There was a sequence of events yesterday that was so ridiculous we just wanted to make sure to connect the dots for everyone.
🚨NEW VIDEO: “That’s gonna happen soon.”@GovBillLee Says Rep. David Byrd, who apologized on tape to 1 of 3 women who say he sexually abused them in high school, will be gone “soon”. Let’s hold him to it.
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) July 10, 2019
A spokesperson for the governor now says this video is a misunderstanding.
Laine Arnold told me the governor thought he was talking about Speaker Glen Casada and the special session to remove him from his position. @NC5
— Kyle Horan (@KyleHoranNC5) July 10, 2019
Here’s Governor Lee yesterday telling Anna Grabowski Rep. David Byrd will be gone “soon”.
He has since said he didn’t mean soon, he meant he asked him not to run again – meaning he believes Byrd to be guilty of the child sex abuse he’s accused of, yet is willing to let him serve out his term anyway. Wonderful!
Meanwhile Byrd told a reporter Lee did NOT ask him not to run again… before then trying to walk that back.
So. Much. Moonwalking.
So. Little. Leadership.
Yesterday the Tennessean ran a jaw-dropping article in which former Rep. Barry Doss (R-Lawrenceburg) was quoted as saying Rep. David Byrd – who has apologized on tape to 1 of 3 women who say he sexually abused them when he was their high school basketball coach – has admitted he’s “ashamed of his past” but that “God has forgiven him”.
Doss also recently approached Kristina Richardson of Enough Is Enough – Tennessee and defended Byrd by saying that “There’s a lot more people that have molested people than you’re letting on.”
The “everyone does” it defense is an interesting one to use when it comes to child sex abuse.
He even seemed to implicate Governor Lee as someone with skeletons in his closet. The whole thing has to be seen to be believed. WATCH THE VIDEO:
The other man in the video is Kevin Baigert, who runs the Roving Patriots PAC with his wife Laura, and who was involved with helping to launch the Tennessee Star, a right-wing propaganda outlet (whose CEO owes his ex-wife hundreds of thousands in child support).
In the video Baigert tells Kristina that if she wants to go after Byrd she needs to go after Rep. Rick Staples also, as well as Martin Luther King Jr., even though neither have admitted on tape to child sex abuse with teenage girls.
Richardson also makes the astute point that as a Hardin County resident David Byrd is her representative, and Martin Luther King Jr. is not. She then tells the two men she is not being paid, and says she is one of 6 women of Enough Is Enough who are speaking up about the Byrd issue on behalf of the survivors.
Kristina handled herself well. Truly fascinating to watch Doss and Baigert essentially mount the “Everyone does it” defense on behalf of Byrd, whose behavior Doss repeatedly insists he is not “condoning”.
It’s important to note that what Doss does NOT say is “Byrd didn’t do it.”
At the same event we saw Senator Joey Hensley call Byrd a “good person” and a changed man, which tells us that Republicans have abandoned the “Byrd didn’t do it” defense – clearly realizing nobody was buying that – and have now moved on to saying he did it but he’s a new man, a good Christian and that since God has forgiven him we all should too.
Ironically, Governor Lee JUST THIS WEEK signed a bill that removed statute of limitations for child sex abuse that passed the house and senate easily.
So to sum up the Republican position: Child sex abusers should be punished regardless of how much time has passed… unless you’re David Byrd.
The hypocrisy runs deep.
We should note that Governor Lee has left the door open to expelling Byrd in the upcoming August 23rd special session to replace Glen Casada as speaker. Between now and then, everyone in Tennessee should be showing up at town halls and hollering at every elected official to ask ON TAPE if they agree Byrd Must Go.
Salute to Kristina for this video. Please send all other videos of reps being asked our way: TheTNHoller@gmail.com
Danny Claud Hensley, a former Dixie Youth umpire and crossing guard at Lewis County Elementary School, entered no contest pleas to two counts of assault on May 22, 2019 in Hickman County Circuit Court, according to the Lewis County Herald.
Hensley recently testified at the state legislature to help pass the Leigh Ann Act – HB1340 by Rep. Clay Doggett (R-Lawrenceburg), SB1163 by Sen. Joey Hensley (R-Hohenwald) – which creates a Class A misdemeanor for violating a no contact order issued to a domestic violence victim.
The bill is named for his daughter Leigh Ann Hensley, who was shot to death by a man in a domestic dispute. Hensley gave emotional testimony at the Judiciary committee, and held a picture of Leigh Ann as he spoke, saying:
“I had never taken domestic violence serious until it hit us.”
The indictment against Hensley states Grand Jurors for Lewis County presented that Hensley “unlawfully, intentionally and knowingly, did cause physical contact with Coleen Kimbro, which a reasonable person would regard as extremely offensive or provocative” (Victim’s name used with permission).
Hensley was sentenced to six months probation, and a no contact order was put in place regarding the victim and her parents.
Kimbro tells the Holler many of the legislators responsible for bringing Hensley in to testify, and for getting his bill passed, were made aware of the situation, including Speaker Glen Casada:
“Speaker of The House Glen Casada was informed about Danny Hensley being brought up on 5 counts of charges. Rep. Bruce Griffey, Senator Joey Hensley, Rep. Clay Doggett, Rep. David Byrd, Mark Hall and Chief of Police Sam Livingston all knew about Hensley being indicted and charged with 5 counts of assault, as well as the felony forgery charges, and still sponsored and endorsed not only the bill but Hensley as well. The Chief of Police, was his former employer and is his friend and Pastor.
Can You Say Good Ole Boy?”
“Victims are not out to destroy other people and their reputations, victims simply want to move forward and not have to live in fear.”
“Danny Hensley was sworn to protect and serve and instead he preyed on the most vulnerable. He knew I was already a victim of rape and domestic assault and used his position as a sitting board member at the Shelter and as an officer at the Hohenwald Police Department to abuse and assault me. Danny Hensley used his positions to threaten me with his friends in power. He kept me in fear and made me feel as though there was no way a victim could ever trust an officer or ever expect any justice. In Danny Hensley’s own words, ‘no woman should live in fear’, and yet I lived in fear daily because of Danny Hensley, who portrayed himself to be a protector of women while he was abusing me.I pray that Danny Hensley is never put in a position where he is able to harm another individual again, because the emotional damage they suffer is lifelong compared to the short sentence he will serve.”
“Victims see men in power portraying themselves as heroes while the men torment and prey on the most vulnerable and make them feel even more vulnerable and abused. Sadly, I begged for help before the bill was passed and no one cared. Now that the bill has passed they have given a predator immortality, and only victimized his victim more by refusing to act when I begged for help.”
Hensley also entered conditional pleas of guilty to 4 counts of forgery, for which he was sentenced to pay court costs and serve two years supervised probation. Four charges of misdemeanor theft were dismissed as part of the plea negotiations.
In April of 2018 he was released from umpire duties for Lewis County Dixie Youth Baseball and Softball by the board of directors via an official letter claiming Mr. Hensley had kept two different Lewis County Dixie Youth paychecks that belonged to at least two different umpires, forged the umpires signatures of endorsement on the back of the checks, and cashed them.
Rep. David Byrd has apologized on tape to 1 of 3 women who say he molested them as children.
Even after meeting with one of Byrd’s victims, Governor Lee has been silent about Byrd’s presence in the legislature- so Enough Is Enough-TN staged a sit-in at Lee’s office, and ended up spending the night, as state trooper’s threatened the press with arrests.
Watch the VIDEO:
And holler at Governor Lee HERE if you think #ByrdMustGo.
Another one from the You-Couldn’t-Make-This-Up-If-You-Tried file…
HB 0283, a bill being carried by Rep. Littleton (R-Dickson) in the house and Senator Dawn White (R-Murfreesboro) in the senate, will be voted on in the house today.
The summary of the bill states:
“Criminal Offenses – As introduced, increases the punishment for a conviction of aggravated rape of a child from 15 to 60 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000 to life in prison without the possibility of parole. – Amends TCA Title 39, Chapter 13 and Title 40, Chapter 35.”
The bill is being co-sponsored by a long list of reps… including the one and only Rep. David Byrd, who as a reminder has apologized on tape to 1 of 3 women who accuse him of molesting them when they were in high school, and who was removed from his education subcommittee chairmanship just last week.
The week prior Byrd’s son was forced out of his coaching spot in Jackson for “inappropriate communication” with a minor.
Let’s just say Rep. Byrd has some nerve coming anywhere near this bill. Feel free to holler at him HERE and let him know.
And feel free to holler at Speaker Casada and Governor Lee and let them know it’s time to call for Byrd’s resignation.
Sometimes, people do the right things for the wrong reasons.
At 10:30 a.m., the Tennessean broke the news Tennessee Speaker of the House Glen Casada had removed Rep. David Byrd as chair of the House Education Subcommittee.
Byrd, of course, is the former girls basketball coach accused by several of his former high school players of sexually assaulting them – some in exchange for court time – in the 1980s. In a taped conversation with Christi Rice, one of the victims, Byrd apologized to her saying he “prays every week” about what he did to her, although he doesn’t give specifics on what he asks forgiveness for.
For months, supporters of Rice and other women involved have been asking Casada to remove Byrd as chair of the committee: It’s a clear slap in the face of education supporters to appoint an accused sexual predator to chair an education committee, but Casada maintained in a taped face-to-face interview with former congressional candidate and Holler editor Justin Kanew: “(Byrd) will do a good job.”
TN State Rep. David Byrd admitted on tape to sexual misconduct with female players he coached. His own party asked him to step down. He refused.
— Justin Kanew (@Kanew) February 19, 2019
However, today’s removal of Byrd comes one day after the former educator voted against one of Casada and right-wing Governor Bill Lee’s pet projects: Education vouchers.
So, did Casada strip Byrd of his duties because a) the pressure from victim advocates got to him, b) the father of daughters and grandfather of girls finally saw the problem with having a molester as chair of a committee, or c) he wanted retribution for Byrd’s vote?
Casada hasn’t said, but sometimes people do the right thing for the wrong reasons.
Emily Tseffos, leader of Enough is Enough -Tennessee, had this to say:
“This is a good first step but it’s not enough. This campaign will continue until David Byrd is no longer in public office.”
This is a developing story.
We couldn’t make this up even if we tried: JD Byrd, son of Rep. David Byrd – who has apologized on tape to 1 of 3 women who say he sexually molested them in high school – has just resigned as coach of Jackson Christian boys basketball team, and it seems it was for “inappropriate communication with a student”, according to an email that went out from the principal’s office. (SEE BELOW)
Apple, meet tree.
We’ve left word for the athletic director.
The school president is away on a mission trip.
More on this story as it develops….
“We will not let Speaker Glen Casada silence dissent in the People’s House.”
Extended Video shows what happened when the peaceful protestors Speaker Glen Casada had dragged from Rep. Byrd’s committee last week returned to another meeting.
(Also featuring Rep. Gloria Johnson calling for Byrd’s resignation, and the silence of State Representatives Ryan Williams and William Lamberth)