Cooper: Are state Democrats using Casada scandal?

Cooper: Are state Democrats using Casada scandal?

July 6th, 2019 by Clint Cooper in Opinion Free Press

Are state Democrats attempting to smear Republicans with the misdeeds of Tennessee Speaker of the House Glen Casada?

Photo by Mark Humphrey

A Democratic call for a wide-ranging investigation of the expenditures and personnel hiring of the Tennessee legislature seems oddly timed, coming as it does less than a month before Republican Speaker of the House Glen Casada is expected to step down from his position after a no-confidence vote from his fellow party members.

To be sure, if the legislature has broken laws, covered up nefarious taxpayer spending and Casada has misused funds in any way, the public should know and a probe ought to ensue.

But if this is simply Democrats attempting to tar Republicans with accusations against the speaker, that's a different story.

Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Stewart said Nashville news reports claimed House spending increased by $3 million under Casada as compared to under former Speaker Beth Harwell.

Stewart also made a public records request for Casada's spending after he became speaker on Jan. 8. He said the speaker used taxpayer funds to "lead a lifestyle of the rich and famous."

Casada controversies

Without the records, the Democrat's accusation is only a partisan political charge.

Casada has acknowledged he increased the size of the speaker's staff, and it is possible he chose to use funds for the office in a different, though perfectly legal, way than did Harwell. But, given his dissembling about sexually explicit and racially charged text messages exchanged with a former staff member, it is possible he didn't. But calls for investigations shouldn't be made in a vacuum.

Stewart, of course, would like nothing more than for voters to believe all Republicans are like Casada, whose political action committee used dirty tricks before he became speaker and who was then shamed with the revealed text messages. But all Republicans are not like that, and we believe most voters understand that.

Nevertheless, if taxpayer money was used improperly either by the legislature or by Casada, the public should know. But no investigation should ensue based on vague accusations, or worse, based on politics. Making such charges, in that case, points up Democrats to be no better than the speaker with whose deeds they wish to paint all Republicans.

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Chattanooga Times Free Press Comments Policy

The Chattanooga Times Free Press web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Times Free Press web sites and any content on the Times Free Press web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Times Free Press, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Times Free Press websites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Chattanooga Times Free Press
400 East 11th Street
Chattanooga, TN 37403
Phone: 423-757-6315
Email: webeditor@timesfreepress.com


Loading...