Monthly Archives: September, 2016

Tale of Two Governors

One of these governors has a set of C0jones.

The other has none….

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Burka Bill edited 2

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Let the games begin!

Leadership Lalapalooza!

All three House leadership slots could be up for grabs.

With the announcement by Gerald McCormick that he will not run again for Majority Leader, the chess board just got kicked over.  Let’s take a moment for a brief look at all three senior leadership slots:

Speaker —

Beth Harwell is facing her most serious challenge since she was elected to the speaker’s chair from Rep. Jimmy Matlock.  Already under fire for her inept handling of Le Affaire Durham and a stronger than expected election challenge by the Democrats,  McCormick’s exit only adds to her anxiety.  And it adds to the mood among much of the caucus that significant change in leadership is sorely needed.

Majority Leader —

Glen Casada is rumored to be running and, if he pulls the trigger, will face a spirited competition from Rep. Sheila Butt.  Butt had already quietly been laying the groundwork for a challenge to McCormick.  Look for others to possibly get into this race.

House Republican Caucus —

If Casada tries to move up the ladder, God only knows how many will run for this slot, but RTP’s favorite is Rep. Timothy Hill — he has the practical campaign skills that are needed for the job.  And he his seen as an open and honest operator.

The so-called Conservative Caucus, which is believed to number between 25-30 core members, could be a key group in the run-up to the leadership elections.

Also, no one should be surprised if the Governor tries to stick his nose into the races — and runs the risk of having it cut off.

 

“Oh, the Wells Fargo wagon is a-coming down the street….”

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All Eyes on Bob Corker as Wells Fargo scandal tour comes to Capitol Hill.

This morning, the U.S. Senate Banking Committee will grill the head of Wells Fargo over astonishing allegations that his company falsified millions of accounts, resulting in the recent firing of over 5,000 Well Fargo employees.  That Wells Fargo is in the hot seat is an understatement.  That the erupting scandal may have a profound effect on the 2018 elections in Tennessee will come as a surprise to voters and, especially, the state’s news media.

Sitting at the white-hot center of the controversy is our own Sen. Bob Corker.  In the days and weeks ahead, Rocky Top will try to bring to our reader’s attention just how deeply involved Bob is in this situation – and not in a good way.  It is a complex tale of business relationships, day-trading on steroids, staff collusion, etc.  But for this morning’s hearing it is safe to say that Bob Corker will be walking on egg shells when it comes for him to question the witnesses.

While no one is expecting any particular gaffes or revelations about Corker ties to Wells Fargo at today’s hearing (that will come later), his extensive relationships with the embattled mega-bank will have regulators, investigators and politicos parsing every syllable he utters.  Already under at least one ethics complaint, Corker is hovering on the edge of a scandal that could cause him to reconsider his re-election to the Senate, resulting in either leaving the Senate for a run for Governor in 2018 or even possible (forced) retirement from politics altogether.  Any of those outcomes would cause the Tennessee political landscape to teeter like Hillary Clinton climbing a set of stairs.

What a change from just a few weeks ago when the state’s MSM were falling all over themselves gushing over Corker’s seeming rise within the Trump orbit.  RTP said it then and we will say it again:  Corker could never survive the scrutiny required to take a position in any administration and he (and Trump) knows it.  And Wells Fargo is at the center of Corker’s vetting problems.

This morning’s hearing is the jumping off point for Corker’s suddenly clouded political future.

This could be huge.  Stay tuned.   wells-fargo-lock-box-edited

What passes for journalism these days.

The Tennessean attacks conservative for following the law.

In what has to be one of the slimiest – and maladroit – attempts to smear someone who has the temerity to disagree with the editors of the liberal Tennessean, the newspaper dug up a 5-year-old story and tried to pass it off as some sort of “investigative” journalism.

You can read the details here.  But the jist of it is that back in 2011 conservative businessman Andy Miller, concerned about the rising threat of radical Islam and uncontrolled immigration, took a group of legislators on a trip to meet with their counterparts in Europe to see just how dangerous the problem was.  They also went to Dearborn, Michigan.

Dearborn?  Yes, when the crew here at RTP discuss their future vacation/junket plans, the garden spot of Dearborn is always at the top of our list – of where not to go.

Miller apparently took them to Dreary Dearborn to see what happens when you import people whose religious and political beliefs (and yes, for almost all Muslims they are one in the same) are in direct contradiction to democracy, the U.S. Constitution and rule of law.  In Dearborn, there are enclaves where the cops will tell you are “no-go” zones, where Sharia law is the norm.  You folks at the Tennessean remember Sharia law, don’t you?  Beheadings, female genital mutilation, no rights for women, throwing gay people of rooftops, terrorism, etc.  To the idiots at the Tennessean, such activity must be ignored and withheld from the American public in the pages of their newspaper.  Damn that Andy Miller for showing lawmakers the reality of the situation that is now unfolding in Europe.

What really pissed off the Tennessean was that the Miller trip was years ahead of the current immigration/Muslim crisis that is threatening other countries, apparently worried about the real possibility of the same thing happening here.

How dare he.

But liberal bias is not the only thing at play here.  The publishing of the Tennessean’s story was laughably ill-timed.  It appeared at the exact same moment of multiple terrorist bombings and stabbings in the U.S., committed precisely by the very same terrorist environment that Miller was trying to warn people about.  Kind of hard to get up on your news media high-horse to attack an American citizen for seeking to educate lawmakers years ahead of its time.  That Miller did so while breaking no laws and spending only his own money to deliver his message was just beyond the pale for the SJWs at the Tennessean.  Just who does Miller think he is – Donald Trump? He must be destroyed!

But sheer incompetence of the junior journalists at the Tennessean should not be overlooked. The reporters gussied up the old news by trying to make it look like a story about “loopholes” in state law that allows people to do precisely what Miller did.  It’s just that the libs at the Tennesseans are apoplectic that some law they want has never been enacted.  So let’s beat up on a conservative for following the existing law. The Tennessean just added a couple of irrelevant “facts” (such as the boilerplate comments from the thoroughly discredited and wheezing left-wing mouthpiece, the Southern Poverty Law Center) and tried to make it look relevant.

In closing, we couldn’t help but notice the Tennessean’s inability to rein in it’s obsession with the late Jeremy Durham and dutifully inserted him into a story about a trip that Durham did not go on and that occurred before Durham was even elected.  Therefore, we offer you a headline from 2066:

 

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SPECIAL REPORT:

50th anniversary of Durham expulsion from the state legislature.

September 13, 2066

by Jane Doe

Durham has left the building.

“Durham Expulsion Doesn’t End Debate Over Sexual Harassment At The Tennessee Capitol.”  — WPLN

Now we have time to discuss all those other sexual harassment cases involving the Speaker……

To no one’s surprise, Jeremy Durham was ridden out of the legislature on a rail.  That he was the center of attention was no one’s fault but Durham’s — he was a hard-drinking, skirt-chasing cad.

But that he was politically executed after a spurious investigation and show-trial with few, if any, legal protections afforded even the most egregious hard-drinking, skirt-chasing cad is something that will haunt this legislature in the future and the future hauntings may take place sooner than many think.

Under the Law of “Unintended Consequences” the actions by the Speaker and her cronies against Durham, has opened up a Pandora’s box of other legislative miscreants who have done things similar to Durham but who have been assisted by leadership in covering up their transgressions.  But the fact they are allies of the Speaker makes their transgressions – and the cover-up — fair game.

Democrat Rep. Bo Mitchell began nibbling on the edges of this issue during the Durham floor debate when he brought up legislative staffer Jane Doe #24 and her alleged firing after she complained about harassment.  Mitchell was rewarded with having his microphone cut off by an alarmed Speaker.

Well, Madame Speaker, RTP has its own damned microphone.  Good luck cutting us off or stopping the numerous other folks around LP from discussing these “inconvenient truths.”  Your allies who have sexual harassment problems are still sitting in the legislature and are under your direct protection.  And your former staffer will be held accountable, regardless whether he entered rehab to “get help” or to avoid scrutiny at a particularly awkward time.

In the days ahead, RTP and its tipsters will vigorously pursue the gross hypocrisy surrounding House leadership.

Sayonara, Rep. Pants Candy.  Hello, Chairman Horn Dog.

 

Will Durham Trigger the Nuclear Option?

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Time for All You John and Jane Does to “Duck & Cover.”

RTP sources (and there are many) are telling us that when a resolution to expel him is put forward in this week’s special session, Jeremy Durham is seriously considering invoking his right to a hearing.  This would theoretically allow him to face his accusers and call witnesses (are you reading this, Jane Doe #38?).

One revels in the thought of Durham calling one or both current committee chairmen who are allegedly guilty of nefarious acts similar to what Durham has been accused of.  That’s right – we said “accused.”  For you see, despite an AG’s investigation, numerous lamentations from leadership, almost daily rehasing article in the Tennessean (and the Tennessean’s live-in girlfriend at Channel 4) a whole host of Jane and John Doe anonymous accusations, Durham has yet to be charged with one damn thing.

Oh sure, the speaker and her cronies dutifully issue pieties such as “Durham had his chance.”  If that “chance” meant he could have appeared before the unethical (and likely illegal) AG investigation and watched while they roasted him on a spit while trying to protect everyone else’s anonymity but Durham’s, then yeah – he had his chance.  As in Fat Chance (“Here, gentlemen, I brought along some extra ammunition for my firing squad, just in case you miss the first time…”).

Now all this is not to say Rep. Pants Candy is not guilty.  Hell, he is almost definitely guilty of something.  But even carousers like Durham have certain inconvenient rights under the state constitution. And we hear he is giving serious thought to demanding his day in court.  Why, he could even call the Speaker to the docket to ask her “what did you know and when did you know it” when it comes to sexual harassment and other misdeeds by her cronies and even her former staff member (who we understand is in “rehab” and is conveniently unavailable for comment).

Multiple members are begging off attending the special session, many no doubt operating under the rationale that why should their lives be disrupted by the incompetence of leadership to get their act together.  But we hear the two chairmen appointed by Harwell and who reportedly have exhibited cases of “Durham Disease” (which was reportedly dutifully covered up by the Speaker) will be in attendance.  You’ll be able to identify them because they will be the ones with paper bags over their heads.

At least one member of the Rocky Top crew will be on hand with extra popcorn and praying that Jeremy pulls the trigger.

Ethics complaints to be filed against leadership?

The RTP tipline has gone into overdrive the last 24 hours with word that ethics complaints will be filed against at least two senior House leaders on Monday.  The reports say those complaints will be filed just before or during the special session.

Compare these complaints to  Durham, who is likely guilty of something, but who has never had a single complaint filed against him or charges brought against him in advance of his scheduled public execution next week.  Wanna bet any new ethics complaints against leadership will result in a reaction similar to the Attorney General opening an investigation and anonymously interviewing scores of people in secret tribunals?  Yeah, we wouldn’t take that bet either.

Speaker Harwell never had the guts to send the Durham accusations to the Ethics Committee nor to present any formal charges against Durham.  Had she done so, she could have avoided dragging the entire legislature and members of her caucus through a public debacle that now serves as a lasting monument to her incompetence as a leader.

Let’s see if she will allow the legislature to address the ethics complaints being brought against her and others while they are all here in Nashville next week.  We’re sure she will have time to convene a session of the Ethics Committee.

So how’s the dog doing?

AG to Launch investigation of the Great Dog Attack of 2016?

Meet John Dog #38:

John Dog #38

John Dog #38

This poor pup was minding his (or possibly her) own business, when a bumbling politician invaded his territory.  After barking in an attempt to get the attention of Channel 4 or the Tennessean, the dog was left with no other choice than to call a special session to force the politician to resign her position and leave his damn yard.  It seems Speaker Harwell is not the only politician John Dog #38 has barked at, but was apparently the only one with whom he consummated the relationship by biting her on the tushie.

Herb Slatery was seen roaming the neighborhood with a wide net trying to get other dogs to talk, but to no avail.  Last we heard John Dog #38 was rehab in order to avoid public scrutiny and ridicule.

Who Let The Dogs Out?

Just when things could not get more weird, comes news that Beth Harwell was bitten by a dog as she campaigned door-to-door in South Nashville.  The first question is:  Does Beth think she is enough political trouble that she feels the need to go door-to-door in 93-degree heat?  RTP has heard rumors that she might be in some risk of losing, but until we see some polling we’ll just mark that up to wishful thinking.  But still….

Poor Beth.  First she drags the entire legislature through the needless Durham debacle, then she plays a key role in screwing up legislation so badly that it could cost the state $60 million, then the governor has to call a special session to fix her mistake and the session could cost $100,000 to pay for her incompetence.  Sure, Ron Ramsey shares some of the blame, but hey – he’s retiring, so Beth is left holding the bag.  Next time the Girl Scouts want to take someone on a Snipe hunt, all they have to do is call Beth and provide her with a cold bottle of coconut water and she is likely to sit there all night waiting for the Snipe to appear.

Yes, it looks like Beth has thoroughly demonstrated a penchant for being snake bit, but now she is dog bit as well.

We just hope John Dog #38 is taking antibiotics.  A dog can’t be too careful these days…