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VIDEO: “HEARTBEAT BILL” FLOOR DEBATE HIGHLIGHTS (Plus Gloria Johnson)

Watch TN’s mostly male House of Representatives pass the “Heartbeat Bill”, which would force women to carry their rapist’s child to term, after Speaker Glen Casada ignored State Representative Gloria Johnson‘s amendment to offer those women protections.

READ MORE HERE.

#HeartbeatBill #HB0077

SILENCED: Speaker Casada Ignores Female Rep’s Rape & Incest Exceptions Amendment

Today Tennessee Republicans passed the “Heartbeat Bill”, which would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected – generally around 6 weeks into a pregnancy – by a 67-21 vote, with 7 abstentions.

The bill makes no exceptions for rape or incest, meaning even a teenager impregnated after being raped by her basketball coach would have to carry the baby to term.

Rep. Micah Van Huss, who carried the bill, famously said he “could not find the evil” in that scenario.

The passage of the bill was contentious. Rep. London Lamar stood up and objected, saying as the only woman of child-bearing age she should have more say over what happens to her body than the mostly male TN House.

From Rep. Lamar London:

Rep. Gloria Johnson also stood to talk, and was the only female Rep with an amendment scheduled to be heard, but was ignored, as was her amendment for the bill which would have allowed for exceptions in the cases of rape and incest.

Johnson followed all the protocol to have her amendment heard, and it was on the schedule, but Speaker Casada – who has admitted that he has taken the lead on this legislation in the hopes that it will end up in front of the Supreme Court – adjourned, then came back and ignored Johnson’s amendment.

These bills are unconstitutional, as even the committee lawyer admitted.

Women were outside in the hallway protesting the bill loudly.

 

Here are some other reactions:

State Senator Jeff Yarbro:


State Rep. John Ray Clemmons:

If you believe Speaker Casada silencing Rep. Johnson was wrong, and that women should have a say in what happens to their bodies, holler at him HERE.

HYPOCRISY ALERT: TN GOP To Pass Sex Abuse Awareness Resolution While Silent On Byrd

Yet another incredible chapter of the Rep. David Byrd saga is unfolding right before our eyes, albeit under the radar.

Rep. Mike Sparks (R-Smyrna) is carrying a joint resolution to be heard by the Judiciary Committee Wednesday morning that “Urges the state to increase awareness of sexual abuse and the substance abuse and crime that result from sexual abuse.”

It passed a subcommittee by voice vote last week.

This is happening while still not a single Republican member of the legislature has spoken out against Rep. David Byrd, who apologized on tape to 1 of the 3 women who have now accused him of sexually molesting them when they were high school basketball players playing for him at Wayne County High School.

Former Speaker Beth Harwell asked Byrd to step down. Current Speaker Glen Casada not only hasn’t done that, he promoted Byrd to chair of an education subcommittee.

Here’s some video of Sparks presenting the resolution to a subcommittee, where it passed by voice vote:


The hypocrisy levels are off the charts on this one. From the Resolution:

“It is vitally important that victims of sexual abuse receive appropriate treatment and care that involve understanding, recognizing, and responding to the types of trauma to help them become survivors and rebuild a sense of control and empowerment.”

It’s almost as if they’re trolling Byrd’s victims and everyone who stands with them, including the women Speaker Casada had thrown out of Byrd’s subcommittee hearing last week for no reason.

All this comes after Casada blatantly lied about ever meeting with the victims, who he proceeded to run ads against calling them fake news.

This resolution rings hollow given the current situation. If you agree, holler at Sparks, and Speaker Casada.

And feel free to join Enough is Enough at Byrd’s subcommittee hearing Tuesday afternoon at 4pm at the Cordell Hull Building.

Fidel Casada: “Your 1st Amendment Rights End At Your Nose”

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 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. 

EXTENDED VIDEO: What Really Happened At The Byrd Hearing

There have been many reports about what happened when Speaker Casada had trooper drag peaceful women out of a committee meeting presided over by Rep. David Byrd, who has admitted on tape to sexually molesting high school girls he coached.

Casadas office released a statement saying the women were “disrupting the legislative process” – here’s extended video that proves that statement to be false.

Please watch and share… and the women would like you to know they will be at the next Byrd hearing Tuesday at 4pm at the Cordell Hull building, and would love you to join them.

VIDEO: WSMV Report on Speaker Casada Having Protestors Dragged Out of Byrd Hearing

Here’s the WSMV News 4, Nashville report last night from Jeremy Finley on speaker Glen Casada having peaceful women removed from a hearing chaired by Rep. Byrd that wasn’t even in session, simply because they made Byrd uncomfortable.

Last we checked free speech was an important part of the constitution:

VIDEO: Jake Tapper Segment on Casada’s Support for Byrd

Here’s the Jake Tapper/Victor Blackwell CNN segment on Speaker Casada’s support for Rep. David Byrd, who sits as chair of an education subcommittee even after apologizing for sexual misconduct with girls he coached.

This story is finally getting the national attention it deserves. Please watch and share. Byrd must go. Holler at Casada and Byrd if you agree.

VIDEO: Survivor Speaks Out At Williamson Town Hall, Casada A No-Show

This morning in Williamson County at a Town Hall event Speaker Casada was billed to be attending, Casada was a no-show.

The rest of the Williamson delegation – Senator Jack Johnson, Rep. Sam Whitson, and Rep. Brandon Ogles -were all there, as were some CNN cameras, but Casada was nowhere to be found.

Had he been there he would’ve been confronted by survivor Ashley Massey of Lawrence County, who bravely spoke up anyway about Casada’s support for David Byrd, who can be heard admitting on tape to sexual abuse with his former high school basketball players.

Here’s the video:


Sam Whitson got up and left, and Brandon Ogles attempted to perpetuate the false notion that anything in the Casada video posted earlier this week was being taken “out of context”.

Please share the video on Twitter and Facebook, and if you have a problem with the way they reacted, holler at Sam Whitson HERE and Brandon Ogles HERE.

UPDATE: Rep. Byrd’s Accusers Say They Never Met With Speaker Casada

Yesterday we posted a video, picked up by the Tennessean, News Channel 5, Slate, and the Huffington Post, where former congressional candidate Justin Kanew confronted Tennessee Speaker of the House Glen Casada about his support for Rep. David Byrd – who has admitted on tape to sexually assaulting players he coached at Wayne County High School.


Former Speaker Beth Harwell asked Byrd to step down. Speaker Casada instead ran attack ads against the victims, then promoted Byrd to chair of the education subcommittee when he was re-elected with 78% of the vote.

In the video, Kanew asks Casada if he has heard the victims’ side of the story. Casada says that he has, and that in fact he met with the victims:

“They came into my office and spoke.”

Turns out that’s news to the victims.

Christi Rice, who has been the most outspoken of the three women who have leveled the allegations at Byrd, responded to Kanew’s video on twitter saying:

Meanwhile Robbie Cain said in a message to Christi Rice obtained by The Holler that she had no idea who Casada was:

The 3rd victim has remained anonymous apart from the initial WSMV interview. Christi Rice is in contact with her and says she is “absolutely” sure she has not spoken with Speaker Casada:

The Holler has reached out to Casada’s office for comment, and so far has not heard back. We will update the story if we do.

So not only did Casada attack the victims, he also didn’t even take the time to talk to them to hear their stories- then lied about whether or not he did.

There’s nothing defensible about any of this. Since posting the original video the Holler has heard from countless women of all political stripes who have stories like this of their own.

Meanwhile a reliable source has told us they saw Channel 4’s Jeremy Finley and a crew being escorted from the building by security, after going down to Casada’s office to ask around about Byrd. And we also heard CNN is down there knocking on Byrd’s door.

If you agree we don’t need an admitted sex offender in the state legislature chairing the education subcommittee, holler at Casada and Byrd, and lend your support to Enough is Enough.

 

 

OPINION: Why She Didn’t Report

Emily Tseffos is a mom, a teacher, a volunteer and community organizer with Enough is Enough Tennessee… and a survivor. She wrote this in response to a video we posted yesterday, where Speaker Glen Casada defended his support for admitted sex offender Rep. David Byrd, who he has now made chair of an education subcommittee while attacking Byrd’s victims and questioning why they didn’t come forward sooner.

This piece, of course, is purely hypothetical, and not at all about the allegations leveled against Rep. “Coach” David Byrd by 3 of his former players.

——

Imagine this. You’re fifteen years old and live in a small town, about an hour off of Interstate 40 in southwest Tennessee. It’s literally a one-stoplight town, sprinkled with local businesses who haven’t been put out of business by the closest Walmart, about twenty minutes away.
Everyone knows everyone here – babies, weddings, death, and drama – it’s hard to sneeze without your neighbors getting word of it.
You’re a pretty good student, but the thing you look forward to most is basketball. You are GOOD. There’s talk about you playing in college, meaning you’ll get out of the town you grew up in to see more of the world than the hills and valleys you’ve memorized since you were a child.
Then one day you’re at practice and you notice something different – you catch your coach looking at you just a little longer than he probably should. You shrug it off, complete the drill, and go home. But then it happens again. And now when he’s giving you tips on your free throws he leaves a hand on your shoulder a little longer than he used to. It gives you goosebumps and you don’t move away. He’s twelve years your senior, married, with a newborn baby.
You’re probably imagining things.
Weeks later you’re at an away tournament and after you check in with your teammates your coach asks you to stop in his room to go over plays for your games tomorrow. You put on your sweats and walk to his room. You’ve got to call your mom to let her know you’ve arrived before 9:00pm because you know she’ll be going to bed after that.
You knock. He opens the door. You enter slowly, sitting on the chair near the window. He asks how you’re feeling about the game tomorrow, how your family is, if you were ready for the biology test you have in his class on Monday. “You better find some time to study,” he jokes. You laugh, a little awkwardly.
You want to talk about the plays and then go home. You’ve still got to call your mom.
“I’ve got the plays right here. Come around over by me and take a look,” he says, motioning to the bed. That bed looks big – bigger than it had when you walked in the room. You sit. Small talk continues. As he explains the second play, an up-screen for the guard that will lead to an opening at the key, he puts his hand on your knee.
Lightly. Just for a moment, but it startles you, so you look up at him. He looks at you. Just a little longer than he probably should.
“You know, I’ve been thinking about what I want. I want to see you naked,” he says, almost whispering. And he kisses you. You’re fifteen. You’ve barely kissed a boy – definitely not a man. You pull back, your mind racing. Is this happening? What do I do? Does he like me or something? He can’t! He’s my teacher, my coach – HE HAS A WIFE! I still have to call my mom.
You pull back, but he moves a little closer; his hand lingers again on your knee. “It’s okay,” he says softly, and he kisses you again. His hand moves toward your breast. Your body is still there but you feel like you’re outside of it – this can’t be happening. He’s my coach. We have a game tomorrow. He’s my coach. This can’t be happening.
It’s a tragedy that repeats over and over in your mind because while you know your life has just been changed forever, you have no idea what to do.
You go back to your room. You don’t say anything to your roommate, one of your best friends. You brush your teeth, but can’t bring yourself to look in the mirror. You get in bed and turn off the light – but you don’t sleep. What just happened between you and that grown man is running on an endless loop, and you stare at the ceiling as the hours pass.
As the season progresses, so do the advances. In the locker room, on the bus, after school. There’s even talk about going to motel nearby for some privacy. You’re fifteen. He’s twenty-eight. You want to tell someone, ANYONE – but who? If you speak up to your friends they might not believe you – and what if they tell other kids in your class? Gossip like that spreads like wildfire here. If you say something to your teachers, would they even listen?
This man is revered here. There’s no way they’d take a little girl’s word over his.
If you tell your parents… you can’t tell your parents. How could they ever forgive you?
You stay silent. You play basketball, but you don’t know how to separate what is happening off the court with his expectations on the court. It’s hard to listen to and take seriously someone for whom you’ve got no respect. Eventually it’s too much for you and whatever was happening between you ends. You’ve grown to resent this man, who he is, and what he’s made you become.
You close yourself off from friends and family, unsure of how to handle what’s happened. You’re mad, and hurt, and afraid, and confused and so you ignore it.
What happened between you is in the past and you continue to live your life, pushing those memories into the furthest part of your conscious mind so that you can grapple with the normal drama of high school without the heaviness and the loss of what happened to you.
Years pass.
You watch as this man continues to coach young girls, always wondering what might still be happening off the court but never really knowing. The high school’s gymnasium is named after him and he continues to climb in stature in the community, eventually leading to his election as a state representative. Each time you cross his path – either in person or through conversation – you become your teenaged self again. You feel nervous energy, anger, loss, grief.
But you keep silent.
But then you find out that other girls have experienced what you have. That they were fondled, groped, verbally abused, and more at the hands of a man who took advantage of little girls, preying on them over and over. And you relive it all again, but this time you feel an overwhelming sense of guilt.
How many were there? How many more lived in silence? Could I have stopped this?
And so you risk it all. You speak out over and over again, telling the truth each time. You lose friends and keep others, but most of them aren’t willing to publicly take a stand in your defense. You live in the community you grew up in, you see, and the town is taking sides. You stop getting your groceries at the store you’ve gone to for decades. You barely go to church anymore.
Your parents’ friends have all fallen away, and every time the topic is brought up they can’t help but cry. Was it worth it? Will it matter? You’ve never felt more alone than in some of these moments.
But you keep speaking and standing up, knowing that the truth needs to be shouted above all of the noise. Those in powerful positions in your community protect and defend him, not bothering to investigate any of the allegations against this man or to reach out to you directly.
It’s not so much for just you anymore, but for your community, your state.
You know that when men like the man who stole innocence from you so long ago are put in positions of power and are seemingly untouchable, it gives permission for other men to do the same to other little girls.
So you keep telling the truth in the hopes that your sacrifice gives other survivors the freedom and the courage to speak out – no matter who the abuser is.
Dedicated to survivors, especially those in rural Tennessee.