A few days ago we selected the “Winners” of this past legislative session. Today RTP brings you the Losers. This selection was much more difficult, as there were so many more Losers than Winners, but we gave it a shot:
Speaker Beth Harwell.
It is hard to imagine a Speaker having a worse legislative session. Ok, maybe former short term U.S. House Speaker Robert Livingston. Oh, and former House Speaker Dennis Hastert. But we digress. From the Jeremy Durham nightmare (where Beth not only shot herself in the foot by ignoring it, she then pulled out a full automatic and ran through the whole clip as she lurched for a way out), to Timothy Hill beating her leadership team’s choice to replace Durham as Majority Whip, to her failed backdoor attempts to block the Syrian refugee resolution, to the surprise 66-17 vote for the Hall Income Tax repeal at the end of the Session, etc.
Beth displayed a shocking, though not surprising at this point, lack of basic leadership skills. She probably knows her ambition to be Governor is over; soon she will figure out that her desire to remain Speaker has moved into the category of “you’re kidding, right?”
Governor Bill Haslam.
In the last session before his final lamest of lame duck legislative sessions the Governor didn’t chalk up many wins, and the atmosphere for his last two years will likely be even more toxic as his cronies again target, and likely lose, conservative House members who have thwarted his every move. He didn’t dare bring up his Obamacare expansion for a third humiliating loss. He did a couple of taxpayer paid road trips to promote a gasoline tax increase, and then took a pass for this year. Did everything he could to block a complete repeal of the Hall Income Tax, though he may still choose to further poison the well with the legislature by vetoing the tax repeal legislation that passed by the narrow margin of 29-1 in the Senate and 66-17 in the House. And should we even get into the complete incompetence of the Administration’s education policies…especially TN Ready??? It could be worse. He could be running something really important into the ground…like an NFL franchise with the quarterback of his choosing becoming one of the greatest flops since Ryan Leaf.
Wasn’t Jim Henry the Haslam pick to quarterback his administration back in to good relations with the legislature? Maybe Johnny Manziel can become Haslam’s final chief of staff…he’s available.
With absolutely no shot at relevance and even less grasp of the policy issues that “red state” Tennessee embraces out of the Democrats in Tennessee have little option other than silly grandstanding. Oh, and recruiting women candidates to run under the moniker “WTF.” Just as Republicans still struggle with how to act when in possession of a MAJORITY, the Democrats are just as clueless with how to act in a SUPER MINORITY. Putting them in the “loser” category may be too kind
With a surplus of over a BILLION dollars (meaning we were overtaxed by that amount) the legislature could only find its way to return HALF of the $260 million robbed from the road fund by Governor Bredesen. But they are still finding ways to waste money on the new state museum. You know the one. The $120 million boondoggle that we just discovered has no storage space for the museum artifacts…meaning they will spend MORE to get some closet space. Or maybe they can just get a few PODS they can put in Legislative Plaza.
They also found the extra money to fund $30 million for a mystery company relocating to Tennessee (Shhhh. It’s a secret). They also had another $8 million or so to make sure “Nashville” keeps filming in Nashville (What, was Toledo making a bid to move Nashville to Ohio?). With a BILLION dollar surplus, and about $130 million generated last month alone, the legislators fought against a mere $42 million tax cut this year as part of the Hall Income Tax repeal.
It seems a BILLION just doesn’t go as far as it used to.