VICIOUSLY BIGOTED BUTT OFFICIALLY IN FOR MAURY MAYOR

As the Maury County Holler reported this week, rumor at Mulefest on Saturday was Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles would NOT be running for both re-election and the open TN-5 congressional seat, but would instead be relinquishing his hold on the mayor’s office to focus on the crowded circus of a TN-5 primary.

Word was the Maury GOP would then throw their weight behind former TN House GOP Rep Sheila Butt for mayor.

Well, the Maury Holler appears to have been correct. Butt has just posted a picture of herself dropping off her petition to run for Maury mayor.

This is noteworthy because even in a party that has come to stand for anti-LGBT hate, anti-Muslim hate, and, yes, racism, Sheila stands out from the crowd.

Butt’s anti-LGBT hate is blatant and right out in the open. Would you like some examples, with receipts? That’s what we’re here for. Let’s begin…

She has said homosexuality is a “slippery slope” to pedophilia and a “godless” “horrific” “immoral” culture:

She told Maury County residents to steer clear of downtown Columbia because of a PRIDE block party:

She even put her name on whatever the hell this is:

BUTTT it isn’t just about her hatred for our LGBTQ brothers & sisters.

She is also deeply anti-Muslim, and once even called for Christian and WHITE organizations to form in opposition to CAIR.

She’s also as anti-reproductive freedom as they come, advocating for the ban of all abortions without exceptions for rape, and even going as far as to say most instances of rape are “not verifiable” – a comment for which she was admonished by one of her Democratic House colleagues:

And if all that wasn’t enough, Butt once openly disparaged the idea of interracial marriage in her book, saying women who date outside of their race are often less desirable to those of their own races afterwards:

And these are just a few of her greatest hits. There is undoubtedly plenty more.

In today’s GOP, does harboring racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, anti-woman views count as baggage? Or is that, in fact, her qualifying resume?

Judging by the word that the party is already in the tank for her, we probably have her answer.

How can LGBT people, Muslims, People of Color, women – or anyone really – feel safe in the community knowing Butt is their mayor? Is being this hateful what Maury County is looking for in a mayor? We hope it isn’t. We fear it is.

Ogles was hateful. Butt may somehow be worse. We have to be better than this.

And we truly hope other members of the media, particularly in Maury County, will remind people what Butt is really all about.

HAYES RIPS GOP “GROOMING” HYPOCRISY

MARSHA BLACKBURNED ON SNL

MARSHA BLACKBURNED ON SNL

In case you missed it, our own Senator Marsha Blackburn was BLACKBURNED on SNL by the hilarious Cecily Strong after her gross mistreatment of Ketanji Brown Jackson during the Supreme Court nominee hearings last week. 

“Are you jerkin’ my perm… If you don’t know what a woman is, how are you gonna take their rights away?” 🤣🤣🔥🔥

Give Cecily Strong & SNL all the awards for this Senator Marsha Blackburn impersonation… she really captured her essence. Our hope is that they please make this recurring.

Not only did Marsha get roasted for her line of questioning asking KBJ to define “woman” and asking Jackson if she had a “hidden agenda” to incorporate CRT into our legal system… she also completely blew it by mixing up the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Ok which one of y’all did this? 🤣

It was cathartic to see Marsha’s antics get the national humiliation they deserve. Marsha continues to be an embarrassment to our state as she does all she can to pander to her (easily fooled) base.

As always, we thank you for follering. Please consider chipping in monthly if you’re not yet doing so, even if it’s just a few bucks – the monthly support truly keeps us going. 

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TODAY’S HOLLER:

WATCH: “LET’S JUST MAKE ALL THE MEALS FREE.” An John Ray Clemmons bill to make meals free in Tennessee’s public schools so kids don’t have to try to learn on empty stomachs moves on – despite opposition from John D Ragan (as always🙄)

SPARKS OPEN RACISM😳Republican Rep. Mike Sparks (SMYRNA) baselessly says “RURAL” kids behave better than “INNER CITY” kids – causing Parkinson to react (understandably) — As a Follerer reminds us,  Rep. Sparks should remember his own son b4 baselessly trashing the behavior of “INNER CITY” kids vs. “RURAL” kids. 👇🏽🧐  he fired a gun at beer truck, got his 2nd DUI.

Reminder: Sparks won’t admit the civil war was fought over slavery🧐 
🚨ATTENTION WILLIAMSON COUNTY: Do NOT give disgraced speaker Casada a six-figure county clerk job. Be better than this.
(Also: We fixed his list of “accomplishments” for you👇🏽)

FLASHBACK — CASADA: “IF I WAS RAPED, I WOULD MOVE.” #CancelCasada Confronted by the Holler’s Justin Kanew about supporting a child sex abuser, Disgraced former speaker Glen Casada showed why his caucus made him the shortest serving TN speaker… 😳 Now he wants a $100K+ Williamson County clerk gig?

One other thing to remember as we revisit this conversation — he says Byrd’s victims “CAME INTO MY OFFICE AND SPOKE” — They did not. We’re in touch with them. It’s an outright, stone cold lie.

cc: WILLIAMSON COUNTY #CancelCasada 👇🏽

WILLIAMSON COUNTY — Dems are having an event to introduce local candidates on April 11th at the Admin Complex 👇🏽

TN ED REPORT: “If Governor Lee actually wants to improve student achievement, he’d make a significant investment in teacher salaries… but the real driving force is pro-charter pro-privatization lobbyists….” TLDR: This funding overhaul won’t help our kids. It will only help lobbyists and the companies they represent.


A THREAD on Gov. Lee’s privatization/VOUCHERIZATION of our public education system this week… call your reps…

TN PUBLIC ED: “Perhaps this year’s greatest threat to legislator incumbency is Gov. Lee’s new K-12 funding bill TISA… developed by ALEC, the school privatizing think tank. Do they work for out of state millionaires & billionaires or TN kids?” 🧐 💰

CLEMMONS: “TISA (Gov. Bill Lee’s funding overhaul and privatization) and adding $1 BILLION are TWO SEPARATE ISSUES… we should be putting at least that in anyway.” CLEMMONS on Lee using $1 Billion to hold our kids hostage to push his privatization/charter schools agenda.

👂LISTEN: “(The FBI) wanted to get MLK to Memphis where daddy & them could handle it.” On the anniversary of MLK’s murder, an MLK TAPES clip — The son of the head of the Dixie Mafia says the FBI & Memphis police engaged his family to assassinate MLK.

MLK was assassinated 54 years ago today. At the Lorraine Motel. If you’re not listening to THE MLK TAPES you should be. It makes a compelling case that the FBI & Memphis police engaged the “Dixie Mafia” to do it. (The King family does not believe it was James Earl Ray)

Important MLK 50 piece: “The TN Housing Development Authority steers affordable housing into segregated, poor neighborhoods… Of 20 largest states, only TN & FLA don’t reward building in middle-class areas… board has just 1 Black member…”

🙃 a sure sign of a healthy party is when you won’t tell people why they should vote for you until AFTER the election

ICYMI: “Tennessee (Republicans) trying to find a loophole to ban same-sex marriage even if it legalizes child brides” 🎯 nails the framing of this TN GOP outrageousness (bonus points 🏆 for including our videos)

NO CODE OF ETHICS: Of course Republicans are “skeptical” of a SCOTUS code of ethics — it’s a slippery slope… Next people might expect THEM to start behaving ethically. 😳

MASON UPDATE: Majority Black city MASON, TN is now suing comptroller Jason Mumpower for trying to take over their finances (and erase them from the map) right as a Ford plant moves in 4 miles away, calling it discriminatory and unconstitutional.

WATCH: Does the NCAA not regulate sports? THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF THE STATE REACHING IN.” 🏳️‍⚧️ Senator Akbari opposes Hensley’s anti-trans athlete bill, as they prove yet again that The GOP = The Government Overreach Party.

🏳️‍⚧️ WATCH“WHO ARE YOUR MAJOR FUNDERS?” – On the anti-trans athlete bill REP. ANDREW FARMER shields far-right ALLIANCE DEFENDING FREEDOM from REP.MIKE STEWART’s Q about anti-public school groups funding them (Kochs, etc..) and their history of arguing to criminalize homosexuality😳 (per The Southern Poverty Law Center)

PSA…

“INFLATION” IS PRICE GOUGING: Any articles about “inflation” that fail to mention skyrocketing corporate profits are running cover for corporate greed…. They aren’t raising prices because they have to. They’re doing it because they can.

😳WATCH: “The richest county in TN generates💰off its own employees?” WILLIAMSON COUNTY charges tuition to kids of (underpaid) teachers who live outside the county. Ugly. EMAIL COUNTY COMMISSIONERS: commissioners@williamsoncounty-tn.gov

THIS WEEK: House Dems pass a bill legalizing marijuana — all 7 Tennessee Republicans voted NO. GOP = Government Overreach Party

REP. COHEN“The war on drugs failed… marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol.” – Cohen rose to support the #MOREAct which would legalize marijuana at the federal level. It passed the House despite All 7 REPUBLICAN reps opposing it.

HIGH TIMES: “TN Legalization Bill Goes Up In Smoke… bill from TN Dems Rep. Bob Freeman & Senator Campbell always had an uphill climb in Tennessee’s Republican-dominated legislature… Gov. Lee has said he is against legalizing pot.” While other states are moving forward, we’re moving backwards.

Reminder: Republicans hate weed… until they can go make a lot of money off of it.

Not only are state Republicans in Tennessee not letting us move forward on marijuana, this session they killed a bill from Republican Bruce Griffey just to put a question on the ballot to ASK Tennesseans if they support medical marijuana. (SPOILER: BECAUSE OVER 80% DO)

WATCH: “WHO COULD BE AGAINST THAT?!” Republicans kill REPUBLICAN State Senator Niceley’s bill regulating Delta-8/Hemp products as Briggs’ ban passes threatening thousands of jobs MOVING US BACKWARDS. Republicans (Rose, White, Gardenhire, Lundberg, Bell, Stevens, Briggs) advanced a ban on Delta 8 and similar hemp-derived products (SB1904) – threatening a $100 million industry and thousands of TN jobs.(powerful booze & pharma lobby, eh?)

SENATOR AKBARI: “This will give a teacher a LICENSE TO BULLY… it is wrong on so many levels.” 🏳️‍⚧️ Akbari opposed the cruel anti-trans pronouns bill, passed in committee by Republicans.

🔥 WATCH – A BIG WIN FOR AMAZON (AND ALL) WORKERS: “THINGS HAVE CHANGED… this is an example of the power people have… they’re gonna have to negotiate with their workers now.” 💪🏽 #UnionStrong #AmazonUnion A win for ALL workers.

Worth remembering LEAKED NOTES from a Bezos-attended meeting showed they planned to smear Chris Smalls, leader of the unionization movement, as “not smart or articulate” 😲😳 that ain’t a dogwhistle, that’s a bullhorn.  #AmazonUnion #UnionStrong

And as AMAZON UNION gets a huge win in NY, here in Tennessee Republicans are getting ready to enshrine anti-union “Right to Work” (aka Right to Exploit) in our state constitution.

3 CLEAR CHARTS that show unions and the middle class go hand in hand — the win today is a win for ALL workers. #UnionStrong #AmazonUnion

WATCH: “KIDS’ LIVES ARE AT STAKE.” Rep. Farmer and the TN GOP ust killed a Gloria Johnson bill to limit outrageous caseloads at TN Dept of Children’s Services – even as kids are dying. (Meanwhile, $500 million for a stadium? Fascinating what we can and *can’t* afford😳)

WATCH: “TN leads 🇺🇸 in shootings involving unsecured weapons and kids.” Republicans kill Rep Gloria Johnson’s Child Access Prevention bill… but pass Sexton’s bill to let guns in parks and lower the carrying age (OF ALL GUNS) to 18. 😳 (TN has 5 of the 65 deadliest cities)

ICYMI: The House also just passed a bill to cap insulin at $35/month 232-193 (12 Republicans joined the Dems) AGAIN: EVERY Tennessee Republican REP VOTED AGAINST IT. 😳

JUST SAYING…

UPDATE: A Dem enters the TN-5 race for congress to fill Cooper’s seat — State Senator Heidi Campbell —- She’ll face off with whoever emerges from a very crowded GOP primary🎪

SOME GOOD NEWS: THE “SUE THY NEIGHBOR” ABORTION BAN & BOUNTY BILL HAS DIED (for now) Keep hollering, y’all! It works. 🤜🏽 👊🏾

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MUMPOWER WON’T TALK ABOUT GETTING SUED BY MASON

GEORGIA’S GOV. KEMP TO SIGN GAS TAX PAUSE GOV. LEE WOULDN’T

Last week Tennessee Democratic representatives Bo Mitchell & John Ray Clemmons held a press conference calling for Governor Lee to impose a 90-day gas tax moratorium to help Tennesseans with the pain of higher gas prices – which is a global issue Republicans have incorrectly blamed on Biden. (Oil production is UP under Biden, so the idea that he’s choking off supply is ridiculous on its face)

By some calculations the state gas tax moratorium would mean Tennesseans keep hundreds of millions of dollars they would’ve otherwise had to spend at the pump. Since Governor Lee regularly brags about the BILLIONS in surplus funds Tennessee has, partly because we’re #1 in hoarding funds intended for poor folks, it would seem we could’ve handled the moratorium – but Lee has said he has no plans to implement it.

Lee’s exact quote:

“We’ll look at proposals, but what we need to do—and I’ve been working with governors across the country—is to reach out to the federal administration and say ‘Here’s what needs to be done. We need to reinstitute energy policies that take the burden off of Americans for higher energy prices.”

Anyone who follows this administrations knows that’s Lee Speak for saying he won’t do anything.

That decision looks even more heartless now that a similar measure has passed UNANIMOUSLY in Georgia, and their Republican governor is planning to sign it right away, giving them a gas tax break through May, and saving their citizens $300-$400 million by some estimates.

From the Athens Banner-Herald:

The Georgia Senate unanimously passed legislation Thursday temporarily suspending the state sales tax on gasoline, but not before a lengthy debate over who is to blame for record-high pump prices.

The bill, which the state House of Representatives passed last week, now heads to Gov. Brian Kemp’s desk for his signature.

The governor and lawmakers acted after gas prices surged following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Suspension of the tax will save Georgians 29.1 cents per gallon of gasoline, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Hufstetler, R-Rome, said before Thursday’s vote.

“The 29 cents is not going to completely solve the problem,” he said. “But it’s a start and a statement.”
It UNANIMOUSLY passed the house & senate in Georgia… but Lee won’t even consider it?
With Tennessee failing to expand Medicaid even as we lead in rural hospital closures per capita and medical bankruptcies, and slashing unemployment benefits even as legislators gave themselves raises, and refusing to raise the minimum wage, or give people paid leave… this is yet another example of Governor Lee and this Republican supermajority putting the people last.

Baum Eliminates Local Control of Charter School Recruitment (After Lying About His Bill)

TN Republicans (Cepicky, Ragan) Go To Bat For Hitting Kids 😳

INTERVIEW: TN Ed Commish Penny Schwinn on the Charter Schools Flood & Funding Formula

After a press conference to introduce the new plan to overhaul how public education is funded in Tennessee, Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn sat down with us for 5 minutes to talk to us about the concerns many are having that Lee’s true intentions are to privatize the public education system by flooding Tennessee with charter schools and allowing public dollars to flow to the private entities that run them.

Here’s Holler editor Justin Kanew’s op-ed in the Tennessean about that “Hillsdale Heist” this week.

Our question was simple: Can Governor Lee promise that the funding overhaul paired with the state charter approval board overriding local school board decisions about charter schools will not lead to LESS funding for traditional public schools in the long run?

They very clearly are making no guarantees about this. Governor Lee abruptly left the press conference when we asked, instead repeating their line that “charter schools are public schools”, which they are not. Charter schools are only public in that they receive public dollars, but just because something receives public dollars doesn’t make it a public entity – just ask every single defense department contractor.

This is an issue that will keep coming up as Governor Lee continues to use it as an excuse to funnel public dollars to the private, ideologically-driven (and yes religiously-driven) entities he is inviting to bring HUNDREDS of charters to Tennessee.

We have been trying to get Lee and Schwinn to talk to us about this. To her credit, Schwinn finally did sit down with us. Below is that conversation in its entirety – but the basic gist is Schwinn is insistent the new funding formula is separate from the charter school influx, and the Lee administration is adamant that charter schools are public schools, and therefore they do not intend to put a cap on how much funding can flow to them, or how many students can leave public schools to go there (with the “student based funding formula” helping the money follow them).

Many advocates feel it all amounts to a death knell for Tennessee public schools, which are already towards the bottom of the country both in terms of performance and funding.

A 2019 U.S. Department of Education study found that there was no meaningful difference between the eighth graders in charter schools and public schools when it came to math or English proficiency, as measured by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, often called “the nation’s report card.”

If you agree that the privatization/voucherization of our public education system is not in the best interest of ALL of our kids, the time to speak up against this is now.

Here’s our full conversation with TN Ed Dept Commissioner Penny Schwinn:

SINGER JOHN RICH COMPARES TEACHERS & LIBRARIANS TO PEDOPHILES (and owes them an apology)

On Thursday, singer John Rich showed up at the Tennessee state legislature to testify on behalf of Rep. Scott Cepicky’s HB 1944, a bill to crack down on library books Scott and his friends feel violate the definition of “obscenity”, which appears to vary from state to state and from legislator to legislator.

The Tennessee Library Association has spoken out against this bill. So have many teachers and parents. But it has a lot of support from those Moms For Ignorance aka Bored Moms for Liberty (whose Williamson County chapter was just scorched to the ground by a Republican school board member this week).

It also has the support of John Rich, who has been very outspoken about the issue of obscene library books and the curriculum, despite the fact that his kids go to an expensive private school, and despite the fact that his big hit was “SAVE A HORSE, RIDE A COWBOY”, with a music video featuring women dancing provocatively on a bridge in Nashville.

Rich took to the podium during the committee meeting and honed in on one point in particular, reading the legal definition of “Grooming”, saying that he only sees one difference between library books having what he deems to be sexual content in them and pedophiles in white vans luring kids in to show them sexually illicit content: “Kids can run away from the guy with the van.”

Here’s the VIDEO:

Never mind that teachers and librarians are trained to educate kids. Never mind that pedophiles are actually out to physically harm children. Never mind that there’s a state rep named David Byrd STILL in the Tennessee legislature who has apologized on tape to 1 of 3 women who say he sexually abused them when they were on his high school basketball team in Wayne County, and these same Republicans still continue to serve with him every day without saying a damn thing.

None of that matters to Rich. Nor, apparently, do the feelings of librarians and educators in our state, who had to be horrified by being compared to “groomers” and pedophiles in white vans.

What a disgrace.

He owes them an apology, as do the legislators who brought him there that day (hi Scott Cepicky).

Last week at a Williamson County works session the head of the WCEA gave a tearful speech saying teachers in Tennessee feel attacked these days, and that it feels like “death by 1000 cuts”.

And understandably so. Rich and the bored moms attacking them over books is just a small part of a much bigger attack on our public schools intended to help Governor Lee and his co-conspirators overhaul our public education funding system to steer billions of taxpayer dollars to privately run charter schools to fill kids with their moral , political, and yes religious ideologies.

READ Holler founder Justin Kanew’s op-ed in the Tennessean that lays it all out.

It’s a heist happening right before our eyes. Now is the time to speak up – not only against HB 1944, but also against the many bills intended to help privatize and voucherize our public education system, even against the will of local school boards.

Our librarians, and our schools, are under attack. Who will defend them?

OPIOID CRISIS-ENABLER BLACKBURN THREATENS GOV SHUTDOWN OVER RACIST HARM REDUCTION FREAKOUT

By now you’ve probably seen the blaring “BIDEN OFFERS FREE CRACK PIPES TO BLACK PEOPLE” headlines all over the right wing fever swamps. Fox, Shapiro, the whole crew is marching to the beat of the same misleading, racist drum.

Well, it’s deeply misleading, and not a little racist. The source of the issue is a $30 million “Harm Reduction” program grant the Biden administration released, based on evidenced-based science that shows those programs do work, which is targeted at addicts struggling mostly with the opioid epidemic.

Below we’ll let Hayes Brown explain the program and the “racist, callous, cruel and counterproductive” spin being put on it – but we wanted to direct your attention to one particularly disingenuous player in this ugly game: MARSHA BLACKBURN.

Marsha is now threatening a government shutdown over this, saying it’s a “slap in the face to communities and first responders fighting against drugs flowing into our country”.

Does she think we’ve forgotten that she was one of the main culprits in allowing the opioid crisis to rage on, by carrying a bill to make it harder for the DEA to fight the opioid crisis?

Does Marsha really think we don’t remember how much blood she has on her hands?

As for the issue at the root of this,  Hayes Brown breaks it down here:

For the past week, conservative media has been yelling about the Biden administration supposedly spending $30 million on “crack pipes” for poor Black neighborhoods. The hysteria is a real throwback to the 1990s and that era’s barely coded racist panic about people who use crack, given the drug’s prevalence in and strong association with Black communities — and it does nothing to help the millions of people addicted to narcotics.

At the center of the uproar is a Department of Health and Human Services grant that funds harm-reduction programs. A departure from policies that stigmatize addiction and force people who use drugs into hiding, these programs provide community-based support that includes having staff available to prevent overdoses, offering counseling on addiction and swapping out syringes to prevent the spread of HIV.

He adds:

Nowhere in the grant are pipes mentioned — but from the blog’s report, it was off to the race-baiting. “Joe Biden’s latest idea is to pay Black people to smoke more crack,” Fox News host Tucker Carlson said Tuesday. Fox News’ website also leaned into the racial angle in its reporting, noting that the grant request document from HHS referenced an executive order focused on advancing racial equity and supporting underserved communities.

Spinning a program meant to save lives into a program solely devoted to making crack more accessible in Black neighborhoods doesn’t happen by accident. It can only happen purposefully. It’s an echo of the mandatory minimums that for years made sure possession of crack cocaine drew harsher sentences than powder cocaine. It’s a remnant of the failed “tough on crime” approach to drug policy that has left hundreds of thousands incarcerated over the years and many, many more dead.

It also does nothing to help address the opioid crisis that Republicans accuse President Joe Biden of ignoring. There are millions of Americans out there who need help with their substance use disorder, enough that the grant HHS is distributing should be at least 10 times as large as it is. The attempts we’ve seen this week to prevent such people from getting that help are not just racist, they’re also callous, cruel and counterproductive.

And Marsha’s piling on this racist firestorm is especially hypocritical.