published Monday, March 21st, 2011

Nashville: Tea party calls for pressuring lawmakers on teachers bill

NASHVILLE — Tennessee Tea Party leaders today called on supporters to put pressure on 20 House Republicans they contend are “waffling” on legislation that would strip collective bargaining rights from teachers.

They also lashed out at Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, who is backing a compromise version that passed the House Education Subcommittee last week. The compromise limits but does not repeal collective bargaining rights as does a Senate bill championed by Speaker Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville.

Last week, Ramsey issued an “open letter to conservatives” calling on their support for the original bill.

Tea party leaders charge in their emailed alert/newsletter that House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville, is “in lockstep with Governor Haslam, who has proved himself weak on a variety of issues confronting our state.”

Haslam had no immediate comment.

The newsletter says Tennessee Tea Party leaders have been “instructed” that that 47 House members support the complete ban. The bill needs 50 votes to pass. There are 64 House Republicans, 34 Democrats and one independent. Democrats all appear opposed to the ban.

The email identifies 20 Republicans, including two local Republicans, as among those waffling.

“We have asked for and been given the (growing) list of House members that are, indeed, waffling,” the Tea Party’s newsletter says, citing anonymous sources. “These members have varying degrees of allegiance to the unions; many are tied to and closely related to the TEA [Tennessee Education Association].” 

Among those listed was Rep. Richard Floyd, R-Chattanooga.

“I don’t know where they got their information,” he said. “Listen, I support the Senate bill that’s out there.”

House Majority Floor Leader Vince Dean, R-East Ridge, was also named in the email.

“They (tea party leaders) are entitled to their opinions,” Dean said. “As far as I can recall — and I think that I would — I haven’t cast a vote yet. I don’t know how I’m waffling on anything.”

For complete details, see tomorrow’s Times Free Press.

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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bpqd said...

Support the teachers.

Refuse these insane complainers who insist on bankrupting the government through poor tax collection policies. We need to fund government to do the basics. That includes doubling --doubling-- teacher's salaries, ensuring tenure, tripling --tripling-- the money spent on classroom supplies, and a flat out boycott on this senseless and self-destructive complaining from these insane crony-paying conservative politicians.

Support the teachers. Support the students. Deny these insane radicals who have no plan for reasonable or functional government.

Pressure lawmakers to not only support, but improve and radically increase, our educational spending.

March 21, 2011 at 4:25 p.m.
EaTn said...

Haslam and legislation--don't drink the kool-aid flavored tea; it gives a bad hangover, as the Wisconsin right-wingers are finding out.

March 21, 2011 at 4:45 p.m.
ceeweed said...

Sorry, no comment. I missed Glenn Beck so I have no one to tell me what I think today. Please pass the crumpets deary.

March 22, 2011 at 12:07 a.m.
librul said...

Atta boy there, Rep. Floyd. You're just the kind of rep we need - one that'll man up and confront the crazies. Yessir, you've got real guts. Where's the Pepto-Bismol.

March 22, 2011 at 1:14 a.m.
Humphrey said...

I think the current proposals are conservative and reasonable. They put limits on tenure and make the process more difficult to obtain. This "tea party" wants no compromise, no moderation, no common sense approaches, only extremism. They are too, too radical. There used to be a group of liberatarian, anti-tax people. The so-called "tea party" has taken that over, and has become the extreme far-right

March 22, 2011 at 7:55 a.m.
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