VIDEO: PART 2 – Knox County Detective Wants LGBT People Executed

Knox Sheriff’s Detective/Pastor Fritts – who wants to execute LGBT people – says getting drunk & “committing” sodomy can be forgiven… Three’s Company & Bing Crosby were trying to desensitize us to sodomy… and we should tip LGBT people REALLY well.

Watch PART 1 HERE.

PART 2:

Message of Support From Germany To Chattanooga VW Workers

Volkswagen workers in Chattanooga will soon be deciding whether or not to unionize. Governor Lee recently made a trip over there to encourage them not to, and was loudly booed for his efforts.

Here’s a good article about the situation and the tactics employed by management by Chris Brooks, who covers union issues:

Managers have handed out flyers tying the UAW to plant closures. In a captive-audience meeting, CEO Frank Fischer implied that the UAW was to blame for the 1988 closure of a Volkswagen plant in Westmoreland, Pennsylvania.

This week Jorg Hoffman, chair of IG Metall and Deputy chair of the Volkswagen Supervisory Board, sent a message of support to the Volkswagen workers encouraging them to unionize and reprimanding VW Chattanooga’s management for allowing anti-union lawyers to continue to try to influence the process.

“Chattanooga’s management has the clear directive from headquarters in Germany to stay neutral in the election,” Hoffman says. “I am really disappointed management has not been neutral. They have been neutral verbally, but their actions have been the opposite.”

Hoffman goes on to say that anti-union lawyers were ordered away from the plant, but that they continue to advise management off-site.

“We denounce the use of fear in this campaign by Chattanooga management,” he says, adding that “voting yes will not endanger your plant or your jobs” and that all over the world unions and management are working trustfully together.”

Hoffman makes a good point. Here in America, unions have been under attack for decades by management and the politicians they control. But in other countries, like Germany, for instance,  workers have seats on the boards of companies, and therefore have a say in the direction of the company’s.

The relationship is therefore far less adversarial, as workers feel ownership, participate in the good times as well, and make concessions during the bad.

Many Germans attribute this arrangement to Germany’s economic success. Imagine that – unions being empowered and appreciated rather than attacked and dismantled.

The numbers don’t lie – unions and the middle class go hand in hand. The union authorization election runs Wednesday through Friday this week; 1,700 workers are eligible to vote.

From Labor Notes:

“I’m only 33 and I can’t see myself working here for another 10 years,” said Ashley Murray. “I would be disabled by then. We need a union because they are a multibillion-dollar company and they treat us like shit.”

Murray is a production employee at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, one of 18 hourly employees there I interviewed for this story. Comments like hers were almost universal.

Volkswagen was wooed to Chattanooga in 2008 with a $554 million subsidy package from the state and local governments… It was the largest taxpayer handout ever given to a foreign-owned automaker up to that moment, and remains the largest subsidy deal in Tennessee history. The deal came free of any job or investment requirements.

More from Labor Notes on the conditions at VW:

The current starting wage for a production worker at the factory is $15.50 an hour and pay tops out at $23 an hour, or around $48,000 per year without overtime.

Volkswagen provides the lowest pay and benefits of any automaker in the U.S., according to a 2015 report by the Center for Automotive Research.

If you agree Governor Lee and Chattanooga management should keep their hands off the election – and others in the future – Holler at him HERE.

KINGSPORT’S BALLAD HEALTH PROTEST ENTERS 40TH DAY

Residents in the Sullivan County/Kingsport, TN area have just entered their 40th day of protesting a recent hospital merger that will put the health care of many at risk. The merger is a demonstration of the intersection between political and corporate corruption.

Dani Cook, a local advocate from Bristol, Tennessee, explains the situation in detail below… And watch our brief VIDEO from Day 39:

BALLAD HEALTH: 

Where Apparent Healthcare, Political, & Corporate Corruption Meet

In one of the most unusual healthcare-related actions ever taken by 2 states, State Senators, Representatives, Departments of Health, Attorneys General, and Community Business and Education Leaders joined together with two separate healthcare systems to create a medical monopoly, intentionally displacing competition and granting state and federal antitrust immunity.

The State of Tennessee and the Commonwealth of Virginia have executed a “COPA” – a Certificate of Public Advantage/Cooperative Agreement – unlike any in the history of healthcare in America.

The COPA annual review has just finished, and the TN Health Dept. couldn’t “grade” Ballad Health as laid out in the Terms of Certification. Because the Terms of Certification included a Plan of Separation requiring Wellmont Health System, Mountain States Health Alliance, and Ballad Health (the new health system) to keep 90% of their assets separate for the first 18 months after the COPA was issued, there is a unique window of opportunity to have the COPA modified or terminated!

The COPA law states:

“This COPA is subject to modification if at any time the Department (of Health) determines the likely benefits resulting from the Cooperative Agreement no longer outweigh any disadvantages attributable to any potential reduction in competition that may result from the Cooperative Agreement.

This COPA is subject to termination if the Department determines the benefits resulting from the Cooperative Agreement no longer outweigh any disadvantages attributable to a reduction in competition that may result from the Cooperative Agreement, and modification of the COPA is not obtained.”

Read the COPA Agreement HERE.

Since the COPA has been executed, there have been reductions in pay, changes in services, repurposing and deletions of services, and a severe reduction in access to quality healthcare.

The changes have caused severe staffing shortages, true emergencies being treated in triage/waiting rooms, significantly increased wait times, patients being held in the ER for days to weeks, increased transports (often not covered by insurance), over-billing, and lawsuits from the health system against patients for bills, among other negative effects.

The region is rural, and has a poverty rate of 20-30%.

The people here are suffering. Doctors and nurses are leaving. And those that cannot leave are scared to speak out for fear of retaliation from Ballad Health.

Those fears are well founded, as several employees have already been admonished, warned, and even fired for doing so.

If we are going to save our healthcare system, the time to act is now, before the assets are combined on July 31st, 2019, which is why 10 residents have signed onto a federal lawsuit requesting Declaratory and Injunctive Relief.

HOW WE GOT HERE

The original COPA legislation – The Hospital Cooperation Act of 1993 – allowed health systems that were in financial trouble to work together in order to reduce costs, remain profitable, and still provide quality healthcare.

It did not, however, allow those health care systems to merge.

In 2014, Wellmont Health System announced it was looking for a strategic partner to help keep their hospitals operating, and reduce their $411 Million debt. The concern with this prospect was that Mountain States, with their own $892 Million debt, would be forced to do the same.

Shortly thereafter, prominent local businessman and BancTenn Chair, Bill Greene, was in the hospital for cellulitis in his leg. According to several interviews Greene gave in the press, it was  this hospital stay that set off a chain of events that would change healthcare in our region.

It started with Greene’s cardiologist stopping by to check on him during the stay. Green asked the cardiologist to take a look at his chart, but he explained he could not do so because he was a Wellmont physician, and Greene was in a Mountain States Health Alliance hospital.

On a subsequent golfing trip Greene expressed his dissatisfaction that the two systems could not access each other’s information, especially given their proximity to each other (although this is common with all competing hospitals).

Greene asked Alan Levine, the new CEO of Mountain States, what the options were to rectify the situation. Levine explained that the two health care systems would not be allowed to merge by the FTC because they would be creating a medical monopoly, and that the FTC has a 70% success rate in blocking such acquisitions/mergers.

Levine then shared the idea of a COPA – a so-far unused state mechanism that put price and competitive controls in place, and shielded health system mergers from FTC scrutiny. 

Per Greene, he and a group of self-proclaimed “Hole-in-the-Wall Gang” members gathered together at his home to determine if it was “worth it” to pursue the idea. This group of 15 local business, education, and community leaders who manage approximately 65% of the region’s employees spent 4-5 hours discussing the option, and determined that it was worth it.

Over the course of the next few months the “Hole in the Wall Gang” began to hold public forums, created a website, and leveraged the local media to convince the public of two things:

1. Their hospitals were failing financially and were in such terrible shape that they were about to be sold to an outside healthcare system who would have no knowledge of or interest in the local region, and would dismantle, reduce, and close hospitals.
2. That the merger of Wellmont Health System and Mountain States Health Alliance was their only chance of survival.

In addition to spreading their message to the public, the Hole in the Wall Gang needed to change the existing COPA Law, since it did not allow for the hospitals to merge. To accomplish that mission and get around the FTC’s 70% success rate blocking such mergers for antitrust reasons, The Gang would need to get new legislation introduced and passed.

Fortunately for them, one Gang member – Mountain States Health Alliance – had the Chair of the Tennessee Senate Health Committee on the payroll: Senator Rusty Crowe (R-Washington & Carter Counties).

Crowe had been a contracted employee for Mountain States for several years, and was the perfect vehicle through which these new pieces of legislation could be passed. On April 8, 2015 Senator Crowe introduced SB0994 to the Health and Welfare Committee.

Senator Richard Briggs (R-Knox County) abstained from voting due to a conflict as he also works for a healthcare system in nearby Knoxville TN.

Senator Doug Overbey (current U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of TN) abstained, stating:

“What is being proposed is an attempt to provide some insulation from anti-trust scrutiny under traditional anti-trust principles under both federal and state law and in fact, I think that’s what it says what it’s trying to do in Section 2.8.”

Senator Rusty Crowe – again, a paid hospital employee/vendor of Ballad Health – declared Rule 13, which states that he has a personal interest in this law being passed but that he promises his vote is in the best interest of the people.

As laws were being drafted, sponsored and passed by the politicians, the healthcare system administrators and Hole in the Wall Gang members were busy getting letters of support together from local businesses and organizations.

On June 2015, Commissioner of Health John Dreyzehner sent a letter to FTC Staff asking for an opinion. His question: If the New Health System that results from the merger under the COPA was subsequently sold to a non-COPA healthcare system outside of the region, would that trigger an antitrust review?

Better question: Why was he asking that?

At the time, Wellmont and MSHA had not filed a letter of intent to apply for the COPA or submitted the application. So why was the TN Commissioner of Health asking a question that appeared to only be of informational benefit to two private healthcare systems?

After 6 months, and subsequent phone conversations with the TN Dept. of Health, the FTC finally responded to this request for opinion, saying that typically once a merger is allowed to happen, and the assets have been combined, it is extremely difficult to undo.

They said it’s like trying to unscramble an egg.

A few weeks later, Mountain States Health Alliance and Wellmont Health System submitted their application for a COPA.

Over the next two years, there were public hearings held in the local community, but with the local news media only being fed information from the two health systems and the Hole in the Wall Gang, the public was unaware of just what’s at stake, and hardly participated. 

The local and state politicians, businessmen, and education leaders did attend those hearings, and advocated for the merger to be approved and COPA granted.

(*Important to note the participants in these public hearings because of their positions, the companies they own, and roles in the community – See “Cast of Characters” below… Also important to note the expert testimonies of FTC Staff and Bob Leibenluft, a DC antitrust attorney, formerly of the FTC Healthcare Antitrust Division)

(**It’s also interesting to note the investment Bill Greene seemed to have in this outcome. He’s a banker. Why the interest in healthcare?)

During the course of the public hearings, several independent investigations and subsequent reports were conducted, 2 of which are of particular importance, as they were financed by the FTC and by the Commonwealth of Virginia.

(Spoiler Alert: They both said “DO NOT DO THIS” – a merger is not necessary to accomplish the efficiencies and commitments promised, and no detailed plan has been provided to prove through clear and convincing evidence that this will be an advantage to the public.)

Independent Report by Robert Town (Commonwealth of VA Hired Expert): Here

Independent Report by Kenneth Kizer (FTC Hired Expert): Here

While there is a lot of information and additional players to be mentioned in this section, including people who worked with Alan Levine at his past companies coming to work with him, one of which was fined $260 Million for fraud, a CEO coming out of retirement, and more questionable political connections, let’s keep moving…

Fast-forward to January 31st, 2018, when the COPA is issued.

Even though the State of TN and Commonwealth of Virginia knew this day was coming, and the laws passed required oversight for the granting of the COPA, no COPA Oversight had been set up at that time.

In fact, it was approximately 4 months before the external COPA Oversight Monitor, Larry Fitzgerald was hired.

During that 4 month unsupervised period, the new health system – Ballad Health – made a move to refinance their debt through hospital municipal bonds. Keep in mind, between the two health systems they had approximately $1.3 Billion in debt.

As a combined system, their overall value was $3 Billion.  The current rating on their bonds was a BBB+, so they shopped around to get the bonds refinanced, with the goal of getting a better bond rating to reduce their debt.

They located the Greeneville TN Health and Education Facilities Board, a board whose members had just been in trouble for not bothering to meet for 2 years, and had a better rating than Ballad’s bonds.

Keep in mind, Ballad Health is a nonprofit organization, and therefore a bond that refinances their debt is not allowed… unless you know a couple of politicians – in this case former TN Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey, who called U.S. Representative Diane Black, who chaired the House Budget Committee and could rewrite the wording that allows the refinancing to take place. 

Still crunching the numbers… but over $100 Million of them were traded between May 10th– May 15th, and the bonds weren’t delivered until 6/6, so the question is: Who had the bonds before the rating was improved, and who bought and sold the bonds?

The CFO of Ballad Health, Lynn Krutak – who helped CEO Alan Levine get the bond to refinance the debt – is also on the Healthcare Advisory Board for PNC Bank.

PNC Capital Investments is one of the three underwriters for the bonds, along with B of A, Merrill Lynch, and US BancCorp.

Bond Series A: Click Here

Bond Series B: Click Here

Ballad Health states in the SEC paperwork that they do not have the money to repay this debt or meet the COPA commitments, and that these funds (during their Forward-Looking Statements) would be derived from merger synergies and consolidations/deletions of services.

In this paperwork they outline certain changes that were not announced to the public or TN Health Department until 6 months after they had already begun implementation.

These changes, specifically the downgrading of the Level III NICU at Holston Valley Medical Center (FULL DISCLOSURE: where my granddaughter was born in 2017 weighing 1 pound 3 ounces), are what prompted my interest, subsequent research, and activism against Ballad Health, the TN Health Department, and VA & TN politicians.

(Yes, there is a lot that happens in Virginia as well… it’s just too much to go into here.)

You may be wondering why people weren’t upset and outraged by all of these things prior to November 2018… Well, it’s pretty simple: Within days of the COPA being issued, Senator Rusty Crowe introduced SB2048 (the revised version of HB2020 first introduced by Rep. Gary Hicks) which is a law protecting the information from the public:

SECTION 1. Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 68, Chapter 11, Part 13, is amended by adding the following as a new section: 68-11-1310.

(a) The following records received by the department or the attorney general and reporter from the recipients or applicants of a certificate of public advantage for a cooperative agreement issued pursuant to this part shall not be subject to disclosure pursuant to title 10, chapter 7, part 5:

(1) Operating and capital budgets;

(2) Existing and future business plans other than any plans, and any modifications to those plans, that are required to be submitted to the state pursuant to a certificate of public advantage or application for a certificate of public advantage;

(3) Financial audit working papers as defined in § 4-3-304(7);

(4) Contracts or agreements with payors and payorpricing information;

(5) Physician recruitment plans and contracts or agreements with physicians;

(6) Contracts or agreements with vendors;

(7) Complaints, including hotline complaints and open investigations of such complaints; and Senate Health and Welfare Committee 1 Amendment No. 1 to SB2048 Crowe Signature of Sponsor AMEND Senate Bill No. 2048 House Bill No. 2020* SA0731 014499 -2-

(8) Employee personnel files, including performance evaluations, disciplinary actions, individual compensation amounts, and employment contract terms not otherwise publicly available.

In addition to these items being protected by this piece of legislation, it also stipulates that if you request this information, are denied, and then sue to obtain it, you – the citizen – are required to pay the attorney’s fees for the healthcare system/TN Dept. of Health.

So to recap: They created a medical monopoly, gave it anti-trust immunity on a state and federal level, protected non-proprietary information including complaints and changes to services,  and on top of all of that they have placed the financial burden of seeking this information directly on the citizens for whom this COPA is supposed to be an advantage.

REVIEW

There are 1.2 Million people in rural Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, Northwest North Carolina, and Southeast Kentucky who are at the mercy of a medical monopoly that exists ONLY because a healthcare corporation, run by a CEO with an employment history that includes two companies that received judgments of $1.7 Billion and $260 Million in healthcare fraud, a group of local and state politicians, and a “Hole-in-the-Wall Gang” of city business, education, and community leaders banded together to change state law that allowed them to merge and granted them IMMUNITY from federal and state antitrust laws.

This unprecedented use of state law borders on unconstitutional given the protections of the Sherman Antitrust Act. And if not quite unconstitutional, certainly unconscionable, unethical, and immoral considering the impact on an already impoverished, under-served community.

We do not have a healthcare crisis in this country, we have a corruption crisis in this country, and corporations, politicians, and governmental policies and practices create, perpetuate, and celebrate its existence.

That is why we need you. No one is watching them. No one is hearing us.

And despite Ballad Health’s motto “It’s Your Story, We’re Listening.”

Our cries are falling on deaf ears.

Please help.

CAST OF CHARACTERS

Alan Levine, CEO Ballad Health, HMA (Health Management Associates) 2010-2013 – President & CEO of the Florida Group of Hospitals  – DOJ $260M Fraud Judgment for 2008-2012 false claims.

2017 Broward Health Whistleblower Case Referencing Alan Levine Kickbacks 2006

Columbia/HCA Fraud Judgment (Where Alan Levine first works with/becomes friends with Rick Scott) 

Alan Levine is a member of the Federalist Society (his page as a “Contributor”) and is extremely active in political campaign contributions

Bill Greene – Chairman, banquet 

Articles for Reference:

http://bjournal.com/effort-to-influence-wellmonts-merger-strategy-spreading/

https://www.heraldcourier.com/news/majority-voice-support-for-merger-ftc-opposition-continues/article_e2b48c1e-8136-5bce-91b5-d931f6a78840.html

https://www.johnsoncitypress.com/Health-Care/2017/09/23/How-a-case-of-cellulitis-and-a-meeting-of-the-hole-in-the-wall-gang-led-to

https://www.johnsoncitypress.com/Health-Care/2018/01/31/Ballad-Health-merger-timeline

https://www.johnsoncitypress.com/Business/2017/08/24/New-ETSU-stadium-named-for-William-B-Greene-Jr

https://www.juniorachievement.org/web/ja-tnva/william-b.-greene-jr.

Scott Niswonger – President Niswonger Foundation (Money Influence)

Brian Noland – President, East TN State University & Member of Ballad Board of Directors

David Golden – SVP Safety & Sustainability, Eastman Chemical Company

Tony Keck – Worked with Alan Levine in Louisiana & SVP at Ballad Health

Andy Hall – Ballad Health Gov’t Relations

Eric Deaton – Ballad Health Marketing

Bart Hove – Wellmont CEO – came out of retirement to help make the COPA happen. Was supposed to stay on as 2nd in command at Ballad Health but left the day the COPA was issued.

Melody Trimble – Worked with Alan Levine at HMA and came to work with him at MSHA – also left the day the COPA was issued.

Identified Hole-in-the-Wall Gang Members (10 of 15): Bill Green, Brian Noland, David Golden, Scott Niswonger, Alan Levine, Dennis Phillips, Keith Wilson, Roy Harmon, Jerry Miller, John Tickle, Dr. Bill Hazel  (Secretary of Health & Human Resource for the Commonwealth of Virginia met with the Hole in the Wall Gang Sept. 2014.

Politicians —

Tennessee: Senator Rusty Crowe, Senator Mark Norris, Speaker Ron Ramsey, Representative Gary Hicks, Senator Diane Black, Representative Bud Hulsey, Senator Jon Lundberg, Representative David Hawk  – Also on COPA Advisory Council

Virginia: Terry Kilgore

Dani Cook is a local advocate from Bristol, Tennessee.

Deberry Calls Abortion “Black Genocide”

“EXPEL CASADA” PROTEST IN FRANKLIN

Williamson County residents gathered on the Public Square in Franklin on Friday to call for Speaker Casada to resign from the legislature completely, immediately.

 

Maury County Dems Heritage Dinner (HIGHLIGHTS)

Fiery speeches at the Heritage Dinner from Senate Candidate James Mackler, Rep. Mike Stewart, AJ Holmes, Chris Hale, Holler co-founder Justin Kanew, and historic Memphis Candidate Tami Sawyer!

Rep. Stewart & The Democrats Call on Casada to Resign Immediately

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.

Channel 5 On Casada-Jones “Special Prosecutor” Craig Northcott Defying SCOTUS

Channel 5’s Report on Coffee County D.A. Craig Northcott defying the Supreme Court by refusing to recognize Marriage Equality.
 
Northcott is now overseeing the Speaker Glen Casada-Justin Jones Case. CAIR & Tennessee Equality Project have both called on him to resign. He previously made deeply Islamophobic comments on Facebook.
 
We initially broke this story… holler at Northcott HERE: 931-723-5057

Casada-Jones “Special Prosecutor” Northcott Won’t Recognize Same-Sex Marriage, Defying Supreme Court

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.

VIDEO:

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”.

Our report prompted formal complaints from Muslim rights groups CAIR and AMAC calling for Northcott’s resignation.

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.

Northcott adds:

“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: grjones@tndagc.org

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.

 

John Oliver Gloriously Roasts Casada & Cothren

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.