“I haven’t read that report.” 🤔 Gov. Bill Lee plays dumb about Trump’s admission that he intentionally “downplayed” a virus that has killed 190,000 Americans, including ~2000 Tennesseans.
Our Governor’s weak, feckless response to COVID19 is costing lives. He can’t name a single expert that supports his decision to reopen schools. They don’t have the testing ability to follow CDC guidelines, yet Lee says they are “safely” reopening schools (“to the degree that it’s possible”). His administration has dragged its feet with regard to transparency throughout this crisis, and lab turnaround times are still severely lagging, putting more lives at risk.
And yet the special session called for the week of August 10th will be focusing on weakening worker protections within the context of COVID19 and further criminalizing the protesters who have been occupying the plaza outside the State Capitol. They will also be strategizing ways to expand telehealth, which is the one positive aspect of the upcoming special session.
Watch the videos below to see just where our Governor’s priorities lie:
WATCH: "Just to be clear, YOU DON'T HAVE AN EXPERT you can point to that says 'Now is the time to reopen?'"
Failure of Leadership. pic.twitter.com/ghv7HGT2qa
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) August 5, 2020
WATCH 👀 "Does your administration have a transparency problem?"@GovBillLee responds by saying that they've "moved toward transparency" (???) but want to respect privacy.
Privacy is important. But he has repeatedly not listened to experts on how to be effectively transparent. pic.twitter.com/7q1YVX3MHp
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) August 5, 2020
WATCH 👀 "We brought together members of law enforcement, TBI, sheriff's departments, etc to make reforms."@GovBillLee on how he's "addressing" police brutality in response to a question about why he wants to pass legislation that will further criminalize protesters @plaza_tn. pic.twitter.com/bPdDwmeZc7
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) August 5, 2020
.@NC5PhilWilliams: “If you don’t have the testing ability to follow CDC guidelines, how can you say you’re safely reopening schools?” @GovBillLee: “We follow the guidelines to the degree that it’s possible.” 🤔 pic.twitter.com/NUngt50iFI
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) August 6, 2020
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) August 6, 2020
Representative Mike Sparks of Smyrna can’t answer whether the Civil War was fought over slavery. This coming right on the heels of Sparks pleading with the Capitol Commission to keep the bust of the first Grand Wizard of the KKK in the Tennessee State Capitol.
Peak white supremacy.
Brandon Thomas is running against Sparks.
WATCH: “Was the civil war fought over slavery?”
REP. MIKE SPARKS: “I haven’t really studied it- we all need to study our history 🤔- there’s different context.”
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) July 9, 2020
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TN GOP DISHONORS BLACK TEEN’S MEMORY: Talk about hypocrisy… TN Republicans have ignored the sins of confederate generals & KKK GRAND WIZARDS & CHILD SEX ABUSERS, protecting their legacy with statues and holidays — yet they tried to to define a gay black 17 year-old girl who was shot to death -Ashanti Posey – by one unproven accusation, and refused to back a resolution honoring her on the house floor. Non-Facebook Link
Rep. Mike Stewart called it “the most astonishing vote I’ve ever seen”.
Rep. London Lamar: “That was one of the most immoral votes I’ve seen in my short time as a legislator.”
Senator Jeff Yarbro called it “INDECENT” on Channel 5.
Rep. Gloria Johnson: “If you think that they did this for any other reason [other than] because she is black and gay, you’re sadly mistaken. They are bigots.”
“THIS IS MY DAUGHTER! THIS IS A HUMAN BEING! NOT A DRUG DEALER!” Ashanti Posey’s mother Amber Posey showed up at the Capitol to show William Lamberth & the GOP the humanity behind the 17 year old girl they slandered and refused to honor. Non-Facebook Link
BLACK CAUCUS ASKS FOR “INCLUSION” (and gets called racist for it: “HOW MANY PEOPLE OF COLOR HAD INPUT THAT LANDED IN THE BUDGET?” – Rep. Parkinson & the black caucus ask for “INCLUSION” in TN’s budget, telling the 99% white TN GOP it “hurts” to be consistently ignored. Non-Facebook Link
Rep. Matthew Hill got triggered. Rep. Jeremy Faison called it racist to even ask, saying there’s “Nothing remotely racist” about the GOP caucus– so HERE’S A THREAD WE MADE OF THE GOP CAUCUS BEING SUPER RACIST, which comes from a list in a TENNESSEAN ARTICLE.
Faison is either blind, or a liar.
Worth remembering: WILLIAM LAMBERTH failed to mention he gets💰from private prisons that oppose marijuana reform. 🤔 We see you, William.
Here’s how they voted… “Present Not Voting” was as good as a “No”.
-Unlike Reps Hill & White who say they’d change their vote today, Rep. Brandon Ogles of FRANKLIN stands by his vote to help block the resolution honoring the death of 17yo Ashanti Posey… but is vague about why, other than following “his leader”. Such leadership! Non-Facebook Link
-IMAGES from the balcony, where protestors were arrested after Republicans rejected the resolution to honor Ashanti Posey.
-Speaking of racism and statues, in NEW MEXICO a video shows Trump supporter Steven Baca shooting an anti-racist protester, Scott Williams, over one.
-Intentionally antagonistic Tennessee Republicans are being very clear that they have no use for free speech or the concerns of black people. Believe them. (Also: We’d bet many of these troopers have smoked weed. #AshantiPosey )
-Some good news – Ohio police have issued a warrant for a Trump supporter who sucker-punched a protestor in Bethel, OHIO… Our CLIP of the incident was seen over 1 million times. Hopefully it helped.
-The State & The Feds dismiss the $25 Million medical fraud case against TN GOP Senator Steve Dickerson for an UNDISCLOSED SETTLEMENT”? 🤔🤔- must be nice to benefit from the inequality in our justice system. (His company was accused of DEFRAUDING HEALTH PROGRAMS for $25M using “liquid gold” urine tests.)
-“GOVERNOR LEE, tear down this bust.” Tennessee REPUBLICAN Jason Emert calls on Lee to do the right thing to help our state heal.
–WATCH: “LET US IN!” After 3 days of peaceful protest, the People are kept out of the People’s Plaza (and legislature) at the Nashville Capitol by Speaker Sexton & Governor Lee, who are attempting to make this a felony. Non-Facebook Link
“You took off your sheets and put on suits but we know who you are.” – Justin Jones — 21 were arrested.
-A black security guard was killed during protests in Oakland and many said he was killed by “looters” — but the suspect is a vet with ties to the Alt-right “Boogaloo“ folks, who actually killed 2 cops. Related: Still 0 “ANTIFA”-connected arrests.
-HOUSTON. ANOTHER black man found hanging. That’s 5 across the country in recent days.
-We also spoke with the lawyer for Sterling Higgins, who died in custody in UNION CITY 15 months ago. “Imagine if there was a #GeorgeFloyd grand jury and the prosecutor decided NOT TO SHOW THE VIDEO.” 🤔 — we’ve now seen video of Sterling being held by the neck for over 6 minutes. No charges were filed. PODCAST ON ITUNES.
–WATCH: TN SENATE REPUBLICANS KILL 4 AMENDMENTS TO HELP REGULAR FOLKS 🤬
-coverage for new moms
-Support for people with disabilities to live on their own
-$150M for schools about to lay off people
-cost of living adjustment EQUAL TO Gov. Bill Lee’s for EVERY state employee
-ICYMI — THE SUPREME COURT has ruled sexual orientation is protected under the Civil Rights Act. 🏳️🌈 (unfortunately many in Tennessee seem prepared to ignore it)
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REP. STEVE COHEN HAS ONE:
After voting with Republicans on a series of key issues including the Heartbeat Bill, LGBT rights, and School Vouchers, the Tennessee Democratic Party Executive Committee recently voted to remove Rep. John Deberry (D- Memphis) from the ballot as a Democrat.
It was a controversial decision, but one celebrated by many Democrats who felt that despite his lengthy service, if Deberry was going to consistently side with Republicans he was no longer worthy of having the “D” by his name on the ballot.
This was not the first time this had happened – Republicans had stripped the “R” from one of their own a few years back, and recently at the last minute to ensure Glen Casada didn’t have a primary in Williamson County, claiming her Republican “Bona Fides” weren’t strong enough,
(NOTE: They never even talked to her. We did. She is plenty conservative and had voted for many Republicans.)
Because of the timing of the decision, Deberry would not have time to file to run as an independent.
Now, Senator Ferrell Haile and Rep. Tom Leatherwood, both Republicans, have a bill that seeks to change that.
The bill would extend the deadline to file as an independent for Republicans and Democrats alike if the parties decide to strip the letter from an incumbent.
We caught up with Senator Haile yesterday. He made it clear the bill would be retroactive – meaning it WOULD enable Deberry to run as an independent in the upcoming election – and was forthcoming about the fact that that was exactly the bill’s intent: To help his “personal friend” Rep. Deberry.
This is how our conversation went:
HOLLER: We heard a rumor you have a bill to extend the deadline to allow Rep. Deberry to run as an independent. Is there any truth to that?
SENATOR HAILE: “Well it’s not just Rep. Deberry. This would apply both to Democrat & Republican parties. That if they disallow someone who’s an incumbent after the filing deadline, this would allow the individual to file as an independent to run.”
HOLLER: And is it retroactive? Would it apply to Rep. Deberry?
SENATOR HAILE: “It would. 2020 going forward.”
HOLLER: Is it only for incumbents?
SENATOR HAILE: “That’s the way it’s written right now. If they don’t want him to run as their party, fine… but give that person a chance to get on the ballot.”
HOLLER: Recently in Williamson County a Republican filed to run against Ex-Speaker Casada and was kicked off the ballot because of her “Republican Bona Fides”, so this has happened before…
SENATOR HAILE: “If I’m not mistaken the timing on that was before the filing deadline.”
HOLLER: It was like the day before.
SENATOR HAILE: “Right, so she could’ve gone out and gotten 25 signatures.”
HOLLER: I guess what I’m saying is this seems to be mainly relevant to this Deberry situation.
SENATOR HAILE: “John Deberry is a personal friend of mine. And I just don’t like to see personal friends treated wrongly. And there’s an opportunity to give him an opportunity to be on the ballot. If he gets defeated, fine… but lets give the man an opportunity.”
HOLLER: So it’s fair to say this is about the Deberry situation then?
SENATOR HAILE: It’s about this, and going forward.
Tom Leatherwood (R-Arlington) out of Shelby County will be carrying it in the house.
Bill Freeman is the owner of FW Publishing, the publishing company that produces the Nashville Scene, Nfocus, Nashville Post and Home Page Media Group in Williamson County.
Sen. Joey Hensley, MD Should Be Replaced Following News of his Unethical Behavior
(NASHVILLE, Tennessee) – As the season to elect the next representatives for the 112th Tennessee General Assembly is beginning, it is important to remind voters of the pressing importance that our elected officials represent our values and exhibit the ethics necessary to serve as a member of our state legislature.
Tennessee Senate District 28 is shamefully represented by Joey Hensley, MD, who has been publicly found to be lacking in the morality and decency expected of an elected official.
He was brought before a hearing of the state medical board due to factually-based allegations that he had provided medical treatment and controlled substances to immediate family members. Even worse, it was stated that he had engaged in a sexual affair with his then-nurse while also serving as her physician and prescribing her controlled substances. The board found that there was significant merit to these factual allegations to warrant a full hearing to constitute disciplinary action on the part of the board. The full hearing, according to public record, was scheduled for September 18, 2019.
However, no information is yet available in his license information as regulated by the state licensure verification. In this system, they give their full endorsement. There are no actions reported by a state regulatory board. There are no disciplinary actions taken by a hospital. There are no criminal offenses listed, and he still holds privileges at St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville and is licensed to accept BlueCare.
How can a medical professional be found responsible for these gross ethical violations yet have no public information to inform his patients and, equally as importantly, to inform the residents he was elected to represent?
What are the findings of the full hearing? The information publicly investigated by multiple media outlets certainly documented enough salacious information to fuel the plot of a soap opera for months.
When the facts were made public of Hensley’s multiple failed marriages, his participation in extramarital affairs and his grossly improper medical care to immediate family members, to employees and to his then-married second cousin with whom he had a sexual affair while in his employ, you would think that public outrage would have resulted in an immediate censure, licensure revocation or other appropriate action by the state regulatory boards or by the General Assembly.
But nothing has occurred at all.
What will it take for a radically conservative politician in the state of Tennessee to be removed from office? We have found that employing cocaine addicts bragging about sexual conquests while in session and in government offices isn’t enough. It isn’t enough to have compelling testimony and public witness of your sexual predatory behavior toward teenage girls while their high school basketball coach. Is it enough to prescribe opiates to your married second cousin who’s both your nurse and your sexual affair partner? She testified in court that they even had sexual intercourse at his medical practice in Hohenwald. How can this get any seedier? Were these encounters during business hours? Were patients in the waiting room or already called back to see the doctor that day?
These grossly inappropriate actions have brought public embarrassment to the state of Tennessee, and they must be particularly embarrassing to the residents of Senate District 28, which includes the six counties of Giles, Lawrence, Lewis, Maury, Perry and Wayne Counties.
We need to know the findings and disciplinary actions of the state medical board from their full hearing. It is unconscionable that a medical doctor can be found responsible for these actions and be unaffected. Even worse, it is downright unfathomable that an elected representative— particularly one who is doggedly championing radically conservative causes to the point of bringing national attention and embarrassment from his proposed legislation—to be still in office.
Is there is anyone in the entire six-county region that elected Hensley to office who might consider throwing his or her hat in the ring?
The time is now. The filing deadline is April 2, 2020. And to those voters in this district, please consider these serious and concerning allegations. It isn’t right that Hensley is representing you. He’s never won a landslide election, and they’ve all taken place before these facts have become public.
It’s time to do the right thing. I am certain that there are plenty of upstanding leaders in Pulaski, Linden, Columbia, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg, Hohenwald, Waynesboro and every part in between who are willing to serve this fine region. All of Tennessee should call upon this district’s business leaders, community servants and everyday citizens to protest his blackened record and replace state Senator Joey Hensley.
ABOUT BILL FREEMAN
Bill Freeman is a Democratic Party fundraiser, the former treasurer of the Tennessee Democratic Party, a member of the Metro Nashville Airport Authority, a member of the Board of Trustees for Tennessee State University and was appointed to serve on the advisory board of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He also serves as chairman of Freeman Webb Inc., a real estate investment, management and brokerage company based in Nashville, which he co-founded in 1979. He is also the owner of FW Publishing, the publishing company that produces the Nashville Post, the Nashville Scene, Nfocus and Home Page Media Group in Williamson County.
Gov. Bill Lee’s public school-harming vouchers barely passed thru “sketchy” “bribes & threats” after disgraced former speaker Glen Casada held the board open for 35 minutes — until Rep. Jason Zachary finally flipped his vote and pushed through a program that will ONLY effect Nashville & Memphis, whose reps voted AGAINST it. (Zachary’s math was way off, but we digress)
The FBI supposedly opened an inquiry.
There’s a $4 Million Slush fund that seems to have been used to bribe rural reps for their votes, but nobody wants to talk about it.
Lawsuits have begun.
Today, I announced that the Metro Government, including our Board of Public Education, has filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the State of Tennessee’s controversial 2019 school voucher law.
— Mayor John Cooper (@JohnCooper4Nash) February 6, 2020
Now it seems the Tennessee Department of Education “robbed” a teacher bonus program to fund a no-bid $2.5 MILLION Class Wallet contract to implement the program that far exceeds what the allocation was… without the comptroller even reviewing it “for merit.
A mess. The mess is so bad even TN GOP House Caucus chair Jeremy Faison regrets his vote, and Appropriations Committee Chair Matthew Hill wants answers. He voted for the bill also.
Meanwhile Governor Lee blames everyone but himself, as he always does.
Watch what he does, not what he says.
Democratic legislators Rep. Gloria Johnson & State Senator Sara Kyle had a bill last session to bring paid family leave to all Tennesseans, but were LAUGHED OUT OF COMMITTEE by Republican reps Rep. John Holsclaw Jr. & Rep. Clark Boyd.
Now Governor Lee has announced he’ll be extending it to all state employees, although he did NOT have paid leave for employees at his own company.
WATCH Gloria Johnson say all employees should enjoy paid leave, which is required by almost every other country in the world.
WATCH: “I’m really excited @GovBillLee took a part of that plan… but EVERY hardworking Tennessean should have access to paid family leave.” @VoteGloriaJ & @SaraforTN tried to extend paid family leave to ALL of TN, were laughed out of committee by @HolsclawRep & @ClarkBoydTN. pic.twitter.com/xvbCELz00j
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) January 9, 2020