Yes, it seems the governor’s handpicked toady, who has a second job as the state’s attorney general, has delivered an opinion that the release of legislators’ personal healthcare information — part of a dishonest, deceitful, backstabbing, disingenuous and inept political blackmail attempt by Haslam and his chief of staff to slime Republican legislators — did “not violate any state laws.”
Slattery said the release of the information was allowed under Tennessee law, which implies that the Tennessee Code supercedes federal law — a highly questionable position. When it came to past opinions about Tennessee whiskey, the Bible, and his refusal to join other states in challenging Obamacare, Slattery bowed at the alter of federal supremacy. But to protect his best friend (the guv) from further political embarrassment, Slattery now tries to assert Tennessee privacy laws as dominant.
Too bad no one thought to ask Slattery to rule on the rank stupidity of the governor’s political attack. Maybe a legislator can request an AG opinion on the question: “Who’s the bigger political putz? Haslam or Obama?”
We are sure that all those legislators who watched as their personal information was paraded around by newspapers such as The INSURETennessean in an attempt to bully them (into doing something that 21 other states have also refused to do) feel so-o-o much better about their relationship with Bill Haslam this morning.
You can just feel the love, can’t you?
Why it wouldn’t surprise the crew here at RTP if the GOP caucus just rolled over and let the governor tickle their tummy, call a special summer session and pass that darned ol’ Medicaid/Obamacare expansion.
We challenge The INSURETennessean to bet their entire circulation that will happen. Oh wait, the geniuses down at the paper already did that. Keep it up, sports. Soon you won’t be able to give that rag away.
Finally, a rousing “Congrats!” to you, Herbert. We hear the “Legal Sycophant of the Year” award is just about locked up.
Or as the Church Lady would say: “Isn’t that special?”
After the disastrous going away gift from former Education Commissioner Kevin “I voted for Obama” Huffman in the form of suspiciously delayed and rumored tampering of TCAP scores last year, one would think the Haslam administration would have learned its lesson.
One would be wrong.
In an almost unbelievable demonstration of incompetent management, the people who say they know best how to educate our children have shown for the second year in a row that they can’t even manage one of their most basic duties: the accurate reporting the annual TCAP scores. What’s worse is the same charges of score manipulation to make the administration’s education claims more believable were once again being levied against state officials.
Those officials have had to fan out across the state on The “Sorry-we-are-so-stupid-and incompetent” Tour to try and calm angry teachers, parents and school administrators.
“I got a beautiful explanation of what I believe to be incorrect,” said Kenyon Cook, a teacher at Cromwell Elementary School. He said he and his students celebrated their quick scores, only to be told they don’t mean anything.
“I can’t think of a better way to say it,” he said. “It made kids, parents, teachers, feel stupid.”
Those who would like to cut the governor some slack are finding it increasingly difficult to do so because of repeated examples of incompetence, especially in education. Whether it’s expensive and ugly new state logos, or releasing personal information about legislators’ health insurance in an obvious attempt to embarrass or intimidate them, or manipulating or misreporting TCAP scores, this administration has repeatedly demonstrated either a contempt for the political process or an incompetence that borders on malfeasance.
Our state is in the very best of hands…..