Video of today’s press conference where Rep. Mike Stewart, and Reps Jason Hodges & Darren Jernigan, along with TNDP chair Mary Mancini, gathered to call for Glen Casada to immediately resign.
We previously revealed that Coffee County District Attorney Craig Northcott, special prosecutor on the Glen Casada-Justin Jones case, made deeply Islamophobic Facebook comments, and continues to hold those views.
The Holler has now unearthed video in which Northcott says that despite a 2015 Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, he refuses to recognize it as the law of the land, won’t prosecute same-sex domestic assaults as “domestic” cases, and even encourages county clerks not to process same-sex marriages – saying he would use his “prosecutorial discretion” to make sure they aren’t charged.
One of the most explosive scandals in the scandal-tornado surrounding Tennessee Speaker of the House Glen Casada – who has said he will be resigning his speakership possibly as soon as next week – has been the possibility that his office falsified the date on an email to frame civil rights activist Justin Jones, to show that Jones violated a no-contact order and have him thrown in jail.
Nashville District Attorney Glenn Funk recused himself from that case, saying that because he was the recipient of the email in question he couldn’t be impartial.
The Casada-Jones case then went to the Tennessee Attorneys General Conference, which sent it to a “special prosecutor” – Coffee County District Attorney Craig Northcott.
Recently The Holler revealed deeply Islamophobic Facebook comments by Northcott in which he referred to the Islamic faith as “evil” and equated it with the KKK and the Aryan Nation, while also saying there are “no constitutional rights”, only rights bestowed upon us by the “One True God”.
As it turns out, Muslims may not be the only community who have reason for concern with Northcott.
We’ve just discovered the above video from March of 2018, at the Chafer Theological Seminary Pastor’s Conference, in which Northcott gives an hour-long speech about “The Local Church’s Role in Government”.
After his speech, Northcott is asked what a Christian county clerk who is against gay marriage should do when a same-sex couple shows up for a marriage license.
The questioner asks:
“Let’s say the federal government does something ridiculous like legalize gay marriage, and you’re a Christian county clerk working in a marriage license office… (joking) this is all hypothetical… and you refuse to follow the federal law, and the matter gets Brought to the district attorney. Whoever that might be. How as Christians do you think we should deal with all those situations?”
Northcott begins his answer by questioning the authority of the Supreme Court:
“5 people in black dresses rule us.”
He says that with the Obergefell V. Hodges ruling, in which the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples, and required all 50 states to perform and recognize the marriages on the same terms and conditions as the marriages of opposite-sex couples, the Supreme Court was “legislating policy”:
“If you ever read their opinion, they don’t base it on the constitution, they don’t base it upon law, they don’t base it on anything… They start in the very first paragraph by saying ‘we think it is a better policy for homosexual marriage to be legitimized, therefore we’re gonna rule this way.”
Actually, Obergefell V. Hodges was based on both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. In fact, the very first paragraph does talk about the constitution- in fact, the very first two words of Justice Kennedy’s opinion are “The Constitution”.
Northcott then goes on to address the *hypothetical* situation about the Christian clerk faced with a decision about whether or not to issue a same sex marriage license. He makes it clear he doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage as a prosecutor, and advises the clerk not to “succumb” either. :
“As to the clerk, it just boils down to are you gonna do what God says? Or are you gonna do what man says? And the clerk will probably lose their job either immediately or through election if they take a stand on God’s Truth. We are not saved from the consequences of standing on the truth… that would be my advice to the clerk: Don’t succumb.”
As to what a District Attorney like him would then do to the clerk, he points to “prosecutorial discretion” and the “unfettered” authority D.A.’s have as a way for him to avoid punishing Christian clerks:
“D.A.’s have what’s called prosecutorial discretion. Y’all need to know who your D.A. is – y’all give us a LOT of authority whether you know it or not… we can choose to prosecute anything, and we can choose not to prosecute anything, up to and including murder. It’s our choice, unfettered, so to deal with that you elect a good Christian man as D.A. and they’ll make sure that they at least don’t get prosecuted criminally.”
Northcott explains that the Supreme Court decision affected his profession in ways many people don’t realize, particularly concerning “domestic assault” charges, which carry heavier punishments than “simple assault” charges. Because treating assault charges between same-sex couples as “domestic assaults” would be to recognize same-sex marriage, Northcott says he does not, and accuses the Supreme Court of “social engineering”:
“So the social engineers on the Supreme Court decided that we now have homosexual marriage. I disagree with them. What do I do with domestic assaults?… The reason that there’s extra punishment on domestic assaults is to recognize and protect the sanctity of marriage. And I said there’s no marriage to protect. So I don’t prosecute them as domestics.”
He implies this isn’t the only way this view affects his work, saying “that is one of many decisions like that that you face (as a D.A.)”, and adds “you need someone who will do an evaluation on those terms in making those decisions” – which appears to mean voters should elect Christians who will similarly disobey Supreme Court rulings when they believe the rulings go against “God’s Truth”.
Northcott then finishes his answer by returning to the hypothetical clerk, saying not only would he not prosecute her, he’d embrace her:
“If your specific situation came to me I’d pat her on the back, give her a hug, and say ‘go at it.'”
The rest of Northcott’s speech about the role of the church in government makes it clear he doesn’t believe the “lie” about separation of church and state, and quite the contrary believes “government was created by God” and therefore church and state are inextricable:
He says only faithful Christians should hold public office as “ministers of God”, and that the role of the churches is to prepare those “faithful men” to hold those positions:
He also goes on to talk about the “Religious Test” which remains in the Tennessee constitution to this day, and in his eyes means that only Christians should serve in office in the state:
“The founders of the state of Tennessee recognized that only Christians could adequately understand and implement the purpose of all government offices. It’s still in our constitution.”
Article 9, section 2 of the Tennessee constitution does in fact say:
“No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this state.”
But while “No person who denies the being of God” seems to rule out only atheists, Northcott insists the clause refers to “the God of the Gospel… the only One True God”… and hopes “one of those crazy groups that hates religion” doesn’t figure it out and sue to have the clause removed.
“If there are no faithful Christians, there’s no one out there to elect and to hold these offices.”
He also tacks on a few words for the media, who he says are in the “back pockets” of “unfaithful men”:
“When you get a faithful man into office and he takes principled stands, guess who’s gonna be upset? All those unfaithful men. Well guess who they’ve got in their back pocket? The media. All the most vocal enemies of Christ are in their back pocket. So what happens? The faithful man gets attacked from all sides. Everything is misconstrued, give you half the information… I don’t know if you realize this, but the media twists things and have an agenda they want to promote.”
He says if Christians step out of government, other “enemies” will fill in:
“Atheists, humanists, Muslims… If we step out, we turn it over to the Enemy.”
And adds at the end that churches should essentially tell their congregations who to vote for:
“Knowing who your political leaders are is a form of worship. If you are going to elect ministers of God, I think it’s up to the church to make sure those in their congregation are informed on that decision.”
The LGBT community doesn’t appear to be the only victims of Northcott’s “prosecutorial discretion”. In 2016 there was an incident in Coffee County in which police responded to a domestic dispute during which a woman named Cindy Lowe had been badly bruised and beaten, but Northcott appears to have used his “prosecutorial discretion” to drop the charges against Joseph Floied, seemingly because Floied is related to Adam Floied, assistant chief of the Manchester Police Department.
Here are some graphic pictures from the incident, posted by Lowe on Facebook:
And this is a Facebook post from Lowe after our previous article about Northcott’s Islamophobia:
It’s worth pointing out that in 2000, the Supreme Court of Tennessee had this to say about the role of “public prosecutors” and “prosecutorial discretion” in our judicial system, saying that it should be used “without discrimination or bias”:
Tenn. R. Sup.Ct. 8, EC 7-13.
In short, public prosecutors hold a unique office in our criminal justice system. Contrary to the State’s contention on appeal, prosecutors are expected to be impartial in the sense that they must seek the truth and not merely obtain convictions. They are also to be impartial in the sense that charging decisions should be based upon the evidence, without discrimination or bias for or against any groups or individuals. Yet, at the same time, they are expected to prosecute criminal offenses with zeal and vigor within the bounds of the law and professional conduct. See Berger, 295 U.S. at 88, 55 S.Ct. at 633.
As for the issue of same-sex marriage domestic violence, an American Bar report on the domestic violence “epidemic” in America tells us domestic violence is in fact a major issue in the LGBT community:
“Lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender (LGBT) people experience domestic and intimate partner violence and sexual violence at rates similar to or higher than heterosexual and/or cisgender people… studies confirm that significant numbers of transgender people are subjected to intimate partner violence… Unfortunately, in a number of jurisdictions people who are abused by a partner of the same legal sex are unable to access vital legal protections.”
Northcott was recently selected by the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference to be a member of the group’s legislative committee, which advises the Tennessee General Assembly regarding laws and issues concerning criminal justice and public safety. This is the second year Northcott has been asked to serve on the committee.
If you agree LGBT people should be afforded the same protections as everyone else in America, and that District Attorneys should not be disregarding Supreme Court rulings and taking the laws of the land entirely into their own hands while hiding behind “prosecutorial discretion”, Holler at District Attorney Northcutt HERE: 931-723-5057
And if you have concern about Northcott’s ability to handle his duties regarding the Jones-Casada case, or any other case, Holler at the Tennessee Attorneys General Conference to express them HERE: email@example.com
Lastly, and importantly, if you’re in Coffee County, and you believe Northcott may have mishandled your case, email us at TheTNHoller@gmail.com – we have some people you should talk to.
Beyond our wildest dreams we never would have imagined the great John Oliver shining his light on the ugliness that is Casadagate, but that glorious day has arrived.
If you’ve ever wanted to hear John Oliver say the words “Cade Cothren’s Rapidly-Expelled Ejaculate”, now is your chance.
We wish he would have mentioned his support for Rep. Byrd, and possibly framing Justin Jones, but hey- we’ll take what we can get.
This morning in Franklin was the monthly Williamson County “Legislative Update”, hosted by Williamson Inc.
The event was called a “Town Hall” until recently, but the name was apparently changed after former State House candidate Rebecca Purington called them out for calling it a “Town Hall” without actually taking questions.
Fair point, Rebecca.
They stopped taking questions after Ashley Massey stood up and pinned Williamson legislators to the wall about their silence about Rep. David Byrd, who has apologized on tape to 1 of 3 women who say he molested them in high school.
Byrd remains in office to this day, but how long he lasts remains to be seen since his chief protector Glen Casada will be resigning his speakership in shame in the coming days.
Casada was not at the “Legislative Update”, apparently getting some sun in Greece.
Casada’s pal Brandon Ogles also skipped the meeting, letting the organizers know at 530AM this morning that he had a sudden “rotator cuff ” injury. (mm hmmmm)
The only Williamson legislators to show up were Sam Whitson and Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson. Below are some clips of a few of the subjects they covered.
Whitson talked about the passage of the Katie Beckett Waiver, which keeps parents of disabled children from having to make impossible decision to keep their kids on insurance.
No word on why that logic shouldn’t apply to the 300,000 other Tennesseans faced with the very same decisions, who don’t have insurance because of the Republican refusal to expand Medicaid, which costs Tennessee billions of dollars each year.
After the meeting Senator Johnson answered our question about the “Heartbeat Bill”, which seeks to ban abortions once a heartbeat is detected, and makes no exceptions for rape or incest – which means a raped teenage girl would have to carry her rapist’s child to term.
The film industry has recently said they w0n’t do business in Georgia if their similar bill becomes law. When asked what Johnson would say to industries that may have the same issue with Tennessee were Tennessee’s bill to pass, his answer:
“Go back to California.”
White supremacist Rick Tyler held a rally at UT-Knoxville, but his audience forgot to show up. Protestors outnumbered them 10-1. Sad!
Shout-out to Chris Irwin for the awesome trolling.
Back in April, conservative commentator Steve Gill, who publishes the Tennessee Star, wrote an attack piece on Knox County teacher Lauren Sorenson. Gill’s beef with Sorenson seems to be that she had the gall to stand up and speak out for her fellow teachers and also advocate on behalf of students across the state. Gill used Sorenson’s affiliation with the “Badass Teachers Association” (BATs) to label her a “BAT out of Hell.”
Like so many in leadership roles in our state, Gill apparently prefers that teachers keep their voices quiet rather than highlight the unpleasant facts about the teaching profession and our state’s chronically under-funded schools.
Gill has been a consistent supporter of using public money to support private schools by way of voucher schemes. More recently, he’s come to the defense of embattled (and soon to be former) House Speaker Glen Casada. He’s even backed admitted sex offender David Byrd.
That’s why it is so shocking to learn that while Lauren Sorenson is busy fighting for all kids and educating young minds in Knox County, Gill is failing to live up to his parental responsibilities.
The Tennessean has more:
Conservative commentator and former political candidate Steve Gill must pay his ex-wife $170,000 in 10 days or go to jail, a Williamson County judge has ruled.
In a ruling entered into the court on Sunday, Judge James G. Martin sided with Kathryn B. Gill, who was seeking nearly $236,000 for various expenses related to the divorced couple’s sons.
Kathryn Gill was seeking $86,000 in child support from Steve Gill, in addition to $4,400 in medical expenses, $133,000 in college expenses and another $11,000 for a car she purchased for the children’s use.
Or, maybe it is not at all surprising that a guy who defends Glen Casada and David Byrd would attack a strong woman fighting for a better future for our state.
With Speaker Glen Casada finally agreeing to exit the speakership stage left (do us all a favor and keep going off the stage entirely, Glen!)…
…House Republicans are starting to jockey for position to be his replacement.
Rep. Hawk, who is not running, says it has already gotten ugly.
Rep. David Hawk, who is not running for speaker, emails his colleagues that they are acting like “a group of siblings fighting over their dead parents’ estate before the bodies have even been buried.” #tnleg pic.twitter.com/cihvhHsqTR
— Natalie Allison (@natalie_allison) May 22, 2019
The Tennessean has a list of 9 people who may throw their hats in the ring, so we figured we’d give our own Holler-iffic take on who these people are and why you should or should not be rooting for them to become the 3rd most powerful person in Tennessee.
“BORING” BILL DUNN
Speaker Pro Tem Bill Dunn (R-Knoxville) will preside over the House until a new speaker is chosen, and would like to fill the position permanently.
“I think I can bring a level of boredom to the position,” Dunn told the Tennessean.
He also said he’s “far right but fair” in a TV interview this week.
Dunn played a key part in passing Governor Lee’s public school-harming vouchers bill, but while some seem to be swayed by political favors – which the FBI may be looking into – even Dunn’s opponents seem to agree he’s a true believer on that front.
Of the 9 speaker candidates, Dunn was the only one who didn’t vote in favor of the “Heartbeat Bill”, which would outlaw abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected and force a woman/girl to carry her rapist’s child to term.
Dunn also switched and became a supporter of London Lamar’s bill to give pregnant Hope Scholarship recipients longer leave before going back to school after giving birth.
Also – very importantly – Dunn has already said he believes the women who have been fighting to get Rep. Byrd – who has apologized on tape to 1 of 3 women who say he molested them in high school – removed from office, and says there should be an investigation into the matter.
NEW: Channel 5’s Report on Speaker Pro Tem Bill Dunn Meeting With and BELIEVING the Women of @stopbyrd @GlenCasada lied about meeting with them and promoted Rep. Byrd, who apologized ON TAPE to 1 of 3 women who say he molested them in high school.pic.twitter.com/3Hu2OYfr4E
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) May 23, 2019
It’s a shame that it took Casada’s downfall for Dunn to step up and say that, but better late than never. All candidates for speaker should be willing to say and do at least that much.
WILLIAM “COMPUTER GLITCH” LAMBERTH
Casada’s Right Hand Man, Majority Leader William Lamberth (R-Portland) has been a Casada loyalist throughout the Casada saga, even jumping into the middle of the situation surrounding the date discrepancy and possible framing of civil rights activist Justin Jones.
Lamberth was quick to adopt Casada’s “computer glitch” excuse, and had no hesitation about defending the now-shamed speaker.
Should be easy to prove then, no?
Lamberth also won’t say using the N Word is a fireable offense.
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) May 3, 2019
Lamberth has been a defender of private prisons (without ever acknowledging that they donate to his campaigns), opposes de-criminalizing medical marijuana, and has been a loyal vote for all of Casada’s priorities throughout the session, including the “Heartbeat Bill”, Lee’s vouchers, the anti-LGBT slate of hate, the voter registration criminalization bill and more.
ROBIN “THE VIDEOTAPER” SMITH
Often found videotaping those who videotape her, the freshman Smith (R-Hixson) is well connected, having previously been chair of the Tennessee Republican Party.
Smith is a staunch Casada loyalist through and through. When the House Caucus voted overwhelmingly that it had “no confidence” in Speaker Casada after his complicity with racism, sexism, drug use at the office, lying, possible fraud, misuse of taxpayer funds, etc… there were still 25 votes in favor of Casada.
1 was Casada himself. We currently know who 4 of the others are, and that group includes Smith.
Smith has been a Casada apologist right up until the end, even trying to lay down a smoke screen to help him blame it on the a-a-a-alcohol. It takes some nerve to offer up ethics bills when you won’t even vote against a guy who has no ethics whatsoever.
She even tried to steer the conversation to Democrats, telling a Chattanooga paper “My hope was we would have censured him and that we would have challenged our other partisans in the [Democratic] caucus to censure members that also engage in unbecoming behavior.”
Smith has been loyal on all the key votes, engaged in anti-Muslim saber-rattling, and Obama-bashing.
A warning about Smith From Vanity Fair, back when Smith ran for Congress (and lost):
Smith was the head of the Tennessee Republican Party during the ’08 presidential campaign and approved the distribution of some of the most underhanded and insidious anti-Obama propaganda to appear during the election. You may recall, for example, the video that the Tennessee G.O.P. released hammering Michelle Obama for her comment about being “proud of her country for the “first time” in “her adult lifetime.” (The ad prompted Barack to tell critics to “lay off” his wife.) You may also remember the Tennessee G.O.P. press release titled “Anti-Semites for Obama” that pointedly referred to the candidate as “Barack Hussein Obama.” Both smears drew national condemnation, even from Republican Party leaders. But one gets the feeling that if the Party gave into its true impulses and elected Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh its leader tomorrow, there’s a good chance Robin Smith would be at the top of their list for chief strategist… How did Smith respond when, following her announcement, a reporter brought up the heat she took for the smear tactics? She called the question “unprofessional” and railed against the “liberal media.” Were she to be elected, Smith would likely be among the most conservative members in Congress. Her Facebook and Twitter pages overflow with right-wing rhetoric. In one Facebook status update, for instance, she tells “Judeo-Christians” to “wake up” and oppose President Obama’s attempts to reach out to the Muslim world.
MATTHEW “ETHICS COMMITTEE” HILL
Speaking of Ethics, Matthew Hill is the chair of the ethics committee, which means he played a big part in trying to orchestrate the rigging of an *advisory opinion* that would have attempted to help clear Speaker Casada.
That effort was stopped in its tracks, and prompted Rep. Mike Carter, a judge, to call it the “most egregious act I have been made aware of” and call for Casada’s resignation from the House entirely.
Needless to say, it takes a special kind of person to help rig an ethics committee opinion from the chair position.
Hill is another House Republican who has defended Casada up until the end. Hill claims he voted against Casada when it came time for the “no-confidence” vote, but since the vote was silent and we’ll never know, color us skeptical.
Rep. Jeremy Faison put it best when he said there were 45 votes against Casada, but suddenly after the fact there were 68.
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) May 22, 2019
While we’re on the subject of ethics, Hill was also recently seen on the House floor claiming the Tennessee State Employees Association supported Lee’s school vouchers, when they did not.
Rep. Matthew Hill is speaking out against things other reps have said.
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) May 1, 2019
He has yet to apologize for offering that false information.
If that’s not enough, Hill has the support of Rep. Micah “Heartbeat Bill” Van Huss, which should send a chill down everyone’s spine and be enough to make you very afraid of Hill all by itself.
— Kimberlee Kruesi (@kkruesi) May 22, 2019
Funny how moral these reps who defended Casada to the end all suddenly became once they realized they were on the wrong side of history.
“JUDGE” MIKE CARTER
Rep. Mike Carter (R-Ooltewah) is a judge who held off on speaking out against Casada until he had all the facts…
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) May 13, 2019
…then pulled no punches once he realized Casada was trying to rig the ethics committee to try to get away with everything. Carter then went hard at Casada, saying his concern was “it shows a heart for misrepresentation” and calling it the “most egregious act” yet.
Once Carter turned, he opened the door for others to speak out and likely played a big part in why the “no-confidence” vote went the way it did.
Carter was a loyal vote on vouchers, the heartbeat bill, the slate of hate, gun permit-weakening, the voter registration criminalization bill, etc.
From the Tennessean, regarding his bid for Speaker:
Carter vowed to keep all committee chairs in their position, form a political action committee, review all policies, procedures and rules and never intimidate members.
JERRY “WE ALL MAKE MISTAKES” SEXTON
Pretty much all you need to know about Jerry Sexton (R-Bean Station) – a former Baptist preacher – is summed up in this clip right here, where he defends Rep. David Byrd’s presence as chair of an education subcommittee by saying “we all make mistakes”:
NEW VIDEO: “We all make mistakes.”
– Rep. Jerry Sexton on Rep. David Byrd, who apologized on tape for sexually molesting high school girls he coached.
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) February 27, 2019
It’s worth noting though that Sexton didn’t extend such leeway to Casada, leading the effort to call on the GOP caucus to meet and vote on their support of him, and introducing the resolution stating the caucus no longer had confidence in him.
Erik Schelzig reported that Sexton argued for the state muzzleloader to be the Knight Muzzleloader because:
“I’m from Bean Station, and Bean Station was settled by the first white settlers in Tennessee, and had the first white baby born in the state of Tennessee. They were also makers of firearms and muzzleloaders. And this company is owned by descendants of the Bean family.”
SCHELZIG: First of all, having the first white baby born in the state, unless we’re a pile of open racists, isn’t an accomplishment. Second, unless we’re kicking French people out of whiteness, it’s not true. Martin Chartier lived here in Nashville up on the burial mound that used to exist just south of Jefferson Street in what would later be called “the old Shawnee trading post” in 1690. His son, Peter, was born here that year.”
Nothing good going on there. Sexton also made a stand against the 2017 Improve Act which provided funds for road improvements – obviously a socialist plot!
Sexton has been a loyal vote on vouchers, the heartbeat bill, the slate of hate, gun permit-weakening, the voter registration criminalization bill, etc.
RYAN “LET’S ARM TEACHERS” WILLIAMS
Ryan Williams (R-Cookeville) carried the bill that would’ve armed Tennessee’s teachers, before eventually withdrawing it.
You can watch some of the discussion here:
From the Tennessean:
The former House Republican Caucus chairman said Wednesday he and his wife were praying about his options and a potential bid for speaker.
“Now more than ever we as a caucus need to unify around someone,” said Williams, R-Cookeville.
Williams has been a loyal vote on vouchers, the heartbeat bill, the slate of hate, gun permit-weakening, the voter registration criminalization bill, etc.
CAMERON “EVERYTHING IS SOCIALISM” SEXTON
In fairness that nickname above could apply to pretty much every TN GOP house member. We gave it to Sexton because of this diatribe about medicaid expansion being socialism posted on the TN GOP twitter account recently.
Here’s new Speaker candidate Cameron “everything is socialism” Sexton (@CSexton25) telling us medicaid expansion and those $1.4 Billion we lose every year wouldn’t actually help rural hospitals. https://t.co/47HCpRrDOD
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) May 22, 2019
Sexton once unbelievably said “no one has died because they didn’t have access to health care” on the house floor — a claim disputed by medical experts.
Sexton doesn’t seem to realize Ronald Reagan expanded Medicaid 4 times, and like the rest of his caucus refuses to acknowledge that accepting the billions we’re rejecting each year would obviously help health care access and struggling rural hospitals in Tennessee.
From the Tennessean:
As the House Republican Caucus chairman, Sexton, R-Crossville, has avoided wading too deep into the Casada controversy, instead seeing his role as a referee for the GOP lawmakers to discuss the matter… Sexton confirmed Tuesday that several members of the caucus have encouraged him to considering running for speaker… “I’m mulling it,” he said. “But out of respect for the office, there’s been no (resignation) date given, it’s a little early to start trying to run for office or leadership position that’s no available yet.”
While Sexton has been a loyal vote on most things, it’s worth noting that he’s the only one in this group to vote against Bill Lee’s public school-harming vouchers.
CURTIS “NOT GLORIA” JOHNSON
We gave Curtis Johnson (R-Clarksville) that nickname because we don’t know much about him, and haven’t really heard from him this session. But maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe what this legislature needs right now is someone who is low profile and stays out of the limelight.
Johnson was up against Casada in the caucus speaker’s race this past fall.
From the Tennessean:
At the November caucus vote where Casada was nominated, Johnson told his colleagues he would not be a speaker who would bring division and scandal.
“If you’re looking for a speaker who’s going to use this position as a stepping stone to the next position, I’m not the one,” Johnson said at the time.
Maybe they should’ve listened to him.
Footage from the “Stop the Bans” rally at the capitol in Nashville day, where hundreds gathered to oppose the draconian abortion bans we’re seeing throughout the country.
(Drone footage from Alex Kent)
Footage from the anti-Casada protest at the capitol, and from the House Republicans caucus vote to decide his fate yesterday.
Casada has agreed to resign, but that isn’t enough. He needs to leave the legislature altogether.