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Tennessee politicians blast Governor Lee's special session

NASHVILLE, TN — Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Stewart says the decision by the Governor to have a taxpayer funded legislative session on August 23rd is “a joke” and “continuation of a Republican scheme to cover their misdeeds”.

  mike stewart
Mike Stewart; image submitted

At a potential cost of around $40,000 a day, Rep. Stewart said, “It is ridiculous to waste taxpayer money because Republicans are uncertain of the person they elected to serve as Speaker Pro Tempore.” The Nashville Democrat added: “Their election of Glen Casada was a disaster and now they want Tennesseans to pay as they try to figure out who gets to ride in a limousine for the next 4 months. There’s no logical reason why this election couldn’t be held in January when we come back into regular session. It’s a just a huge slap in the face to taxpayers. The fact that the Governor and other Republicans are working so hard to replace House Speaker Pro Tempore Bill Dunn raises serious concerns about whether this special session is only designed to block further investigations into Casada and his cronies.”

Tennessee Democratic Party Chair Mary Mancini released the following statement following reports that Gov. Bill Lee has called a special session on August 23, 2019:

"After Casada embarrassed our state and disrespected our citizens, Bill Lee should've called for an immediate resignation like the majority of Tennesseans wanted. Instead, Lee has quietly allowing Casada to run the show and wield power freely. And now by calling a special session, he's spending $41,000 Tennessee tax dollars just so Casada and his loyalists in the House Republican Caucus try to undermine the Speaker Pro Tempore they elected for situations like this. This is more of the same rotten corruption that got us here in the first place.

"Additionally, only as Casada’s speakership comes to an end do other Republicans float the idea of taking action against David Byrd. If sexual abuse is worthy of retribution now, why wasn't it problematic enough to call for Casada to take action during the 2019 legislative session? This speaks volumes to the shortage of integrity and principle among Tennessee GOP leaders.

"This isn’t about politics. It’s only about basic decency. On the Byrd and Casada scandals, Democrats in the legislature are the only group that has consistently upheld the tradition of honorable and high-minded Tennessee statesmanship that every voter -- Democrat, Republican, and Independent -- expects from government."

Published June 29, 2019

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