REPORT: Tennessee Gets An “F” In School Funding

This post was first seen on the Tennessee Education Report. For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport

That’s the grade Tennessee gets from the Education Law Center’s latest report on school funding in the United States. To be clear, Tennessee earned an F in both funding level and funding effort. We earned a C in distribution of the paltry sum our state dedicates to schools.

Here’s how Education Law Center defines those terms:

  • Funding Level – the cost-adjusted, per-pupil revenue from state and local sources
  • Funding Distribution – the extent to which additional funds are distributed to school districts with high levels of student poverty
  • Funding Effort – the level of investment in K-12 public education as a percentage of state wealth (GDP) allocated to maintain and support the state school system

The report notes that Tennessee is 43rd in the nation in overall funding level and 47th in effort. The effort category is of particular interest because it indicates that Tennessee has significant room for improvement in terms of funding level. That is, there are untapped resources Tennessee is NOT using to fund schools.

Shorter: Funding schools is NOT a key policy priority in Tennessee.

Additional evidence for this can be found in graphics shared by Think Tennessee earlier this year:

Tennessee is (and has been) at or near the bottom in school funding and even in funding effort. That’s not changing. Instead, Governor Lee and his policy acolytes are diverting education dollars to voucher schemes and charter schools.

For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport

TN HEALTH CRISIS: Gov. Lee’s Finance Commish Answers Medicaid Expansion Questions (Very Poorly)

There’s been a lot going on, so it has taken us a bit to get to this, but a few weeks back The Tennessean had Governor Bill Lee’s finance commissioner Stuart Mcwhorter on their podcast to answer questions about the Rural Health Care “Task Force” they’ve assembled to try to address the nightmare that is rural health in Tennessee, where we’re #1 in MEDICAL BANKRUPTCIES and RURAL HOSPITAL CLOSURES PER CAPITA, at the bottom in infant and maternal mortality and opioid deaths, the list goes on.

Just last week we learned in 2017 alone there were 52 mothers who died preventably from lack of Tenncare, making it clear not expanding Medicaid is nothing short of policy murder.

Natalie Allison of The Tennessean asked Mcwhorter the questions. Understandably, The Tennessean had quite a few of them considering reporters were kept out of the closed-door task force meetings.

Below are some excerpts. You can listen to the whole interview HERE.

We’ll pick it up where Natalie asks Mcwhorter a very straightforward question:

NATALIE ALLISON: So obviously rural hospital closures is something we’ve heard a lot about from people who live in those areas who are concerned with that. The other thing is what you just mentioned – the number of uninsured people in the state. So what kind of feedback were you guys hearing on how the state can address that?

MCWHORTER: It’s the #1 question we got. And I think in light of the fact that we have a number of uninsured Tennesseans, you want to understand what the causes of those things are. Some of it is a lack of workforce opportunities. We were really making sure we were bringing that discussion into the fold, around economic development incentives for companies to relocate to rural parts of the state.

Notice that Mcwhorter immediately takes the question of stopping rural hospital closures and getting people insured to employment- anything to steer the conversation away from government-based solutions and towards “free market capitalism”, but even that is a bogus premise since Mcwhorter is already talking about how the government can encourage it through tax incentives (and what he would later refer to as “seed funding”).

TRANSLATION: They don’t mind government intervention as long as that intervention goes to corporations, rather than directly to us

This answer is also problematic for another reason: PEOPLE ARE HURTING NOW.

Again, we just found out over 50 mothers DIED from not having expanded Medicaid in 2017 alone. So while Lee & Mcwhorter assemble their “task force” and talk vaguely about economic incentives, 1 mother is dying unnecessarily each week.

This is nothing short of POLICY MURDER.

Another point: Mcwhorter is heralding employer-based insurance as the solution because they want to keep us reliant on our employers for insurance, because when we’re reliant on them, we’re compliant. Take GM canceling the insurance of striking UAW workers, for example.

As long as we depend on them for our health care, they know it will be much harder for workers to push back against our corporate overlords.

Mcwhorter continues:

MCWHORTER: If you aren’t employed and don’t have the skills, we tie in a lot of what we’re discussing with the governor’s initiatives around vocational education and focusing on some of the trades and technical education. But it starts even before that. You start really getting into some of the – I go back to the social determinants…

This is where it starts to get weird.

MCWHORTER: …if you can’t get a child immunizations, or early childhood reading, or things you really want to focus on when a child is born in the state, those things continue to compound over time, and won’t allow people to either get a job or get out of their circumstances. So we really try to get to the root causes of some of these issues.

As a reminder, the question is: How do we stop hospitals from closing and get people insured so they can see doctors.

Think about how far afield we’ve gone here. To address a question about hospitals closing NOW and people being uninsured NOW, Mcwhorter is talking about children being vaccinated and learning how to read, and how that may lead to them not having insurance as adults – because it makes them less employable.

Again, a mother is dying every week. This obvious deflection is not helping them NOW.

Stuart goes on:

MCWHORTER: And if they’re employed, hopefully they have access to their employer’s insurance. If they’re not employed, what can we be doing to train and educate so they can get employed.

They don’t want us reliant on government, but boy do they ever want us begging our bosses for our lives.

Also, a key word here was “hopefully”. We have a five-alarm health care fire in Tennessee, where again we’re #1 in MEDICAL BANKRUPTCIES and RURAL HOSPITAL CLOSURES PER CAPITA, and Bill Lee’s health care task force mouthpiece is saying “hopefully” if we address some of these issues today’s kids may get employer-based health insurance in 25 years or so.

It gets worse.

Mcwhorter then goes on to blame mental illness for why some people don’t have insurance.

Yes, seriously:

MCWHORTER: And if you’re still up against other issues that prevent that (meaning getting a job) – and a lot of it is mental. We’re all aware of what’s going on around the state with that. We’re trying to address the mental disorders, the opioid crisis, all the things that contribute to that as well.

Aside from the obviously insulting implication that the hundreds of thousands of low-income folks who are falling into the Medicaid gap are either mentally ill or addicted to opioids, there’s a glaring flaw in what Mcwhorter is saying here: Studies have found Medicaid expansion is critical for fighting the opioid crisis.

There’s a reason opioid deaths are going up in our state while they go down in the states around us – it’s because we didn’t expand Medicaid.

We’ve rejected $7 BILLION and counting. You think that wouldn’t help us deal with the opioid crisis and other issues? Of Course it would. That’s not politics, it’s math.

Natalie Allison then speaks again for the first time since asking the original question, and asks Mcwhorter directly about Medicaid expansion (thank you Natalie):

NATALIE ALLISON: There are people who for years have been saying EXPAND MEDICAID, EXPAND MEDICAID. I have a feeling that’s not going to be the strategy you all are gonna be recommending to the governor as part of this task force, since he’s made it clear that’s not something he’s going to do. Is that safe to say?

MCWHORTER: I think it’s safe to say. A couple things. One is – he said that. The way I interpret that is this is a long-term plan with a long-term solution we need to look at. It’s a heavy lift. It’s a lot of hard work. It’s easy to look at something that’s immediate – i.e. Medicaid Expansion – but I think there’s a deeper issue here that we really want to look at.

(Did we mention one mother is dying each week that didn’t have to die while Mcwhorter and Lee “look at” deeper issues with their “task force”?)

MCWHORTER: Now I say all that to say, the legislature did pass a law around the Block Grant. If we don’t negotiate something, that goes away. Does Medicaid Expansion come back? I don’t think it comes back just in the context of Medicaid Expansion. But I think the same principles that are around Medicaid Expansion… I mean the goal around Medicaid Expansion is to provide access, coverage to more people. That’s what our goal is. We’re trying to do the same thing, it’s just getting there is going to be a little different.

Why? You’re literally saying Medicaid expansion does the things you want to do. The tool is sitting there. Why not use it?

Politics, that’s why. Plain and simple. Also, it’s worth noting that the Block Grant Mcwhorter is talking about is A) Illegal probably, and B) DEEPLY unpopular. Nearly 1800 people spoke up about it at the public hearings last month, and a whopping NINE were in favor of it.

Back to the conversation – Natalie Allison picked up on Mcwhorter seeming to say Medicaid Expansion’s principles are what they want to accomplish, so she presses him on it:

NATALIE ALLISON: So you just said something really interesting – you said you might take the principles of Medicaid Expansion and apply that to whatever other solution you all would use as your Plan B. Can you talk a little bit more about that? And clarify whether Medicaid Expansion would be totally off the table for your recommendations?

MCWHORTER: I guess what I’m saying with the principle applies is the ultimate outcomes. The goal of
Medicaid Expansion is to provide more access – more insurance to more people – the Governor doesn’t disagree with that. We also have to be fiscally responsible. And so we have to look at the right balance.

“Fiscally responsible”? Is rejecting $7 Billion that would help our state “Fiscally responsible”? Who is that helping?

They love talking about running the state “like a business” – what boss wouldn’t be fired for rejecting an injection of $7 Billion?

If what Mcwhorter means is the state would’ve had to match 10% of the expansion dollars – our state’s own hospitals said they would COVER THE DIFFERENCE because they need the funds so badly, and wanted to stem the tide of hospital closures.

No, Governor. Rejecting Medicaid Expansion is the opposite of “fiscally responsible”. It’s both fiscally and morally irresponsible.

Our state is suffering. Our mothers are dying. There’s a reason our last Republican governor Haslam called not expanding Medicaid one of his biggest regrets.

Meanwhile Governor Lee and this Republican Supermajority, who we’ve just learned have been sitting on $730,000,000 in TANF block grant funds intended to help poor people, now want to get their hands on billions in Medicaid block grant dollars intended for poor people’s health care.

Downright terrifying.

After 5+ years of blocking Medicaid Expansion, you’d think they’d have better answers than this.

Employer-based coverage is sometimes adequate — IF it’s offered. Tennessee leads the nation in minimum wage jobs. Those workers should be able to go to the doctor too.

The 78 Year-Old Woman Arrested for Growing Marijuana

“I was 78 and got arrested for growing marijuana.”

Flo Matheson ran against Cameron Sexton and Diane Black, but was arrested for growing marijuana because someone “snitched”.

It’s time to move forward on medical marijuana to give addicts, veterans and more another way to treat their pain. “GET HONEST” – Flo to Rep. Kumar, who stands in the way.

After 188 Days of Protest, KINGSPORT TN Citizens Fight Anti-Free Speech Ordinance

Kingsport has protested the gutting of their hospital by a shady state-sanctioned monopoly Ballad Health for 188 DAYS. The city just passed an ordinance directed at them, and even threatened to charge their leader with “Felony Vandalism” for damage to the grass.
Watch the VIDEO from their heated meeting last night below, and holler at the mayor Patrick Shull and the city officials like Vice Mayor Colette George HERE.

Here’s the back story, from Daily Kos.
‪And here’s Ballad CEO ALAN LEVINE on 60 Minutes defending HMA pressuring doctors to admit people to the hospital unnecessarily FOR PROFIT. (AKA “MEDICARE FRAUD”)‬

Spoiler: Levine was lying. HMA ended up paying $260 MILLION in fines for DEFRAUDING the government.

‪Hey when nobody goes to jail, it’s worth it right? Now he’s in Kingsport sharing his *expertise* with them.‬

OPINION: INDYA KINCANNON SHOWS UP (Knoxville Mayor’s Race)

Indya Kincannon shows up, and when the votes are counted on November 5 it will be clear that voters showed up for her as a result of her accessibility and overwhelming qualifications for the job of Knoxville Mayor.

Indya Kincannon shows up to listen. It’s hard to recall a public meeting, forum, or event where the tenacious and hardworking Kincannon hasn’t been present, listening to the concerns of voters and soliciting feedback about the issues they face and the ways they feel local government can improve. In order to speak directly to area residents, Indya has personally spent countless hours knocking on doors and making phone calls, rather than relying on paid canvassers to do it for her. She understands that often, the best ideas come from the people most impacted – and she genuinely wants to know where the pain points are and how to best streamline the City’s processes.

Indya Kincannon shows up to solve problems. While the mayor can’t solve every problem alone, Kincannon has often said that she would be the “convener-in-chief” – pulling together a coalition of area nonprofits, faith groups, and others to stretch the government’s limited resources and make Knoxville stronger, healthier, and more economically sound.

Indya Kincannon shows up to lead.She has the leadership experience to step into the City County Building on day one and get the job done. As Chair (for three years) and member of the Knox County Board of Education (10 total years), she helped lead a $450m organization with 8,000 employees. Comparatively, the City of Knoxville has an annual budget of $231m and 1600 employees. Additionally, she served the City of Knoxville as the Mayor’s Liaison and Special Programs Manager, and with the Arizona State Legislature as a Budget Analyst. She understands that government work requires a level of accountability and transparency far beyond what is needed in the business world, and she’s an effective communicator who welcomes that transparency.

Indya Kincannon shows up to build consensus.A natural collaborator, she also knows that in the public sector it is imperative to build consensus. Throughout her career, she has shown time and again that she has the ability to pull together groups with competing interests in order to accomplish goals. At no time was this more apparent than when she successfully lobbied to include protections for LGBTQ+ students in the Knox County Schools anti-bullying policies.

Indya Kincannon shows up to get things done.Quite simply, Indya Kincannon is a pragmatic progressive who gets things done. Her tenure with the Board of Education shows a laundry list of accomplishments: her stalwart support  of Project GRAD, the rollout of a new family-friendly school transfer policy, dramatic improvements in graduation rates at area high schools, the launch of Community Schools, and new educational programs like the Kelley Academy, Career Magnet Academy, and L&N STEM Academy. As Mayor, she’ll continue to connect people with the educational, training, and workforce development opportunities that will help them to become more successful members of the community. Kincannon knows that Knoxville’s people are its greatest value, and that when we invest in them we will win.

Indya Kincannon shows up to stand up. When the going gets tough, Indya stands up for what’s right – even if it isn’t the popular thing to do. As BOE Chair, she successfully fought against a plan to outsource school janitorial services. On the campaign trail, she hasn’t been afraid to tell people that something won’t work – but she’s always quick to explain why and provide alternative solutions. She’s the rare honest, transparent candidate who doesn’t make promises she knows she can’t keep.

Indya Kincannon shows up for all of us. Indya isn’t a rich philanthropist; she has been involved in the way we all can be involved – leading her neighborhood association, serving as PTA  President, coaching youth soccer and basketball. When she saw a need in her community, she jumped in to help however she could – whether that meant volunteering for a local nonprofit or running for school board. Indya has done the hands-on kind of work that it takes to make a difference from the ground up. She’s not beholden to special interests, and her priority is to make Knoxville work for all residents – not just the wealthy and connected.

On November 5, let’s show up for Indya Kincannon.It’s time to vote for the candidate with the qualifications, temperament, experience, leadership skills, and moral compass to lead Knoxville forward. It’s time to vote for Indya Kincannon.

Chyna Brackeen Is The President of Attack Monkey Productions

Meet Doug Meyer, Republican for Congress: Racist, Islamophobic “Proud Boy” Hungry for Civil War

It’s old news by now that Congressman Scott Desjarlais, who proclaims himself to be “a consistent supporter of pro-life values”, paid for 2 abortions and cheated on his wife with three coworkers, two patients and a drug rep- yet still keeps getting re-elected.

Would you believe us if we told you it appears Desjarlais is the moderate in his Republican Primary this time around?

Franklin County resident Doug Meyer has filed to run against Desjarlais in 2020 in the Republican primary, and spends much of his time making outlandish, violent, racist posts on Facebook. Allow us to show you a few lowlights…

Most of his vitriol is directed at Muslims. For instance, he’d like to shut down mosques:

Shares extremely unfunny posts about abused Muslim women:

Which he says is ok, because it’s important to “ridicule” “sandbox turds” so they get angry and expose themselves:

He believes Islam is a “parasite”:

And seems to be spoiling for a fight with Muslims:

He also thinks teachers are “Islam’s secret agents”:

And speaking of teachers, Doug and his wife homeschooled their kids because of the “mind-numbing bullshit” in our schools:

And he wanted to keep his kids away from the “moral destruction” that takes place there:

Something tells us he won’t be getting that TEA endorsement.

But Muslims and school aren’t his only targets. He wants to hang some or all members of congress… which would likely not make him the best co-worker were he to win:

He also has no love for “fake Republicans”:

He’s not a huge fan of Mitt Romney:

Or “communists”:

He also celebrates the death of indigenous people:

Thinks those shot in Gaza should be thankful they were only hobbled:

And then there’s whatever this is:

So it should be no wonder that he considers himself a “Proud Boy”, a far-right neo-fascist organization that admits only men as members and promotes political violence:

He truly seems to want war, apparently on behalf of Christianity – basically a new Christian Crusade:

And encourages Trump to cause that “Civil War”:

But while Doug seems to be cheerleading a Civil War outbreak, Doug generally believes we’re already at war:

He’s also a fervent supporter of D.A. Craig Northcott, the Islamophobic homophobic D.A. we exposed, who is STILL currently serving as the special prosecutor on the Glen Casada-Justin Jones case.

As Meyer expressed his support for Northcott, he also expressed his readinesss for violence. Another man on Facebook said a movement to “drive out” the “abomination” that is Islam needs to happen, “blood will have to be shed” and “laws will have to be broken”…

To which Meyer responds “you are precisely the sort of brave soul I would be proud to team with to do this thing”:

Doug’s vitriol for Islam is constant. He calls it a “death cult” on his official policy page (where he also says corruption should be punishable by death), and believes Trump is a genius for pulling out of Syria to allow Islam to implode on itself:

He regularly uses “DEUS VULT”, the rallying cry of the Christian Crusades, which killed between 1 and 9 millions people according to historians.

He’s also not a big fan of the idea of red flag laws:

Doug is really running. He has filed his paperwork to run as a Republican, and loaned his campaign over $3000:

The Tennessee delegation to congress is already full of questionable characters who encourage violence. Just this week Rep. Mark Green supported the idea of “Declaring War on Democrats”. 

But Doug Meyer appears to be a horse of a different color.

The question is this: Is the Tennessee Republican Party ok with him running on their ticket?

Feel free to HOLLER AT THEM HERE: (615) 269-4260 | info@tngop.org | On Twitter| On Facebook

And if you have anything to say to Doug Meyer, or Facebook for that matter, here’s his page.

And here’s his website.

His “Why I’m Running” Page says:

“Congress is broken. On the one side, The Democrats have become so aggressively and shamelessly anti-American that one can’t often tell them apart from Revolutionary Communists, and, increasingly, even terrorists. Worse yet, The Republicans are timid, directionless, weak and irresolute, and, therefore, in no moral position to counter The Left’s destructive foolishness. Career politicians on both sides have betrayed The Public Trust, and Institutionalized Corruption has destroyed Congress’ capacity for effective functional administration and oversight of Our Government. With scant few determined patriots in a position to protect her, Our Great Nation is being very intentionally and systematically injected with the poisonous doctrines and subversive agendas of weaponized political movements such as Liberalism, Globalism, Communism, and Islamic Jihad. But I believe that Our Republic is worth saving, that she is worth fighting for. Our hallowed dead demand that we stand in this the time of her greatest peril, and take Our Country back. It is time for a political revolution.

What Our American Founders fought and died to establish and protect, I will NEVER surrender.

I will not be bullied, I cannot be bought, and I fear none but God.

Please Pray for and Stand With Me.

God Save The Republic.”

VIDEO: JAMESTOWN TEENS DRESS AS KKK FOR HALLOWEEN

Do better, Jamestown!

INTERVIEW: The Woman Who WALKED OUT on the Homophobic Sevier County Commissioner

 “I just did what I felt I had to do as a human being.”

Our interview with Sara Thompson, the ONLY one to walk out on Sevier commissioner Warren Hurst’s homophobic, bigoted rant where he said there’s a “queer” running for president and white men are somehow losing their rights… while on a panel of all white men.

FULL INTERVIEW.

PODCAST.

 

 

 

TN GOP Rep. Smith Blames Rise in Youth Suicides on “Leftist Indoctrination”, Schools, Climate Science

There’s a lot going on right now, but we wanted to make sure to show you this remarkable post from TN GOP State Rep. Robin Smith (R-Chattanooga) in something called the Patriot Post, which was brought to our attention by former congressional candidate Chris Hale.

In the post Smith lays the rise in youth suicides at the feet of “leftist indoctrination” – apparently meaning schools, climate science, biology, and sex, coupled with her misguided sense of the Democratic platform as a whole.

Keep in mind, Smith was previously the chair of the Tennessee Republican Party, and recently ran for House caucus chair, so she’s not exactly a fringe player.

She starts out with a simple fact:

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data this past week that youth suicide rates increased 56% from 2007 to 2017 among 10- to 24-year-olds.”

Smith then notes that the author of the article says “researchers aren’t certain” what exactly the causes are… but who needs research? The causes are clear to Rep. Smith:

“The Wall Street Journal’s analysis of this report includes the statement that researchers aren’t certain of the cause, yet factors such as a “rise in depression, drug use, stress and access to firearms” along with the influence of social media are cited as areas of interest and study.

Access to firearms” is not all that different from 50 years ago, but let’s take an honest look at the cultural forces and influences on our youth and young adults today that may offer some real causation, not just correlation…”

Notice how Smith doesn’t like the “access to firearms part”, so she throws that out – claiming it hasn’t changed in 50 years, when there is absolutely no evidence that’s the case.

Proliferation of firearms in America has continued over the last 50 years, so it would stand to reason that access to firearms for teens would increase along with that. Calling something “an honest look” doesn’t make it so. But we digress.

Smith then talks about the detachment that results from phone and social media addiction before pointing the finger squarely at our schools for teaching about science in the form of climate change, biology, and sex:

“Once our kids are out the door, they’re headed to middle school, high school, or some type of instruction in a two-year college or four-year university. And what do our kids encounter in their day at these “institutions of higher learning”? Of late, the message has been that the Earth will cease to exist in less than 12 years because of climate change. Our kids are told that it’s their right to determine their own gender rather than live within the capacity of their biological being while maximizing their gifts and talents. Too many students hear that life is a wad of cells until a baby is outside the mother’s womb and wanted by both the biological donors — formerly called the mother and father.

Students of all ages hear that part of growing up is being sexually active, having access to abortion as a type of birth control and part of a female’s health care, and that choosing a life of discipline, maturity, and restraint is not possible — much less a characteristic of an individual living at the fullest extent of their “rights.”

Smith’s use of quotations around “institutions of higher learning” are reminiscent of the calls for the abolition of state-sponsored higher learning by Republican senators Kerry Roberts and Mark Pody. When asked, Roberts claimed he was joking – but it has become clearer and clearer that doing away with state-backed higher education is a popular policy position in the TN GOP.

It’s one thing not to believe in Climate science, but linking gender, climate, and not calling parents a mother and father (say what?) to youth suicide is quite the stretch.

Smith then says our schools are “populated with activists”, and points to Democratic policy proposals like health care, education, and higher wages (the horror!) as somehow causes of suicide because they make kids “wards of the state”:

“Our institutions entrusted with the high trust of academic instruction are populated with activists who are invested in more than educational excellence and accomplishment and are now turning to the playbook seen in failing cultures of sameness for the common good and a posture of dependency rather than self-reliance. Don’t believe this? With the demands for “free” college tuition, free health care, a universal wage for those who don’t even work and for the express doctrine of this sameness to guarantee no individual excels above another, the role of government metastasizes to a cancer that consumes its host to pay for those who don’t excel and aren’t driven to self-reliance. Shorter, we’re teaching kids to be wards of the State.”

So helping kids learn, see doctors, and earn more money makes them want to take their own lives. Or something. Hoo-wee.

To clarify: “Free” college tuition means we pay for it with our taxes and our kids go to school, as we already do with lower education.

“Free health care” again would mean we pay taxes, and we get what we pay for – as opposed to now where we pay taxes, and premiums, and deductibles… and many are still going broke and dying for lack of coverage, especially here in Tennessee.

And say what you will about a universal basic income proposal – which has gained little traction in the Democratic Party – but it’s worth noting Smith opposes the Democratic proposal for a “living wage”, which means raising the $7.25 an hour minimum to a number people can actually live on.

Tennessee is #1 in % of minimum wage jobs, so that would actually help a lot of people.

The upshot of all of this is that Robin Smith may disagree with things like climate science, and biology, and making sure everyone can see a doctor when they get sick, and higher education, and paying people for their work – but blaming people who support those things for youth suicides with ZERO evidence? That’s unconscionable and downright shameful.

If Smith was really as pro-life as she claims to be, she should reverse her position on not expanding medicaid, which we know is killing people, or blocking common sense gun safety reform, which is also contributing to the deaths of many.

Teen suicide is a serious issue. It’s not something to baselessly politicize for the sake of scoring cheap political points.

Holler at Rep. Smith HERE if you agree.

VIDEO: “We got a Queer Running For President.” – Sevier County Commissioner Warren Hurst

Below is video of Sevier County Commissioner Warren Hurst’s homophobic, bigoted outburst at their meeting Monday night. Only one person got up and left. The rest laughed.

Homophobia aside, it’s amazing that a white man sitting on a panel of white men can feel like white men are losing rights.

Hurst stood by his words afterwards, according to WLVT. Sevier County is where Dolly Parton hails from.

NEW: “We got a QUEER running for President… the white man has very few rights.”

Watch @SevierCounty Commissioner Warren Hurst’s homophobic, bigoted outburst Monday, telling folks to “wake up”.

Mayor’s office: 865-453-6136
Hurst: 865-453-8513

WVLT: https://t.co/GFwJLqehUf pic.twitter.com/bfXrAACfPh

— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) October 22, 2019