday.
Haslam was unable to respond to Obama’s compliment as planned. He was scheduled to present the Republican reaction after the president’s speech, but a “family health situation” prematurely brought Haslam home to Tennessee, according to spokesman Dave Smith.
In a statement, Smith hinted the governor doesn’t mind how the president views him.
“The governor’s style is to build consensus, and he’s done that during his time in office” Smith said, mentioning the governor’s efforts on teacher tenure and civil service reform.
Democrats support a mixed approach to avoiding sequestration. Obama’s deficit reduction plan includes $1.5 trillion in spending cuts and new revenue from closing various tax loopholes.
Many Republicans have a two-word solution: Spending cuts.

Haslam Hands Out Check, Hails Fed Spending Program

Gov. Bill Haslam handed a $600,000 check to the mayor of Clarksville Thursday for construction of a “greenway” project, the latest of about 20 “enhancement grants” from federal funds distributed by the state.
While the oversized check said it was from the state Department of Transportation, Haslam credited the federal government.
“We like to beat up on Congress and say all the things they’re doing wrong, but every now and then, they get it right.”
Haslam says the federal program works because decisions on how to spend the money are made locally.
Through the enhancement grants, more than $270 million has been spent on non-traditional transportation projects in Tennessee. Many have been used to revitalize downtown areas or highlight historic attractions.

Breaking News: Republicans Praise Republican Budget

News release from House Republican Caucus:
(April 30, 2012, NASHVILLE) – On Monday night, the House of Representatives passed the Conference Committee majority report for the Fiscal Year 2012-13 budget by a vote of 64-28-1.
Speaker of the House Beth Harwell (R–Nashville) stated, “Tennesseans can be very proud of the fiscally responsible budget crafted this year. Unlike Washington, D.C. we balance our budget every year–a feat that does not come easily. In addition to these cuts, we were still able to provide more tax relief for Tennesseans than any year of my tenure, reduce the budget by two percent, and put $50 million away for a rainy day. Republicans understand that when a surplus of money comes in, we should return it to its rightful owners: the taxpayers.”
Majority Leader Gerald McCormick (R–Chattanooga) added, “Tennesseans elected us with the understanding that we would budget responsibly and limit the size of government. We trimmed the fat from the budget and made government more efficient while still funding priorities like education and health, keeping our promise to the voters.”
Republican Caucus Chairwoman Debra Maggart (R–Hendersonville) concluded, “Two years ago, this leadership was selected to downsize government, eliminate taxes, and pave the way for private sector job creation in Tennessee. With the passage of two balanced budgets, elimination of several taxes, and with our unemployment numbers lower than the national average, we have ushered in two years of unprecedented success.”

And this from Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey:
“Tonight the General Assembly passed a balanced budget which cuts spending, makes government smaller and provides tax relief to every Tennessean. Republicans have proved once again that it matters who governs.”

Haslam’s Climb to ‘Rhetorical Heights Seldom Seen’

My nomination for most resounding praise of Gov. Bill Haslam’s “state of the state” speech goes to Greg Johnson, News Sentinel columnist. An excerpt:
“{I)n his second State of the State, Haslam was obviously a man in his moment, clear on the condition of the state he finds the state and sure about the direction he wants to lead those who will follow. Yes, the technocrat was still evident.
But Haslam climbed rhetorical heights seldom seen in the usually mundane presentation of the state budget to a joint session of the Legislature.
“In the little over a year that I have been in office, I’ve been reminded time and again about the incredible state we live in and the inspiring people who call Tennessee home,” Haslam said. “I have hope for Tennessee because I have confidence in Tennesseans.”
These were not mere words. Rather, Haslam invoked a Reaganesque belief in the people, speaking, it seemed, from a place deep within him of a Volunteer Exceptionalism that trusts the people to find their own way and build their own lives.
…Haslam, with core conservative convictions clearly evident on Monday, knows it is the exceptional people that make Tennessee exceptional. Still, he called us higher. He closed, “As I stand before you this evening, I challenge all of us to believe in better.”