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VIDEO: GOVERNOR LEE’S EXTREME ABORTION BILL

Watch Lee & announce his “comprehensive pro-life legislation” – despite bumbling on details.

TN Dems call it “extreme & divisive”, “unconstitutional”, say it does nothing to help TN’s health care crisis.

It will lead to costly lawsuits. TN’s maternal mortality rate is 3rd world, yet Lee refuses $1 BILLION/year in Medicaid expansion funds. That isn’t pro-life.

VIDEO: Rep. Gloria Johnson Says Extend Paid Leave to ALL Working Tennesseans

Democratic legislators Rep. Gloria Johnson & State Senator Sara Kyle had a bill last session to bring paid family leave to all Tennesseans, but were LAUGHED OUT OF COMMITTEE by Republican reps Rep. John Holsclaw Jr. & Rep. Clark Boyd.

Now Governor Lee has announced he’ll be extending it to all state employees, although he did NOT have paid leave for employees at his own company.

WATCH Gloria Johnson say all employees should enjoy paid leave, which is required by almost every other country in the world.

White “Office of Minority Health Disparities” Board Rejects Grant For “Too Raw” Instagram Post?

Kristin Mejia-Green’s application for a $10,000 grant to help address Tennessee’s maternal mortality crisis was recently rejected by the Office of Minority Health Disparities Elimination, allegedly on the basis of an Instagram post found to be “offensive” and “lacking inclusivity” by an all- or mostly-white committee, according to an Instagram video Mejia-Green made recently.

A health crisis is raging in Tennessee on many levels, but particularly when it comes to maternal mortality in the black community. Even Republican representative Ryan Williams recently said Tennessee is “like a third world country” when it comes to maternal mortality, comparing us to Ecuador.

To help address the issue among African-American mothers in Tennessee Kristin Mejia-Green applied for a $10,000 grant she planned to use to train and build “birth teams” around black mothers – “a birth doula, a post-partem doula, and a laceration counselor” – because, she says, “Every time we’re talking about post-partem and breastfeeding a little too late.”

Mejia-Green points to Tennessee’s own statistics and numbers, as well as ideas coming from the maternal and infant mortality report, to underscore the fact that her ideas and suggested trainings come right from the state’s own research.

A recent report showing “85% of maternal deaths in Tennessee were preventable” backs up what she’s saying.

It’s also worth noting many of the deaths happened because the mothers were cut off from health insurance sooner than they should have been, mainly because Tennessee is one of just a handful of states that tragically has not yet expanded Medicaid, and as a result loses over $1 BILLION each year.

REJECTION LETTER

Rejection Letter from Office of Minority Health Disparities Elimination

Mejia-Green says she was surprised her grant was rejected, because she had spent months getting the application right, and she became even more devastated when she learned from a non-white employee of the Office of Minority Health Disparities Elimination that the rejection came after white decision-makers deemed too offensive a social media post depicting breastfeeding and talking about how black women used to help each other breastfeed during times of slavery.

Here’s the “offensive” post:

The caption reads:

Before we were stolen from our homeland and made to serve those incapable of serving themselves, we served each other. Before we were torn from our families to care for families that treated us as their pets, we raised each other’s babies. Breastfeeding wasn’t a one woman job. Toddlers belonged to the neighbors while mom recovered. The village made sure the village thrived. WHY DO WE NEED #BLACKBREASTFEEDINGWEEK?! Our magic is responsible for the health of the people in charge of the very systems created to dismantle our communities. We nursed the U.S. Now it’s time to nurse US! This week is about reclaiming our health and seeing our sisters in a light we don’t often see them in. Support matters. Representation matters. Our goal at Homeland Heart is to bring the village right to your living room. Need help?! Reach out. We got you, family ❤️ #blackbreastfeedingweek#homelandheart #ittakesavillage#supportchangeseverything#supportmatters#representationmatters #blackmoms

According to Mejia-Green, the person of color she contacted at the Office of Minority Health Disparities Elimination told her the post was found to be offensive by decision makers who “don’t look like us” – meaning are white.

In other words, despite the names of officials listed on the Office’s site, which appear to be mainly people of color, the actual decision-makers for Grants and money-related issues run through a white panel.

To confirm, we reached out to the Office of Minority Health Disparities to ask two questions:

1) Why was the post offensive?

2) Who makes the decisions?

This is the carefully-worded statement sent back to us by Elizabeth Hart, Associate Director of Communication at the TN Department of Health:

“The Tennessee Department of Health reviews grants throughout the year in several of our program areas, including the Office of Minority Health and Disparities Elimination. When evaluating applications from organizations requesting funding, we do conduct additional research on the organization with a focus on criteria including feasibility of the proposal, evidence base, the infrastructure of the organization and ability to implement the proposal and plans for sustainability of the proposed project. If an applicant’s proposal is not approved by the review committee, the applicant is encouraged to resubmit during the current or a future grant cycle.”

In other words, of the 2 questions we asked, they answered neither – nor did they choose to do so when we followed up.

As Kristin says:

“Oh the irony- the people making decision sat the Office of Minority Health Disparities Elimination, aren’t even minorities… there are other people in charge of who’s important enough to save.”

This is Elizabeth Hart’s contact info, if you’re interested in hollering at her: 615-741-3446 & Elizabeth.Hart@tn.gov

And to chip in and support Homeland Heart’s efforts to address maternal mortality among African-American mothers in Tennessee: HomelandHeartTN@Gmail.com & @HomelandHeartTn

Here’s their donate link.

VIDEO: NASHVILLE “WOMEN FOR TRUMP” MARCH

Watch Trump supporters march at the Capitol, where they were met by counter-protestors and had a heated exchange.

EXTENDED BYRD APOLOGY

TN Republicans are trying to ignore a motion from Gloria Johnson to expel Byrd at the special session on Friday, so here’s an extended version of him apologizing for what 3 women accuse him of doing to them in high school.

The context is clear as a bell. He did it.

Holler at Speaker Cameron Sexton and tell him to take up Gloria’s motion, and show up Friday to make your voices heard.

rep.cameron.sexton@capitol.tn.gov

TN ABORTION BAN SPONSOR MARK PODY SEEKS TO “DESTROY SATAN”

Speaking to supporters, Senator Mark Pody – sponsor of the Tennessee abortion ban bill – says his goal is to “destroy Satan”.

The TN GOP openly says it hopes to take it to the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v Wade with the bill, which is clearly rooted in religious ideals.

We’ll have a video with highlights from the summer study hearings coming soon.

INTERVIEW: Francie Hunt of TN Advocates Planned Parenthood and Anna Carella of Healthy And Free TN

Our LIVE INTERVIEW with Francie Hunt of Tennessee Advocates for Planned Parenthood & Anna Carella of Healthy and Free Tennessee!

Talking about women’s reproductive rights, abortion bans and more.

MORALLY INEPT: Byrd Lies to A Reporter, Lee Avoids Doing the Right Thing (again)

There was a sequence of events yesterday that was so ridiculous we just wanted to make sure to connect the dots for everyone.

As you all know by now, here in Tennessee we have a state representative named David Byrd who apologized on tape to one of 3 women who say he sexually abused them when he was their basketball coach in high school.
Despite hearing the tape, and hearing Byrd apologize for what he had done, Speaker Glen Casada helped Byrd get re-elected by attacking the victims as “fake news”, and then promptly made Byrd chair of an education subcommittee after he won.
Casada would later remove him, only after a group of brave women relentlessly pointed out that it was a disgusting thing to do (and only after Byrd went against Casada on a key vote to help Governor Lee privatize public schools dollars through his school voucher program).
During the ordeal, Speaker Casada lied to The Holler about meeting with the victims. Governor Lee actually did meet with one of them, and then finally, 70 days later – only after Speaker Casada went up in flames and agreed to stop being speaker – Governor Lee said he believed the victims… but stopped short of asking Byrd to resign.
That brings us to just this week, when brave Tennessean Anna Grabowski confronted Lee, asking him to get Byrd out of the legislature. Lee told her it would happen “soon”, seeming to imply Byrd would be expelled at the upcoming special session to remove speaker Casada in August.
WATCH:

Wonderful! Better late than never, right? Finally it seemed Governor Lee was going to do the right thing and get the Tennessee Republican supermajority to expel David Byrd (aka Tennessee’s Jeffrey Epstein) during the special session in August.
Not so fast.
The same day we posted that video (yesterday), Governor Lee then spoke to the Tennessean and told them he wasn’t asking Byrd to resign, and Byrd wouldn’t be expelled at the special session. Instead, Lee told them he had called David Byrd and asked him not to run again… in 18 months.
In other words, Governor Lee believes the victims, and believes David Byrd did sexually abuse those children, but he’s willing to let him stay in office for nearly TWO MORE YEARS. 
Not only that, but Lee also told channel 5 news that when Anna Grabowski asked him to get the “child molester” out of office, Lee thought she was asking him about Speaker Casada, and he says he was talking about removing him as speaker, not expelling Byrd.

This is literally impossible to believe. Anna was 1 foot from him. The exchange is clear.
On top of that, when AP reporter Kim Kruesi reached out to Rep. Byrd to ask him if Lee had in fact asked him not to run again, Byrd told her that wasn’t true.

Byrd then immediately tried to backtrack and say it was a “private conversation” he had had with Lee. But it was too late. He had already outed himself on the record to a reporter as a liar, while also essentially calling Governor Lee a liar.
So, TO RECAP: Governor Lee almost did the right thing, only to find a way to do the wrong thing, then lied about why he seemed to almost do the right thing… while Byrd lied about Governor Lee doing the wrong thing and essentially called the Governor a liar.
Got all that?
Bottom Line: The truth does not matter to these people.
Meanwhile, Byrd is still in office, as is Speaker Casada, and Governor Lee manages to show us his true colors daily, putting his moral incompetence and inability to actually do the right thing on full display.
This one should’ve been easy all along. Child sex abuse should not be a partisan issue.
Byrd must go. And he should take speaker Casada with him. Holler at Governor Lee if you agree.

Domestic Violence Advocate Pleads “No Contest” To Assault of Woman, Casada & Legislators Were Warned

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?”

Kimbro says that victims “truly are seeking justice”, and that healing only begins once justice has been given to victims and their families:
“Victims are not out to destroy other people and their reputations, victims simply want to move forward and not have to live in fear.”
Her Victim Impact statement states:
“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.”
Kimbro went on to tell The Holler:
“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.”
Tennessee ranks #5 in the nation for women murdered through domestic violence. Columbia is the city where it happens most. Hensley told the Judiciary committee he had been to 154 different churches talking about the issue of domestic violence.

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.

VIDEO: “STOP THE BANS”

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)