Today’s guest post is by Eric Holcombe.
Who is the secret senator that Tennessee Republicans are protecting?
1st Post – revealing the back-door budget language sabotage by a secret legislator returning tax dollars to the abortophiles at Planned Parenthood
The Plot Thickens Sen. Campfield talks to Doug Himes, attorney for the legislature that drafts budget language who helped make the change for the still unnamed legislator and claimed “attorney/client privilege” in not revealing who he conspired with to make the illegal change. Tom Humphrey reports on this and gives some more detail. Himes will not comment on whether Sen. Campfield contacted him or not, but says they do not make any changes unless directed to do so by a legislator. Campfield claims Himes told him it was someone on the House side that gave direction. So, it’s a legislator, and most likely a Republican one. House speaker Harwell says it isn’t her. Rep. Gerald McCormick says it isn’t him. Rep. Charles Sargent can’t be reached, but later tells Sen. Campfield that “it came from the Senate” and he had instructed two Senators to ‘fix it’. Still no name(s). Assuming Sen. Campfield didn’t lie about his conversations with Himes and Sargent, either Himes or Sargent (or both) are lying about who gave direction to make the change. At least one of the three is not telling the whole truth.
On to the Senate side. Senate Majority leader Mark Norris says it isn’t him. Then, Speaker Harwell and Lt. Gov. Ramsey issue a joint press release….that doesn’t reveal the criminal activity behind the scenes, but suggests that the criminal activity has some merit to it because without it the entire budget would be jeopardized (in true Federal Reserve/Tim Geithner appeal-to-fear form). In fact, it appears they have worked with the legal department (remember, the one that made illegal changes and then claimed attorney-client privilege against you) to concoct a face-saving way out of this. Sen. Campfield provides analysis of the release, points out parts that are not true, and begins to call on Gov. Haslam to line item veto the illegally changed portion of the budget. He could do that, and at the same time make good on a campaign promise to defund Planned Parenthood.
So at this point, I believe it is very likely Harwell, Ramsey, Himes and Sargent know who did it. Maybe Sen. Campfield does too. He and Ramsey were co-sponsors of the amendment, so Ramsey has no apparent reason to sabotage it. Then, suddenly, everything is all better. But no one is going to root out the real problem, which is the conspiracy between the legal department and the secret Senator(s). Sure, Ron Ramsey has said he’ll work “behind the scenes” to make sure it doesn’t happen again. “Asked if that means the results of his inquiry into what occurred and who was responsible will never be made public, Ramsey replied, “That’s a possibility.” I’ll tell you what Lt. Gov., let the truth be known, and the voters will take care of that.
Why is the Republican leadership hiding this? I can see either: a)Republican leadership is choosing their party and its damage control over the rule of law and the constituents, or b) this is being hidden for future political leverage over the guilty party, who is allegedly on their side. In either case, there are now not only Republicans willing to subvert the will of your elected representatives by altering passed legislation, but also Republican leadership that is willing to hide and protect them. Unfortunately for the honest legislators (some of whom happen to be in the Republican party), they have also been betrayed by the majority party. Whatever you sponsor/cosponsor/vote on can get changed in a back room after the fact with support of Conservative Republican™ leadership. Even Gov. Haslam doesn’t seem too interested: “But it is not something I’m spending a lot of time trying to figure out.”
Sen. Campfield is willing to let it drop as long as he got what he was looking for (defunding Planned Parenthood) and likens this to kissing ugly girls at the prom and taking the pretty one home. From here, it looks like the pretty girl has had plastic surgery, fake teeth and a wig and is only interested in riding in your nice car.
Is this the conservatism Tennesseans have been waiting 140 years for? It isn’t what I am looking for. Save the tux rental and stop going to the two-party prom. Buy the truth and sell it not.