At 1:30 today, the House Transportation Committee will meet in a key vote on Governor Haslam’s bill to raise taxes on gas and diesel fuel. The political fallout from passing a gas tax increase while Tennessee feeds at the trough of a $ 2 Billion surplus looms particularly large for several legislators who plan to seek other offices.
Speaker Beth Harwell — wants to be governor. We can’t wait to see her ads and direct mail pieces touting her successful passage of a massive gas tax increase on working men and women in Tennessee. If given the choice to break a tie vote in the committee or lead the fight against the gas tax increase, we’re betting Beth will be hiding in the ladies room sipping coconut water as opposed to picking up the conservative banner dropped by Mark Green. Make no mistake –Beth can kill the tax increase almost single-handedly. We are betting she won’t.
Senator Mark Norris — also wants to be governor. Already on record as supporting the gas tax, Mark is hoping Beth slips the anchor chain of the gas tax around her own neck and dives in with him. Misery loves company!
Ron Travis — wants to challenge Cong. Scott DesJarlais. Ron serves on the committee and will be a linchpin vote on whether or not the gas tax increase moves ahead. Ron should realize that running for Congress in the most rural district in the state while voting for a gas tax increase that hurts rural people the most, is not a great platform. Families in our rural communities drive further to school, further to work, and further to the grocery store and already pay a larger percentage of their income in fuel. But hey, maybe Ron can win by telling the voters down in Grundy County that his vote for the gas tax helped send their tax money to fund boondoggle mass transit programs in West Nashville. Yeah, that’ll work.
Praise the Lord and pass the coconut water…