The mystery of the “Harwell Hiatus.”
The “Tuition Equality” bill that would have allowed illegal aliens to pay in-state tuition rates for Tennessee universities (at taxpayer expense) was defeated yesterday by one vote. Seconds before the controversial bill came to the floor for debate, Speaker Beth Harwell vacated her chair and turned the gavel over to Speaker Pro Tem Curtis Johnson and left the chamber with no explanation as to where she was going or why. Maybe it was some sort of gastrointestinal distress which required a lengthy trip to the “facilities.” If so, this wouldn’t be the first time Harwell employed such a tactic.
Immediately after the final vote on the bill, Harwell magically reappeared in the Chamber and bravely announced that, had she been there, she would have voted “no.”
Many of her fellow legislator are asking tough questions about Harwell’s Hiatus. Did she avoid the debate and the vote because she didn’t want to deal with the issue when she runs for governor? What was so damn important that she had to leave seconds before the bill was presented? Assuming she was needed somewhere else on some pressing matter, wasn’t it curious that the time to do whatever she was doing was exactly the same length of time it took to debate and vote on the bill?
But, hey. Let’s cut her some slack. Maybe, in fact, “nature called.”
And maybe the Tooth Fairy is real.