Same Old T.E.A. in a brand New Bottle?

It was with bemusement that the gang at RTP read Tom Humphrey’s latest attempt to journalistically gratify yet another dubious political operative. sexAfter the glowing review, we felt Humphrey should have turned to Jim Wrye and asked one last question:  “Cigarette?”

For the uninitiated and low-information voters, Jim Wrye is the lobbyist for the Tennessee Education Association. Republican legislators should be very familiar with the TEA. After all they have spent literally millions over the last decade trying to keep the Republicans out of the majority — the same Republicans with who they now claim to have figured out a way to “work together.” Yeah, right.

Humphrey was gushing like a school girl as he described Wrye as someone who “came from Alabama without a banjo on his knee but with a gift of gab and experience in dealing with a solidly GOP Legislature.”

Really, Tom? Where you and Jim going on your second date?

But Wrye is a special case, but not in the way portrayed by Humphrey. It was one thing to give all their PAC money almost exclusive to Democrats for about 40 years, but with the addition of Wrye, the TEA went a big partisan step further.

Thanks to yet another RTP tipster, the RTP presents the background on Jim Wrye for your reading pleasure  at the bottom of this page.  As you can see, Jim Wrye is not just a Democrat. He is a Democrat’s Democrat. From field director to political director to the State Chairman of the Democratic freaking party, Wrye has made it abundantly clear what he thinks of the GOP, spending the majority of his career specifically targeting Republicans for defeat and raising money to accomplish his goal. The Tuscaloosa News called Wrye an “all-around cheerleader for the state Democratic Party.”   And now he is pretending to “make nice” with the Republicans in Tennessee?  Sheesh.

Humphrey was right about one thing. Wrye does have “experience in dealing with a solidly GOP legislature.” Wrye played a key role in making Alabama solidly Republican through his leadership and actions as the chairman of the Alabama Democratic party. So Republicans there do owe Jim Wrye a “thank you.” But not the kind of thank you that Wrye would appreciate.

Wow. Alabama’s Chip Forrester is now a lobbyist for the TEA. Our very own Democratic wolf in sheep’s clothing!

It appears not even the garrulous Wrye could justify continuing to draw a paycheck after the Alabama Dems lost so many seats to the GOP under his tenure. So now Wrye is trying to re-invent himself as just another good ol’ boy from the country (albeit from Massachusetts country) and no one should pay the least bit of attention to all those years of Republican hating and GOP bashing.

RTP’s advice to Wrye: Move along. You are certainly going in the right direction – North. By the time you reach your hometown of Newton, Massachusetts, you should be able to find a high enough concentration of Democrats to give you another job. Now that the Republicans know your full (Democrat) story they are unlikely to give you much benefit of the doubt.  And you can’t hire enough contract lobbyists to cover your ass donkey.

If you are a hard-working teacher who is a member of the TEA (the majority of active professional teachers in Tennessee are NOT members of the TEA, by the way), you need to know what your dues are being spent on. If TEA thinks having a partisan political hack like Wrye represent teachers in front of a Republican legislature is a good idea, then we feel certain the NEA will want to hire Newt Gingrich to be their lobbyist with the Obama Administration.

If you are a Republican legislator and did not know about Wrye’s over-the-top partisan political past, consider yourself informed. If you are a Republican who did know, but thought nothing of it – consider yourself embarrassed.

In the weeks ahead, RTP will further delve into the TEA to see if they are really “new & improved” or just the same old TEA in a brand new bottle.

Stay tuned and stay educated.
[Editor’s Note: RTP is now officialy intrigued. What other ne’er-do-wells is the TEA hiding out over on 2nd Ave.? Who are these “contract lobbyists” hired by TEA? Inquiring minds want to know!]


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