published Saturday, March 5th, 2011

Tea pary slams Haslam, Harwell over teacher bargaining bill

NASHVILLE — Tea party leaders at a rally today lashed out at Republican Gov. Bill Haslam and House Speaker Beth Harwell for not strongly supporting a proposal to outlaw collective bargaining for teachers.

Raymond Baker, of Williamson, County, likened Haslam and Harwell to former Republican Gov. Don Sundquist, who unsuccessfully pushed for a state income tax in 2002.

“And I want to turn around and say ... Bill Haslam, where are you?” Baker said to the cheering crowd of at least 200 people outside the state Capitol. “Where are you? These people who probably voted for you ... they’re standing in the rain trying to tell you something. Speaker Harwell, where are you?”

He listed Republican governors elected in other states last year and singled out Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who is pushing legislation to eliminate collective bargaining rights for public employee unions.

“We got Mr. Rogers,” Baker said as the crowd erupted in laughter.

Teachers later began their own rally at Legislative Plaza against the anti-union legislation.

Haslam has refused to take a position on the collective bargaining proposal in the Tennessee General Assembly, saying he is focused on his own initiatives such as toughening teacher tenure requirements.

about Andy Sher...

Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...

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AlmostAmanda said...

Are you kidding me? The big issue is the teacher protest, but the TFP chooses to make a story out of 200 Tea Party jokers? They think Scott Walker is so great, yet he is directly ignoring a majority of Wisconsin voters who don't want to see collective bargaining come to an end! I guess the idea of "listening to the people" only appeals to the TP crowd when their the one's talking... and the TFP just goes right along with it! Pathetic.

March 5, 2011 at 4 p.m.

It would be funny if the tea baggers turned in the tea bag by 2012.

March 5, 2011 at 4:10 p.m.
acerigger said...

Where's the reporting about the thousands of teachers and their supporters rallying in Nashville just across the street from the tea-bag dupes? Slant the news much TFP?

March 5, 2011 at 5:14 p.m.
srlaymon said...

I am sure the members of the tea party and tfp enjoy the pay, insurance, vacation time, sick leave, and other benefits that collective bargaining has brought to private companies. If unions had not bargained for these issues we would all still be working in unlit rooms for a nickel a day with no recourse.

March 5, 2011 at 5:23 p.m.
EaTn said...

Scott Walker has high hopes of becoming another Ronald Reagan someday, but I've got news for him, Reagan is dead along with his outdated jokes and principles. Haslam knows that the governor of the state needs to keep on track much like Bredesen did. He don't have to jump when the tea bunch holler frog.

March 5, 2011 at 5:58 p.m.
drskigirl said...

So "ALL" tea "baggers" as it's put enjoys the same things that insurance, vacation, sick leave and other benefits. Well, yes, I do enjoy the tea party movement. Oh and while people seem to think it's funny to try and degrade the people while using a term which is related to a sexual act I will not call people who don't agree with my opinion crash names. I happen to work at a restaurant as a server. I enjoy the freedom that serving can offer a person of taking time off when you want and I love meeting new people. But for the record, next time you're in some of the smaller local restaurants (not the big chain ones) just ask how much paid vacation a server gets, NONE! Insurance, I wish! Sick time, what's that? Servers take time off work and they go without pay. They pay taxes just like everyone else though and will still smile to your face when you ask if that less than 15% tip on a $100 dollar check is good enough cause we'll be polite and not let you know it should be minimum 20%.

March 5, 2011 at 7:57 p.m.
PubEd said...


It sounds like your place of employ would benefit greatly from worker organization and collective bargaining. Not only is serving an extremely demanding job, it is also woefully under-compensated. The fact that such positions are exempt from minimum wage requirements, even with the possibility of tips, has always been repugnant. There was a time when teachers did not enjoy paid vacation, employer contributions to insurance or sick days. My predecessors organized and won those benefits in long, difficult labor struggles against entrenched corporate interests in government. Unlike other union members both in Tennessee and elsewhere, were you and your co-workers to demand such necessities you could count on my solidarity. The greatest tool the capitalists class has is the divide-and-conquer tactic, pitting one group of workers against another. A century ago industrialists claimed they could hire one segment of the underclass to kill another. Now rather than violence and strikebreakers they use rhetoric and misinformed Tea Partiers. Make no mistake: this is class warfare. Only from the top down.

March 5, 2011 at 9:21 p.m.
acerigger said...

drskigirl, ANY restaurant work,(especially serving) is a demanding,hard job! But wouldn't it be nice to have some benefits to go along with your"$2.25 per hour,plus tips"?

March 6, 2011 at 12:14 a.m.
srlaymon said...

drskigirl, It sounds as if you need an outlet for your anger. Maybe you should organize, demand a living wage for yourself and your co-workers. Those who are already organized will support you, but if the recent attempts at legislation are any indicator, the government would prefer to keep people like you who work hard and don't make much money "in your place".

March 6, 2011 at 7:46 p.m.
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