You would think things would be looking rosy for Gov. Bill Haslam these days. Spring is in the air, he’s probably going to run totally unopposed for re-election and the family still has a buttload of billions in the bank.
But everywhere one turns these days, the governor and his policies are under assault. Some examples:
- His Common Core/PARCC testing speculative venture is under serious assault. Even his most ardent supporters are starting to look like Democrats trying to explain Obamacare (“All is calm! No reason to panic! I-e-e-e-e! Run! Save yourself!).
- The governor hauled the entire GOP Senate caucus into his office for a “woodshed” meeting on his education policies, only to leave the discussion rubbing his own behind.
- He staged a big PR event about raising teacher’s salaries faster than any other state in the country, then just a few months later couldn’t even generate a lousy 2% increase. This time, however, no PR event – just a cowardly statement released in the dead of night without even consulting legislators. [Editors note: It still amazes the denizens of RTP why these legislators continue to defend this administration when it has repeatedly screwed them on things large and small]
- And then Channel 5 in Nashville breaks the story that the guv and his people tried to strong arm Volkswagen, using $300 million in taxpayer-funded incentives to keep them from unionizing. Now RTP agrees about the whole right-to-work thing, but the administration’s tactics reek of the same kind of “thug” politics the unions themselves are known for (“Nice little bidness youse got here, Helmut, what with makin’ da cars and stuff. Be a shame if anyting was ta happen to it…..”).
UPDATE: The governor now says that the $300 million in tax incentives tied to the union vote at Volkswagen was not a threat but a “statement of reality” Yeah, Guv. like the St Valentines Day Massacre wasn’t a threat from Al Capone but was actually a “statement of reality.” If you going to play thug politics, you going to need bigger cajones.
There’s lots more than time, space and mercy prevent us from listing here. But stay tuned……..