Rep. Mike Stewart & Rep. Bo Mitchell confront Gov. Bill Lee Tennessee Department of Education commish Penny Schwinn about a no-bid $2 MILLION ClassWallet contract that exceeds the total💰allocated for his voucher program, echoing controversy from her past.
Here’s more on Class Wallet: http://www.mommabears.org/blog/whos-in-your-wallet
The extra funding came from a Lamar Alexander-era program intended for teacher bonuses. Yes, taking from teachers to pay for the voucher program.
“It’s The Role Of This Committee To Get to the Bottom Of a $4 MILLION SLUSH FUND” Rep. Mike Stewart and Rep. Bo Mitchell call on Rep. Martin Daniel to investigate mysterious MONEY Gov. Lee may have used to get public school-harming vouchers passed. Even speaker Cameron Sexton calls it “troubling”.
Tennessee still has an admitted child sex abuser sitting in a State Rep seat.
Now that the Attorney General has said expelling him would be constitutional, it’s time for Tennessee Republicans to stop harboring him.
HOLLER AT THEM HERE:
Watch TN Dems Rep. Bo Mitchell & Rep. Mike Stewart call on Gov. Lee and the TN GOP to stop hoarding hundreds of millions in TANF funds intended for poor people’s child care, food, job training.
Between not expanding Medicaid, hoarding TANF funds, and not spending hundreds of millions in federal day care funds, Lee & The TN GOP have kept $8 BILLION from getting to Tennessee’s neediest.
“I think I’m going to be sick,” one school social worker told us when she heard this.
From the Democratic Caucus:
Democratic Caucus Chair Mike Stewart today asked “where did all the money go?” Stewart demanded a full accounting into the financial dealings of outgoing Speaker Glen Casada’s Republican leadership team.
“All of these reports of no-show jobs, five figure raises for former interns and multi-million dollar expenditure increases need to be fully examined before we go into special session and vote on a new Speaker. The Republicans cannot be permitted to use the Special Session to sweep these issues under the rug and hide the truth from the citizens who were forced to foot the bill for all this nonsense.”
Representative Gloria Johnson added:
“The reports we have read about misspent money are deeply offensive to the citizens of my district; these taxpayers are entitled to know what happened to every cent of their hard-earned tax dollars.”
Stewart called on a three-pronged approach to determine how funds were misspent, misallocated and/or misused during the Speaker’s administration:
- A full financial audit by the comptroller’s office into spending on purchases, salaries and allocations made by the Speaker’s office since Casada’s election.
- The appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the no-show jobs held by employees of the Speaker’s office.
- An open records release of all financial records, receipts, timesheets and other documents for full public review.
Chairman Stewart urged that all requests need to be completed before the called special session August 23rd, saying:
“Otherwise, we risk the possibility that the Republicans will just put one of Casada’s cronies in as Speaker in an effort to sweep evidence of financial malfeasance under the rug. If that happens, the taxpayers will never really know the full cost of the Casada Gravy Train and those that got the money will never be held accountable.”
Speaking of no-show jobs, the Holler has been told Michael Lotfi, who was on the receiving end of one of Casada’s no-show jobs and was attacked child sex abuse survivors while on the payroll, is still handling social media for Tennessee House Republicans.
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!
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.
Today the Tennessean has a story out from Natalie Allison detailing all the ways Speaker Casada has silenced dissent in recent days, particularly with regard to the admitted sex offender he has appointed to chair of an education subcommittee.
Aside from removing peaceful protestors from that committee, here are just some of the ways the Tennessean reminds us Casada is removing transparency from our legislature:
“Under Casada’s leadership, he’s implemented a rule change limiting debate on the House floor. That led to Casada cutting off the microphones of two Democrats on Thursday as they questioned the speaker.”
Here’s VIDEO of that, in case you missed it:
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) February 28, 2019
The Tennessean then goes on to point out:
“Several of his appointed committee chairmen have banned livestreaming from personal devices in meetings. A Casada spokesman has said a similar rule is in place in the House chamber… Last week, Casada hastily left a news conference with the help of state troopers, who subsequently temporarily blocked reporters from exiting the room… In a separate incident, a state trooper was dispatched to a legislative office lobby after a television reporter posed questions to Casada’s chief of staff about Rep. David Byrd.”
Regarding removing the peaceful protestors (watch our video HERE), Speaker Casada again perpetuates the lie that they were a “disruption”.
The Meeting was not in session. The women sat silently when it was. Here’s the proof.
The Speaker then goes on to rewrite the constitution, saying protesting is “good” but:
“in an orderly manner… Your First Amendment rights end at your nose.”
“Your first Amendment rights end at your nose”?
What does that even mean? We don’t remember that part of our country’s original document.
Casada isn’t alone in his efforts to silence the women. Jerry “We All Make Mistakes” Sexton, who engaged with the protestors when the Byrd hearing was in recess, also chimes in in the article, as does Rep. Cameron Sexton, both helping Casada perpetuate the falsehood that the women were a “disruption”.
The women were quiet when the meeting was in session, and as Allison points out in the article the 8×11 pieces of paper they had were within the rules of the legislature.
Here’s the back story on that:
“In December 2017, former House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville, and Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, R-Oak Ridge, implemented a policy that sought to prohibit hand-carried signs and signs on “hand sticks” because they were deemed dangerous… The policy received pushback, including in an online petition, and was altered to allow small letter-sized signs. When the policy was updated in January 2018, Connie Ridley, director of legislative administration, said “large signs on sticks or poles” would be prohibited. The policy has not been updated since then… In recent years, protesters have frequently brought signs with them to criticize or encourage lawmakers to take action on legislation.”
So the signs were allowed, the women were quiet… and these men are completely in the wrong. If you have an issue with dissent being silenced in our country, holler at Fidel Casada HERE.